How to do Sun Salutation?

Sun Salutation – The Perfect Yoga Workout

If you are pressed for time and looking for a single mantra to stay fit, here’s the answer. A set of 12 powerful yoga asanas (postures) that provide a good cardiovascular workout in the form of Surya Namaskar. Literally translated to sun salutation, these postures are a good way to keep the body in shape and the mind calm and healthy.

Surya Namaskar is best done early morning on an empty stomach. Let’s begin with these simple yet effective Sun Salutation steps on our way to good health.

Each Sun Salutation round consists of two sets. These 12 yoga poses complete one set of Surya Namaskar. To complete the second half, you need to repeat the same sequence of postures, only moving the left leg instead of the right (in steps 4 and 9 given below). You might find several versions of doing Sun Salutation. However, it is best to stick to one particular sequence and practice it regularly for best results.

Besides good health, Surya Namaskar also provide an opportunity to express gratitude to the sun for sustaining life on this planet, For the next 10 days, start your day with a feeling of grace and gratitude towards the sun energy. Do 12 rounds of Sun Salutation, followed by other yoga poses and then rest deeply. 

 

Sun salutation step 1: Pranamasana (Prayer pose)

Step #1: Pranamasana (Prayer pose)

Stand at the edge of your mat, keep your feet together and balance your weight equally on both the feet.
Expand your chest and relax your shoulders.
As you breathe in, lift both arms up from the sides and as you exhale, bring your palms together in front of the chest in prayer position.

 
Sun salutation step 2: Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)

Step #2: Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)

Breathing in, lift the arms up and back, keeping the biceps close to the ears. In this pose, the effort is to stretch the whole body up from the heels to the tips of the fingers

How to deepen this yoga stretch?

You may push the pelvis forward a little bit. Ensure you're reaching up with the fingers rather than trying to bend backwards.

 
Sun salutation step 3: Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose)

Step #3: Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose)

Breathing out, bend forward from the waist, keeping the spine erect. As you exhale completely, bring the hands down to the floor, beside the feet.

How to deepen this yoga stretch?

You may bend the knees, if necessary, to bring the palms down to the floor. Now make a gentle effort to straighten the knees.
It's a good idea to keep the hands fixed in this position and not move them henceforth until we finish the sequence.

 
 Sun salutation step 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Step #4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Breathing in, push your right leg back, as far back as possible. Bring the right knee to the floor and look up.

How to deepen this yoga stretch?

Ensure that the left foot is exactly in between the palms.

 
Sun salutation step 5: Dandasana (Stick pose)

Step #5: Dandasana (Stick pose)

As you breathe in, take the left leg back and bring the whole body in a straight line.

How to deepen this yoga stretch?

Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor.

 
Sun salutation step 6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts or points)

Step #6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts or points)

Gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Take the hips back slightly, slide forward, rest your chest and chin on the floor. Raise your posterior a little bit.

The two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin (eight parts of the body touch the floor).

 
Sun salutation step 7: Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

Step #7: Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

Slide forward and raise the chest up into the Cobra posture.You may keep your elbows bent in this pose, the shoulders away from the ears. Look up.

How to deepen this yoga stretch?

As you inhale, make a gentle effort to push the chest forward; as you exhale, make a gentle effort to push the navel down. Tuck the toes under. Ensure you're stretching just as much as you can; do not force.

 
Sun salutation step 8: Parvatasana (Mountain pose)

Step #8: Parvatasana (Mountain pose)

Breathing out, lift the hips and the tail bone up, chest downwards in an 'inverted V' (/\) posture.

How to deepen this yoga stretch?

If possible, try and keep the heels on the ground and make a gentle effort to lift the tailbone up, going deeper into the stretch.

 
 Sun salutation step 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Step #9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Breathing in, bring the right foot forward in between the two hands, left knee down to the floor, press the hips down and look up.

How to deepen this yoga stretch?

Place the right foot exactly between the two hands and the right calf perpendicular to the floor. In this position, make a gentle effort to push the hips down towards the floor, to deepen the stretch.

 
 Sun salutation step 10: Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose)

Step #10: Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose)

Breathing out, bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor. You may bend the knees, if necessary.

How to deepen this yoga stretch?

Gently straighten the knees and if you can, try and touch your nose to the knees. Keep breathing.

 
Sun salutation step 11: Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)

Step #11: Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)

Breathing in, roll the spine up, hands go up and bend backwards a little bit, pushing the hips slightly outward.

How to deepen this yoga stretch?

Ensure that your biceps are beside your ears. The idea is to stretch up more rather than stretching backwards.

 
Sun salutation step 12: Tadasana

Step #12: Tadasana

As you exhale, first straighten the body, then bring the arms down. Relax in this position, observe the sensations in your body.

 

Contact a certified Sri Sri Yoga teacher near you to learn Sun Salutation correctly.