Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)

Surya Namaskar is a physical exercise which workouts 95% to 97% of our muscles as against only 35 to 40% of our muscles that are used in daily activities. The cardio exercising of Surya Namaskar and the breathing exercise (Pranayam) enables greater oxygen circulation in the body. The steps in the Surya Namaskar, when sequentially executed, induce a state of mind that is free of thought without any mental stress and strain at all. It is a real rest to the mind. In this article, I am concentrating on the physical exercise only, not the Surya mantra.

Since it is advised not to eat anything 5-6 hours before this performance, it is logical to do it in the early morning upon waking up. At the beginning of the practice, one Surya Namaskar consumes 02.30 KCL. This exercise burns out a lot of calories and reduces body mass and body weight.

  • Persons suffering from slip-disk, arthritis, heart attack etc including pregnant women are suggested to take medical opinion before they start the practice of Surya Namaskar.
  • If the breathing goes fast while practising Surya Namaskar, either take some rest or stop performing more Surya Namaskar for the day.
  • After the practice is over, lay down in Shawasan / Yoga Nidra for some time.

Steps in Surya Namaskar

1)    tadasana
2)    urdhva hastasana
3)    uttanasana
4)    chaturanga dandasana
5)    uttanasana
6)    urdhva hastasana
7)    tadasana

This entire series is to be performed on one leg. At completion, it is to be repeated on the other leg too.

Images Source

The steps mentioned above have been simplified in the chart below. However, there being composite steps, the breakdown causes the list to increase.

Surya Namaskar

Start in a standing position, facing the sun. Both feet should be touching; palms joined together, in prayer pose.

Surya Namaskar

With a deep inhalation, raise both arms above your head and tilt slightly backward arching the back.

Surya Namaskar

With a deep exhalation, bend forward and touch the mat, both palms aligned with the feet, forehead touching the knees.

Surya Namaskar

With a deep inhalation, take the right leg away from the body, in a big backward step. Both the hands should be firmly planted on the mat, the left foot between the hands, head tilted towards the ceiling.

Surya Namaskar

Holding the breath take the right leg back to join the left leg. Now straighten both hands, legs and back. Neck spine, thighs and feet should be in a straight line.

Surya Namaskar

With a deep exhalation, shove the hips and butt up towards the ceiling, forming an upward arch. The arms should be straight and aligned with your head.

Surya Namaskar

With a deep exhalation, lower the body down till the forehead, chest, knees, hands and feet are touching the mat, butt tilted up. Take a normal breath in this pose.

Surya Namaskar

With a deep inhalation, slowly snake forward till the head is up, back arched concave, as much as possible.

Surya Namaskar

Exhaling deeply, again push the butt and hips up towards the ceiling as in position 6, arms aligned straight with the head.

Surya Namaskar

Inhaling deeply, bring the right foot in towards the body, in a big forward step. Both the hands should planted firmly on the mat, right foot between the hands, head tilted towards the ceiling.

Surya Namaskar

Exhaling deeply, rise up and touch the mat, keeping both the palms in line with the feet, forehead touching the knees.

Surya Namaskar

Inhaling deeply, raise both arms above the head and tilt slightly backward.

Surya Namaskar

Return to stand facing the sun, both feet touching, palms joined together, in prayer pose.

When repeated 25 times, on both legs, Suryapranam gives optimum results. However, it is not possible for beginners to do that right from the first attempt. They need to take it slow and start at 4 or 5 times, and gradually increase the number with patience and practice.

Also Read:

Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar Animation


37 thoughts on “Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)

  1. Thanks Scarlett! I feel this one’s for me….. 😛 😛 :party:
    I’ll read it when I get backkk!!!!! I just wanted to assert my (perceived) importance :yahoo:

  2. MERRRRRRRYYYYYYY XMASSSSSSSSSSSSSS 2 ALLLLLLLLLLL IMBB ians!!!! O:) :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: :woot: :woot: :woot: :rainbow: :rainbow: :sheep2: :sheep2: :present: :present: :present: :party: :party: :party: :party: :musicnote: :musicnote: :joker: :joker: :joker: :heart: :heart: :heart: :evilgrin: :cake: :cake: :rose: :bomb: :bomb: :cheers: :cheers: :drunk: :drunk: :present: :cake: :-*

    1. Very detailed post Scarlett :waytogo: !! U knw havin a hard time even lukin at d pic!!!Tried dis once..stoppd it den n der only :hypnotized: :worship: :worship: :worship:

  3. hey nice 1 scarlett..thanks for the detailed post..n video..
    m merry christmas all of u…. :announce: :announce: :star: :star: :present: :present: :heart: :heart: :rose: :rose: :rose:

  4. nice post….may be its gonna be my new year resolution to do SN every morning 😛 :X-P:

    MERRRYYYYYYYYYY XMAS GURLS :whistle: :star: :present: :cake: :rose: :joker:

        1. hehe ur sweet and funny as well 🙂 🙂 :)….let me know what Santa leaves in ur stocking 😉 for me…I’m my own Santa…will decide what to buy tomorrow when I go to the mall 😉

          1. hehe…it all depends on what i end up buying…ive bought so many beauty products lately…and got gifts from my mom n bros 2..prolly i should click pics of those products and post them here…

  5. I was waiting for this :heart: :heart: Thank you so much, Scarlett :-*
    This is lovely and I will try it right now.
    Guess it looks easier as it is – especially for me old lady 😀 but I will start with two in a row and hope, I will survive 😉

    One Question: The Video shows one step not shown on the images before, so I have to ask: Between the position descirbed by image four and five the lady on the video puts up her hands just like in position no 2, knee touching ground. On the images above this position is missing or is this just a kind of “free-style” on the video? Furthermore on the image it appears to me like the knee is not touching the ground in this position (no 4) … so my question is: Should it touch the ground (video) or not (images)?

  6. TY – you are so nice in ecouraging me :-* :-*

    According to my qestion: I did not mean position 2 is done betwen pos 4 and five.
    But: On the video the lady raises up her hands (just like she raised them in position 2) between image position 4 and 5 – take a look at the video – while her knee is touching ground.

    Now your answer already explained the important thing :rose: :rose: :rose: TYVM

  7. Thanks a lot 🙂

    This handraising at step 4 seems to be an advanced practice – found it here as well:

    .www youtube com/watch?v=zVrj2bDnddw&feature=related

    1. This guy is awesome. Don´t think I will ever reach this level but now I have something I can practice on a daily routine basis. Thank you :heart:

  8. The guys from bodyofyoga com (check their YT channel) are showing a different Surya Namaskar, calling it part SN A and SN B – and I found a part C as well – but not from them.
    I will try the one you showed here, thanks so much for this article :-* :-*

  9. Hi Scarlett,

    I read your post yesterday..and lazy me i thought “are kon karega yeh sab”..but then today morning i got up and searched for this article frantically and did surya namaskar 7 times ..i’m gonna do it now on-wards…YAY thanks for the start up…Merry christmas and a happy new year….. : :lashes:

  10. Hi scarlett, I am 24/f from Goa and I have been practicing Surya Namaskara since I Was 10.
    Results: I am 5’9 tall well built with almost perfect and healthy body. Most Important: I Hardly got pimples in my teenage life.
    I appreciate your efforts for spreading this ancient authentic way of exercise.

    Warm regards,

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