Surya Namaskar Yoga | Sun salutation and it’s benefits

What is Sun Salutation?

Sun Salutation also known as Surya Namaskar Yoga is a combination of 12 yoga asanas and is practiced before doing any advance asanas. Sun salutation was practiced by our yogis to offer there prayers to the lord of sun (Surya) daily in the morning.

Sun salutation is proved to be very effective and efficient for the body as it increases the flexibility, strength and metabolism of the body. It act as an all purpose tool for the body in improving the alignment and posture of the body.

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Steps of Sun Salutation/Surya Namaskar Yoga:

There are total 12 steps in the Surya Namaskar Yoga. These steps are designed in such a way through which your whole body is involved for warm up. Following are the detail description of all the steps of sun salutation:

1. Namaste position: The very first step is to while inhaling and exhaling join your palms together in a namaste position, palms should rest on your chest. You can follow the image given below.This step is also known as pranamasana.

2. Raised Arm pose: The second position is while inhaling raise your both arms straight up attached to your ear lobes and arch your back while looking to the ceiling. Make sure your neck is resting at your back neck muscles. For more clarity follow the image given below. This pose is also known as Hasta Uttanasana.

3. Standing Forward Bend: The third position is while exhaling slowly bend forward from your lower back and catch your ankle or your knees wherever you can reach if you are a beginner than you can bend your knees a little but try to keep straightening your knees while holding and your head should face towards your knees. This pose is also known as Hasta Padasana.

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4. Lunge Pose: The fourth position is while inhaling take your right leg back keeping your left leg in between your palms and make sure your chin is facing in upward direction and extend your right leg back as much as possible keep your big toes in a relaxed position. This asana is also known as anjaneyasana.

5. Plank pose: The fifth position is while holding/ retaining your breath hold your body posture in a plank position i.e. keep your body 2 m above the ground in a straight line and hold it for few seconds.

6. Four limbed-staff pose: The sixth position is while exhaling bend your knees on the floor than place your chest and than forehead on the mat and hold it for few seconds. Make you’re the body alignment is in a correct line and keep breathing. This asana is also known as chaturanga Dandasana.

7. Upward facing dog pose: The seventh position is while inhaling stretch your body straight while resting on your tummy and slowly lift your head, chest and shoulder up. Make sure naval region is on the mat and the hands are placed on a equal distance beside your shoulders and hold it for few seconds. This asana is also known as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana.

8. Mountain pose: The eight position is while exhaling lift your whole body up in a mountain position. In this position the hips are lift more high than body and the heels relax on the mat. This asana is also known as Adho Mukha Savasana.

9. Lunge Pose: The ninth position is same as fourth pose i.e. while inhaling bring your right leg forward keeping in between your palms and place your left at the back make sure your chin is facing in upward direction and extend your left leg back as much as possible keep your big toes in a relaxed position. This asana is also known as anjaneyasana.

10. Standing Forward Bend: The tenth position is again same as third pose i.e. while exhaling slowly bend forward from your lower back and catch your ankle or your knees wherever you can reach if you are a beginner than you can bend your knees a little but try to keep straightening your knees while holding and your head should face towards your knees. This pose is also known as Hasta Padasana.

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11. Raised Arm pose: The eleventh position is same as second position i.e. while inhaling raise your both arms straight up attached to your ear lobes and arch your back while looking to the ceiling. Make sure your neck is resting at your back neck muscles. For more clarity follow the image given below. This pose is also known as Hasta Uttanasana.

12. Namaste position: the last position is same as of first step i.e. while inhaling and exhaling join your palms together in a namaste position, palms should rest on your chest. You can follow the image given below.

This step is also known as pranamasana. These are the main twelve steps of basic sun salutation which is being practiced in our yoga tradition.

By Kirti Singhania

Yoga instructor (shivananda).

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