Surya Namaskara – Sun Salutation

12-Step Sun Salutation: A Powerful Yoga Exercise

The  Movement

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One of the all-around yoga exercises is the 12-step salute to the sun.

Sun Salutation Benefits

Do it once or twice when you get up in the morning to help relieve stiffness and invigorate the body.  Multiple repetitions at night will help you to relax; insomniacs often find that six to 12 rounds help them fall asleep. You can try doing the sun salutation for weight loss.

1. Stand with your feet slightly apart, palms together, thumbs against your chest

2. Inhale deeply while slowly raising your hands over your head, and bend back as far as possible, while tightening your buttocks.  Hold for three seconds.

3. Slowly exhale and bend forward, keeping your knees straight, until your fingers touch the floor outside your feet.  If you can’t touch the floor, go as close as you can, comfortably – Do Not Strain Yourself!  Bring your head in toward your knees.

4. Slowly inhale, bend your knees, and if your fingertips aren’t outside your feet on the floor, place them there. Slide your right foot back as far as you can go, with the right knee an inch or so off the floor, a lunge position.  Now look up as high as possible, arching your back.

5. Before exhaling again, slide your left foot back until it is beside the right one, and with your weight supported on your palms and toes, straighten both so that your body forms a flat plane.  Make sure your stomach is pulled in.

6. Slowly exhale, bend both knees to the floor, bend with your hips in the air, lower your chest and forehead to the floor.

7. Now inhale slowly and look up, bending your head back, then raising it, followed by your upper chest, then lower chest.  Your lower body – from the navel down – should be on the floor, and your elbows should be slightly bent.  Hold for three to five seconds.

8. Exhale slowly and raise your hips until your feet and palms are flat on the floor and your arms and are straight in an inverted V position.

9. Inhale slowly and bring your right foot forward as in position 4.  The foot should be flat on the floor between your fingertips.  The left leg should be almost straight behind you, with its knee slightly off the floor.  Raise your head, look up, and arch your back.

10. Slowly exhale and bring your left foot forward next to your right one.  Straighten your legs and stand, trying to keep your fingertips on the floor, and try to touch your head to your knees as in position 3.

11. Slowly inhale, raise your arms up and stretch back as in position 2. Don’t forget to tighten your buttocks. Hold for three seconds.

12. Slowly exhale, lowering your arms to your sides. Relax. Repeat the series.

Exercise Video

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Sun Salutation is probably the most famous yoga sequence and there is a good reason for it.  There are many yoga sun salutation benefits,  you stretch all the major muscle groups of the body, relax the mind, and helps you to deepen your breath.

In this sun salutation video, Barbora Moravkova from Ayurveda Holistic Medicine presents an easy step by step guide on how to practice Sun Salutation – Surya Namaskar .

The Sun Salutation is a wonderful to start your day, reduce your stress and ground your body & mind for the day.  So, if you are looking for ways how to reduce stress, this is it.

Sun Salutation Yoga

hatha yoga sun salutation sequence for beginners

Step Asana Breath Images Chakra Position Bīja
Sanskrit Transliteration
1 Pranamasana exhale 1Pranamasana.JPG Anahata Heart ॐ ह्रां om hrāṁ
2 Hasta Uttanasana inhale 2Urdva Hastasana.JPG Vishuddhi ॐ ह्रीं om hrīṁ
3 Hastapaadasana exhale 3Uttanasana.JPG Swadhisthana Sacrum ॐ ह्रूं om hrūṁ
4 Aekpaadprasarnaasana (one foot back, lift head, hands often on earth ) inhale 4godhapitham (l‘iguane).JPG Ajna Third eye ॐ ह्रैं om hraiṁ
5 Adho Mukha Svanasana / parvatasana exhale 5adho mukha shvanasana.JPG Vishuddhi Throat ॐ ह्रौं om hrauṁ
6 Ashtanga Namaskara suspend 6Ashtanga Namaskara.JPG Manipura Solar plexus ॐ ह्रः om hraḥ
7 Bhujangasana inhale 7urdhva mukha shvanasana.JPG Swadhisthana Sacrum ॐ ह्रां om hrāṁ
8 Adho Mukha Svanasana exhale 5adho mukha shvanasana.JPG Vishuddhi Throat ॐ ह्रीं om hrīṁ
9 Ashwa Sanchalanasana (opposite foot forward from 4, hands often on earth ) inhale 4godhapitham (l‘iguane).JPG Ajna Third eye ॐ ह्रूं om hrūṁ
10 Uttanasana exhale 3Uttanasana.JPG Swadhisthana Sacrum ॐ ह्रैं om hraiṁ
11 Hasta Uttanasana inhale 2Urdva Hastasana.JPG Vishuddhi Throat ॐ ह्रौं om hrauṁ
12 Pranamasana exhale 1Pranamasana.JPG Anahata Heart ॐ ह्रः om hraḥ

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Surya Namaskar, the Sun Salutation, is a series of 12 postures performed in a single, graceful flow.  Each movement is coordinated with the breath. Inhale as you extend or stretch, and exhale as you fold or contract.
The Sun Salutation builds strength and increases flexibility.
Different styles of yoga perform the Sun Salutation with their own variations.

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