Surya Namaskar means "bowing down in reverence to the sun," and Namaskar means "bowing down in respect to the sun." This has been the most popular yogic kriya for decades, as it integrates 12 yoga asanas in a yogic sequence. Surya Namaskar is a daily practice that helps to balance three bodily constituents: Kapha, Pitta, and Vata, allowing you to manage your life better and affect your creativity and intuition talents. Its basic yet powerful positions make yoga accessible to individuals of all ages and sizes, at any time and in any location. In this article, our experts will guide you about the various aspects of Surya Namaskar, such as Surya Namaskar poses, Surya Namaskar benefits, disadvantages of Surya Namaskar, Surya Namaskar mantra, Surya Namaskar for weight loss, and much more. So, keep reading!


Sun salutation, also known as Surya Namaskar, is an ancient method consisting of a sequence of yoga asanas or positions performed to reverence the sun. The sun has always been revered throughout human history, and in Hindu mythology, the Sun-God, or Surya, is a symbol of good health and eternal life. According to the Rig Veda, the sun is the soul of both moving and non-moving entities.

Surya Namaskar steps are divided into twelve postures or asanas performed one after the other in order. The asanas stretch the body while contracting and extending the chest alternately to control respiration. Surya Namaskar Yoga improves the flexibility of the spine and joints and the body's ability to shed excess fat when practised regularly. It also helps warm up the body in preparation for various asanas and yoga activities.

Although there are many versions of the Surya Namaskar poses today, the most common ones are:

  • Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
  • Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)
  • Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend)
  • Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
  • Dandasana (Stick pose)
  • Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)
  • Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
  • Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend)
  • Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)
  • Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Surya Namaskar: Mythology And Ancient Origins

Surya Namaskar is one of the most significant asanas or pre asanas in yoga practice. Worshipping or offering pranams to the Sun-God brings happiness, and it also has a long history that spans the globe. Sun worship was considered Pagan by Abrahamic faiths. The worship of the Sun-God was significant in most civilisations discovered thus far, and few did not do so. Although their worship methods differed, all of these civilisations recognised the sun as the ruler, the holy monarch, of the above and below realms. Sun worship was precise and organised in certain cultures, while it was done using solar imagery in others.

The worship of the Sun-God is also referenced in ancient Egyptian history when the Sun God was known as "Re." According to their beliefs, the sun begins his trip across the celestial ocean as a child God Kheper, then becomes a full-grown Sun, "Re," in the afternoon, and finally becomes Atum in the evening.

Before the arrival of Christianity, the Sun played a significant role in all ancient Mexican and Peruvian rites. Their monarchs were thought to be Sun God's embodiment. The goddess "Amaterasu," who was linked to the Sun God, was also worshipped by the Japanese.

The Sun Dance of North America, which was legally prohibited in America in the early nineteenth century, is the most renowned recent example of solar worship.

Surya Namaskar Yoga Importance 

The ultimate asana for strengthening the back and muscles of the body is Surya Namaskar. Surya Namaskar yoga has several benefits: it is a comprehensive workout for the entire physical system that can be done without any equipment. It's also a fantastic method to get away from life's tedious and exhausting everyday routines.

Ancient Indian sages venerated Surya Namaskar because of its effect on the many forces that regulate our bodily and mental well-being. The solar plexus, a network of radiating nerves located in the pit of the stomach, is supposed to be linked to the Sun. As a result, consistent Surya Namaskar practice increases the size of the solar plexus, which improves creativity, intuition, confidence, decision-making ability, and leadership.

Although there is no set time of day when Surya Namaskar should be performed, it is generally done at sunrise. That is when the sun's rays are most appropriate and advantageous to the body's revitalisation and rejuvenation. It can also be done after a long day to unwind and relax.

Types of Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar has evolved throughout the decades, and its postures have taken on numerous forms and modifications. Furthermore, this is one yoga kriya that has only grown in popularity. Surya Namaskar is really included in a variety of yoga techniques. Let's have a look at some of them in the next section:

  1. Ashtanga Surya Namaskar: Sun salutations are divided into the Ashtanga Surya Namaskar series: Type A and Type B. There are nine Vinyasas in Type A and seventeen Vinyasas in Type B.
  2. Hatha Surya Namaskar: It is done through the 12 spinal postures, which place a strong focus on breathing. It's one of the most popular Surya Namaskar styles, and it's also one of the simplest.
  3. Iyengar Surya Namaskar: Iyengar Surya Namaskar is comparable to Hatha yoga, but it focuses a bit more on tempo and energy. It is done faster than other varieties of Surya Namaskar.

12 Poses Of Surya Namaskar

In this section, let’s explore the 12 Surya Namaskar poses.  

Pose 1: Prayer pose – Pranamasana


  • Begin by standing upright in front of your mat, bringing your feet together, and keeping your arms at your sides relaxed.
  • Close your eyes and bring the palms of your hands together in the middle of your chest. Relax your entire body.


  • This position calms the nervous system and assists in regaining bodily equilibrium.
  • It also aids in the reduction of tension and anxiety.
Prayer pose – Pranamasana

Pose 2: Raised arms pose – Hasta Uttanasana


  • Exhale deeply to begin Hasta Uttanasana.
  • After that, take a deep breath and stretch your arms forward and up over your head.
  • Look up and press your pelvis forward to extend your body slightly rearward.
  • When you arch backwards, focus on breathing in, and when you bend forward, focus on breathing out.


  • Stretches and tones the abdominal muscles.
  • From the heel to the tips of the fingers, this exercise expands the entire body.
Hand to foot pose – Hasta Padasana

Pose 3: Hand to foot pose – Hasta Padasana


  1. Exhale and begin to fold forward and down to your knees, keeping your spine long as you do so.
  2. Place your hands on the floor with only your fingers contacting the surface.
  3. Just bend your knees enough for your chest to rest against your thighs and your head to rest on your knee. For a few seconds, stay in this position.


  1. It stretches and expands the spine, making it more flexible.
  2. It also opens the legs, shoulders, and arms muscles while stretching the hamstrings.
Hand to foot pose – Hasta Padasana

Pose 4: Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana


  1. Step your right leg back, placing only the knee down and tucking your toes securely under.
  2. Bend your left knee while keeping your foot flat on the floor.
  3. Place your fingers or palms on the floor, roll your shoulders back, and gently raise your head.


  1. Leg and spine muscles are strengthened.
  2. Indigestion and constipation are relieved.
Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Pose 5: Mountain pose – Parvatasana 


  1. Slowly exhale, bringing your palms to the floor and lifting your hips into the air by moving the left foot back beside the right.
  2. Bring your shoulders towards your ankles while lengthening your spine. Take a couple of deep breaths in and out.


  1. It helps to enhance posture and to relax the mind.
Mountain pose – Parvatasana 

Pose 6: Ashtanga Namaskara


  1. Exhale as you drop your knees and gently come down with a controlled chest while pressing your head forward on the floor.
  2. Keep your elbows pressed towards your sides for more strength.
  3. As your strength in this transition improves, you'll be able to drop your chest while keeping your hip up in the air.


  1. It increases the back and spine's flexibility.
  2. Strengthens the back muscle while also releasing stress.
  3. A single position works all eight of your body parts.
Ashtanga Namaskara

Pose 7: Cobra pose – Bhujangasana


  1. Keep your hands and feet in the same place. Inhale as well.
  2. Slide forward and, like a snake, elevate your chest.
  3. Squeeze your elbows back towards each other while rolling your shoulders back.
  4. Look up slowly.


  1. It increases mood and flexibility.
  2. It simultaneously stretches the muscles of the shoulders, chest, back, and legs.
Cobra pose – Bhujangasana

Pose 8: Mountain pose – Parvatasana


  1. Tuck your toes under as you breathe. (Identical to position 5)
  2. Return to an inverted V stance by stretching your spine and bringing your shoulders closer to your ankles. Take a couple of deep breaths now. Lift your hips to the heavens and press your hands into the earth as you exhale.


  1. It improves blood circulation in the spinal area.
  2. It helps women deal with the symptoms of menopause.
Mountain pose – Parvatasana 

Pose 9: Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana


  1. Push the pelvis forward by bringing the left foot forward between the palms. Raise your body and tilt your head back, arching your back and gazing up at the sky (same as pose 4).


  1. Leg muscles are more flexible, and the abdominal organs are toned.
  2. The spine is strengthened.
Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Pose 10: Hand to foot pose – Hasta Padasana


  1. Exhale and pull the legs together, keeping the right foot in front (same as pose 3).
  2. Just bend your knees enough for your chest to rest against your thighs and your head to rest on your knee.


  1. Insomnia, osteoporosis, headaches, anxiety, and stress can all be alleviated with it.
Hand to foot pose – Hasta Padasana

Pose 11: Raised Arms Pose- Hasta Uttanasana


  1. After that, take a deep breath and stretch your arms forward and up over your head (same as pose 2)
  2. Look up and press your pelvis forward to extend your body slightly rearward.
  3. Take a deep breath out.


  1. It treats ailments such as asthma, lower back pain, and weariness. It also helps with digestion.
  2. Expands the chest, resulting in a complete oxygen intake.
Hand to foot pose – Hasta Padasana

Pose 12: Standing Mountain pose – Tadasana


  1. Finally, exhale and return to the prayer position (similar to pose 1).
  2. Slowly and steadily lower your arms.


  1. Thighs, knees, and ankles are strengthened, and posture is improved.
  2. Tone your hips and abdomen and your muscles to assist you in developing control over your emotions.

When all 12 positions are completed, one cycle of Surya Namaskar is completed. Doing 12-15 cycles every day, on average, will provide you with all of the advantages your body requires, keeping you fit and healthy for a brighter tomorrow.

Standing Mountain pose – Tadasana

Surya Namaskar Benefits

The advantages of Surya Namaskar steps are numerous. It has the potential to bring about much-needed improvements in your mind and body, as well as other important parts of your life. Some of the Surya Namaskar benefits are as follows:

  1. Surya Namaskar for healthy hair: Surya Namaskar stimulates and nourishes the scalp's blood flow. This aids in preventing hair issues such as premature greying, thinning, and loss.
  2. Surya Namaskar for weight loss: Surya Namaskar can be performed quicker than normal to burn more calories. It may be used as a fantastic aerobic workout that works on all of the body's muscles and improves metabolism. Furthermore, it incorporates a variety of bends and stretches that aid in the uniform loss of flab across the body, particularly the belly.
  3. Surya Namaskar for glowing skin: Surya Namaskar improves blood circulation, maintaining the skin looking young, beautiful, and healthy. Furthermore, keeping stress at bay is proven to help your skin retain its firmness, avoid the emergence of wrinkles, and delay ageing.
  4. Improves Digestive System: Maintaining a healthy and disease-free body necessitates a well-functioning digestive system. Surya Namaskar improves blood circulation in the body, which helps the intestines operate properly. As a result, increased vitamin absorption and general wellness are possible.
  5. Better Menstrual Cycle: Surya Namaskar's postures and stretches might help you build stronger abdominal muscles and manage your menstrual cycle. Regular practice of the asana might also aid to make delivery more comfortable.
  6. Lowers Blood Sugar Level: People who practice Surya Namaskar daily report significant benefits in their physical and mental health. The asana improves their neurological system's function, making it simpler to relax and overcome worry. It also helps persons with thyroid issues by bringing their endocrine glands' activity back to normal.
  7. Improves Breathing: Surya Namaskar ensures that the lungs are effectively aired, and the blood is adequately oxygenated by supplementing the breathing process.
  8. Battles Insomnia: One of the most important health advantages of Surya Namaskar is the reduction of sleeplessness. It calms the mind, assists in releasing loads and concerns, and enhances sleep patterns.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to perform a good sun salutation?

Giving your all in every pose is the key to completing an effective Sun Salutation. Close your eyes and practice slowly for a more immersive experience.

2. How long should we hold each pose in a sun salutation?

Hold each stance for as long as you feel comfortable at first. As you get more practice, strive to hold for a little longer and progressively increase your capacity. Holding oneself for longer than your threshold limit might cause damage and exhaustion.

3. Can we do sun salutations every day?

Yes, doing sun salutations daily can provide a variety of health advantages, including a stronger spine, improved digestion, bright skin, and a healthy weight.

4. Are there any disadvantages of doing Surya Namaskar?

If you have a poor back, bodily aches, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, a wrist injury, or are pregnant, don't perform Surya Namaskar.

The Bottom Line

Most of us have been drawn into stressful schedules and energy-draining work shifts in the pursuit of a magnificent life, all of which may take a significant toll on our health and happiness. Technically, this leaves us with very little time to relax, let alone time for physical activity. Even dedicating a few minutes to improving one's health and mind appears to be a difficult task.

In the form of heat and light, the Sun’s energy is what keeps life on Earth going. Taking a few minutes for yourself to perform Surya Namaskar or sun salutation might help you achieve more steadiness in all parts of your life. With this in mind, Decathlon urges everyone attending its yoga retreat to perform the Surya Namaskar series of asanas and get the benefits.

Related tags :