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/ / All 12 Surya Namaskar Poses with a step-by-step Guide

All 12 Surya Namaskar Poses with a step-by-step Guide

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The Surya Namaskar Yoga is one of the most popular forms of Hatha-Yoga, which has now gained popularity worldwide. Being a wholesome combination of exercises incorporating the coordination of mind & body, it is one of the most beneficial forms of Yoga for beginners. There are several different forms of this Yoga suggested in different yogic cultures by different gurus. The most beneficial & widely practiced form has a sequence of 12 Surya Namaskar Poses with eight unique Asana. This Yoga is not only about physical exercise. The practice of Surya Namaskar gives you maximum benefits when the correct posture is combined with the corresponding Namaskar-mantra, Mindset, Focus & Breathing sequence.

Here we will furnish you with all the details about each & every Surya Namaskar pose so that you will become able to perform this unique form of Yoga without any problem.

How-to-do-Surya-Namaskar-steps-1

The 12 Surya Namaskar Poses are :

  1. Pranamasana or The prayer pose
  2. Hastottanasana or The Raised arm pose
  3. Hastapadasana or The Standing forward bend
  4. Ashwa-Sanchalanasana or The Equestrian pose
  5. Chaturanga Dandasana or The Four-limbed staff pose
  6. Ashtanga-Namaskar or The Eight-limbed pose
  7. Bhujangasana or The Cobra pose
  8. Adhomukha-Swanasana or The Mountain pose
  9. Ashwa-Sanchalanasana or The Equestrian pose
  10. Hastapadasana or The Standing forward bend
  11. Hastottanasana or The  Raised arm pose
  12. Pranamasana or The prayer pose
Rigveda 1.50.1

1.     Pranamasana / The prayer pose 

The first pose of Surya Namaskar is that of Prarthanasana.

Namaskar Mantra of Prarthanasana

Aum Mitraya Namah ॥ 

— Salutations to the One who is a friend to all.

Pranamasana - The prayer pose

The focus of Thoughts during Prarthanasana

Try to focus your mind on the Anahata chakra / Heart chakra.

Breathing manner

Easy breathing.

How to do Prarthanasana ?

Correct Practice Technique for Prarthanasana is as follows:

  • Stand in the upright posture of meditation at the edge of the Yoga mat facing the Rising Sun.
  • Put your feet close to each other and balance with equal body weight on each leg.
  • Relax your shoulders  & arms.
  • Now, bring the palms together on the middle of your ribcage in the posture of Namaste (salutation). All the fingers of the hands should be adjacent, and the thumb should be sticking to the chest.
  • In this situation, Think of all things good in your life and fill your mind with a sense of gratitude for the reasons you are alive. Now, close the eyes and increase the mutual pressure of both palms.
  • Allow the deep natural breathing to continue uninterrupted.

2.  Hastottanasana / Ardh-Chandrasana / Raised arm pose

The Second pose of Surya Namaskar Yoga is Hastottanasana.

Namaskar Mantra of Hastottanasana

Aum Ravaye Namah ॥ 

— Salutations to The shining one, the radiant one.

Hastottanasana or The Raised arm pose

Focus of Thoughts during Hastottanasana

Try to focus your mind on the Vishuddhi chakra / Throat chakra.

Breathing manner

Inhale–  Take a long breath while raising the arms.

How to do Hastottanasana?

Correct Practice Technique for Hastottanasana is as follows:

  • Opening the joined palms in the first position, Lift your hands upwards.
  • Keep your biceps nearest to your ears.
  • Stretch the upper back and while breathing and lean backward.
  • Look up towards the sky & think of the vastness & positive forces of the Universe.
  • Feel the tension on the neck and backbone. Try to stretch the spine to the maximum.
  • Bend back as per your ability, and do Kumbhak as best as you can.

Pro Tip: Try to push your pelvis forward & reach through your figures instead of bending backward.

3.     Hastapadasana / Padahastasana / Standing forward bend

The third pose of Surya Namaskar Yoga is Hastapadasana.

Namaskar Mantra of Hastapadasana

Aum Suryaye Namah ॥  

— Salutations to The dispeller of darkness, responsible for generating activity.

Hastapadasana or The Standing forward bend

The focus of Thoughts during Hastapadasana

Try to focus your mind on the Swadhisthana chakra /  Sacrum chakra.

Breathing manner

Exhale– Breath out to remove all the excess air from the stomach & lungs while bending towards the front.

How to do Hastapadasana ?

Correct Practice Technique for Hastapadasana is as follows:

  • Do Hastapadasana straight from the second position and keep bending in front in the same flow.
  • Keep the spine erect & evenly distribute your bodyweight on both legs.
  • Breathing out, try to place both palms on the ground near the feet.
  • Keep the knees straight and affix the forehead to the knees.
  • New trainees should do this exercise slowly and initially trying to touch the palms with the ground only.

Pro Tip: You can bend your knees to touch the ground with your palms. Once touched, slowly try to straighten up your legs to achieve the correct posture.

4.     Ashwa-Sanchalanasana/ Ekapada-Prasaranasana / Equestrian pose

The fourth pose of Surya Namaskar Yoga is Ashwa-Sanchalanasana.

Namaskar Mantra of Ashwa-Sanchalanasana

Aum Bhanave Namah ॥ 

— Salutations to the One who illuminates everything.

Ashwa-Sanchalanasana or The Equestrian pose

The focus of Thoughts during Ashwa-Sanchalanasana

Try to focus your mind on the Ajna chakra / Third eye chakra.

Breathing manner

Inhale– Breathe-in while moving back Your right leg.

How to do Ashwa-Sanchalanasana ?

Correct Practice Technique for Ashwa-Sanchalanasana is as follows:

  • From the third position, with both palms fixed on the ground, throw your right leg backward.
  • Bend your left leg from the knees under your chest,
  • Press the leg by your chest and bend the back of the neck and see the sky above.
  • The right knee & foot should lay on the ground.
  • Keep in mind that the palms should not be lifted from the ground.

Pro Tip: Try to keep your left foot exactly in between your palms & your arms at a right angle to the ground.

5.     Chaturanga Dandasana/ Four-limbed staff pose

The fifth pose of Surya Namaskar Yoga is Chaturanga Dandasana.

Namaskar Mantra of Chaturanga Dandasana

Aum Khagaya Namah ॥ 

— Salutations to the all-pervading one, one who moves through the sky.

Chaturanga Dandasana Or The Four-limbed staff pose

Focus of Thoughts during Chaturanga Dandasana

Try to focus your mind on the Vishuddhi chakra / Throat chakra.

Breathing manner

Exhale– While straightening the right leg and lifting the body, release the breath.

How to do Chaturanga Dandasana ?

Correct Practice Technique for Chaturanga Dandasana is as follows:

  • With the condition of Ekapadaprasaranasana, move your left leg backward to join with the right leg.
  • Keep the arms straight for the shoulders.
  • In this case, your body forms a triangle with the ground, with your hands perpendicular to the body and the body facing the earth.
  • The entire weight is to be on the palms and feet.
  • You should keep your body in a straight line.

Pro Tip: keep your arms perpendicular to the ground.

6.     Ashtanga-Namaskar/ Eight-limbed pose

The Sixth pose of Surya Namaskar Yoga is Ashtanga-Namaskar.

Namaskar Mantra of Ashtanga-Namaskar

Aum Pushnye Namah ॥ 

— Salutations to the Giver of nourishment and fulfillment.

Ashtanga-Namaskar or The Eight-limbed pose

The focus of Thoughts during Ashtanga-Namaskar

Try to focus your mind on the Manipura chakra / Solar Plexus chakra

Breathing manner

Suspend– Keep the breath outside

How to do Ashtanga-Namaskar ?

Correct Practice Technique for Ashtanga-Namaskar is as follows:

  • Breathing down from the fifth position, i.e., Chaturanga-Dandasana, tilt your body down swiftly.
  • Elbows should be folded and stuck in the sides.
  • Both the feet, knees, chest, palms, and chin should be on the ground, and you need to lift your waist & buttocks simultaneously.
  • Ideally, there should be an 8-point contact of the body with the earth.

Pro Tip: Some yogis also ask the forehead to rest on the ground.

7.     Bhujangasana/ The Cobra pose

The Seventh pose of Surya Namaskar Yoga is Bhujangasana.

Namaskar Mantra of Bhujangasana

Aum Hiranyagarbhaya Namah ॥ 

— Salutations to One who has a golden coloured brilliance.

Bhujangasana or The Cobra pose

Focus of Thoughts during Bhujangasana

Try to focus your mind on the Swadhisthana chakra /  Sacrum chakra

Breathing manner

Inhale– Take the breath while arching the waist.

How to do Bhujangasana ?

Correct Practice Technique for Bhujangasana is as follows:

  • Make a slight change in the sixth position and tilt the lower portion of the navel to the ground.
  • Now raise the upper part of the body from the navel while straightening the hands.
  • Breathing in, look at the front or with the neck slightly bent back, try to look at the sky above.
  • Keep in mind if your hands are completely straight and the elbows should stick to your sides.
  • Keep your shoulders away from the ears.

Pro Tip: Keep making an effort to put your navel down and the chest forward. Tuck your toes under & stretch your body as much as you can comfortably.

8.     Parvatasana/ Adhomukha-Swanasana/ The Mountain pose

The eighth pose of Surya Namaskar Yoga is Adhomukha-Swanasana.

Namaskar Mantra of Adhomukha-Swanasana

Aum Marichaye Namah ॥ 

— Salutations to the Giver of light with infinite rays.

Chaturanga Dandasana Or The Four-limbed staff pose

The focus of Thoughts during Adhomukha-Swanasana

Try to focus your mind on the Vishuddhi chakra / Throat chakra

Breathing manner

Exhale– Release the breath while lifting the body.

How to do Adhomukha-Swanasana ?

Correct Practice Technique for Adhomukha-Swanasana is as follows:

  • Raise your waist and back from the seventh position, lift the buttocks up like a mountain by putting full weight on both legs and palms.
  • Look at your navel while tilting the neck down.
  • Form an inverted V with the ground resembling the structure of a mountain.
  • Keep your palms & feet completely touching the ground.

Pro Tip: Try keeping your heels touching the ground for a better stretch.

9.     Ashwa-Sanchalanasana/ Ekapada-Prasaranasana / Equestrian pose

The ninth pose of Surya Namaskar Yoga is Ashwa-Sanchalanasana.

Namaskar Mantra of Ashwa-Sanchalanasana

Aum Adityaya Namah ॥ 

— Salutations to The son of Aditi, the cosmic divine mother.

Ashwa-Sanchalanasana or The Equestrian pose

The focus of Thoughts during Ashwa-Sanchalanasana

Try to focus your mind on the Ajna chakra / Third eye chakra

Breathing manner

Inhale– Breathe in while moving back your right leg.

How to do Ashwa-Sanchalanasana ?

Correct Practice Technique for Ashwa-Sanchalanasana is as follows:

  • Coming out of the eighth position, bring your right foot between the two hands and bring it near the right palm.
  • While pressing the waist down, the neck is bent to look up at the sky.
  • The left knee will rest on the ground.

Pro Tip: Keep the right foot perpendicular exactly between the palms and push the hips down for a maximum stretch.

10.  Hastapadasana/ Standing forward bend

The tenth pose of Surya Namaskar Yoga is Hastapadasana.

Namaskar Mantra of Hastapadasana

Aum Savitre Namah ॥ 

— Salutations to the One who is responsible for life.

Hastapadasana or The Standing forward bend

The focus of Thoughts during Hastapadasana

Try to focus your mind on the Swadhisthana chakra /  Sacrum chakra

Breathing manner

Exhale– Breath out to remove all the excess air from the stomach & lungs while bending towards the front.

How to do Hastapadasana ?

Correct Practice Technique for Hastapadasana is as follows:

  • After the ninth position, bring your left foot forward near to the right foot.
  • Let the palms rest on the ground.
  • Exhale and bring your forehead near your knees.
  • Take care not to bend your knees, even if your forehead does not touch them.

Pro Tip: You can bend your knees to touch the ground with your palms. Once touched, slowly try to straighten up your legs to achieve the correct posture.

11. Hastottanasana / Ardh-Chandrasana / Raised arm pose

The eleventh pose of Surya Namaskar Yoga is Hastottanasana.

Namaskar Mantra of Hastottanasana

Aum Arkaya Namah ॥ 

— Salutations to the One who is worthy of praise and glory.

Hastottanasana or The Raised arm pose

The focus of Thoughts during Hastottanasana

Try to focus your mind on the Vishuddhi chakra / Throat chakra.

Breathing manner

Inhale- Breadth in while standing up.

How to do Hastottanasana ?

Correct Practice Technique for Hastottanasana is as follows:

  • Breathing in from the tenth position, stand up straight.
  • Taking the open palms of both hands above the head, stretch your body.
  • As far as possible, bend the back & push your pelvis forward.

Pro Tip: Concentrate on maximum stretching instead of bending backward.

12. Pranamasana/ prayer pose 

The twelfth pose of Surya Namaskar Yoga is Pranamasana.

Namaskar Mantra of Pranamasana

Aum Bhaskaraya Namah ॥ 

— Salutations to the Giver of wisdom and cosmic illumination.

Pranamasana - The prayer pose

The focus of Thoughts during Pranamasana

Try to focus your mind on the Anahata chakra / Heart chakra.

Breathing manner

Exhale with ease.

How to do Pranamasana ?

Correct Practice Technique for Pranamasana is as follows:

  • From the eleventh position, stand upright, bringing the hands forward.
  • Join both hands in the posture of Namaste (salutation).
  • Join All fingers together, and the thumb adjoins the chest.
  • While exhaling, move the elbows outward, give reciprocal pressure to both palms.

Pro Tip: Stay calm & perform Surya Namaskar in harmony with your body.

All these 12 postures combined make one set of Surya Namaskar. It is advised to do at least 12-sets of the Surya Namaskar Yoga for getting faster results. But, we strongly advise you to initially start with 2-5 sets of Surya Namaskar and gradually increase the number of sets as you achieve the proper form & expertise.

Always remember Quality over Quantity should be your priority while doing any Yoga or physical exercise.

Rigveda 1.50.10

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