Surya Namaskara

By on May 4, 2015

Surya Namaskara


Surya namaskara or salutation to the sun does not form part of yogic exercises but is an excellent method of loosening up all the joints and muscles in the body as well as massaging all internal organs. It should be performed in the morning after bathing and before any other yogic exercises. This set of exercises performed any time during the day restores vitality- both physically and mentally.
For each zodiac sign there is one position and one complete set of surya namaskara consists of these 12 positions performed in succession twice. There is a mantra also for each position and should be repeated verbally or mentally while performing the exercise.















Position-1: Pranamasana (The Prayer Posture)

  • Stand erect with the feet together.
  • Place palms together in front of the chest
  • Relax the whole body

Breathing- Normal and steady.

Mantra- Om Mitraya Namah (salutations to the friend of all)
Establishes a state of concentration and calmness in preparation for the exercise to be done.




 Position-2: Hasta Uttanasana ( The Raised Arms Posture)

  • Raise both arms above the head.
  • Keep the arms separated by one shoulder width.
  • Bend the head and upper trunk backward.

Breathing– Inhale while raising the arms.
Mantra- Om Ravaye Namah (Salutations to the shining one).

  • Stretches the abdominal viscera, removes excess fat and improves digestion.
  • Exercises the arm and shoulder muscles.
  • Tones the spinal nerves.
  • Improves breathing by opening all compartments of the lungs.













 Position-3: Padahastasana

  • Bend forward till the fingers or hands touch the floor on either side or in front of the feet.
  • Try touching your knees with the forehead.
  • Do not strain.
  • Keep your legs straight.


  • Exhale as you bend forward.
    Try to contract your abdomen in the final position to expel maximum amount of air out of the lungs.

Mantra- Om Surya Namah (Salutations to He Who induces activity)

  • Prevents and removes stomach or abdominal ailments.
  • Reduces surplus fat in the abdominal region, improves digestion and relieves constipation.
  • Improves blood circulation.













Position-4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The Equestrian Posture)

  • Stretch the right leg as far back as possible.
  • At the same time bend the left knee while keeping the left foot in the same position.
  • The arms should remain straight and in the same position.
  • In the final position the weight of the body should be supported by the two hands, the left foot, the right knee and toes of the right foot.
  • The head should be tilted backward, back arched and the gaze directed upwards.

Breathing- Inhale while stretching the right leg backward.
Mantra-Om Bhanave Namah (Salutations to He who illuminates).

  • Massages the abdominal organs and improves their functioning.
  • Strengthens leg muscles.
  • Helps in attaining nervous balance.













Position-5: Parvatasana (The Mountain Posture)

  • Straighten the left leg and place the left foot beside the right foot.
  • Raise your hips in the air and lower the head so that it lies between the two arms- while the body forms two sides of a triangle.
  • In the final position the legs and arms should be straight.
  • The heels should remain in contact with the floor.

Breathing- Exhale as you straighten the left leg and bend the trunk.
Mantra-Om Khagaya Namah (Salutations to He who moves quickly in the sky).

  • Strengthens the nerves and muscles in the arms and legs.
  • Ensure suppleness of the spine by this counter pose to the previous exercise.
  • Tones the spinal nerves and supplies them with fresh flow of blood.













Position-6: Ashtangasana (The salute with 8 limbs)

  • Lower the body to the ground so that in the final position only the toes of feet, the two knees, chest, hands and chin touch the ground.
  • The hips and abdomen should be raised slightly off the ground.

Breathing Hold the breath outside- no respiration.
Mantra- Om Pushne Namaha (Salutations to the giver of strength)

  • Strengthens leg and arm muscles.
  • Helps in developing the chest.













Position-7: Bhujhangasana (The cobra posture)

  • Raise the body from the waist by straightening the arms.
  • Bend the head backward.
  • This stage is the same as the final position of bhujhangasana.

Breathing- Inhale while raising the body and arching the back.
Mantra- Om Hiranya Garbhaya Namaha (Salutations to the golden cosmic self)

  • The compressing action on the abdomen helps in squeezing out stagnant blood from the abdominal organs and encouraging fresh flow of blood.
  • It is very useful for all stomach ailments, including indigestion and constipation.
  • Arching the back exercises the spine, making the muscles supple and revitalizing the spinal nerves.













Position-8: Parvatasana (The mountain posture)

  • It is a repeat of position-5.
  • From the arched back position assume the mountain posture as described in Position-5.

Breathing Exhale as you raise the hips.
Mantra Om Marichaye Namaha ( Salutations to the Lord of the dawn).












Position-9: Ashwa Sanchalasana

  • The stage is the same as [position 4.
  • Bend the left leg and bring the left foot forward so that it lies near the hands.
  • Simultaneously lower the right knee so that it touches the floor.

Breathing- Inhale while assuming the posture.
Mantra- Om Aditiya Namaha (Salutations to the Son of Aditi) Aditi is the infinite cosmic mother).













Position10: Padahastasana (The hand to foot posture)

  • This is a repeat of position 3.
  • Place the right foot next to the left foot.
  • Straighten both legs and try to bring the forehead as close to the knees as possible.
  • Do not strain if you are unable to touch the knees but do not bend the legs.

Breathing- Exhale while performing the movement.
Mantra- Om Savitre Namaha ( Salutations to the benevolent mother)















Position-11: Hasta uttanasana

  • It is a repeat of position2.
  • Straighten the whole body and raise the arms above the head.
  • Keep the arms separated by one shoulder’s width.
  • Bend the head and arms backward slightly.

Breathing Inhale as you straighten the body.
Mantra Om Arkaya Namaha (Salutations to he who is fit to be praised).















Position-12: Pranamasana (The prayer posture)

  • It is the same as position 1.
    Bring the hands in front of the chest and place the palms together.
    Relax the whole body.

Breathing- Exhale as you assume the posture.
Mantra- Om Bhaskaraya Namaha (Salutations to he who leads to enlightenment).
This is the final posture.

Positions 1 to 12 complete a half round of Surya Namaskara. For the second round, to complete the sequence, positions 1 to 12 are repeated but with certain minor changes:

  • In stage 4, instead of stretching the right foot backward, stretch the left foot back in the same way.
  • In position-9, bend the right leg and bring the right foot near the hands.


The practice of these asanas is twofold and the practice depends on the intended benefits. For spiritual benefits perform positions 3 to 12 slowly. Reverse is the case for physical benefits and the same asanas 3 to 12 are to be performed quickly. Beginners should not perform a large number of rounds but start with 2 or 3 and add one more position on every successive day.

Surya Namaskara should ideally be practiced before all other asanas since it loosens the body and removes sleepiness. After completing these exercises- practice shavasana for sometime to allow heartbeat and respiration to return to normal and all body muscles to relax.


  1. Do not perform surya namaskara if fever develops due to excessive toxins in the body.
  2. Perform other asanas to remove the toxic waste from the body and then restart surya namaskara.
  3. Do not perform more rounds than what the body can undertake comfortably without excessive fatigue.

There are no age limitations for performing Surya Namaskara. Pregnant women after the fourth month of pregnancy should not perform these positions.
Benefits-In addition to the benefits listed with each position surya namaskara has tremendous positive influence on the whole body. Some of the other benefits of performing the complete set of positions are:

  • Brings all body systems like- endocrinal, circulatory, respiratory, digestive etc. in to balance with each other and in overall equilibrium.
  • All body muscles are adequately exercised and excess fat removed.
  • Revitalizes body and mind and improves thinking power.
  • Stretches and revitalizes all abdominal organs thus improving their efficiency levels.
  • Improves breathing process and exchange of oxygen in to the blood stream.
  • Ensures perspiration and removal of body waste.
  • Removes nervous tension, anxiety and stress.

Surya Namaskara ensures overall health of the practitioner and is the ideal exercise for all age groups.

About Sharat S.

To keep my friends and readers Healthy, I love to write and share articles on Fruits, Vegetables, Yoga Exercise and more. Importantly, I always promote natural remedies to keep your body healthy.

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