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The 12 Steps of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation

Yoga | Yoga for Beginners

If you find very little time to spare for a daily workout regime but want to stay fit, there is nothing better than Surya Namaskar.

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a set of 12 powerful yoga asanas (postures) which provide a great cardiovascular workout. It’s also a great way to stay fit, and retain the peace of your mind and soul. If you struggle to master poses and find yourself getting frustrated, you could do yourself a favour by signing up to this free 30 Day Yoga Challenge. It will guide you through a range of motion, so you feel ready to take on the regimen of the 12 steps!

Let’s start with the paratham asam or the first posture.

1. Pranamasana

Also known as prayer pose, Pranamasana is the start of your Surya Namaskar. Stand upright on your mat with your both feet closely aligned. Inhale deeply, expanding your chest and relaxing your shoulders.

While you inhale, raise your arms from the sides. And as you exhale, join your palms together as if praying in front of deity. This is the Pratham Namaskar or first salutation towards the sun.

2. Hastauttanasana

Keeping the palms joined in the previous prayer position, breathe in and lift your arms up and bend backwards slightly. Your biceps should lie close to your ears. This posture is to loosen up your body by stretching the entire body backwards, standing at your tip toes.

3. Hasta Padasana

Now breathe out, and bend forward from the waist. Go down and touch you’re the ground but keeping your spine erect. Do this as your exhale slowly and completely.

4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Now breathe in, and stretch your body parallely to the ground. Keep your hands to the side, and bring your right knee towards the right part of the chest and let your left leg stretch behind. Look up.

5. Dandasana

Now as your inhale, fling your right leg also backwards aligning your entire body parallely to the ground.

6. Ashtanga Namaskara

This is also known as giving salutations using eight parts or points. After staying in Dandasana, gently bring down your knees towards the floor and exhale. Now bring your chin to rest on the floor, keep your hops elevated in the air. Hence, your eight parts which are two hands, two knees, chin and chest will rest on the floor while your hip stays elevated in the air.

7. Bhujangasana

This is also known as Cobra pose. This is simply aligning your chest and torso 90 degrees to the ground, keeping your legs and mid-section flat on the ground. Make sure you use your hands to support your body and are not tempted to transfer your entire weight onto them.

8. Parvatasana

Again, return to the parvatasana from bhujangasana. Keep your palm and feet where they are, and slowly raise your mid-section. Breathe out as you enter parvatasana.

9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Now from Parvatasana, return to the ashwa sanchalanasana. But this time, we do the opposite of what we did in the 4th step. Procedure- Bring your right foot forward, while resting the left foot behind, at its original position.

10. Hasta Padasana

Now slowly bring your left foot forward, next to the right foot as you exhale. Keeping the position of your hands intact, lift yourself up to slowly enter Hasta Padasana.

11. Hastauttanasana

Now inhale, raise your hands upward, and bend backward to enter Ardha Chakra Asana.

12. Pranama asana

Finally, exhale and stand in a relaxed manner in the namaskara mudra. Feel the positive vibrations in your body. This is how you complete one repetition of Surya Namaskar. Twelve repetitions of this holistic exercise are said to yield maximum benefit.

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