Sun Salutations (surya namaskar) are a very effective series of 12 postures to build strenght and flexibility for the body.

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.

Different styles of yoga perform the Sun Saluation with their own variations. However, the flow presented below covers core steps used in most styles.

Benefits of Sun Salutations

*Tones up the digestive system by alternately stretching and contracting the abdominal organs.
*Thoroughly ventilates the lungs and oxygenates the blood.
*Clears elimination channels helping to expel toxins.
*Normalizes the endocrine system, especially the thyroid gland.
*Improves muscle strength and flexibility.
*Enhances mobility of the back and shoulders.
*Reduces stiffness by lubricating the joints.
*Increases mental focus and concentration.
*Helps reduce depression, anxiety and stress.
*Improves mind-body coordination.

For the series below, a single round consists of two complete sequences: one for the right side of the body and the other for the left.

On days when you think you have no time for yoga, try and do at least one or two rounds of the Sun Salutation. You’ll feel the difference.

Step 1

Stand facing the direction of the sun with both feet touching. Bring the hands together, palm-to-palm, at the heart.

Step 2

Inhale and raise the arms upward. Slowly bend backward, stretching arms above the head.

Step 3

Exhale slowly bending forward, touching the earth with respect until the hands are in line with the feet, head touching knees.

Step 4

Inhale and move the right leg back away from the body in a wide backward step. Keep the hands and feet firmly on the ground, with the left foot between the hands. Raise the head.

Step 5

While exhaling, bring the left foot together with the right. Keep arms straight, raise the hips and align the head with the arms, forming an upward arch.

Step 6

Exhale and lower the body to the floor until the the feet, knees, hands, chest, and forehead are touching the ground.

Step 7

Inhale and slowly raise the head and bend backward as much as possible, bending the spine to the maximum (as in the naga-asana).

Step 8

While exhaling, bring the left foot together with the right. Keep arms straight, raise the hips and align the head with the arms, forming an upward arch.

Step 9

Inhale and move the right leg back away from the body in a wide backward step. Keep the hands and feet firmly on the ground, with the left foot between the hands. Raise the head.

Step 10

Exhale slowly bending forward, touching the earth with respect until the hands are in line with the feet, head touching knees.

Step 11

Inhale and raise the arms upward. Slowly bend backward, stretching arms above the head.

Step 12

Stand facing the direction of the sun with both feet touching. Bring the hands together, palm-to-palm, at the heart.

Here is a Video variation to help you with the poses:


Sun Salutation Instructions

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