Surya Namaskar/Sun Salutation – How to Do Steps, Position and Benefits

Welcome to the enlightening journey of Surya Namaskar, a harmonious sequence of yoga poses that transcends mere physical exercise. Rooted in ancient tradition, Surya Namaskar yoga also goes by the other name of Sun Salutation. It is a spiritual practice that pays homage to the life-giving energy of the sun. In this blog, we’ll provide complete information about Surya Namaskar yoga asana. We will explore the definition and types. Then, delve into the detailing of each pose and uncover the magical benefits. Join us as we unfold the layers of this transformative practice, inviting the radiant essence of Surya into your mind, body, and soul.

What is Surya Namaskar Yoga?

Surya Namaskar name in English is ‘Sun Salutation’. It is an exercise consisting of flowing yoga poses performed in a set. It involves a series of 12 postures, each coordinated with the breath, and is often practised as a warm-up or energizing routine.

The sequence is a holistic exercise session. It engages various muscle groups and promotes flexibility, strength, and mental focus.

Surya Namaskar yoga traces its origin in India and has a strong connection with Indian Ayurveda. This exercise is associated with the concept of “Surya”, or the sun. In Ayurveda, the sun is considered a significant source of energy and vitality. 

Surya Namaskar is seen as a way to pay homage to the sun. It harnesses its positive energy for physical and mental well-being.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, practising Surya Namaskar can balance the three doshas, which are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Thus promoting harmony within the body and mind.

It is viewed as a holistic practice that aligns with Ayurvedic principles of maintaining balance and health through mindful movement and breath. There are many studies that reveal the health as well as psychological benefits of Surya Namaskar.

While Surya Namaskar has roots in yoga and Ayurveda focuses more on health and wellness through lifestyle and dietary practices, they share a holistic approach to overall well-being within the broader framework of traditional Indian knowledge systems.

Surya Namaskar Types

Surya Namaskar Types , Ashtanga Surya Namaskar, Hatha Surya Namaskar, Iyengar Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar has been performed for centuries in India. Over time, this exercise has evolved into different variations and forms. There are about 108 Surya Namaskar types. Moreover, the good thing about Surya Namaskar types is that, with time, it has expanded to engage larger audiences. Surya Namaskar yoga asana has outgrown its traditional form and now inculcates more yoga asanas than before. Let’s have a look:

Ashtanga Surya Namaskar

In the Ashtanga Surya Namaskar variation, there are two further types – Type A and Type B. Type A has 9 Vinyasas, and Type B has 17 Vinyasas.

Hatha Surya Namaskar

Hatha Surya Namaskar pose consists of 12 spinal movements. It helps in improving deep breathing. Hatha Surya Namaskar is the most commonly performed variant of Surya Namaskar and probably the easiest.

Iyengar Surya Namaskar

Iyengar Surya Namaskar is very similar to the previous variant but has a quicker pace. It is one of the fastest variants of all Surya Namaskar types and enhances the flow of energy in the body.

Read More: Connections Between Diabetes and Hypertension.

How to do Surya Namaskar Steps – Hatha Style

The traditional Hatha Surya Namaskar yoga asana consists of the following 12 poses:

The 12 Step of Surya Namaskar Hatha Style:

Pose 1: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Surya Namaskar Poses - Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

  • Stand at the edge of your mat, feet together, and palms pressed together in front of the chest. Inhale deeply.
  • Keep your eyes closed and bring your body in a relaxed position.


  • This Surya Namaskar pose will help your nervous system relax. Moreover, it also helps energise your body by releasing stress and anxiety.

Pose 2: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)

Surya Namaskar Poses- Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)

  • This position of Surya Namaskar begins by exhaling the air.
  • After that, inhale and lift your arms overhead. 
  • Arch back and stretch your whole body, pushing the pelvis in front.
  • Inhale when arching backwards and exhale when leaning forward.


  • It helps in stretching the muscles and removes muscle contraction
  • It helps the body loosen up. 
  • The reports of Surya Namaskar height increase are due to this pose.

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Pose 3: Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)

Surya Namaskar Poses- Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)

  • Exhale and start bending forward to the knees
  • Bring your hands down to the floor beside your feet
  • Be in this position of Surya Namaskar yoga asana where your chest is touching the thighs and hands are touching the feet.


  • This posture of Surya Namaskar yoga stretches your spine and removes stiffness.
  • It helps stretch the leg muscles, hamstrings, shoulder joints and arm muscles.

Pose 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

  • Inhale, take your right leg back and drop the knee.
  • Bend your left knee, placing the flat foot on the ground.
  • Put your palms down, roll your shoulders back, and look upright.


  • This Surya Namaskar pose Increases leg muscles’ strength
  • It helps in remedying constipation and indigestion.

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Pose 5: Dandasana (Stick Pose)

Dandasana (Stick Pose)

  • Hold your breath, bring your left leg back
  • Lift your hips, keeping the palms down, and come into a plank position. 
  • Align your body in a straight line.
  • Bring the shoulders towards the ankles.
  • Do some inhales and exhale in this position.


  • This posture of Surya Namaskar yoga helps remove stiffness and calm you down.
  • Surya Namaskar and back pain have a strong connection. This pose helps you deal with back pain efficiently.

Pose 6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with Eight Parts)

Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with Eight Parts)

  • Gently lower your knees, keeping your toes bent. 
  • Let your chest and chin touch the floor while keeping your hips lifted.
  • Place your elbow against the sides.
  • Come eventually to a power position, keeping your chest down and hip up.


  • This Surya Namaskar pose enhances your body’s agility
  • Provides strength to your back muscles.

Pose 7: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

  • Keep your position the same as the last pose and Inhale.
  • Slide forward and raise your chest into a cobra position
  • Roll back your shoulder, keeping your elbows bent and squeezing them.
  • Look upwards


  • This position of Surya Namaskar will improve your body’s flexibility.
  • Helps in stretching the core muscles of your body.

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Pose 8: Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)

Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)

  • Exhale and lift your hips and tailbone like you did in the fifth Surya Namaskar pose
  • The pose will create an inverted V shape, bringing your shoulder towards your ankles
  • Do some heavy breathing in the position.
  • Exhale and push your hips upwards while your palms touch the ground.


  • Helps improve blood flow
  • Strengthens the arm and leg muscles.

Pose 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

  • Inhale and bring your left foot between your hands.
  • Push the pelvis towards the front.
  • Then, move your torso upwards, tilting your head.
  • Look to the sky.


  • This pose of Surya Namaskar and chakras Improves flexibility in the lower body parts
  • Enhances spine’s flexibility

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Pose 10: Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)

Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)

  • Exhale, bring your right foot forward, aligning with the left foot.
  • Fold both legs and make your chest touch your thighs and head touch the knee.


  • Improves blood circulation and enhances body flexibility.

Pose 11: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)

Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)

  • Inhale, lift your arms and stretch forward (similar to pose 2)
  • Make an arch back, and stretch backwards.


  • Surya Namaskar enhances respiratory functions.
  • Removes fatigue
  • Helps improve blood flow; therefore, surya namaskar and high blood pressure have a connection.

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Pose 12: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

  • Exhale and return back to the prayer pose (pose 1).
  • Bring down your hands to join them at a slow pace.


  • Make body free by removing muscle stiffness
  • Tones your hips and other muscles.
  • Surya Namaskar and high blood pressure patients are advised to do this yoga as it enhances blood circulation.

Repeat the sequence, alternating the starting leg in steps 4 and 9. This completes one round of Surya Namaskar, a dynamic and energizing yoga practice.

The 12 Step of Surya Namaskar is done in 12 to 15 repetitions. Surya Namaskar for beginners will be challenging, but with regular practise, you will definitely be able to do it.  Surya Namaskar and diabetes are closely related as it can included in the daily exercise routine. Also, Surya Namaskar yoga helps in weight loss when followed with a proper diet.

Notice before and after Surya Namaskar’s effects on your body. You will energised, and all your muscle stiffness will now be gone.

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As we conclude this exploration of Surya Namaskar yoga, let the radiance of the sun’s energy linger within you. However, don’t confuse yourself with the name; Surya Namaskar at night also gives the same benefits. Embrace and master the poses, and reap the holistic benefits that transcend the physical realm. Surya Namaskar is not merely a series of movements; it’s a sacred journey connecting you spiritually. Bring this beneficial yoga asana into your daily routine and witness the changes it brings to your body. Namaste.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


What is the 12 steps of Surya Namaskar?

The 12 step of Surya Namaskar are as follows:

Ashwa Sanchalanasana
Ashtanga Namaskar
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Ashwa Sanchalasana

How many Surya Namaskar per day is good?

The Surya Namaskar yoga asana (hatha style) can be done between 12 rounds to 15 rounds. Do not overdo it, as extra stretching can give strain to muscles.

Can I do Surya Namaskar at night?

Yes, do not confuse Surya Namaskar name, as this yoga asana can be performed during the day as well as at night.

Can I do Surya Namaskar on empty stomach?

Yes, Surya Namaskar yoga and other yoga asanas should be necessarily performed on an empty stomach. Performing these asanas on a full stomach can result in vomiting and uneasiness.


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