Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskara, is practiced in yoga as an exercise incorporating a step-by-step flow sequence of some twelve gracefully linked asanas. The asana sequence was first recorded as yoga in the early 20th century, though similar exercises were in use in India before that.
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Watch Here: Sun Salutation Flow for Beginners (Free Yoga Class)
What are the 12 Sun Salutations?
There are 12 Steps of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation, which are as follows:
- Hasta Padasana.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana.
- Ashtanga Namaskara.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana.
- Hasta Padasana.
- Pranama asana.
What is Sun Salutation good for?
Sun Salutations or Surya namaskara help lengthen and strengthen, and they burn one’s calories to aid weight loss or in maintaining a healthy weight. Research shows that just performing Sun Salutations every morning can improve cardiovascular conditioning, prevent fatigue, promote calm and relaxation and provide a range of other mental and physical benefits.
What is a full Sun Salutation?
Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is a series of 12 yoga poses or postures that warms, strengthens, and aligns one’s entire body. It often serves as an all-purpose yoga sequence or a tool, kind of like a hammer that’s also a saw and a screwdriver, if you can imagine such a thing.
How many times should I do Sun Salutation?
Success with Sun Salutation, as with all aspects of yoga practice, depends on serious commitment and regularity. Everyday practice is usually recommended, but you might at first aim for four times a week. If possible, try not to skip more than a couple of days in a row, or you might end up back at square one. (Bad habits are habits too)
Sun Salutation: A Step-By-Step Guide
1. Start in Mountain Pose, keeping your palms together as in prayer.
2. Inhale, stretch your arms over your head and arch your back.
3. Exhale as you bend forward, with your hands reaching for the floor on the outer side of the feet, as in standing forward bend. You may also bend your knees.
4. Inhale as you stretch your right leg backward. Tuck in your toes so your foot is straight. Exhale.
5. Inhale as you bring the left leg back to place it closer to the right foot. Now your legs will be straight, and your body will be in one straight line from back to heels.
6. Exhale and bend your elbows to bring your torso closer to the ground. Your body will be parallel to the floor.
7. Place your chin, chest, knees, and toes on the floor, keeping your hips lifted.
8. Inhale, lift your torso, and arch your back, straightening your hands. Lift your knees. Now you will be on your palms and the front sides of your feet in the Upward Facing Dog Pose.
9. Exhale. Raise your hips high and place your feet on the ground, stretching your arms and legs in Downward Facing Dog Pose.
10. Inhale as you bring your right leg forward to place it on the inner side of your right palm, as in a high lunge pose.
11. Exhale, bring your left leg forward and place the left foot close to the right foot. Stretch your knees and assume a standing forward bend.
12. Inhale, lift your torso and your arms over your head, and draw the palms down in front of your chest as in prayer.
Standing Yoga Sequence
1. Start in Mountain Pose.
2. Inhale and bend backward, with your arms stretched over your head.
3. Exhale as you come forward, and bend to place your palms on the floor by the sides of your feet, or behind your ankles.
4. Place your legs a few feet apart, and stretch your hands sideways. Bend towards your right and place your right palm on the floor, close to your right foot, in Extended Triangle Pose. Repeat the same thing on the other side.
5. From the extended triangle pose, rise and stand straight. Twist your torso to your right and place your right hand on the outer side of the left foot.
6. Turn your right foot towards your right at a 90-degree angle, and your left foot slightly towards your right. Turn your torso to your right, and stretch your hands sideways at shoulder height and over your head. Bend your right knee until the knee is in line with your right ankle. Bring the palms together over your head in Warrior Pose I.
7. From the warrior I pose, bring the palms sideways and stretch the arms over the legs. Turn your head forwards, in Warrior Pose II.
8. Release warrior II pose, and bring your feet together and your hands to your sides in mountain pose.
9. Relax in Corpse Pose.
Seated Yoga Sequence
1. Start in Easy Pose, in which you sit on the floor, crossing your legs with your palms on your knees.
2. Stretch your right leg forward, and do the Head to Knee Forward Bend Pose.
3. Repeat Head to Knee Forward Bend Pose, extending the left leg.
4. Now, stretch both the legs and perform Seated Forward Bend.
5. Bend your legs to take a kneeling position. Lift your buttocks, bring your big toes together, and sit in the space between the heels. Keep your spine straight and place your palms on your knees.
6. Lift your buttocks, place your legs hip-width apart and sit down in the space, keeping your lower legs close to the outer side of your thighs, in Hero Pose.
7. From the hero pose, lean back to perform Reclining Hero Pose.
8. Release your legs and stretch them forward. Place your hands by your sides, keeping your legs at 45 degrees.
9. Lift your legs straight, so they are perpendicular to the floor.
10. Place your legs back, get up, and sit in Staff Pose.
11. From staff pose, lift your legs and balance on the sit bones to perform Boat Pose.
12. Place your legs on the floor, bring the feet together, and perform Bound Angle Pose.
13. Stretch your legs, and place the feet on the opposite thighs. Sit straight, and keep your palms on the knees in chin mudra, for Lotus Pose.
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