When it comes to practicing yoga, sun salutation, aka Surya Namaskaram is one of the most important sequences. Every yoga session begins with doing a few sets of sun salutation preceded by basic pranayama, breathing exercises. Mostly, sun salutation remains one of the basic and powerful yoga sequences. Those who couldn’t spend much time on doing different poses can just go with sun salutation. How to do sun salutation perfectly to reap the benefits?
How to do sun salutation?
The answer for how to do sun salutation is very simple! Sun salutation is a set of 12 poses performed in a prescribed sequence. Sun salutation can be performed as a warmup yoga or a part of your yoga session. Surya namaskar is a perfect cardio workout. It is a complete body workout. The entire body will be rejuvenated and nourished. To gain the most, you should know how to do sun salutation properly.
How to do sun salutation – A 12 Step Sequence
A set of sun salutation practice consists of 12 poses. The first half has 6 poses and to complete one set, you should repeat the same set of 6 posts.
First Pose – Pranayama with Tadasana
It is a prayer pose. Stand straight. Breathe in, bring your hands together. Expand your chest.
Second Pose – Hastuttanasana
Raised arms with head stretched back. Breathe in, raise your arms. Make sure to keep your palms together in prayer pose. Stretch the whole body upwards. Stretch your head backwards.
Third Pose – Hasta Padasana
It is a forward bending pose. Do this pose by exhaling. When you exhale, the pose should be complete. Bend your whole body, try to touch your feet with hands. Your head should touch the knees. (Caution: Not recommended for those with back pain!)
Fourth Pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana
It is an equestrian pose. Breathe in! Push back and stretch your right leg (or left leg as you desire). The right knee should touch the floor. Bend the left leg, stretch your head back and look at the ceiling. Both your palms should be placed at either side of the left leg.
Fifth Pose – Dandasana
Danda means a stick! Slowly move back the left leg. (don’t move your palms from the floor). Stretch your whole body. Raise the right knee from the floor. Get support on your toes, if not the entire. Make sure that the knees are not placed on the floor.
Sixth Pose – Ashtanga Namaskara
Lower both your knees to the floor. You should lie on the floor on your stomach. Gently raise your hips. Raise your head and your chin should be placed on the floor.
Your hands (2), chin, chest, knees (2) and feet (2) should touch the floor. (Eight parts)
Seventh Pose – Bhujangasana
A very popular cobra pose. Lower your hips. Breath in, raise your upper body with head stretched pack.
Eighth Pose – Parvatasana
Known more popularly as downward dog pose! Gently raise your hips and lower your upper body. You should pose like an inverted V shape.
Ninth Pose - Ashwa Sanchalanasana
A repetition of fourth pose. Here is a twist. You should do it with alternative leg. If you performed it with right leg backwards and leg left bent, reverse it.
Tenth Pose – A repetition of third pose, forward bending.
Eleventh pose – a repetition of second pose!
Twelfth pose – Back to one! Stand straight!
Here is a couple of secrets to master how to do sun salutation.
Inhale deeply for every change of pose. (exception – third pose)! You may not be able to follow the breathing techniques religiously during initial days. However, when you learn how to do sun salutation properly, you can easily follow it.
When you place the arms on the floor in the third pose, the position where the palms placed should not change.
There are many variations to sun salutation. Before learning the variations, you should know how to do sun salutation properly. Sun salutation is best practiced in the mornings during the sun rise.