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Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation

Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation

The complex Surya Namaskar or "Sun Salutation" is very popular among people who practice yoga. Regular practice of this complex supports physical health, gives strength, and gives the solar, active energy. But it is not the end. It is believed that the Surya Namaskar complex of exercises prepares a person for spiritual awakening as it contains nearly all important elements of yoga practice such as asanas, pranayama, mantrayama and techniques for meditation.

Surya Namaskar is the greeting to descendants fr om ancestors.

The word "Surya" means "the sun" and "Namaskar" - "greeting". In the ancient times the sun was the powerful symbol of spiritual maturity and it was the object of worship.

It is important to understand that the Sun Salutation complex is not just a series of effective physical exercises that enable you to stretch the body, increase flexibility, tighten it, and massage to tone all your muscles, internal organs, by successive deflections and slopes. It is also the profound spiritual practice transmitted in the distant Vedic times fr om the wise men to the people.

Surya Namaskar Asanas

Surya Namaskar complex consists of 12 successive body positions, all of them together to form a single physical matrix, deeply affect not only the organs and systems of the human body, but also inner energy potential and, as a consequence, the state of mind of the practitioner.

It is believed that consistent exercise Surya Namaskar generates in the human body subtle energy, allowing the practitioner feels a surge of strength.

With the practice of Surya Namaskar the whole body significantly stretches and deeply works out. And only a few such complexes can be compared with.

In total this complex of 12 asanas is a lap. They are made on the one side and then on the other side. Thus the 24 asanas form a complete circle. For beginners it is enough to make 3-6-12-24 circles. More advanced and experienced yogis go further and go up to 108 rounds of Surya Namaskar. Note that the initial asanas of Surya Namaskar are slow; gradually the pace increases, it allows you to work out the coarser structures of the body. You must understand that the 108 rounds of Surya Namaskar can afford only those who have big experience in practice.


For those who are only acquainted with a set of the Sun Salutation, it is not necessary to force events. First, you need to learn each exercise Surya Namaskar separately, then make them in conjunction, applying static and hold for a few breath cycles, gradually leading to one of the breath in asana. Breathing in this practice is recommended in a certain way: it is necessary to inhale when you bend backward, and exhale when doing tilt forward. The combination of movement with breath is the next step in the development of the Surya Namaskar complex.

Surya Namaskar Mantras

When this stage is mastered, the practice includes Surya Namaskar mantras. It is the bija mantra («bija» means “a seed”) which glorifies 12 manifestations of the Sun. These sounds can cause very powerful energy vibration, but they do not have a specific and literal sense. To recite mantras of Surya Namaskar is allowed as aloud (in a whisper), and mentally, combining order with asanas complex. Can you imagine what effect has the practice of 108 rounds of Surya Namaskar with mantras! Better try themselves gradually come to a level and to test its effect on themselves.

In the practice of Surya Namaskar you can use short bija mantras and the complete ones. Short mantras should be repeated for one full circle four times:

Om Hram
Om Hrim
Om Hrum
Om Hraim
Om Hraum
Om Hraha

The full Surya Namaskar mantras pronounce one for each movement (the next set is a rough translation, which is not used in practice):

Om Hram Mitraya Namaha — Welcome, Friend of all that exists!
Om Hrim Ravaye Namaha — Welcome, Giver Of Light!
Om Hrum Suryaya Namaha — Welcome, Encouraging for action!
Om Hraim Bhanave Namaha — Welcome, Enlightening!
Om Hraum Khagaya Namaha — Welcome, Floating in the sky!
Om Hram Pushne Namaha — Welcome, Provider of food and power!
Om Hram Hiranyagarbha Namaha — Welcome, Golden cosmic entity!
Om Hrim Marichaya Namaha — Welcome, the Sun's rays!
Om Hrum Aditaya Namaha — Welcome, Child of Aditi!
Om Hraim Savitri Namaha — Welcome, Life-giving solar power!
Om Hraum Arkaya Namaha — Welcome, Worthy of praise!
Om Hraha Bhaskaraya Namaha — Welcome, Leading to enlightenment!

Sun salutations complex is the best way to start the day!

For those who practice Sun salutations for beginners this practice can be a good tool for developing flexibility of the body. If you are a beginner practitioner, you can do Surya Namaskar with a video wh ere an experienced instructor will help to keep the rhythm, to remind you about breathing and will help you to stay on the early stages.

The great advantage of this practice is that it is for all people with different degrees of training. Sun Salutation complex is for beginners and those who make their first steps in yoga. It is very accessible and can easily be integrated into the daily life of any person.

If you are interested in yoga for beginners, Sun Salutation is what you need! It is enough to spend 5-15 minutes a day, so you can achieve rapid tangible results. It may be an excellent means of maintaining your body in a good physical shape, filling it with vitality and energy, even for very busy people who have no time for a long workout.

Practice with the OUM.RU teachers club

We offer you to get to know the video with the Sun Salutation complex with the teacher of our club Alexander Duvalin.

The teachers of the OUM.RU club regular do the morning practice of Surya Namaskar. If you cannot perform Sun salutations for some reason using a video, you can join us in our club or use the free online stream. Perhaps it will be enough for you to do a set of Sun Salutation by video once or twice to remember the sequence, the main points and move on to the independent practice.

When you practice Sun Salutation or yoga by video, it is important to take into account the fact that due to the lack of an instructor near you, it is your responsibility to follow all safety precautions without overloading yourself and listening to your feelings.

On the first stages it is important to feel supported and to watch the example of more experienced person, so the Sun Salutation classes and yoga video can be a good alternative for those who do not have the opportunity to engage with the instructor in person or attend group sessions in the gym.

Practicing Sun Salutation or yoga by video, you will be able to come to the independent practice.

Surya Namaskar techniques of exercise performance

Let's examine in detail the Surya Namaskar technique of performing. It consists of 12 interconnected positions of the body, which is a half circle of the complex. To perform the full circle of Sun Salutation exercises are done on the opposite side too.

For the more visual Surya Namaskar learning exercises we give as the example the pictures complex of the following poses (asanas).

Сурья Намаскар — Приветствие Солнца. Асана 1
Положение 1

Position 1

Pranamasana – Pose of Prayer

Stand exactly (the back and the legs are straight), the knees and the feet are together (the feet can be slightly diluted aside).

The palms should be folded in Namaskar mudra in front of the chest (the fingertips are just below the chin).

You should focus on the mudra, trying to realize the pressure between the palms.


Сурья Намаскар — Приветствие Солнца. Асана 2

Position 2

Hasta Uttanasana – Stretching with the hands up.

On inhale raise your arms as high as possible.

The palms are turned up.

Make a curve in your lower back, trying to stretch the whole body.

Сурья Намаскар — Приветствие Солнца. Асана 3

Position 3

Padahastasana – Tilt of the torso (the head to feet).

With exhale make a smooth forward bend to feet.

Bring the hands to the sides of the feet, trying to touch the knees with your forehead.

The legs should be straight.

If at this stage you don’t have enough flexibility, you can slightly bend your legs in knees and in this position put your palms flat on the mat.

Сурья Намаскар — Приветствие Солнца. Асана 4

Position 4

Ashvasanchalasana –Rider.

The palms are on the floor near the feet.

Make a big footstep with your leg, lower your knee on the floor, the foot is on the half toes.

The left leg is bent in the knee joint.

The hip part of the body moves forward and while this you should make a back tilt in the spine.

Raise your eyes towards the sky and inhale.

Сурья Намаскар — Приветствие Солнца. Асана 5

Position 5

Parvatasana – Mountain.

On the exhale place your left leg next to right one that they are on the same straight line and on the shoulder width.

Simultaneously stretch the tailbone up, lifting the pelvis and drop your head freely between your hands, relax your neck and stretch your heels to the floor.

Сурья Намаскар — Приветствие Солнца. Асана 6

Position 6

Ashtanga Namaskara – Greeting with the eight parts of the body.

This asana is made after the previous exhalation; it is made with the breath holding.

The feet remain on the half toes; first lower your knees on the floor, then the chest (it should be between your palms).

Touch the floor with your chin.

Thus there are 8 points of reference: the chin, the hands, the chest, the knees, the toes, but the spine is curved very much.

Сурья Намаскар — Приветствие Солнца. Асана 7

Position 7

Bhujangasana – Cobra.

Move your breast forward, lower the pelvis and hands being wrung out from the floor so that to create a deeper back bend.

Look upwards, stretch the top backward.

Position 8

Parvatasana – Mountain.

Look at Position 5

Position 9

Ashvasanchalasana –Rider.

Look at Position 4

Position 10

Padahastasana – Tilt of the torso (the head to feet).

Look at Position 3

Position 11

Hasta Uttanasana – Stretching with the hands up.

Look at Position 2

Position 12

Pranamasana – Pose of Prayer

Look at Position 1

The final asana — Savasana

As it was mentioned above, the Sun Salutation complex for beginners should not last long. It is not necessary to make a large number of circles at once. After practice make your breath quiet and do Shavasana which translates as "the pose of the dead man".

This is a yogic relaxation pose wh ere you are advised not to fall asleep but consciously observe the breath and sensations in the body.

After the Sun Salutation complex Surya Namaskar this asana plays an important role as it promotes liberation from the various kinds of toxins formed in the human bloodstream and leads to the state of balance and allows the body to recuperate.

During the practice of Sun Salutations the sympathetic nervous system activates that is responsible for the active state. While Savasana switches sympathetic to parasympathetic returning peace and balance.

Tips for beginners

The practice of Surya Namaskar can become a dynamic meditation once your body will remember all the asanas and get into the rhythm of movement plus breathing.

If you practice yoga for beginners, the Sun Salutation should be performed avoiding overexertion.

It is important to do each asana relaxed.

Try to do the technique of Surya Namaskar by straining in asanas only those muscles that hold a specific body position and not the whole body. This will help to save energy.

Listen to yourself and if you notice that your breath strayed and became difficult then pauses and returns to the calm rhythm of breathing.

If you need do pause after the full round of Surya Namaskar (24 postures), after half a round (12 asanas) or between asanas.

It is also necessary to get used the body to relax into each position as it gives to muscles strain and make the complex more efficient and enjoyable.

Do not forget about the neck. As part of the spine, it should stretch forwards and backwards depending on the position of the body.

When and how to do Sun Salutation?

The best time to perform Surya Namaskar is the morning.

It is recommended to get up early and start practice before sunrise or at sunrise, facing east.

Thus the Sun Salutation complex in the morning will help to wake you up and energize for the whole day.

If for some reason practicing early in the morning is not possible, do it in another convenient time for you while trying to keep to important rules of yoga for beginners, Sun Salutations, practice advanced level or any other practice of yoga should always be done on an empty stomach. Ideally the last meal should be at least 3-4 hours before the practice.

It is believed that Sun Salutations is a set of the exercises that stimulates the digestive fire very well it is also a good time to practice it in the evening before dinner.

The therapeutic effects

Sun Salutation in yoga therapy is a powerful tool that has a complex effect and do not require large amounts of time which is a good incentive for impatient people.

The complex Sun Salutation Surya Namaskar affects on the entire body. It has a beneficial effect on the respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic, digestive, urinary, nervous, endocrine system and also on the skin, spit gland, thyroid and parathyroid, thymus, adrenals, pancreas and sex glands, as well as on the entire spine.

The technique of Surya Namaskar is also effective against mental disorders, in some situations even superior than meditation in ability to reorganize the deformed energy which leads to a variety of mental health and mental disorders. In the case when a person is able to realize the imbalance in the energy channels this practice can help to regain the balance of energy in the body and mind depending on variations of the execution.

To incorporate a regular practice into your daily life can have a great impact on your life itself. More observations, exploring the results from the practice people will begin to notice a change in their lifestyle, in interaction with people in a more positive and creative way.

The complex of Surya Namaskar is unique! And if you have seen the information about it, then you are ready to start practicing. And to verify its beneficial effect both on your body and mind and energy from my own experience.