a a a
Astrology Horoscope Services SURYA NAMASKAARA Surya Namaskaara
a a a
Home   Yoga Home

The Sequence of Postures
It is appropriate now to describe the various postures that constitute the different steps of the Surya Namaskaara.
Fig. 1 Namaskaaraasana (the prayer) :

Namaskaaraasana (the prayer)
Stand erect facing east, feet together. The feet, buttocks, back, neck and head should lie in the same vertical plane. Fold the two hands together in front of the chest, eyes closed and body relaxed.
Breathe naturally.
Fig. 2 Oordhva Namaskaaraasana ( the prayer with raised arms ) :
 Oordhva Namaskaaraasana the prayer with raised arms) Raise both arms above the head, hands folded together. Carry the arms as far back as possible, extending the spine at the same time.

Inhale the breath while raising the arms.

Fig. 3 Hastapaadaasana ( the forward bending ) :
Hastapaadaasana (the forward bending)

Bend forwards, withdraw the stomach and place the palms of both hands on the ground on either side of the of the feet. Keep the legs straight at the knees. This posture should be attained gently without exerting too much. It may not be possible in the beginning to attain the final position as described here.

Exhale while bending forward.

Fig. 4 Ashwa Sanchaalanaasana (the horse) :
 Ashwa Sanchaalanaasana (the horse)

Retaining the hands where they are ( on the ground on either side of feet), stretch the right leg backwards as far as it goes, bending the left leg at the same time, without altering the position of the left foot

Inhale deeply while this posture is being attained.

Fig. 5 Parvataasana (the mountain) :
 Parvataasana (the mountain)

Move the right foot forward and the left foot backwards so that the two feet lie side by side. Lower the head, left the buttocks as high up as possible. The legs and arms must be straight and the soles of the two feet must be on the ground, the heels also touching the ground.

Exhale deeply as this posture is attained.

Fig. 6 Ashtanga Namaskaaraasana ( salutation with eight points) :
Ashtanga Namaskaaraasana ( salutation with eight points)

This posture is so called because eight body points ( two hands, two knees, two feet, chest and forehead) are made to touch the ground. Lower the body and let the feet and the knees touch the ground. Pull the abdomen in while lowering the chest and the forehead to the ground even as the hands remain on the ground close to the chest. The hips and the abdomen have to be pulled up to keep them off the ground.

Hold the breath outside.

Fig. 7 Sarpaasana ( the cobra ) :
Sarpaasana ( the cobra ) Straighten the arms while arching the head and the spine backwards. Lower the hips. Only the hands and feet should touch the ground while the rest of the body remains of the ground.

Inhale deeply, filling the chest with air.

Fig. 8 Parvataasana ( the mountain )
Parvataasana ( the mountain ) Regain the position as shown in fig. 5

Exhale while attaining this position.

Fig. 9 Ashwa Sanchaalanaasana ( the horse ) :
 Ashwa Sanchaalanaasana ( the horse ) Attain the position shown in fig. 4. The right leg must be extended backwards and the left leg brought forwards.

Inhale deeply.

Fig. 10 Hastapaadaasana ( the forward bending ) :
Hastapaadaasana ( the forward bending )

Come back to the position shown in fig. 3.

Exhale deeply.

Fig. 11 Oordhva Namaskaaraasana ( the prayer with raised arms )   :
Oordhva Namaskaaraasana ( the prayer with raised arms ) Attain the position shown in Fig. 2.

Inhale while the body and the arms are lifted up.
Fig. 12 Namaskaaraasana ( the prayer ) :
 Namaskaaraasana ( the prayer )

Return to the same position as Fig. 1.

Breathe normally.

This brings us to the original position wherefrom the next cycle of Surya Namaskaara can be commenced. In fact, a complete cycle of Surya Namaskaara would consist of two cycles of twelve postures each, a total of twenty-four positions. In the second set of twelve postures, instead of stretching the right leg backwards in the Ashwa Sanchaalanaasana ( Fig. 4), it is the left leg which is extended backwards. Similarly, in step 9 ( Fig. 9 ) in the Ashwa Sanchaalanaasana, it is the left leg that remains stretched while the right leg is brought forwards. The cycle of twenty-four steps thus makes the whole sequence properly balanced.

<< Previous