How to do Suryanamaskar | Step by Step Guide

Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutation)


Suryanamaskar is the most dynamic group of asanas. Even though the traditional hatha yoga practitioners did not perform Suryanamaskar as it was added to the practice at a later stage. However, it is the most effective way of improving flexibility. Suryanamaskar is excellent for stretching, loosening, toning, and massaging the internal organs, muscles, and joints of the entire body. How to do Suryanamaskar | Step by Step Guide will help you understand many benefits and steps to perform Suryanamaskar perfectly.

Its application leads to health, happiness, and spiritual awakening. Suryanamaskar is in a way a complete sadhana (Spiritual practice) as it includes all the components of sadhana i.e. asanas, pranayama, mantra, and meditation. Practicing Suryanamaskar daily morning rejuvenates our body and mind as it balances the energy system of the body at both the mental and physical level.

When not to perform Suryanamaskar.

One should avoid performing Suryanamaskar in the following conditions

  1. If you are having a fever
  2. If one suffers from acute inflammation
  3. In the case of boils and rashes on the body
  4. People having high blood pressure, coronary artery diseases
  5. By people who have had a stroke in past
  6. If you have a hernia or intestinal tuberculosis
  7. People having back issues should consult medical practitioners or a professional before performing Suryanamaskar
  8. People having sciatica or slipped disc may perform some other specific asanas
  9. Menstruating ladies should avoid performing Suryanamaskar for that particular period
  10. Pregnant ladies should perform it with care until the beginning of 12th week
  11. After pregnancy one can start the practice after forty to forty-five day

Benefits of Suryanamaskar

Generally speaking Suryanamaskar benefits greatly with the general wellbeing of a person, some specific benefits are listed below.

  1. It strengthens the back muscles and improves overall posture
  2. It helps to balance the metabolism
  3. Suryanamaskar helps stimulates and balances many systems of the body like the reproductive system, circulatory system, respiratory system, and digestive system
  4. It improves the secretion of vital hormones as it influences endocrine glands
  5. Suryanamaskar improves deep breathing which helps bring oxygenated blood to the entire body especially to the brain.

Best time to perform Suryanamaskar

The best time to perform Suryanamaskar is early morning around sunrise. Or one may also perform it during the sunset, general you should select the most peaceful time of the day. It would be very beneficial if you can perform Suryanamaskar empty stomach, in open air facing the sun.

Step by Step Guide to Perform Suryanamaskar (Salutation to Sun)

Step 1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

  • Stand upright with eyes closed
  • Palms together in front of the chest in Namaskar mudra
  • Relax the body
  • Breathe Normally

Step 2. Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arms Pose)

  • Keeping the arms should width apart
  • Raise them above the head
  • Bending upper body, head and arms slightly backward
  • Inhale while raising the arms

Step 3. Padahastasana (Hand to Foot Pose)

  • Keeping the knees straight, bend from the hips
  • Make sure fingers or palms touch the floor
  • Try to bring your head as close to the knees as possible
  • Don’t strain too much
  • Exhale while bending forward
  • Contract the abdominals and let the air pass out in the end
  • People having back pain should do this pose carefully, don’t bend fully and strain yourself.

Step 4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

  • Stretch the right leg behind
  • Bend the left knee
  • Keeping both the arm straight touching the floor
  • Make sure the weight of the body should be on both the hands, the right knee and toes, and the left foot.
  • Head stretched backward and back arched
  • Inhale while stretching the leg backward
  • People having knee problems should not strain and stretch as far as they feel comfortable

Step 5. Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)

  • Take the left foot backward in line with the right foot
  • At the same time raise the gluts
  • Lower the head between the arms making a triangle
  • Keep the heals touched to the floor
  • Legs and hands straight
  • Without straining to try to bring shoulders and heads as close to the knees as possible
  • Exhale while taking the left leg backward

Step 6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight Parts Salute)

  • Without moving hands and feet, lower the knees
  • At the same time lower the chest and chin to the floor
  • Position your Legs on the toes
  • In the end chin, chest, hands, knees, and toes touch the floor
  • Gluts and abdominals should not touch the floor
  • Don’t breath, air should not be in your lungs in this pose
  • People with high blood pressure, back issues or heart conditions should avoid this pose.

Step 7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

  • Don’t move hand and feet from the last pose
  • Bring the chest upwards
  • Followed by head and shoulders
  • While straightening the elbows, arch the back
  • Try to look upwards
  • Remember if your spine is flexible the arms will remain straight otherwise it will be slightly bent
  • Inhale while bringing the chest upwards

Step 8. Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)

  • Without moving hands and feet from the last pose
  • Keeping the arms and legs straight
  • Form a firm grip by the toes
  • Raise the gluts up
  • Keeping the head between the arms
  • Trying to touch the heels to the floor
  • Exhale while raising the gluts

Step 9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)

  • Keeping the palms on the floor
  • Bend the left leg and bring it forward
  • At the same time lower the right knee to the floor
  • Head slightly bent backward
  • Arch the back and look upwards
  • Inhale while arching your back

Step 10. Padahastasana (Hand to Foot Pose)

  • Bring the right foot forward
  • Place it inline to left foot
  • Try to keep both the legs as straight as possible
  • Try to bring your forehead as close to knees as possible
  • Exhale while performing the pose

Step 11. Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arms Pose)

  • Stand straight arms and spine in a straight line
  • Stretch the arms as far as possible above the head
  • Arms should be kept shoulder-width apart
  • Bend the upper body, arms, and head slightly backward.
  • Inhale while doing this pose

Step 12. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

  • Stand Straight
  • Bring the palms together near the chest
  • Exhale while doing this pose and relax

Remember, completion of these 12 steps means, completion of half-round. These steps should be repeated again to complete one full round. i.e. step No. 13 to 24. These asanas should be repeated with the following changes in 2 poses.

  1. In Step. No. 16 Stretch Left Foot backward instead of the right foot
  2. In Step No. 21 bring the right leg between the hands instead of the left leg


After completion of the first 12 steps, relax for a while, breathe normally, and then go ahead with the next half steps. After completing Suryanamaskar, it is advisable to practice Shavasana for some time, this will help your breathing to return to normal and relax all the muscles of your body.

Beginners should start with 2 or 3 rounds and add more rounds gradually over the weeks. It is important to remember that in order to perform more rounds, one should not strain oneself unnecessarily and do it under the guidance of an able trainer.

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