12 Poses of Surya Namaskar

Yogi’s Guide to 12 Poses of Surya Namaskar

Yoga has been a part of the Indian culture for more than 5000 years. With thousands of ancient techniques to unlock your true potential, this sacred art has stood the test of time. One important aspect of yoga comprises of the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar, also known as Sun Salutations.

In this guide, you will understand what these are and the benefits of their daily practice.

First, let us focus on the basics and understand what Surya Namaskar is.

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Surya Namaskar – A Brief Introduction

Surya Namaskar, known in the English language as Sun Salutations is the ancient yogic technique comprising of a set of asanas to pay respect to the Sun. The Sun has always been worshipped throughout human history. It holds a special place in the yogic lifestyle as a symbol of health and well-being.

There are a total of 12 poses of Surya Namaskar which you practice one after another in a particular sequence. These stretch your body and help regulate breathing through proper contraction and expansion of your chest.

Although there are variations of the Sun Salutation yoga postures, usually it comprises of:

1) Prayer Pose

2) Raised Arms Pose

3) Standing Forward Bend Pose

4) Equestrian Pose

5) Stick Pose

6) Salute with Eight Joints Pose

7) Cobra Pose

8) Downward Facing Dog Pose

9) Equestrian Pose

10) Standing Forward Bend Pose

11) Raised Arms Pose

12) Mountain Pose

That is not all! Surya Namaskar has an interesting story behind its origin. Let us check it out.

Surya Namaskar – The Ancient Origins

The 12 poses of Surya Namaskar are the most important pre-asanas in the yoga tradition. Human history has countless stories of different civilizations worshipping the Sun. In the yogic tradition, there is a properly described method of Sun worship.

Sun is looked upon as the carrier of transcendental knowledge and also the one who gives life to everything in the universe. It is why yogis chant the different names of the Sun. Moreover, each of these names has a specific meaning.

With that said, given below are some names of the Sun along with their meaning:

Savitra – Creative energy of the lord

Hiranya – One whose body complexion has a golden hue

Varuna – The form of Sun worshipped after the sunset

Do you know the numerous benefits offered by the daily practice of these 12 poses of Surya Namaskar? Keep reading.

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5 Health Benefits of 12 Poses of Surya Namaskar

Daily practice of Surya Namaskar under the guidance of a skilled yoga teacher offers you numerous health benefits including:

1. Strengthens Muscles & Joints

The 12 poses of Surya Namaskar give your body a gentle stretch. This tone and strengthen your muscles, ligaments, joints, and skeletal system. The movement you practice during the sequence improves the flexibility of your spine which improves the functioning of internal organs.

2. Improves Digestive System Functioning

Sun salutation has shown promise in smoothening the functioning of the digestive system. Doing all the 12 poses increases blood flow to your intestines which improves the working of the digestive tract. The bending movement you do in this yoga sequence increases the abdominal space which helps your body release the trapped gases.

3. Helps Lose Weight

Daily practice of 12 poses of Surya Namaskar at fast speed offers your body an excellent cardiovascular workout. All the 12 asanas stretch your abdominal muscles which reduces fat from your waist. Moreover, with fast speed, these poses also increase your body’s metabolic rate.

4. Helps Fight Insomnia

If you find it hard to sleep peacefully at night, try Sun Salutation. The poses in this yoga sequence release all stress and tension which helps your body enter a calm state. With daily practice, you would not need to take medications for a good night’s sleep.

5. Minimizes Anxiety

Practising these 12 poses of Surya Namaskar under the guidance of a trained yoga guru helps a lot with anxiety. It helps you remain calm and free of unnecessary worries and stress about the past or future.

The 12 yoga asanas in Sun Salutations are a powerful and effective technique to help you live with more happiness and less stress. Enrol in a certified yoga school to learn and practice this yoga sequence from the best.


Want to live a healthy and happy life? Refer to this guide on the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar and how these can help you maintain excellent mental and physical health.