12 Poses of Suryanamaskar and Benefits on the Body

Reader Contribution by Bipin Baloni

Isn’t it stunning to find something so miraculously appealing, only because of the results and the benefits it emits? Yoga is that powerful force which attracts nurturing, growth, and balance of an individual. Gone are the days when you could ignore your health and wellness because the environment took care of you. Now that the climatic conditions are critical, materialistic tools are spread all over, pollution has broken world records, and the habits of people are not at all in favor of their own health, let alone others. It is time to develop habits which have become necessary to implement regularly.

Suryanamaskar, or Sun Salutation, is a connected sequence of 12 different yoga poses. It is an overall cardiovascular workout with immense benefits on the body and mind. For best results, practice a minimum of 2-5 sets, on an empty stomach early in the morning. It is a gesture to express your gratitude towards the Sun, and welcome abundance into your life. Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh provides you a better understanding and deep knowledge about yoga and how can you balance your life and make it simple. Here are the 12 Poses of Suryanamaskar and how they can boost your health.

Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash

Prayer Pose (Pranamasana)

Pranamasana begins the Suryanamaskar sequence. To do this, stand straight on the ground or a yoga mat by keeping your feet aligned or joined. Open your heart chakra by resting your shoulders and expanding your chest. Take a long, deep breath, and bring your hands together in the prayer position right in front of your heart when you inhale.

Benefits: Increase your focus, patience, and concentration when you are in this pose.

Raised Arms Pose (Hastotanasana)

The name originates from the Sanskrit word “upward tree.” To do this pose, stand straight, raise your arms, stretch back and lengthen your spine as you gaze upwards. Make sure that you can balance yourself and remain on the ground.

Benefits: This pose helps people suffering from headaches, asthma, backache, fatigue, or anxiety.

Standing Forward Bend (Hasta Padasana)

Now, bend forward, down to your knees to touch your toes with your fingers. You can keep your knees bent if you are not able to stretch your knees straight initially. Relax your neck and shoulders, and press your heels softly so that your weight is evenly distributed.

Benefits: This posture stretches the thighs, hamstrings, calves, knees, and helps in recovering from insomnia, osteoporosis, relieves stress, anxiety, headaches, etc.   

Equestrian Pose (Hasta Sanchalanasana)

Bend your knees and place both palms on the ground, in line with your feet. Stretch back your right leg and keep the left leg at 90 degrees on the ground. Balance your body on toes by distributing your weight evenly.

Benefits: The pose increases willpower, boosts lung capacity, strengthens the spine, stimulates the digestive system, tones kidney and liver. 

Staff Pose (Dandasana)

Exhale and step the left leg back to form a plank pose, your feet will remain touching the ground. Make sure that your elbows, shoulders, and wrists are perpendicular to the floor. Your buttocks should be elevated from the ground, while your arms should be stretched in front of you, with palms facing and touching the ground. Keep your back flat and stretch your entire body in this inversed V-shape pose.

Benefits: Dandasana tones the abdomen and builds up endurance.

Salute with Eight Parts (Ashtanga Namaskar)

Drop down from Dandasana and touch your chin, knees, and chest at the same time on the ground. Your arms should be right next to your chest, and your hips should be off the ground and pointed towards the ceiling.

Benefits: It strengthens the legs, shoulders, and arms. This yoga pose releases tensions around the neck, shoulders, and arms by also improving the flexibility of the spine.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Inhale deeply and raise your head backward while your palms will be placed on the ground, and elbows are close to your body. Your feet, legs, and lower torso should remain in contact with the ground as you perform this Suryanamaskar pose.

Benefits: Bhujangasana strengthens the lower torso, improves blood circulation, tones the abdominal muscles. For women, it also helps during the menstrual cycle, relieves sciatica, cures backache and is also a therapy for asthma. 

Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Exhale and lift your hips towards the ceiling, only your flat-palms and flat-feet should touch the ground. You will again come to this inverse V-shape position with relaxed muscles of your neck and shoulders. Stretch out and reap unimaginable health benefits from this downward facing dog pose.

Benefits: It improves blood circulation, tightens the skin, relieves stress, reduces the symptoms of menopause for ladies, cuts down on headaches, back pains, and more.

Equestrian Pose (Ashwa Sanchalasana)

Inhale and bring your right leg forward and place it in between your palms. Your head should be facing up.

Benefits: It opens your lungs, adjusts your posture defects, and aligns your spine. This pose also tones your kidney and liver.

Hand to Feet (Hasta Padasana)

Exhale and bend down to place both your hands next to your feet on the ground. If you are not able to reach them, just try to touch the floor or your toes with just your fingers.

Benefits: It strengthens the thighs and knees by stretching the hamstrings, legs, and calves. Improves the digestion and stimulates the abdominal organs. 

Raised Arms Pose (Hasta Uttanasana)

Raise your arms and stretch back over your spine. Your head should be facing up, and arms away from each other by bending backward.

Benefits: It improves digestion, relieves anxiety and fatigue, and improves digestion.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

The final pose is called ‘Anjali Mudra,’ where you will be doing the Namaste gesture again like in the very beginning of your Sun Salutation sequence.

Benefits: Become grounded, rejuvenated, and more confident in your life by strengthening the body organs by the end of this pose.

As you complete the cycle of Suryanamaskar, you open the possibilities of letting the energy flow in the blocked parts of your body. Salutation to the Sun has served well for the mental, physical, and emotional health.

Bipin Baloni is a yoga teacher from India and his core specialization is in Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. He organizes 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. Bipin Baloni conducts Yoga Teacher Training in India in different cities. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, meditation, ayurveda and health.

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