Surya Namaskar – The complete body workout

Surya Namaskar, or the Sun Salutation, is a combination of twelve powerful Asanas in Hatha Yoga which together form a sequence of graceful postures providing a complete cardiovascular workout. It has a highly positive impact on the body when done regularly in the morning, on an empty stomach. It is also a way to acknowledge and show gratitude to the Sun for the life giving energy it provides, sustaining the whole planet.

Why Do We Bow To The Sun?

Surya Namaskar is great for the nervous and immune system. It increases our awareness and cognitive functions and provides overall strength and flexibility to the mind and body. It is also great for weight loss. As a morning exercise routine, one can begin by doing two rounds, then increase them to six and then to twelve. Regularly practicing Surya Namaskar makes for a happy and peaceful life, full of zeal. 

Here are the Twelve Asanas in sequence which form one set of Surya Namskar. Begin from the right foot, and continue alternatively for each round.

International Yoga Day: Reasons Why You Should Perform Surya Namaskar Daily

  1. Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
  2. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms pose)
  3. Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend)
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
  5. Dandasana (Stick pose)
  6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts)
  7. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
  8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)
  9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose) – (with other leg)
  10. Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend)
  11. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised arms pose)
  12. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Pay attention to your breath making it deep and steady, as you hold the body in each posture. The ideal time to practice Surya Namaskar is in the morning before sunrise. Here is a video demonstrating how to perform Surya Namaskar, by the Art of Living.


Surya Namaskar makes one more mindful and forms a deep connection with the body, breath and consciousness. It reduces stress and improves our sleep, combating insomnia, balances blood sugar and keeps the digestive system healthy. It also stimulates the internal organs, improves blood circulation and lubricates the joints. It balances the whole body and increases Prana levels.

So go ahead, and complete your rounds today!

This article is part of a series on Yoga. 

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