Hatha Yoga: Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation)

Yoga salutations are part of the Hatha practice, they are series of Asanas (poses) aimed at working the entire body. The Sun Salutation series “Surya Namaskara”, pays homage to the power of the sun in our world, it literally translates as “bow to the sun.”. Performing Sun Salutation helps to develop strength and flexibility, while invigorating and warming up the body.

yoga pose - Tadasana - mountain pose
Tadasana (mountain pose)

  • Hands can be by your side or in front of your chest in prayer position.
yoga pose - Urdhva Hastasana - Upward Salute
Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)

  • From Tadasana, sweep your arms out to the sides and up toward the ceiling.
  • If you’re tighter in the shoulders, stop when your arms are parallel to each other. But if possible without hunching your shoulders forward, press your palms firmly together by touching the bases of your palms first, then the palms themselves, and finally the fingers.
yoga pose - Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

  • From Urdhva Hastasana, sweep your arms out to sides, and tip your torso forward from the hip joints to fold into Uttanasana.
    • If possible, with your knees straight (but not locked), bring your hands to the floor in front of or beside your feet. If not possible, cross your forearms and hold your elbows.
    • As in all the forward bends, the emphasis is on lengthening the front torso as you move more fully into the position. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso slightly; on exhalation release a little more into the bend. This way the torso oscillates almost imperceptibly with the breath.
yoga pose - Ashwa Sanchalanasana - Low Lunge
Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Low Lunge)

  • From Uttanasana, bend your knees if you need to and place your hands palm down beside your feet.
  • Breathing in, step your right leg back, as far back as possible.
  • Bring the right knee to the floor and look up.
  • To deepen this asana ensure that the left foot is exactly in between the palms.
.   yoga pose - Utthita Chateranga Dandasana - plank
Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank)

  • From Ashwa Sanchalanasana, as you breathe in, take the left leg back and bring the whole body in a straight line.
  • Ensure your arms are perpendicular to the floor.
yoga pose - Ashtanga Namaskara - Eight Limbed Salute
Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight–Limbed Salute)

  • From Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana, gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale.
  • Take the hips back slightly, slide forward, raise your posterior a little bit.
  • Rest your chest and chin on the floor.
  • The two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin (eight parts of the body touch the floor).
yoga pose - Bhujangasana - Cobra
Bhujangasana (Cobra)

  • From Ashtanga Namaskara, slide forward and raise the chest up.
  • You can keep your elbows bent in this pose.
  • Shoulders pulled away from ears.
  • Look up.
  • To deepen this asana, as you inhale, make a gentle effort to push the chest forward; as you exhale, make a gentle effort to push the navel down. You can also tuck your toes under. Ensure you’re stretching all the way without forcing at all.
yoga pose - Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Dog
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog)

  • From Bhujangasana, breathing out, lift the hips and the tail bone up, chest downwards.
  • Imagine a piece of string attached to you tailbone pulling backward.
  • You can keep your knees slightly bent if you need to.
  • If possible, try and keep your heels on the ground.
yoga pose - Ashwa Sanchalanasana - Low Lunge
Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Low Lunge)

  • From Adho Mukha Svanasana, bring your right leg forward between your hands.
  • Bring the left knee to the floor and look up.
  • To deepen this asana ensure that the right foot is exactly in between the palms.
yoga pose - Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

  • From Ashwa Sanchalanasana, bring your left foot forward then slowly straighten your legs.
  • If it’s not possible to keep your hands to the floor, cross your forearms and hold your elbows.
  • Remember, the emphasis is on lengthening the front torso as you move more fully into the position. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso slightly; on exhalation release a little more into the bend.
yoga pose - Tadasana - mountain pose
Tadasana (mountain pose)

  • From Uttanasana, straighten your torso then lift.
  • Hands can be by your side or in front of your chest in prayer position.
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