Surya Namaskar - Salutations to the Sun

Updated: Jun 19



I have always told my students, that if they were to only ever practice or remember one thing from a yoga class, Sun Salutation are the thing to remember. I just love everything about this sequence, from its amazing physical benefits, to mental focus, to the spiritual connection to the sun and each of the chakras.


There are just so many benefits to this practice. This sequence can be practices on its own as a full yoga practice or as a warm up for a longer Yoga practice. It consists of very simple postures, when combined with movement and breath, create magic!!


This practice works deeply into Manipura/Solar Plexus Chakra, and removes anger, jealousy, frustration and creates energy, confidence and inner power.


It is best practised first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach.


Benifits of Surya Namaskar.



*Boosts energy

*Tones muscles

*Increases flexibility

*Stimulates the systems of the body including

reproductive, circulation, respiratory and digestive.

*Calms nervous system

*Lowers toxins in body

*Improves focus

*Helps to balance hormones

*Increases positivity



12 Postures


There are lots of different variations of sun salutations that are quite similar, which can confuse people sometimes. Please feel free to change mountain pose to downward dog or eight limb pose to chaturanga. I am demonstrating the traditional variation, but you can change to any other version once you complete 12 postures per round.


Breath and Movement


The movement with breath is a significant part of this practice. On a simple level we breath deeply through the nose to create energy, and exhale slowly through the nose to keep our nervous system calm. Basically we breath in on a back bend and exhale folding forward.


It is traditional to practice Uijay Breathing during this practice, if you are unfamiliar with this type of breath, a slow deep inhale through the nose and slow controlled exhale through the nose is perfect.





Position 1: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Breath: Normal Breathing

Benefits: This pose establishes a state of concentration and calmness in preparation for the practice to be performed.

Awareness: Physically on the chest, spiritually on Anahata / Hearth Chakra

Mantra: Om Mitraya Namaha / Salutations to the friend of all









Position 2: Hasta Utthanasana ( Raised arms pose)

Breath: Inhale while raising arms

Awareness: Physically on the strech of the abdomen and expansion of the lungs, spiritually on Vishuddhi / Throat Chakra

Mantra: Om Ravaye Namaha / Salutations to the shining one







Position 3: Padahastasana (Hand to food pose)

Breath: Exhale while bending forward (contract the abdomen in the final position to expel the maximum amount of air from the lungs)

Awareness: Physically on the back and pelvic region, Spiritual on Swadhisthana / Sacral Chakra

Mantra: Om Suryaya Namaha / Salutations to he who induces activity.






Position 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Breath: Inhale while streching the right leg back (right leg back for 1st round/ left leg back for 2nd round)

Awareness: Physically on strech from the thigh through the lower back, spiritually on Ajna / Third eye Chakra

Mantra: Om Bhanave Namaha / Salutation to he who illumines.







Position 5: Phalakasana (Plank Pose).

Breath: Exhale

Awareness: Physically on the engagement of the abdomen. Spiritually on Manipura / Solar plexus Chakra.

Mantra: Om Khagaya Namaha / Salutations to he who moves quickly in the sky









Position 6: Ashtanga Namaskar (Salute with eight parts or points)

Breath: Hold breath in the posture.

Awareness: Physically on the arch in the lower back and on the abdomen. Spriitually on Manipura / Solar Plexus Chakra.

Mantra: Om Pushne Namaha / Salutations to the giver of strenght.








Position 7: Bhujangasna (Cobra Pose)

Breath: Inhale

Awareness: Physically on relaxation of the spine. Spiritually on Swadhisthana / Sacral Chakra

Mantra: Om Hiranya Garbhaya Namaha / Salutation tot he golden, cosmic self.









Position 8: Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)

This posture is very similar to downward facing down, except you keep your feet together.

Breath: Exhale while raising the hips

Awarenes: Physically on the stretch through the achilles tendons, the back of the legs, shoulders and throat region, and hips. Spiritually on Vishuddhi / Throat Chakra.

Mantra: Om Marichaye Namaha / Salutations to the Lord of the Dawn





Position 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Breath: Inhale while stepping the right foot forward (right leg forward for 1st round/ left leg forward for 2nd round)

Awareness: Physically on stretch from the thigh through the lower back, spiritually on Ajna / Third eye Chakra

Mantra: Om Adityaya Namaha / Salutations to the son of Aditi, the cosmic Mother.




Position 10: Padahastasana (Hand to food pose)

Breath: Exhale while bringing the left foot forward, to the forward fold.

Awareness: Physically on the back and pelvic region, Spiritual on Swadhisthana / Sacral Chakra

Mantra: Om Savitre Namaha / Salutations to the Lord of Creation








Position 11: Hasta Utthanasana ( Raised arms pose)

Breath: Inhale while raising arms

Awareness: Physically on the strech of the abdomen and expansion of the lungs, spiritually on Vishuddhi / Throat Chakra

Mantra: Om Arkaya Namaha / Salutations to he who is fit to be praised.








Position 12: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Breath: Exhale while assuming the final position.

Benefits: This pose establishes a state of concentration and calmness in preparation for the practice to be performed.

Awareness: Physically on the chest, spiritually on Anahata / Hearth Chakra

Mantra: Om Bhaskaraya Namaha / Salutations to he who leads to enlightenment







I will be practising 24 rounds of Surya Namaskar every morning from May 11th to May 15th at 7.40am (Irish Time) Live on Instagram please join me to feel the benefits for yourself.


The manyra/music we will be practicing to is

Surya Namaskar (12 cycle)


(I will not be teaching the sequence, simply practising and inviting you to join me, so please familiarise yourself with the sequence before hand)



If you are interested in deepening your practice, creating a full daily practice and learning about the chakra system and the more spiritual benefits of Yoga check our my 5 Day Online Retreat starting on May 18th.




It is up to the individual to assess whether they are ready for the class that they have chosen. Obviously, if you suffer from specific injuries or disease it is best to consult with your doctor first. Similarly if you are pregnant, follow the recommended practice only.

The practice of yoga asanas requires you – the practitioner – to gauge the safety of your practice within your personal physical limitations. It is better to build up slowly than to force and strain. Whilst one may feel exertion one should also feel relaxed.






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