Surya Namaskar is a combination of Yogasanas and Pranayama. SuryaNamaskar is usually best done early morning on an empty stomach facing the Sun, after chanting the following verse (Shloka 15):
Ishavasya Upanishad – Shloka 15
Hiranmayena patrena satya-syapi-hitam mukham,
tattvam pusanna-pavrnu satya –dharmaya drstaye. ||Isha-Upnishad:15 ||
O Sun! Like a lid to a vessel, your golden orb covers the entrance to Truth. Kindly open the entrance, to lead us to Truth.
You might have found several versions on how to practice SuryaNamaskar. There are mainly two versions of performing Surya Namaskar. In one version, there are 12 steps as shown in the picture, and in the other version only 10 steps (step number 5 and 9 shown in picture is omitted) in each round. It is advisable to stick to one particular version and practice it regularly for best results.
I suggest 12 steps version to be followed as its number 5 and 9 steps called Hare pose (Shashankasana) has a calming effect on the body and mind. This relaxation posture helps children, weak health and old age people in performing SuryaNamaskar.
Before each step of the Surya Namaskar, the respected numbered mantra is chanted as listed below.
- Om Hram Mitraaya Namah ॐ ह्रां मित्राय नमः (Meaning: Salutations to the Friend of all)
- Om Hrim Ravaye Namah ॐ ह्रीं रवये नमः (Meaning: Salutations to the Shining one)
- Om Hrum Suryaya Namah ॐ ह्रूं सूर्याय नमः (Meaning: Salutations to who induces activity)
- Om Hraim Bhanave Namah ॐ ह्रैं भानवे नमः (Meaning: Salutations to who illuminates)
- Om Hroum Khagaaya Namah ॐ ह्रौं खगाय नमः (Meaning: Salutations to who moves through the sky)
- Om Hrah Pushne Namah ॐ ह्रः पूष्णे नमः (Meaning: Salutations to the giver of strength)
- Om Hram Hiranyagarbhaya Namah ॐ ह्रां हिरण्यगर्भाय नमः (Meaning: Salutations to who has golden color brilliance)
- Om Hrim Marichaye Namah ॐ ह्रीं मरीचये नमः (Meaning: Salutations to the giver of light with infinite rays)
- Om Hrum Aadityaya Namah ॐ ह्रूं आदित्याय नमः (Meaning: Salutations to the son of Aditi, the cosmic Mother)
- Om Hraim Savitre Namah ॐ ह्रैं सवित्रे नमः (Meaning: Salutations to the Lord of Creation)
- Om Hroum Arkaaya Namah ॐ ह्रौं अर्काय नमः (Meaning: Salutations to who is worthy of praise and glory)
- Om Hrah Bhaskaraya Namah ॐ ह्रः भास्कराय नमः (Meaning: Salutations to who leads to enlightenment)
Each stage of SuryaNamaskar is accompanied by regulation of breath as shown in all 12 postures in the picture. The 12 steps of the SuryaNamaskar are as follows:
- Stand erect in the start position as shown in the picture. Inhale and raise the arms towards the sky, bend the trunk backwards as in posture 1 in the picture.
- Exhale and bend forward, bringing the palms on the floor on either side of the legs. Bend the knees as needed as in posture 2 in the picture.
- Inhale and take the left leg back, as in posture 3 in the picture.
- Exhale and take the right leg back also, as in posture 4 in the picture.
- Inhale now, bend at the knee and rest the knees on the floor without changing the positions of the toes and palms. Exhale completely and rest the forehead on the ground as in posture 5 in the picture.
- Come forward on the chest and rest the forehead without moving the toes and hands. Stay in breath-out (exhale) condition for few seconds as in posture 6 in the picture. In this posture, forehead, chest, hands, knees and legs all the eight organs will be touching the ground. The buttocks will be raised up.
- Inhale, raise the head forward up making the spine concave upwards without changing the position of the hands and feet. Keep the knees off the ground as in posture 7 in the picture.
- Exhale, raise the buttocks, head down and have a complete arch with the heels touching the ground as in posture 8 in the picture
- Same as 5th step as in posture 9 in the picture.
- Inhale and bring the left leg in between the two hands as in posture 10 in the picture.
- Exhale and bring the right foot forward as in posture 11 in the picture.
- Inhale, come up as in posture 12 in the picture. Come to the Finish position as in the picture shown.