June 21st is International Yoga Day. This year let’s pledge to make yoga an integral part of our daily life as it can make you fit and healthy. If you are a beginner or are planning how to start, then Surya Namaskar is the right asana to begin with.
Here are 12 poses listed with a step-by-step guide to perform Surya Namaskar at home
1. Pranam Asana (The Prayer pose)
Stand with your feet together and spine aligned straight. Distribute your weight on the feet equally. Inhale and lift both your arms up from the sides. Join your palms in a Namaste position (pranam) at the chest level.
2. Hastha Utanasana (Raised arm pose)
Inhale and lift your arms up. Try to stretch your body as you do so. Inhale deeply and retain breath as you bend back. Make sure your arms (biceps) are close to your ears.
3. Padahastasana (Standing forward bend)
Exhale and bend forward from your waist keeping your spine straight. Exhale as you place your palms on either side of your feet.
4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
Inhale and push your right leg such that the knee touches the floor and the toes are stretched out. Place your palms on the floor. As you do so, ensure that the left knee be bent to a maximum of 90 degrees and is in line with ankle.
5. Santholanasana (Plank Pose)
Inhale and take your left leg back, keeping your palms exactly in line with shoulders mimicking a plank. Keep the knees straight. Hold your breath as you do this pose.
6. Ashthanga Namaskar Asana (Eight limbed salutation)
Bring your knees down as you exhale. Relax your chest and chin on the floor and slide forward. Make sure your stomach does not touch the floor. The posture is formed while in Kumbakh (Retained breath).
7. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
Slide forward and raise your trunk and head up as your put pressure on the palms. The arms should be bent at the elbows.
8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward dog pose)
Exhale and lift your hips up, keep the knees and elbows straight to create a pose forming an inverted V-shape.
9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
Inhale and bring your right leg forward such that it is in between the two hands. Bring the left knee down and toes out. Press your hips down and look up. Ensure that the right knee is bent to a maximum of 90 degrees and is in line with ankle.
10. Padahastasana (Standing forward bend)
Exhale and bring your left foot forward. Keep your palms on the floor such that the chest and stomach rest on your thighs. Keep your knees straight.
11. Hastha Uthanasana (Raised arm pose)
Inhale and raise both the hands in the Namaste position above your head. Keep your knees straight and head in between the arms.
12. Pranam Asana
Stand with feet together, spine straight and bring your arms down with the palms joined at the chest level. Relax.
Repeat the 12 steps with the left leg moving in and out first to make 1 complete cycle.
(With inputs from Akshar, Founder, Akshar Yoga)