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How To Perform Surya Namaskar: The 12-Step Sequence

Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is a popular yoga pose that is often used to greet the sun god each morning. It is said to be beneficial for the mind, body, and soul. There are many different variations of Surya Namaskar, but all involve 12 steps. In this blog post, we will walk you through each step of the sequence so that you can perform it correctly. Let’s get started!

What is Surya Namaskar?

Surya Namaskar is a sequence of 12 Yoga poses, which are performed in a fluid motion. The word surya means “sun” in Sanskrit, and namaskar is derived from the root word namas, which means “to bow or salute.” Therefore, the literal translation of Surya Namaskar is “to salute the sun” or salutation to the sun.

Surya Namaskar has been practiced for centuries in India as a way to greet the sun each morning.

Do you need to warm up before surya namaskar?

Surya Namaskar is often performed as a warm-up pose for more advanced asanas. However, stretching your body and light asanas are recommended before performing Surya Namaskar.

If you are new to Yoga or Surya Namaskar, it may be good to do a few hatha yoga poses to free up your body before commencing with Surya namaskar.

Is there any correct time to do Surya Namaskar?

Surya Namaskar usually is performed early in the morning facing the morning rising Sun or at dusk facing the setting sun. 

As per Ayurveda, your body moves from the Vata phase before sunrise to the Kapha phase after sunrise. Surya namaskar at sunrise is the connection between the airy movements of Vata and the sluggish Kapha to activate the fire of pitta-Agni. Thus actively bringing all three Dosha into play to bring optimal health as defined by Ayurveda.

How many times should I do Surya namaskar?

You can do Surya namaskar as many times as you want. If you are a beginner, start with five sets of surya namaskar and gradually increase the number to 11 sets.

One can do as many as 108 sets of Surya Namaskar. But that all depends on your body, stamina, and health condition.

Surya Namaskar The 12-Step Sequence

When should I not do Surya Namaskar?

Pregnant women should not perform Surya namaskar. Also, people with high blood pressure, heart problems, hernia, or any abdominal surgery should avoid Surya namaskar. If you have any other health issues, please consult your doctor before performing Surya namaskar.

Importance of Bij mantra (root mantra) in Surya Namaskar

  1. Om Mitraya Namaha (Mitra – one who is friend to all)

  2. Om Ravaye Namaha (Ravi – the radiating one)

  3. Om Suryaya Namaha (Surya – he dispeller of darkness)

  4. Om Bhanave Namaha (Bhanu – Shining with luster)

  5. Om Khagaye Namaha (Khaga – all pervading)

  6. Om Pushne Namaha (Pushan – who nourishes all)

  7. Om Hiranyagarbhaye Namaha (Hiranyagarbha – golden colored)

  8. Om Marichaye Namaha (Marichi – giver of light with infinite rays)

  9. Om Adityay Namaha (Aditya – Sun, aspect of Vishnu, Son of Aditi)

  10. Om Savitre Namaha (Savitri – who produces everything)

  11. Om Arkaye Namaha (Arkah – one who is fit to be worshipped)

  12. Om Bhaskaraye Namaha (Bhaskara – giver of light and cosmic illumination) 

The three syllables in each line are chanted while performing the corresponding pose. Chanting the Bij mantra helps to focus on the breath and connect with the divine energy of the sun. It also helps to synchronize the body, mind, and soul.

What are the 12 steps of surya namaskar?

The 12 steps of surya namaskar are as follows:

  1. Pranam Asana

  2. Hasta Uttanasana

  3. Pada Hastasana

  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana

  5. Parvat Asana

  6. Ashtanga Naman

  7. Bhujang Asana

  8. Parvat Asana

  9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana

  10. Pad Hastasana

  11. Hasta Uttanasana

  12. Pranam Asana

1. Pranam Asana

Pranam asana or namaskar asana is the first step of Surya Namaskar. This is a gesture of respect in which you bow to the sun. Bring your whole awareness to your body.

Pranam Asana


  1. Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides

  2. Inhale and raise your arms above your head

  3. Exhale and bring both hands together in namaste.

  4. Keep your hands at your heart.