Surya Namaskar and its benefits

A healthy and strong body is like an ornament. If you are healthy, you will be able to study properly, go on excursions or participate in competitions. Due to the gift of Yoagasan given by ancient Sages, you can remain healthy and lead a long life. This article gives the importance and benefits of Surya Namaskar, mantras to be done during Surya Namaskar and Surya Namaskar steps with pictures.

Doing Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar should be done facing the early morning mild sunlight from the east.

Benefits of Surya Namaskar

A. It improves the blood circulation of all the important organs of the body.

B. Improves the functioning of the heart and lungs.

C. Strengthens the muscles of the arms and waist.

D. Makes the spine and waist more flexible.

E.  Helps in reducing the fat around the abdomen and thus reduces weight.

F.  Improves digestion.

G. Improves concentration power.

Importance of Surya Namaskar

The Sanskrut language says :

आदित्यस्य नमस्कारं ये कुर्वन्ति दिने दिने।
जन्मान्तरसहस्रेषु दारिद्र्यं नोपजायते।।

Aadityasya namaskaram ye kurvanti dine dine |
Janmaantarsahasreshu daridryam nopajaayate||

Meaning :It is said that the person who does Surya Namaskar is untouched by poverty for his thousand lifetimes.

Ways in which respiration (breathing) should be done during a Surya Namaskar

1. Purak – Taking in a long breath .

2. Rechak – Leaving out a long breath.

3. Kumbhak –Holding the breath.

4. Aantar Kumbhak – Holding the breath after breathing in.

5. Bahir Kumbhak – Holding the breath after breathing out.

Various chants (mantras) to be done during Surya Namaskar

1. Om Mitraaya namahaa

2. Om Ravaye namahaa

3. Om Suryaaya namaha

4. Om Bhaanave namahaa

5. Om Khagaaya namahaa

6. Om Pushane namahaa

7. Om Hiranyagarbhaaya namahaa

8. Om Marichye namahaa

9. Om Aadityaaya namahaa

10. Om Savitre namahaa

11. Om Akaarye namahaa

12. Om Bhaaskaraaya namahaa

13. Om Sri Savitru Surya Naaraayanaaya namahaa

Surya Namaskar steps with pictures

There are ten different steps / positions that make a Surya Namaskar. Before doing a Surya Namaskar we should chant all the thirteen chants in the given order starting from “Om Mitraaya namahaa : Every step in Surya Namaskar is a different yoga position. During every step we have to do the ‘purak’ and rechak breathing steps alternately. Eg. Step 2- purak, Step 3- rechak- Step 4 – purak and so on To get the maximum benefit of Surya Namaskar hold yourself stable in every position for at least 10 to 15 seconds.

Position 1


Prarthanasan : Both feet touching each other, both hands joined at the center of the chest as in prayer position back and neck straight and look straight.

Breathing : Kumbhak

Benefit : Helps maintain the balance of the body.

Position 2


Continuing from the first position take your hands straight up above your head and bend slightly backwards to stretch your back. Keep your hands in prayer position (without bending your elbows). Keep your neck between your arms and looking upwards bend slightly backwards from the waist.

Breathing : Purak (While going from Position 1 to 2 slowly, start taking long breaths)

Benefit : Strengthens chest muscles which in turn help in breathing.

Position 3


Uttanasan : Continuing from 2nd position take your hands from above your head bending in the front and place your hands beside your feet on both sides. Keep your knees straight and try to touch the head to your knees.

Breathing : Rechak (Leave your breath slowly while going from Position 2 to 3)

Benefit : Makes the waist and spine flexible. It strengthens the muscles and is beneficial for the functioning of the liver.

Position 4


Ekpad prasarnasan : From the 3rd position start sitting down and take one leg backwards in full stretching position, your hands resting on the ground on either sides of the front leg. The other leg should be bent at the knee. Put the chest weight on the front knee, your eyes should be looking slightly upwards.

Breathing : Purak

Benefit : Strengthens the leg muscles and makes the spine and neck muscles flexible.

Position 5


Chaturang dandasan : Now slowly take the second leg back and beside the first. Keep the legs in line with the knees. The whole body weight should rest on the palms and toes. The foot, waist and head should be in a straight line. Look ahead towards the ground (This is also called Chaturang Dandasan because the body rests on the toes and palms)

Breathing : Rechak

Benefit : Strengthens the arms and maintains body posture

Position 6


Ashtangasan : Lower the chest towards the ground bending both arms at the elbows. The following eight organs should touch the ground, forehead, chest, both palms, both knees and both toes. (Because eight body parts touch the ground it is called Ashtangasan)

Breathing : Kumbhak (Bahirkumbak)

Benefit : Makes the spine and waist flexible and strengthens the muscles.

Position 7


Bhujangasan : Now lift your body above the waist, bending it slightly backwards and looking backwards. Make sure your legs and thighs are touching the ground and your back is in a semi- circular position.

Breathing : Purak

Benefit : Makes the spine and waist flexible and strengthens the muscles.
(Positions 5, 6 and 7 together, strengthen the arms and reduce the fat around the abdomen and waist.)

Position 8


Adhomukh svanasan : Now lift your waist upwards and arms fully stretched with hands and legs resting on the ground, try to touch the chin to the chest.

Breathing : Rechak

Benefit : Beneficial for spine and waist muscles.

Position 9


Ekpad Prasarnasan : Same as the 4th position with the opposite leg behind.

Breathing : Purak

Position 10


Uttanasan : Same as that in the 3rd position.

Breathing : Rechak

“After that slowly come back to Position 1. Now one Surya Namaskar is over. Everyday do at least twelve such Surya Namaskars.”