12 Poses of Surya Namaskar: Unveiling the Sun Salutation Sequence for Vitality and Inner Radiance

12 Poses of Surya Namaskar
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Embark on a transformative journey with the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar, a sacred sequence that honors the life-giving power of the sun. Surya Namaskar, also known as Sun Salutation, is a dynamic and energizing practice that combines movement, breath, and mindfulness. Each pose within this sequence offers a unique set of benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. As you flow through these poses, you cultivate strength, flexibility, and a deep sense of inner radiance. Join us as we explore the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar, unlocking the pathway to vitality, balance, and a profound connection with the solar energy that resides within each of us.

Understanding Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar is not just a physical practice but a symbolic representation of our connection with the sun, the ultimate source of life and energy. The sequence consists of 12 poses that flow seamlessly from one to another, creating a dynamic and harmonious movement. Each pose has its own significance and benefits, working together to provide a holistic experience for the practitioner. Surya Namaskar is a fundamental practice in various styles of yoga, including hot yoga, 26 and 2 yoga (a specific form of hot yoga), and Bikram yoga.


Preparation for Surya Namaskar

Before diving into the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar, it is essential to prepare the body and mind. Begin with gentle warm-up exercises to awaken the muscles and increase circulation. Incorporate breath awareness to synchronize the breath with movement, fostering a mindful connection. Modifications can be made to accommodate beginners or individuals with physical limitations, ensuring that the practice is accessible to all.

Breakdown of the 12 Poses

1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose):

Begin the sequence by standing tall, bringing the hands to the heart center in a gesture of gratitude and intention.

2. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose):

Inhale as you stretch the arms overhead, lengthening the spine and inviting expansion.

3. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose):

Exhale as you fold forward, bringing the hands to the floor or reaching for the shins or ankles, allowing the body to surrender and release.

4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose):

Inhale and step one leg back, bending the front knee while keeping the back leg straight, creating a lunge-like position.

5. Dandasana (Staff Pose):

Transition into a plank-like position with the body in a straight line, engaging the core and building strength.

6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight-Limbed Salutation):

Gently lower the knees, chest, and chin to the floor, with the hips slightly lifted, offering a humble surrender to the earth.

7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):

Inhale, lifting the chest and head while keeping the pelvis grounded, opening the heart and energizing the spine.

8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose):

Exhale, tucking the toes under and lifting the hips high, creating an inverted V-shape with the body, stretching the spine and hamstrings.

9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose, other leg):

Inhale as you step the opposite leg forward, returning to the lunge-like position.

10. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose, other leg):

Exhale and bring the other foot forward, folding deeply over the legs, releasing any tension or resistance.

11. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose):

Inhale, sweeping the arms overhead, lengthening the spine, and expanding the chest.

12. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose):

Return to the starting position, with hands at the heart center, acknowledging the completion of the sequence and offering gratitude.

Flow and Breathwork

The 12 poses of Surya Namaskar flow together in a rhythmic and fluid sequence, synchronizing movement with breath. Each pose is linked with a specific breath pattern, enhancing the flow of prana (life force energy) throughout the body. The conscious coordination of breath and movement brings a sense of focus, presence, and calmness to the practice.

Modifications and Variations

Surya Namaskar can be modified and adapted to suit individual needs and abilities. Beginners or those with physical limitations can make use of props or adjust the intensity of the poses. Advanced practitioners can explore variations, such as adding challenging transitions or incorporating arm balances. The practice is adaptable and offers room for personal growth and exploration.

Benefits of Surya Namaskar

The regular practice of the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar offers numerous benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. Physically, it improves flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular health. Mentally, it promotes focus, clarity, and stress reduction. Emotionally, it cultivates a sense of inner calmness, positivity, and confidence. Spiritually, it deepens the connection with the inner self and the universal energy.

Incorporating Surya Namaskar into Your Routine

To experience the full benefits of Surya Namaskar, it is recommended to practice it regularly. The frequency and duration can vary based on personal preferences and time availability. It can be integrated as a standalone practice or combined with other yoga sequences or styles. The key is to find a consistent rhythm that supports your overall well-being.


The 12 poses of Surya Namaskar offer a powerful pathway to vitality, balance, and a profound connection with the solar energy that resides within us. Through the harmonious flow of movement, breath, and mindfulness, this sacred sequence awakens the body, calms the mind, and ignites the inner radiance. If you feel inspired to deepen your practice and share this transformative sequence with others, consider exploring the Yoga Teacher Training London offered by Mr. Ian YogaFX. This Yoga Alliance certified and ACE-accredited program provides comprehensive training to become a skilled and confident yoga teacher. Embrace the practice of Surya Namaskar and embark on a journey of self-discovery, growth, and radiant vitality.


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