It is stated in Hindu scriptures that every Hindu must do Surya Namaskar. But I am not sure how to do it? I always do Namaskar by facing towards east.

As far as I know, there are 12 steps for Surya Namaskar in yoga.

So I need someone to explain those steps to me in a correct order.

  • Your second way is not how to do surya namaskar, it is how to offer water to Sun... And I'm not sure what you mean by the first one; it is what it is - Yoga. There is only way to do Surya Namaskar. Jul 1 '14 at 14:48
  • Also its kinda weird, you always just do namaskar by facing towards east in sunlight and you know only two methods, niether of which corresponds to what you do. Aren't the two facts contradicting? Jul 1 '14 at 14:55
  • @AwalGarg I know very less about this.. I presented here what I know and I was believing giving water is also kind of surya namaskar. Actually, I just do namaskar as I mentioned. anyway, I do get your point that surya namaskar is only the yoga one. editing..
    – Mr_Green
    Jul 1 '14 at 15:03
  • The video Learn the 12 Steps of Surya Namaskar shows how surya namaskar is done in yoga. There are 12 mantras chanted along with the poses, they are listed in the following image !12 Surya Namaskar Mantra
    – pritywiz
    Jul 1 '14 at 15:43

This 12 steps of Surya namaskar are preferable to do when the sun is rising.

Here are the 12 steps from Art of living

1. Pranamasana (Prayer pose)

Stand at the edge of your mat, keep your feet together and balance your weight equally on both the feet. Expand your chest and relax your shoulders. As you breathe in, lift both arms up from the sides and as you exhale, bring your palms together in front of the chest in prayer position.

2. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose)

Breathing in, lift the arms up and back, keeping the biceps close to the ears. In this pose, the effort is to stretch the whole body up from the heels to the tips of the fingers How to deepen this yoga stretch? You may push the pelvis forward a little bit. Ensure you're reaching up with the fingers rather than trying to bend backwards.

3. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)

Breathing out, bend forward from the waist, keeping the spine erect. As you exhale completely, bring the hands down to the floor, beside the feet. How to deepen this yoga stretch? You may bend the knees, if necessary, to bring the palms down to the floor. Now make a gentle effort to straighten the knees. It's a good idea to keep the hands fixed in this position and not move them henceforth until we finish the sequence.

4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Breathing in, push your right leg back, as far back as possible. Bring the right knee to the floor and look up. How to deepen this yoga stretch? Ensure that the left foot is exactly in between the palms.

5. Dandasana (Stick pose)

As you breathe in, take the left leg back and bring the whole body in a straight line. How to deepen this yoga stretch? Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor.

6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With Eight Parts Or Points)

Gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Take the hips back slightly, slide forward, rest your chest and chin on the floor. Raise your posterior a little bit. The two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin (eight parts of the body touch the floor).

7. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

Slide forward and raise the chest up into the Cobra posture.You may keep your elbows bent in this pose, the shoulders away from the ears. Look up. How to deepen this yoga stretch? As you inhale, make a gentle effort to push the chest forward; as you exhale, make a gentle effort to push the navel down. Tuck the toes under. Ensure you're stretching just as much as you can; do not force.

8. Parvatasana (Mountain pose)

Breathing out, lift the hips and the tail bone up, chest downwards in an 'inverted V' (/) posture. How to deepen this yoga stretch? If possible, try and keep the heels on the ground and make a gentle effort to lift the tailbone up, going deeper into the stretch.

9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Breathing in, bring the right foot forward in between the two hands, left knee down to the floor, press the hips down and look up. How to deepen this yoga stretch? Place the right foot exactly between the two hands and the right calf perpendicular to the floor. In this position, make a gentle effort to push the hips down towards the floor, to deepen the stretch.

10. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)

Breathing out, bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor. You may bend the knees, if necessary. How to deepen this yoga stretch? Gently straighten the knees and if you can, try and touch your nose to the knees. Keep breathing.

11. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose)

Breathing in, roll the spine up, hands go up and bend backwards a little bit, pushing the hips slightly outward. How to deepen this yoga stretch? Ensure that your biceps are beside your ears. The idea is to stretch up more rather than stretching backwards.

12. Tadasana

As you exhale, first straighten the body, then bring the arms down. Relax in this position, observe the sensations in your body.

From mdhil:

It can be performed at any time of the day, although early mornings on an empty stomach are considered ideal. Each of the twelve steps involved in this yogic exercise, comes with its own breathing pattern. It is important for a beginner not to exert himself/herself too much. 10 minutes of surya namaskar, where 3 minutes are allocated for rest is perfect for a daily workout.


  • It is important that you relax after surya namaskar. Moving on to another asana too quickly will only harm your body.
  • People with severe back problems related to spinal cord or have high blood pressure should not attempt surya namaskar without expert guidance.
  • Surya namaskars should be effortless. The aim of a surya namaskar is not to exhaust your body.
  • It’s important not to do too many too soon. Yoga can be damaging to your system if you are not careful enough
  • Pregnant women should not attempt surya namaskar without their doctors and yoga trainer’s approval.
  • 1
    Fourth point in Precautions says that doing too many too soon can be dangerous. But I have heard of people doing as much as 108 Surya Namaskars at a stretch. Jul 1 '14 at 17:51
  • 1
    Generally, it is recommended not to try Yogasanas just by reading about them from books or web-sites. It is advisable to learn them from qualified teachers. Jul 1 '14 at 17:54
  • @Dharmaputhiran you are right. Thanks for sharing. :)
    – Mr_Green
    Jul 2 '14 at 4:16
  • Sorry for reviving old thread. But the 2nd link (mdhil) is defunct. And the "art of living" link may not be taken as "scriptual reference". I know that "Sri Sri" is operating some organisation for cultural activities preaching. But we need ancient traditional scriptual reference.
    – Vineet
    Nov 10 '18 at 7:02

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