Why are women not permitted to practice the Saashthaanga Namaskaram but are permitted Angapradikshana? I refer to these two practices in particular as I was told that a woman's womb is holy and may not touch the ground.

  • 1
    I have read that even anga-pradakshina is not permitted, for same reason. i don't have smriti-source.
    – mar
    Jan 31, 2019 at 8:51
  • anga pradakshina for women not permitted but tirupathi is allowing..
    – Prasanna R
    Jan 31, 2019 at 9:05
  • @PrasannaR Not only Tirupati, I have seen this practice in some other places. Aug 3, 2019 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


The Sashatanga is where one lies down flat on the stomach with eight limbs touching the ground. The eight limbs are chest, head, hands, feet, knees, body, mind, and speech. This namaskaram is generally done by men.

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Women do only the panchanga namaskaram and not the Sashtanga Namaskaram. The panchanga namaskaram is done when the woman kneels down with palms joined together or touching the feet of the revered one in front.

Suryanamaskaram, (sun salutation) is a series of yoga poses meant to give praise to the sun. This is a tradition, which allows eulogising Sun as God and getting health benefits due to exposure to Sun and doing various asanas.

One of the asanas in Suryanamaskaram is Ashtanga Namaskara. Even women can get benefit out of the Suryanamaskaram.

Why The Women Is Not Allowed to do the Sashtanga Namaskaram?

Though many say scriptures prohibited for women doing Sashtanga Namaskaram, in my view, it is during the pregnancy related issues, which were thought of by ancestors in prohibiting Sashtanga Namaskaram for women during that time, as they have to strain a lot in doing so, and sometimes causing injury to foetus.

In Angapradikshana devotees lie prostrate and roll around the temple. Generally this pradakshina will be done with wet clothes.

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I don't think in this pradakshina also pregnancy women are allowed .

In Bihar, during Chhath puja time, women after getting their desires fulfilled, perform a prostration march as they head for the river banks. So prostration is not prohibited in all places and at all times.

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  • 1
    This doesn't answer the question why women are not allowed to do Saashtanga namaskaram and allowed to do only panchanga namaskaram. The question doesn't ask about Surya Namaskaram. The question is only about Angapradakshina and Sashtanga namaskaram. All women are not allowed to do Sashtanga namaskaram and not just pregnant. Whereas Anga pradakshina, I saw many women doing it. Aug 4, 2019 at 8:04
  • @Sarvabhouma:Generally one tradition starts with one hidden purpose. After some time, Often people of next generation are not aware of original reason for starting a tradition, yet they follow it, because their elders told them to do so. So it continues. Aug 4, 2019 at 8:08
  • The purpose of mentioning Suryanamaskaram I my answer was that when women are permitted to do Suryanamaskaram, in which Ashtanga Namaskara is part, what reason could be there for prohibiting the same Ashtanga Namaskara in temples or before elders except pregnancy related issue @Sarvabhouma Aug 4, 2019 at 8:38

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