This version of surya namaskar without chaturanga is perfect for beginners or for yoga students with weak wrists who want to do sun salutation.

 

If you’ve ever been to a Hatha yoga class, it’s likely your teacher led you through at least one round of Surya Namaskar. This series of flowing poses is a great way to warm up and increase your range of motion at the beginning of class. In India, surya namaskar is a part of many weight loss programs.

Surya Namaskar Without Chaturanga

Surya Namaskar Without Chaturanga

 

 

 

 

 

Surya Namaskar FAQ

Here are four of the most frequently asked questions about surya namaskar:

  • Q: Please explain surya namaskar steps, cycles, and rounds. A: There are 12 steps for each cycle of surya namaskar. Two cycles of Surya Namaskar equals one round.
  • Q: Do I start with my right or left foot for surya namaskar steps 4 and 9? A: For the first cycle, lead with your right foot and in the second cycle, lead with your left foot. Alternating your right and left side is more important than which side you start on.
  • Q: What is proper breathing for surya namaskar? A: Each step flows into the next one, synchronized with your breath. For proper form in sun salutation, INHALE and EXHALE as indicated. At first, all the steps and breathing may seem overwhelming, but performing this asana series will come easily with practice.
  • Q: What counterpose should I do after surya namaskar? A: When you complete the number of rounds of surya namaskare  you want to do, relax in Corpse Pose/Shavasana for at least 3 minutes.

Step 1 of Surya Namaskar is Pranamasana – Prayer Pose

  1. Stand upright at the top of your mat with your feet together, big toes touching, and close your eyes.
  2. Bend your elbows, relax them by your sides and place the palms of your hands together in Pranamasansa – prayer pose, also known as the yoga hand position Namaskara Mudra.
  3. Relax your shoulders. Stand with proper posture so the crown of your head radiates to the sky.
  4. Breathe normally.

Step 2 of Surya Namaskar is: Hasta Utthanasana – Raised Arms Pose

  1. Open your eyes.
  2. Separate the palms of your hands and INHALE as you straighten your elbows as you reach towards the sky.
  3. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart and gently flex your wrists so you fingers are pointing behind you.
  4. Relax your head back to look at your thumbs, which brings you into a slight back bend. Relax your shoulders away from your ears.

Step 3 of Surya Namaskar is Padahastasana – Hand to Foot Pose

  1. EXHALE and forcibly contract your abdominal muscles as you hinge at your hips to bend forward and bring your nose as close to your knees, or shins, as possible. Keep your arms by your ears.
  2. Touch your fingertips, or palms of your hands to the floor. Place the tips of your fingers in line with the tips of your toes.
  3. As your bending over, keep a flat back until your upper body is parallel with the floor. Then, round your back as necessary to get into the proper position. Knees are straight, quadriceps are contracted.

Step 4 of Surya Namaskar is Ashwa Sanchalasana – Equestrian Pose

  1. Place your all your fingertips on the floor, keeping them in line with the tips of your toes – bending your knees to do this if you have to. Fingers together and pointing forward, arms straight.
  2. INHALE as you take a big step back with your right foot so your right leg is fully extended behind you, while at the same time bending your left knee. Do not bend your knee past the tips of your left toes.
  3. Bend your right knee to rest your right shin on the floor and extend your ankle to rest the top of your foot on the floor. You can keep your foot flexed and toes on the floor if you like.
  4. Tilt your head back by looking up and relax your shoulders.
Ashwa Sanchalasana

Ashwa Sanchalasana, Equestrian Pose

Step 5 of Surya Namaskar is Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog

*Downward Dog my look simple, but it’s a complex yoga pose. I provide additional an additional link at the bottom of the page so you can read another, more detailed, description from Yoga Journal.

  1. Flex your right ankle to come up onto the tips of your right toes and straighten your right knee so your shin comes off the mat.
  2. Place your palms flat on the floor with your fingers spread apart, EXHALE and extend your left foot back to meet your right foot.
  3. Lift your hips into the air so you make a triangle with the floor.
  4. Straighten your arms. Reach your heels towards the floor.
  5. Look at your navel and relax your neck.
Downward Dog

Downward Dog

Step 6 of Surya Namaskar is Ashtanga Namaskara – 8 Points Pose

  1. HOLD YOUR BREATH as you lower your knees, chin and chest to touch the floor in that order.
  2. Keep your hands and feet in the same position and bend your elbows.
  3. Look forward.
  4. The eight points are your chin, chest, 2 hands, 2 knees and 2 feet.
8-Points Pose, Ashtanga Namaskara

8-Points Pose, Ashtanga Namaskara

Step 7 of Surya Namaskar Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose

  1. Keep your hands and feet in the same place.
  2. INHALE and point your toes to place the tops of your feet on the floor and push your body forward so your knees are almost straight and your hips rest on the floor.
  3. Look up and bend your head back as you use your hands to lift your shoulders, and possibly your rib cage, off the floor with a slight back bend.
  4. Hug your elbows close to your ribcage and relax your leg muscles.
Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose

Step 8 of Surya Namaskar is Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog

  1. EXHALE, straighten your arms flex your feet and lift your hips into the air so you make a triangle with the floor.
  2. Reach your heels towards the floor.
  3. Look at your navel and relax your neck.

Step 9 of Surya Namaskar is Ashwa Sanchalasana

  1. INHALE as you step your right foot forward so your fingertips are even with the tips of your toes.
  2. Your left leg is fully extended behind you. Do not bend your right knee past the tips of your left toes.
  3. Bend your left knee to rest your left shin on the floor and extend your ankle to rest the top of your foot on the floor. You can keep your foot flexed and toes on the floor if you like.
  4. Tilt your head back by looking up and relax your shoulders.

Step 10 of Surya Namaskar 1 is Pasahastasana — Hand to Foot Pose

  1. EXHALE and forcibly contract your abdominal muscles as you step your left foot forward together with your right foot into a forward bend. Bring your nose as close to your knees, or shins, as possible.
  2. Place the tips of your toes in line with the tips of your fingers.

Step 11 of Surya Namaskar is Hasta Utthanasana – Raised Arms Pose

  1. INHALE as you come back to a standing position with a flat back and  reach towards the sky.
  2. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart and gently flex your wrists so your fingers are pointing behind you.
  3. Relax your head back to look at your thumbs, which brings you into a slight back bend. Relax your shoulders away from your ears.

Step 12 of Surya Namaskar is Pranamasana – Prayer Pose

  1. Bend your elbows, relax them by your sides and place the palms of your hands together in pranamasansa – prayer pose, also known as the yoga hand position namaskara mudra. Close your eyes.
  2. Stand upright at the top of your mat with your feet together, big toes touching.
  3. Relax your shoulders. Stand with proper posture so the crown of your head radiates to the sky.
  4. Breathe normally.