Surya Namaskar – The Ultimate Guide (With Step-By-Step Instructions)

Suryanamaskar The Complete Guide

Suryanamaskar - The Complete Guide


Surya Namaskar  – Surya Namaskar means sun salutation.

Surya Namaskar means sun salutation. It is a popular sequence of yoga asanas done with breath awareness. It is a complete sadhna or yoga practice in itself and includes asana, pranayama, mantra and meditation techniques. The concept of Sun Salutation comes from the ancient practice of revering the Sun which is considered the source of every creation on the planet and also symbolizes spiritual consciousness.


Though the dynamic sequence of Surya Namaskar Yoga is not mentioned in the traditional hatha yoga scriptures and was included in the practice much later, it is a highly effective yoga practice to balance mental and physical energies. The sequence has gained popularity as one of the most popular Vinyasa and weight loss sequence.


You may come across various Surya Namaskar names and variations. It is also called Sarvanga Sundara Asana which means Total Body Workout. Today, you are likely to find different variations of Surya Namaskar steps with pictures; however, it is recommended that you first learn the Surya Namaskar steps from an experienced yoga trainer.


As a beginner, especially after seeing the different Surya Namaskar pics, you may think that the sequence is tough to remember and may find yourself caught up with questions like ‘How many asanas are there in Surya Namaskar ?’ or ‘How to do Surya Namaskar yoga ?’ This is because there are many variations but the most common variation is that of 12 steps.


As seen in most of the Surya Namaskar pictures, 1 set comprises of 12 asanas. 1 cycle of sun salutation comprises of 2 such sets done for the right and left side. You can practice the sequence slowly by staying in each asana for few breaths or you can practice it at a faster pace, breathing in and out as you move from one asana to the other.

Repeating these cycles help you lead an active and healthy life as it regulates and balances the solar energy of the body which flows through pingala nadi. It is performed in a steady rhythmic way which also reflects the biorhythms of the body, 24 hours of the day, and the 12 zodiac signs and this rhythmic process helps transform your mind and body completely.  

Apart from remembering these Yoga asanas surya namaskar it is helpful to remember the Surya Namaskar asana names. Below we have shared benefits of Surya Namaskar steps along with surya namaskar steps images.

If you are beginner, it is advisable to first practice under an expert’s guidance because finding the right alignment and balance in each asana takes a little time. It is only after you get comfortable with each asana and the flow, can you slowly shift your focus to breathing. It is the combination of rhythmic breath and asana that makes this exercise a powerful detox tool.



You may find several variations of Surya Namaskar as there are different styles of yoga practiced around the world. You can use the basic sequence as the main foundation for any vinyasa flow.


The most popular and common form comprises of the 12 plus 12 steps in Hatha Yoga Surya Namaskar as shared above. Ashtanga Surya Namaskar (A and B) is also a well known sequence.


Ashtanga Suryna Namaskar A ( and B is more dynamic with differences like the practice of chaturanga dandasana or low plank instead of plank, warrior 1 instead of ashwa sanchalanasana or an upward dog pose instead of bhujangasana, but primarily the difference is in the breathing style. You have to practice ujjayi breathing which is a dynamic pranayama.


Research shows that 1 minute of sun salutation can help you burn at least 3.79 calories. Studies show that an average weighing person may take upto 3 minutes to complete 1 cycle of Surya Namaskar and burn upto 13.91 calories.


Study also shows that when you practice a slow paced Surya Namaskar you will get therapeutic benefits of all asanas and when you practice a fast paced sun salutation, benefits will be similar to any aerobic exercise.


It is no doubt one of the most flexible and easy to remember yoga practice and you can modify it to suit your preferences.


Have you experienced any significant weight loss by practicing Surya Namaskar?


Or will you recommend sun salutation mainly for therapeutic benefits?


Do you believe that the practice of 108 repetitions can really keep the doctor away?

Share your experience as comments below.

Still wondering about ‘How to do surya namaskar with pictures?’ or ‘How to Surya Namaskar yoga?’ Click on the video link to watch the video on the complete surya namaskar sequence.

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