Surya namaskara (12 steps)
Starting Position (Sthiti): Namaskara Mudra (Prayer pose)
Each stage of Suryanamaskara is accompanied by regulation of breath. The twelve steps are as follows:
- Hasta Uttansana (Raised arms pose): Stand erect with the legs together and the palms together. Take the hands above the head and bend the trunk backwards. Breathe in completely.
- Pada Hastasana (Forward bend pose): Bend forward and touch the knees by the forehead. Keep the palms on the floor on either side of the legs. Breathe out fully.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose): In this stage, kick the right leg back, take the left knee forward, place the left foot in between the two palms at 90o. Look up and breathe in.
- Santulanasana (Balancing pose): Take back the left leg as well, resting only on palms and toes; keep the body straight from head to toes inclined to the ground at about 30o. Now, breathe out completely.
- Poorva Hasta shashankasana (Outstretched arms moon pose): Now, bend at the knee and rest the knees on the floor without altering the position of the palms and toes. Rest the forehead on the floor while breathing in and breathe out completely while moving backwards. Then breathe normally.
- Sastanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts or points): Without moving the hands and toes, while breathing out, come forward on the chest and rest the forehead on the ground. This position is called Sastanga Namaskara. Here, forehead, chest, hands, knees and legs, all the eight parts will be touching the floor. The buttocks will be raised up. Hold the breath (Bahya Kumbhaka).
- Bhujangasana (Cobra pose): Inhale, raise the head and trunk making the spine concave upwards without changing the position of the hands and feet. Keep the knees off the ground
- Parvatasana (Mountain pose): Exhale. Raise the buttocks, push the head down with the heels touching the ground and palms on the floor.
- Poorva Hasta shashankasana (Outstretched arms moon pose): Same as 5th step. Inhale and exhale.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose): Inhale and bring the right leg in between the two hands and in one line. Arch the back concave upwards as in step 3
- Pada Hastasana (Forward bend pose): Exhale and bring the left foot forward next to the right foot and touch the knees with the forehead as in step 2.
- Hasta Uttanasana (Raised arms pose): Inhale. Come back to the starting position.