DESCRIPTION “ The brief version of Surya Namaskara is described herein:
STEP 1 “ PRANAMASANA (PRAYER POSE)
Standing erect with feet kept together, join the palms in front of the chest (regular Indian prayer position) and inhale. Exhale and bring the hands back to their respective positions, straightening the lower arms in such a way that the elbows touch either sides of the body.
STEP 2 “ HASTA UTTANASANA , RAISED ARMS POSE OR CRESCENT MOON POSE)
Inhale deeply and bring the arms above the head, bending the spine in backward direction so as to form an arch at the back from the waist while simultaneously moving the hips forward. The eyes can focus on the hands and the neck should be left relaxed. The hands should not appear bent from the elbows.
STEP 3 “ PADAHASTASANA (HAND TO FOOT POSE)
Exhale and bending forward from the waist, place hands on either sides of the feet. Care should be taken not to bend the knees while doing this posture. The head and neck should appear relaxed in a bending posture. Exhale completely and even if the hands are unable to reach the floor, they should be stretched as far as possible.
STEP 4 “ ASHWA SANCHALASANA (EQUESTARIAN POSE)
Inhale and exert weight on the hands, stretching the right leg behind, allowing it to rest on the toes. Bend the right leg at the knee and place it on the floor, and exert weight on the left foot, arching the spine backwards. The head and neck should be lifted up first and then should be bent in backward direction. The eyes can move in upward direction. The hands should be placed in between the left foot.
STEP 5 “ PARVATASANA (THE MOUNTAIN POSE)
Exhale and gently bring the left foot in the backward direction, inline with the right foot. The hips can be lifted up high in the form of a mountain. The heels can now be brought down to the floor. Bend the head in downward direction and focus on the toes by keeping head down in between the arms.
STEP 6 “ ASHTANGA NAMASKARA (THE EIGHT LIMB POSE)
Bring the knees down first and then the chest. Ensure that eight parts of the body (the feet, knees, hands, chest, forehead and the chin) touches the floor. Ashta refers to eight and namaskara refers to Salutation by touching the floor. Ensure that the hips are raised slightly high above the ground. Breathe normally and deeply while in this position, keeping feet together.
STEP 7 “ BHUJANGASANA (THE COBRA POSE)
Bring the abdomen and pelvis down to the floor. Inhale and keep the toes stretched on the floor. Gently lift the head up and make an arch with the spine and neck while simultaneously looking up. The legs should be kept together, with elbows besides the body slightly bent and the shoulders to be kept down.
STEP 8 “ PARVATASANA (THE MOUNTAIN POSE)
Exhale and bring the toes forward in such a way that the feet rests on the soles, with hips in slightly raised position, just as mentioned in Step 5.
STEP 9 “ ASHWA SANCHALANASANA (EQUESTRIAN POSE)
Inhale deeply while simultaneously bringing the left foot forward bending at the knee, and assume the position as in Step 4 just that the positions of the legs are reversed.
STEP 10 “ PADAHASTASANA (HAND TO FOOT POSE)
Exhale and bring the right foot forward, and repeat the position mentioned in Step 3.
STEP 11 “ HASTA UTTANASANA (RAISED ARMS POSE)
Inhale and stretch in upward direction in a standing posture with arms up and bending backwards, forming an arch at the spine, repeating the posture of Step 2.
STEP 12 “ PRANAMASANA (PRAYER POSE)
Exhale and bring back the hands to the front of the chest, joining palms and standing erect as in the position mentioned in Step 1.
This completes one round of Surya Namaskara. Atleast four rounds can be done in a day, and it should be practiced regularly for a few days to observe the beneficial results of this exercise.