‘Sun Salutation’ or ‘Surya Namaskar’ With Posture Names And Associated Mantras.

According to Vedic tradition, the ‘Sun’ is the eternal source of heat energy and light energy necessary for life. Surya or ‘Aditya’, as the ‘Sun’ is known in the ‘Puranas’ (ancient Hindu literature) sustains life forms, our ecosystem, and even the primary forces on our planet responsible for Earth’s rotation, revolution, and the many galactic happenings in our universe.

The ‘Surya Namaskar’ (or Sun Salutation), yogic vinyasa exercise was devised as a means of paying homage to the Sun every morning, as we soak in the healing early morning sunlight and do the Vinyasa movements to energise our system, invigorate the spine and work all the major muscle groups of the body at the very outset of the day so we are able to function from a place of strength and agility.

One ‘round’ of Surya namaskar comprises 12 postures leading with the left leg and then the same 12 ‘asanas’ leading with the right leg. The asanas/postures in Surya Namaskar each have a name and are also accompanied by a specific relevant ‘mantra’ in reverence to the mighty ‘Sun’.

Before you enrol for Yoga Classes at Home, let me walk you through the names of these 12 poses along with the ‘mantra’ used for each.
Further understanding of the Sun Salutation will ensue as you join my Online Classes and we focus on the performance of each of the postures in detail, touching on different elements and aspects of each posture in every class.

Also visit my YouTube channel for a deeper understanding of the ‘Surya Namaskar’ exercise.


12+12 Postures of Surya Namaskar
(Do the following 12 postures leading with the left leg and then repeat the 12, this time leading with the right leg. This constitutes one ‘round’ of the Sun Salutation.

We will note that after position 7, the Cobra pose, all the postures are repeated in reverse order.

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose): “OM MITRAYA NAMAHA” / SALUTATIONS TO THE UNIVERSAL FRIEND. Stand at the top of your mat with your feet together, and palms pressed in prayer position at your chest.

Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose): “OM RAVAYE NAMAHA / SALUTATIONS TO THE RESPLENDENT SUN Inhale and raise your arms up alongside your ears, arching your back and leading your upper body into a backbend.

Padahastasana (Hands to Feet Pose):  OM SURYAYA NAMAHA / SALUTATIONS TO THE ONE WHO INDUCES ACTIVITY WITHIN US . Exhale as you hinge from the hips and bend forward, bringing your hands down to touch the floor beside your feet.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose): OM BHANAVE NAMAHA / SALUTATIONS TO THE ONE WHO ILLUMINES Inhaling step your left leg back into a lunge position, keeping the left knee bent on the mat the shin bone and top of the foot also pressed down into the mat and the hands or fingertips on either side of the front foot.

Santolanasana (Plank Pose): OM KHAGAYA NAMAHA / SALUTATIONS TO THE ONE WHO MOVES ACROSS THE SKY. As you exhale, step your right leg back to the plank position, forming a straight slanting line from head to heels. The shoulders are directly over the wrists.

Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with Eight Limbs): OM PUSHNE NAMAHA / SALUTATIONS TO THE GIVER OF STRENGTH Lower your knees, chest, and chin (in that order) to the floor while keeping the hips lifted.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose): OM HIRANYAGARBHAYA NAMAHA / SALUTATIONS TO THE GOLDEN COSMIC SELF Inhale and slide forward, raising the head and chest and arching the back while keeping the hips and legs on the floor.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose): OM MARICHAYE NAMAHA / SALUTATIONS TO THE LORD OF THE DAWN Exhale and lift the hips, forming an inverted V-shape with the body, pressing the hands into the floor and the heels into or towards the floor.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose): OM ADITYAYA NAMAHA / SALUTATIONS TO THE SON OF ADITI, THE COSMIC MOTHER. Inhale and step the left foot forward between the hands, returning to the lunge position.

Padahastasana (Hand to Foot Pose): OM SAVITRE NAMAHA / SALUTATIONS TO THE BENEVOLENT MOTHER. Exhale and bring the right foot forward next to the left, bending down and touching the floor with the hands.

Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose): OM ARKAYA NAMAHA / SALUTATIONS TO HIM WHO IS WORTHY OF PRAISE. Inhale as you lift the arms, start standing up and arching backwards.

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose): OM BHASKARAYA NAMAHA / SALUTATIONS TO HIM WHO LEADS US TO SALVATION. Exhale and return to the standing position with hands joined in front of the chest.


The traditional sequence of Surya Namaskar should not be changed. However, according to the different levels and abilities of practitioners, there can be variations and modifications that include incorporating props like blocks or straps or adjusting the pace and intensity to suit individual needs. Want to experience the holistic health benefits of Surya Namaskar and are looking for Yoga Courses Online in India? Start your journey with Yoga with Sapna today!

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