SURYA NAMASKAR AND ITS TYPES : A must-do yoga practice to calm your mind and body

 Surya means sun and namaskar means salutation. Worshipping the sun has been an age old practice. The sun has been the source of light, heat and above all, energy and hence the very reason for the existence of life on earth. That’s why man started worshipping the Sun God as far as it can be traced. In Yoga, saluting the sun has always been an important chapter. It is known as ‘Surya Namaskar’ and is best done in the morning. However as with every form of practice, there exists variations in this age old practice too. There are many types of Surya Namaskar, some of them arose out of convenience while others because of different schools of thought.

Mainly, there are three types of Surya Namaskar: Ashtanga Surya Namaskar, Hatha Surya Namaskar and Iyengar Surya Namaskar.

The Ashtanga variation has two forms: Type A and Type B. Type A has 9 vinyasas while Type b has 17 Vinyasas.

The Iyengar version is very similar to the Hatha one but is practised at an increased pace for more calorie burning.

When we speak of Sun salutations, we usually don’t go into the different  types of Surya Namaskar and mean the Hatha variation only. The Hatha Surya Namaskar is the most widely practised and definitely the easiest. However easy does not mean less effective. It is the most popular for myriads of reasons. Apart from stretching various parts of the body and making it more flexible, it has healing effects on our mind and physiology.

This sequential  ‘12 Asana ‘ type of Surya Namaskar starts with Pranamasana, or saluting the sun. This relaxes the nervous system and also helps remove stress and anxiety.

The second, Hasta Uttasana, stretches the entire body, particularly the abdomen and opens up the chest. It helps in the cure of asthma, lower back pain and fatigue.

The third, Hasta Padmasana, stretches the spine and also the muscle groups of the lower limbs. It helps cure insomnia, stress, fatigue and anxiety. It relieves indigestion too. 

The fourth, Ashwa Sanchalanasana helps relieve indigestion, flatulence and constipation as it stretches the spine and the abdomen. 

The fifth pose Parvatasana, calms the mind. It is also useful in menopause.

The sixth pose, Ashtanga Namaskar, strengthens the back muscles and helps release all the pent up stress.

The seventh pose is the Bhujanga Asana, which is therapeutic in lower back pain.

Then all the above poses are done in a reverse sequence.

No matter which type of Surya Namaskar you practice or whichever yoga school you follow, your focus should be on mindful practice. Yogic asanas work wonders only when done with full mindfulness. One can get rid of any kind of mental stress by following intentional practice. 

Surya Namaskar can be a great calorie burner too. Remember the movie Tashan, when heartthrob Kareena was waif thin? She had revealed that the secret to her figure was daily 100 Surya Namaskars.

 Well, the different types of Surya Namskar are great for kids also as it helps with their focus and concentration. A little bit of these would not harm adults either right? With benefits so many, it’s high time you start practising Surya Namaskar too; if not already!


This is so interesting. I loved learning more about this process! Thank you for sharing <3
the creation of beauty is art.

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