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Sun Salutation

The Sun Salutation or Sun Prayer, a dynamic Asana Series in Hatha Yoga, promotes mobility. The Sun Salutation is named after the Hindu Sun God Surya, who is called in the associated Mantra with twelve different names.



Table of Contents

1 What is the Sun Salutation
2 Effects
3 Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar — Practical Instructions
4 Yoga Sun Salutation Variations

4.1 Exercise Video — Sun Salutation Jump Variations with Ravi and Elke — 45 min

5 Swami Sivananda writes about Yoga Sun Salutation

5.1 What is Yoga Sun Salutation?
5.2 Method / Execution
5.3 Prayer to Surya

6 Sun Salutation Affirmations
7 Sun Salutation Mantras
8 Sun Salutation Videos

Surya Namaskar — Sun Prayer for Beginners — to participate
Suryanamaskar — classical Sun Prayer — to participate
Yoga Sonnengruss — Sun Salutation — slowly and precisely
Surya Namaskar, the Yoga Sun Salutation with Surya Mantras



What is the Sun Salutation

The Yoga Sun Salutation is the most important warm-up exercise in Yoga. In the Yoga Vidya Series, it is typically practiced after the Breathing Exercises (Pranayama) and before the static holding Yoga Asanas. It is also possible to practice the Yoga Sun Salutation independently of the other Yoga Exercises. The Yoga Sun Salutation consists of a sequence of 12 Asanas, which follow each other quickly. They are coordinated with the breath and, if necessary, also connected with Mantras. You can do the Yoga Sun Salutation more quickly or more slowly.




The Yoga Sun Salutation stimulates the circulation, loosens the muscles and promotes mobility. The Seven Chakras are also stimulated.


  Asana Breath Mantra Salutation Chakra
1 Pranamasana exhale om hrām om mitrāya namaḥ Anahata
2 Hasta Uttanasana inhale om hrīm om ravaye namaḥ Vishuddhi
3 Hastapadasana exhale om hrūm om sūryāya namaḥ Svadhisthana
4 Ashva Sancalanasana inhale om hraim om bhānave namaḥ Ajna
5 Dandasana exhale om hraum om khagāya namaḥ Vishuddhi
6 Ashtanga Namaskara holding om hraḥ om pūṣṇe namaḥ Manipura
7 Bhujangasana inhale om hrām om hiraṇyagarbhāya namaḥ Svadhisthana
8 Parvatasana exhale om hrīm om marīcaye namaḥ Vishuddhi
9 Ashva Sanchalanasana inhale om hrūm om ādityāya namaḥ Ajna
10 Hastapadasana exhale om hraim om savitre namaḥ Svadhisthana
11 Hasta Uttanasana inhale om hraum; om arkāya namaḥ; Vishuddhi
12 Pranamasana exhale om hraḥ om bhāskarāya namaḥ Anahata



Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar — Practical Instructions

Exercise video in which Sukadev instructs to exercise the Sun Salutation or the Surya Namaskar

Here Sukadev guides you to Practice of the Sun Salutation or to the Surya Namaskar and shows you how you can do this exercise in a body-appropriate manner.



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Yoga Sun Salutation Variations

In India, various Yoga Sun Greetings are classic: since the year of the Sun Calendar consists of 12 months, they all have 12 movements. In more recent times, however, there are also exercises of the Sun Salutation with more or less variations. Especially in Ashtanga Vinyasa and Yoga Flow variations with more and fewer movements are common. The Yoga Vidya Pages includes amongst other things:




➳Yoga Sun Salutation for Beginners: the warm-up exercise series, consisting of 12 positions, activates body, mind and soul
➳Yoga Sun Salutation Intermediate: the warm-up exercise series, consisting of 12 positions, activates body, mind and soul
➳Yoga Sun Salutation without reversals
➳Yoga Sun Salutation Advanced 1: Variations for more flexibility
➳Yoga Sun Salutation Advanced 2: Variations for more muscle strength and power. Replaces an entire gym!
➳Yoga Sun Salutation Advanced Jump Variation No. 1: Variations for jumping power, coordination and willpower
➳Yoga Sun Salutation Advanced Jump Variation No. 2: With a jump in the Forward Bend
➳Yoga Sun Salutation Advanced Jump Variation No. 3: Jump into the Crow
➳Yoga Sun Salutation Advanced Jump Variation No. 4



Exercise Video — Sun Salutation Jump Variations with Ravi and Elke — 45 min.

In this video, Ravi will guide you to Advanced Sun Salutation Jump variations! Presented by Yoga Vidya —


➳Starting with Surya Namaskar, accompanied by a short Chakra Concentration and Mantras, Dog with variations.

➳Strains and Variations of the Surya Namaskar.

➳Finally advanced Pranayama in the Lotus Seat, Kapalabhati, Alternate Breathing.

➳End with 3 AUM and Greetings to the Masters.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This is not a self-study course and is only suitable for Advanced Students!



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Swami Sivananda writes about Yoga Sun Salutation

What is Yoga Sun Salutation?

SivanandaSwami Sivananda

In « Surynamaskara » (Salute to the Sun), several Yoga positions are combined with rhythmic (flowing) breath, brisk movement, sunbathing and contemplative contemplation of the divine power that represents the sun. We are encouraged (invited) to practice Suryanamaskara (Sun Salutations) in the face of the morning sun by bathing our whole bodies in the life-giving sun rays, the donors of light, life, happiness and warmth for the whole world. The Sun Salutations (Suryanamaskara) consist of twelve attitudes or phases. Thereby one posture flows smoothly and gracefully into the next


This lively, energetic flow of movement also promotes muscle building, but according to the extremely important rule in Yoga, there should never be excessive exertion within the practice.

This leads to the extraordinary and unique (success-) experience: after practice, you do not feel tired and exhausted, as is often the case with pure physical fitness exercise, but one is around refreshed. Of even greater importance, however, is the inner attitude in which the Yoga Sun Salutation will be practiced. Inwardly, watch every little movement in the body; become aware of any physical changes, especially those in the spine. For this to be possible, it is important that the mind is calm and alert. After practicing for a few months, this awareness, this consciousness will grow.



Method / Execution

Sonnengruss 1

1. Stand straight. Fold your hands in front of your chest in the way of the greeting gesture in the Orient (Namaskarmudra). Exhale.


Sonnengruss 2

2. Breathe in continuously as you lead stretched your arms over the side to your head and gradually bend backward from the torso (from the lower back) vertebrae for vertebrae as far as you can. The beginning of your exhalation at the end of the movement allows you to intensify the backbend a little.


Sonnengruss 3

3. In exhalation, pull yourself down and stretch your spine far forward. Without bending your knees, place your palms fully on the floor, parallel to your feet, with your fingers pointing straight ahead.


Sonnengruss 4

4. Bring your right leg back as you exhale. Bend your left knee and keep your thighs and torso in close contact. Look 90 ° up, inhale.


Sonnengruss 5

5. Put your left leg back as well. Align your arms and back in a straight line. (Shoulder height). Exhale.


Sonnengruss 6

6. Bend your elbows as you exhale. Lower your whole body so that your forehead, chest, palms and knees touch the floor. The rest of the body should not touch the floor. Keep the coccyx up by tilting your pelvis.


Sonnengruss 7

7. Bring your head up and back, stretch your arms, bend back as far as you can in the spine. Inhale.


Sonnengruss 8

8. As you exhale, bring your hips up and back and take the Position of an inverted V; the feet and palms remain on the floor.


Sonnengruss 9

9. Bring your right leg forward and place your foot flat on the floor between your palms (as in 4.). Inhale.


Sonnengruss 10

10. Bring the left leg forward, extend the back of the knees, let the head hang loosely (as in 3.). Exhale.


Sonnengruss 11

11. Breathe in, straighten your body and swing your arms on the side over your head and bend out of your lower back as far as you can (as in 2.).


Sonnengruss 12

12. Stand upright (as in 1.). Now take your normal Standing Position again. Repeat in this way every morning for at least 12 rounds in Alternating Legs Positions.


After you finished the 12 greetings, lie flat on the floor with your back and relax every part of your body, one by one, starting from the individual toes up to the top of the head. This is called Savasana (Dead Position). At the beginning of this practice, if you are tired after three or four rounds of Yoga Sun Salutations, you can stop and gradually increase the number of rounds (daily or every second day), always making sure that the effort is not for any part of the Body gets too big. The number of repetitions should be based on the individual resilience. There are people who make 108 Namaskaras (Sun Salutations) in a river without great effort. Eventually the student may the Yoga Sun Salutation to initiate by chanting the Prayer to the Almighty Lord:



Prayer to Surya

Om Suryam Sundaralokanathamamritam Vedatasaram Shivam, Jnanam Brahmamayam Sureshamalam Lokaikachittam Svayam; Inradityanaradhipam Suragurum Trailokyachudamanim, Bramavishnushivasvasvarupahridaya Vande Sada Bhaskaram.


I always adore Surya, the sun, the wonderful ruler of the world, the immortal, the quintessence of Vedanta, the auspicious, the absolute knowledge in the form of Brahmans, the Lord of the Gods, always pure, the only true consciousness of the world itself, the Lord of Indra, the Gods and Men, the preceptor of the gods, the crown jewel of the Three Worlds, the real heart of the forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the donors of light.


The sun, which is the most radiant and the greatest life-giving force for this planet, is in the form of the visible embodiment of the invisible Almighty Lord.


The overwhelming majority of people cannot imagine a Transcendent Absolute without the help of some concrete and descriptive objects. For them, the sun presents the best object of worship and the best object of meditation.



In this way, presents the Practice of Yoga Sun Salutation the source of a great all-round practice for body, mind and soul that is so essential for everyone.



Sun Salutation Affirmations

There are various ways to combine Sun Prayer with Affirmations. Here is a small selection:


1 — Mother / Father, I stand before you in silence
2 — I raise my hands and my heart to you
3 — Bend and touch me, Mother / Father
4 — I raise my eyes to you
5 — Keep me in balance
6 — You are my foundation, my rock, my wisdom, my knowledge and memory
7 — I raise my eyes to you
8 — I call you from the depths of myself
9 — raise my eyes to you
10 — Bend down and touch me, Mother / Father
11 — I raise my hands and my heart to you
12 — Mother / Father, I stand before you in silence



Sun Salutation Mantras

One can combine the movements of the Yoga of Sun Salutation with Mantras, which are addressed to the sun under the following names: Mitra, Ravi, Surya, Bhanu, Khaga, Pushan, Hiranyagarbha, Marichi, Aditya, Savitri, Arka and Bhaskara (the name form corresponds to the respective Mantra is in Sanskrit related to the form of the dative):




It is also possible to combine the Gayatri Mantra or the Shakti Mantra with the Yoga Sun Salutation.



Sun Salutation Videos

Surya Namaskar — Sun Prayer for Beginners — to participate



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Suryanamaskar — Classical Sun Prayer — to participate



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Yoga Sun Salutation — slowly and precisely



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Surya Namaskar, the Yoga Sun Salutation with Surya Mantras



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