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Yoga Blog 3 - Sun Salutation

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Sun Salutation (Surya Namaska) Yoga Sequence

By Daniyal Shevki


“Yoga is nothing but the total experience of human life; it is a science of the integral man!” – Jacque S. Masui


“Surya” meaning Sun is our primary source of light according to Hindu and the ancient Yogi texts.

In the spiritual world the Sun is creator of all life and significantly symbolic in the practice of yoga.It represents consciousness and self-illumination. In honoring this a dynamic flow was created called Surya Namaska in Sankrit. “Namas” meaning ‘to bow’.  As well as the external sun, the heart is referred to as the “inner sun”.

With this concept in mind the sequence is in essence a humble sequence worshipping the light inside and around us. With mindful and devoted gestures we are reminded to shift our awareness inwards to the heart. Over the thousands of years there have been adaptations of the Surya Namaska flow, however traditionally it consists of 8 basic postures that are repeated.

These Salutations are performed usually at the beginning of a physical practice to warm up the body before beginning to hold Asanas (Posture).  It is best to launch your practice with 3-5 rounds of Salutations and gradually build up your rounds. There is no maximum limit on the amount of rounds to perform and in fact many yogis spend hours moving through this flow as they become stronger. For those who like to deepen the spiritual aspect of Sun Salutations it is best performed outdoors facing the rising sun symbolizing the ‘dawn of consciousness’.


We begin standing up tall with the tailbone tucked under. Feet may come to touch or be hip width distance apart. The hands come together in prayer at our heart honoring our inner sun. This gesture is also known as the Anjali Mudra.

The eight basic postures are:

1. Tadasana (Mountsain Pose)

2. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)

3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

4. Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)

5. Uttihita Chaturanga Dabdasana (High Plank Pose)

6. Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)

7. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

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