Surya Namaskar means Sun Salutation and it is a sequence of exercises (asanas), which has its origin in India in Yoga. I enjoy Surya Namaskar the most in the mornings or as a warm up routine before some more demanding training, like running, kicks, jumps, etc..

I also used this sequence a lot for my patients with lower back problems, shoulders protraction  or poor posture.

What Are The Benefits Of Surya Namaskar?

Let’s look at each pose (asana) of this routine.

Tadasana / Mountain Pose / Standing Pose

  • Increases body awareness
  • Improves posture
  • Steadies breathing
  • Increases ankles and knees stability
  • Strengthens thighs, abdomen and buttocks
  • Reduces flat feet
  • Harmonizes the body and mind
  • Increases energy

Uttanasana / Forward Bending Pose

  • Stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves
  • Strengthens the thighs and knees
  • Increases spine flexibility
  • Reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue
  • Harmonizes the body and mind
  • Relieves tension in the spine, neck, and back
  • Activates the abdominal muscles
  • Eases symptoms of menopause, asthma, headaches, and insomnia
  • Stimulates the kidneys, liver, spleen
  • Improves digestion
  • May lower high blood pressure

Ardha Uttanasana / Standing Half Forward Bend

  • Improves posture
  • Stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves
  • Strengthens the thighs and knees
  • Increases spine flexibility
  • Activates back muscles
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Improves digestion

Virabhadrasana 1 / Warrior 1

  • Stretches m.Quadriceps (thigh muscle) and m.Iliopsoas (a muscle many times responsible for lower back pain).
  • Stretches calves (when the leg is straight and the feet is in 45 degree with a heel touching the ground)
  • Strengthens thighs and knees (when the leg is straight)
  • Opens the hips
  • Improves focus, balance and stability
  • Energizes the entire body

Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog

  • Improves posture
  • One of the best exercises for stretching the spine and relieving back tension/ pain
  • Stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves
  • The body gets a 360-degree stretch in just one pose.
  • Strengthens the thighs, knees and ankles
  • Strengthens shoulders, arms, elbows and wrists
  • Improves blood circulation in the upper body, increasing oxygen supply in the brain
  • Improves brain function and cognition and reduces anxiety and depression
  • Helps boost self-confidence
  • Calming properties
  • On an emotional level downward facing dog helps turn everything on its head and helps us see things from a different angle.

Chaturanga Dandasana / Low Plank

  • Strengthens arm, shoulder, and leg muscles
  • Develops core stability
  • Improves posture
  • Develops power and strength in the whole body

Urdha Mukha Svanasana / Upward Facing Dog

  • Develops spine flexibility
  • Opens the chest, lungs and shoulders
  • Stretches diaphragm
  • Improves breathing
  • Increases oxygen in the body
  • Strengthens the arms, wrists and abdomen
  • Improves body stability
  • Stretches/ stimulates abdominal organs
  • Energizes the legs
Watch the video to learn how to do each pose properly. Please keep in mind that the video do not cover all the information about each pose. For more details ask in the comments below.