ඔබේ දිවියට ජ්‍යෝතිෂය…..

Sri Lanka Government Ayurveda Panchakarma Hospital

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Surya namaskaar (personality development tool)


The surya namaskaar is one of the best exercises that people can profom. The benefits a occurring from these exercises is unique and excellent. This is a yoga based exercise and it is customary to perform surya namaskaar after performing yoga exercises.  surya namaskaar mean is prostration to sun or sun salutation. According to Indian tradition there was amazing concept based for yoga.

The human being can be thought of consisting of “Pancha kosas” (or five sheaths) consisting of the annamaya (or body), pranamaya (or breath), manomaya (or mind), vignanamaya (or intellect), and anandamaya (or bliss) sheaths.  These same five kosas can be further grouped in to gross (or sthula) the annamaya or body sheath, sabtle (or sukshma), consisting of the pronic mental and intellectual, sheaths and the causal (or karana), the bliss sheath, properly performed surya namaskaar impact and influence all five sheath. The body, the breath, the mind, the intellect and the bliss thus providing to the performers of these exercises the benefit for the stula(Gross), sukshma(Subtle) and kaarana(causal) bodies, where as conventional exercises of all forms including aerobic, weight lifting, walking, jogging and running are designed to provide benefits to the physical body and its various component organs including joints and muscles. Surya namaskaar provides benefits of a holistic nature by working on the physical body prana(breathing), mind, intellect and the bliss components (or kosas) of the entire human perenniality. In that sense surya namaskaar can be considered to be a personality development tool. That must be included as part of one’s wellness program.


The surya namaskaar is performed usually early in the morning forcing the morning rising sun. The namaskaar is done in 12 steps. Each step having its own posture, (including position and form) with its own breathing pattern (inhalation or exhalation) and its own mantras. First we introduce those twelve postures one by one.

The surya namaskaar postures & breathing patterns

The 12 postures are

  1. Stand facing the sun with palms folded and both the thumbs touching the chest. Breathing inhale white raising the hands and exhale as hands are brought down to chest level.
  2. Raise hands upward with feet firmly on the ground bend slowly backward stretch arms fully breathing inhale.
  3. Slowly bend forward try to touch earth by hands palm with respect head touching the knees, breathing exhale.
  4. Set both hands with the palms down firmly on the ground. Pull the left leg backward, raise the head looking at the sun, full weight resting on the two palm and ten fingers breathing inhale.
  5. Bring right leg back close to the left leg keeping hands and legs straight, bend the body at the hip forming an arch, just like a mountain, known as “Parvathasana or mountain pose” breathing exhale.
  6. Stretch yourself fully on the ground in the “saashtanga namaskaar pose” (all eight ‘anga’ or parts of the body on the ground: head, thigh, eyes(sight), mind, word, feet, hands, and ears(hearing)). In reality feet, knee, thighs, chest, forehead touch the ground with the hands stretched out and in folded position. With your mind and thoughts on the fully namaskaar, then slowly turn the head to the sides first to left and then to right so that each ear touches the ground. Breathing: inhale first and then exhale fully.
  7. Slowly raise the head, bend backward as much as possible. Hands straight, in the cobra pose. Breathing inhale.
  8. Again do all poses back. Go to the parvathasana same as step 5, breathing exhale.
  9. Same as step 4 with the difference that the right leg is brought forward, breathing inhale.
  10. Same as step 3, breathing exhale.
  11. Same as step 2, breathing inhale.
  12. Same as step 1, breathing exhale, inhale and exhale.

Suggestions for proper use do’s and don’ts …..

The following suggestions for optimal benefit from yoga and surya namaskaar along with few of the DO’S and Don’ts are provided below;

  • Smile always, ABC (Always Breathe Consciously), Enjoy the sessions.
  • Try to involve the ‘pancha kosaa’– body, prana, mind, intellect & bliss kosas.
  • Proceed slowly with Surya Namaskaar. Do not to do very fast, all movements to be done slowly. Also the number- start with 1 set, then move on to 2, 3, 6, and 12 sets over a period of time. Whatever you are physically capable of and also based on time availability. Doing fewer on weekdays and larger numbers on weekends can also be considered.
  • Surya Namaskaar (SN) can be done during morning and evening. Morning time face the rising sun- the East direction, evening time face the setting Sun, the West. Yoga is done to loosen the joints, muscles, limbs etc, before attempting Surya Namaskaar. Shavasana for 10 minutes must be done after SN 3 to 5 alternative nostril pranayama. Breathing slowly during both inhalation and exhalation.
  • SN must be done on empty stomach. At least 2 hours must elapse, after any meals are taken, before you do SN likewise, food must be taken only after at least 20 minutes after SN.
  • Mat must be used for SN(and not on the floor)
  • If the assigned breath is not able to be done in one breathing during a pose. Try to do more breaths per pose early on over a period of time; you will be able to do it in one breath.
  • People suffering from hernia or back-problem must avoid SN.  Pregnant women must also avoid SN certainly from third month onwards. (even earlier, perhaps, once pregnancy is known or anticipated)