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The Amazing Power of Sun Salutation

By Suleiha Suguna
Yoga for Anyone


We are all taught in school that the sun is a vital force of energy that makes all life possible.

The sun not only brightens up our days but more importantly it revitalizes the latent energy within our bodies and all other living things.

It is fundamental for all life to exist. 

The sun salutation, or commonly referred to as 'Surya Namaskar' is an ancient exercise sequence that involves physical movements to achieve health and well being.

When you perform the 'Sun Salutation', each and every part of you body is completely rejuvenated and revitalized through the series of postures or asanas performed.

This dynamic sequence of asanas, is the backbone of all Yoga teachings. 

If you are in my yoga class, the Surya Namaskar will be the first thing that you will be taught.

I normally start a student on the Surya Namaskar as this is a compulsory yoga sequence because of its immeasurable benefits. Some of the benefits of the 'Sun Salutation' include: 

It increases your energy levels

It purifies your blood.

It helps stimulate the nerve centres.

It strengthens the abdominal muscles and eliminates stomach ailments.

It squeezes stagnant blood from the abdominal organs.

It removes excess fat and wind.

It helps improve digestion.

It exercises and tones arm muscles.

It tones the spinal nerves and makes the spine supple.

It improves the muscular structure of the body.

It increases stamina.

It makes you resistant to illnesses.

It is a good warm up exercise for your body before any other activity.

It relieves constipation. 

The 'Sun Salutation' consists of three important elements, each of which requires careful attention for the optimum health benefit. These elements are: 

Postures or asanas

Pranayama or breath control

Meditational techniques 

There are twelve postures performed in a sequence along with synchronized breathing and a mental attitude of concentration and awareness.

These twelve postures signify the twelve zodiac signs or twelve months of the year which chart the passage of the Sun.

These twelve postures performed in sequence culminate into one complete cycle of the 'Sun Salutation.' To reap the maximum benefits of the 'Sun Salutation', practitioners should repeat the cycle twelve times.

Ideally it should be performed early in the morning because this helps your body absorb the unpolluted rays of the sun. 

The correct practice of the 'Sun Salutation' is one that is rhythmical, one posture naturally leading to the next.

This dynamic series of postures, involves six postures which proceed in one direction, and another six which mark the return to the original position.

 The synchronization of breathing with each posture is an important constituent of the 'Sun Salutation'.

The sequence of breathing throughout the 'Sun Salutation' consists of: 




The practitioner if possible should follow the correct breathing sequence.

Often the new practitioner may find it difficult to inculcate the proper breathing techniques throughout the sequence.

 If this is the case, normal breathing throughout the sequence is fine. One should end the 'Sun Salutation' with relaxation or Shavasana.

The aim of the this routine is to relax the body and mind completely. It is the easiest of all asanas to physically perform, but the hardest to master. 

If you are serious about practicing the sun salutation, my e-book, Yoga for Anyone covers this in greater detail.

Suleiha Suguna, Principal of Maya Yoga Samudraa, is the author of Yoga for Anyone. This book is a collection of some of the most beneficial yoga postures and it is arranged in a manner similar to that of her classes. Supported with hundreds of illustrations, Yoga for Anyone, will help anyone learn yoga the correct way. Suleiha Suguna comes from a lineage of yoga practitioners and has over 40 years experience in yoga. Check out her book today.

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