Surya Namaskar Poses and the Zodiac Explained

Did you know that the 12 poses in Surya Namaskar Poses correspond to the 12 signs of the zodiac? That’s right, this ancient yoga practice is not just about stretching and strengthening your body – it is a symbolic dance that mirrors the movements of the cosmos. Each pose targets specific energy centers in the body, aligning them with the corresponding zodiac sign’s influence.

Now you might wonder, how can a series of gentle, flowing movements rival the intensity of a heart-pounding run? Well, that is the beauty of Surya Namaskar Poses it seamlessly blends strength, flexibility, and mindfulness into a single, dynamic practice.

In this article, we are diving deep into the world of Surya Namaskar Poses, exploring its types of surya namaskar,12 poses of surya namaskar,surya namaskar images, benefits of Surya namaskar, practice tips of surya namaskar poses, Common Mistakes in 12 poses of Surya namaskar.

Vedic Roots: According to this theory, Surya Namaskar Posestraces its origins back to the Vedic period, spanning approximately from 1500 to 500 BCE, in ancient India. During this era, it is believed that Surya Namaskar was a ritualistic practice that involved paying homage to the rising sun through a series of prostrations. Surya” means sun and “Namaskar” means salutation in Sanskrit. This connection to the sun points towards a practice of sun worship, a common theme in Vedic traditions.

20th-Century Evolution: Another theory proposes that the specific sequence of poses comprising the modern Surya Namaskar Poses we practice today evolved in the early 20th century. During this time, influential figures such as Bhawanrao Shriniwasrao Pant Pratinidhi, and the Rajah of Aundh, played a pivotal role in popularizing and potentially refining the practice. Through his efforts, the practice gained prominence and began to spread beyond the confines of ancient rituals into mainstream yoga culture.
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Types of Surya Namaskar

  1. Traditional Surya Namaskar: This is the classical form of Surya Namaskar Poses consisting of 12 poses of surya namaskar performed successively. It incorporates a balanced combination of forward bends, backward bends, and stretches, offering a comprehensive workout for the entire body.
  2. Slow Surya Namaskar: In this variation, each pose is held for a longer duration, allowing for deeper stretching and relaxation. Slow Surya Namaskar is ideal for beginners or those looking to cultivate mindfulness and awareness in their practice.
  3. Dynamic Surya Namaskar: Dynamic Surya Namaskar Poses involves moving through the poses at a faster pace, synchronizing each movement with the breath. This variation increases the cardiovascular benefits of the practice and promotes agility and coordination.
  4. Power Surya Namaskar: Power Surya Namaskar is characterized by adding variations or challenging modifications to the traditional sequence. This may include incorporating advanced yoga poses such as handstands or balancing postures to enhance strength and stamina.
  5. Pranayama-focused Surya Namaskar: In the context of yoga, particularly in sequences like the 7 types of pranayama the emphasis lies in synchronizing breath with movement. This approach enhances the meditative quality of the practice, fostering deep relaxation and inner peace. Throughout the sequence, practitioners maintain a focus on deep, rhythmic breathing, which not only complements the physical postures but also aids in calming the mind and centering oneself.

Difference Between Types of Surya Namaskar and Surya Namaskar Poses

Aspect Surya Namaskar Poses Types of Surya Namaskar
Definition The sequence of individual yoga postures within Variations or modifications of the traditional
the practice of Surya Namaskar. Surya Namaskar sequence.
Number of Poses Consists of 12 specific poses performed in a Can vary in the number of poses and the order in
sequential manner. which they are practiced.
Focus Emphasis on physical execution and alignment Focus may include changes in speed, intensity,
of each pose within the sequence. breath coordination, incorporation of additional
elements such as props or meditation techniques.
Purpose Provides a structured framework for the Offers different approaches to the practice, catering
practice of Surya Namaskar. to various preferences, skill levels, and objectives.
Examples Pranamasana (Prayer Pose), Hasta Uttanasana Slow Surya Namaskar, Dynamic Surya Namaskar,
(Raised Arms Pose), etc. Power Surya Namaskar, etc.

12 Poses of Surya Namaskar

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose):
12 poses of surya namaskar

  • Stand at the front of your mat, feet together or hip-width apart.
  • Palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position.
  • Center yourself and set intention.
  • Inhale deeply through your nose, exhale fully.
  • Close your eyes or soften your gaze, focusing inward.

Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
surya namaskar poses

  • Inhale deeply and slowly.
  • Extend arms overhead, palms facing each other or touching.
  • Arch back slightly.
  • Lift your gaze towards the sky.
  • Lengthen the spine from the tailbone to the fingertips.

Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
surya namaskar poses

  • Exhale slowly and completely.
  • Hinge forward from the hips.
  • Keep spine long and chest open.
  • Bring hands to the floor beside feet or grasp ankles.
  • Bend knees if necessary to maintain length in the spine.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose):
12 names of surya namaskar asana

  • Inhale deeply and steadily.
  • Step the right foot back, placing the knee on the floor.
  • Left foot moves forward between the hands.
  • Ensure the left knee is directly above the left ankle.
  • Lift gaze and chest, opening the heart center.

Dandasana (Plank Pose)
12 poses of surya namaskar

  • Exhale slowly and steadily.
  • Step the left foot back to meet the right foot.
  • Engage core muscles to maintain a straight line from head to heels.
  • Palms planted firmly on the mat under shoulders.
  • Press through palms, keeping arms straight and strong.

Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight-Limbed Pose)
surya namaskar mudra

  • Exhale slowly and completely.
  • Lower knees, chest, and chin to the floor.
  • Keep elbows close to the sides of the body.
  • Hips remain slightly lifted off the ground.
  • Maintain engagement in the core and thighs.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):
12 names of surya namaskar

  • Inhale deeply and steadily.
  • Slide forward on the mat, straightening the arms.
  • Lift the chest and gaze upward.
  • Keep the shoulders relaxed and elbows bent.
  • Open the front of the body, engaging the back muscles.

Parvatasana (Mountain Pose):
surya namaskar images

  • Exhale slowly and completely.
  • Lift hips up and back.
  • Straighten the arms and legs.
  • Press palms firmly into the mat.
  • Lengthen the spine and draw heels towards the floor.

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose):
12 names of surya namaskar

  • Inhale deeply and steadily.
  • Step the right foot forward between the hands.
  • Lower the left knee to the floor.
  • Ensure the right knee is directly above the right ankle.
  • Lift the gaze and chest, opening the heart.

Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose):
surya namaskar poses

  • Exhale slowly and completely.
  • Hinge forward from the hips, maintaining a long spine.
  • Bring the hands to the floor beside the feet or grasp the ankles.
  • Keep the knees straight or slightly bent if needed for comfort.
  • Relax the head and neck, allowing the upper body to fold forward.

Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose):
surya namaskar 12 steps

  • Inhale deeply and steadily.
  • Extend your arms overhead, palms facing each other or touching.
  • Keep your arms straight and aligned with your ears.
  • Arch your back slightly and lift your chest upwards.
  • Lengthen your spine from your tailbone to your fingertips.

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose):
surya namaskar names

  • Stand tall at the front of your mat, feet together or hip-width apart.
  • Bring your palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position.
  • Keep your fingers pointing upward and elbows gently pressing out.
  • Close your eyes if comfortable or maintain a soft gaze.
  • Take a moment to center yourself and set your intention for the practice.

Surya Namaskar Mudra

The Surya Namaskar mudra, or hand gesture, typically used during the practice of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), is called Anjali Mudra. Anjali Mudra is the same as Pranamasana, the prayer pose, which is the starting and ending position of each round of Surya Namaskar.Anjali Mudra is performed by bringing the palms of the hands together in front of the heart center, with the fingers pointing upward and the thumbs resting lightly against the sternum. This gesture symbolizes unity, balance, and the connection between the individual self and the universal consciousness.

 12 Poses of Surya Namaskar According to Zodiac Signs

surya namaskar poses

  1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose): Represents Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, symbolizing initiation, new beginnings, and self-awareness.
  2. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose): Corresponds to Taurus, signifying stability, grounding, and connection to the earth.
  3. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose): Relates to Gemini, representing duality, versatility, and the integration of mind and body.
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose): Associated with Cancer, reflecting nurturing, emotional expression, and the flow of energy.
  5. Dandasana (Plank Pose): Linked with Leo, embodying strength, courage, and leadership.
  6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight-Limbed Pose): Pertains to Virgo, symbolizing attention to detail, self-discipline, and service to others.
  7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose): Corresponds to Libra, representing balance, harmony, and awakening the heart center.
  8. Parvatasana (Mountain Pose): Associated with Scorpio, signifying transformation, inner power, and the ability to rise above challenges.
  9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose): Relates to Sagittarius, embodying exploration, expansion, and spiritual growth.
  10. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot Pose): Corresponds to Capricorn, symbolizing ambition, perseverance, and the journey towards mastery.
  11. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms Pose): Linked with Aquarius, representing innovation, humanitarianism, and freedom of expression.
  12. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose): Relates to Pisces, embodying compassion, intuition, and connection to the divine.


In conclusion, the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar intertwine with the symbolism of the zodiac signs, offering a profound journey through the cosmos within each salutation. From the fiery initiation of Aries to the compassionate intuition of Pisces, each pose resonates with the energy of its corresponding sign, aligning the practitioner with the universal forces at play. By understanding the significance of these poses in relation to the zodiac, we unlock a deeper connection to ourselves and the universe, inviting balance, strength, and transformation into our lives. Surya Namaskar is not merely a physical practice; it is a celestial dance that ignites the spirit and nourishes the soul, guiding us on a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment.

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