Yoga for all | Think Science India

Yoga for all

What’s the meaning of Asana:-

The Kamadhenutantra defines Asana as:-

A: Atmasamadhi (enlightenment)

Sa: Sarvarogapratibandha (freedom from disease)

Na: Siddhiprapti (success is achieved)

Asana are yoga poses that are performed to attain a specific physical position aided by controlled breathing. These asana have immense physical and mental health benefits. There are around 2500 asana are known worldwide. Through this series of articles we will try to cover up most of the asana in detail. In this series, we will discover different Asanas in every edition.

First we will start with the most common Asana known as Surya Namaskar.


Chart depicting Suryanamaskar

Chart depicting Suryanamaskar

It is also known as “Sun Salutation” in English. It is a common sequence of asana. This is one of the oldest asanas performed. In Suryanamaskar the sequence of movements can be practiced on varying levels of awareness, ranging from that of physical exercise in various styles, to a complete sadhana which incorporates asana, pranayama, mantra and chakra meditation.

When to do Surya Namaskar:-

Surya Namaskar like other Namaskar recommended to be performed on an empty stomach. It is recommended to take a gap of at least of two hours before and after eating for performing the Namaskar. It is generally practiced in the morning before breakfast or in evening.

How to do Surya Namaskar

These asana is considered as a series of 12 physical postures. It includes flexing and stretching of the spinal column through their maximum range by alternating backward and forward bending postures giving a profound stretch to the whole body.

Surya Namaskar is said to have a deep effect in detoxifying the organs through copious oxygenation and so has a deeper relaxing effect.

The basic breathing principle is to inhale during backward postures and exhale during forward bending postures. Synchronizing the breath with the movements of the body is most important.


Twelve postures involved in Surya Namaskar are:-

  1. Pranamasana (Salutation posture) – By joining the hands together stands in a erect position. This helps to induce relaxation, calmness and introversion.
  2. Hastauttanasana (raised arm posture) – Stretch your both arms above your head, after inhaling. Arch the back and stretch the whole body. This posture stretches the chest and the abdomen and  lifts the energy upward to the upper parts of the body propelled by inhalation.
  3. Padahastasana (Hand to foot posture) – Exhaled and bend the body downward and try to touch your feet keeping your hands and palm straight. This position massages your abdominal organs. Increase the power of digestion and also known to eradicate female disorder like prolapsed and menstrual irregularity. Inversion increases blood flow in brain as well as in spine as they are stretched and toned.
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equistrian posture) – After inhalation extend the left leg back and drop knee to the ground. The right knee is bent and foot is placed straight between the two hands. Lift the spine and open the chest. It helps in increasing the capacity of lungs as well as in stretching muscles.
  5. Parvatasana (Mountain posture) – Exhaled and bring the right leg back to join it with left leg. Simultaneously raise the buttocks and lower the head between the arms, so that the body forms a triangle with the floor. Try to place the heels flat on the ground. This posture strengthens the nerves and muscles in the arms and legs, stretches the calf muscles and Achilles’ tendons and makes the spine straight and taut. It relieves varicose veins and tones spinal nerves. Maintaining the posture take a deep inhalation.
  6. Ashtanga Namaskar ( Namaskar with eight limbs) – Exhaling gently drop both knees to the ground and slowly slide the body down at an angle as you bring the chest and chin to the ground. All eight limbs – toes, knees, chest, hands and chin – touch the floor. The buttocks are kept up. Hold the breath. This posture develops the chest and strengthens arms. It sends additional blood to this area helping to rejuvenate the nerves.
  7. Bhujagasana (Cobra posture) – On the inhalation, lower the hips while pushing the chest forward and upward with the hands, until the spine is fully arched and the head is facing up. The knees and lower abdomen remain above the floor. Focus the awareness at the base of spine and feel the tension from the forward pull. This pose gives dynamic expansion to the organs of the chest and abdomen, relieving many ailments such as asthma, constipation, indigestion, kidney and liver problems. It is very helpful in relieving tension in the back muscles and spinal nerves
  8. Now reverse the posture that is from Ashtanga Namaskar to Pranamasana.

Shavasana is done to take rest after doing Surya Namaskar. Lying in a rest position straight on the floor.


Benefits of Surya Namaskar:-

  • Refreshes the skin and prevent skin disorders.
  • By stretching and compressing of abdominal organs digestive system gets improved and person gets rid of constipation and dyspepsia.
  • Thoroughly ventilates the lungs and oxygenates the blood.
  • Tones up the nervous system and increases memory .
  • Normalizes the function of thyroid gland.
  • Improves flexibility
  • Helps to reduce weight and fat.
  • Prevents loss of hair
  • Produce health, strength, efficiency and longevity
  • Refreshes your heart and brain by supplying fresh oxygen.

Restricted for:-

  • Person suffering from back diseases should take advice of their doctors before doing Surya Namaskar.
  • Persons who are facing High Blood pressure and Hernia should avoid this asana.
  • Pregnant woman should not practice these asana.
  • During Menstrual cycle this asana is prohibited.

Author:Ms. Savita Bubna (Asst Editor – Think Science India)                                                                                                


One thought on “Yoga for all

  1. Ravi

    Very infromative.

    July 31, 2015 at 5:09 pm

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