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Author: Kanchan D. Rao, Mumbai - 16

Our body, the instrument through which all our mental and physical activities are performed, is probably the most abused and overlooked aspect of our life in case of most of us, if not all. Most of us take our health for granted and wait till it finally breaks down. In a modern world more emphasis is laid on curative measures but our sages were wise enough to concentrate on preventive measures and develop a number of tools to keep their health in the pink. One such tool conceived and being practised years together in India and now abroad also, is Suryanamaskara (salute to the God of Energy - The Sun).

Our Rishis relied heavily on natural resources and these resources were tapped and harnessed by them in various ways for the benefit of mankind. The Sun, the symbol of energy and vitality was made the source of inspiration by our Rishis and the concept of Suryanamaskara was thus born.

Reported benefits of Suryanamaskara are immense like loosening of the spine, relief from backache, and muscular tension, correcting bad posture and maintaining body balance. Suryanamaskara also helps blood circulation and digestion which in turn improves quality of your sleep.

Prevention is always better than cure, so as far as possible take all preventive measures to stop any disease visiting you.

Perform the 12 sequential positions as shown in the following illustrations daily and reap the benefits of being healthy, energetic and happy.

  • Step 1: Stand in a position with your head straight and backbone held erect keeping legs together. Palms held together (touching each other) near the heart. Keep your eyes open and breathing normal. Be in this starting position till your mind develops awareness of your body movements.
  • Step 2: Without lifting your feet stretch your hands together first upward and then your palms facing the sky stretch your body backwards to the possible extent according to your capacity without exerting any pressure. Keeping your eyes open tilt your neck backward looking at the sky. Remain in this position at least for 30 seconds.
  • Step 3: Come back to the standing position and now without bending your knees lean forward and try to touch your toes, and if possible, try to touch your forehead on your knees. Keep your breathing normal and be in this position for minimum of 30 seconds.
  • Step 4: Follow the position as shown in the illustration starting with right leg. Hold the balance of the body on both the hands without bending the elbows. Hold your neck straight and keep the breathing normal.
  • Step 5: Take up the position as shown in the illustration keeping your palms and soles touching the ground firmly.
  • Step 6: In this position as shown in the illustration No. 6 elbows are kept closely held near your chest. The balance of the body should rest on your elbows, forehead touching the ground, legs held together and kept in position as shown above. This posture is called in yoga as Ashtangasana. This posture systematically brings 8 limbs of the body in contact with the Earth drawing energy from it.
  • Step 7: This posture is called Bhujangasana (Snake-position). The body is raised above the ground from the waist and the torso is held backward resting the body balance on both the hands (keep the elbows straight).
  • Steps 8,9,10,11 and 12 are mere repetition of steps 1 to 5 to come back to the starting position of No.1.

The cycle of 12 steps completes 1 set of Suryanamaskara. One can repeat the sets according to one’s capacity, age and time. Suryanamaskara should be performed on empty stomach ideally early in the morning.

Suryanamaskara is a combination of many Yoga Asanas, yet it is not a substitute for Yoga. It does not require external tools or big space. It does not cost you any money. (But, done in a competitive spirit it could have damaging effects on the body). People with certain health problems like High or low B.P., or any other disorders should perform Suryanamaskara under the guidance of the Doctor. If not done correctly it could also result in postural defects.


  1. Keeps your backbone like a spring.
  2. Body becomes flexible.
  3. Keeps you active.
  4. Keeps all the aches and pains at bay.



courtesy : Kanara Saraswat Association Magazine - August 1999