Initially, 12 steps of Surya namaskar were practised as an early morning practice prayer to the Lord Surya – who is believed to be the source of all lives in the universe.

Today, yoga students all over the world learn & practice the 12 Steps of Surya namaskar every day as a warm-up exercise before starting yoga asanas and hence it is known as the ‘King of Yoga’ by great yogis. 12-step Surya Namaskara can either be practised with or without mantras.

12 Surya Namaskar Steps

The 12 Steps of Surya Namaskar is a very smooth structured yogic sequence that included 12 yoga asanas performed one after the other.

Here, we highlight information on the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar with names & mantras in the Shivananda style. Related Read: Benefits of Surya Namaskar Steps

12 Steps of Surya Namaskara
12 Steps of Surya Namaskar

How To Do 12 Steps of Surya Namaskar: Step By Step Instructions

To make it easy we have mentioned the Surya Namaskar names of postures below,

The method, process, and mantras along with the benefits of the above-mentioned Surya namaskar 12 steps are detailed below,

Step 1 of Surya Namaskar – Pranamasana or Prayer Pose

How to practice Pranamasana or Prayer Pose:

  1. Stand erect with legs together. Ensure that the weight of the body is equally distributed
  2. Ensure that the shoulders are relaxed without fidgeting
  3. Bring your hands to the heart centre in namaskara mudra
  4. Look straight ahead
  5. Inhale and chant the prayer mentioned below,
Surya Namaskar Step 1: Pranamasana or Prayer Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 1: Pranamasana or Prayer Pose

Step 2 of Surya Namaskar – Hasta Uttanasana or Raised Arms Pose

Surya Namaskar Step 2: Hasta Uttanasana or Raised Arms Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 2: Hasta Uttanasana or Raised Arms Pose

How to practice Hasta Uttanasana or Raised Arms Pose:

  1. Lift your hands keeping the hands and ears in one straight line
  2. Take a gentle backbend to create a slight curve in the back
  3. Legs remain unchanged
  4. Lifting hands and taking a backbend should be done together
  5. Breathe in deeply while staying in the pose

Step 3 of Surya Namaskar – Hasta Padasana or Hand to Foot Pose

Surya Namaskar Step 3: Hasta Padasana or Hand to Foot Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 3: Hasta Padasana or Hand to Foot Pose

How to practice Hasta Padasana or Hand to Foot Pose:

  1. Bend forward from the hips
  2. Try to touch the palms to the floor
  3. If touching palms to the floor is difficult, you can softly bend your knees
  4. Try to touch the forehead to the knees

Step 4 of Surya Namaskar – Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Equestrian Pose

Surya Namaskar Step 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Equestrian Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Equestrian Pose

How to practice Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Equestrian Pose:

  1. From Hasta Padasana, take the right leg as far back as possible keeping the left knee bent. 
  2. While in the pose ensure that the left knee and the ankle are in 90 degrees
  3. If the left knee is ahead of the ankle, with the help of hands pull your left ankle until the knee and ankle are in one straight line (perpendicular to the floor)
  4. With fingers touching the floor, Ensure that the left foot is in between the palms
  5. Face looking straight and right knee rested on the floor with ankles flexed outwards

Step 5 of Surya Namaskar – Dandasana or Stick Pose

Surya Namaskar Step 5: Dandasana or Stick Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 5: Dandasana or Stick Pose

How to practice Dandasana or Stick Pose:

  1. From Ashwa Sanchalanasana, take your left leg back to join the right leg
  2. Keep your body straight like a stick
  3. Look straight ahead and your back is straight as well.
  4. Toes & ankles are flexed inwards

Step 6 of Surya Namaskar – Ashtanga Namaskara or Salute with Eight Parts Pose

Surya Namaskar Step 6: Ashtanga Namaskara or Eight Parts Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 6: Ashtanga Namaskara or Eight Parts Pose

How to practice Ashtanga Namaskara or Eight Parts Pose:

  1. From Dandasana, Lower the chest to the ground
  2. Rest your knees and toes on the floor
  3. Look straight ahead and your back is straight as well
  4. The hip and abdomen are slightly raised up
  5. Only the chin, cheek, knees, and toes are supported on the floor

Step 7 of Surya Namaskar – Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose

Surya Namaskar Step 7: Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 7: Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose

How to practice Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose:

  1. From Ashtanga Namaskara, slide forward and raise the chest and look up at the ceiling
  2. Hug the elbows back into your body
  3. Move shoulders away from the ears & Hands are in line with the shoulders
  4. Legs remain together

Step 8 of Surya Namaskar – Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward-Facing Dog Pose

Surya Namaskar Step 8: Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 8: Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward-Facing Dog Pose

How to practice Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward-Facing Dog Pose:

  1. From Bhujangasana, lift your hips and lower your chest
  2. Spread the palms completely on the floor
  3. Try to touch your feet completely to the floor
  4. Legs remain together

Step 9 of Surya Namaskar – Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Equestrian Pose

Surya Namaskar Step 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Equestrian Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Equestrian Pose

Instructions for the pose:

  1. Repeat the step (4) again but with the opposite side 
  2. Inhale, bring your right foot forward and place it between your hands 
  3. While in the pose ensure that the right knee and the ankle are in 90 degrees
  4. If the right knee is ahead of the ankle, with the help of hands pull your left ankle until the knee and ankle are in one straight line (perpendicular to the floor)
  5. With fingers touching the floor, Ensure that the right foot is in between the palms
  6. Face looking straight and left knee rested on the floor with ankles flexed outwards

Step 10 of Surya Namaskar – Hasta Padasana or Hand to Foot Pose

Surya Namaskar Step 3: Hasta Padasana or Hand to Foot Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 10: Hasta Padasana or Hand to Foot Pose

Instructions for the pose:

  1. From Ashwa Sanchalanasana, exhale and bring your left foot forward
  2. Keep your palms on the ground
  3. If touching palms to the floor is difficult, you can softly bend your knees

Step 11 of Surya Namaskar – Hasta Uttanasana or Raised Arms Pose

Surya Namaskar Step 2: Hasta Uttanasana or Raised Arms Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 11: Hasta Uttanasana or Raised Arms Pose

Instructions for the pose:

  1. lift up the hands keeping the hands and ears in one straight line
  2. Take a gentle backbend to create a slight curve
  3. Legs remain unchanged
  4. Lifting hands and taking a backbend should be done together
  5. Breathe in deeply while staying in the pose

Step 12 of Surya Namaskar – Pranamasana or Prayer Pose

Surya Namaskar Step 1: Pranamasana or Prayer Pose
Surya Namaskar Step 12: Pranamasana or Prayer Pose

12 Steps of Surya Namaskar Mantras & Meaning:

Step in Surya NamaskarMantra In EnglishMeaning
Step 1Om Mitraaya NamahaOne Who is friendly to all
Step 2Om Ravaye NamahaThe sparkling one the lustrous one
Step 3Om Suryaya NamahaPrayer to the one who removes darkness & the one who generates activity
Step 4Om Bhaanave NamahaPrayer to the one who illuminates
Step 5Om Khagaya NamahaPrayers to the one who moves in the sky
Step 6Om Pooshne NamahaNamaste to the one who is the giver of nourishment and fulfillment
Step 7Om Hiranya Garbhaya NamahaNamaste to the one who has a brilliance that shines like gold.
Step 8Om Mareechaye NamahaNamaste to the one who gives light with infinite rays
Step 9Om Aadityaaya NamahaPrayer to the one who illuminates
Step 10Om Savitre NamahaPrayer to the one who is responsible for life
Step 11Om Arkaaya NamahaOne who is worthy of praise and glory
Step 12Om Bhaskaraya NamahaGiver of wisdom and cosmic illumination
12 Poses of Surya Namaskar Mantras & Meaning

Also Read: Benefits of Child’s Pose | Benefits of Halasana | Yin Yoga For Stress Relief | Which temple is known as Black Pagoda?