Ashtanga Vinyasa Surya Namaskar A

Preparation state of Ashtanga Vinyasa Surya Namaskar A : Samasthiti- Stand straight and erect with feet hips distance apart.

  1. Ekam: Hasta-uttanasana- Inhale, stretch your hands up above head, face upwards, bend the trunk and head slightly backwards. Entire body should be stretched making a small curve in the upper body. Drishti- Thumbs


  1. Dwe: Uttanasana- Exhale, fold forward bending at the hips. Try to keep back straight and elongated (though keeping back completely straight may not be possible). Place the palms on the floor. Try to move your abdomen to touch the thigh and head closer to the feet. Dristi- tip of the nose.


  1. Trini: Urdhva Uttanasana- Inhale, head up, spine straight and stretch, palm still on the floor. Drishti- Third eye. This is 3rd step of Ashtanga Vinyasa Surya Namaskar A.


  1. Chatwari: Chaturanga Dandasana- Exhale, jump back (or step back), entire body straight, toes and palms on the floor, elbows bent at 90 degree. Engage core, palms- fingers, and shoulders.


  1. Pancha: Urdhva-mukha-svanasana- Inhale, move to upward facing dog, bend back, thighs above the floor. Engage the core and entire body should be straight. Engage palms- fingers, and shoulders. Drishti-sky


  1. Shat: Adho-mukha-svanasana- In this step of Ashtanga Vinyasa Surya Namaskar A, the sequence is like this: Exhale, left hips up and backwards, stretch back. Try to touch heels and forehead on the floor. Drishti- navel.  Hold for 5 breaths


  1. Sapta: Urdhva-uttanasana- Jump or step feet up between palms. Dristi-third eye as in three.


  1. Ashtau: Uttanasana- Exhale, bend at hips to uttanasana, gaze tip of the nose.


  1. Nava: Hasta-uttanasana- Inhale, come all the way up fixing sight at third eye. Stretch your hands up, face upwards, bent the trunk and head slight backwards. Drishti- Thumbs. This is the ninth step pf Ashtanga Vinyasa Surya Namaskar A.


  1.  Dasha the last step of Ashtanga Vinyasa Surya Namaskar A: Exhale, hands down, Samasthiti. 

Breathing is very important when you move to another posture from one posture. We follow Ujjayi breath or conscious long-deep breath. This provides better relaxation of mind and muscles. Breath also helps in increasing lungs efficiency and helps to receive enough oxygen. This will enhance awareness level as well.


Effects and benefits of Surya namaskar

  1. Surya namaskar is a very good warm up and body recharge.
  2. It prepares the body for a higher level of asana.
  3. It stimulates our nervous, and muscular system.
  4. It maintains cardiovascular health.
  5. It is very good for weight loss.
  6. It  helps body in stretching and flexing
  7. It tones muscles.
  8. It strengthens the entire body system and also increases the immune system.
  9. Sun salutation improves cognitive functions.
  10. Provides relaxation in the mind and helps in complete improvement of the body.


English translations of the asanas included in Ashtanga Vinyasa Surya Namaskar A

1)      Samasthiti = Sama + Sthiti. “Sama” means balanced or Equanimeous. Here you need to stand straight, elongated with equal weight on the both feet. “Sthiti” means situation state. So the term Samasthiti is a balanced situation of the body and mind.

2)      Hasta Utthanasana= Hasta + Utthana + Asana.  The term “Hasta” means hand. “Utthana” means raised upwards or stretched upwards. “Asana” means a pose.

3)      Uttanasana= Ut + tana + Asana. “Ut” means intense. “Tana” means stretched. You need to stretch your body intensely with forward fold.

4)      Urdhva Uttanasana= Urdhva + Ut + Tana + Asana. “Urdhva” means upwards. Here you will try to see upwards maintaining Uttanasana. Back will remain flat.

5)      Chaturanga Dandasana= Chatuh + anga + Danda + Asana. “Chatuh” means four. “Anga” means organ. “Danda” means stick or staff. Here you need to engage your four limbs with the body straight like a stick.

6)      Urdhva Mukha Svanasana= Urdhva + Mukha + Svana + Asana. “Urdhva” means upright. “Mukha” means facing. “Svana” means a dog.

7)      Adho Mukha Svanasana= Adho + Mukha + Svana + Asana. “Adho” means downwards. The three words means downward facing dog pose.

Rest of the steps are repeated from 6th to 1st during the Ashtanga Vinyasa Surya Namaskar A.