Surya Namaskar Steps: Type A, Version 1

Surya Namaskar Steps: Type A, Version 1

Here are the surya namaskar steps for Type A, Version 1. This version is ideal for beginners. I nominated this version of surya namaskar A as “Version 1” because it is very closely based on the famous, reference book Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha written by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, which was first published in 1969 for the teachers training course at the Bihar School of Yoga. This book is currently one of the foremost books available on Hatha yoga. It’s easy to understand, even for yoga beginners, and frequently used in yoga teachers training courses around the world. Almost every teacher and serious student of yoga has this book in their yoga library. If you’re serious, or even keenly interested, in Hatha yoga, I suggest you do the same.

There are 12 surya namaskar steps in Type A, Version 1, for each cycle. Two cycles of surya namaskar equals one round. In the first cycle, lead with your right foot for surya namaskar steps 4 and 9. In the second cycle, use your left foot, instead of the right foot, for surya namaskar steps 4 and 9. Each step flows into the next one, synchronized with your breath. For proper form in surya namaskar, INHALE and EXHALE is indicated. It may seem overwhelming at first to perform this many steps in one breath, but this will come easily with practice.

Surya Namaskar Step 1 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 1 for Type A, Version 1 is Pranamasana – Prayer Pose

1. Stand upright at the top of your mat with your feet together, big toes touching, and close your eyes.
2. Bend your elbows, relax them by your sides and place the palms of your hands together in pranamasansa – prayer pose, also known as the yoga hand position namaskara mudra.
3. Relax your shoulders. Stand with proper posture so the crown of your head radiates to the sky.
4. Breathe normally.

Surya Namaskar Step 2 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 2 for Type A, Version 1 is: Hasta Utthanasana – Raised Arms Pose

1. Open your eyes.
2. Separate the palms of your hands and INHALE as you straighten your elbows as you reach towards the sky.
3. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart and gently flex your wrists so you fingers are pointing behind you.
4. Relax your head back to look at your thumbs, which brings you into a slight back bend. Relax your shoulders away from your ears.

Surya Namaskar Step 3 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 3 for Type A, Version 1 is Padahastasana – Hand to Foot Pose

1. EXHALE and forcibly contract your abdominal muscles as you hinge at your hips to bend forward and bring your nose as close to your knees, or shins, as possible. Keep your arms by your ears.
2. Touch your fingertips, or palms of your hands to the floor. Place the tips of your fingers in line with the tips of your toes.
3. As your bending over, keep a flat back until your upper body is parallel with the floor. Then, round your back as necessary to get into the proper position. Knees are straight, quadriceps are contracted.

Surya Namaskar Step 4 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 4 for Type A, Version 1 is Ashwa Sanchalasana – Equestrian Pose

1. Place your all your fingertips on the floor, keeping them in line with the tips of your toes – bending your knees to do this if you have to. Fingers together and pointing forward, arms straight.
2. INHALE as you take a big step back with your right foot so your right leg is fully extended behind you, while at the same time bending your left knee. Do not bend your knee past the tips of your left toes.
3. Bend your right knee to rest your right shin on the floor and extend your ankle to rest the top of your foot on the floor. You can keep your foot flexed and toes on the floor if you like.
4. Tilt your head back by looking up and relax your shoulders.

Surya Namaskar Step 5 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 5 for Type A, Version 1 is Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog

*This is complex yoga pose. I provide additional an additional link at the bottom of the page so you can read another, more detailed, description from Yoga Journal.
1. Flex your right ankle to come up onto the tips of your right toes and straighten your right knee so your shin comes off the mat.
2. Place your palms flat on the floor with your fingers spread apart, EXHALE and extend your left foot back to meet your right foot.
3. Lift your hips into the air so you make a triangle with the floor.
4. Straighten your arms. Reach your heels towards the floor.
5. Look at your navel and relax your neck.

Surya Namaskar Step 6 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 6 for Type A, Version 1 is Ashtanga Namaskara – Salute with 8 Points

1. HOLD YOUR BREATH as you lower your knees, chin and chest to touch the floor in that order.
2. Keep your hands and feet in the same position and bend your elbows.
3. Look forward.
4. The eight points are your chin, chest, 2 hands, 2 knees and 2 feet.

Surya Namaskar Step 7 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 7 for Type A, Version 1 is Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose

1. Keep your hands and feet in the same place.
2. INHALE and point your toes to place the tops of your feet on the floor and push your body forward so your knees are almost straight and your hips rest on the floor.
3. Look up and bend your head back as you use your hands to lift your shoulders, and possibly your rib cage, off the floor with a slight back bend.
4. Hug your elbows close to your ribcage and relax your leg muscles.

Surya Namaskar Step 8 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 8 for Type A, Version 1 is Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog

1. EXHALE, straighten your arms flex your feet and lift your hips into the air so you make a triangle with the floor.
2. Reach your heels towards the floor.
3. Look at your navel and relax your neck.

Surya Namaskar Step 9 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 9 for Type A, Version 1 is Ashwa Sanchalasana

1. INHALE as you step your right foot forward so your fingertips are even with the tips of your toes.

2. Your left leg is fully extended behind you. Do not bend your right knee past the tips of your left toes.

3. Bend your left knee to rest your left shin on the floor and extend your ankle to rest the top of your foot on the floor. You can keep your foot flexed and toes on the floor if you like.

4. Tilt your head back by looking up and relax your shoulders.

Surya Namaskar Step 10 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 10 for Type A, Version 1 is Pasahastasana — Hand to Foot Pose

1. EXHALE and forcibly contract your abdominal muscles as you step your left foot forward together with your right foot into a forward bend. Bring your nose as close to your knees, or shins, as possible.

2. Place the tips of your toes in line with the tips of your fingers.

Surya Namaskar Step 11 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 11 for Type A, Version 1 is Hasta Utthanasana – Raised Arms Pose

1.  INHALE as you come back to a standing position with a flat back and  reach towards the sky.

2. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart and gently flex your wrists so you fingers are pointing behind you.

3. Relax your head back to look at your thumbs, which brings you into a slight back bend. Relax your shoulders away from your ears.

 Surya Namaskar Step 12 – Type A, Version 1

Surya namaskar step 12 for Type A, Version 1 is Pranamasana – Prayer Pose

1. Bend your elbows, relax them by your sides and place the palms of your hands together in pranamasansa – prayer pose, also known as the yoga hand position namaskara mudra. Close your eyes.

2. Stand upright at the top of your mat with your feet together, big toes touching.

3. Relax your shoulders. Stand with proper posture so the crown of your head radiates to the sky.

4. Breathe normally.

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