sun salutations

The 12 poses of Sun Salutations offer an opportunity to enhance flexibility and strength while improving circulatory health. The set of postures has been described as the most complete exercise available, so if you have only a limited time or are away from home, the Sun Salutations are your best choice.

Through Sun Salutations, all the major muscle groups and joints are exercised. These poses also massage and stimulate your major internal organs. These postures awaken the connection between your agni, or inner fire, and the sun. When your agni is burning brightly, you are capable of digesting energy and information you ingest on a daily basis; be it food, thoughts or emotions. If your inner fire is weak, you are not metabolizing life’s experiences and that residue will leave you feeling fatigued.

When practicing this form of yoga along with a healthy diet, a good daily routine and the conscious avoidance of emotional toxicity, the Sun Salutations are designed to kindle your inner fire so you can radiate the best of who you are. Performed slowly, these poses encourage flexibility. Performed rapidly, these poses provide a rigorous cardiovascular workout. 

At the Chopra Center, along with each posture of Surya Namaskar, we chant the corresponding mantra to awaken the chakras.

Say these sounds as you perform each pose:

Pranamasana – Salutation Pose 
– Om Mitraya Namaha

Hasta Uttanasana – Sky Reaching Pose
– Om Ravaye Namaha

Pada Hastasana Hand to Feet Pose 
– Om Suryaya Namaha

Ashwa SanchalanasanaEquestrian Pose
– Om Bhanave Namaha

ParvatasanaMountain Pose 
– Om Khagaya Namaha

Ashtanga NamaskarEight Limb Pose
– Om Pooshne Namaha

Bhujangasana Cobra Pose 
– Om Hiranya Garbhya Namaha

Parvatasana Mountain Pose 
– Om Mariachaya Namaha

Ashwa SanchalanasanaEquestrian Pose
– Om Aditya Namaha

Pada HastasanaHand to Feet Pose
– Om Savitre Namaha

Hasta UttanasanaSky Reaching Pose
– Om Arkaya Namaha

PranamasanaSalutation Pose 
– Om Bhaskaraya Namaha

More on sun salutations, hatha yoga and various asanas

Dr. David Simon is medical director and co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing at the La Costa Resort & Spa. He is also co-author with Deepak Chopra of the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. Dr. Simon brings healing, love and strategies for nurturing relationships in his workshops at the Chopra Center. For more information on Chopra Center workshops, visit or call 888.424.6772, ext. 1639.