But before doing Surya Namaskar, make sure that you are standing tall and your toes are pointing forward. Your feet are parallel and directly below the hips. Roll your shoulders back, chest open, chin parallel to the floor and look at a point in front of you.Here are the 12 different postures of Surya Namaskar and their benefits:
Position 1: Prayer position - keep your palms together in front of your chest.
Position 2: Stretch your arms up, take time to stretch your arms properly and lengthening both sides of your body and then slightly arch back. Make sure that your head always remains in between your hands and lock your knees.
Position 3: Stretch all the way forward, make your back as flat as possible and come down. Place your palms on either side of your feet and drop your head down. Make sure that your knees are locked and see that your bodyweight is evenly distributed on your feet so that the weight is not entirely on your heel. Keep the fingers and toes in one straight line.
Position 4: Take the right leg all the way back and keep your knees on the mat and make your foot flat. See that your hip is down, chin is up and chest is open.
Position 5: Take the other leg back into a straight line, keep your shoulder and wrist in one line and see that your neck is in line with your spine and your feet and heels are together.
Position 6: Drop the knees down and allow the hips to stay up and bring the chest and chin down. Keep the elbows close to the body and place your chin on the mat. Now slide the chest forward and chin up; the minute you do that you flatten your feet to protect the lower back. Bring the heels together and your inner thighs are squeezed together. Your back is now slightly arched and your chest is open.
Position 8: Tuck the toes, lift your hips up into a inverted 'V' shape. Here your hips are up, your knees are locked, the head is in between your hands. The heels should touch the ground if possible.
Position 9: Bring the same right leg that you took back, all the way forward, place the chin up, knee down and foot flat. In this position the most important thing to remember is that your knee and ankle are in one straight line; sometimes the knee goes all the way forward which places a lot of stress on the knees, so make sure that the knee and ankle are in one line and your palms are flat.
Position 10: Now bring the other leg forward and stretch all the way down and drop your head down.
Position 11: Stretch your arms forward and come back up and arch head in between your hands.
Position 12 : Bring your both palms by the side of your body and relax.
One round of Surya Namaskar comprises of these twelve postures done on both left side and right side. The above demonstration was for the right side and the same postures are to be repeated on the left side to complete one round of Surya Namaskar.