There’s 12 steps but only seven asanas, because of course they repeat on the way out and on the way back. Before we get into it in detail, there’s no question that there are many, many accounts of Surya Namaskar – the Salute to the Sun – out there. Different positions in different orders, different sequences, different understandings. What I’m hoping to do is persuade you that the detailed explanation of each asana you find here is rare. Even in B.K.S. Iyengar’s Light on Yoga (paperback revised edition, 1979. ISBN: 0-8052-1031-8. Also Harper Collins 2011), the standard global text for modern hatha yoga practice, the descriptions aren’t as inwardly extensive as you get if you concentrate on each muscle group and feel the flow of Pran, Ch’i, the life force, the subtle energy, through your channels. The asanas in the 12 steps (with their connections to the Seven Powers) are:
1. Standing Prayer – Tadasana #1, The Power of Nature 2. Extended Mountain – Tadasana 2, also the Power of Nature. 3. Forward bend – Uttanasana, the Power of Creativity. 4. Lunge, right leg forward. Can’t find the Sanskrit name for this one. The Power of Endurance. 5. Plank – Chaturanga Dandasana, The Power of Love. 6. Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana, the Power of Communication. 7. C0bra – Bhujangasana, the Power of Focus. 8. Child – Balasana, the Power of Connection. 9. Lunge, left leg forward. The Power of Endurance. 10. Forward bend – Uttanasana repeat, the Power of Creativity. 11. Extended Mountain – Tadasana 2 repeat, the Power of Nature. 12. Standing prayer – Tadasana repeat, the Power of Nature.
More detailed explanation of each asana in the following posts.