Home Practice: Surya Namaskar, Pranamasana


In each posture we use three bodily cues to move into the correct alignment:  Press points, extensions and energetic extensions.  Press points generally press into the mat or toward the ground.  Extensions are generally directed upward and energetic extensions generally connect press points to extensions.  In the image at the left, I have added a dark arrow for the press point, a white arrow for the extension and a black arrow with a dotted line for the energetic extension.

Pranamasana, Alignment

Eyes are open, looking straight ahead with a soft gaze.  Feet are close together†.  Hands in prayer position.  Press down into the feet as you inhale and extend up the spine to the crown of the head.  The shoulders are relaxed away from the ears.  The hands pressed gently together in prayer position, also known as Anjali Mudra.  The energetic extension is from the heels, up the legs and the length of the spine to the crown.

To engage the energetic extension, imagine an elastic band that reaches from the heels to the crown.  Press down into the feet on the inhale and extend up through the crown to stretch this imaginary elastic band.

Pranamasana, Intention

Pranamasana is generally an opportunity to feel gratitude and to embody it through the posture.  Personally, I find this posture quiets my mind and allows me to drop into the sensations I feel at that moment.  It is also not uncommon for me to experience gratitude and acceptance for my body as it is or to feel love for those who have taught me but most often, I feel a sense of calm, centering me for sadhana.


Set a timer for 5 minutes.  Step into pranamasana and be still.  What do you experience?  Share your experience in the comments below!

Jai Bhagwan!

†Varies from what is shown on the chart.