Surya Yantrasana

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Surya Yantrasana Mean?

Surya yantrasana is a challenging seated asana that stretches the hamstrings and opens the shoulders. The name is derived from the Sanskrit, surya, meaning “sun,” yantra, meaning “instrument,” and asana, meaning “pose.”

To enter this pose, begin seated in dandasana (the staff pose) on a yoga mat. Bending the right knee, grab hold of the outside of the foot with the left hand. Keeping the right shoulder on the inside of the right knee, place the right hand on the ground inside the right hip. Still holding the right foot with the left hand, swing the right leg over the right shoulder. Lean slightly to the right then mindfully straighten the right leg. Gently twist the torso to the left, with the drishti (gaze) past the upper left arm. Hold for three to five breaths then release. Repeat with the opposite leg. A yoga strap can be used if the foot is out of reach.

Surya yantrasana is commonly referred to as sundial pose or compass pose in English.


Yogapedia Explains Surya Yantrasana

Surya yantrasana is an advanced and challenging asana. It is important to warm up properly beforehand. It may take time to enter into the full expression of this asana however practicing it helps build patience, focus, stability and self-confidence. It is a useful pose to learn stability and how to stay motivated while overcoming mental blocks and limitations.

The benefits of this pose include:

  • Builds self-confidence
  • Stretches groin, hips, abductors and thighs
  • Lengthens and tones side body
  • Improves and builds balance
  • Opens hips and shoulders
  • Strengthens core muscles and back body

Note: Yogis with shoulder, hip or hamstring injuries may choose to skip this asana. Optionally one can keep the lifted leg bent and use a yoga strap to stabilize the pose.

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Sun-dial Pose

Compass Pose

Sundial Pose

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