Basics of Sun Salutation A

Basics of Sun Salutation A

A few rounds of Sun Salutations will help get your breath moving, heart pumping and revitalize the body and mind energy. Sun Salutations are common sequences that are at the foundation of flow-style yoga. In Sanskrit, the ancient language of yoga, it’s called Surya Namaskara, which translates to salute the sun.

There are different variations of Sun Salutes depending on the school of yoga, but lets take a look at traditional Sun Salutation A, or Surya Namaskara A.

Sun Salutation A

1.  Come to the top of your mat for Mountain Pose. Bring the feet together; activate your legs and arms by your sides.

2.  Take a moment to bring awareness to your breath and set a positive intention to start off Sun Salutation A.

3.  Inhale – Raise your arms overhead and gaze at your thumbs.

4.  Exhale – Fold forward, relax your shoulders and extend the crown of the head towards the floor.

5.  Inhale – Hands either to the mat or the shins, look up and lengthen your spine.

6.  Exhale – Step back to plank and hug your elbows close to the body as you bring your body parallel to the ground and shoulders parallel with your elbows. {To modify, take the knees down to the mat and come all the way to the ground, hugging the elbows close in to the body.}

7.  Inhale – Scoop your chest forward and balance on the tops or your feet and press firmly into your hands. {To modify, keep the thighs on the mat.}

8.  Exhale – Curl the toes under and lift your hips up and back into Downward Facing Dog. Feet are hip distance apart and the spine is long. Your gaze is at the navel or between your feet to relax the head and neck. Breathe here for 5 deep breaths.

9.  Inhale – Step the feet forward between your hands and look up and lengthen your spine.

10. Exhale – Fold forward, relaxing your head and neck.

11. Inhale – Press into your feet and come all the way to standing. Float the hands overhead, palms meet and gaze at your thumbs.

12. Exhale – Hands back to your side to Mountain Pose.

These Sun Salutes are a terrific way to help get the heart rate up and warm the body at the beginning of your yoga practice. When I’m short on time and want to practice, Sun Salutations are my go-to sequence.

Still unsure what to do and want to learn this sequence? Then join us for our Introduction to Yoga course that starts this Friday, May 1st at 5:30pm. The class meets for three consecutive weeks. Space is limited to 12 students and the cost is $33. Learn more and enroll here. We hope you’ll join us or tell a friend who might be interested.