Sun Salutation Yoga – The Most Common Sequence

Sun Salutation Yoga – The Most Common Sequence

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Today, let’s go over what a sun salutation yoga is. I will be talking about Sun Salutation A.

I will break down how to do sun salutations – with specific instructions for each pose, a special YouTube sun salutations video and just a general awareness of the sequence.

As always, I love to hear your thoughts and opinions. Please leave them in the comment section below!

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Sun Salutation Benefits

Sun salutations have so many benefits. Some are very yoga related and some are just personal strength. To do a sun salutation requires your strength and breathe.

Sun salutations are great for the beginning of your practice to connect your breath and movement. Below is a complete walkthrough of a sun salutation so I won’t get too in depth now. We all know that yoga flows with the breath and how important it is to move with your breath. When you start your practice with a sun salutation you really do get the full effect of this and it carries on throughout the whole practice.

Sun salutations are great for your overall strength as well. The whole sequence uses basically all of your muscles in some way. The main strength comes from the chaturanga, though! Even when you are in mountain pose, muscles are required to keep your posture and strength in the pose.

Sun Salutation Steps

This will be an explanation of how to do a sun salutation. There is a lot of things to think about while going through this sequence. Please remember all moves are done by your breath. Do these at the pace of your breathe. I found when I first started yoga I held my breath a lot waiting for the instructors next cue. Sun Salutation yoga

Sun Salutation A Steps

  1. Mountain Pose – Start the salutation in mountain pose. Your feet are rooted, tailbone tucked in, core tight, shoulders back and neck long. Stand with your arms by your side and your palms facing forward. Make sure your feet are hip distance apart.
  2. Swoop your arms overhead. This should be done on your breathe in. Palms should be facing each other with your arms externally rotating outwards. Look up at your hands and you can even put a tiny back bend in as well.
  3. Swan dive into a forward fold on your exhale. You should have your back and your neck completely relaxed here. Bend your knees if you have to – to make sure that you aren’t hyperextending them.
  4. Inhale to a flat back. This is where you are in a standing tabletop pose. Inhale and look forward, most people – especially beginners, place their hands on their shins for support. Just ensure your back is truly ‘flat’.
  5. Exhale to fold, plant your hands & walk or hop back into plank. To do a hop back, make sure that your hands are firmly planted and you are really supporting your whole body with them. Shoot your feet out behind you and realign to a proper plank. If you are stepping back, just go one foot at a time.
  6. Inhale and settle into plank. Your shoulders should be stacked over your wrists and you should be pushing forward on your toes. This is when you want to adjust your gaze to be a bit forward.
  7. Chaturanga! Exhale & keep your elbows pressed to your sides. Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle holding your body up.
  8. Inhale to up dog. In updog, the only points of contact on the ground should be the tops of your feet and your hands. When you lower and are hovering above the ground after chaturanga, flip to the tops of your feet and push yourself up into up dog. You will need arm strength to make this a flowing movement.
  9. Exhale and push back into downward dog. Again, you will flip over your toes, use your core to push up and back into downward dog. Check out the link for tips on how to perfect your dog.
  10. Inhale and look forward between your hands. You should also shift your weight forwards.
  11. Exhale & hope or step to the front of your mat for a forward fold. Bring your feet to the top of your mat. If you have a really ‘loud’ hop then go back to stepping. The hop should come when you are able to support yourself with your arms and make little sound moving forwards.
  12. Inhale to a flat back. We talked about this in the third step. Do the same as before.
  13. Exhale to release and fold. This is a quick forward fold before rising up.
  14. Inhale and reverse swan dive & rise. Put a slight bend in your knees and rise to stand to bring your arms over your head.
  15. Exhale into prayer. Put your palms together in a prayer and bring them down to your chest. You should be in mountain pose and consciously thinking about a straight back and engaging your core.

There you have it. A full sun salutation.


Youtube Sun Salutations

I really enjoy this video and hope you do as well. They have done a great job describing everything in slow motion and then speeding it up to regular speed so you get a real-life glimpse of what proper sun salutation poses look like.

Here’s to spreading the love for yoga sun salutations!

I want to thank you now for tuning into sun salutation – yoga. I hope I have been able to help you in some way along your yoga journey with either tips on how to do postures right or sun salutation benefits.

Please, I would love to hear your feedback or if you have any questions about each pose. The comment section below is yours to take advantage of!

As always – quick shoutout to The best place to get a great practice in with oh so many choices between length, style and pace!

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17 Responses

  1. Katy says:

    Thank you for the helpful info! I will try out these yoga positions.

  2. FelixC says:

    Hi, very nice topic. I don’t practice yoga but I heard it is really good for you and to help you learn how to breathe. It is true because in that I am interested in how to breathe. Do you have any techniques for beginners in that area? Thanks and nice information what you have here.

    • admin says:

      Hi Felix,

      Thanks for your comment. Yoga is good for you and it great to help connect you to your breath.

      I would start with belly breathing and practice meditating. From there you can learn about all of the different types of breathing, especially associated with yoga. I will do a post on it shortly.


  3. I am just starting to learn some yoga moves. This one looks like it will take a while to get right but is worth the effort. If I am trying to get into good physical shape from being a complete couch potato how many of these should I aim to do? Would you recommend I do sets of them every day or alternate with something else?

    • admin says:

      Hi Maryann,

      It’s not as challenging as it may seem. It does require strength which you build in time anyways.

      I really wanted to go into detail everything about Sun Salutation A to make sure you are doing it properly.

      I like to start my day off with 5 sun salutations. I also try to do a practice every day as well. It’s what works for you. Even if you are stretching while watching TV you are doing good for your body.

      Thanks for the comment,

  4. Ioannis says:

    Great explanation and video. I am thinking of starting yoga, am 56 years old and have no experience whatsoever. I was looking for information about how yoga is practiced and wanted to see some exercises to see if I could do them or better yet, how much practice it may take. Well I found the site. This post gave me a very good idea of how a “normal” exercise is. I say “normal” because I have a seen a few that look extraordinarily difficult and frankly, they are really scary and intimidating to the newbie. Thank you for the effort you put in the post. It really helps to have a clear presentation to be able to understand how to do an exercise.

    • admin says:


      Firstly, you should start yoga. Do some light stuff first for not as long. Your body and mind will love you for it, I promise.

      Yea, with time people, can learn to do some crazy stuff with their bodies. Don’t worry though, I have made some posts that a newbie should read so you know what to expect and what you can do to start out.

      I appreciate your comment!


  5. Maureen says:

    It has been a really long time since I even attempted yoga. I am so excited to have found this site as I have been looking to get back into it and hadn’t quite found what I was looking for.
    Great site!!

    • admin says:

      Hi Maureen,

      Happy I could be of some help for you! Yoga is a wonderful practice and I really do hope you are able to get back into it!


  6. You provided a lot of information about yoga and its benefits. Looking forward to more.

  7. Lee Ann says:

    Thank you Kahlua for not only your great description for the yoga poses, but for the video as well.
    In today’s society it is so easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed. I have decided to try yoga in order to help free my mind and body from the stress they carry.
    This is what brought me to your site. I am really pleased with the information you have shared with me and I look forward to reading more from you.

    Would you have any tips for beginners?
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Lee Ann

    • admin says:

      Hi Lee Ann,

      Thank you for your wonderful comment.

      I think that deciding to do yoga, for any reason is a great decision and will help you out a lot with stress relief. It is so nice to designate a set time (every day) for you and you only. Yoga allows us to do that. You work on your mind and body.

      I have a couple of posts under my beginner’s section if you would like to take a look.

      Also, please feel free to email me if you have any other questions!


  8. Dira says:

    I’m interested in starting yoga but I’m not sure where to start. I thought I could learn the basics first but now reading about sun salutation yoga I find it interesting. A friend of mine tells me that I can start right away with sun salutation yoga. She tells me that there are many yoga styles to practice as a beginner. What do you recommend?

    • admin says:

      Hi Dira,

      I highly recommend you start yoga. I cannot exclaim how great it is and how many wonderful benefits there are once you commit to a practice.

      Yes, sun salutations are a good start to your practice and you will definitely find that you go through the sequence in basically any class.

      As a beginner, start with something easy like hatha or most studios will tell you who is recommended for each class – ie. beginner, intermediate and so on.

      Just remember, we all start somewhere so don’t ever feel intimidated. Just go and learn and enjoy the class.

      Hope this helps,

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