Sun Salutation Yoga – The Most Common Sequence
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!
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 A Steps
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
- 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.
- Chaturanga! Exhale & keep your elbows pressed to your sides. Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle holding your body up.
- 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.
- 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.
- Inhale and look forward between your hands. You should also shift your weight forwards.
- 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.
- Inhale to a flat back. We talked about this in the third step. Do the same as before.
- Exhale to release and fold. This is a quick forward fold before rising up.
- Inhale and reverse swan dive & rise. Put a slight bend in your knees and rise to stand to bring your arms over your head.
- 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 YogaDownload.com. The best place to get a great practice in with oh so many choices between length, style and pace!