Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutation A) Tutorial

Posted by | Asanas | January 21, 2015

Sun salutations, an ancient sequence of movements to express gratitude to the sun, are a key part of the vinyasa yoga practice. As a teacher there are many reasons why you’ll love having your students practice this sequence:

  1. It is a wonderful warming sequence for any class
  2. It consists of many foundational asanas useful for students of all levels
  3. It is a great uniting sequence creating a common energy flow between your students
  4. It is a basic skeleton from which you can build various flows from by adding additional asanas

Below you will find our Surya Namaskar A tutorial (for Surya Namaskar B tutorial click here).  Remember that asanas are best practiced on an empty stomach.

sun-salutation-surya-namaskar

1. Begin in Tadasana (Mountain pose), feet either together or hip width distance, hands by your side.

Tadasana, Mountain Pose, woman

2. Inhale, bringing your arms out to the sides and then joining your palms above your head in Urdhva Hastasana (raised arms pose). Raise your gaze to your hands and slide your shoulders away from your ears.

Urdhva-Hastasana

3. Exhale, release your arms to your sides as your forward bend over your legs coming to Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose). If possible allow your hands to come to the floor, or you can place them on your shins or a block.

 

4.  Inhale, lift your head and chest to come to Ardha Uttanasana (Half Forward Bend Pose).  Extend through the crown of your head as your press either your fingertips again the ground or your shins.

Ardha-Uttanasana

5. Exhale, release back into Uttanasana, and then jump back with bent elbows into Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose).  Elbows hug your ribs as you lower to the floor.

chaturanga-dandasana

If the jump is not available to you, first exhale into Uttanasana.  Next inhale, walking the feet back to Plank Pose – shoulders over the wrist, creating a straight line from the crown to the heel (with the butt neither sinking nor popping up).  Continue by exhaling into Chaturanga Dandasana.

If lowering directly through Chaturanga Dandasana is not available to you, lower to the floor by dropping your knees, chest, and chin to the floor, keeping your butt high and your elbows hugging your ribs.

6. Inhale, chest lifts and opens to the front in Urdhva Mukka Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose), thighs and knees lifted.

If Urdhva Mukka Svanasana is not available to you lift up into mini or full Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), thighs and knees remain on the ground.

A standard pose to help warm up the back

7. Exhale, press back into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose).  Hips high, palms press into the floor, shoulder firm down towards tailbone, heels press towards the ground.

adho-mukha-svanasana

8. Inhale, walk or jump your the feet to the front of the mat raising into Ardha Uttanasana.

Ardha-Uttanasana

9. Exhale, release to Uttanasana.

source: YogaOutlet.com

10. Inhale reaching both arms up by side and then raising them overhead as you hinge at your hips raising back to Urdhva Hastasana.

Urdhva-Hastasana

11. Exhale the arms back down to Tadasana.

Tadasana, Mountain Pose, woman

Wonderful, that concludes our Surya Namaskar A tutorial!  For the Surya Namaskar B tutorial click here.

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