SUN SALUTATION A AND B

Sun Salutation A and B, otherwise known as Surya Namaskara is a series of movements that are put together in a flow which is called a Vinyasa.  They are the foundations of Ashtanga Yoga and help you develop a calm breath (Ujjāyī), a direction of Energy (Bandha) and concentration (Ḍṛṣti). 

Each pose is connected to the breath as you inhale to extend and exhale to bend.  This encompass a form of meditation as you work on a rhythmic breathing whilst performing the moves.

You build heat in the body as you work through the sequence which helps to flush out toxins and increase flexibility.  Sun Salutation A and B are often used as a warm up before the session.  In the Ashtanga series, they are both executed 5 times through. 

Breathe through your nose and focus on your third eye (the middle place inbetween your two eyes).  This will help you to reduce your thoughts and work in a meditative manner.  If you are finding it hard to breathe then relax and take it easy as you find yourself with the sequence. 

WHY SHOULD YOU PRACTICE THE SUN SALUTATION A AND B?

Sun Salutation A and B have a multitude of health benefits.  They increase your energy, circulation and awareness and bring more emotional stability.  Lengthens and tones your muscles, and is a great cardio workout (if done quickly).  The practice also embraces movement meditation which allows you to practice honor and respect and become centred and grateful.

WHAT ARE THE MOVES OF SUN SALUTATION A

#1. STANDING MOUNTAIN POSE – TADASANA

Feet are hip width apart with your hands pressed in prayer position to your chest or by your side.

#2. UPWARD SALUTE – URDHVA HASTASANA

Inhale as you bring your arms up above your head whilst arching back.

#3. STANDING FORWARD FOLD – UTTANASANA

Exhale as you forward fold from your hips whilst keeping your back straight.  Bend your knees if you need to.

#4. HALF FORWARD FOLD – ARDHA UTTANASANA

Inhale as you come up to a flat back, lengthening your spine and keeping it straight.  Keep your hands on the floor or bring them to your shins like I have done for the modified version. 

#5. FOUR LIMBED STAFF POSE – CHATURANGA DANDASANA

Exhale as you place your hands on the floor and jump or step back into a plank.  Your hands are underneath your shoulders and your feet are hip width apart. Continue to exhale as you lower yourself to the ground.  Elbows go back (like a military push up) and you push back with your heels.  To modify this move, do the chaturanga with your knees on the ground. 

#6. UPWARD FACING DOG – URDVA MUKHA SVANASANA

Inhale and push forward and up onto fully extended arms and keep your elbows tucked into your sides.  Open up your chest and heart whilst bringing your shoulders back.  Place your toes flat on the floor and lift your thighs off the ground.  You can modify this move by keeping your thighs on the ground.

#7. DOWNWARD FACING DOG – ADHO MUKHA SAVASANA

Exhale as you push backwards through your heels and stick your bum into the sky whilst lengthening your spine.  Push though your hands, keep your shoulders down and lift your belly to the sky.  Breathe 5 deep breaths then on the last breath bend your knees, raise your head and look between your hands. 

#8. HALF STANDING FORWARD FOLD – ARDHA UTTANASANA

Inhale as you jump or step forward so that your feet are between your hands.  Come up to a flat back, lengthening your spine and keeping it straight.  Keep your hands on the floor or bring them to your shins.

#9. STANDING FORWARD FOLD – UTTANASANA

Exhale as you forward fold from your hips whilst keeping your back straight.  Bend your knees if you need to.

#10. UPWARD SALUTE – ARDVHA HASTASANA

Inhale as you bring your arms up above your head whilst arching back.

#11. MOUNTAIN POSE – TADASANA

Exhale as you bring your hands back to your chest in prayer position or by your sides.  Repeat the sequence 5 times.

WHAT ARE THE MOVES OF SUN SALUTATION B?

#1. MOUNTAIN POSE – TADASANA

Feet are hip width apart with your hands pressed in prayer position to your chest or by your sides.

#2. CHAIR POSE – UTKATASANA

Inhale as you sweep your arms above your head and sit into a chair posistion.  Do not let the knees go in front of your toes and keep a long flat back.

#3. STANDING FORWARD FOLD – UTTANASANA

Exhale as you forward fold from your hips whilst keeping your back straight.  Bend your knees if you need to.

#4. HALF FORWARD FOLD – ARDHA UTTANASANA

Inhale as you come up to a flat back, lengthening your spine and keeping it straight.  Keep your hands on the floor or bring them to your shins.

#5. FOUR LIMBED STAFF POSE – CHATURANGA DANDASANA 

Exhale as you place your hands on the floor and jump or step back into a plank.  Your hands are underneath your shoulders and your feet are hip width apart. Continue to exhale as you lower yourself to the ground.  Elbows go back (like a military push up) and you push back with your heels.  To modify this move, do the chaturanga with your knees on the ground.

#6. UPWARD FACING DOG – URDVA MUKHA SVANASANA

Inhale and push forward and up onto fully extended arms and keep your elbows tucked into your sides.  Open up your chest and heart whilst bringing your shoulders back.  Place your toes flat on the floor and lift your thighs off the ground.  You can modify this move by keeping your thighs on the ground.

#7. DOWNWARD FACING DOG – ADHO MUKHA SAVASANA

Exhale as you push backwards through your heels and stick your bum into the sky whilst lengthening your spine.  Push though your hands, keep your shoulders down and lift your belly to the sky.  Breathe 5 deep breaths.

#8. WARRIOR 1 – VIRABHADRASANA I

Inhale and you bring your right leg through to your hands (use your hand to bring the leg through if you need to). Raise your arms to the sky and press down on the outter rim of your foot for balance. Place your hands in a prayer position above your head or you can leave them open. 

#9. FOUR LIMBED STAFF POSE – CHATURANGA DANDASANA

Exhale as you place your hands on the floor and jump or step back into a plank.  Your hands are underneath your shoulders and your feet are hip width apart. Continue to exhale as you lower yourself to the ground.  Elbows go back (like a military push up) and you push back with your heels.  To modify this move, do the chaturanga with your knees on the ground.

#10. UPWARD FACING DOG – URDVA MUKHA SVANASANA

Inhale and push forward and up onto fully extended arms and keep your elbows tucked into your sides.  Open up your chest and heart whilst bringing your shoulders back.  Place your toes flat on the floor and lift your thighs off the ground.  You can modify this move by keeping your thighs on the ground.

#11. DOWNWARD FACING DOG – ADHO MUKHA SAVASANA

Exhale as you push backwards through your heels and stick your bum into the sky whilst lengthening your spine.  Push though your hands, keep your shoulders down and lift your belly to the sky.  Breathe 5 deep breaths.

#12. WARRIOR 1 – VIRABHADRASANA I

Inhale and you bring your left leg through to your hands (use your hand to bring the leg through if you need to). Raise your arms to the sky and press down on the outter rim of your foot for balance. Place your hands in a prayer position above your head or you can leave them open.

#13. FOUR LIMBED STAFF POSE – CHATURANGA DANDASANA

Exhale as you place your hands on the floor and jump or step back into a plank.  Your hands are underneath your shoulders and your feet are hip width apart. Continue to exhale as you lower yourself to the ground.  Elbows go back (like a military push up) and you push back with your heels.  To modify this move, do the chaturanga with your knees on the ground.

#14. UPWARD FACING DOG – URDVA MUKHA SVANASANA 

Inhale and push forward and up onto fully extended arms and keep your elbows tucked into your sides.  Open up your chest and heart whilst bringing your shoulders back.  Place your toes flat on the floor and lift your thighs off the ground.  You can modify this move by keeping your thighs on the ground.

#15. DOWNWARD FACING DOG – ADHO MUKHA SAVASANA

Exhale as you push backwards through your heels and stick your bum into the sky whilst lengthening your spine.  Push though your hands, keep your shoulders down and lift your belly to the sky.  Breathe 5 deep breaths then on the last breath bend your knees, raise your head and look between your hands.

#16. HALF STANDING FORWARD FOLD – ARDHA UTTANASANA

Inhale as you jump or step forward so that your feet are between your hands.  Come up to a flat back, lengthening your spine and keeping it straight.  Keep your hands on the floor or bring them to your shins.

#17. STANDING FORWARD FOLD – UTTANASANA

Exhale as you forward fold from your hips whilst keeping your back straight.  Bend your knees if you need to.

#18. CHAIR POSE – UTKATASANA

Inhale as you sweep your arms above your head and sit into a chair posistion.  Do not let the knees go in front of your toes and keep a long flat back.

#19. MOUNTAIN POSE – TADASANA

Exhale as you bring your hands back to your chest in prayer position or by your sides.  Repeat the sequence 5 times.

LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENTS BOX – THANKS

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