Beginner Yoga: How to Do Sun Salutations

Sun Salutations is an amazingly beneficial yoga sequence that is perfect for beginners and advanced yoga practitioners alike! Here’s how to do it right…

Walking into a yoga class for the first time can be intimidating, even in a beginner class. If you want to feel like you know what you’re doing – at least a little – before attending a class with other people, one of the best things you can do as a beginner is to learn how to do a Sun Salutation.

Sun Salutations include 8 of the most common yoga poses, so you can feel right at home in yoga class since you’ll already be familiar with the basics! Oh, and don’t be spooked by the long names – we included them below just so you can start getting familiar with some of the pose names you may hear in yoga class.

By the way, Sun Salutations aren’t just for beginners! In fact, these series of poses will take all of the joints and muscles in your body through their full range of motion. Feeling stiff and tired? Need an energy boost? Want to relieve pain and stiffness? Do a few Sun Salutations for an amazingly quick and effective pick-me-up! Don’t have time to work out? I have been known to do 10 minutes of Sun Salutations and call it a day – you’ll feel a lot more amazing afterwards, and not so guilty about skipping yoga class! 🙂

Here are the 8 basic poses you will flow through during a Sun Salutation. To see a demo, watch the video below:

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

2. Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)

3. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

4. Standing Half-Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana)

5. High Plank (Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana)

6. Modified Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

7. Cobra (Bhujangasana)

8. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

To complete the sequence, you will then repeat poses 4, 3, 2, and 1, ending in Mountain Pose – watch the video demonstration here:

Find full instructions for each pose at


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