[Pose Of the Week] Start Your Practice with Sun Salutation A
Sun Salutation A is a wonderful way to start off any yoga practice – but it is always used at the beginning of an Ashtanga yoga class. Here’s how to do it…
An Ashtanga yoga session always starts off with a Sun Salutation sequence, and since we’re discussing Ashtanga yoga this month, I thought it would be a good time to share some tips for this important series of poses. While it’s not a single pose, the Sun Salutations are normally done in sequence together, so this week’s “Pose of the Week” is the Sun Salutation A series. This unique series of poses is done in many different yoga classes – not just Ashtanga.
Sun Salutation (Sūryanamaskāra) has a couple of different forms in the Ashtanga practice, and this is the “A” version. We will be covering the “B” version later in the month, so stay tuned.
The Sun Salutation A sequence helps to mobilize all of the various joints in your body, improving flexibility and strength, while increasing blood flow and warming up your muscles, which makes it a great way to start off just about any yoga session.
Be sure to inhale and exhale through your nose only as you move through the poses in this order:
1. Standing Mountain Pose — Tadasana
2. Upward Salute — Urdhva Hastasana
3. Standing Forward Fold — Uttanasana
4. Half Standing Forward Fold — Ardha Uttanasana
5. Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga Dandasana
6. Upward-Facing Dog Pose — Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
7. Downward-Facing Dog Pose — Adho Mukha Svanasana
8. Half Standing Forward Fold — Ardha Uttanasana
9. Standing Forward Fold — Uttanasana
10. Upward Salute — Urdhva Hastasana
11. Mountain Pose — Tadasana
Repeat the sequence 2-3 times to warm and energize the entire body. This is also a great way to take a quick yoga break during the day and recharge yourself and stretch tight muscles!
The demonstration below breaks down each movement in the sequence and includes variations for beginner level students.