Sun Salutation A

Sanskrit: Surya Namaskara A

Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara) were first introduced to yoga in the 1930s by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. In total, there are twelve poses in the Sun Salutation family and they are linked together by breath and movement. Sun Salutations can be practiced anywhere in the sequence, but most usually you will find them near the start of the practice, and you will likely do several rounds. Practicing Sun Salutations helps to establish your breath connection and heat your body from the inside. All of this is excellent preparation for the rest of your practice.

There are three Sun Salutations that we practice at the studio - Classical, A and B.

In Sun Salutation A you work through six poses, some repeated twice. You move at the pace of your breath. Hold Downward Facing Dog for five breaths.

How to work through a round of Sun Salutation A:

  • From Mountain Pose (Tadasana), inhale your arms overhead to Extended Mountain pose (Urdhva Hastasana)

  • Exhale to fold forward to Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

  • Inhale to send the chest forward into Half Way Lift (Urdhva Uttanasana)

  • Exhale to step back to High Plank (Kumbhakasana)

  • Inhale to bring your shoulders over your wrists

  • Exhale to drop your knees, chest and chin to the mat or lower through Chaturanga Dandasana

  • Inhale to untuck your toes and send your chest forward into Cobra (Bhujangasana) or Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

  • Exhale to press back into All Fours or directly to Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Stay in Downward Facing Dog for five breaths

  • Inhale to step to the top of your mat in Half Way Lift (Ardha Uttanasana)

  • Exhale to Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

  • Inhale your arms overhead to Extended Mountain (Urdhva Hastasana)

  • Exhale to return to Mountain pose (Tadasana). Samasthithi.

Variations

  • Instead of Knees-Chest-Chin, take Four Limb Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

  • Instead of Cobra (Bhujangasana) take Sphinx (Salamba Bhujangasana)

  • Instead of Cobra (Bhujangasana) take Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

PosesEmma Gartside