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This week I am sharing my step-by-step instructions on Sun Salutation A (aka Surya Namaskar A), which is a great strengthening and toning sequence.
It is basically a series of linked asanas (poses) that are used as both a warm-up and strengthening routine, synced with your breath. It is traditionally practiced for 5 or 12 rounds and is a symbolism and gratitude to the sun as the source of all life. Salute the sun and tone your body!
After a few rounds of this sequence, you will feel, calm, grounded, aligned, and strong!
You can do this sequence if you’re totally new to Yoga, and even advanced yogis begin their practice with the sequence every time they practice. These series of poses are forever improving, even for the most advanced practitioner.
For your first time, do 1 round, then work your way up to 5 rounds.
Ready? Let’s do it!
Let’s break it down…
- Stand tall in Tadasana, engage your thighs, draw your tailbone down towards your heels, engage your core, shoulders down, hands by your sides and neck long.
- Inhale lift your arms over head to Urdhva Hastasana.
- Exhale, dive down and lean forward on your toes (and slightly bend your knees) until you fold forward to Uttanasana.
- Inhale, as you lift your body halfway up to Ardha Uttanasana, thinking about rolling your shoulders down your back and pulling up your core. Leave your hands on the floor if you can, or place your hands on your shins if you are tight.
- Exhale jump/step/handstand to chaturanga (avoid jumping to plank! Jump back to bent elbows in Chaturanga).
- Inhale and straighten your arms, engage your core, thighs, shoulders down and heart striving forward to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, upward facing dog.
- Exhale engage your core, lift hips up and back to Adho Mukha Svanasana, downward facing dog. Hold here for 3 breaths.
- In an exhalation, jump/step/handstand your feet between your hands.
- Inhale and straighten your spine, place hands on shins or the floor to Ardha Uttanasana.
- Exhale and lower your head down and let your stomach touch your thighs to Uttanasana.
- Inhale and rise up with a straight spine to Urdhva Hastasana, keeping weight in your toes.
- Exhale and seal your practice in with hands in prayer pose in front of your heart.
- Bend your knees as much as you need to in Uttanasana and down dog – keep your spine tall.
- Step/jump/handstand from Ardha Uttanasana to Chaturanga and back.
- If you have difficulty with Chaturanga, you can place your knees down while lowering down.