Sun Salutation step by step

If you have taken any of our vinyasa classes then you are a bit familiar with the Sun Salutations we do over the class. We do both Sun Salutations and vinyasas. Taking a vinyasa is basically a mini Sun Salutation, it starts in Plank pose and ends in Downward-Facing dog. There are two variations for the Sun Salutation and the vinyasas, one for beginners and one more suitable for intermediate or advanced students.

 

Sun Salutation step by step 

 

Mountain pose – Tadasana

Start with your feet together toes and heels touching, body weight all over the feet, arms down by your side.

 

sun salutation step by step

 

Upward Salute – Urdhva Hastasana

On an inhale bring your arms over your head sideways palms touch, look up towards your hands.

 

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Standing forward fold – Uttanasana

Exhale as you fold forward from the hips. Bend your knees if necessary. Rest your hands beside your feet, look towards the knees relaxing your head.

 

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Half standing forward fold – Ardha Uttanasana

Inhale as you lift your torso halfway, looking forward, lengthening your spine forward so your back is flat. Keep your fingertips on the floor, or bring them to your shins.

 

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Standing forward fold – Uttanasana

Exhale as you fold forward from the hips. Bend your knees if necessary. Rest your hands beside your feet, look towards the knees relaxing your head.

 

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Plank pose – Kumbhakasana

  • Inhale as you come into a high push-up position stepping your right foot back and then the left, with your hands under your shoulders and feet hip-distance apart.

 

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Four- Limbed Staff Pose – Chaturanga Dandasana

  • Exhale as you lower your body toward the floor keeping a 90 degree angle on your arms, trying to keep the shoulders in line with the elbows. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides. Straighten your legs and reach back through your heels.

 

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Upward-Facing Dog Pose – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

  • Inhale as you draw your chest forward and straighten your arms. Draw your shoulders down away from the ears. Press through the tops of your feet, pointing your toes back, lifting your thighs off the floor and fully engaging your leg muscles. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides.

 

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Downward-Facing Dog Pose – Adho Mukha Svanasana

  • Exhale as you lift your hips and roll over your toes, placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Hands are shoulder width distance apart and the fold of your wrists should be parallel with the top edge of your mat. Feet are hip width distance apart, press your feet and heels towards the floor, even if you can not touch your heels down. Keep your shoulders away from the ears and relax the head, look between the knees of between the feet.

 

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Half standing forward fold – Ardha Uttanasana

Step your right foot and then the left foot forward. Inhale as you lift your torso halfway, lengthening your spine forward so your back is flat. Keep your fingertips on the floor, or bring them to your shins.

 

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Standing forward fold – Uttanasana

Exhale as you fold forward from the hips. Bend your knees if necessary. Rest your hands beside your feet, look towards the knees relaxing your head.

 

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Upward Salute – Urdhva Hastasana

On an inhale bring your arms over your head sideways palms touch, look up towards your hands.

 

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Mountain pose – Tadasana

On an exhale bring your palms to the center of your chest.

 

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Modifications

There is a particular posture during this sequence that might be quite hard and difficult for beginners. That posture is Chaturanga Dandasana, it is difficult to keep the right form while lowering down, it takes time to develop strength and we tend to either open the elbows out to the sides or we lose the straight line in our spine.

 

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You want to keep your elbows tucked in to the sides of your body.

 

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The modification for this is to lower down with your knees on the floor, keeping your elbows tucked in, allowing your body to slowly develop the strength it takes to lower down with legs straight and flat back.

 

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Keeping your knees on the floor lower down either all the way to the floor or hovering from the floor, then push up to Upward-Facing dog with arms straight and shoulders away from the ears, make sure you don’t sink on your shoulders, instead, draw your shoulders back and down.

 

Incorrect form: shoulders coming up close to the ears

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Correct form: shoulders drawing down and back

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Or just push to cobra (arms at a 90 degree angle).

 

Cobra

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Then use your knees to come up to Downward-Facing dog.

 

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sun salutation step by step

 

Your body is always different from class to class, we always want to work keeping the right form first and then going for depth in the posture, taking care of your body during class, make sure you do your modifications if you need to, listening to how your body is feeling during class in order to avoid injuries or pain.

 

There you go, thats Sun salutation step by step. Feel free to always ask questions if there is something you don’t understand or if  something doesn’t feel right, we are here to help you so you can get the best out of your practice!