Sun Salutation A

The Ashtanga Series A Sun Salutation is a more vigorous version of the Classical Sun Salutation. Series A builds upper body strength, physical endurance, and power. Sun salutations are practiced 2-6 times in a row and traditionally practiced at sunrise.
Level: Beginner to Intermediate.


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Contraindication: Recent or chronic injury to the back, knees, hips or unmedicated high blood pressure.

∗Downloadable MP3 Audio for this Sequence:
Sun Salutation Series A

1. Start in Mountain with the palms together.

yoga pose

A. Place the feet together or 2-3 inches apart, parallel, and facing forward.

B. The palms are lightly pressed together with the shoulders back and down, and the chest presses in towards the thumbs.

C. The crown of the head lifts up, and the chin is parallel to the floor.

2. Inhale and sweep the arms up with palms together.

yoga pose

A. Stay in Mountain alignment.

B. Look up at the thumbs.

C. Lift out of the waist, reaching up towards the sky.

3. Exhale into Forward Fold.

yoga posture

A. Press the palms flat to the floor; if necessary, bend the knees slightly. If you have the flexibility, bring the fingertips in line with the toes.

B. Reach the forehead in towards the legs.

4. Inhale and lift into Upward Forward Fold.

yoga posture

A. Lift half way up with the arms, legs and back straight.

B. The fingertips can touch the floor, or you can place the palms on the shins or knees.

C. Lift the chest, and look up as high as comfortable.

5. Exhale and jump the feet back into Chaturanga.

yoga pose

A. Step one foot at a time or jump the feet back into plank position.

B. Lower the chest, hips, and legs down to the floor as if doing a push-up.

C. Keep the elbows bent in towards the sides of the body.

D. Keep the body 1-2 inches above the floor if possible.

6. Inhale into Upward Facing Dog.

yoga posture

A. Scoop the chest forward, straighten the arms, and roll onto the tops of the feet.

B. Reach the crown of the head up, press the chest forward, and lift the hips and legs off of the floor. Bend the elbows slightly if it feels like you are straining the low back.

7. Exhale into Downward Facing Dog.

yoga pose

A. Tuck the toes under, bend the elbows, and lift the hips up and back.

B. Press firmly into the hands and arms to press the hips back. Let the head hang from the neck, and press the heels into the floor. The legs are straight or can be slightly bent to flatten the back.

8. Inhale and lift into Upward Forward Fold.

yoga posture

A. Lift half way up with the arms, legs, and back straight.

B. The fingertips can touch the floor, or you can place the palms on the shins or knees.

C. Lift the chest, and look up as high as comfortable.

9. Exhale into Forward Fold.

yoga posture

A. Press the palms flat to the floor; if necessary bend the knees slightly. If you have the flexibility, bring the fingertips in line with the toes.

B. Reach the forehead in towards the legs.

10. Inhale and sweep the arms up with palms together.

yoga pose

A. Stay in Mountain alignment.

B. Look up at the thumbs.

C. Lift out of the waist, reaching up towards the sky.

11. Exhale and bring the palms together into Mountain.

yoga pose

A. Place the feet together or 2-3 inches apart, parallel, and facing forward.

B. The palms are lightly pressed together with the shoulders back and down, and the chest presses in towards the thumbs.

C. The crown of the head lifts up, and the chin is parallel to the floor.

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