Yoga for Beginners: Sun Salutation A With Each Pose Explained!

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You may be wondering what the heck a “Sun Salutation” is and why every yogi on the planet seems to be doing it all the time. Well that’s because Sun Salutations are yoga sequences used in every Vinyasa style yoga class. They are series of yoga poses that have been around for hundreds of years. So yeah, they’re pretty important to understand regardless if you’re a new yogi or long-time yogi mastering your practice.

Sun Salutations build heat in the body and are often used as warm-up sequences for a yoga practice. I personally love doing this sequence first thing in the morning or in the middle of the day when my energy is beginning to crash.

Sun Salutation A is a sequence that incorporates fundamental yoga poses including Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Upward Facing Dog ( Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), and Chaturanga Dandasana. In this video I break down exactly how to perform each of these poses with perfect form to ensure you safely and effectively maximize all of the benefits from your practice. Once you master the poses in Sun Salutation A, move on to practicing the Sun Salutation B sequence.

Before you dive into the Sun Salutation A tutorial, here are a few of my best tips to keep in mind when practicing this sequence:

  • Take your time! Perfect form is a thousand times more important than rushing and trying to “keep up”. Taking your time will also GREATLY reduce your chance of injury and INCREASE the benefits you will receive from your practice.
  • If you are practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, movements are typically performed one breath per movement.
  • Breath in and out of your nose throughout this sequence, focusing on ujjayi breath. Have no clue what ujjayi breath is? In a nutshell it’s performed by constricting the back of your throat while breathing in and out of your nose. Your breath will sound like the waves of the ocean. Still lost? If you sound like Darth Vader you’re on the right track.
  • Engage your core in each pose. The more your core is engaged, the better your form will be and the more you will benefit from each movement.
  • Modify poses as needed! If you’re struggling to perform Chaturanga Dandasana from your toes, then modify on your knees until you build the proper strength to perform the full movement. Getting injured trying to “look cool” isn't worth it.
  • Use this sequence any time of the day as a complete body awakening routine. I recommend practicing this sequence first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day when you're feeling tired, or as a quick total body workout throughout the day.
  • Have fun! Laugh, fall, roll over, and just have a good time! Yoga is meant to be a fun, so don’t take yourself too seriously.

Time to get on the mat! I recommend grabbing a notebook and jotting down any “AHA!” moments you have throughout the video. Namaste!

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