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How to Do Sun Salutation Yoga

How to Do Sun Salutation Yoga

Aug 19,2022
Sun Salutations are a great way to start practicing Tandem Yoga at home. They warm the body and make you flow. If you're not sure what to do when rolling out non-slip cork yoga mats, start with a few rounds of Surya Namaskar and see where it takes you. After you're familiar with the basic flow of Sun Salutation A, try this slightly more advanced Surya B routine, also from Ashtanga tradition. Thanks to the inclusion of Chair Pose and Warrior I, along with extra vinyasas, the B variant engages your legs and generates more heat.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Start by standing in mountain pose on top of the custom logo yoga mats. Take a few breaths here to allow your awareness to enter your body.

Inhale into Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
On an inhale, lift your arms overhead and bend your knees, sinking the seat toward the floor. Let your palms touch the top of your head or keep your palms at shoulder-to-shoulder distance, if that's more comfortable.

Exhale and fold forward (Uttanasana)
As you exhale, release your arms to the sides while straightening your legs and folded forward while standing. Put your weight slightly on the balls of your feet, keeping your hips above your ankles.

Inhale to Flat Back (Ardha Uttanasana)
On an inhale, reach up to your fingertips or place your palms on your calves, either way you can lift to a flat-back position. Lift your head, keep your neck in the natural extension of your spine, and keep your gaze a few feet in front of your toes.

Exhale and jump back to Four Limbs Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)
As you exhale, bend your knees and soften your elbows, jump your feet to the back of the mat, and land on Chaturanga with your elbows bent 90 degrees. Landing with good alignment is actually quite difficult, so if this jump-back isn't part of your practice, step back to the Plank, and descend to Chaturanga from there on the exhale.

Inhale into Upward Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
Flip to the top of your feet and press into your palms to get into the upward dog. Keeping your shoulders down and softening your elbows, bring your chest through your upper arms.

Downward Dog Exhale (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Lift your hips and return to the balls of your feet (turning one at a time or rolling over) to press back into Downward Dog.

Inhale to Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
As you inhale, step your right foot forward next to your right hand. We usually say step forward with your feet on the inside of your hands, but try putting your feet on the outside of your hands. This automatically sets your feet to the wider, more stable Warrior I. Rotate the ball of the left foot and lower the left heel onto the mat, placing the heel down at about a 45-degree angle (use the alignment of the Liforme yoga mat if you have guide lines). Raise your arms overhead while bending your right knee, keeping your knee above your ankle. Lift your shoulders away from your ears and lift your gaze. You have to move fast to do all of this in one inhalation.

Exhale into Chaturanga Dandasana
On your next exhale, place your hands in front of the mat and step your right foot behind the mat, lowering to Chaturanga. Even if you're moving quickly, keep your toes on your toes before lowering to keep you in a safe alignment. This helps you keep your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Also, remember to only lower to a position where your upper arms are parallel to the floor. They tend to get sloppy when things are going fast, so stay present.

Inhale into Upward Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
Move the rest of your tandem.

Exhale in downward dog
Lift your hips back to Downward Dog.

This time repeat the Warrior I sequence with the left foot forward. Return to downward dog after your vinyasa.
Exhale and fold forward (Uttanasana)
Jump or step your feet to the front of the mat to form a standing forward fold.

Inhale Flat Back (Ardha Uttanasana)
With your hands on your calves or your fingertips on the floor, lift your back flat.

Exhale and fold forward (Uttanasana)
Return to fully folded forward.

Inhale into Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
Bend your knees to bring the seat back into place, and raise your arms over your head to return to chair position.

Exhale into Tadasana
Straighten your legs to achieve a standing position, then place your arms by your sides with your palms facing forward.

Running a few rounds of Sun B while breathing will really get your heart pumping and keep practicing. It's also a natural way to start your own sort, as other standing poses flow easily from Warrior I.
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