There are 3 Sun Salutations, A, B and Classic.
Here we will be learning Sun Salutation Classic. You can practice as many rounds as feels good for you. Completing the sequence on both sides is 1 round. Start with 2 or 4 rounds and build up over time. Some people do as many as 180 rounds especially on equinox, changing of seasons and big events such as weddings. Take it slow, focus on your alignment but also have fun with how your body feels.
The 12 poses:
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
2. Upward Solute (Urdhva Hastasana)
3. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
4. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
5. Plank (Phalakasana)
6. Knees-Chest-Chin / Chaturanga
7. Cobra (Bhujangasana)
8. Downward Facing Dog (Adho mukha śvānāsana)
9. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana))
10. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
11. Upward Solute (Urdhva Hastasana)
12. Mountain Pose ( Tadasana )
1. Start in a standing position with feet together, back straight, tailbone gently guiding downwards, core engaged and gaze forward. Bring hands together at heart into a prayer position and close your eyes. Become aware of your breath, allow it to slow down into a peaceful rhythm, evening out your inhale and exhale.
2. On your next inhale, lift your arms up overhead, shoulder blades drawn down the back and lift your gaze, coming into a slight backbend. Only bend as far as is comfortable for you – you want to think of opening your heart and less about bending your back. Keep a soft bend in the knees. Hands can touch or palms can face each other.
3. On your exhale, bring your hands to prayer position over your heart as you hinge over your hips and slowly dive down through your midline. Make sure as you dive to keep your chest lifted and your back straight. Think length as you fold forward rather than how far you can get nose to knees. Bring your hands or fingertips to the floor, shins, or ankles
4. On your inhale, lift your head up to look forward, ground your hands, Exhale as you step right foot back behind you, right knee down. Grounding through the left foot. Inhale raise arms over head. Shoulders blades drawn down the back, switch on left glute to feel the lift and support through core.
5. Exhale Ground both hands, step back to plank position. Be mindful to keep correct alignment – hands under shoulders, neck in line with spine, tailbone in a neutral position. Really push into the ground here imagine your heart lifting through to your back body. Take an inhale here.
6. Exhale as you drop your knees slowly to the floor, tuck your elbows in and drop your chest and chin to the floor, keeping your gaze forwards.
7. On your inhale, slide your entire body onto the ground. Untuck your toes, keep your elbows tucked in and lift through your chest, straightening your arms and coming into a cobra. Full cobra – arms are straight and head, chest and abdomen are lifted – if this is too much for you come into a Baby Cobra – keeping the elbows bent will mean the backbend is smaller. Press your thighs and top of feet into the floor, drop the shoulders away from the ears and lift through your chest.
8. On your exhale, tuck your toes, and send your hips up and back into Downward Facing Dog. Send your chest towards your thighs, sending your heels towards the ground – it’s ok to keep a bend in your knees here. Lengthen through your arms, wrapping into upper arms, drawing shoulder blades away from, staying grounding in your hands with fingers spread. Engage your core and thighs, lifting knee caps.
9. On your inhale, step your right foot forward and left knee down – low lunge.
10. On your exhale, bring your left leg through to meet your right and come back into standing forward bend – straighten both legs as you fold.
11. On your inhale, reverse dive upwards, hinging at the hips to bring you up to standing. Keeping a soft bend in the knees and rooting down through the feet use your legs to lift you. Spread the arms wide to the side as you rise. Bring your arms up overhead either to come together or with palms facing each other shoulder-width apart.
12. On your exhale, bring the arms down into prayer position at heart centre.
You have now completed a full round of Classic Sun Salutation!