How to Perform a Sun Salutation

A few weeks ago, I showed you how to “flow” by taking you through the steps of this Vinyasa flow: High Plank > Chaturanga > Upward-Facing Dog > Downward-Facing Dog. This week, we are adding on to our flow with a full Sun Salutation.

The Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskara (SOOR-yuh nah-muh-SKAR-uh), is a series of poses performed in a sequence to create a flow of movement. Sun Salutations build heat in the body and are often used as warm-up sequences for a yoga practice. These poses lengthen and strengthen, flex and extend many of the main muscles while distributing energy throughout your body.

Sun Salutations serve as meditation in movement, reducing depression, anxiety and stress while building mental focus and concentration as it links movement with breath.

To perform a Sun Salutation, follow these simple steps; feel free to modify them to suit your mood and energy level. 

Repeat the Sun Salutation as many times as you desire. Be sure to alternate legs for the lunge.

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

2. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)

3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

4. Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend)

5. Lunge

6. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

7. Kumbhakasana (Plank Pose)

8. Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)

9. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)

10. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

11. Lunge

12. Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend)

13. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)