Step by Step Breakdown of the 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 along with this video as we break it down. 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. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
13. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)