Salute The Morning With A Sun Salutation A
Rise and get ready to shine, beautiful yogis! Start the day gathering peace and power with a few rounds of Sun Salutation A. We promise after three rounds you’ll feel warmed-up and ready to take on the day!
Sun Salutation A is broken down into a series of 14 postures that come full circle; the series ends the same way it begins. Typically, it’s done for three rounds, but feel free to continue flowing or add on to it however your heart desires! If you are new to yoga, this is an excellent way to develop your skills as a first timer. Many yoga sequences are built off of Sun Salutations, so it really is a great foundation for your practice and the perfect place to start.
We recommend taking the first round slowly. Really experience each posture and your body in them, maybe even shutting down the eyes to heighten other senses, if it feels good. In the second and third rounds, you can begin to really flow through each posture, one breath at a time. And speaking of breath…if Sun Salutations are the foundation of yoga, your breath is the foundation of that foundation. Always keep awareness on the breath, inhaling and exhaling through the nose.
Ready? Let’s begin…
1. Mountain Pose
Greet the morning with an open heart and closed eyes. Stand tall, as if a string is pulling you up towards the heavens. With hands at heart center, feet come together and big toes kiss. Feel yourself root down through the earth as it holds you up, supporting you and enabling your practice. Shoulders are relaxed. Legs engaged but not hyperextended (keep a micro-bend in the knees, if need be). Come into your breath and pause for gratitude, knowing this breath, this life force, is what will carry you through today’s practice and through every precious moment of life.
Arms circle out wide and reach up towards the sky as the body lengthens. Hands are parallel to one another.
3. Swan Dive
Exhale. Arms circle out and with a flat back, swan dive forward, leading with the heart. Head is last to surrender.
Gaze comes forward. Lengthen to a flat back. Hands on your thighs, shins or ground. Legs straight or slightly bent.
5. Forward Fold
Exhale. Fold in to yourself.
Gaze forward. Lengthen to flat back.
7. Plank Pose
Exhale. Plant your palms on the outside of your feet. Step or float to high plank, with a micro-bend in the elbows. Hands shoulder distance apart, feet hip-distance. Your beach bum stays flat. Abs are engaged. Exhale. With bent elbows pinned to your side, lower down (chatarunga).
8. Upward Facing Dog
Inhale. Roll forward and onto the tops of your feet. Thighs remain lifted off of the ground. Head and heart shine forward.
9. Downward Facing Dog
Exhale. Roll back over the tops of your feet. Hips lift up and back. Imagine a belt around your waist and someone pulling it from behind. Feet hip-distance apart, hands shoulder distance. Fingers spread nice and wide, rooting into the ground. Head is relaxed, turn it back and forth saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Gaze towards the navel. Peddle the feet, bending each knee one at a time. Take five breaths here, slowly and evenly inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Inhale. Lift the heels. Exhale. Bend the knees. Gaze comes forward. Step or float to the top of the mat, between your hands.
11. Forward fold
Exhale. Fold into yourself.
12 & 13. Reverse Swan Dive
Inhale. Lift the head. Arms circle wide, as you lift with a flat back up to standing. Hands are parallel with one another.
14. Mountain Pose
Exhale. Hands to heart center. Close the eyes. Breathe. When you are ready, begin again.
As you step off the mat, bring with you the peace, patience and awareness you found this morning. Have a beautiful day!
Mandy Moran is an eternal ray of optimism, ever curious, ever excited about the world. She’s a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and trained yogi, who has practiced everywhere from lakeside retreats in Guatemala to the bamboo studios of Bali. When not galavanting the globe, she’s living in and loving the city of Detroit.