Essential Sequence: Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar A)

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Surya Namaskar A Sun Salutations

Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations, are the quintessential yoga warm-up sequence. They combine deep breathing with flowing movement, they stretch the entire front and back of the body, and they build strength, too.

There are several variations of Sun Salutations; we thought we’d start with the most basic, which is version “A” in the yoga canon, or Sun Salutation A.

See also Essential Sequence: Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar B)

Sun Salutation A: How To

Before you begin, spend a few breaths in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Notice how your feet feel in contact with the earth — is there more weight on one foot than other? On the front of the foot or the back? Continue to scan your attention all the way up the body, observing the sensations that arise.

Let this inward drawn attention help you start to deepen your breath. Do a total of five rounds of Sun Salutations, syncing each movement to your breath and staying in Downward-Dog for five breaths.

On days when you don’t have time for a long practice, this powerful package of poses can quiet your mind while boosting your energy and give you just the amount of stretch and activation you need to have a calm, productive day. It’s a great morning yoga sequence or try it later in the day when you need an energy boost.

See also The Expert’s Guide to Chaturanga

{illustrations by MCKIBILLO}

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