Sun Salutation A

Definition - What does Sun Salutation A mean?

Sun Salutation A is the most basic of the many variations of the Sun Salutation vinyasa. It blends a series of fundamental poses that flow together with rhythmic movement and breathing. In general, Sun Salutation can serve as a complete yoga asana practice, as a warm-up at the beginning of a yoga class or, on a spiritual level, to welcome the day and activate the inner sun's energy.

Known in Sanskrit as Surya Namaskara, this asana sequence is basic to most styles of yoga, including Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Power yoga. In Ashtanga, yogis perform five rounds of sun salutation A at the beginning of practice. The number of rounds varies in other types of yoga.

Yogapedia explains Sun Salutation A

When practicing Sun Salutation A, breathing should be through the nose, which warms the air, just as the vinyasa warms up the body. Typically, the yogi exhales when bending or folding and inhales when extending.

There may be slight variations in this vinyasa, but typically the Sun Salutation A poses in order are:

  • Mountain pose (tadasana)
  • Upward salute (urdhva hastasana)
  • Standing forward fold (uttanasana)
  • Half forward fold (ardha uttanasana)
  • High plank pose (utthita chaturanga dandasana) into four-limbed staff pose (chaturanga dandasana)
  • Upward-facing dog (urdhva mukha svanasana)
  • Downward-facing dog (adho mukha svanasana)
  • Half forward fold (ardha uttanasana)
  • Standing forward fold (uttanasana)
  • Upward salute (urdhva hastasana)
  • Mountain pose (tadasana)
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