Surya Namaskar A

Ashtanga Sun Salutation Basics

If you're doing vinyasa yoga, you're probably practicing Ashtanga sun salutations without even realizing it. Surya namaskar A is the most basic sun salutation. In the Ashtanga primary series, each practice starts with 5 rounds of surya namaskar A, followed by 5 of surya namaskar B. These sequences are used in many other yoga traditions as well.

Unless otherwise noted, movement from one pose to the next occurs on each breath.

1
Samasthiti (Tadasana)

Mountain Pose - Tadasana
Mountain Pose - Tadasana. © Ann Pizer
Begin in samasthiti.

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2
Raised Hands Pose - Urdhva Hastasana

Raised Hands Pose - Urdhva Hastasana
Raised Hands Pose - Urdhva Hastasana. Ben Goldstein
Inhale. Bring the arms up over head.

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3
Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana

Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana
Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana. Barry Stone
Exhale. Fold forward over the legs.

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4
Flat Back

Flat Back. © Barry Stone
Inhale. Come up onto the fingertips with a flat back.

5
Four Limbed Staff Pose - Chaturanga Dandasana

Chaturanga Dandasana
Chaturanga Dandasana. © Barry Stone
Exhale. Flatten your palms and jump or step back to chaturanga dandasana.

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6
Upward Facing Dog - Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Upward Facing Dog - Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Upward Facing Dog - Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. © Barry Stone
Inhale. Roll over the toes to upward dog.

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7
Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana. © Barry Stone
Exhale. Roll back over the toes to down dog. Take five breaths here.

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8
Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana

Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana
Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana. Barry Stone
Exhale. Jump or step forward.

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9
Raised Hands Pose - Urdhva Hastasana

Raised Hands Pose - Urdhva Hastasana
Raised Hands Pose - Urdhva Hastasana. Ben Goldstein
Inhale. Bring the arms up above your head.

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10
Samasthiti (Tadasana)

Mountain Pose - Tadasana
Mountain Pose - Tadasana. © Barry Stone
Exhale. Return the arms to your sides.

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