Path to the pose – Sun Salutation A

Path to the pose – Sun Salutation A

This week I’ll walk you through Sun Salutation A – a basic building block of a vinyasa flow and a way to energise your body and build heat and breath at the beginning of a practice. Anyone can do this sequence, and it’s the perfect start if you want to try yoga. I’ll walk through each pose this week and give some modifications too.

To start come to mountain pose or tadasana. A surprisingly active pose: ground down through your feet, lift up through your inner ankles, active your legs keeping a slight bend in your knees, activate your core and tuck your tailbone down, lift your ribs and chest up and relax your shoulders down your back, spread your fingers wide, feel for growing taller and rooting down!

from mountain pose, take a big inhale and reach your hands up to the sky, keep your low belly active and your tailbone tucked down, and balloon out your ribs with your breath. On your exhale, slowly lower down into a forward fold, bend your knees as much as you need to and let your head hang, inhale and straighten your back into a half way lift, shine your chest forward and tuck your chin slightly to create a straight line along your spine, squeeze your shoulderblades together.

After half-way lift it’s chaturanga or four limbed staff pose. You can get here in three ways: 1) step both feet back to a high plank and lower your knees, slowly bring your chest forward and down until your arms are at a 90 degree angle; 2) step one leg back and then simultaneously bring the other leg back and your chest forward so that when your foot touches the ground your arms are at a 90 degree angle; 3) jump back, but ONLY if you can LAND comfortably with your arms are at a 90 degree angle. Shine your chest forward and stay active in your core. All this on one long slow exhale!

From chaturanga press your chest forward and roll your shoulders down your back for upward facing dog or urdhva mukha svanasana. Press down through your hands and the tops of your feet, and expand your ribs and chest past your arms. Look straight ahead to keep your neck in line with your spine.

After updog, roll over your feet and press back your hips into downward facing dog or adho mukha svanasana. If your hamstrings are tight you can bend your knees. On your inhale lengthen along your spine and lift your ribs, on your exhale pull your low belly in and tilt your tailbone up, feel how you lift up out of your hands. Create space between your head and your shoulders and spin your biceps to face each other.

To finish the sequence, from downward facing dog, inhale bend your knees and look between your hands, exhale and float your feet forward to a forward fold, keeping your core active and hips high. Inhale come back to your half-way lift, exhale relax down again to forward fold, then inhale rise all the way up. End back in tadasana.

Now you can practice the full Sun Salutation A, moving through each pose with your breath. We use Sun-A almost as a warm-up; it generates heat in your body, creates breath, and helps connect your breath and body through movement. After this you can build on the sequence by adding other poses.

How does Sun A feel to you? What feels the most challenging for you? Let me know in the comments!

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