Sun Salutation For Beginners: How To Do Surya Namaskar A&B Step By Step

Sun salutation for beginners

Sun Salutations A&B (or Surya Namaskar A&B) are yoga sequences rich with meaning and key parts of modern-day flow-based yoga classes. This set of invigorating linked yoga poses is said to have originated thousands of years ago, although there is much to be debated about who really created this practice or ritual. In this article, we're getting into sun salutations for beginners and the basics of how to do sun salutations in yoga, including which poses are included and in which order.

Let's flow into the basics of Surya Namaskar and Surya Namaskar B!


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The meaning of Surya Namaskar

In Sanskrit, Surya means “Sun” and Namaskar means “to bow or adore.” So in combination, Surya Namaskar essentially translates to “salute the Sun.” But according to Yoga Journal, there are many theories about the purpose, intention, and history behind Surya Namaskar.

When thinking about how to do sun salutations in yoga, we can look at it as essentially bowing to or greeting the sun.

These yoga sequences are performed by linking breath to movement, with inhales and exhales in sync with each specific posture. And as with anything, there are many adaptations and variations that have developed over the years. But really, breath-to-movement is one of the basic principles of how to do sun salutations in yoga.

Surya Namaskara A has fewer postures, and the postures are less challenging. Surya Namaskara B includes a few extra yoga asanas, also known as postures, that are more intense such as Chair Pose and Warrior 1.

How to prepare for yoga sun salutations

If you are a beginner, an ideal way to prepare your body for sun salutations is to stand in tadasana (mountain pose), take a few deep breaths, and come into stillness on your mat. Softly close your eyes, roll your shoulders back and down, lift your chest, slightly tuck your navel and ribs, engage your fingers and upper arms, and breathe.

Sun salutations are often the warm-up for Vinyasa yoga classes and many other types of yoga classes as well. In many cases, they are preparing the body for the full yoga class to follow.

Online yoga classes are ideal for learning and practicing yoga and working on your sun salutation technique. You can practice yoga on your own time in your own space with the world's best yoga instructors.

See our recommendations for the best online yoga classes for both beginners and advanced yogis alike.

The 8 steps of Surya Namaskar A – Sun Salutation A

YouTube video
  1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose – hands in prayer)
  2. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)
  3. Uttanasana A (Forward Bend)
  4. Uttanasana B (HalfWay Lift)
  5. Chaturanga Dandasana (Low Plank)
  6. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)
  7. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  8. Tadasana (Mountain Pose – hands in prayer)

The 10 steps of Surya Namaskar B – Sun Salutation B

YouTube video
  1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose – hands in prayer)
  2. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
  3. Uttanasana A (Forward Bend)
  4. Uttanasana B (HalfWay Lift)
  5. Chaturanga Dandasana (High plank to low plank)
  6. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)
  7. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  8. Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)
  9. Chaturanga Dandasana (High plank to low plank)
  10. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)
  11. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  12. Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)
  13. Chaturanga Dandasana (High plank to low plank)
  14. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)
  15. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  16. Uttanasana A (Forward Bend)
  17. Uttanasana B (HalfWay Lift)
  18. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
  19. Tadasana (Mountain Pose – hands in prayer)

How to do yoga sun salutation A&B – Surya Namaskar A&B

How to do yoga sun salutation A and B infographic.
Yoga Sun Salutation A&B Surya Namaskar A&B

Sun salutations are a sequence of yoga poses that are performed while linking breath to movement. They include some of the most common core yoga poses. Learning sun salutations is highly recommended if you plan to attend any sort of yoga class because they are often included in the class sequence.

FAQ about Surya Namaskar A&B

Which pose starts all sun salutations?

Mountain pose (or Tadasana) is the starting pose for all yoga sun salutations.

How long should you hold each pose in sun salutation?

How long each pose is held in sun salutation is slightly dependent upon which type of yoga you are practicing. Some styles of yoga may hold each pose for 10-15 breaths, while other types of yoga may stay in each posture for just one breath.

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Heather
Heather

Heather is a Certified Yoga Teacher the visionary behind The Yogatique, her passion project. She created The Yogatique to help yogis & other growth-oriented individuals discover premium high quality trainings and classes in the yoga & wellness space. Heather is a RYT-200 and a practicing yogi of more than 15 years. She is also a global citizen who has been living abroad for 10 years. Her passions include health & fitness, studying healthspan & longevity, exploring the road less traveled, & SEO. Heather can be reached at heatherj@theyogatique.com, or you can connect with Heather on LinkedIn.

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