Breaking Down the Yoga Sun Salutation A - Beginner

Sun Salutations are a series of Yoga Asanas (Poses) connected through breath. There are 2 Sun Salutations: Sun Salutation A & Sun Salutation B


This is a breakdown of Sun Salutation A - Beginner



Begin in Tadasana

Begin in Tadasana

Stand with your big toes together and 1” space between heels. Abdominals should be engaged, hugging up and in towards the spine. Tailbone should be tucked under. Arms should be active and engaged, fingers spread to help with this. Gaze straight ahead.


Inhale – Upward Solute

Raise your arms above your head, palms together or shoulder width apart, facing each other. Arms can go out to the sides or out to the front. Keep shoulders down, pulling your shoulders blades down your back. Gaze up to palms.


Exhale – Forward Fold

Hinge from the hips as you fold forward, almost arching your back, bringing the palms to the mat beside your feet. Gaze towards shins.


Inhale – Flat Back

Inhale – Flat Back

Finger tips on floor or hands on shins or thighs as you flatten your back. Gaze straight ahead if hands on floor or down to floor if hands on shins or thighs.


Exhale – Forward Fold

Bring your hands back beside feet. Reach chin to shins. Gaze towards shins.


Inhale – Plant Palms

Plants your palms beside feet in forward fold position.




Exhale – Plank

Exhale – Plank

Step or hop back into a plank position, keeping the body in a straight line. Shoulders should be stacked above wrists.


Inhale – Hold Plank



Exhale – Lower to Belly

Hug elbows to side and slowly lower to belly, keeping your abdominals engaged and back straight.


Inhale – Cobra

Inhale – Cobra

Point your toes back and keep your hips on then mat as you lift your chest. Keep your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Gaze to the sky.




Exhale – Downward Dog

Exhale – Downward Dog

Keep your hands where they are, tuck your toes, and lift your hips up & back. Push your heels to the mat. Keep your legs straight and work on having a straight line from the heels to the hips and the hips to the wrists. Hold for 5 breaths.


Inhale – Gaze Between Palms

Look between your palms as you prepare to take your feet to the top of the mat.


Exhale – Forward Fold


Exhale – Hop Up to Forward Fold

Bring feet between palms, big toes touching and 1” space between your heels. Reach your chin to your shins. Gaze towards shins.


Inhale – Flat Back

Finger tips on floor or hands on shins or thighs as you flatten your back. Gaze straight ahead if hands on floor or down to floor if hands on shins or thighs.


Exhale – Forward Fold

Bring your hands back beside feet. Reach chin to shins. Gaze towards shins.



Inhale – Upward Solute

Inhale – Upward Solute

Use your leg & glute muscles to raise to a standing position, bringing your arms above your head, palms together or shoulder width apart, facing each other. Arms can go out to the sides or out to the front. Keep shoulders down, pulling your shoulders blades down your back. Gaze up to palms.


Exhale – Tadasana

Lower arms to sides. Gaze straight ahead.


A common Yoga tradition that Yogis practice is called 108 Sun Salutations. Yogi will string Sun Salutation A together for 108 repetitions. Traditionally, 108 Sun Salutations celebrated the change of seasons, also known as equinoxes. Modernly, 108 Sun Salutations can celebrate any change in life, whether it be spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical. The number 108 is significant in Yoga as it represents completion.


I hope this outline helps you to practice your Sun Salutation A correctly and safely.

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