How to do a proper Sun Salutation 101…

Hello my fellow blog readers…so I know many of you are DYING to read some tips/information on running but stayed tuned, I will be updated my “Running” page this week!! I couldn’t resist sharing one of many things I learned during my first weekend of Hatha Yoga Teacher Training that I had to share a part of it with you!

How many of you have tried a yoga class before? How many of you have gotten lost, don’t know when to inhale/exhale, or get your right and left legs mixed up during “Sun Salutations?” Even if you haven’t ever tried yoga before I think that EVERYONE should learn and practice doing Sun Salutations every day. Today I am going to describe each part of this movement in yoga along with the benefits of Sun Salutations. More importantly I will teach you when to “inhale” and “exhale” as this is the most important part of yoga-connecting your breath with movement.

First of all for those of you who are confused or uninterested in what I am writing about tonight I will provide you with a photo…maybe this will grab you 🙂 And for all my yogi and yogini’s you can follow along…

Pretty cool eh? I love this photo as it alternates between red (inhale) and blue (exhale) postures, fool proof yoga!! To make it even easier to remember when to breath (if the pictures don’t help) inhale when you look up and exhale when you look down…make sense?

Now, as you read this, pretend as though I am guiding you through your practice (with my soft yoga voice of course)…here we go…hope you have found a nice quiet place infront of your computer 🙂

Stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose (Samasthiti) with feet close together, heels apart to help the front thighs roll inward. Feet press into the floor, while the top of the head lengthens upward to the sky.

1. Tadasana. Inhale the arms up and look up to the thumbs.
2. Forward fold (
Uttanasana): Exhale and fold forward with a long spine. You might have to bend the knees to touch the hands to the floor and keep the back straight.
3. Half lift. Inhale and look up half way.
4. Low plank (Chaturunga): Exhale to high plank then lower to Chaturunga, elbows by the ribs, shoulders back (drop the knees as you come down if you have to)
5. Upward Dog (Urdvha Mukha Svanasana): Inhale, roll over the toes and press the tops of the feet onto the floor with the legs engaged.
6. Downward Dog (Ardho Mukha Svanasana): Exhale to enter the pose and hold for 5 breaths. Hands are shoulder width with fingers spread wide. Feet are hip distance, draw the hips up, heels toward the floor. Feel the sit bones spread wide apart, firm the legs and spread the toes.
7. Half lift: Inhale to walk or jump the feet between the hands and look up half-way)
8. Forward fold (
Uttanasana): Exhale to fold forward.
Tadasana: Inhale the arms up overhead.
10. Return to Mountain Pose

How did it go??? Feeling relaxed yet?? Try doing a few more and I promise you will feel your body heating up!

I love doing Sun Salutations at the beginning of my yoga practice or even as a warm up for my workout at the gym.

It may take a few times to get the hang of it for those of you who are doing it for the first time but honestly after doing these a few times a day you will be enjoying the many benefits of Sun Salutations…
-Breath linked movements create a pumping effect that improves circulation through the whole body.
-Used to treat anxiety, depression and fatigue.
-Stretches and hamstrings and spine.
-Opens the chest and shoulders.
-Builds strength through the back, arms, legs and core.
-Improve Lung Capacity, especially when diaphragm lock and root lock are used.

Good luck with your Sun Salutations.

This is the best downward dog I have seen yet…


-Les 🙂

6 thoughts on “How to do a proper Sun Salutation 101…

  1. Canadian chick says:

    I love the red and blue diagram it’s awesome…all the more reasons why I should seriously get into this…my cat does that too lol Thanks Les…Namaste

  2. Annette O'Connor says:

    Hi Les
    I like the idea of starting with an exhale as it easier to do without tension compared to inhale. Then you want to inhale automatically without tension.
    Doing this as a warm-up before a workout sounds good! Let’s do this instead of bike warmup till I can do it on my own using proper technique.

  3. Canadian chick says:

    hey I like this idea of doing yoga as warmups before workout…I want in as well 🙂

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