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Surya Namaskara A (Sun Salutation A) is a linked set of poses that invigorate the spirit and body. We match breath to movement, creating a mind connection during this full body warm-up. Here we’ll walk you through Sun Salutation A, step by step, with reference photos to follow.
 
Tadasana (Mountain Pose): Begin in Tadasana, feet hip distance or feet together with big toes touching, heels slightly separated. To establish a strong foundation, lift the inner arches of feet as you firm the outer ankles in. Activate legs, lift kneecaps. Lengthen and grow tall through all four sides of the torso as you shrug shoulders down your back. Keep chin parallel to the ground for a long neck. Lift arms around and up over your head to touch, gaze up towards your fingertips. tad
 
 
Uttanasana (Forward Fold): Fold forward, hinging at the hips. Soft bend through the back of the knees to protect tight hamstrings.FF
 
Ardha Uttansana (Half Forward Fold): Rise half way from Forward Fold until your back is parallel to the ground, nice and flat. Fingertips should stay in contact with the ground, or if that’s too deep for the hamstrings press palms into shins as you reach the crown of your head away from the shoulders.halflift
 
Ardha Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose): Plank your hands down on the mat and step back to Plank Pose. Push away from the mat with your hands and come up high on the balls of your feet. Imagine making your entire body one straight line from the heels to the crown of the head.fullplank
 
Chaturanga Dandasana (Low Plank): Lower your body half way down, keeping torso in line with hips and legs. Elbows bend to 90 degrees (no lower!).chat
 
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog): Roll over the toes, lift shoulders and sternum up towards the ceiling. Shoulders stack directly over wrists, ground down through the tops of the feet to lift thighs off of the mat.UMS
 
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog): Roll back over the toes, lift hips up and back to make an upside down “V shape with the body. Spread fingers and ground down through the entire hand, turn the inner, upper arms away from ears and spread across the collarbones. Lengthen through the torso, tilt sitting bones up towards the sky. Push straight back with the thighs. Keep a soft bend behind the knees if you’re still warming up hamstrings, and drop heels down in the direction of the mat.AMS
 
Ardha Uttansana (Half Forward Fold): Rise half way from Forward Fold until your back is parallel to the ground, nice and flat. Fingertips should stay in contact with the ground, or if that’s too deep for the hamstrings press palms into shins as you reach the crown of your head away from the shoulders.halflift
 
Uttanasana (Forward Fold): Release your half lift and fold forward.FF
 
Tadasana (Mountain Pose): Reach arms all the way up, bring hands to heart centre.tad
 
From Tadasana you can begin again, repeating as many times as you’d like. We even created a YouTube video so you you see Sun Salutation A in action. View it on our KulaYogaAustralia YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9yOkcW0Oco&list=UUhzascZfu99CzzjFQPPiX7w. There are so many modifications and variations to suit beginners through to advanced practitioners, feel free to chat with you Kula Yoga instructor to find out more!

About the author: Miranda Raimon is a yoga instructor, Kula studio manager and freelance health & wellness writer from the San Francisco Bay Area.

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