Strike A Pose: Sun Salutation B

When you take an Ashtanga yoga class, it always begins with the opening chant, then 5 Sun Salutation As in a row, and then 5 Sun Salutation Bs.
In other types of yoga, they usually do variations on these sun salutations, so parts of this series may look familiar to you.

Sun Salutation B has just a few more poses than Sun Salutation A. I love to do this as a way to warm up before a run or bike ride. It works the entire body slowly, so it gradually heats up your shoulders, back, hamstrings, core, calves, fingers, toes, and hips. After 5 of these Sun Salutations, my breath feels even, my mind feels calm, my muscles feel alive, and my body feels ready to do more intense poses.

Do you want to see what Sun Salutation B looks like? Then read more

Start at the front of your mat in Mountain pose, bringing your awareness inward, and following your breath. This is the pose you're in when you do the opening chant. It's a prep pose for Sun Salutation B.
Release your arms to the sides of the body. This is a variation of Mountain pose.
Inhale, bend your knees, drop your hips, lift your arms up overhead and gaze at your hands. This is called Fierce.
Exhale as you dive out and come into a Standing Forward Bend.
Inhale to look up and lengthen your spine.
As you exhale, step or jump back and come into 4 Limbed Staff pose.
Inhale as you scoop your chest forward into Upward Facing Dog pose.
Exhale into Downward Facing Dog.
As you inhale, step your right foot forward between your hands and come into Warrior 1
Exhale, release your arms down, step your right leg back and come into 4 Limbed Staff pose.
Inhale as you scoop your chest forward into Upward Facing Dog pose.
Exhale into Downward Facing Dog.
As you inhale, step your left foot forward between your hands and come into Warrior 1.
Exhale, release your arms down, step your left foot back and come into 4 Limbed Staff pose.
Inhale as you scoop your chest forward into Upward Facing Dog.
Exhale into Downward Facing Dog. Stay here for 5 complete slow breaths. Inhale...Exhale...1, Inhale...Exhale...2, etc.
After 5 breaths, on your next inhale, step or hop the feet forward between your hands.
Exhale into Standing Forward Bend.
Inhale as you bend your knees and come into Fierce.
Exhale your arms down. Sun Salutation B begins and ends with this pose. To do another one, inhale your arms up and continue through the entire sequence again. In an Ashtanga yoga class, they do it 5 times, but you can do Sun Salutation B as many times as you like.
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