How to Do Yoga Sun Salutations B (Surya Namaskar B)

Jumpstart your yoga home practice with a challenge: Sun Salutations B include Chair Pose, Warrior I, and more vinyasas to get your heart pumping.


Ann Pizer | Posted in:category:Practice, length:5 minutes, level:medium, Practice

Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit) are a great way to start practising Vinyasa Flow yoga at home because they warm up the body and get you moving. If you’re not sure what to do when you roll out your mat, start with a few rounds of Surya Namaskar and see where that takes you. After you are comfortable with the basic flow of Sun Salutations A, try this slightly more advanced Sun B routine, which comes from the Ashtanga Yoga tradition. With its inclusion of Chair Pose and Warrior I, plus extra vinyasas, the B variation fires up your legs and generates more heat.

Sun Salutation B Step-by-Step Instructions

Mountain PoseBegin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  1. Begin by coming to stand in Mountain pose at the top of your mat.
  2. Take a few breaths here to get aligned and drop your awareness into your body.

 

Inhale to Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

  1. On an inhalation, lift your arms overhead and bend your knees to sink your seat toward the floor.
  2. Bring your palms to touch overhead or keep the palms shoulders’ distance apart if that’s more comfortable.

Forward FoldExhale to a Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

  1. On an exhalation, release your arms to either side as you straighten your legs and come into a standing forward fold.
  2. Bring your weight slightly into the balls of your feet to keep your hips over your ankles.

Flat BackInhale to a Flat Back (Ardha Uttanasana)

  1. On an inhalation, come up to your fingertips or bring your palms to your shins, whichever allows you to lift to a flat-backed position.
  2. Lift your head so your neck maintains the natural extension of your spine and let your gaze come to rest a few feet in front of your toes.

Four-limbed PoseExhale to Jump Back to Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

  1. On an exhalation, bend your knees and soften your elbows to jump your feet to the back of your mat, landing with the elbows bent 90 degrees in Chaturanga.
  2. It’s actually quite difficult to land with good alignment, so if this jump back isn’t a part of your practice, step back to Plank instead and lower from there to Chaturanga on an exhalation.

Upward Facing DogInhale to Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

  1. Flip to the tops of your feet and press into your palms to come into Upward Facing Dog.
  2. Keep your shoulder down and soften your elbows to draw your chest through your upper arms.

Downward Facing DogExhale to Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

  1. Lift your hips and return to the balls of your feet (flip one at a time or roll over) to press back into Downward Facing Dog.

Warrior IInhale to Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

  1. On an inhalation of breath, step your right foot forward to the inside of your right hand. 
  2. Pivot on the ball of your left foot to lower the left heel to your mat, placing the heel down at a 45-degree angle (use your Liforme Yoga Mat’s alignment guide lines).
  3. Widen your feet toward the sides of your mat for more stability.
  4. Lift your arms overhead while bending your right knee over your right ankle.
  5. Drop your shoulders away from your ears and lift your gaze.
  6. You’ll have to move quickly to do all of this during one inhalation!

Exhale to Chaturanga Dandasana

  1. On your next exhalation, drop your hands to the front of your mat and step your right foot to the back of your mat to lower to Chaturanga.
  2. Even though you’re moving quickly, maintain your safe alignment by coming forward onto your tiptoes before you lower. This helps you keep your forearms perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Remember to lower only to the point at which your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  4. When things go fast they tend to get sloppy, so stay present.

Inhale to Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

  1. Move through the rest of your vinyasa.

Exhale to Downward Facing Dog

  1. Lift your hips to come back to Down Dog.

Repeat the Warrior I sequence with your left foot forward this time. Return to Downward Facing Dog after your vinyasa.

Exhale to a Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

  1. Jump or step your feet to the front of your mat to come into a standing forward fold.

Inhale to Flat Back (Ardha Uttanasana)

  1. Lift up to a flat back with your hands on your shins or fingertips on the floor.

Exhale to a Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

  1. Return to a full forward fold.

Inhale to Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

  1. Bend your knees to drop your seat back and lift your arms overhead to come back into Chair Pose.

Exhale to Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  1. Straighten your legs to come to a standing position and release your arms to your sides with the palms facing forward.

Flow State

Running through a few rounds of Sun B in time with your breath will really get your heart pumping and your practice going. It’s also a natural way to start your own sequencing, as other standing poses flow easily from Warrior I. For inspiration, check out our Warrior Flow and Standing Poses Sequence.

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