How to Perform a Yoga Sun Salutation

This step-by-step guide will refresh your memory on key yoga poses used during a typical sun salutation. It will also guide you through piecing the poses together to create a flow.

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How to Perform a Yoga Sun Salutation
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1
Start with feet together at the top of the mat. Stand tall, with your arms at your sides, relax shoulders. Begin to breathe deeply.

Start with feet together at the top of the mat. Stand tall, with your arms at your sides, relax shoulders. Begin to breathe deeply.

2
Breathe in deep as you look up and raise your hands towards the sky.

Breathe in deep as you look up and raise your hands towards the sky.

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3
Exhale as you fold your body forward.

Exhale as you fold your body forward.

4
Place your hands on your shins and inhale for a half lift.

Place your hands on your shins and inhale for a half lift.

5
Exhale as you place your hands onto the mat and lower yourself into tabletop. Hands are under shoulders, knees are under hips and back is straight.

Exhale as you place your hands onto the mat and lower yourself into tabletop. Hands are under shoulders, knees are under hips and back is straight.

6
Inhale for cow. Spine curves upwards as stomach pulls toward mat. Gaze is up.

Inhale for cow. Spine curves upwards as stomach pulls toward mat. Gaze is up.

7
Exhale for cat. Arch your back up toward the ceiling. You should be looking at your stomach.   Repeat cow and cat cycle 3 times.

Exhale for cat. Arch your back up toward the ceiling. You should be looking at your stomach. Repeat cow and cat cycle 3 times.

8
Inhale to plank. Hands should be under shoulders, back is straight.

Inhale to plank. Hands should be under shoulders, back is straight.

9
Lower halfway to the ground then pull body forward and up to come into an upward dog. In upward dog, inhale and look up, try to lift your knees and thighs off the floor.

Lower halfway to the ground then pull body forward and up to come into an upward dog. In upward dog, inhale and look up, try to lift your knees and thighs off the floor.

10
Exhale into downward dog. Push hips as far up as you can, heels should be reaching for ground. Arms are straight as you look at your stomach.

Exhale into downward dog. Push hips as far up as you can, heels should be reaching for ground. Arms are straight as you look at your stomach.

11
Bring feet towards your hands to get into a forward fold. Inhale and exhale here 3 times.

Bring feet towards your hands to get into a forward fold. Inhale and exhale here 3 times.

12
Inhale as you bring your body up straight and reach arms to the sky.

Inhale as you bring your body up straight and reach arms to the sky.

13
Exhale as you lower your arms.  Begin the sun salutation from the beginning. Try to repeat the entire sequence with one pose flowing into the next. Remember your breath!

Exhale as you lower your arms. Begin the sun salutation from the beginning. Try to repeat the entire sequence with one pose flowing into the next. Remember your breath!

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