Essential Sequence: Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar A)

Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations, are the quintessential yoga warm-up sequence. They combine deep breathing with flowing movement, they stretch the entire front and back of the body, and they build strength, too.

There are several variations of Sun Salutations; we thought we’d start with the most basic, which is version “A” in the yoga canon, or Sun Salutation A.

See also Essential Sequence: Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar B)

Sun Salutation A: How To

Before you begin, spend a few breaths in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Notice how your feet feel in contact with the earth — is there more weight on one foot than other? On the front of the foot or the back? Continue to scan your attention all the way up the body, observing the sensations that arise.

Let this inward drawn attention help you start to deepen your breath. Do a total of five rounds of Sun Salutations, syncing each movement to your breath and staying in Downward-Dog for five breaths.

On days when you don’t have time for a long practice, this powerful package of poses can quiet your mind while boosting your energy and give you just the amount of stretch and activation you need to have a calm, productive day. It’s a great morning yoga sequence or try it later in the day when you need an energy boost.

See also The Expert’s Guide to Chaturanga


Sun Salutation A Sequence | Surya Namaskar A | Jason Crandell Yoga Method

{illustrations by MCKIBILLO}


  1. nice job bro

    • Thanks for the images-I’m a visual learner. This is really helpful during teacher training!

      • You’re welcome, Kendra!

  2. i love it!!!! Very clear and understandable. I took a class from you several years ago in Colorado at least he conference there. You showed me how to do this sequence with blocks and I was able to do it flowingly for the first time. Remember you fondly with gratitude.

  3. Being an Indian (motherland of yoga) I feel happy to see a good website to teach yoga for all and the benefits of it. Congrats you to continue your service.

  4. Your explanations are so clear..
    Keep it Up..
    Happy to have met U..
    Im a newcomer to Yoga..
    Many Thanks..

  5. Thnx! Love it

  6. Getting ready to start teaching, and laying foundations. Thanks for your sequencing, illustrations and accessibility!

    • You’re welcome, Judy!

  7. Thank you for such a clear and helpful diagram, for making it free, in a good resolution and not covering it with watermarks. I’m printing two now to keep on me and I”m going to start doing either of the two every morning. Thank you again!

    • You’re welcome, Verity!

  8. Thank you very much for this great site. I am learning yoga and have found it hard to learn much in the standard yoga class. This site is a great resource. In the diagram, what does the double up and down gray and red arrows mean? BTW I am viewing the ‘Surya Namaskar A’ diagram. Thank you!

    • Thanks, Leilani. Up arrow = inhale; down arrow = exhale. Enjoy.



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