Start Your Day With Sun Salutations and Feel Great!

Sun salutations (surya namaskar) are a series of asanas (poses) included at the beginning of many vinyasa yoga classes.  Learning these poses is a great starting point for a beginner.  They are also a great way to warm up the body, which is very important at the beginning of yoga practice (for new and experienced yogis alike).  The poses included work and stretch all of your muscles and prepare you for more advanced postures.  They offer an aerobic workout as well, but you can modify the intensity depending on how quickly you do them.  

Sun salutations are also a wonderful way to start the day!  They have been very helpful for me in maintaining a daily home yoga practice.  I can almost always find time to do a few in the morning or after work, even if I have a lot going on.  I admit I don’t always do morning sun salutations, but when I do I notice a big difference throughout the day.  I have more energy, feel more grounded and happier, and my body feels more flexible and fluid.  Sometimes I challenge myself to a month of 12 sun salutations first thing in the morning every day, no matter what.  I always feel healthiest during these times!  (I think it’s time for one of those challenges now.  After a long, cold winter of getting up a little later and limiting practice to morning seated meditation, I’m so ready to welcome and embody the life of spring and move!)  Sun salutations have a few variations.  I will introduce you to the version with lunges, my personal favorite.   As always, remember your long, deep ujjayi/ocean breath!  Without the breath, it’s not yoga.


Infographic by Health Perch — check out this site for lots of great health and wellness information!


  1. joda

    Thanks very much for posting this. I’m pretty new to yoga and have found a LOT of variation in sun salutations. This is closest to what I do (I have another forward fold with exhale between your steps 4 and 5). Do you do steps 4, 5, and 6 all with the same inhale?

    • Hi Joda – I’m so glad you liked the post! Yes, there are many variations. In this version, I’d inhale into ardha uttanasana (4) then exhale while staying in the pose and lengthening my head in the opposite direction from my tailbone and engaging my core muscles, navel toward spine (placing palms to shins instead of hands to the floor may work best as a beginner). Then same with (5) – lunge – I’d inhale into it and exhale while deepening the pose. Next, I’d inhale into (6) plank (you can hold through another breath cycle if you want), and then exhale into (7) chatturanga. Thank you for helping me clear that up! So exciting that you’ve started doing yoga! Enjoy!

  2. yoginiguru

    I love the infographic!

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