Ashtanga Sun Salutation Basics

With the Asthanga Yoga system, yoga poses or asanas are always practiced in the same order and every yoga practice begins with Sun Salutations.

A practitioner will take Surya Namaskara A (Sun Salutation A) five times, followed by three to five Surya Namaskara B.  These two sequences make up the warm up to the Ashtanga practice.  If you have not yet learned the Surya Namaskara A, you can review that here.

Once you’ve completed 5x Sun Salutation A, you will begin your first of three or five rounds of Surya Namaskara B.  To learn and practice along with Krista, check out here YouTube tutorial on Sun Salutation B.

Sun Salutation B sequence

sun salutation b

Utkatasana – Chair pose

1. Utkatasana – Chair pose

Begin in Samasthiti (Equal Standing Posture) at the front of your mat. Inhale, bend your knees and raise your arms up over head, trying to bring your palms together. Look up to your thumbs.  Ensure that your knees are not coming forward of your feet.  Instead try to sit back into your hips like you are squatting down.


Uttanasana – Standing forward fold

2. Uttanasana – Standing forward fold

Exhale, push your feet down and out as your press your tailbone up.  Hinge from your hips,  slowly straighten your legs and fold your body forward.

If this is too much of a stretch for your hamstrings, bend your knees and place your fingertips on the floor or grab your shins with your hands.

Ardha Uttanasana

Ardha Uttanasana – Half standing forward fold

3. Ardha Uttanasana – Half standing forward fold

Inhale and extend the chest forward, while pressing your palms backward.  If you can’t keep your palms on the floor just come to your fingertips or grab your shins.  As you inhale, look forward and lengthen your spine.

Chaturanga Dandasana

4. Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-limbed staff pose / low press up

As you exhale, bend your knees so that the palms can press firmly into the floor.

As you exhale, engage mula bandha to help support the spine.  Still exhaling, step or jump back to Chaturanga Dandasana.

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward facing dog pose

5. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward facing dog pose

Inhale, roll over your toes and press your sternum forward and upwards and your pelvis forward.  Be sure to press through your hands to help engage your back.  Keep extending your spine upwards as you inhale.

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward facing dog

6. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward facing dog

Exhale, press firmly into the palms and take the hips up and back.  Either roll over your toes or step over them and land in downward facing dog.  Make sure your feet are hip width apart.

Traction your spine by pressing the crown of your head towards your hands, your tail bone towards the sky.  Actively press your hands down and forward.

Virabhadrasana I

Virabhadrasana I – Warrior 1

7. Virabhadrasana I – Warrior 1

Inhale, bring your right leg forward firmly on the floor. Pivot your back left foot flat, making sure your feet are hip-width distance apart.

From there, raise your arms up to the sky, palms touching.  As you lift your arms be sure to actively press your back foot down and back and your right foot down and forward.

Chaturanga Dandasana

Chaturanga Dandasana

8. Chaturanga Dandasana

Exhale, bring your palms back to the floor, one on each side of your right foot.  Step back to Chaturanga.

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana / Upward facing dog

9. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana / Upward facing dog 

Inhale into Urdvha Mukha Svanasana / Up Dog again.

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward facing dog

10. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward facing dog

Exhale, press back into Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog.

Virabhadrasana 1

11. Virabhadrasana 1 Warrior 1 on the other side

From Adho Mukha Svanasana step forward with the LEFT foot into Virabhadrasana 1. Exhale through Chaturanga (12), inhale into Urdvha Mukha Svanasana (13) and exhale into Adho Mukha Svanasana (14) Stay here for five deep breaths.

Ardha Uttanasana

15. Ardha Uttanasana – Half standing forward fold

At the end of the fifth exhale, look forward and walk your feet to your hands.  If your palms press flat into the floor, push your hands down and forward as you fold.  Inhale and look forward pressing your palms down and back.


16. Uttanasana – Standing forward fold

With your hands on the outside of your feet, Exhale and fold forward.  If your palms come flat to the floor, press your hands down and forward as you fold your body down towards your thighs.

sun salutation b

Utkatasana – Chair pose

17. Utkatasana – Chair pose

Inhale, bend your knees and raise your arms in the air.  Keep your tail bone long and look up towards your fingers.

Exhale, press down through your feet to straighten your legs and bring the palms down by your side.

Stand in Samasthithi. Do three to five rounds of Surya Namaskara B.

Practice the sequence:

Click here to practice Sun Salutation B sequence for free on demand.

If you are brand new to yoga, you are at the right place!  And if you have an established practice, I will be sure to share a few tips that help you take your practice to the next level.

Krista’s Teaching Schedule

If you want to join me for live classes, Krista offers them both virtually and in person Monday-Friday mornings.  She also offers virtual or in person private sessions (Yoga, Meditation, Breath-work, Nutrition, Life Coaching and Mentorship).

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Krista is a level II authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher and is passionate about sharing these teachings with all who wish to learn.

I hope you find this video series helpful to you in creating or maintaining your at home yoga practice!


Yoga Series Video 1: The Foundation – Breathing, Bandhas, Drishti and Sun Salutation A

Yoga Series Video 2: Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga Finishing Sequence

Yoga Series Video 3: PRACTICE YOGA WITH KRISTA: Sun Salutation A & Modified Finishing Sequence

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