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Yoga sequence: Sun Salutation

“Sun salutations are used to heat the body and prepare us for our practice,” says yoga instructor Lisa Winters Cox.

They are often performed in sets of 5, but beginners can start with just two or three sets. Try these step-by-step instructions to complete a full sun salutation.

1. Standing Mountain Pose

  • Step to the front of your mat, bringing your toes and heels together.
  • Press through the soles of your feet and extend through the crown of your head.
  • Roll your shoulders back and down, extending through your hands.

2. Forward Fold

  • On an inhale, sweep the arms above your head, pressing your palms together in prayer.
  • Stretch through your fingertips and drop your head back.
  • On an exhale, bend at the waist into a forward fold. Release your breath and bring your hands to the mat.

3. Flat Back

  • On an inhale, bring your fingertips to the edge of the mat and look forward, forming a straight line from the tailbone to the crown of the head.

4. Plank

  • Exhale and step your feet back to a full plank with arms extended (like the top of a pushup position).
  • Bend at the elbows and carefully lower your body toward the ground.
  • Hold a horizontal, 90-degree hover.

5. Upward-Facing Dog

  • On an inhale, slide forward while releasing the feet and straightening the arms.
  • Lift your body up, extend your head and lift your shoulders back.

6. Downward-Facing Dog

  • On an exhale, hinge the hips up and back, forming an inverted “V” with your body.
  • Take three long breaths and find a focal point at your naval or toes. Extend the heels down and lift the hips up, creating a “ski slope” from the hips to the shoulders to the wrists.

7. Crouching Dragon

  • On the third exhale, bend your knees, reach the hips back and look toward the hands.

8. Flat Back

  • On an inhale, step forward in between your hands and look forward as you lengthen your spine.

9. Forward Fold

  • On an exhale, release back into forward fold, letting out all of your air.

10. Reverse Swan Dive

  • Pressing through the feet, on an inhale, reverse the swan dive and bring your hands to prayer above your head. Extend through the fingertips and drop your head back.

11. Mountain Pose

  • Exhale and bring your hands to your sides.

For more fitness videos and motivational tips, visit Living Better’s Fitness page

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