In this sun salutation tutorial we’ll be focusing on how to do sun salutation B. If you’re wondering about what the difference is between the sun salutation A and B sequences you can always first check out my other guide on how to do sun salutation A.
The sun salutation B is made up of more poses and transitions than sun salutation A. Hence we’ll usually start our practice with a few sun salutation A before moving onto sun salutation B.
In this blog we’re covering the basic instructions, modifications, and progressions for the sun salutation B. Want to jump straight into a guided practice? Practice along with my Sun Salutation B video.
Sun Salutation B Cues
1) Mountain Pose, Tadasana
Like in the sun salutation A, we start the sun salutation B by standing at the front of our mat in the Mountain Pose, Tadasana. Your feet can be together or slightly apart. The rest of your body is actively lengthening.
You might start by pausing here a few breaths with the eyes closed so you can establish a regular rhythm to your breathing.
2) Chair Pose, Utkatasana
Draw your weight back towards your heels as you sink your hips down and back. Using your inhale to reach your arms up and overhead.
Arms are reaching up here while shoulders are heavy and relaxed.
3) Standing Forward Fold, Uttanasana
Use your exhale to fold forward over your legs and come into your standing forward fold. See if you can keep your face relaxed and head heavy. If you need here you can slightly bend your knees.
4) Halfway Forward Fold, Ardha Uttanasana
Inhaling as you lengthen your legs and reach your chest halfway up. Seeing if you can lean your weight a little into your toes.
5) Table Top Pose, Bharmanasana or Plank Pose, Phalakasana
Your choice on your exhale if you step back to a table top or plank pose. Whichever option you choose allow your fingers to spread into the ground, lift up through your shoulders and see if you can keep your belly firm.
6) Chaturanga with Knees Down or Full Chaturanga
From here you can either keep the knees on the ground or lower directly from plank towards your belly. You’re really trying here to keep elbows close to your torso and lower with both arms at the same time.
7) Cobra Pose, Bhujangasana
Untuck your toes and keep your feet heavy as you use your inhale to reach your chest forward for your cobra pose. Allow here the shoulders to stay heavy and elbows in.
8) Childs Pose, Balasana or Downward Facing Dog Pose, Adho Mukha Svanasana
Exhale as you press your weight back either to childs pose or up to downward dog. if you need you could pause a moment here to reconnect with your breath.
9) Warrior 1 Pose on Right Side, Virabhadrasana 1 on Right Side
Inhale to step your right foot forward and come up to the warrior 1 pose. You can do this either from the hands and knees or from downward dog.
Feel free here to take extra breaths if you need.
10) Chaturanga with Knees Down of Full Chaturanga
Use your next exhale to lower your hands back to the ground and transition either through your plank or table top pose and lower all the way down to your belly.
11) Cobra Pose, Bhujangasana
Inhale as you again reach your chest forward to your cobra pose, keeping your breath flowing and smooth.
12) Childs Pose, Balasana or Downward Facing Dog Pose, Adho Mukha Svanasana
Exhaling as your draw the weight of your hips up and back. Transitioning back to your child pose or downward dog.
13) Warrior 1 Pose on Left Side, Virabhadrasana 1 on Left Side
This time we bring our left foot forward on an inhale. Again you can try to step from your hands and knees or downward facing dog. Doing your best to keep the breath steady even if you feel your heart rate is increasing.
14) Chaturanga with Knees Down or Full Chaturanga
Use your exhale to again slowly lower down to your belly. The slower the better to build strength and stability.
15) Cobra Pose, Bhujangasana
Inhaling chest reaches forward as your legs stay active and heavy.
16) Childs Pose, Balasana or Downward Facing Dog Pose, Adho Mukha Svanasana
Exhale bringing yourself to either child pose or downward facing dog, whichever feels comfortable to let your body relax and focus in on your breathing. This time we stay here for five slow and steady breaths.
17) Halfway Forward Fold, Ardha Uttanasana
Inhaling as you step both your feet forward towards the hands. And then open your chest half way up and leaning once more into your toes.
18) Standing Forward Fold, Uttanasana
Exhale fold forward over your legs with the knees a little bent if needed.
19) Chair Pose, Utkatasana
Inhaling reaching your arms actively up and at the same time drop your hips down and back.
20) Mountain Pose, Tadasana
Exhaling as you finally come back to your standing mountain pose.
Sun Salutation B Printable Practice Sheet
It can be useful to start practicing with a printable practice sheet of sun salutation B to help you learn the sequence from memory. You’ll probably find if you practice several rounds of sun salutation B a few times a week you won’t need this practice sheet for long!
Like with any yoga sequence there are different options and modifications you can make to suit your body. You can try starting with the simpler postures of shown in the above practice sheet where you move from your hands and knees to step one foot forward and come up into warrior 1. Detailed instructions on this can be found in my sun salutation B video tutorial.
As you build strength, flexibility and familiarity with the steps of the sun salutation you can experiment transitioning forward from a downward dog to warrior 1. You can use the below sun salutation B practice sheet to reference these more complex postures and transitions.
Sun Salutation B Breathing Technique
As a general rule—that you’ve likely heard me say before 😊—the breath is the most important aspect of your yoga practice.
Therefore even if you’re practicing along to a guided sun salutation video on YouTube you want to make sure you keep breathing freely. Even if that means taking extra breaths and moving a little slower between each posture.
Watch out particularly for the breath speeding up as we move through the transitions between warrior 1, chaturanga and cobra. Since these postures tend to be the most challenging and can result in our breath getting much shorter.
Sometimes I experiment here taking an extra breath in each pose in order to allow the breath to remain at a regular rhythm and to avoid holding the breath.
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