Now that you’ve warmed up with Sun Salutations A and are becoming a teen yogi, it’s time to move on to its more complex and challenging cousin, the Sun Salutations B. The Sun B series starts pretty much the same as Sun A series and there is a focus on flow and breath. Like with Sun A, every inhale is matched with an extending motion and every exhale is matched with a sinking motion. This can take some getting used to for many teenagers, but it can be a powerful tool for becoming centered, calm and in tune with yourself.
To start Sun B, follow the same movements as Sun A- start in down dog, jump or step to the front of the mat, go through flat back and reverse swan dive your way up to standing. Here’s a How-To for the postures that come next:
Tips for Sun Salutation B
- Begin in Chair Pose. In chair pose, sink the hips, reach the arms overhead and glue the knees and inner thighs together so you can bring the hips further back and down and bring your weight back into your heels. Draw the stomach in and up so the spine is long and lift your gaze and arms like in Warrior I. Look down and notice your toes; if you can’t see them, you need to draw your hips further back and down, as if you’re sitting back into a chair. Lifting your toes is a good way to check that you’re putting the right amount of weight in your heels.
- High to Low Plank. On an exhale, draw the palms together and fold forward. On the next inhale, lift to your flat back, pressing the shoulder blades together and keeping the core engaged. On the next exhale, fold forward, plant the palms on the mat and step tohigh plank before lowering to low plank. From here, inhale and lift the chest up toupward facing dog; again, press the shoulder blades together and think of pulling the chest forward through the arms. Your gaze should lift upward slightly.
- Downward Facing Dog. Press the tops of the feet into the mat, press into the palms and lift the hips on the exhale, rolling them back into Downward Facing Dog. Lift the right leg behind you on an inhale, pressing the palms firmly into the mat and thinking of extending the body out through the right foot. On the exhale, swing the right foot forward, planting it flat on the mat between your hands. You can use a hand to help your foot into place if it doesn’t seem to want to come between your hands on its own (this is very normal, especially among newer yogis!)
- Shift to Warrior I Pose. Pivot the back foot (left, in this instance) at a 45 – 60 degree angle, with toes pointing to the front left corner of the mat. Press through the outside edge of the foot, and on the next inhale, sweep the arms forward and up, rising up to Warrior I. On the exhale, bring the hands down to the mat, planting them on either side of the right foot, and then step the right foot back to high plank. With knees lifted or planted on the mat (to offset any strain in the shoulders), lower to a low push up.
- Inhale to Upward Facing Dog. Exhale to downward facing dog. Repeat the Warrior I sequence on the left side.
By adding these postures (a chair pose and a Warrior I) into the flow for Sun B, you’ll get the physical benefits of strengthening and toning the muscles of the legs and the butt, as well as stretching the legs, hip flexors, and improving ankle strength AND balance. All good things, if you ask me!
Last reviewed Nov 24.,2014