How to Do Sun Salutation B in Yoga

The Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskara (SOOR-yuh nah-muh-SKAR-uh), is a group of yoga poses performed in a specific sequence and linked with your breath. When you practice a Sun Salutation, you inhale to extend, and exhale to bend. The poses included in Sun Salutations are the core components of a "vinyasa" sequence — used primarily in Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Power Yoga. Follow the steps below and get ready to practice Sun Salutation B!

Sun Salutation B — Surya Namaskara B

There are many variations of Sun Salutations, including Series A, B, and C. The sequence presented below is often referred to as Sun Salutation B (Surya Namaskara B), which is usually practiced after several rounds of Sun Salutation A (Surya Namaskara A). Sun Salutation B includes many of the same components of Sun Salutations in most styles of yoga, with the inclusion of Warrior I pose. Remember to breathe through your nose as you practice; it will help to warm your body and bring a meditative state to your mind. If you’re having trouble breathing smoothly, relax your practice a bit. Make sure not to force yourself and always work within your own range of limits and abilities.

1. Standing Mountain Pose — Tadasana

Stand with your feet together. Press your palms together in prayer position. Rest your thumbs on your sternum and take several breaths.

2. Chair Pose — Utkatasana

Inhale as you bend your knees and lower your hips, as if you’re sitting back in a chair. At the same time, extend your arms straight overhead and reach through your fingertips.

3. Standing Forward Fold — Uttanasana

Exhale as you fold forward from the hips. Keep your knees bent if your hamstrings are tight. Otherwise, slowly straighten your legs. Rest your hands beside your feet and bring your nose to your knees.

4. Half Standing Forward Fold — Ardha Uttanasana

Inhale as you lift your torso halfway, lengthening your spine forward so your back is flat. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Keep your fingertips on the floor, or bring them to your shins.

5. Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga Dandasana

Exhale as you step or jump back into Plank Pose (High Push-Up Pose), with your hands under your shoulders and feet hip-distance apart. Continue exhaling as you lower your body toward the floor. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides. If needed, come to your knees for Half Chaturanga. Otherwise, keep your legs straight and reach back through your heels.

6. Upward-Facing Dog Pose — Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Inhale as you draw your chest forward and straighten your arms. Draw your shoulders back and lift your heart to the sky. Press through the tops of your feet, lifting your thighs off the floor and fully engaging your leg muscles. Keep your elbows tucked in to your sides.

7. Downward-Facing Dog Pose — Adho Mukha Svanasana

Exhale as you lift your hips and roll over your toes, placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Your heels do not need to touch the ground. Ground down through your hands and the soles of your feet as you lengthen your spine. Lift your belly and sit bones to the sky.

8. Warrior I, Right Foot — Virabhadrasana I

Inhale as you step your right foot between your hands and bring your left heel to the ground. Bend your front knee while keeping your back leg straight. Raise your arms straight overhead and gaze to the sky.

9. Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga Dandasana

Exhale as you bring your hands to the mat and step your right foot back into Plank Pose. Continue exhaling as you lower your body into Chaturanga once again. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides. If needed, come to your knees for Half Chaturanga. Otherwise, keep your legs straight and reach back through your heels.

10. Upward-Facing Dog Pose — Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Inhale as you draw your chest forward and straighten your arms. Draw your shoulders back and lift your heart to the sky. Press through the tops of your feet, lifting your thighs off the floor and fully engaging your leg muscles. Keep your elbows tucked in to your sides.

11. Downward-Facing Dog Pose — Adho Mukha Svanasana

Exhale as you lift your hips and roll over your toes placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Your heels do not need to touch the ground. Ground down through your hands and the soles of your feet as you lengthen your spine. Lift your belly and sit bones to the sky.

12. Warrior I, Left Foot — Virabhadrasana I

Inhale as you step your left foot between your hands and bring your right heel to the ground. Bend your front knee while keeping your back leg straight. Raise your arms straight overhead and gaze to the sky.

13. Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga Dandasana

Exhale as you bring your hands to the mat and step your right foot back into Plank Pose. Continue exhaling as you lower your body into Chaturanga once again. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides. If needed, come to your knees for Half Chaturanga. Otherwise, keep your legs straight and reach back through your heels.

14. Upward-Facing Dog Pose — Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Inhale as you draw your chest forward and straighten your arms. Draw your shoulders back and lift your heart to the sky. Press through the tops of your feet, lifting your thighs off the floor and fully engaging your leg muscles. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides.

15. Downward-Facing Dog Pose — Adho Mukha Svanasana

Exhale as you lift your hips and roll over your toes, placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Your heels do not need to touch the ground. Ground down through your hands and the soles of your feet as you lengthen your spine. Lift your belly and sit bones to the sky. Hold this third Downward-Facing Dog for five breaths. On your last exhalation, bend your knees and gaze between your hands.

16. Half Standing Forward Fold — Ardha Uttanasana

Inhale as you step or jump forward, landing your feet between your hands. Lift your torso halfway, lengthening your spine forward so your back is flat. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Keep your fingertips on the floor, or bring them to your shins.

17. Standing Forward Fold — Uttanasana

Exhale as you fold your torso over your thighs. Bend your knees if necessary. Rest your hands beside your feet and bring your nose to your knees.

18. Chair Pose — Utkatasana

Inhale as you come back into Chair Pose. Step your feet together. Bend your knees and lower your hips, as if you’re sitting back in a chair. At the same time, extend your arms straight overhead and reach through your fingertips.

19. Mountain Pose — Tadasana

Exhale as you come back into Mountain Pose. Stand with your feet together. Bring your hands into prayer position. Rest your thumbs on your sternum.

Salute the Sun

You’ll start to gain strength and flexibility by practicing Sun Salutations, whether you’re using them to warm up before practice or as an energizing break in your day. Try Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation C for more variety and have fun bringing on the heat!