Sun Salutation B: Learn Second Sequence of Ashtanga Surya Namaskar

Sun Salutation B
Image : Fitsri

For successfully completing the Ashtanga Vinyasa series, Sun salutation A must be followed by Sun Salutation B sequence.

Sun Salutation B consists of 19 postures practice with high intensity and fast pace. Each pose is synced with the specific breathing pattern. The involvement of the strenuous poses in Sun Salutation B makes it a challenging sequence than A.

The Sun Salutation B benefits are similar to the traditional Surya Namaskar. Once mastered, it can be modified further by adding different poses after reaching warrior pose in the series targeting the specific benefits.

Sun salutation B Steps

Follow the poses below to practice B sequence of Sun Salutation;

1. Mountain Pose (Samasthiti or Tadasana)

sun salutation Mountain Pose

Breathing – Keep breathing normally| Drishti (Gaze) – The tip of the nose.

Mountain pose, aka Samastihi in Ashtanga yoga, is the primary pose initiating Sun Salutation B.

  • Come into a standing position keeping the feet together and engaging the quadriceps.
  • Bring the arms by your sides and the shoulders are aligned above the pelvis.

2. Awkward Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

sun salutation b Chair-Pose

Breathing – Exhale (stay for a few breaths)| Drishti (Gaze) – Upward at back of the thumb

  • Bend the knees so that the thighs lie parallel to the floor.
  • Raise the arms joining the palms overhead and lower your buttocks pretending to be sitting on a chair.
  • Look forward and push the heels to the floor without straining the knees.
  • Hold the pose and take a few breaths here.

3. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Standing-Forward-Bend

Breathing – Exhale| Drishti (Gaze) – Chin or nose

  • Straighten the legs, and fold forward at the hips.
  • Lower the arms placing the palms on the floor beside the feet.
  • The head hangs down and the abdomen rests over the thighs.
  • Finally, place the forehead over the shins inverting the upper body fully slightly bending the elbows.

4. Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)

Half-Standing-Forward-Bend

Breathing – Inhale| Drishti (Gaze) – Third eye

  • Raise your palms placing only the fingertips on the floor.
  • Lift the head and neck so that the back becomes flat and parallel to the floor.
  • Draw the shoulders back to raise the chest and neck lengthening the spine.

5. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

Four-Limbed-Staff-Pose

Breathing – Exhale| Drishti (Gaze) – Tip of the nose.

  • Step the feet backward and place both the feet together.
  • Press your palms on the floor, bend your elbows, and rolling on the toes extend the torso forward.
  • Align the shoulders, hips, and heels in one line.
  • Place the shoulders slightly forward over the wrists.

6. Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Upward-Facing-Dog

Breathing – Inhale| Drishti (Gaze) –  Third eye

  • Straighten the arms, roll on to the tops of the your feet.
  • Lower the hips closer to the floor.
  • Expand your chest towards the ceiling and bring your lower back into a backbend.
  • The wrists lie directly under the shoulders and the thighs lie closer to the floor but not touching.

7. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward-Facing-Dog

Breathing – Exhale| Drishti (Gaze) –  Third eye

  • Curling the toes place the heels on the floor.
  • Lower the head to the floor and raise the hips to the sky.
  • Extend the arms fully pressing the palms on the floor, bring the head between the arms.

8. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

sun salutation B Warrior-I

Breathing – Inhale| Drishti (Gaze) –  At the thumbs

  • Step the right foot forward between the palms.
  • Left foot is adjusted placing 45 degrees inwards.
  • Bend your right leg bringing the thigh parallel to the floor.
  • Raise your arms over head joining the palms.

9. Four Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

Four-Limbed-Staff-Pose

Breathing – Exhale| Drishti (Gaze) –  Tip of the nose

  • Stretch the right leg back and bring the palms to the floor.
  • Place the right foot beside the left foot and curl your toes.
  • Bending the elbows, press the palms against the floor.
  • Lower the torso bringing the body parallel to the floor.

10. Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Upward-Facing-Dog

Breathing – Inhale| Drishti (Gaze) –  Third eye

  • Draw your chest upward straightening the arms again into upward facing dog pose by lowering the hips.
  • The wrists here lies above the shoulders.

11. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward-Facing-Dog

Breathing – Exhale Drishti (Gaze) – Tip of the nose

  • Pressing the palms to the floor to lift the hips to the sky and stretch the chest to the floor.
  • The head is again lowered and hangs between the arms.
  • Push your hips a little back to firm the heels to the floor.

12. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

sun salutation B Warrior-I

Breathing – Inhale Drishti (Gaze) – At the thumb

  • Step your left foot forward close to the left hand bending the left leg.
  • Keep the left thigh parallel to the floor.
  • Raise your arms over the head joining the palms.
  • Stretch the neck upward.

13. Four Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

Four-Limbed-Staff-Pose

Breathing – Exhale Drishti (Gaze) – Tip of the nose

  • Bring the left foot back beside the right and lower the arms to the floor.
  • Press the palms against the floor and bending the elbows bringing the body parallel to the floor.
  • The body is balanced on both the hands, toes, and the wrists are tucked under the shoulders.

14. Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Upward-Facing-Dog

Breathing – Inhale Drishti (Gaze) – Third eye

  • Roll forward on the tops of the feet.
  • Expand the chest upward.
  • Place the thighs closer to the floor rolling the shoulders downward away from ears to come into upward facing dog pose.

15. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward-Facing-Dog

Breathing – Exhale Drishti (Gaze) – Tip of the nose

  • Lift the hips to the sky bring the heels to the floor
  • Lower the head between the arms.
  • Invert the upper torso stretching the arms and spine to get into the down dog pose.

16. Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)

Half-Standing-Forward-Bend

Breathing – Inhale Drishti (Gaze) – Third eye

  • Walk forward placing the fingertips on the floor to slightly lift the head
  • Bring the back parallel to the floor.
  • This brings the body into a half forward bend.

17. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Standing-Forward-Bend

Breathing – Exhale Drishti (Gaze) – Tip of the nose

  • Fold forward fully over the legs at the hips.
  • Slightly bend the elbows to place the hands beside the feet.
  • Bring your head down closer to your knees to assume standing forward fold.

18. Awkward Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

sun salutation b Chair-Pose

Breathing – Inhale Drishti (Gaze) – Back of the thumbs

  • Inhale, bend your knees and lift the torso raising the arms over head.
  • Then drop the buttocks again pretending to take seat for getting into awkward chair pose.

19. Mountain Pose (Samasthiti or Tadasana)

sun salutation Mountain Pose

Breathing – Exhale Drishti (Gaze) – Tip of the nose.

  • Straighten the legs and lowering arms by the sides to stand in the starting position attaining mountain pose.
  • The hips and shoulders are kept relaxed.
  • Hold the pose taking few breaths until the breathing becomes normal.

Follow-up Poses

Relax the whole body after completing the Surya Namaskar B sequence.

Contraindications

  • It is best to avoid Sun Salutation B if you have an injury around the shoulders, arms, and wrists.
  • Weak lower back or any other back issues are not good-to-go for performing this practice.
  • People with high blood pressure must abstain from Sun Salutation B.
  • Injury in the wrists and legs are not favorable conditions for this practice.
  • Pregnant women must also skip the Sun Salutation B sequence.

Beginner’s Tips and Modifications

Newbies can opt the following tips to easily assume the poses of the Surya Namaskar B sequence.

  • For the chair pose, keep the feet slightly apart so that dropping of the buttocks becomes easy. You can also place the hands on the waist or thighs instead of raising overhead and keep your gaze forward.
  • For standing forward bend, one can keep the knees slightly bent to easily reach the floor and fingertips can also be placed on the floor instead of palms.
  • Half Standing Forward Fold can be easily assumed by placing the hands on the shins. Besides this, the neck can be raised to a comfortable level so that the chest is raised.
  • In the four-limbed staff pose, either a block can be placed to rest the chin over it, or the knees can be bent to the floor to balance the body.
  • Upward facing down dog pose can be altered to cobra pose until the arms get enough strength to hold it.
  • In down-dog, beginners can reduce the distance between the arms and feet. However, the arms and legs must be aligned properly.
  • Stepping directly from down-dog pose into Warrior I can also be difficult, so for this, one could bend the knees to the floor. And, then, one leg is drawn forward to get into warrior I.

Therapeutic Use

  • Sun salutation B is beneficial in curing anxiety, and other psychological disorders.
  • Patients suffering from diabetes can also derive beneficial effects from this sequence.
  • It also comes in handy for the treatment of insomnia.
  • It helps in regulating the menstrual cycle and helps in getting rid of any irregularity.

Sun Salutation B Benefits

1. Strengthens the Muscles

Sun salutation B stretches the spine, neck, abdomen, arms, and legs. It strengthens the hamstrings, quads, calves, shoulders. The contraction and expansion of the abdominal muscles tones the entire body and makes the muscles stronger.

2. Improves body flexibility

The elongation of the spine, expansion of the chest, and other muscles along with active flow of prana improves blood flow to these regions. It improves the mobility of the entire muscular system and makes the body flexible.

3. Facilitates detoxification

Poses involved in Surya Namaskar B improves blood flow throughout the body. It enhances the quality of the blood and aids in removing toxins out of the body. Thus, it facilitates the process of the detoxification.

4. Improves the digestion

The stretching and expansion of the abdominal muscles leaving massaging effects on the digestive organs. It leads to improved flow of enzymes and digestive juices that activates the digestive system facilitating better digestion.

5. Improves the pulmonary functions

Some poses expand the chest and enhance the lung capacity. It aids in bringing more oxygen to the lungs and improves the efficiency of the respiratory system.

6. Benefits the endocrine glands

Sun salutation B inverts the body in several poses which supplies the fresh blood to the brain. This activates several glands including Thyroid, Pituitary, Sweat Glands, Esophageal, Mammary, Prostate and Uterine glands.

7. Enhances cardiovascular system

This practice serves as an aerobic exercise that soothes the heart and cardiovascular system. It uplifts the circulatory system and improves the overall health.

Conclusion

Sun salutation B is a complete exercise in itself to warm up the body, stretch the muscles, and to benefit several systems of the body.

Including Sun salutation B following this practice guide helps gaining all the possible benefits out of this sequence. Any beginner as well as advanced practitioner can make the most out of this sequence.

Leave a Reply