This series is a more physically challenging version of the Sun Salutation as practiced in Ashtanga yoga. It incorporates the Chair Pose, which sounds relaxing—until you realize you're the chair.
: Because this Sun Salutation has so many more movements and postures requiring a higher level of skill, you should be proficient at a Basic Sun Salutation and the A Series Sun Salutation before attempting this more advanced variation.
Step 1: Mountain Pose Stand at the front of your mat in the Mountain Pose, with your feet hip-width apart and your weight evenly distributed between them, your spine erect, and your arms at your sides.
Step 2: Chair Pose Inhale into the Chair Pose, reaching your arms up overhead with your palms pressed together and shifting your weight onto your heels as you sit back like you're in an imaginary chair.
Step 3: Standing Forward Bend Exhale into the Standing Forward Bend, straightening your legs and bringing your chest toward your thighs and your hands toward the floor.
Step 4: Standing Half Forward Bend Inhale into the Standing Half Forward Bend, lifting up onto your fingertips and bending at the knees to flatten your back and expand your chest.
Step 5: Four-Limbed Staff Pose Exhale into the Four-Limbed Staff pose, stepping or jumping your feet backward so your legs are extended behind you, while lowering yourself slowly as if doing a pushup.
TIP: If you can't hold yourself in this position, hovering above the mat, lower yourself all the way to the ground.
Step 6: Upward Facing Dog Pose Inhale into the Upward Facing Dog Pose, pushing your head and ribcage up off the mat by fully extending your arms as you press the tops of your feet into the ground. Your thighs and hips should rise a few inches above the mat.
TIP: If you do not have the upper body strength for this pose, lower your knees to the ground, but don't let your hips sag to touch the mat.
Step 7: Downward Facing Dog Pose Exhale into the Downward Facing Dog Pose, tucking your toes and lifting your hips up and back so that you're bearing your weight on the balls of your feet. This should create an upside-down V shape with your body. Relax your neck and allow the weight of your head to lengthen your spine.
Step 8: Warrior 1 Pose Inhale into the Warrior 1 Pose, turning your left foot out slightly and lunging forward with your right leg, reaching your arms up overhead with your palms pressed together. Your right knee should be aligned over your right ankle, with your right foot and knee pointing forward.
Step 9: Four-Limbed Staff Pose Exhale into the Four-Limbed Staff Pose again, bringing your palms to the mat and stepping or jumping your feet straight back.
Step 10: Upward Facing Dog Pose Inhale into the Upward Facing Dog Pose again.
Step 11: Downward Facing Dog Pose Exhale into the Downward Facing Dog Pose again.
Step 12: Warrior 1 Pose Inhale into the Warrior 1 Pose again, this time turning your right foot out slightly and lunging forward with your left leg.
Step 13: Four-Limbed Staff Pose Exhale into the Four-Limbed Staff Pose a final time.
Step 14: Upward Facing Dog Pose Inhale into the Upward Facing Dog Pose a final time.
Step 15: Downward Facing Dog Pose Exhale into the Downward Facing Dog Pose a final time.
TIP: Stay in this pose for 5 full breaths—1 full breath is an inhale and exhale.
Step 16: Jump in between hands Exhale, bending your knees, look between your hands and step or jump your feet up in between your hands.
Step 17: Standing Half Forward Bend Inhale into the Standing Half Forward Bend again.
Step 18: Standing Forward Bend Exhale, straightening your legs into the Standing Forward Bend again.
Step 19: Chair Pose Inhale into the Chair Pose again, bending your knees and shifting your weight back onto your heels.
Step 20: Mountain Pose Exhale, completing the Sun Salutation by returning to the Mountain Pose. Now find yourself a real chair and put it to work.
FACT: Ashtanga yoga is supposedly based on a lost book called Yoga Korunta, said to be written on palm leaves and eaten by ants.
You Will Need
Comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and moving
A calm place where you won't be distracted or disturbed