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Sun Salutation Variations

December 22, 20142 min read

Mixing It Up

I love using Sun Salutations when teaching kids and teens as a way to warm up quickly. Especially if you don’t have a long class – or part of the class time is taken up with art, games or other fun activities that focus on our yoga theme in different ways.

But… the same thing every day can get a little tiring.

So I immediately loved this idea shared by another kids yoga teacher for how to mix it up.

Great Times To Use These Sun Salutation Variations

Greeting the Winter Solstice with Joy!

As the sun lights up the world today be filled with Joy and Hope as the days once again lengthen out again. Greet this glorious new day with a Sun Salutation or two… or ten… to bring in the heat and energy from the sun into your day.

Create a Class Challenge

During a session build up each week. Starting with one or three and then add one on each week. Using the variations makes getting to 10 super easy and fun.

Sun Salutation Variations

Sun salutation variation drawing


The poses stay the same, mostly… but each time through our energy and mindfulness changes. Tune in to what you like, what’s easier or harder…

• 1x – dragging it like its torture – notice how you move through the round, move as slow as you can.
• 2x – with enthusiasm, like you have won first prize for best Sun Salutations.
• 3x – observing your muscles – do you feel stronger / more flexible?
• 4x – observing your thoughts – do they wander? (it’s OK – that’s normal) can you focus on your breath?
• 5x, – switch is up on the right – add-in Warrior 1 / Warrior 2 / side angle (between Down Dog and Ragdoll works well)
• 6x – switch is up on the left – same as above but on the left side
• 7x, 8x – your choice – adding in whatever poses you feel like, notice what your body needs today
• 9x – eyes closed – explore what you can’t see, trust your body
• 10x – finish however you like! – pick your favourite round – super slow, energetic, eyes closed, observe…. be guided by what is best for you at this moment.This practice comes from Rani – an amazing Yoga teacher in Hong Kong.

To make this super easy - here's a printable so you can have these variations on hand during class.

Custom HTML/CSS/JAVASCRIPT

Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below on this vigorous, energetic practice. Which was your favourite?

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