I have decided to start a series with these pages focusing on the Sun Salutation A, or Surya Namaskara A. I will start with the full flow then go in to particulars about each pose worked in this sequence. Surya Namaskara is a wonderful practice to begin a flow with and warm up the body for a full flow. Used properly, this flow can be interwoven into any flow, used improperly this flow can cause injury by putting to much stress on the wrists, shoulders, and ankles.
How To Practice
Start in Samasthihi or mountain pose.
Inhale you hands over head coming into Urdhva Hastasana
Exhale folding forward at your hips coming into Uttanasana
Same Exhale brings you down in Chaturanga Dandasana
Inhale dropping the toes and using strong legs into Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Exhale into Adho Mukha Svanasana
Breath. Pushing the earth away with your palms and feet. Heals should be working towards the earth.
Take one more long inhale. Exhale stepping or jumping the feet between the hands in Uttanasana
Exhale into Uttanasana
Inhale back up into Urdhva Hastasana
Be sure if you are stepping forward verses jumping be sure you are switching feet every other time and are practicing an even number to create balance. If you are practicing in the morning, be sure that even if you can jump forward, you are stepping to wake up the body until you are use to the contractions of the muscles.
I do not recommend this flow for the beginning of a calm, meditative practice, as it introduces vigor to a practice which is inappropriate for a calmer yin practice.
There are some great poses to use to balance out the shoulders. If practicing for an Ashtanga flow following the Primary Series of Standing Sequences. If you are not using it for Ashtanga I recommend just adding Padangusthasana and Padahastasana after Surya Namaskara A, and then incorporating other shoulder openers throughout your standing sequence.