Sequencing 101: The Drill You Need to Protect Shoulders in Sun Salutes

Yoga teacher Natasha Rizopoulos demonstrates how to imprint safe shoulder alignment before you get to Sun Salutations.
By Natasha Rizopoulos ,

Yoga Journal’s new online course, Sequencing 101 with Natasha Rizopoulos, will take your vinyasa practice and teaching to the next level. You’ll crack the code on structuring classes that safely, logically, and energetically build to peak poses (and Savasana). And you’ll develop the strength and awareness you need to truly access the physical and mental benefits of asana. Sign up today for a six-week exploration of Natasha’s unique alignment-focused sequencing method, including challenging practices that will deepen your knowledge of yoga and offer a fresh perspective on how and why asana is a true tool for transformation.

Most vinyasa classes jump right into Sun Salutations as a warm-up. But if you have tight hamstrings or shoulders, these poses can be demanding. If done with poor alignment again and again, they can be potentially injurious. Good sequencing can prep you for these demands and improve your alignment by introducing gentler versions of poses like Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose) before you get to Sun Salutes. Here, imprint safe shoulder alignment before you get to Chaturanga (Four-Limbed Staff Pose) and Up Dog. 

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