I created the Surya Namaskar yoga lesson plan using the MS Word Yoga Lesson Planner.

Before teaching Surya Namaskar, you could start off with Surya Namaskar A (slightly watered down version of Surya Namaskar). Once your students get got good at Surya Namaskar A, you could teach them full Surya Namaskar (see download link below). Then after that you could teach them a few harder versions such as Surya Namaskar B or Surya Namaskar C. All those versions are available to download within the Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit, along with 1000+ other editable yoga lesson plans.

Step 1
Download the FREE sun salutations yoga class plan

Sun Salutations Yoga Lesson Plan (PDF)

Step 2
Choose A Sun Salutations Theme

You can instantly turn an average yoga class into an inspiring yoga class by giving your class the gift of a “theme”. There are lots of Sun Salutations themes you can use.  

Here are some examples of Sun Salutation themes

Theme #1
Feel The Ground Beneath You

Most of us in this crazy, fast Word don’t feel very secure and stable physically or mentally. Practicing Sun Salutations is a great way to become grounded by being aware of the ground beneath us. Ask your students to  to feel roots growing under their feet when they’re in Mountain, Forward Bend and Downward Dog poses.  The longer they stay in the pose, the deeper the root grows and the more grounded they become.

Theme #2
Let Your Inner Sun Shine

Ask your students to allow themselves to enjoy the sequence. A nice trick to help this is to ask them to smile while practicing Sun Salutations.

Theme #3
Invent Your Own Sun Salutations

Ask your students to use their tuition to come up with their own variations of Sun Salutation. It’s one of the easiest sequences to spice up. For example, the advanced students may want to make it a wee bit tougher by adding Chair Pose or Side Stretch Pose. And a student with arthritis may get a chair and do some Chair Sun Salutations.  Let your students know there are no rules and no right or wrong. Just let your hair down and unleash the child within.

Theme #4
Mantra Chanting

Adding mantras to Sun Salutations is a whole lot of fun for the class.

It also adds a spiritual and meditative aspect to the practice. The Sun Salutations Lesson Plan you downloaded in Step 1 has a Sun Salutations With Mantras Handout.  Or you can come up with your own mantra for each pose.  Or maybe you could even ask the class to come up with a mantra for each pose. You could split the class up into groups of two and each pair has to come up with a mantra to share with the group.  The class then learns the mantras while performing the poses.  This is a great way to unleash creativity in the group and will turn into more of a “laughter yoga class” which is a lot of fun.

Step 3
Practice In Your Mind

Make sure you know this sequence so well that you could do it backwards. That means practicing it during your home practice.

Follow the sequence on the Sun Salutations Class Handout you downloaded in step 1.  You can either practice the sequence physically (on your mat) on in your mind.   I’ve found that practicing a sequence that I’m going to teach in my mind is great because it puts me in “teaching mode”.

Instead of turning the sequence into my own yoga practice, when I practice in my mind I imagine lots of teaching scenarios.

For example…

I see myself walking up to students to give adjustments (especially the ones who have injuries).

I hear myself saying,  Sun Salutations are amazing for awakening your entire body.”

Step 4
Teach The Benefits 

Standing Poses

  • Sprouted feet |  feet sprout roots so you feel secure and grounded
  • Build body awareness
  • Help you find your centre

Forward Bend & Halfway Lift

  • Elongate spine
  • Stretch hamstrings
  • Cleanse digestive system

Plank & Four-Limb Staff

  • Engage muscles in arms, shoulders, chest and abdomen

Upward-Facing Dog

  • Stretches upper body
  • Frees your breathing

Downward-Facing Dog

  • Works muscles in your entire body
  • Calms your nervous system

Step 5
Teach The Precautions

The main tip for students with injuries is to go slowly. Tell your students to avoid over stretching. Although it is good to allow your body to have a little stretch, over-stretching your body is counter productive.

Step 6
Teach The Sequence 

Download the Sun Salutations Lesson Plan (step 1). Print it out. Place it in front of your mat.

Practice the sequence.

Or see step 3 (practice in your mind). I usually print out the lesson plan for my evening class in the morning, fold it up and put in my back pocket. Then throughout the day I reach into my back pocket, unfold the lesson plan and practice teaching the sequence (teaching is very different to practicing).

I learned this teach in the mind from my days as a golf professional. I was taught to play the golf course in my mind before a competition. It worked like a charm. 99% of Olympians use visualisation as part of their preparations. So, if you haven’t taught yoga in your mind before a class, give it go. You may be surprised at how effective it is.

Sun Salutations Teaching Tips

Sun Salutations Infographic

Step 7
Give Adjustments

If you see a student not performing one of the poses correctly, use it as chance to teach the class by adjusting her/him.

Forward Bend Assists

Mountain Pose Assists

Plank Pose Assists

Downward Dog Adjustment #1: Leg Leverage

Step 1: Ask the student to go into Downward Facing Dog.

Step 2: Stand on the front of the ma.

Step 3: Take your hand to the student’s sacrum (top of hips).

Step 4: Apply a little pressure to help release weight onto the student’s back legs.

Downward Dog Adjustment #2: Shoulder Rotations

Click here for a video showing how to do the shoulder rotations adjustment

Step 1: Ask the student to go into Downward Facing Dog.

Step 2: Kneel on the front of the mat and take your hand to the middle of the student’s arms (between shoulders and elbows)

Step 3: Rotate (the neck will release a little).

Downward Dog Adjustment #3: Perfect V

Click here for a video showing how to do the Perfect V adjustment

Step 1: If students struggle to get the classical V shape, ask them to go into Downward Facing Dog.

Step 2: Ask them to bend their knees a little.

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George Watts

Hope you enjoyed my post. I'm a BWY yoga teacher, and creator of the Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit . Create yoga lesson plans quickly and easily. Or you might prefer my Buddy Bundle membership ? On the first of each month, you'll receive a themed Yoga lesson plan bundle...and you can request a bundle directly from George.

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