The BreathThe breath is a very important part of this sequence. The movement from one pose to the next is always done in conjunction with either an inhale or exhale of the breath. You can control the pace of the sequence by altering the number of breaths in each pose, just make sure to always move to the next pose on the correct breath.
History of the Sun SalutationThe full history of the sequence is not known, but it is likely that it was developed in the modern era of yoga, during which time asana was influenced by gymnastics, among other types of exercise.
First Poses in the SequenceTo begin, bring yourself to the front edge of your mat in mountain pose - tadasana with the hands in anjali mudra at your heart. The is traditionally where you might stop and set an intention for your practice if you chose to.
Inhale - Bring the arms out to the sides and join your palms above your head in urdhva hastasana - raised arms pose. Raise your gaze to your hands and slide your shoulders away from your ears.