Is Flow Yoga For You
Vinyasas strength is in its diversity. If you appreciate having things a little loose and unpredictable and like to keep moving, this style is definitely worth a try.
In most cases, there is no single philosophy, rulebook, or sequence that teachers must follow, so there is a lot of room for individual personalities and quirks to come through. This makes it essential that you find a teacher you enjoy and can relate to. If your first flow class doesnt rock your world, keep trying different teachers until you find one that’s a better fit.
How To Set Up A 1 Hour Yoga Class
Whether you’re a new teacher or want to establish a home practice, it helps to know how to put together a yoga class so it makes sense in the body. How you set up the class depends somewhat on what style of yoga you plan to practice. A Yin or Restorative class will look quite different than a more active practice.
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Most active classes start with a gentle engagement of the breath and warming of the muscles and joints. You’ll then move into dynamic poses that eventually wind down into long stretches. Every yoga class ends with Savanasa, or final relaxation for self contemplation and meditation.
Each yoga teacher has a slightly different approach, but a good solid start might include the following.
Get Creative With The Balances And Twists
Right when the energy levels are high, bring the class into extended holds with neutral hips to find stillness. Utkatasana and High Lunge are good transitions here, as are Yogi Squats and Crow Pose. I tend to use either Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose or Warrior III in every phase because the hamstrings and inner thighs are so important for balancing.
I recommend using Standing Splits in balance sections as well, because the fold resets the mind while the lift challenges the balance. I also like adding Seated Spinal Twists as often as possible. Try not to balance students on one leg for more than three poses as this can be injurious to the SI joints.
If you see them shaking out their feet, they have been standing on one leg for too long. This whole section should run for about 10 minutes with two to three breaths in each pose.
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How To Create A Yoga Sequence
If youre wondering how to build a yoga sequence, heres my go to method. Most yoga sequences are linear, meaning one posture follows another in a sequential manner. Linear classes are taught in a logical way starting with less challenging, moving to more challenging and returning to less challenging before savasana.
When I sequence, I typically start with a linear formula and layer on from there. This is just one way to sequence a yoga class. Ill walk you through this way today.
Top 20 Vinyasa Flow Classes On Youtube
There are literally thousands of Youtube videos offering vinyasa flow yoga classes. However, you may have to pick and choose between some not-so-good offerings. From amateur video quality, to videos lasting less than five minutes in length, it can be frustrating to find a good vinyasa flow class. To help you in your search, here are the top 20 vinyasa flow yoga classes currently on Youtube.
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How To Start Practicing Vinyasa Flow Yoga
It can be intimidating to walk into your first vinyasa flow yoga class. Even if you are familiar with other styles of yoga, vinyasa flow yoga is fast-paced and often this can be overwhelming to newcomers. If you are hesitatnt to spend the money or time on attending class at a yoga studio, you may want to start a home yoga practice. Practicing at home can be a great way to familiarize yourself with a new style, or supplement your normal studio classes. Luckily, there is a wide array of options when searching for vinyasa flow classes on Youtube.
Questions To Help You Build A Great Yoga Class Sequence
The first step is always the hardest. Where to start when developing a sequence for your yoga class? You now know what qualities make a great yoga class sequence. As a next step, ask yourself a few simple questions and let them guide you along your preparations:
1. What is the time of the day you want to teach the sequence ?
2. Which season, month, or phase of the moon we are in ?
3. What is happening in the world or in your life you can relate to?
4. Is there any theme or inspiring quote you would like to focus on?
5. How much time do you have?
To make sure that you consider your students needs when planning your class, also reflect upon the following questions:
1. What would serve my students best?
2. What would I like the students to walk away with?
3. What would my students enjoy?
4. What main feeling would I like the students to experience in my class?
In the beginning, it may be helpful to take the time and write your answers on a piece of paper. You will notice that this makes planning much easier. Once youve found the answers, you can go into the details of your yoga sequencing. Start sketching out the order of the asanas, movements, and other practices you want to include into your yoga class sequence.
However, you have different options and ways to sequence a yoga class, which we will explore in the following section.
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As yoga instructors, we are constantly challenged with coming up with new sequences and content to stand out in the crowded landscape. This can be exhausting. It takes continual practice, patience, and refinement week over week.
To create a yoga sequence is to create a work of art. Its not easily accomplished on a whim. The approach you take is crucial to the success of your class. Selecting each element with thoughtful and mindful consideration is a great place to start. Sharing this masterpiece is one of the greatest gifts of teaching It has the ability to change peoples lives!
But even with this incredible opportunity, come the unique challenges of sequencing.
The purpose of this article is to educate you on how to intelligently sequence a yoga class. This article is directed towards yoga sequences for teachers, but yoga students looking for inspiration in their home practice will also benefit.
I will show you my tried and tested formula on how to sequence a yoga class. Ill provide posture and transition examples, and you will learn more ideas to layer on top of a linear sequence. Youll walk away able to easily integrate what youve learned into your own class all in a safe and effective manner.
Are you ready to dive in? Good. Me too.
Pin me Then keep reading!
Should I Write Down My Sequences
Short answer is: yes. Practicing with a written yoga sequence is a great idea when youre first developing a sequence or if youre a newer teacher.Protip: Keep a notebook with all your yoga sequences and some notes about them. This way you can refer back to older classes which saves time when you need to map out a new class. What was that cool mandala class I thought for the summer solstice in 2014?!
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Take 1 Hour To Breathe And Release Stress With This Ashtanga
If you’re missing your regular yoga class or feeling especially stressed, nervous, or sad, take an hour to follow along to this Ashtanga-inspired yoga flow from Koya Webb, a 500-HR RYT-certified yoga teacher. If you’re not familiar with Ashtanga, this form of yoga follows the same series of postures every single time, and you flow from one posture to the next, making it a form of moving meditation. Ashtanga is also more intense and faster-paced than calmer styles of yoga, which can actually help keep your mind focused on your breath. This can help you feel more centered and calm.
Known as Primary Series, it usually takes 90 minutes to complete, so for those who don’t have that much time or are Ashtanga newbies, Webb created this beginner yoga flow just for you! She said, “This is my own personal practice when I’m short on time or low on energy, but still want to get a great practice in.”
Yoga Class + Free Yoga Sequence Pdf: 60 Min Brahmana Vinyasa Flow For Energy & Vitality
As this month is ending, hopefully you have had a chance to check out the Free Yoga Sequence & Free Audio Yoga Class to match, if not, check out the PDF and the Audio Class below!
Enjoy this invigorating flow that takes Ayurveda into Yoga Asana practice, it is all about managing your energy flow! Make sure to practice several hours before bedtime!
Free Monthly Yoga Sequenceshere!
Free Audio Yoga Classes Every Sunday! Check out the 60 Min Brahmana Vinyasa Flow for Energy & Vitality here!
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Vary The Sun Salutations
The Sun Salutations are the perfect place to showcase your creativity. Low-lunge twists, extended heart-openers, deep forward folds, even some balancing poses pick two things that will give the class a taste of what you will be serving, and place them delicately within the sequence.
I tend to make the first set of Sun Salutations long and creative by stepping back into Downward Dog, flowing through a short sequence, and stepping forward the second set is shorter by stepping right back into Chaturanga and jumping forward the third set goes right from Chair into jumping back, and then the main sequence starts.
Keep the Sun Salutations fast and flowing so the class can move freely. Again, this should take about 5-10 minutes.
Vinyasa Yoga Traditional Class In Mysore India One Hour Full Class With Yogi Trupta
As the most traditional yoga class on this list, this hour long video is very special. It is a video of a live yoga class from the Mysore Yoga Teacher Training Institute. Practicing from home with this video, which includes traditional Sanskrit chanting alongside a vinyasa flow, will make you feel like you are practicing alongside the other students in Mysore, India.
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Why Vinyasa & Gentle Flow Yoga
When I started doing yoga, I initially learned the Ashtanga style, specifically the primary series. This is a vinyasa style of yoga, which means the postures transition in a flowing manner thats synchronized with the breath. Ashtanga teaches several series of posture flows, based on your mastery level, which are the same every time you practice. They include the primary, intermediate, and advanced series.
I love Ashtanga yoga. In fact, my other go-to gentle flow yoga sequence is based on the primary series. It formed the foundation of what I think a good, well-rounded yoga practice should look like. However, as my practice evolved over the years, I felt drawn to branch out and explore other expressions & combinations of postures. I found my way to the more versatile, general vinyasa style.
What I love about vinyasa yoga is its graceful synchronicity. It feels almost like a dance to me. Its more dynamic than other forms of yoga, which means theres more movement and a more aerobic aspect to it. As you flow between postures, your heart rate gets pumping. You generate more heat in your body, which stimulates better blood circulation. All of this has an internal purifying and energizing effect. This is in addition to the strengthening and stretching effects, the improvements in balance, posture, and mobility, and the increases in self-awareness and self-acceptance that can also be found in other types of yoga.
Sequencing Around A Spiritual Theme
The most advanced way of yoga sequencing is sequencing around a spiritual theme. This is because this technique requires you to be already solid and confident with yoga sequencing in general. So, its best to have mastered the other four ways of yoga sequencing before approaching this technique. Possible spiritual themes to base your sequence on could be the 7 Chakras or the 5 Elements of Nature.
If youre looking for some inspiration for a spiritually-themed sequence, check out Cristi Christensens workshop Soul Fire Elemental Activation. In this workshop, she created a Vinyasa sequence, a Pranayama and Mudra practice for each of the 5 Elements. This gives you a good idea for a well-rounded spiritual yoga practice.
Explore how Faith Hunter builds a yoga class sequence around the First Chakra.
These are only two examples of spiritual themes on which you could base your yoga class sequence. You can find a wide variety of other possible themes in traditional yoga writings such as Patanjalis Yoga Sutra or the Upanishads. Make sure you find something you can relate to and that resonates with you. This will make your teaching most authentic.
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General Tips For Sequencing Yoga Classes
The Basics Are The Bomb
Dont overdo it. Beginner and seasoned practitioners alike can benefit from returning to the foundation of the practice. If youre a newer teacher, just focus on a beginner yoga class sequence.
Practice Your Sequence
This ensures that what you are delivering to your students is conveying what you want them to experience physically and mentally. It will also give you more confidence teaching.
Assess Your Students
Do you have an idea of the type of student attending your class? i.e. elderly, athletes, recovering addicts, etc.? Knowing this information can help guide what direction to take your sequence.
Practice with your playlist
If you teach with music, be sure to have your music on while practicing. Subtle cues in the music will help you know if you need to speed up, slow down, or just savor the moment. I recommend learning how create the perfect yoga playlist, its a powerful way to impact your students.
Consider a theme
High level themes for your classes can help guide your sequence. Here are 25+ theme ideas to guide your next class.
Closing Your Gentle Flow Yoga Practice
For the full yoga experience, after completing your gentle flow yoga sequence, come to a seated position for meditation. Yoga poses are intended not only to take care of our bodies, but also to establish the ideal internal environment for accessing a meditative state. Your body and mind are now primed for meditation. So be sure to take this opportunity to bring your yoga practice to its full conclusion with meditation.
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Bring It Back To The Heart
Teachers tend to lean toward one closing section either heart-openers or forward-folds. Be sure to give students both.
They dont need long sections of each, but the spine needs to get stretched and reset around the end of class or students will leave feeling stiff. Camel, Bow, Bridge and Wheel are some basic notes to hit here. You can just pick one and do about three repetitions, adding options each time. Try to end each section with either Camel or Wheel.
It can also be fun to have students playing around on their bellies for backbends. They can do different things with their arms and legs, holding opposite ankles or stretching the arms in different directions, and, when held long enough, the heart rate will increase.
Encourage students to hold these poses for a little bit longer being sure that they do NOT restrict breathing. Take about 5-7 minutes here and then give the students time on their backs for a Happy Baby or a Revolved Twist to reset the spine.
What About Creativity
The main focus should be on developing sequences for yoga classes that are structured and coherent. Your yoga classes should provide meaning and transformative potential to the students. This requires yoga teachers to consider and apply everything they have learned about yoga, including anatomy and philosophy, asana and pranayama, self-expression and self-actualization.
However, many yoga teachers do not step in front of their students with a fixed yoga class sequence prepared. Instead, many yoga classes reflect random creativity. This approach certainly gives you the freedom to better adapt to the students condition and situation in any given class. Its also a great way to approach your own yoga practice.
However, if you want to build a yoga class for others, you run the risk that this random approach leads to confusion, difficulty, or even injury in the students.
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Is It Right For You
If youre comfortable in an intense fitness class environment , power yoga may be a good fit for you.
It may also be a good choice if you have a decent level of fitness and are accustomed to working out for 60 minutes or longer. Having some familiarity with other forms of yoga and yoga poses is helpful, too.
The Partner Yoga Sequence
Choose who Partner #1 will be. I recommend it be the person with more yoga experience, if theres a significant difference. I was #1 in my partnership.
Start with mats aligned, touching. Begin facing your partner.
- Down dog
- Rag doll
- Partner #1 comes to standing first, and gives a brief back rub first to #2 whos still in rag doll.
Warm-Up Sun Salutations
- While in high plank, do a high-5 with your partner. Try to take the time for one full breath to lift the hand, connect, and put it back down.
- Warrior 1, 2, reverse
- Partner #1 steps forward to do Warrior 2 with entwined arms
> > SWITCH MATS TO PARLELL
- Side Plank
- Can face in towards your partner first
- Monkey or other forward bend after twist #1, Gorilla after twist #2
- Crescent Lunge + Chest Stretch > > SAME FOOT in front
- Partner #1 faces the back
- Crescent Lunge with arms overhead, then bend elbows to have goal post arms
- Connect forearms and press to expand through the chest
- Crow again
Balance/ Hip Opening
- Warrior 3 to half moon
- Arms draped together in Warrior 3, palm-to-palm in half moon.
- Stacked Bridge
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