The Next Steps Of Committing To Yoga
As you continue to practice, see if you can find a difference between yoga days and non-yoga days. Focus on the positive, such as feeling calmer or a boost in energy and mood. Each positive experience you associate with being on your mat will make it easier to commit to coming back again.
You want the benefits youve noticed to last, for every day to feel like a yoga day. If you feel confident in your practice, it may also be the time to initiate a home yoga practice.
No matter how short or simple, a regular even daily home practice is the stepping-stone to making the physical and mental changes youve noticed more permanent.
If youre short on inspiration, consider a private yoga session with a respected teacher, delve into yoga history and literature, or attend a workshop on a topic that intrigues you. The ancient practice of yoga offers countless pathways to real and concrete benefits. Now its up to you to find your way.
Build a foundation of good habits, such as diligence and consistency, to help bring your beginner mindset into the next stage. In the intermediate stage, you can focus on building strength and more nuanced moves.
How Do You Sequence A Yoga Class
If you’re a yoga teacher, or creating a flow for yourself, sequencing a yoga class can be beneficial before beginning. Consider your goals for the practice and build a sequence around the purpose of the class. Begin with easy poses and build up to more difficult asanas. Balance each posture with a counter-posture, which will target alternating body parts.
Your First Yoga Practice
We recommend that you start with a short and straightforward yoga session and slowly build up from there. Once you feel comfortable with a few basic beginner yoga postures, you can incorporate them into a sequence and continue to add more challenging poses. Make sure you learn and follow the essential components of a yoga practice: breathing, meditation, intention, asanas, and relaxation.
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Beginner Yoga Sequence For Teachers
Just because you enjoy complicated yoga sequences in your personal practice doesnt mean you should attempt to teach this way. Most students enjoy and benefit from more straight forward sequences where they can focus on the present moment instead of trying to keep up.
A beginners yoga class sequence might include fewer postures repeated more frequently. Build the sequence in a way that lets your student intuitively move from one position to the next.
If youre looking for ideas, most bigger yoga studios have beginner yoga sequences that rarely change. Take a few beginner classes around town for inspiration.
Pro tip: a yoga sequence for beginners allows the teacher to focus more on the space their holding, giving dharma, and adjusting students.
Stick With A Set Sequence
Practicing the same poses every day repeatedly is a powerful way to keep consistent with your practice. This repetition offers you a clear vantage point from which to watch yourself grow and change. The nature and sequencing of Ashtanga Yoga offers this beautifully. You dont have to think about what pose you want to do next, so instead you can focus on your breath, bandhas and drishti. This takes you into a deeper meditative and focused place, so that you will step off your mat feeling more present and peaceful.
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There Are Many Styles Of Yoga
If youre scrolling through what seems like an endless list of classes, all with titles that mean nothing to you , Howe has a few tips to ease your selection stress. Think of the reasons you want to start your practice, she says. If youve never tried yoga before, maybe avoid the Power/Ashtanga type classes and Bikram . Get to know how your body feels in a regular temperature class, she suggests. When in doubt, Try many different styles, many different instructors, Howe says. Youll know what works best for you. Theres something for everyone or a style or flavor for every day of the week. After all, theres even face yoga.
So You Came To Your First Yoga Class At Yogariot Yay Now What
Maybe youve been to some classes before, but this time something was different and you want more.
Maybe youve been coming once in a while, but just never committed.
Yoga is meant to be a daily practice, and while you may never get there and stay there, dont let perfect be the enemy of the good. Some yoga is always better than no yoga at all.
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If Your Practice Sticks And You Want To Continue Plan To Treat Yourself To Some Accessories Or Apparel
Although you can make yoga props out of literally anything, the longer you practice, the more youre gonna want to invest in quality products. Ive accumulated my props over time, and I always look for gear thats more ecologically sound and geared toward diverse bodies. My favorite yoga block is Mandukas Unblok recycled-foam yoga block , and I love Yoga Hustles straps .
Its kind of an annoying reality, but I do think good yoga mats are generally expensive and bad yoga mats are generally cheap. And if youre fat and/or tall, you might eventually crave a mat thats built to accommodate your size. Personally, I use the Jade Yoga XW Fusion mat , and I cant recommend it highly enough its expensive as fuck but worth every penny.
Best Online Streaming Platforms For Yoga
If youre looking for a committed practice with your favorite teachers just like a yoga studio can offer you without battling the yoga studio crowd, then I highly suggest subscribing to an online streaming platform. Some of the most popular yoga teachers in the entire world can be found on these platforms. Also, there are so many options for various styles and levels!
If you want a branded experience that you can access right from home, then this is a great option for you. Bryan Kest, the owner of Power Yoga, has curated a massive library of online yoga classes that are very on-brand with Power Yoga.
There are even free yoga videos for non-members so that you can try it out before signing up for the free trial.
Free Membership: Monthly fee: $22/month.
2. YA Classes Online Yoga Classes
YA Classes arranges its sessions in terms of duration, difficulty, instructor or category. As well as traditional yoga lineages like Ashtanga and Vinyasa, this platform has training for fitness and many kinds of yoga styles to learn. Also, there are free classes for all levels of difficulty.
One of the most interesting things about YA is that they have a sustainable initiative in which they plant a food-producing tree for every class you take. At the moment that this is being written, around 55,800 trees have already been planted. Finally, they also offer many interesting articles for their yogi community and the option to join their newsletter.
Trial: 14 Days Free.
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Getting Started With Yoga
Yoga isnt one-size-fits-all, but its one of the few exercises that actually offers different sizes for people to try. If youre new, its worth trying different styles to find which best resonates with you. Heres a summary of the main types of yoga:
Iyengar This type is a combination of standing and seated postures using props for people who want to focus on alignment, posture, and gain increased muscular power and range of motion.
Viniyoga A class thats focused on breathing and meditation for people with limited mobility or who want to work from the inside out, to experience relaxation, body awareness, and better posture.
Jivanmukti A set sequence that incorporates meditation, compassion, chanting, and deep listening, for people whowant to incorporate spiritual elements and ancient teachings of yoga in their practice while gaining body awareness, learning Sanskrit, and improving relationships.
Hatha This type uses yoga poses and breathing techniques to align and calm the body, mind, and spirit in preparation for meditation. Classes are slower paced, but holding the poses can be more physically demanding.
Vinyasa This dynamic type synchronizes movement with breath and may be referred to as a flow class. Expect to move faster than in a traditional Hatha class.
What Makes A Great Yoga Class Sequence
What does that mean for you as a yoga teacher? Your role in yoga sequencing is to intelligently plan the course on the basis of the condition and situation of the students in class.
At the same time, you have to observe and communicate with your students so that you know when they have adopted and internalized your teachings with permanence and ease.
And finally, you have to provide clear guidance, motivation, and inspiration along the journey.
Remember that you want your students to leave their yoga mat feeling more integrated than before the class.
As a yoga teacher, you want your students to leave your class with a better feeling. .
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Break The Timing Into Manageable Chunks
It can be helpful to break your sequences into roughly timed segments to ensure that you are not finishing too early or running late. Considering that most studio classes are 1 hour in length, you can break the timing into manageable chunks to help you better plan your classes.
This is how Id recommend breaking down your yoga class:
- Centering and Warm-up: Spending the first 15 minutes of class centering, connecting to breath and moving through gentle movement
- Standing Sequences: Moving into 20 minutes of standing postures that may include Sun Salutations, twists and dynamic movement.
- Peak Pose/Balance Poses/Backbends: For the next 5 minutes, working on a peak pose, balance postures or backbends
- Closing Sequence: Leaving 10 minutes to wind down, working on seated and supine poses to prepare you to slip into a juicy savasana
- Savasana & Meditation: Spending the last 10 minutes on savasana, meditation and closing.
Yoga Helps Your Physical Body
The most obvious benefit is, of course, physical. Yoga postures can help increase:
During yoga, your body goes through a full range and variety of motion that can counteract aches and pains associated with tension or poor postural habits. Not only does yoga help you and many athletes become more aware of your body, it also allows you to fix these imbalances and improve overall athleticism.
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Yoga Helps With Stress And Relaxation
Another key benefit of yoga is that it helps with stress. Accumulation of stress can cause your nervous system to be constantly in overdrive, making it difficult to unwind, focus, and sleep. The breathing exercises you practice during yoga can help lower your heart rate and shift your nervous system into a more relaxed state. It also promotes better sleep and increased focus.
For people with a more spiritual background, the effects of practice start to be felt beyond the physical body and off the mat. Yoga can help connect you more deeply to your sense of purpose and awareness of living in the present. As you start your journey, what you get out of the practice can also change based on your needs.
Practicing yoga can help with body awareness, flexibility, strength, mobility, and balance. It also requires you to shift into a more relaxed state, which can help decrease stress, increase focus, and promote a stronger connection with yourself.
Keep A Journal To Reflect On Your Progress And Adjust Your Plans
Aftereach practice session, take 5-10 minutes to reflect and write down any thoughtsyou may have:
- Didyou find the practice easy or difficult? Which parts were the toughest tohandle?
- Wheredo you need further work in order to progress towards your goals?
- Howwas your focus for the practice? Was it easier or harder than usual to staymindful on the mat?
- Werethere surprises during the practice? Did you achieve any breakthroughs?
- Howdo you feel after the practice? Do you feel less anxious, calmer, or have agreater sense of mental clarity?
- Whatwould you do differently?
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Tips For Building Creative Yoga Sequences
As new yoga teachers, creating yoga sequences can feel overwhelming at first. But over time, as your teaching experience grows and you are consistent in your personal practice, creative yoga sequencing will flow to and from you as naturally as your breath.
Maybe you teach at a yoga studio that adheres to a specific style
but if this is not the case, which style should you incorporate into your sequencing?
One of the biggest tips I give to students in my advanced teacher training course is to teach what you practice and let your own direct experience be your guide. These following tips will help you with the rest!
Watch Out For The 3 Ps
Always honour your bodys boundaries and avoid pain, pinching and pushing. If youre new to yoga it might be difficult to distinguish between pain and discomfort. Pain feels hot and sharp, whereas discomfort is more of a dull, nagging sensation. Generally speaking, STOP if its inside the joint structure If you do feel pain, move gently rather than suddenly out of the pose. If you feel discomfort, perhaps you can soften or adjust or even use props to assist you.
Its always advisable to warm up properly before attempting advanced poses and be especially mindful of the transitions between poses.
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Find Yoga Videos That Inspire You
Having a selection of yoga videos at hand to guide and inspire you can improve both your motivation and your technique.
Do some research and find some online yoga tutorials that you enjoy and feel comfortable doing. This way, if you dont have the time or energy to make it to the studio some days, you can still enjoy an awesome practice at home.
How You Can Strengthen Your Yoga Practice:
If you want more instruction and have questions, come to emPOWER! emPOWER is held on the 2nd Sunday of every month and is taught by Katie Presley. Katie will give you any information or modifications that you may need to feel successful.
If you ever acquire new injuries or limitations, talk to us. Well find solutions to get you going.
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Sequencing Toward A Peak Pose
One way to create a new sequence for your yoga classes is sequencing toward a peak pose. The peak pose is the most challenging pose in the class that requires thorough preparation so that the body is
1. strong and stable enough,
2. flexible and open enough, and
3. students have gained the knowledge and body awareness that is required to perform the peak pose.
To create a sequence that adequately prepares the body for the intended peak pose, there are three points to consider:
1. Which part of the body needs to be stabilized or strengthened?
2. What kind of flexibility or openness is required to do this pose?
3. What do your students need to know or understand? Or in other words: What are the most common misunderstandings or misalignments in this pose?
Examples for typical peak poses are Crow or even twisting arm balances, which you can practice with Mathieu Boldron on TINT. King Pigeon is another very popular peak pose that requires a well-rounded preparatory sequence. Matt Giordano created a 5-part workshop on TINT that prepares your body for this exact peak pose.
See how Mathieu Boldron builds a yoga sequence toward twisting arm balances.
It Increases Flexibility And Balance Of The Body And Mind
Flexibility in yoga practice is not just about reaching your toes. Its about the journey towards your toesthe flexibility to be open-minded, and to release the ego and just be, shares Howe, who adds that balance in yoga should also be considered holistically, rather than just in terms of not toppling over when holding Tree pose. The emphasis on the mind-body connection in yoga helps develop physical balance and allows us to tune into our emotional needs and honor those needs. With that said, Howe notes not to diminish the power of improving your physical balance. On those days when balance aligns, and we can stand in Tree pose without wobbling, that rush of adrenalinethe confidence boostis amazing.
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What Do I Need For Yoga At Home
The truth is that you dont need anything for an at-home yoga practice. Ive traveled the world without a yoga mat or yoga teacher and kept my daily yoga practice.
But if youre new to yoga, then that might leave you feeling a little lost!
To get started, Id recommend having the following for yoga at home:
- a non-stick yoga mat
- a yoga video to follow
- any yoga props that you feel you need, including a yoga block, a yoga strap, and a pillow for meditation
And thats it. Everything else just helps set the mood for your practice, but more on that in a bit.
Learn Basic Yoga Poses
Once you feel ready for the physical side of your yoga practice, you can start to mindfully experiment with yoga poses for beginners.
There is no need to try to jump into the more complex poses or to try to be as bendy as the person next to you.
In fact, you can begin your practice right at home with free yoga videos.
Wherever you begin, whether in a local yoga studio or with an online yoga video, there are a few basics to start with.
Start with postures, or yoga asanas, such as downward-facing dog, child’s pose, and savasana.
In each pose, focus on pressing your hands or feet into the floor, lengthening your spine, and relaxing your hips. If you keep this in mind as you practice, you will be working with each pose exactly as even the most devoted practitioners do.
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