Why Do You Need A Yoga Class Sequence
With so many different yoga styles available, each of them claims to offer the best, most effective, healthy, or otherwise optimal approach to sequencing a yoga class. However, the truth is that theres no completely correct or incorrect sequence.
It rather is the case that the question of whether a yoga class sequence makes sense mainly depends on the students practicing. Different people in different life situations, with different abilities, need different approaches on how to sequence a yoga class.
On the one hand, this gives you as a yoga teacher enormous freedom in creating and building yoga sequences. On the other hand, this freedom also implies the responsibility for ensuring that your chosen sequences are safe, healthy and appropriate to the students at hand.
How To Build A Yoga Sequence For Your Yoga Class
Its time to recall back your memories of being a school student and remember how your teacher in class taught you the lesson of your favorite subject. Did she used play cards to teach words and alphabets, rhymes to make us learn the name of rivers or a math theorem, pipes to teach us the measurements and drawing charts to decipher the anatomy of our human body?
This means even though you have a Bachelor of Education degree in Yoga or merely holding any diploma or certificate in Yoga training, you do need a lesson plan to teach a Yoga class. Yoga, like any other subject needs a plan or Yoga flow sequence to partake a Yoga lesson to Yoga students.
Many Yoga teachers create their own Yoga sequence. Some take the help of online tool to prepare one. For a smooth Yoga class you must first know the dynamic flow of how each posture connects to one another.
According to Workout labs its not enough to simply shout out postures in hopes that they will fluidly move together. If you do this, you should kindly stop to prevent injury to students.
Best Yoga Sequence Builder App
Besides the above apps, there are many yoga sequence builder apps that are specifically designed to build a yoga sequence. Here are the best yoga sequence builder apps that seem worthy to use.
There are about 90000 yoga sequences for you here at Tummee. You can use Tummee.com yoga sequencing app just as a mobile app on your iPhone, Android phone and iPad. With easy to use mobile interface you can create, view, and share your yoga sequences on-the-go.
Also, the app offers 2500+ yoga poses, daily reference yoga sequences, and yoga sequencing guides which will really help you in your lesson plans.
There is a 15-day free trial to use this app and later on, you will pay $69.95 per year or $8.95 per month to use this app.
2. Yoga Class Plan
With this app, you can get access to use over 6000 shared class plans or create your own poses and plans and share with others. After 15 days of free trial, yoga class plan that cost you $109 per year.
3. Sequence Wiz
After 14 days of free trial this app costs you $120 per year or $12/month
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How To Build A Yoga Sequence In A Flash
One of the fun things about yoga teaching is designing new sequences. Once we have a few years of teaching a standard sequence under our belt, its fun and challenging to create new sequences built on different themes. Because my focus is anatomy, the sequences I build all are around an anatomical theme.
I have a sequence building template on my home page, which Ill share with you at the end of this blog, but what if you dont have time to sit down and use that template to build one? Is there a quick process you can use to build an anatomically themed yoga class? Of course! Im going to share with you a bare bones format you can use to create a sequence in no time flat. In fact, Ill even give you some of the substance of the sequences Ive built using this format.
So, here is the basic format:
Pick a peak pose: Pick the pose you want to either work up to in the sequence or highlight as a special posture to do.
Anatomy Logic: Once youve picked the Peak Pose, decide what your anatomical focus is based on that pose. For instance, if your Peak Pose is Camel, your anatomical theme might be hip extension and/or backbending.
Prep poses: Write down at least 5 poses that prepare the student for the peak pose. For instance, if Camel is your Peak, you might focus on Upward Dog , all variations of lunges, Dancers Pose and Bow.
So, here are some ideas:
Sequence One: Hip flexors including quadriceps
Peak Pose: Hero
How To Outline Your Strategy For Teaching Practice And Non
FOCUS : Balance
CONCEPT : Practice and Non-Attachment
POSE : Handstand
ACTIONS : Ground + Rebound Compact the outer hip Lengthen the side body Firm the outer arms in.
These five postures can be used to build a sequence leading toward Handstand. While each posture can be used to target a specific action, they also work together to establish a clear path to Handstand. This final sequence in the series is the culmination of the work presented throughout our sample curriculum.
Variation: Block between the hands
Action: Firm the outer upper arms in
Utkatasana progresses the action of firming the outer arms by applying the work under more challenging conditions. In this pose, students must use effort to straighten and lift their arms against the force of gravity. Working with a block between the hands adds more weight, but also gives students something tangible to lift. This work prepares the arms for Handstand.
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Questions To Ask Yourself Before Planning Your Class
Ask yourself these questions
- Which poses are you going to offer options
- Which poses are you going to teach alignment
- Any inspiring quotes
Regular or advanced Yoga students will require different poses or options. This means you can prepare options and alternatives for your students and change according to their needs and ability.
1. Start with Centering
Remember that Yoga is a subject related to more of physical aspect and human body has to be prepared to start Yoga lessons. To give clarity to the body and to provide it a space to begin the show you need to get the body tuned by few basic actions like a short meditation or breathing exercise of inhale in and inhale out. This can be covered for at least 10 minutes for a new Yoga student. These exercises can help your students collect and concentrate their awareness.
Pranayama or working properly with your breath, is best Yoga practice to follow here or it can also be done after physical asanas. Starting class with a short breathing exercise will allow your students to cultivate awareness and presence in their body and mind. Lions Breath, Alternate Nostril breathing, Sama Vritti, Kapalabhati, and Ujjayi are just some of the styles of Pranayama Yoga poses you can include at any point during your sequence.
2. Warm up Postures
Then prepare students for the class and poses. Warm reduces risk of injury and is already preparing students for the peak or maja pose.
3. Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskar
4. Standing and Balancing Poses
It All Starts With Your Opener
The opening poses and movements that you decide to make the beginning of your yoga sequence are literally going to make or break the success of every following movement and poses, which is why you really need to make sure that you knock this part of your sequence right out of the park.
Regardless of the opener that you decide to move forward with, you should choose something that activates your body and your mind, really working to warm you up for the rest of the yoga session. The last thing you want to do is ramp up your physical energy when your body is ill prepared, potentially threatening injuries that could set your progress back days, weeks, or even months.
Its always a good idea to focus on openers that are going to target your core and your hips. Your major muscle groups need to be woken up gradually, but they need to become limber and active just as soon as possible so that you can quickly move through the rest of the sequence and enjoy all of the benefits it has to offer.
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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.
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Skip Bikram And Try This Heat
While plenty of people swear by Bikram yoga, there is also power that comes from building your own internal fire. Move through a fierce twisting sequence with loads of vinyasas that will challenge your body but be well worth all your effort. It’s a great way to use all the strength you’ve built up from following our Better-Body Challenge.
Select An Apex Pose Or Set Of Postures
Most yoga classes have an apex pose, or a peak posture that the class builds upon from the beginning. To do this safely, ensure you choose postures during integration that warm up and strengthen the body in preparation for the apex pose. The apex pose is the most challenging posture of the class.
If you dont want to select one apex pose to work towards, another idea is choosing postures that open up a specific part of the body. i.e.: hips, shoulders, hamstrings, heart.
Tip: Integrate your theme into the postures. For example, if youre theming your class around self-love, a natural selection of postures would include heart openers.
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Ways To Create A Fitness Space
Creating a personal workout space can give you the motivation you need to work out. Fitness offers several benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing. Theres nothing quite like that mood-boosting feeling you get after completing a tough workout session. You can create your own fitness space with the space you have available. It doesnt need to cost thousands, and anyone can craft an at-home fitness space they love. Here are six ways to create a fitness space to kickstart your exercise routine and develop healthy habits for the whole year.
Peak Pose Yoga Sequences
Peak refers to the identification of a single pose or posture at either the Intermediate Level or at the Advance Level.A peak pose sequence helps in performing the target pose in a safe, structured and systematic flow.This is important to avoid any injury to the body, to perform the pose to the best of an individual’s ability,and to get the most benefit from the pose.
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Build An Asana Sequence
Creating a sequence around a theme is my favourite way to plan yoga classes. Start by considering whether there are any particular postures that clearly relate to your theme. If its a physical theme, its quite simple – select postures which work with that area of the body. If its an emotional theme, you could look into how the body holds emotion and how opening or strengthening the muscles can impact upon emotions.
For example, to cultivate openness and love, include heart opening postures, like backbends. To develop resilience, confidence and strength, choose postures which strengthen the centre of the body and make the student sit and stand tall.
For example, to cultivate openness and love, include heart opening postures, like backbends. To develop resilience, confidence and strength, choose postures which strengthen the centre of the body and make the student sit and stand tall. Always be sensitive to how a posture might make a student feel, dependent on their own emotional wellbeing and life experiences. Some postures can create intense feelings of vulnerability or fear in individuals remember to be aware of how things feel, and to encourage resting postures like balasana whenever the student needs them.
As you build your sequence, note any places where you can bring the awareness of your students back to the theme of the class.
Use Of Audio And Visual Media
Who doesnt make full use of audio and visual aids to teach a lesson in class? Students learn best by observing and copying what they see. As they learn by copying a Yoga teacher. But it is evident that learning is more effective when sensory experiences are stimulated. These include pictures, slides, videos and other audiovisual tools. You can create a display board and design a theme each day for the Yoga class you are going to teach on that day. Draw some Yoga postures on the whiteboard or make use of cards with Yoga poses and distribute to the students so that they can grasp the pose easily by looking and memorizing it.
Also can try power point presentations or teach them through other methods of learning or end the class with shows so as to recall them what they have learnt for the day.
The use of visual helps the Yoga teacher to present the Yoga lesson effectively so that students learn and retain the concepts better for longer duration. But remember that improper and unplanned use of these aids can have negative effect on the learning outcome. So you should be well trained through in-service training to maximize the benefits of using these aids. Your Yoga curriculum should be designed that there are options to activity based learning through this means.
Few tips to begin with Yoga Sequences
Finally have confidence in your own yoga experience and what you have learnt to teach. No yoga sequence is perfect at first because yoga is a journey to learn, practice and grow.
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Free Download: 25 Ways Yoga Teachers Can Earn More Money
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!
Reasons To Use A Yoga Sequence
With that being said, there are practical and good reasons for placing some postures ahead of others and following a yoga sequence.
- Safety reasons: Many teachers will begin practice with floor asanas for safety reasons alone to gradually loosen tendons, muscles, and ligaments before launching into standing postures.
- Balance poses with counterposes: Other teachers will standardly follow certain poses with counterposes. For example, the fish may follow a shoulder stand to provide a counter stretch for the neck. Similarly, after a series of backbends, it is often nice to do a forward bend to help release the lower back.
But, even then, there are no hard-and-fast rules. For example, with Iyengar yoga, the concept of pose-counterpose is outright rejected and considered detrimental to a practice. Instead, classes are structured around a particular theme, with one pose leading to the next through its similarity rather than its opposition.
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Example Types Of Classes & Yoga Sequence Ideas
Choose one or all of these things to use as you work through creating a yoga sequence. An intelligent class is not simply a sequence of yoga asanas, consider breathwork, themes, dharma, etc.
This is not an exhaustive list, but rather one to get you inspired. If you teach a vinyasa style class, just know there are endless yoga flow sequence ideas Ranging from a power vinyasa to a slow flow vinyasa yoga sequence.