What Is A Yoga Sequence
In a nutshell, a yoga sequence is the order in which your yoga teacher structures the class. Youll have a warm-up, where you get the body centered and moving. Then, youll have the core of the class, where youll be moving and where the theme of the class or style of yoga will be presented. And finally, youll have a cool down, where you do your final stretches that then lead into meditation and stillness. It takes skill and creativity to draw up a great yoga sequence.
And each style of yoga has different yoga sequencing. A yoga sequence for a hip opening Hatha class is completely different from an Ashtanga yoga sequencing, which is completely different from a Yin yoga sequencing. A hip opening Hatha sequence will be slow and there may be plenty of mat work to stretch your hips. An Ashtanga yoga sequencing entails a lot of standing poses and may be paced more quickly than a Hatha class. And then a Yin class is altogether different from Hatha and Ashtanga. A Yin yoga sequence may only include six poses. Normally, all of those poses will be done in a seated position on the mat. And the sequence will be very slow. You may be holding a pose for over a minute.
Take The Time To Sit And Be Still
Always include time in your practice just to BE to breathe and to be present with yourself. Perhaps picking a gentle;pranayama;practice will help you, or mantra;meditation;or japa. Finding stillness in your practice will make you feel very nourished and peaceful, and this will then make you want to practice with more consistency and devotion! Just three minutes of conscious deep;breathing;can work wonders! Practicing meditation will benefit your asana practice, because it will help you build your powers of concentration. The inverse is true as well; practicing asana, especially with an intense focus on controlling prana through drishti,;bandhas;and breath, will make you a better meditator.
Sequencing Around An Action
Another approach to building a yoga class is sequencing around and action or specific detail of alignment. The goal of this yoga sequencing technique is less to achieve a particular yoga pose. Instead, the focus is on educating students and help them deepen their awareness and understanding of a particular action or detail of alignment.
When choosing this yoga sequencing technique, always start with an asana that is very simple and familiar to your students. In that way, its easier for them to apply the required actions in a pose they already know. So there will be no doubt in their mind of how to do it.;
You then gradually add different poses where the students have to apply the same actions. You can even use the same wording in your instructions. This gives students the opportunity to become more and more skillful and familiar with the actions. They will thus get to know these actions and how they feel in their bodies in different poses.;
Its a good idea is to choose an asana where you experienced some kind of aha effect yourself. Use a pose where applying these actions just opened up the pose for you and improved your practice. This gives you the opportunity to share your own experiences with your students, making your teaching more authentic.
Get some inspiration how to sequence around an action in Desirée Rumbaughs Strong & Mindful Yoga.
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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.;
Dont Reinvent The Wheel
Maybe the most important thing that you can take away from this quick guide on creating your own yoga sequence is the value in not trying to create this sequence out of thin air, but instead to steal major portions of yoga sequences from others that have already proven to be powerfully effective.
Sequencing can take years and years to really understand and appreciate. It can take even longer to create a sequence for others that allows them to really make the most of their body and they are energy. By hijacking elements of a proper sequence from proven yogis that have spent the time, the expertise, and the practice in creating these sequences you are able to leverage all of their hard work and really make it beneficial for you all while saving a lot of time and trial and error along the way.
As highlighted above, there are a lot of people that want to try and skip the beginner stage of getting into yoga. They believe that these early stretches and movements are too simple, arent stressful enough on the body, or arent going to produce the overnight affects they are looking for.
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Look For Inspiration Everywhere
Chet Faker, Pitbull, Rihanna, Adele, Taylor Swift, PJ Harvey, Fleetwood Mac. Rule nothing out if you like it, and it makes you want to get on your mat. Whenever you hear a song youd like to incorporate into a playlist, jot it down, bookmark it get into the habit of constantly looking for and compiling songs that inspire you on the mat.;
Practice Yoga Sequences At Home
When practicing at home, you can direct your sequence of poses by setting your intention first. Identify what you are hoping to achieve with the practice.
A sense of balance and calm? A release of tension in your back? Greater control in your breathing and flow of movement? By setting your intention first, the poses have a way of revealing themselves.
Consider your goals, write down the list of poses that will help you achieve them, and find an order that makes most sense for your flow. You might want to complete your yoga sequence from easiest to hardest. Or, you might want to simply go with the flow and transition from pose to pose as you proceed with the workout.
You will then need to ensure that you enter the practice safely. To this end:
- Start with gentle stretching before warming up with some standing postures or sun salutations.
- Move into deeper poses once you are fully warm, such as backbends and hamstring stretches.
- End the practice by cooling down with some relaxing poses before settling into savasana.
Whatever postures you choose, listen to your body, and you will always make the right choice.
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Get Some Feedback From Your Students
Once you finished teaching your awesome, kickass flow and theres time left after class, take time to chat with your students about how theyre feeling and how they experienced it. Ask them what they enjoyed and what they didnt. Constructive feedback is always great, and itll help you to adjust to your students needs as well. Its also a great way to get new ideas for the next flow.
Have A Focus For The Class
Every class will have a specific focus. However, there will also be distinguishing factors that will deem the class focus of your sequence. Below are some factors that will help you move in the right direction.
- Anatomical or biomechanical. You will want to determine if the class will focus on an anatomical factor or a biomechanical factor. If your class is mostly anatomical, it will focus on a certain part of the body, such as your abs, legs, or arms. However, if your class is mostly biochemical, it will focus more on movement for specific areas of the body, such as working on hip or knee mobility.
- Energy or state. Another factor would be determining the energy or state of the class. You might focus on grounding, centering, or activating. Of course, you can add more than one element, but depending on the class, it might be better to just focus on one.
- Enhance or balance events. Some classes can be made for the sole purpose of balancing events, whether they be holidays or world events. Some may enhance great feelings, while others can be used to ground the class during hard times.
- Specific demographics. Focusing a class on a specific demographic or need is quite common. For example, some classes can be made with senior citizens in mind, while others might be made for individuals with PTSD.
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Advice For Creating A Killer Yoga Sequence And Playlist
Vinyasa yoga class sequencing is pretty much like choreography. Except when youre teaching a class, you have students of varying levels, and you havent had weeks of doing the same moves over and over to practice as a group. Plus, if youre a fly-by-the-seat teacher like I am, often youre making it up on the spot. You dont even know for sure whats coming next.;Fun, dynamic, interesting sequencing is exhilarating. Recently, I saw Chet Fakers Gold video, and was so inspired that I had to roll my mat out right that instant, even though I had a hot meal sitting in front of me. Go watch it immediately, then read the rest of this, seriously.;;That spontaneous feeling of inspiration is powerful. When you see something that hits you so hard, you just have to act on your enthusiastic reaction right that fucking instant!;It might help to think of yourself as a songwriter. The process to sequencing a yoga class is similar. Trial and error is part of the process, and knowing when you hit the cord progression just right is even more fun than your birthday.;
How Should I Prepare A Corporate Yoga Sequence
First, consider your students. From my experience, most will be beginners and theyll be taking a break from work which means the class has to be quick. If you want to keep your students coming back, make sure its fun, beginner friendly, and keep the woo woo to a minimum.I can just picture a bunch of accountants that get scared away from yoga because the teacher talked in Sanskrit 90% of the time while delivering astrological readings and tuning everyones chakras. In other words, keep it basic. Maybe even consider using chairs as props if you dont have a dedicated studio space or much time.
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Feeling Down Or Uninspired
When youre feeling kind of low, doing a heart opening practice may be really mood enhancing. Youll want to think about back bending here – starting gentle and then working your way slowly up. Goddess pose arms with your warrior one can feel really opening and uplifting; bridge pose, and wheel are all great ones.
Pocket Yoga Practice Builder
Building on the success of the Pocket Yoga, this app takes the idea one step further. On top of all the features available in the basic version, you can also build your own sequences and send them to friends. You can share your sequences in several ways, using email, messaging, AirDrop or converting the programme to a PDF. There are 200 poses in the dictionary, and you can set the duration for each pose independently. Even the voice over can be tweaked!
- Platform: iOS
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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.
Consider Working Up To A Peak Pose
Not every yoga practice has to have a peak pose, or a pose that you work your way up to, but if youre going to have one, decide what it will be at the beginning and then have a general idea of how you will safely get yourself there. For example, if youre wanting to do a back-bending practice, and work your way up to wheel pose, youre not going to start with bridge and then go right into wheel! Youve got to safely warm your entire body up for it, and activate certain parts of the body so that its ready to get into wheel. Think about the shape the arms and legs make in your peak pose and see where you can implement less intense versions of that throughout your practice as you work your way up. For example, in wheel pose, we know the arms will extend overhead. Therefore, in your vinyasas, you may want to think about coming into a crescent pose, and perhaps bending at one elbow, capping the elbow with the opposite hand, and breathing a few deep breaths there to send the body a message that says, Hey, eventually were going to get into wheel – lets prep the arms and upper back for this position!
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Here The Framework For A Typical Yoga Class:
Practitioners will typically sit cross-legged on the mat, with eyes closed. Theyll start listening to their breath and calming their minds.
2) Warm up
Poses will include Cat and Cow that allows the students to start moving their spine. They may do some gentle twists.
3) Standing poses
Students will move to standing, where they will do lunges and perhaps balance on one leg.
4) Peak poses
Peak poses are those that will cover the theme of the class. If students are at a hip opener class, peak poses will help stretch the hips. A Vinyasa class will have a flow of poses that move smoothly from one to the other at this point.
5) Floor poses
The class will slow down, and students will move to the floor. The floor is where twists and forward folds will take place.
6) Cool down
During cool down, students may move onto their backs. They typically do gentle stretches and twists, slowing their breath and movement.
7) Final relaxation
During cool down, students may move onto their backs. They typically do gentle stretches and twists, slowing their breath and movement.
Chunking Sections Of Postures
When you memorize a phone number, do you take it all in at once, or do you break them into chunks? Into chunks, right? We take smaller portions to memorize a whole sequence. The same goes for memorizing a yoga sequence.
You can break your yoga sequence into mini-flows or segments to help you remember the whole thing. It also gives you a chance to work more closely on sections you are having a hard time remembering. However, you also want to focus on the big picture all the same. Consider the energy and the peak. How do you want your class to build up to the peak and cool down?
Another trick is by adding poses one at a time. When you start building your yoga sequence, concentrate on what feels right. Then, add the poses one at a time until you feel that the flow is just right!
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Categories Of Yoga Poses
To work your whole bodyin a logical sequence, it helps to think of poses in categories.; As ageneral rule, hold each pose for 5-10 breaths.;Strive for 70% edge: you never want to feel pain in yoga.; Ifanything doesnt feel right, just move on to the next pose.; Its never worth an injury.
Heres a basic outline for a 60-minute practice.; You may not hit all the parts every time.; Thats ok.; And you may not have 60 minutes- just shorten each section.; Whatever you can do is awesome!; I listed some ideas for each section so you can pick and choose or think beyond those poses.; Its your practice!; Enjoy!
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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