Notes on Sequencing

SEQUENCING YOGA EXPERIENCES In each classification of poses—warm-ups, standing poses, backbends, inversions, and so on— progress from simple, less strenuous poses to more complex, difficult and strenuous poses. A well sequenced session the practitioner is able to reach below the skin, the muscles, and the bones to the energetic and bliss body. The best way to learn to sequence, besides practicing the creation of well thought out yoga experiences, is to practice what you create and see if each pose contributes to the next posture.

 

In general, while you might see variations depending on stylization and tradition, the organization of a class or session begins with a meditation pose and warm ups and then progresses to poses that safely and effectively open up the shoulders and hips. The climax of the class is composed of poses that require the most strength, stamina, and flexibility. The latter part of the class contains cooling and quieting poses.

 

A good rule of thumb is to remember the concept of parinamavada and pratikryasana. When creating a class, consider the following: • Who are you sequencing for (age, lifestyle, illness)? • What is the weather like? • What is the season? • What is you students experience level? • How do you expect your students to feel emotionally, mentally, and physically? • How do YOU feel emotionally, mentally, and physically?

 

PRINCIPLES OF SEQUENCING

1. Move from simple to complex

2. Move into stillness

3. Cultivate energetic balance

4. Integrate the effects of actions

5. Cultivate sustainable self-transformation

 

GENERAL SEQUENCING TIPS • Standing poses are good preparation for forward bends and backbends • Downward dog is good prep for all poses and a good cool down after forward bends and backbends • Don’t alternate back and forth between forward bends and back bends • Don’t add heating poses after cooling poses • Remember that different categories of asana have a different effect on the body, the mind, and the emotions. The best way to learn these effects and sequence from them is to understand them in your own body