SEQUENCING 

 

First things first, when you come to planning, acknowledge where you are physically, emotionally and mentally and go from there. Second, know and teach appropriately for your audience. Plan a class that is safe and accessible for the group. Then let go of preconceptions about your students and classes and apply observation and assessment tools throughout when teaching, which may lead your plan slightly somewhere else. 

A sequence is the order in which things are arranged, the pattern that is created by the logical flow of pieces to create a whole. Deciding not only which specific asanas should be practiced during a class, but the order in which they will be performed to suit the intention or purpose.

 

  • Understand how to prepare students both anatomically and systematically for the flow of your class.

  • Explore the sequences of various attended classes. 

  • Understand the rational and benefits of these styles and sequences.

  • Learn to use this information to intuitively create our own organic, transformative, multi-dimensional yoga flow.

  • Learn to build classes around peak poses, chakras, philosophical themes, a category of asana, an alignment principal...

  • Learn to sequence both energising and relaxing classes depending upon your students needs!

  • Study parallel poses. Learn how to introduce advanced postures through a more simplistic and attainable flow.

  • Learn safe and effective therapeutic principles to incorporate in your class sequencing. 

 

Having a Purpose creates balance within a yoga practice; physically, energetically and mentally. It provides a direction for the students in order to enhance their experience whilst preventing injury.

 

Sequencing a Class is Similar to Writing a Piece of Music You can make many different yoga practices from the same group of asanas, but the order in which they are practiced will define the experience you will have and how you’ll feel when you walk away from your mat. Composed of individual asanas and pranayama practices, each part is important in and of itself, yet a part of the entire composition. Classes are not randomly placed together, the sequence of each asana placement and the length of the pose, as well as the combination of postures together are all orchestrated to create a resonant whole. Each class that you sequence will have it’s own purpose, inspiration and feel, much like a piece of music or a song creates a certain feeling or experience in the listener.

MOVE FROM SIMPLE TO COMPLEX

MOVE FROM DYNAMIC TO STATIC EXPLORATION

CULTIVATE ENERGETIC BALANCE

INTEGRATE THE EFFECTS OF ASANA

 

PLAN B considerations

 

Time of Day: The time of day for the class dictates the energy the class may want to create:

 

  • Early morning: Gentle warm up leading into standing poses; leading into backbends and inversions to leave the practice more energised

  • Mid-Day: Consider a more balanced sequence, and note whether you have eaten prior to the practice or will eat afterwards.

  • Evening: Consider sun salutations and challenging standing poses early in the practice, leaving plenty of time for relaxing poses towards the end of the practice to get ready for bed.

 

Client Population: It is essential to consider what type of clientele you will be serving. Have ready in your mind Plan B to accommodate persons who may come to your class who might not be in your typical client demographic.

 

  • Have modifications and variations available so every one feels successful. 

  • Stick to the description provided by the studio. If the timetable says Ashtanga, the students should take responsibility for knowing the type of practice they are entering, the instructor should stay true to the format described. 

  • Gender / Age / Group specifics 

 

Season or Geographical Location: Be aware of the seasons and the energetic and emotional effect they will have on your students.

 

  • Hot/Humid climates/Summer : Add more forward bends and seated poses to balance the external heat and promote cooling.

  • Cold Climates/Winter: Practice sun salutations, backbends and inversions to energise and ward off seasonal depression due to longer nights and shorter days.

 

Length of Practice: Consider the amount of time you have and instead of jamming in too many poses, be sure to have balance within the practice

 

  • Always include breath-work and warming the body

  • Keep Savasana to no less than 5 minutes

 

basic arc 

FORMAT

 

Generally speaking every class should offer a balanced practice that allow students to progress steadily and simply, from one place to another. Every sequence should have a clear beginning, middle, and end point. To achieve this, the following “formula” will help you to prepare your sequences:

 

1 Centering Grounding-Meditation 

2 Warm Up Movements

3 Flow-Sun Salutation

4 Standing Poses

5 Abdominals (can be omitted)

6 Arm balance (can be omitted)

7 Backbends (contraction then leverage)

8 Twists 

9 Forward bends and hip openers

10 Inversions

11 Savasana-Relaxation

 
 

CENTERING

We rarely enter the yoga class in a “neutral state.” Our bodies have been biased into a particular position all night/day. If the class is first thing in the morning, we've likely spent the last 8 hours lying down, still so may feel a little rigid. Our heads likely clearer - when we sleep our thoughts get put on hold. If the class is in the evening we may feel a little tired, been sat all day flexed, and have the whole day swirling through our minds. 

 

We start by setting an appropriate pose, one that we can comfortably spend a bit of time in, that feels good, that counters the effects of the position we've been in prior. Somewhere we can easily breathe in and feel relaxed in so we can settle and turn our focus inward onto self awareness and cultivate presence. 

A centering exercise doesn’t need to occupy more than a few minutes, but at the end of the period the students' minds and bodies are quiet and ready to proceed with the class. During centering students' attention will drop away from everyday concerns and be redirected instead on themselves and the class to come. There are several ways to align the class. You might choose to encourage students  to focus on:

  • Some kind of attention to the breath

  • A distant sound. 

  • Body scanning.

  • Setting a personal intention.

  • An empowering philosophy. 

  • A reading, a chant or poem.

  • Music. 

DELIBERATE INTENT

 

Set your intention of giving the best class possible, attracting in the students that will get the most benefit from your teaching and watch how things unfold.

 
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