This basic formula is great for fast past, dynamic, yoga sessions that include moving with the breath, directing students quickly into postures (e.g. during Sun Salutations) 1. BREATH | 2. VERB | 3. BODY PART | 4. DIRECTION :
Inhale | lift | the arms | upward
Exhale | fold | the torso | forward
Inhale | lift | the body | half way up
Exhale | step | the right leg, followed by left | backward ...
Sometimes it may be practical to shorten further by omitting an element i.e body parts. Only once the student understands what they are doing and where they are going :
Breathe in | reach | / | up
Breathe out | hinge | / | down
Breathe in | lift | / | half way ...
For experienced yogis the pose names can be used for fast dynamic transitions :
On the in breath | Updog
On the out breath | Downdog
Write up & practice teaching quick cues for the Sun Salutations using all 3 formulas.
Mountain Pose > Upward Salute
Upward Salute > Forward Fold
Forward Fold > 1/2 Lift
1/2 Lift > 4 Limbed Staff
4 Limbed Staff > Up Dog
Up Dog > Down Dog
Down Dog > 1/2 Lift
1/2 Lift > Forward Fold
Forward Fold > Upward Reach
Upward Reach > Mountain Pose
To increase your vocabulary, write lists of words / synonyms for :
Inhale, Exhale, Reach, Stretch, Move, Engage, Downward, Upward, Twist, Circle.
This will come in handy when a student doesn't understand the cue you have given, you can quickly reword the instruction. Be creative.
Play the Stretchy Suzie card game to improve your quick cueing skills.
FORMULA 4 :
Being more thorough with your verbal cues will slow the pace of the class down, but it will ensure the student comprehends your instruction in both the mind and body. Your student will feel more comfortable when clearly understanding the intention behind the pose which in turn, will empower them to find the best alignment for their body. By encouraging more conscious transitioning into the asanas, students will more deeply appreciate the importance of paying attention which will lead to safer exploration and refinement of the students asana practice. To guide students into postures more precisely, we can use the foundation, transition, expression principles, previously studied, of setting up / building a pose and communicate the alignment at each stage. To incorporate the breath we can inhale - set up the foundation, exhale - moving into the pose and inhale once in the full expression.
E.g From Low Lunge > High Lunge
1. Inhale | (Foundation) Press down into the front foot, soften the back knee.
2. Exhale | (Transition) Wave the spine upward, unfurl the arms.
3. Inhale | (Expression) Unfurl the arms & gaze upward into the full expression.
Further detail :
"Inhale | Ground down strongly into your Foundation: Hands, feet, whatever’s on the earth, root them down to activate the arches of hands, feet and/or pelvic diaphragm - all will activate the Deep Core Line upward to support the body from the inside : Exhale | Draw energy up from earth through the limbs into the Pelvis & Low Back. Lengthen through the Tailbone. Pull up through the Pelvic Floor. Draw the front Low Back Spine In and Up: Or draw the front and back of your lumbar spine in and up evenly. Round your back/Integrate the Low Ribs: Often rounding the back at first as you pull in the ribs & abs, but being sensitive not to strain the low back curve. This can open the mid & upper back that tends to take over every pose, build tension in the back and shoulders : Inhale | Offer your Spine and Head long: This opens and lengthens the body so it is supported and long, not still rounded."
Task : Fill in Asana Labs Cue in, Cue out in manual using formula 4.