A lot of people nowadays get certified to teach yoga. Even though the market seems saturated, yoga instructors internalize, interpret, and eventually deliver what they’ve learned. It is safe to say that no two yoga classes are the same. Yoga instructors are constantly challenged to come up with new sequences and unique content to stand out among the crowd. In this article, we will share with you how to build a yoga sequence effectively. It can be exhausting, but with continual practice and patience, you’ll surely find your niche and get the hang of everything.
Creating a yoga sequence is a work of art. The strategy you take is essential to the success of your class. Selecting each part with thoughtful and mindful consideration is a great place to begin. However, even with this incredible chance, comes the challenges of sequencing, especially for new yoga teachers and students. Creating a yoga sequence can seem intimidating. From choosing the right poses to the final sequence, there’s a lot to keep in mind when planning a yoga class.
Each yoga class follows an outline, and once you get the hang of it, filling in the blanks becomes more manageable. Different styles of yoga come to play while planning a sequence; however, most classes generally have similar elements.
Tips for Effective Yoga Class Sequencing
- Make it simple – don’t overdo it. Both beginners and experienced practitioners can benefit from reverting to the foundations of yoga practice. If you’re a rookie teacher, try to focus more on creating a beginner yoga class sequence.
- Practice Your Sequence – practicing your sequence ensures that you deliver to your students what you experience mentally and spiritually. It also gives you more confidence when teaching your sequence.
- Assess Your Students – always assess the types of students attending your class. Knowing this information can guide you on the steps you’ll take on how to build a yoga sequence. It also enables you to know how to build a yoga sequence that will tailor-fit to your audience.
- Practice with your playlist – teaching with music adds to the overall Zen feel of your class. Also, you can utilize it to help you remember when to speed up, slow down, or just savor the moment. The right music can create an impact on your students.
- Consider a theme – Unique and varying themes for your classes can help guide your sequence and make the class more interesting.
How to Build a Yoga Sequence: A Guide
The most basic yoga sequences are made up of 6 parts. In this section, we will talk more about the different parts, and some sample yoga poses to go with them.
1. Grounding (5-10 minutes)
Also known as an opening sequence, this is where the actual class starts. Primarily, you aim to create an atmosphere inviting in-presence and awareness of breath and body. Some instructors use a short meditation or breath-work.
Recommended Grounding Yoga Poses:
- Child’s Pose
- Seated Pose
- Supine Pose
2. Warm-Up/ Integration (10-15 minutes)
After getting grounded on your yoga mats, it’s essential to physically warm up your body to prepare for more challenging poses.
Recommended Warm-Up/ Integration Yoga Poses:
- Cat/Cow Variations
- Gentle Core Work
- Seated Lateral Bends
- Seated Gentle Twists
- Thread the Needle
3. Sun/ Moon Salutations (15 minutes)
Include sun or moon salutations and combine each movement with breath. Sun Salutations are heating and stimulating; thus, they are often used to start a yoga practice. This pose stretches and strengthens all your major muscle groups. On the other hand, Moon Salutations are cooling and relaxing. This pose is best to use if you’re leading a slower flow.
Recommended Sun/Moon Yoga Poses:
- Mountain Pose
- Forward Fold
4. Standing & Balancing Poses (20 minutes)
Once you complete the preliminary stage, your students are set to be on their feet, moving more actively. Now is the time to come up with sequences that include warriors, lunges, and other standing poses. Combine balancing postures into the flow, or you can leave them separate.
Recommended Standing/Balancing Yoga Poses:
- Warrior 1, 2, 3
- Crescent Lunge
- Wide Legged Forward Fold
- Tree Pose
- Eagle Pose
5. How to Build a Yoga Sequence: Seated and Supine (10-15 minutes)
After a few challenging poses, it’s now time to slow the body down. Since the body tends to be super warm, try to practice deeper stretches and spend more time in each pose. It will begin to cool the body down, preparing for your final resting posture.
Recommended Seated Yoga Poses:
- Seated Spinal Twist
- ½ Pigeon Pose
- Seated Forward Fold
- Bridge/Wheel Pose
- Supine Twists
- Happy Baby
- Supta Badha Konasana/Reclined Bound Angle Pose
6. Savasana (10 minutes or more)
This is the final resting posture. You may read a quote related to your theme or use a piece of powerful music to set the mood. Otherwise, silence is good enough to allow your students to soak their own experience.
Practice Makes Perfect
A yoga sequence you practiced is an easy sequence to teach—experience how each of the poses and transitions feels in your own body. You’ll quickly realize where you can improve your sequence for better fluidity. Practice as much as you can. Being prepared feels so much better when teaching a yoga lesson. Also, know how to build a yoga sequence that is simple yet effective for various students.
Finally, don’t put so much stress and pressure on yourself. Repeating sequences can also be beneficial, so no need to create a new set for every single class. Just be yourself, and always teach from your heart. Know more about yoga routines.