Yoga teachers, it’s time to “crazy check” your sequencing
By Paula Mitten, owner of Durga Yoga
Yoga teachers, it is time to check your sequencing and class plans to ensure they make sense anatomically.
A class plan should build your students up, gradually, towards the peak of your class and slowly wind them back down to Savasana. Look at the main poses that you want to teach and make sure that everything before that has a purpose in preparing the body for the challenges that your peek poses might hold. Then analyse the most effective poses to help your student release out afterwards, winding all the way back down to the ground.
Examine all of the elements required to achieve your peak poses (it can be easy to focus on the main aspect of your poses and forget about all of the smaller actions that are required) Think about the muscles that need to be stretched and the muscles that need to be strengthened. Prepare all of the major joints involved to prevent injury. As you slowly work your students towards the peak of the class the, sequence should prepared them mentally for what’s to come.
If your class plan includes sun salutations, step back to high plank at least twice before you give the option to jump back to Chaturanga (never offer jump back to high plank). From high plank, offer knees down, lower to the belly a couple of times before introducing Chaturanga as an option. As a result of this rule you will automatically take your students through cobra for a few rounds before giving the option of upward facing dog. In this way you are building your flow gradually and organically, preventing injury and creating an anatomically sensible flow.
Leave plenty of time to wind back down, nobody wants to finish at the peak of their practice! Your class plan should include a group of calming poses that allow your students to cool down and unravel. The tempo should be slower as you head towards the end of class and the music (if you play music) should reflect that. By winding down effectively your students will float out of class (regardless of how challenging the peak of the class was).
Always take time for Savasana (relaxation) at the end of your class. 5 minutes is all it takes to reset body and mind, leaving your students feeling ready to step into the outside world again.
As your students leave the class, they should always feel better than they did when they walked in. If you can achieve this, you will have them coming back again and again for more.
If you would like help in your yoga business Paula offers YogaLab, CPD training where teachers can up-skill, as well as exclusive coaching programs that will take your business to the next level. For details on any of these programs email Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org