Chaos to Calm. {Yoga Sequence} ~ Tracy Johnson

Via on Mar 28, 2013

Orion Nebula - new image from Hubble & Spitzer

This sequence came together a few weeks ago, about the time of the Mercury retrograde.

It grew from a need to bring balance and unity to a time of chaos and it took until the reversal of the retrograde for me to organize my thoughts about it.

That figures.

At the time, I was struggling to juggle the many facets of my life which felt like they were all up in the air at the same time. The feedback I was getting from my students was that they were in the same boat—confusion, distraction, too much going on to focus effectively any one thing.

Now, weeks later, as I try to write about the sequence, I am seeing that I was trying to correct all of those things I listed above. I guess I followed the advice of my teachers in seeking to meet the students where they are at and then guiding them to a place of balance.

The sequence is confusing, especially for those who practice regularly and have the expectation that we always start on the right. Here is where we start letting go of that expectation, or rather our perception. If we shift our perspective to the idea that the overall flow of movement begins with expansion and then moves to contraction, then we can see that the sequences actually do begin on the right side—although that may entail having the left foot forward.

The overall energetic effect is an initial “stirring up” (prana vayu), followed by progressively deepening twists (samana vayu) for intense centering and finishes with gentle grounding (apana vayu).

The challenge of teaching the sequence is remembering which foot is forward and guiding smooth transitions to ensure your students are on the correct side. Instructors will find the attention required to teach the sequence effectively will encourage a strong sense of presence, mindfulness and focus, leaving you feeling as balanced as your students at the conclusion of class.

Please read the following legal stuff before you go further:

Not all exercise is suitable for everyone. This or any exercise program may result in injury. Consult with your doctor before use. Yoga instructors teaching this sequence to students should have comprehensive yoga training and liability insurance. To reduce the risk of injury, never force or strain yourself or your students during exercise. If you feel pain, stop and seek medical attention if necessary.

This sequence may not be appropriate during pregnancy. Any instructor teaching yoga to pregnant women should have specialized training in Prenatal Yoga and should provide appropriate modifications for contraindicated poses. Those with special health considerations should consult their medical practitioner before performing any exercise.

elephantjournal and Yoga in the Valley/Tracy Johnson cannot guarantee that this yoga program is suitable and safe for every individual. Any liability, loss or damage in connection with the use of the following yoga sequence, including but not limited to any liability, loss or damage arising from the performance of the exercises demonstrated here is expressly disclaimed.

The Sequence: Chaos To Calm

*I like to start each class with a few minutes of Nadi Shodhana whenever possible

Easy Pose

Reach up

Side stretch LRLR

Gentle seated Twist L

(Repeat on other side)

Cat/Cow

Downward Dog

Step to Forward Fold (FF)

Step right leg back to lunge

Step to FF

Step L leg back to lunge

Step to FF

Flat back

FF

Rise & reach up

Samastithi

Surya Namaskara A (3-5x)

Series 1:

Mountain

Side stretch (Bikram 1/2 Moon) Right

chaos in pure form

Return to center

Chair twist right-hands in prayer

Chair—center

Forward Fold

Step right leg back to lunge

Warrior 2

Triangle

Warrior 2

Side Angle

Illuminated Warrior

Down Dog or Vinyasa to Down Dog

Lift Rt Leg

Step R foot forward to lunge

Revolved lunge Rt

Release twist

Step to FF

Flat Back

FF

Extended Mountain

Samasthithi

(Repeat on left)

Series 2:

Mountain

Side stretch (Bikram 1/2 Moon) Right

Return to center

Chair twist right-hands in prayer (option: open arms)

Chair—center

Forward Fold

Step right leg back to lunge

Warrior 1

Extended Pyramid (Fingers laced in Kali mudra, pointing past front foot)

Standing Split

Pyramid

Pyramid with flat back

Down Dog or Vinyasa to Down Dog

Lift Rt Leg-open hip (dog on fire hydrant pose)

Step R foot forward to lunge

Revolved Triangle

Release twist

Step to FF

Flat Back

FF

Extended Mountain

Samasthithi

(Repeat on left)

Series 3:

Mountain

Side stretch (Bikram 1/2 Moon) Right

Return to center

Chair twist right-hands in prayer (option: 1/2 bind)

Chair—center

Forward Fold

Step right leg back to lunge

Crescent Warrior

Crescent Warrior with side stretch to left

Dancer -standing on L

Downward facing Dancer

Standing Split

Pyramid

Down Dog or Vinyasa to Down Dog

Lift Rt Leg

Step or jump to top of mat

Noose Pose -twist to R(opt: hands to mat, prayer position, side arm balance)

Release twist

FF

Flat Back

FF

Extended Mountain

Samasthithi

(Repeat on left)

Dolphin with R leg raised

Half Pigeon R leg forward

(Repeat on L)

Bridge

Shoulder stand

Reclining Twist

Fish pose

Seated twist-turn to R

Head to knee-R leg bent

Staff

(Repeat on L)

Seated forward fold

Yoga Mudrasana

Savasana

 

Tracy JohnsonTracy Johnson has been exploring movement in its many forms since she began dancing at age 15. Her career as a dancer and choreographer led her to the study of Martial Arts, Massage Therapy and finally Yoga. As a Yoga Instructor she combines an understanding of anatomy and kinesiology with creative Vinyasa sequences rooted in the Ashtanga style and influenced by her many wonderful teachers. Tracy teaches yoga to kids and grown-ups in Western WI. She is the creator of Little Lotus Kids Yoga Cards and teacher training program www.littlelotuskidsyoga.com. She blogs about yoga, life and love at www.yogainthevalley.blogspot.com.

~

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Ed: K.Macku/Kate Bartolotta

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