Sequencing Yoga Classes—Keys to Building a Better Class.

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Note: the author received this book for free, in return for a guarantee that she would review said offering.  That said, we say what we want—good and bad, happy and sad. ~ ed.

One major way we express our voice and perspective as yoga teachers is through the way we sequence our classes.

Unless you teach in a tradition with a set series, sequencing can be a challenge, and somewhat daunting, even for seasoned teachers. A well sequenced class can be one of the key reasons why your students will return time and time again. I recently had the chance to speak with my teacher here in Santa Cruz, Mark Stephens about his new book on sequencing, and come of the challenges we face as teachers.

Stephens’ new book, Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes, dives deeply into the art of sequencing. Stephens covers everything from philosophies and principles of sequencing, to structure, flows, and ways to design unique classes that make sense.

Yoga Sequencing is geared toward the vinyasa flow yoga teacher, but has a great deal to offer for teachers in other traditions and styles. This is a great resource for full yoga sequences as well: it contains over 60 sequences, and covers flows for different aims, including flows for seniors and pregnancy.

 

In this audio interview we discuss some of the larger “mistakes” new teachers make, a few key ways we can make our classes more dynamic and more effective, while still maintain our voice as yoga teachers.

 

Listen to our interview below:

 

~

Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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anonymous Sep 25, 2012 9:36am

[…] you are a yoga teacher, especially a newer teacher looking for tips on how to add to the class with extra verbal descriptions on rotation and alignment, this is for […]

anonymous Sep 24, 2012 9:51am

Great interview. Looks like a great book. There are not a lot of books that focus only on sequencing and I think teachers could use more resources like this to continue to grow.

anonymous Sep 17, 2012 8:40am

Thank you for that podcast.

The transition, Warrior three to half moon pose was brought up, as being graceful and flowing … and commonly used in sequencing.

Yoga sequencing is not, I repeat, not about choreography.

Of course, I am not an ex-dancer, nor am I young, small or terribly bendy …

I practice yoga at home, taking every last sequencing matter into my own hands: and my sequence has repetitive transitions that looks a lot more like Warrior three to pyramid pose.

I WILL do a core segment and go into backbending, but they are not intense and actually more repetitive.

Rest is underrated in a practice, and there are plenty of restorative style, low energy poses thrown in (that are not savasana or child's pose) … in between everything else …

I hope yoga teachers "borrow" what they want from what a real homebody yoga practitioner does, when the practice leads to feeling eminently centered after an hour or two and lasting for hours afterward.

There will be a lot more to share!

    anonymous Sep 17, 2012 4:25pm

    Thank you for your imput! Namaste!

      anonymous Sep 17, 2012 5:56pm

      Namaste to you, too.

      Meaning to say, the vinyasa practice gets "softened to taste" …

      The teacher of yoga should be more facilitator than leader … teaching is more like gardening or childrearing in that way …

        anonymous Sep 18, 2012 12:00pm

        I love the gardening metaphor… thank you!

    anonymous Oct 6, 2012 5:36pm

    well vision, I agree. its nto choreography.. it is to provide smooth transitions AND to have a sequence for opening body areas fo rthe peak poses.
    I am more than half through the interview and have not heard .. oops here is a real example… but have heard so little of what should go first or what opens up for what.. its too general.

      anonymous Oct 6, 2012 9:07pm

      Thank you for your input! The whole book is about what should go first, and how to open for peak poses. It was a bit too much to cover in a short interview, but maybe we can do a post here with the basics. Namaste!

anonymous Sep 16, 2012 3:59pm

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Emily Perry

Emily Perry, L.Ac., RYT-200, is an Acupuncturist, Herbalist & Yoga Teacher. She teaches and writes in Santa Cruz, CA, and can be reached through her web site, on her blog, or via email at emilyperryyoga{at}gmail{dot}com.