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Sequencing Yoga Poses: Not Simply Cool Choreography



This entry was posted on Feb 28, 2022 by Charlotte Bell.

sequencing yoga poses

In 1989 I went to India for a three-week intensive with B.Ok.S. Iyengar and his daughter, Geeta. Mr. Iyengar had simply turned 70, and Geeta was formally dealing with nearly all of educating duties. Nonetheless till the final week of the intensive, B.Ok.S. appeared on daily basis and taught a lot of each class. Over the past week, he traveled out of city to show a category for sooner or later. So Geeta taught solo that day.

As a result of most of us had been getting ready to board a airplane for the lengthy journey dwelling, Geeta led a category she hoped would put together us for flight. The category was uncharacteristically mellow. The category was so relaxed that when Geeta ended it with out Savasana (Last Rest), I felt utterly—surprisingly—clear and comfy.

I had skilled Savasana-free courses with American lecturers earlier than. With out fail, I felt jagged and edgy after such courses. However Geeta sequenced this class sequenced with the parasympathetic nervous system in thoughts. For the primary—and solely—time in my 40 years of yoga observe, no Savasana was wanted.

Why Give attention to Sequencing Yoga Poses?

Asana (the bodily observe), has advanced over the centuries as a option to create a supportive bodily setting for the thoughts to turn out to be quiet. Asana observe helps us flip from the sympathetic (combat or flight) to the parasympathetic (relaxation and digest) facet of the autonomic nervous system. This creates a supportive setting for meditation.

Whereas every pose has an inherent particular impact on our physique/thoughts, these results are mutable. The best way we method the observe, and the best way we sequence yoga poses can affect the impact on our nervous techniques.

To be clear, as I write about sequencing I’m not referring to choreographing a vinyasa stream class. (Though should you train vinyasa, you would draw on these rules.) Fairly, I’m writing about creating an arc that features a steadiness of lively and passive, heating and cooling, stimulating and calming qualities. One pose results in and feeds the subsequent primarily based on its physiological results.

On the finish of a observe, my hope is that every particular person feels clear, energized and comfy, not merely exhausted from a exercise. And as a trainer who has not but acquired Geeta’s sequencing knowledge, I finish each observe with a pleasant, lengthy Savasana of no less than quarter-hour.

Sequencing with Asana Qualities in Thoughts

Every asana has a number of traits to contemplate once I take into consideration easy methods to place it inside a sequence. Listed below are a couple of of the questions that I ask myself as I transfer by a sequence:

  • Is that this pose heating or cooling?
  • Does this pose promote stability or mobility?
  • Do I intend for this sequence to result in a specific difficult pose or set of poses? If that’s the case, which asanas, in what order, will lead my college students to essentially the most easeful expression of the tougher ones?
  • What poses do we have now time for, contemplating that I wish to be certain that there’s loads of cool-down time earlier than Savasana?

What do heating and cooling imply by way of asana observe? Poses which can be heating stimulate the nervous system and generate inside warmth. Many standing poses, backbends, core poses (together with arm balances) and a few inversions are thought of to be heating.

Poses which can be cooling calm the nervous system and funky the core. Savasana, ahead bends, seated twists, some inversions and even some standing poses are cooling. Each kinds of poses are important for a balanced observe.

Sequence Yoga Poses to Construct on One One other

When sequencing yoga poses, I like to start with warm-up poses that lightly mobilize the backbone and joints. Then I transfer progressively from much less heating or difficult poses to extra heating or difficult poses. I go away no less than the ultimate third of a observe, generally extra, for cooling poses, transferring from much less cooling to extra cooling in order that my college students can slide simply into Savasana.

Throughout Geeta’s Savasana-free class, she talked at size about how, although every pose has inherent heating or cooling results, the intention with which we method every pose influences its impact on our physique/thoughts. If we method heating poses with an perspective of calm and curiosity, we are able to mood the heating results. If we method cooling poses with forcefulness or ambition, they will warmth as an alternative of cool. For instance, within the graphic Sirsasana (Headstand) seems within the middle. Whereas Headstand could also be inherently impartial, your consolation degree, the standard of your effort and ease of intention can mood the impact.

The above graphic is tailored from a chart authored by Richard Miller. In fact, there are numerous extra poses than seem on the chart, however you should use the examples to signify the assorted courses of poses. I hope this chart might be useful in sequencing your private observe or your courses in case you are a trainer.

The wisest option to method sequencing yoga poses for essentially the most balancing impact is to observe mindfully by yourself. Right here, your intention is just not on accomplishment of poses, however on the current expertise of every pose. Whereas the science of sequencing may be taught, the artwork of sequencing arises out of conscious exploration.

About Charlotte Bell


Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and commenced educating in 1986. Charlotte is the writer of Conscious Yoga, Conscious Life: A Information for On a regular basis Follow and Yoga for Meditators, each revealed by Rodmell Press. Her third ebook is titled Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache (Shambhala Publications). She writes a month-to-month column for CATALYST Journal and serves as editor for Yoga U On-line. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte performs oboe and English horn within the Salt Lake Symphony and people sextet Purple Rock Rondo, whose DVD received two Emmy awards in 2010.

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