6 Easy Steps to Yoga Sequence Development

The process of creating yoga sequences for the classes you teach can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be!

One of the most frequent questions I get asked in yoga teacher training when it comes to sequencing is, ‘where do I start?’. There are many different methods of sequencing and truth be told, you have to find one that works for you. I’ve been teaching now for 11 years and the process for me continues to evolve. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of the process that stay the same. They look like this:

  1. Pick a theme. Don’t be afraid to get creative here. Themes could include anything! It could be a time of year, a TV show, or a body part.
  2. Pick 1-3 peak yoga postures or variations that embody this theme. Be prepared to explain why they embody this theme in your classes so that your students feel the cohesion of the practice.
  3. Pick a small collection of warm-ups that help your students prepare their bodies for the above 1-3 postures. This will help your students come deeper into the postures you’ve selected as the foundation for your class.
  4. Pick a small collection of cool-down postures to teach at the end of your practice to help balance the energy of your peak postures. These are counter-poses. For example, if your peak posture was a twist, your cool-down postures might be forward folds and backbends to balance the twisting energy.
  5. Pick the type of energy and mood (Bhava) you want to create in your practice (make sure the energy is in alignment with your theme). If you want your class to be strong, sweaty and high-energy you might inject challenging and strengthening postures between your warm-up, peak, and cool-down postures. If you want the energy to be calm and grounding, include more foundational and closer to the earth postures.
  6. Find a way to tie in your theme at the end of class. Pick a quote or a story that aligns with the theme you created. This helps the class feel more complete.

For me, these are the foundational aspects of the classes I teach but within this organization, little things change. For example, I sometimes play with how many Sun Salutations I teach in a vinyasa class. Or, I’ll have longer warm-ups some days. Sometimes, I’ll teach my peak poses closer to the end of class rather than the middle of class. So ultimately, the process is always creative and evolving (in the hopes that my students never get bored!).

Here are a few bonus DOs and DON’Ts for yoga sequencing:

Don’t be afraid to take risks with your sequences. Don’t be afraid to abandon a sequence in your class and come back to an old standby sequence you know always works. Don’t be upset if it feels like your sequence this week flops. But, most importantly, DO find ways to stay inspired because regardless of how fancy your sequence is, this is ALWAYS the key to your success ❤️.

Oh, and one more DO. Do take advantage when someone offers up a sequence for you to use as your own (or alter it to make it truly your own). We do this every month for our YTP Yoga Business Academy members. Each month, we craft a done-for-you yoga sequence which includes a theme and a cheat sheet with diagrams of the flow. Join today, cancel any time. 

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