Why Yoga sequencing is so important to understand
Did you finish yoga teacher training with more questions than you started with? Or are you thinking of diving deeper into your practice and don’t know where to start? Do you feel that you know how to sequence effectively?
For students and teachers on their journey this can be a real problem and not all teacher trainings address the importance of class planning and sequencing. So, what you may be left with is a set sequence (which can be very helpful for the first stages of teaching), but no clear idea how to develop your sequencing skills from there.
With the huge popularity of yoga and literally millions of people practicing yoga all over the world, there is a great need for further education of teachers. With this in mind, why is it that resources that provide information on class sequencing are quite rare?
So here it is, a course that many students have asked me to create, because they resonate with the way I teach and/or the story I tell through their bodies. Perhaps they feel the yoga is working and their body is well looked after through my sequences.
As a teacher that mentors new teachers, sequencing is the area I tend to work with them on the most, and one that I thoroughly enjoy.
As an aerial acrobat and performer for over 20 years, my job is to sequence not only my performances, but also often choreograph for other artists. I think this is where my passion for yoga sequencing has come from. I just love attention to details and being able to choreograph a movement journey with a whole class in synchronicity is something beautiful to do. To take the students on this intelligent creative journey is a challenge I rise to every day. I am always learning, ever evolving and expanding in my understanding of yoga and its many facets. Not only sequencing, but also the key elements of asana, pranayama, meditation and all the tools that yoga has to offer.
I have practiced and studied various styles over almost 30 years on my journey into yoga. As a 17 year old that just wanted to learn sun salutations as a way to touch my toes (then get my hands flat on the floor), with no understanding of the deeper layers of the practice, to now a ‘much older’ than 17 year old teaching yoga full time internationally.
I still feel like I’m only just scratching the surface of a deep journey of remembering. I need no answers to questions, simply feeling and experiencing freedom and the mystery of all this practice unfolds is a blessing.
My goal for this training is to offer both experienced insight and practical tips on how to work skilfully with sequencing your classes. This will eliminate the challenges you might face as a yoga teacher or one that is keen to start teaching, enabling your students to remember their true potential through your class and for you to remember your authentic voice.
There are so many ways to sequence a yoga class, so many options and it’s difficult to know how the story will unfold. Making the right choices of what to put in your class is important for your student’s journey, safety and the overall experience of their practice. As teachers we literally have our student’s bodies in our hands and it is our responsibility to ensure everybody is warmed up for often challenging asana and transitions between asana.
For an effective yoga sequence, it is not enough to mechanically follow a series of set postures that together make no sense. We must tell a story to the body and take it on a patient journey of awakening and an adventure of transformation through the sequence of our design. Our teaching can inspire the same flexibility that we are trying to develop in our bodies. Being open to new ways of moving and exploration is where the magic happens.
The yoga sequence you offer may leave your students feeling energised, deeply relaxed or spiritually connected. Hopefully some amazing combination of all three and more! But one thing I do know is that each person has their own unique experience. Just remember that no two classes are ever the same, even if the sequence never varies. The experience on your mat will be unique every single time because no two moments are exactly the same. Yesterday’s practice is not today’s practice, and today’s practice is not tomorrow’s practice. Allow each experience in the asana to be unique and unfold in the present.
Through this fun and informative training we will learn how to adapt asana sequences relative to the level of students, their overall health, life-style and environment. We will dive deep into asana practice and understand the layers of the pose. There are a lot of things to consider even before you decide on the type of journey that you want to take your students on, but do not be overwhelmed, this art can be honed, and it can be very enjoyable.
Teaching yoga is a passion and joy for me to share with others. It is from this devotion to this beautiful art that I humbly share my experience.