A General Linear Sequence from Iyengar Yoga

5 Feb

hatha yoga class

Every contemporary school, such as Iyengar, Viniyoga, Bikram, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa to name a few, has its own ideas about how to sequence a practice, so you may have already been trained to sequence your classes in a particular way. Most yoga traditions have their own precepts on how to sequence an asana practice. Sessions usually start with a Prayer, chanting Omkar or Mantra for brief relaxation which helps students forget their anxieties, worries and let go of stress related thoughts.

Here is an example of a general linear sequence from Iyengar yoga, designed for a longer (approximately 90 minute) class:

1. Meditation and focus – begin the practice with either a simple meditation or breathing exercise (in a seated or reclining position) to collect and concentrate your awareness.

2. Warm up and Preparation – perform a few simple exercises (such as hip or groin openers) that warm up the body in preparation for the theme or focus of the practice.

3. Sun Salutations – at least three variations of the entire sequence.

4. Standing postures

5. Arm balances

6. Inversions

7. Abdominal and/or arm strength postures

8. Backbends

9. Shoulderstand

10. Twists and/or forward bend

11. Corpse (Savasana) – for cool-down, relaxation and meditation

Here is an example of a more specific, inversions-focused sequence, appropriate for advanced students:

1. Headstand

2. Shoulderstand – Salamba Sarvagasana

3. Shoulderstand Variation I (legs are brought ought into a wide straddle position)

4. Shoulderstand Variation II (the soles of the feet are brought together)

5. Plow Pose – Halasana

6. Ears Pressure Pose – Karnapidasana (drop the knees to either side of the head, and press them close to the ears)

7. Fish Pose – Matsyasana

8. Fish Variation I (legs are lifted off the floor)

9. Fish Variation II (arms are brought toward the ceiling, with palms pressed together)

And here is a standard standing yoga pose sequence:

1. Downward Facing Dog

2. Warrior I

3. Warrior II

4. Extended Side Angle Pose

5. Triangle Pose

6. Half Moon Pose

7. Downward Facing Dog

8. You can try Pigeon Pose also.


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