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Sequencing & Planning

Quick Menu for Sequencing & Planning

Main Menu: Free Resources

Dear Teachers, this page is a highlight from the Member section so you can get a sense for the type of support available for this topic.

The links are not accessible without membership. To focus on Free Resources only, please see the Quick Menu above.

Plan Your Class

What would you like to do?

Strategize

Review timely considerations

Study topics related to your intention

Review considerations for your students

Choose an asana sequence

Choose other class elements

Class Planning Worksheets

[Non-members, this is a highlight from the Member section with links removed so you can get a sense for the tools available.]

We're so proud to bring you these wonderful planning worksheets. We hope they save you loads of time and help bring your ideas to fruition. Please don't hesitate to write in with feedback or suggestions.

Class Series Planning Worksheet

Use the Class Series Planning Worksheet as a way to set a monthly strategy and note your focus for each week (or for a series of related classes). Get an at-a-glance look at the seasonal considerations and holidays for any given month. We've filled in all the seasonal highlights and holidays for the entire year!

  • Class Series Planning Worksheet  PDF Format
  • Class Series Planning Worksheet  Word Document

Class Plan Worksheet

This wonderful tool provides you an at-a-glance summary of your class plan. It can be used as a structure for planning and documenting a new class. (And, we are also creating completed worksheets so that over time, you can choose from among a library of existing plans. The Class Plan - Shakti Sway below is an example.)

  • Class Plan Worksheet  PDF Format
  • Class Plan Worksheet  Word Document
  • Class Plan – Shakti Sway*  Int/Adv 75-Min

* See also: Shakti Sway Sequence Support

Vision & Goal Setting Worksheet

Use the Vision & Goal Setting Worksheet to consider big-picture questions about your life and your teaching.

  • Vision & Goal Setting Worksheet  Word Document

Overview of Planning Resources

If you don't know where to start, the Planning Framework is a big-picture approach to inspire your creative process.

If you know what you're looking for, either choose resources from "What would you like to do?" or review the sequencing tools, broken into these broad categories:

Primary Planning Tools

  • Sequence Index Find Sequences by Asana Focus, Style, Theme, Energetic Effect, Student Experience

  • Strategic Planning – Vision & Goal-Setting, Dosha-Balancing, Strategic Planning Tools by Month & Week

Big-Picture Planning Resources

  • Strategic Planning Different from planning an individual class, this is a strategic planning process for a progression of classes over a month or other timeframe

  • Class Checklist – Very basic factors such as space, day, time, creating a sacred space, etc.

  • Yoga Poses  Many poses to choose from for a focus on anatomical categories such as shoulders or core plus Yin and Restorative

Sequencing Principles

  • Asana Categories Teaching considerations for sequencing backbends, twists, inversions etc.

  • Class Elements Summary of dozens of elements that can contribute to a whole class

Vary or Refine Your Sequence

You might spend less time developing or choosing a brand new sequence and instead choose one of your go-to sequences, intensifying your focus on refining one section of the class or on how you teach a pose. Some options for this approach include:

Repeating Target Pose

If the pose doesn't require a significant amount of preparation, students could practice the pose early in class and then later. This would lend itself to highlighting actions of pose as experienced in other poses and to having students note effect of practicing pose again later in class. If the target pose is a peak pose, the repetitions could be practiced one after another with adequate time for observation of the effects of the repetitions.

Varying Alignment Cues & Inspiration

Use different alignment cues or inspirational quotes to encourage a particular focus for the pose – For Urdhva Dhanurasana, for instance, you'll find all of the following:

  • An 8-minute video targeted to teachers
  • 29 verbal cues to choose among
  • Industry expert quotes on: the unknown aspect of the back body, reasons to move slowly,  inspiration to perform multiple repetitions
  • An affirmation
  • An inspirational note of devotion to the pose
  • How to relate the pose to your relationships
  • 5 Options for advancing from this pose to more challenging ones
  • 15 resources (article links and book references) you can consult for more expert support

Utilize Pose Variations

Demonstrate 3 levels so students can work on what is most appropriate for them. Or have everyone practice each variation to highlight particular actions.

Hold a Mini-Workshop

Use props, wall, partners and any number of variations. The Variations page for the Urdhva Dhanurasana Asana Digest has 15 clear photos with sweet options such as:

  • Lessening demand on wrists
  • Encouraging leg activation
  • Stretching over a chair as a precursor or alternative
  • Options for moving into more advanced poses and pose combinations

To implement an idea such as these, see the Asana Hub to choose an Asana Category or Pose of focus.

 

Challenge: Constantly Changing Sequencing

One of the challenges teachers share with me is their sense of urgency to constantly change their sequences from class to class. Teachers often associate authenticity with creativity--and, they can feel inadequate if they aren't constantly "changing things up." I completely understand and share this dynamic, but I want to share with you how I approach this situation.

I want to teach postures, techniques and nuances that make living in your body a healthy, interesting experience. This means that I need to embrace repetition and consistency. I keep my sequences more or less consistent for a month and I let my students know what we're working--and why we're working on it. This provides repeated exposure to the content we're working with and supports everyone's ability to come to a deeper understanding of how things work inside their body. There are many ways to approach sequencing, but this process works very well for myself and my students. – Jason Crandell