"If I hold you in my heart, you’ll wither;
-Rumi (via thisguesthouse)
Become a thorn if I hold you in my eyes.
No, I’ll make a place for you within my soul instead
So you’ll be my love in lives beyond this life."
"Only love gives form to what, once, we could not even dream of."-Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found In Accra (via meditationsinwonderland)
"The universe and her, and I" series poem #58 #poetry #poem #art #artist #ink #inspire #inspiration #typewriter #vintage #love #words #writing #write #ink #stars
"The truly rich person is the one who is in contact with the energy of Love every second of his existence."-Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found In Accra (via meditationsinwonderland)
My favourite childhood author
6 Sequencing Guidelines | Teachasana
This is also great for creating your own at-home practice!
“Paschimottanasana,” the teacher instructed as I lowered out of my backbend.
“PASCHIMOTTANASANA?” I inwardly grumbled. “Seriously? Right after Full Wheel? Why doesn’t she just kill me?”
I took my time hugging my knees in, curling over to the side, and coming up to sit with my legs outstretched. I halfheartedly feigned reaching for my feet with one hand—and rubbed my achy low back with the other.
“God, this feels terrible. Blurghhhhhh…”
It was the last time I attended that class.
Sequencing is both an art and a science. It can make or break a student’s experience. When it’s done well, our bodies open without effort, and it feels fantastic. When it’s great, we thrill into poses we’d imagined inaccessible! When it’s poor, we labor to do things we’d otherwise do with ease, and it feels vile.
A good sequence might:
- Be a well-rounded class with a good sampling from the various categories of poses (aka The Potpourri Class).
- Highlight a particular action of the body (e.g., taking the shoulders back, steadying the shins, or scooping the tailbone).
- Focus on a particular area of the body (e.g., hips or hamstrings).
- Focus on a category of pose (e.g., backbends, twists or inversions).
- Have a particular destination (aka having a Peak or Pinnacle Pose).
- Portray or enhance a spiritual or emotional theme (e.g., backbends for optimism or forward bends for contemplation).
Skillful sequencing is one of the hallmarks of greatness in the yoga profession. Consciously decide which kind of class to teach. Whichever type you decide upon, the following guidelines will serve you—and your students! —in good stead.
#1 – STRATEGY
A 75-minute open level class will include anywhere from 30-40 asanas. Every single one of them must be individually selected for a reason, and must refer to all the others. No asana is an island; each must predict the poses that follow, and pertain to those that preceded it. Don’t choose just any poses; choose ones that prepare for the asana(s) to come, or that tempers the one(s) that came before it.
When I train teachers, I always ask, “Why did you select that particular pose?” If they can’t answer, I make them go back to the drawing board sequencing board.
#2 – ANATOMY
In order to skillfully guide students where we’re going, we must have a good understanding of the body. We’ve got to know: which part of the body must open in order to do this pose safely? Which part must stabilize?
Muscles work together in teams of reciprocal relationships: the prime mover of a muscle is also known as the agonist; its partner is its antagonist. When the agonist contracts, its partner elongates. This is called Reciprocal Inhibition (link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reciprocal_inhibition), and if we want to be good sequencers, we need a good grasp of it.
Discern what plane a pose is working in. Sure, we know we need to open the shoulders for backbends–but in which plane? With the arm overhead? Behind the back? In anatomical neutral? It makes a difference.
#3 – ECONOMY
Pretend that every pose selected costs $50. Don’t skimp, but don’t choose two poses where one will do. For example, if we’re heading toward a deep backbend, both hip flexors and hamstrings need to be prepped. Why not choose Hanumanasana? Itmay be counterintuitive but it fulfills both requirements, making it a fantastic choice. (Hanumanasana is an intense pose in its own right—so don’t forget to take that into account in preceding poses.)
We’ll also need to get those quads and shoulders open for that deep backbend. How about maximizing bang for buck with Baby Natarajasana or Baby Kapinjalasana? Make like it’s a 2-for-1 sale at Banana Republic and double up!
#4 – CREATIVITY
The number one way to cultivate creativity is to have fun with it. Get on your own mat in solitude. Explore. Continually ask yourself, “Where could I go from here? And here? And here? How does it feel to do that?”
The second best way to cultivate creativity is to expose yourself to other teacher’s sequences. Get out there and take some classes.
#5 – ELEGANCE
Make conscious transitions between poses. A sequence may be perfectly functional, yet inelegant. Imagine being in my class: I instruct a standing pose, a reclining pose, another standing pose and then a seated pose. Next I ask you to move your mat to the wall for an inversion, return to the middle of the room for an asana or two, and then instruct you back to the wall.
How did that feel? Like a hot mess. Even if the selection of poses were brilliantly engineered, my transitions were awkward, an inefficient use of time, and jarring to the mood of the class.
#6 – FLEXIBILITY
What’s that they say about the best-laid plans? Don’t get too attached to a sequence, no matter how ingenious it may be, because you just might need to abandon it. You may have engineered the most brilliant sequence of your teaching career–only to realize that it’s not appropriate for the students who came to class today. It hurts, but you’re going to have to bag it. We respect the students who are actually in our classroom by being willing to switch gears.