Practice Effects: Sequencing & Pacing to Balance Energy


Knowing the energetic effects of yogic practices can assist you in creating a smooth arc of intensity, finishing in an optimum, balanced state.

The effects of practices may be categorized as follows:

  1. Langhana – Meaning “reduction” or “light” (weight) in Sanskrit, langhana refers to quieting, soothing, cooling practices intended to calm, lower and ground energy.
  2. Brahmana – Meaning “expansion” in Sanksrit, brahmana refers to stimulating, strengthening, challenging, heating practices. The intention is to build, nourish and raise energy.
  3. Samana – Samana means “equal” or “balanced” in Sanskrit and is the result of most well-rounded practices. In addition, some specific practices are particularly focused on creating mental and physical balance.


  • The Yoga Journal article Sequencing Principles for Energizing and Relaxing makes the important point that some poses combine effects of energizing and relaxing, such as how Bakasana (Crane / Crow Pose) is both an arm balance (energizing) and a forward bend (cooling).
  • The Yoga for Healthy Aging article, Practice for All Seasons, also addresses this topic and includes additional considerations. For example, while for many people, a heating, vigorous practice helps to balance the effects of winter, for an active skier, her needs could be different.

Practice Examples

Following are practices associated with each energetic effect. We have researched many sources to make the lists as comprehensive as possible.