Be Cautious: Sequencing Fundamentals & Guidelines

Sequencing is one of the fundamental ways that teachers serve their students, and keep them safe. Teachers are advised to be cautious that creativity does not ever overshadow purpose and intelligence in sequencing.

Logic & Purpose

Does this sequence of postures unfold harmoniously and smoothly? How does each pose affect the posture that came before it AND the one that follows it? Am I being creative for creativity’s sake or can I back up every posture in this sequence with logic and purpose? – Gina Caputo

Understand the Rules Before Making Changes

Nowadays, most 200-hour teacher trainings give aspiring asana teachers a class outline of some sort, providing a basic sense of when to do what. In general, it’s a good idea to follow those rules—and to really understand them—before you decide to change it up and do something different. In other words, don’t do anything randomly, and don’t sacrifice safe sequencing for creative choreography. Basically, if you’re going to deviate from the sequencing guidelines you’ve been taught, have a legitimate, anatomically sound reason for doing so. Don’t set aside the safety and integrity of your class for the sake of throwing in something neat you saw on YouTube. – Kathryn Heagberg

Safety Over Artistry

Leslie Kaminoff brings up an excellent point in his video: yoga sequencing is not the same as choreography. In choreography, the goal is artistic expression and choices are dictated by elegance and aesthetic appeal. Of course, it’s nice when a yoga class flows gracefully, but that is not the main goal. We do not practice yoga to look pretty while we are at it, but to get some benefit, whether it’s physical, physiological of psycho-emotional. The way we arrange poses and other elements in a yoga practice is determined by what we want to accomplish and how we can get there effectively with minimum risk to the body. – Olga Kabel