Move from Simple to Complex: Sequencing Fundamentals & Guidelines


  • The crux of this principle is to begin with the simplest poses first, moving from easy to difficult and simple to complex.
  • If the class will include a complex, “peak” pose, the earlier, simpler poses are chosen specifically to prepare for it.
  • The most difficult or complex pose(s) occur at the “peak” of class and then students are returned to a balanced state.

More Subtle Considerations

  • It is recommended that teachers guide students’ attention to gross movements and external effects prior to moving to the more subtle and internal ones.
  • Similarly, teachers may wish to limit their verbal instruction and in-depth alignment teachings at the beginning of class.

Dynamic Movement before Static Holds

  • The Desikachar lineage advocates moving in and out of a pose with the breath before holding the pose. Such dynamic movement allows the body to open more gently and gives the student more time to assimilate the movement. In addition, it sets the tone of working intimately with the breath so that even when a pose is held, the student is prepared to make subtle movements with the breath.