Categories of Class Objectives: Sequencing Fundamentals & Guidelines

A class objective may be set around such topics as responding to individual conditions, the natural world or larger society. Or it may be related to asana or anatomy. Another type of objective (which may be related to responding to a condition or teaching a particular asana) is encouraging an energetic or feeling state such as grounding or patience.

Individual Conditions

  • You may wish to help seniors regain or maintain balance, help athletes bring physical balance or support new mothers in experiencing relaxation and restoration.
  • Or perhaps you are volunteering and find the group has exhibited low self-esteem, so your objective becomes to inspire self-confidence.
  • See also: Injuries & Conditions

The Natural World & Society

  • You may use the season as inspiration and intend to bring balance to the active nature of summer or the more sedentary-focus of winter.
  • Moon phases, eclipses, and the Wheel of the Year are additional events that can serve as inspiration for setting a class objective.
  • A holiday or observance may inspire you to set an intention that supports the themes of the holiday, such as gratitude, independence, surrender or other.
  • See also: Seasons, Moons, Holidays


Prepare to teach a peak pose.

  • Choose a pose that would be particularly beneficial to your students.
  • Identify the key actions of the peak pose (e.g. open chest and shoulders; lengthen lumbar and hamstrings).
  • Create a class sequence to include simpler, preparatory asana that have the same key actions.

Focus on a category of poses.

  • Consider such a focus as standing poses, backbends or twists.
  • Support asana with other tools and thematic language as appropriate.
  • For example, perhaps at a homeless shelter, you find that students seem to lack strength and stability, both physically and emotionally. You might choose to emphasize standing poses and balance work within a well-rounded sequence.
  • Additional ways to support the intention include defining and speaking to the concept of grounding, explaining in each pose where and how to find grounding physically and mentally.
  • Consider using an affirmation utilizing root chakra teachings such as “I am here, now, in my body” or “Right now, I am here and safe.”
  • See also: Asana CategoriesChakrasAffirmationsThemes & ReadingsThemed Sequences & Class Planning

Repeat poses.

  • Another consideration is repeating some poses more than once, focusing on such aspects as grounding and engaging legs in one round and spinal lengthening or arm placement in another.
  • Or repeat poses with the specific intention of allowing students more time, heat, and/or awareness to feel a deepening in the posture with each successive repetition.
  • Another angle on this tactic is to specifically show how, say, releasing tension in the feet with a ball impacts the depth of a forward bend.
  • Our Asana Digests provide dozens of cues and inspiring quotes to support you in devising specific and varying intentions for aligning and deepening asana.
  • See also: Sequencing: Choosing & Arranging Poses


  • Examples include teaching all movements of the spine, stretching all around the hip joint, focusing on lengthening hip flexors to support backbending, or other.
  • See also: Anatomy & Physiology

Energetic or Feeling State

More Inspiration

You may also wish to use the Sequence Finder to review intentions associated with our expert-derived sequences.