What is Involved in Sequencing?: Sequencing Fundamentals & Guidelines

Sequencing takes into account the intention, the students, the individual poses and the relationship of the poses with each other. This knowledge is used to guide the safe and mindful placement of poses to meet an objective.

Individual Poses

Effective sequencing utilizes knowledge of each asana, such as:

  • Its pose category (e.g. standing pose, forward bend, backbend, etc).
  • The required physical actions (e.g. engaged core, lengthened hamstrings, warm shoulders, etc).
  • The energetic effects (e.g. cooling or heating).
  • Its complexity (e.g. simple warm-up, complex backbend, etc).
  • Associated cautions.

Relationship Between Poses

Sequencing involves consideration of how one pose helps to prepare for other poses, both physically and energetically. It also takes into account the relationship between families of poses, such as standing poses, backbends, twists, and forward bends.

Judith Lasater on Sequencing

The effect of each pose can be measured, in part, by the pose that came before it and the one that comes after it. For example, if you are focusing on forward bends, then you should practice basic forward bends first and gradually move toward more challenging ones, as your body accommodates the movements necessary to bend forward… Another principle of sequencing is to practice the poses that encourage systemic effects and involve the large muscles first… Finally, an effective sequence of poses never juxtaposes an extreme movement with its opposite extreme movement. – Judith Lasater

See much more: Choosing & Arranging Poses