Teaching Vinyasa Transitions: Mindful Asana Transitions

Adho Mukha Svanasana > Chaturanga Dandasana > Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

This is, of course, the familiar transition in Surya Namasakar and often referred to as “Vinyasa” in Power and Flow classes. A key consideration is focusing on proper execution of Chaturanga Dandasana and teaching variations and prep poses to students who are not able to safely practice the pose. Following are some considerations:

  • Teach the poses and transition slowly before expecting students to perform this transition with only one breath per pose.
  • Explain the cautions and demonstrate improper and unsafe form. Clearly describe the risk from practicing the pose improperly.

Example of Improper Form: Elbows Flaring Out

Teach a Chaturanga Dandasana variation such as knees down.

Example of Variation

Teach alternatives to classes or individual students who are unable to safely practice this transition. Options include Ashtanga Namaskar (Eight Limbed Pose / Knees-Chest-Chin) in place of Chaturanga Dandasana. Typically, Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) then follows—as opposed to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose).

Example of Alternative: Ashtanga Namaskar