Thanks so much for letting me help plan your next class!
Here is my go-to back-pocket lesson plan for yoga classes from basics to flow yoga. When my energy is low, or my brain is fried, I offer this class. (I taught it the day after my father died, so I can promise it works even when you are hardly functional.)
Students of every age love it! It’s infinitely adaptable and suitable for many populations. Almost all of it is hands-free, and you can drop—or add—any poses or sequences that you think will suit your students best.
In the guide, you’ll see a step-by-step suggestion of what shapes to lead and in what order. I’ve noted ways to make things sweeter with a minus sign (–), ways to make things spicier with a plus sign (+), and options for seasoning—which are just different flavors, not necessarily lighter or heaver—with a tilde (~).
Here’s a video illustrating how the sequence can run. It’s not a follow-along video; rather, it’s like a cooking demo, where I show you what to do but in a condensed timeline.
“My students appreciate flows that spend less time in down dog and more time in lengthening and strengthening, and this recipe really hits both!”—Karen P.
This lesson plan works for a broad range of students at every age and all levels of experience. Please make it your own! Here are a few directions you can take it:
To make the lesson plan work for newer students, go slowly and point out how things should feel—don’t get hung up on how they look.
To make this class into a flow experience, pulse several times through each of the movements, especially in the standing portion of class. You can spice things up by adding holds, or deviate to slot in other balance poses. Or swap the modified sun salutations for Suns A and B, if that’s what your students expect or want. (You might be surprised at how happy they are to do fewer downward-facing dogs in a practice, though.) Let your imagination take this however you like!
To shorten the sequence for a 45-minute-ish class, choose only one of the mat sequences.
To lengthen the sequence for a 75- or 90-minute class, take your time and don’t be afraid to repeat the modified sun salutations and the tree pose several times. Of course, the best way to lengthen a sequence is with a luxurious finishing sequence and a lush final relaxation!
To teach this lesson plan over several weeks, don’t make radical changes. Add or subtract a pose or a few poses each week. Try doing Six Moves of the Spine Prone, One Leg, as your warmup sequence and Six Moves of the Spine Supine, One Leg, toward the end. Or reorder however will best serve your students! Eventually, you might swap out a sequence for another one of your own design.
Ways to Keep Growing
Read a Book
My books are here to help you plan every piece of your class!
- For a unified theory of sequencing: The Art of Yoga Sequencing
- To polish up your language and build your career: The Professional Yoga Teacher’s Handbook
- To weave philosophy and messaging through your class: Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses
Take a Course or Workshop
Level up your skills in a course or workshop with me. Each online course has a free sample unit so you can start learning immediately!