yoga class plan template

Using a yoga sequencing template can help you design transformative yoga classes, even more so than creating a sequence from scratch.

How?

Creating yoga sequences can be a time consuming process. So much energy is spent in the preparation that a lot of the inspiration dissipates by the time you’re ready to take the yoga sequence to your students.

Following a yoga sequence template lets you piece together all of the valuable knowledge you gained from your yoga teacher training quickly and effortlessly so that you can get back to doing what you love…

…teaching yoga.

Whether you’re a new teacher or you’re looking for a way to design your own yoga practice, these two yoga sequencing templates are what I give to my students in my online teacher training. They are helpful guides for developing yoga class plans that both yoga teachers and students enjoy.

So I thought I would publish them here for anyone else looking for a little help in creating a solid yoga sequence.

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How to use a yoga class plan template

Before we get into the template part of planning a yoga class, let’s first get into the sequencing part. Whenever we are creating a yoga class, we want to be mindful of the sequence that we’re putting together (even when we use a template).

So let’s start with how we define “sequencing”.

Sequencing: The art of putting together yoga poses to evoke an emotion, aid a condition or simply uplift.

The best sequencing respects anatomy, takes into account transitions, warms the body up for peak poses, and reflects the teacher’s personal style.

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1) Respect Anatomy

  • Be mindful of neutral vs externally rotated poses

2) Pay Attention to Transitions

  • Especially from standing, to the floor, and back
  • Think about the level of students you are teaching

3) Prepare the Body

  • Foreshadow poses
  • Think about the best way to “warm up” for a peak pose

4) What Feels Good

  • Strengthen then stretch
  • Contract then open
  • Make stuff up that’s unique

Traditional Yoga Class Sequence (Template)

This yoga sequence is more traditional and likely what will be taught in any yoga class you go to. And there’s a reason for that: it’s good. You begin by guiding the student inward before warming the body up with asana. Using cues to guide the yoga class, allow students to adjust each yoga pose according to their abilities. The asanas progressively become more advanced throughout the class as students warm up; the yoga class ends with meditation.

Intro (5 – 10 min)

  • Help students fully come into the space and bring their attention inward
    • Close eyes, focus on breath
    • Seated is traditional, but I prefer to do this on all-fours, or standing
  • Present any theme or intention

Warm-Up Vinyasa (5 – 10 min)

  • Help students link breath-and-movement (ex: cat/cow)
  • Lubricate spine, warm up muscles, balance front and back body
  • Talk about the breathe (a lot)

Sun Salutations & Standing Poses (20 – 30 min)

  • Build heat (ex: sun salutations)
  • Keep in mind the level of your class
  • With standing poses, go from basic to advanced poses
  • Introduce twists toward the end of this portion, once body is warm
  • Consider foot placement, anatomy and transitions

Backbends (10 min)

  • Simple to most difficult (bridge before wheel)
  • Prone or on supine
  • Keep the spine neutral between backbends

Inversions (5 – 10 min)– can also come before backbends (optional)

  • See how your students move from plank to downdog – are they ready for inversions?
  • Follow with appropriate counter pose to give time for blood pressure in the head to adjust

Hip Openers & Seated Twists (10 min)

  • Seated twists follow inversions or backbends to reground energy
  • This is the beginning of your cool down or regrounding period

Seated Forward Bends (5 – 10 min)

  • These calm the mind, cool the body, draw us into ourselves
  • Prepares us for savasana

Savasana (5 – 10 min)

  • Transition into a state of “being,” not “doing”

Meditation (5 – 10 min)

  • Attempt to achieve a state of consciousness in which the mind has no active thoughts and students awareness can reconnect back to universal consciousness

Considerations:

  1. Class Level
  2. Component Parts / Foreshadowing
  3. Prep Pose (Dolphin for Headstand preps Forearm Stand, Cobra preps Updog)
  4. Counter Pose (Child’s Pose after Backbending)
  5. Peak Pose (Wheel, Twisted Triangle, Arm Balance)
  6. Grounding Poses (Seated Twists, Forward Folds)

See more: Yoga Pose Directory

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My Personal Yoga Class Sequence

This is my personal style when teaching yoga and I want to share it here with you in case you want to be a bit more creative with your sequencing. Be mindful of beginners in your class who may not be able to keep up in longer classes. This flow works with many styles of yoga.

Connect with Breath (4 min)

  • All fours, child’s pose or standing
  • Pranayama

Move with Breath (4 min)

  • Cat/cow, lifting arms, pressing them away

Warm-Up Flow – “A” Flow” (10 – 15 min)

  • Low lunges, sun salutes
  • Still moving slowly to connect with breath

Heating Flow – “B” Flow (10 -15 min)

  • Standing Poses
  • Mirrors warm-up flow
  • Maybe bookend the beginner or end with a fun movement at top of back of mat

Feel It Flow – “C” Flow (10 -15 min)

  • Mirrors heating flow but slows things down
  • Introduces new poses and longer holds

“D” Flow – if 90 min+ class (10 min)

  • Involves standing poses, backbends or pigeon Hips, Seated Stretches, Forward Folds (10 min)
  • Always include a hip stretch and some forward fold

Transition to Supine (5 min)

  • Opportunity to work abs or connect with breath again
  • Supine Stretches or Inversions (5 – 10 min)
  • Reclined twists, pigeon on your back
  • Shoulder stand or headstand
  • Happy baby

Savasana (5 min)

  • Feel good adjustments

Closing/Meditation (5 min)

  • Help students reground their energy

Closing thoughts

Yoga class sequences are an intimate part of teaching yoga. They allow you to guide your yoga students through a healing journey that is tailored to them and their needs. Following these yoga sequencing templates are a great way to streamline the process. I invite you to join me on YouTube for more yoga class inspiration or in my Uplifted membership for lesson plans, courses, and more inspiration. 

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