Friday, January 23, 2015

Yoga Sequence to Get You Ready for the Weekend

Up until October I was teaching yoga twice a week at a gym. When I first took on my classes, I would teach almost the exact same class every time. I hadn't found my voice, as yogis say, and I was getting over my fear of public speaking. I remember how nervous I was the first time I taught. I demo'd the entire class; I basically took my own class while talking about what I was doing. As time went on, I became more comfortable walking around the class and occasionally adjusting. I knew the cues to give based on observing the students — what teachers should do. When I wasn't teaching, I would constantly think about yoga and how I can make each class different from the last. Of course, I had a staple warm-up I would use in almost every class, throwing in new poses here and there. My method of coming up with ideas was to take as many yoga classes from as many other teachers as I could to learn new methods and pick up different cues. I would take my favorite poses from each class and type them into the Notes app on my phone. Sometimes ideas would come to me at work, sometimes in the shower, sometimes while driving. I would then create sequences based on those poses.

This short sequence was inspired by a power class I took at Sutra. (This should be done after warming up. Sample warm-up poses: Cat/Cow, Puppy, Downward-facing Dog, forward bend, rag doll to Mountain pose, shoulder rolls, half and full sun salutations, Anjaneyasana B into half splits on both sides, Downward-facing Dog to Uttanasana, Urdhva Hastasana — Mountain Pose with arms up — and Mountain Pose.)

Eagle (Garudasana): Plant your feet, put a soft bend in your knees, lift one leg over the thigh and wrap it if you can. Keep your hips even. Wrap your arms. (If the right leg is over put the right arm underneath.)

Warrior (Virabhadrasana) C: Unwrap top leg and keep it lifted and you move it behind you. Keep your eagle arms if you can, then extend arms (shown).

High Lunge/Crescent Pose (Anjaneyasana): Step your back foot carefully down behind you to form a high lunge. Raise your arms overhead and smile. Stay high on your back toes and keep your front knee directly over your ankle (or slightly behind it).

Chaturanga Dandasana. Exhale to bring your arms down and step your foot back to plank. Then lower down. Modify by dropping to knees. Keep your elbows next to your ribs. Don't cave in your upper body. Your entire body should be one straight line.

This photo by Jeff Nelson from Yoga Journal is a better representation. I still need to work on mine.

Cobra (Bhujangasana) or Upward-facing dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana): This photo by David Martinez of Yoga Journal is a good representation.

Downward-Facing Dog.

Step forward and lift halfway. Then fold. (I need to put more weight into my toes here.) Inhale as you raise your arms above your head and then finish in Mountain Pose.

Repeat on the other side!

Hold each pose for a few breaths. If you have time, do some seated postures before indulging in a few minutes of savasana. Namaste!