Last updated on September 20th, 2023.
Many yoga teachers have flooded the market recently, and to stand out from the crowd, your best shot is a killer yoga sequence. Except for yoga types like Bikram, all the rest don’t follow a specific method or structure. Hence you can always sequence what you and your students will find desirable. Even though most people assume teaching a yoga class for beginners is easy, it’s more complex than most. First off, with beginners, you’ll have to come up with simple terms to explain the poses as you slowly teach them the Sanskrit names.
Creating a yoga sequence is simply a work of art that you get to share with your students and enjoy the aftermath of what you all did. Sequencing a yoga class is a challenging task and even harder when it’s a yoga class for beginners. When teaching beginners, you’ll have to go at a slow pace, so you make sure everyone keeps up as you simply explain the poses. So, to create a great yoga sequence for beginners, you will need to put in a lot of effort and structure into your yoga class.
Even though the poses you will teach beginners are pretty simple, they require you to explain them in layman’s language. If you don’t find a simple way to describe the posture to your students, you may lose some of them halfway through, and that’s every yoga teacher’s greatest fear.
What is a yoga sequence?
A yoga sequence, in simple terms, is the order in which a yoga teacher structures the class. Most yoga sequences start with warmups, then the peak of the yoga poses the class aims to teach, the cooldown, which mainly involves poses where students are lying on their backs like savasana or meditation.
Every yoga style requires different yoga sequencing. For example, you will find an ashtanga yoga class to be very different from a yin yoga class sequence or a hip opening Hatha yoga sequence. You will find yourself spending more time on the mat stretching out your hips in a hip-opening Hatha yoga class. But in an Ashtanga sequence, many standing poses are more fast-paced than the Hip opening Hatha sequence. Practice hip opening yoga to alleviate tension in your lower body.
To create the correct sequence for your yoga class for beginners, you will need to ensure you know the theme of the class. A theme means concentrating on a particular body aspect, like core or hip openers. You can even center your sequence around the pace you would love to take your class. So it can either be slow, fast-paced, deep postures, or even meditative. The theme you choose will help you determine the poses you’ll use in yoga sequencing, how you’ll transition from one to the other, and the pace at which you’ll take it. Find out more details on what is a yoga sequence and how do you build one in no time in this article.
What kinds of poses are in a beginner’s yoga class?
It is easy for yoga newbies to be completely intimidated by the practice. The best way to make them fall in love is by introducing simple poses while moving into more advanced poses as they become more used to yoga and the sequences. Even though you won’t see these poses in all beginner classes, they will be in most. These poses include:
- Mountain Pose (Tadasana)- This pose is the foundation of many others, and most yoga classes start here. It helps properly align the body and is the foundation of other major poses to come.
- Child’s pose (Balasana)- A personal favorite, especially after multiple hectic sun salutations. This pose helps you rest and take a breather during your yoga class.
- Cat/Cow pose (Marjaryasana to Bitilasana)- This pose helps you arm up your back and core without placing too much strain on your wrists and palms. It is an excellent pose before transitioning to a downward-facing dog.
- Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Savasana)- Pretty sure even beginners know of this pose. It is the most basic pose but helps stretch every part of your body from hamstrings to back to arms and shoulders.
- Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)- This pose helps open up the hips and chest. It also stretches the arms and legs.
- Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)- this pose is similar to the previous one, but you’ll now stretch the hip flexor muscles deeper.
- Corpse Pose (Shavasana)- This pose is honestly a favorite. Even though lying down may seem pointless, it will put you in a meditative and relaxed state.
Learn the 12 basic yoga poses for beginners to run smoothly in your next yoga sequence.
How long does a beginner’s yoga class last?
Most beginner yoga classes last between one hour to two hours. But the specifics of the class are what determines the length. Every yoga class consists of meditation, breathing, or warm up sessions before you get to the peak of the class where more poses are introduced, then cool down, which involves meditation or just lying down. The determinants of the length of a yoga class include:
- Type of class- There are yoga classes whose lengths are pre-determined, like Ashtanga and Bikram yoga. These types of yoga have a specified number of poses, and the teacher leading will determine how fast you’ll move through these poses. But when it comes to Hatha yoga, the moves are subjective, and so is the speed most of the time.
- Class level- You’ll expect the class to last longer in a more advanced class. The reason for the length isn’t because the students can do more poses, but it’s because they have more stamina. The more one practices yoga, the more they can easily, quickly, and longer go through the sequence.
- Preference of the teacher- All teachers conduct their classes in a particular manner. Some teachers prefer taking it slow and holding poses for longer, while others prefer taking it slow but doing each pose for a few seconds. You’ll also find some teachers love mixing it up, ensuring it can be really fast, then slow down at the end. Either way, these paces tend to determine how long a yoga class will last.
- Needs of the student- If a student has goals that they want to attain, the teacher will have to create a sequence to help the student achieve their goals, such as flexibility or headstand. Either way, what the student wants will most obviously lengthen or shorten the yoga class duration.
Ideally, no matter your goals, your yoga class shouldn’t be less than forty-five minutes. Of course, we know that you can squeeze in a bit of a stretch during the day, even a few minutes like five. But ideally, a wholesome yoga class with time for a good stretch and cooldown requires at least 45 minutes for you to move through the sequence comfortably.
If you are interested in getting an experience outside the country, check out the 5 best yoga trainings in bali.
What types of music should I use?
There’s always the kind of music that makes you forget what a lousy day you’ve had, and you get ready to start your yoga class. Good background music in your yoga class can take you to the zone where you’re prepared to move through the sequences without thinking anything more than your intentions for your practice.
The most used music for yoga is instrumental, which often features Indian, Western, and ethnic instruments. You can also incorporate some nature sounds. Whichever type of music you choose to play in your yoga class, ensure it has steady beat patterns. The type of yoga you’re practicing will also determine the music you choose. If you want to create a meditative mood, then you’ll have to choose soothing music for relaxation.
7 Tips On How To Sequence A Yoga Class For Beginners
1. Keep the yoga foundations in mind
When teaching newbies, they can only absorb so much in their first few classes, so you need to keep returning to fundamental movements that are the foundation of the practice. Never make your students feel like they’re not good at yoga by bombarding them with many different new terms and poses. Among the foundations, breath is one of them. Always remind your students to breathe.
2. Work on your transitions
When creating a yoga sequence, it is best to practice these poses and transitions before teaching them to a class. By doing so, you’ll be sure that it’s what you want your students to experience and in that order. There are transitions in sequences that aren’t impossible but are pretty frustrating to students, whether they’re beginners or not. Ensure that the transitions aren’t too tasking for your students. You’ll also be more confident when teaching by practicing the sequence before class.
3. Use easily understandable language
Even though it might be easier for you to use terms like “mula bandha” or “anjali mudra,” kindly don’t. These terms can be a little confusing for beginner yogis, and you don’t want to make your yoga students feel lost. If you use these terms, it’s essential to expound simply and explain what you mean. Eventually, it will stick, and you’ll be able to guide your students using these terms.
4. Assess your students
It is necessary to know the type of students you’re dealing with. Are they elderly, prenatal, athletes, recovering addicts? Knowing who you’re teaching will help you know the kind of sequence you require to teach in your class.
5. Show your students kindness when correcting their postures
Even though you need to do this with students at all levels, it’s more necessary for students at the beginner level. Please don’t concentrate on what they’re doing wrong, but rather touch on their strengths when correcting them. There’s no place for terms like “wrong” or “right” in yoga. In place of these terms, you’ll need to use words pertaining to alignment. It would help if you also understood that students have varying proportions making some postures easy to attain and others a little complicated, sometimes even impossible.
6. Practice with your playlist
A yoga playlist sets the ambiance of the class. You can practice your sequence with the playlist to see how well these two merge. It can even help you adjust accordingly so that different poses come in various peaks in the playlist. Music is quite a big part of yoga class, and you need to select perfectly.
7. Always strive to achieve balance
By the end of the class, you need your students to feel that they have achieved a sense of balance. You can reach this balance by including some balance poses, pranayama, and twists. It is best to do these before the class when no elements in the body are disturbed.
When creating a yoga sequence for beginners, it is best to consider that they’re beginners. Most of the time, this will help you come up with more straightforward methods to run your yoga class. Ensure your yoga classes are inclusive and allow everyone to be themselves. When you make your students feel at home, you’ll have them around for a very long time. Whatever you do, always try to listen more to your students and be kinder. It helps a lot.