The Significance of Sequencing in Yoga
By: DevakarSandhu, Reknown Yoga Instructor in Rishikesh, India
What is sequencing?
Sequencing is the flow or order in which the yoga asanas are placed with the aim of creating a yoga practice for achieving a particular outcome. The sequencing of asanas may differ a bit depending on the yoga school you choose as they decide how to sequence a yoga class or a personal practice. However, there are few specific types of yoga such as the Ashtanga and Bikram yoga that follow a specific sequence that should not change. The Ashtanga yoga consists of 6 sequences with increasing difficulty on order, the Bikram yoga classes have 26-pose sequence which is followed in same order by every Yoga Teacher Training India school. On the other hand, the styles of yoga namely Hatha, Vinyasa, and Iyengar have sequences that are decided by the specific tutor.
Importance of sequencing
It is important to maintain the sequence in yoga as you may have all the ingredients for a great practice but if you don’t sequence them properly, it will not only hinder you from achieving your goals but also make you vulnerable to injuries. The asanas are just like the alphabets of letters which makes no sense if you don’t put them in order. However, when properly ordered, they make sense and create a meaning. Each asana has a different effect which depends on the steps that lead up to it and the ones that follow. The postures can be beneficial or harmful on the basis of these factors.
Vinyasa is all about moving the body from one asana to another combining breathing with each movement of yours. The deeper essence of Vinyasa is to place the things where they belong to where they are appropriate.
Essential points a tutor should keep in mind
- Correct sequencing is just like an art and science. It consists of having a knowledge of the principles, clarity on self-assessment, prior organization, and a considerable level of creativity. For reaching any goal, there are many paths, and for any person, there are many possible practices. For every practice session, there are several variables which impact its effect on our body. When a tutor considers all of these aspects is when the practice becomes truly integrative.
- The practice of asana should be such that inspires and challenges an individual to do more. However, it is the responsibility of the tutor to help the students find the right balance as there would be students who would do more for achieving their goals and others would too little. The tutor needs to challenge their abilities ensuring their progress but not go overboard to cause injuries or frustration.
- The class is a setting, where there is one teacher and many students, which makes it all the more important for the tutor to be responsible in their approach. There must be a systematic way of preparing the students for practicing a difficult asana and balancing out the stresses from the body after doing it. The teacher must be aware of the constraints of the students and conduct the class accordingly.
- The Vinyasa Yoga is, basically, is a flow of asanas where each asana is a stepping stone to the next one. It has much wide scope and depth. The Vinyasa concept not just applies to the breath, senses and mind, but also to the mind. Without the progressive steps for deepening the mental focus, there is no Vinyasa at a mental level in asana practice. Since yoga is about bringing the mind to stillness, Vinyasa is about taking orderly steps towards a steady mind. Thus, Vinyasa practice should incorporate minding your mind in a progressive manner.
Considering the above-mentioned facts, it can be said that the tutor must stick to the sequencing especially when teaching Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Bikram yoga.
Author Bio– DevakarSandhu is a renowned yoga practitioner with more than 10 years of experience in yoga teaching. He holds a certification in 500-hour and 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh Course. He guides and suggests ways for lifestyle modification through yoga.