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Sequencing Principles for Energizing and Relaxing

Remarkably enough, changing the order in which you teach the same set of poses will completely change its effect on your students. Learning how to facilitate relaxation or energy during your classes begins with understanding these energetic effects.

By Jamie Lindsay

In practice--and in teaching--in order to achieve balance it is important to pay attention to the overall content of the sequences you design and to make sure that they contain a sensible and balanced variety of postures, ideally not grouped and entirely separated as they are in the sequence ideas presented above. The options are limitless. Twists are themselves generally balancing postures, and so even a long practice of twisting will tend to have a balancing effect.

With these basics in mind and an understanding of your students' needs—which change day to day and month to month--you can begin to structure your classes around the experience you'd like to create.

Jamie Lindsay has been teaching Hatha Yoga in various forms since 1996. He has studied with many senior Ashtanga teachers and spent two years in the Advanced Studies Program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. The writings of the Bihar School of Yoga and the techniques of Univeral Yoga have been important influences on his studies, and his current teacher is Andrey Lappa.

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Reader Comments

Helen Leichauer

Thanks for this great article! I'm teaching a workshop tomorrow called 'Endless Energy' and it is all about stimulating mind and body whilst also paying attention to balance, to avoid burning out - vital in the studio, but even more so in the 'real world'! Thanks for backing up my ideas and providing even more inspiration :) namaste x

Julia Thorley

I teach some classes at a health spa, where I never know who will be there or how they will be feeling. They might be in the middle of a detox, and so groggy and lethargic, or they might be at the end of a fitness week, and so full of vim. I try to pick up on their energy levels (not least by asking them how they feel) and structure the lesson accordingly.

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