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Yoga Sequences

One-Song Yoga Sequence: Eric Paskel’s Tribute to Prince

Like so many, YJ LIVE! Presenter Eric Paskel had a profound respect for Prince. Here he offers a core-crushing mini practice to the song “Controversy” as a tribute.

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Loved Prince? Join Eric Paskel at Yoga Journal LIVE! New York, April 21-24, for his celebratory tribute session to the legendary artist. (Purple attire welcome.) Get pumped with this preview—play it, practice it, pin it!

Like so many, Eric Paskel, who is known for compiling killer playlists to accompany his classes in Studio City, California, and at Yoga Journal LIVE! events, had a profound respect for Prince. “His musical genius was second to none,” Paskel says. “He did what we all want to do and that is to be ourselves. The man got me through road trips, breakups, births, deaths, inspired some incredible lovemaking sessions and brought a ton of yoga classes to life.”

Paskel looks forward to the next one: A tribute class to the musical legend at YJ LIVE! San Diego. “To be honest I haven’t been this excited to teach a class in a long, long time,” he says. “There will be a lot of emotion, a ton of celebration and the rest will unfold with each song. We will honor Prince and his purpleness like only crazy yogis can.”

Here, Paskel is offering a preview with a core-crushing mini practice to Prince’s song “Controversy.” “This song’s lyrics [Said life is just a game, we’re all just the same, do you wanna play?] are one of my many Prince mantras,” he says. “They remind me how I want to approach my everyday, they remind of what the ancient Yoga Shastras (scriptures) say about who we are and what this life is all about.”

The Song: Prince, “Controversy”

Practice the following sequence to this live version of “Controversy” by Prince. “Turn it on, turn it up and let the lyrics to this whole song end your own internal controversy and set you free!” Paskel says.

The Sequence

Plank Knee Crunches X 6

plank crunches

Starting in Plank, bring your left knee to your left tricep, then place left leg back into Plank. Repeat on the right side. Repeat the series 3 times per side. Press back to Downward-Facing Dog for 3 breaths.

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Yogi Squat X 1

frog pose

Jump the feet around the hands, heels to the earth and toes pointing outward to 11 and 1 o’clock. Take 3 breaths in Yogi Squat (Malasana) with hands at heart center.

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Crow Pose X 1


To transition into Crow Pose (Bakasana), push elbows and knees against each other. Pull the belly in and drop the hands to the mat as you lift your butt to the sky and the feet off the ground. Bring the toes together, lifting heels toward the butt. Hold for 7 breaths.

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Scissor Kicks X 6

high plank, uttihiti chataranga dandasana

Jump or step back to Plank. Start Scissor Kicks by hopping your left foot forward into a lunge, then your right. Alternate, repeating 3 times on each side. Return to Plank.

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Down Dog Jumping Jacks X 10

down dog jumping jacks

Press back to Downward Dog and bring your legs and feet together to touch. Then jump, pushing feet off the mat and spreading legs into a wide angle for Down Dog Jumping Jacks, landing with feet back together. Repeat 10 times.

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Plank Jumping Jacks X 3

plank jumping jacks

Return to Plank then tilt your hips up in the air and jump your legs apart, landing back in Plank. Repeat 3 times. Press back to Downward Dog for 3 breaths and jump through to seated.

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Reverse Tabletop Swings X 10

reverse table top swings

Come into Reverse Tabletop and bring feet together to touch. Hold for 1 breath. Then swing hips back toward hands and lift as high as you can. Straighten legs and flex toes up. Repeat 10 times. Then jump back to Downward Dog.

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Pikes X 10

downward facing dog

Bring feet about 3/4 of the way toward your hands. Pike your hips up, then return to Downward Dog. Repeat 10 times. Then jump feet forward between your hands and slowly roll up to Samasthiti.

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Location: The Cliff Spa at Snowbird, Utah

About Eric Paskel

Never one to pardon his French, Eric Paskel is the rock ‘n’ roll version of your favorite vinyasa teacher, leading you through bootcamp moves and yoga-meets-dance sequences to the tune of stadium rock. His Yoga Shelter studios can be found in California and his home state of Michigan.

Check out Eric Paskel’s yoga inspiration and motivation on social media.

 Twitter: @yogashelter
 Instagram: @yogashelter