For beginner and advanced students, recharge yourself after work and release fatigue by practicing Yoga.
Introduce the theme of the class with an opening sequence that explores the four actions of the spine: extension (backbending), flexion (forward-bending), lateral flexion (sidebending), and rotation (twisting). One possible sequence is to explore extension and flexion on all fours with spine waves (cat/cow), then bring students to kneeling or cross-legged position for a simple sidebend and twist. Each movement should be linked to the breath (inhaling during extension and exhaling during flexion or rotation).
Dynamic Warm-ups (15 min)
To help students connect more fully to the core actions you will be using in standing poses, guide them through a traditional twisting abdominal exercise (such as the “criss-cross” oblique curl). If sun salutations are a part of your typical class, invite students to notice whether each movement is initiated from the head and neck or from the core.
Standing Yoga Poses (15 min)
You can add a twist to almost any standing pose. Below are some suggestions for adding twists to basic poses. Experiment with adding standing yoga twists to other poses. For each pose pair, practice moving from the basic pose into the standing twist, and back into the basic pose, several times. Then hold the twisting pose for five to 10 breaths.
Seated Yoga Poses and Deep Release (25 min)
Choose seated and floor poses that follow the opening sequence of the four movements of the spine. One possible sequence is bridge pose (setu bandhasana) or any other backbends for spinal extension, seated gate pose (parighasana) for lateral flexion, a seated forward bend (such as janu sirsasana) for spinal flexion, and a reclining spinal twist.
In relaxation pose or a seated meditation, bring students back to the theme of the class: a turning of the heart. Ask them to reflect, what in life, would you like to turn your heart to? Invite them to mentally commit to this intention, and remind students that they have the inner strength to follow through with action.
Relaxation and Closing (20 min)
Duration: 90 Minutes