Posture Sequencing

It is important to develop yoga routines that work well for you and your lifestyle. Having a clear understanding of why you place yoga postures in a certain order, will help you to feel more comfortable in your practice at home. The given sequence is just a suggestion. You are your best teacher and should always have the final word. Ideally, we all come to the point where we don’t have to think of the practical reasons of posture sequence, but rely on our own intuition. We listen…and respond. Never lose touch with your feelings. Always work from the inside out, using inner control and making sure that each movement feels good to you. Once you experience this inner control you never really lose it. It can take you safely through any situation. Here you will find:

Posture Sequence Guidelines

General – Start with postures that slowly loosen your muscles and joints, progress to postures that build strength and endurance, and end with those that calm your body and mind. 

Sun Salutation – At the beginning of the session to warm your body and bring your attention inward. May also be performed as a short session in itself. 

Dynamic Standing Postures – (Triangle, Warrior, etc.) Near the beginning of the session as these postures are invigorating and energizing. 

Balances – Whenever you want or need to come back to your center. 

Headstand – Before warm-ups or in the middle of the session. 

Shoulderstand – After the headstand if they are both in the same session. 

Spinal Rotations – (Standing, Sitting, Supine) Anytime in the session, after warming up, except for the last pose. 

Back Arches – Should not be left for the last pose, as they are invigorating. Follow with forward postures to fully lengthen your spine. 

Forward Stretches – Throughout the session to (a) relax between vigorous standing postures (b) counteract back arches (c) balance the body after spinal rotations and (d) calm the body and mind before your final relaxation. 

End Yoga Session – With a symmetrical pose, such as, sitting forward postures or supine releases. 

Relaxation Postures – (Standing, Sitting, Supine) To begin the session, throughout it, and to end the session. 

Slow Stretches and Releasing Actions – Throughout the session when needed. 

BreathAwareness – Throughout the session. Allow your breath to become a part of the flow of each posture. 

MOST IMPORTANTLY – Listen to your body, it will tell you what you need and when.

 

Suggested Posture Sequence

 

Relaxation Postures Savasana – Corpse Pose, Pindasana – Child’s Pose, Sukhasana – Easy Seated Pose…

Helps to relax your body and calm your mind. You begin to focus inward and connect with your breath. 

Pranayama – Breath Control and Regulation Ujjayi – Sounding Breath, Alternate Nostril, Full Yogic…

Increases lung capacity, allowing more oxygenated blood to circulate throughout your body. As you control and direct your breath, you control your mind and emotions, allowing for deeper relaxation and mental clarity.  

Breathing Movements Neck Rolls, Shoulder Rotations, Cat Stretch…

Slow movements coordinated with your breath to release tension in your neck and shoulders, to warm muscles along your spine, and to relax your lower back and hips. 

Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation

A completely balanced series of 12 postures to warm your entire body. Alternately stretches the front and back of your body.  Balances strength and flexibility in upper and lower body. This systematic posture flow uses your breath to connect body and mind. 

Standing – Dynamic Postures Utthita Trikonasana – ExtendedTriangle, Virabhadrasana – Warrior…

Strengthens your body, tones muscles, increases endurance and energy. 

Standing – Balance Postures Vrksasana – Tree Pose, Garudasana – Eagle, Natarajasana – Dancing Pose of Shiva…

Develops better concentration and balance. Builds strength and endurance. Produces stability, confidence and inner peace. 

Relaxation Postures Savasana – Corpse Pose, Pindasana – Child’s Pose, Sukhasana – Easy Seated Pose…

Allows time for your mind to become quiet and your body calm, so that you can deeply absorb and assimilate benefits of the postures so far. 

Supine Postures Knee Squeeze, Spinal Rotation, Leg Lifts…

Stretches your hamstrings and back muscles. Strengthens your abdomen and lower back. Used as preparation for the shoulder stand series. 

Inversions Sirsasana – Headstand, Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand, Halasana – Plough Pose, Vipariti Karani – Supported Legs to Wall…

Rejuvenates by reversing the effects of gravity on your body. Allows your heart to rest while blood returns from your legs, flowing freely to upper parts of your body. 

Postures to Balance-out Inversions

Pindasana – Childs Pose after headstand to stabilize. Matsyasana – Fish Pose, Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose after shoulder stand series to open your chest, reverse curve in your neck and to lengthen your spine. 

Spinal Rotations Marichyasana – Sage Marici Pose, Ardha Matsyendrasana – Half Fish King Pose…

Increases circulation, helps to release tension in your back and shoulders, stimulates internal organs, keeps your spine supple and stretches the front and back of your body in opposite directions.

Backward Arch Postures Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose, Dhanurasana – Bow Pose, Ustrasana – Camel Pose…

Stretches the front side of your body, strengthens your back muscles and massages internal organs. Brings greater flexibility to your spine, is invigorating and opens your chest for freer breathing. 

Forward Folding Postures Pascimottanasana – Full Forward Fold, Janu Sirsasana – Head of the Knee Pose…

Stretches posterior muscles from your heels to the back of your skull. Counteracts backward arches and frees hip rotation. 

Meditation Postures Padmasana – Lotus Pose, Virasana – Hero Pose, Sukhasana – Easy Pose…

Develops flexibility in your hips, knees and ankles as well as strong back muscles.  Used to calm and center your body and mind in preparation for your final relaxation. 

Final Relaxation Savasana – Corpse, Sukhasana – Easy Sitting Pose, Viparita Karani – Supported Legs to Wall…

Uses various techniques such as tense and relax, breath awareness, body scan and imagery, allowing your body to rest deeply while your mind is calmly alert. Almost no energy is used and all systems of your body are working most efficiently,  so it is relaxing and energizing at the same time.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this web site is educational in nature, based on the traditions of Ayurveda and Yoga, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or to replace standard medical treatment or advice. If you have a medical condition, please consult your physician or other qualified medical provider.

 

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