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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yoga Sequence: Back to Basics

Here is a sequence for students of all abilities. Beginners will learn the foundation poses on which their future practices will be built. Intermediate and Advanced students can find a place of comfort and ease where they can go deeper into familiar poses.

For beginners who are using this as a guide to home practice I have used common english translations for poses. There are many online resources if you are unfamiliar with a particular pose. I suggest typing the words "yoga pose" and the name of the pose into Google or another search engine if you need visual aid.

Teachers Notes: I used a standard outline to structure the class. This particular sequence does not have a specific energetic goal as most of my other classes do but the overall Prana movement in up from the base to higher chakras, then back down which should be overall balancing and appropriate for most students. Standing poses begin with open hips which gradually move to a closed hip position, then into twist. Using Kakasana (crow) as your inversion will concentrate movement into the 3rd chakra area which was initiated with twists. From there we move into back bending to stimulate up the 4th, 5th & 6th chakras, before moving back down through more 3rd chakra twists to grounding 1st & 2nd chakra poses. As always, I highly recommend that you do the sequence yourself and become comfortable with it before attempting to teach it.  
Read the following legal stuff before you go further:  
Not all exercise is suitable for everyone. This or any exercise program may result in injury. Consult with your doctor before use. Yoga instructors teaching this sequence to students should have comprehensive yoga training and liability insurance. To reduce the risk of injury, never force or strain yourself or your students during exercise. If you feel pain, stop and seek medical attention if necessary.
This sequence may not be appropriate during pregnancy. Any instructor teaching yoga to pregnant women should have specialized training in Prenatal Yoga and should provide appropriate modifications for contraindicated poses. Those with special health considerations should consult their medical practitioner before performing any exercise.
Yoga in the Valley/Tracy Johnson cannot guarantee that this yoga program is suitable and safe for every individual. Any liability, loss or damage in connection with the use of the following yoga sequence, including but not limited to any liability, loss or damage arising from the performance of the exercises demonstrated here is expressly disclaimed.

Back to Basics

Warm Up: (hold each pose 5-10 breaths)
Child’s Pose
Down Dog
Forward Fold
Sun Salutation:
Reach Up
Forward Fold
Flat Back
High Plank to Low Plank
Upward Dog
Downward Dog (hold)
Forward Fold
Flat Back
Forward Fold
Standing 1:
Warrior 2
Side Angle
Illuminated Warrior
Standing 2:
Warrior 1 
Standing 3:
Crescent Warrior
Crescent Warrior Twist
Standing 4:
Chair Twist
Pyramid with Flat Back
Revolved Triangle

Opt: Headstand
Child’s Pose

Locust Variations
Arms at sides reaching back
Bend elbows, palms down
Arms extended, lace fingers
Bow Pose
Bridge or Wheel
Lying on back knee to chest
Reclining Twist
Child’s Pose
Half Pigeon
Forward Folds:
Seated Twist
Head to knee/one leg forward fold
Bound Angle
Wide Angle Forward Fold (seated)
Forward Fold (seated)

*Please share your comments and feedback below...


  1. I'm not familiar with Illuminated Warrior pose and cannot find it with a Google search. Is that what many teachers call Reverse Warrior?

    1. Yes, Illuminated Warrior is also commonly called Sun Warrior or Reverse Warrior. Stand in Warrior 2 with front arm reaching upward, back arm reaching down. Please let me know if you have any other questions.