The Bendy Blog

The Art of Sequencing


By Karen Martin


Bendy Blog category: Teaching Techniques

My 5K cross-country outing began with the intention to mostly run, not walk the distance. But it didn’t start that way. (I’m slow — and my walk is even slower.)The first 2 miles found me walking up the hills followed by a sluggish jog down the other side. Slow ,slow progress. But with one more mile to go. my jog DOWN hill became a jog UP the next hill. And the next.  And continued this way until I actually “sprinted” to the finish. What was that all about I wondered? What just happened here?

Although my route started out feeling like a lot of stops and starts, I had a continuous pace at the finish. Cycling through those walk and jog segments must have prepared me for the last third of the course where I felt stronger and more competent. Intervals alternating between high and low activity allowed me to manage my energy and achieve a good outcome.

Most of my YogaKids students have the desire to accomplish ALL of the poses quickly and easily. But constant energy will likely falter. Sequencing a class with cycles of active and recovery segments can help kids finish strong and successful by the end of the session. Between challenging efforts for both mind and body, I insert recovery moments in the lesson plan.

Begin with gentle stretching of mental as well as physical “muscles” to engage the students. Peace Breath softens the face and calms the mind providing a quiet moment. Butterfly with Antenna involves “wing” movement and stimulates the pathway between the brain and body, offering a slightly more active segment.

Poses that use more movement and focus can alternate with resting asanas. Balancing in Eagle enlists concentration of the brain with attention to crossing arm and leg positions. Follow this with Child’s Pose, allowing time to breathe and relax. Active Spouting Dolphins cresting multiple waves may need to “float” on their bellies and rest a bit afterwards. Allowing time for that lower energy, quieter moment provides each student the time to rest, refresh, and re-center.

Yoga, like life, has hills AND valleys — acknowledging both can be a powerful tool for creating YogaKids classes.

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