designing safe yoga sequencesBy Sangeetha Saran

Your human body is designed to move, move, and move! It is not, however, designed to move in all shapes and forms. When designing a safe yoga asana sequence, it’s important to remember one thing: Don’t take chances.

Three things to consider before designing any Yoga Asana sequence:

1. Make sure you are practicing in a comfortable position and safe position. Clear anything out of your way on the floor or on the tables. You don’t want your computer monitor, for example, to suddenly create a new hole in your floor – the size of your foot.

2. Make sure that you do not stretch your body in a different shape than it is supposed to be in. Be very careful with any sequence steps regarding your head, neck, and arms. As your arms are going to be supporting your body weight any time you bend, you may need to limit your bending sequence activities.

3. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the asana sequence. Practicing a safe yoga sequence is all about being kind to your body.

Step one: Decide how many steps the sequence is going to have. This may seem obvious, but think about it: how many steps is your asana sequence going to have? Don’t allow it to have too many, because otherwise you’ll be completely exhausted. Instead, just relax, take a deep breath and decide the number of steps that you can complete. Remember that you can always add more steps later.

Step one, part A: Design the first move of the sequence. Design each move of the sequence, and make sure that it is safe. Watch videos from other Asana sequences. To first begin the sequence, you should be on the floor, not moving. Some people will start the sequence sitting normally, while others will just sit down.

Your hands will likely be residing in your lap for this sequence. Deciding how you are going to sit will help decide when to start your sequence.

Step Two: Design the next moves of your sequence.

Design the following moves of your sequence. How you design this will ultimately depend upon you and your preferences of Yoga learning and how you best interact. Some people prefer to sit their Yoga sequence sitting in a certain position with their arms crossed and move to other positions. Other people prefer to start standing up.

Yoga Asana Sequence Example:

Start standing up; spread out your arms to their full length. Then, maneuver your legs to a wider position. Move from there to touch your leg with your hand, and so on.

Asana sequences can be anything that you want them to be, but here are some good guidelines to follow:

1. Start sitting down. Spend a few minutes relaxing your mind so that you can clear it of all the thoughts that might be destructive to your Yoga practice.

2. Move slowly to a standing position. Do not strain your body by making a sudden move too fast.

3. Throw in a few classic Yoga poses that are used in almost every sequence. The Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) in morning hours and Chandra Namaskar (Lunar Flow) during the evening are two great ideas for working with classic sequences. You can always add your own creativity later.

4. Remember to cool down after your safe yoga sequence is complete.

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