How to build a yoga sequence

For new yoga teachers and students wanting to build their home practice, creating a yoga sequence can seem daunting. From choosing poses to remembering what you did on the first side in a sequence, a lot is going on in a yoga class.

If you want to get some inspiration, try it for free. Once you feel comfortable, it will be second nature. You can also take part in the 30-Day Yoga Challenge for free if you need some inspiration. You can take part in several flows, which might inspire you to create your own.

Although different styles of Yoga will dictate how a class is structured, the majority will share similar elements. When creating a sequence for a Hatha or Vinyasa all-level class, consider the following:


Each good yoga class has a specific theme. It can be something very specific, like attracting wealth, or it could be as simple as hip-opening. This idea helps create a cohesive class.

Introduce this theme at the start of the class and keep returning to it to show how the poses relate to the theme. You can read a quotation, do a meditation, or use essential oils to fit your theme.


The theme you select will determine the poses that you use. You’ll need to choose poses that target the hips if you want to work on hip opening. You can incorporate heart-opening poses to help your students open their hearts and minds to the universe if you are thinking about abundance.

You’ll want to incorporate poses from all categories in your class, no matter what the theme is: twists and standing poses.

Consider a peak pose that you can use for your class. This pose will be the hardest stretch for the class. It’s easier to choose poses if you know what poses you want to achieve. If your peak pose is Half Moon, then you will want to focus on hip opening and stability.


Studio classes usually last an hour. You can outline your class by breaking down the hour into manageable chunks.

In the first 10 minutes, you can start by doing a gentle floor stretch and a breathing exercise.

In the next 20 minutes, you will either be doing dynamic flows (Vinyasa) or holding postures for 3 to 6 breaths (Hatha). Sun Salutations are usually included, as well as Warriors, Triangles, Standing Twists, and other standing postures.

You will now spend the next five minutes working on the peak pose that you have been practicing throughout class.

Standing balancing poses can take up to another five minutes. You can alternate this with the peak position, depending on what makes more sense. Work on balance if your peak pose is on a flat surface. If your peak pose is the Revolved Triangle or Bound Warrior, then incorporate it at the very end of this 20-minute chunk.

Spend the next 10 minutes winding down. Work on seated poses and prone positions.

Savasana, seated meditation, and a final ten-minute period of Savasana should conclude the session.


Yoga classes should have a logical progression. The poses should flow together naturally. It would seem strange to jump from seated poses to a tree. Think about starting low and working up to higher poses. Do Low Lunges first, then the Warriors. Cat/Cow is a good transition to Down Dog from seated poses.

Don’t forget about transitions when you plan your class. The transition from one pose to another is as important as the actual poses.


You want to make sure that your students are properly prepared and warmed up for each pose. You wouldn’t start a class by doing a Full Wheel before warming up your spine.

Yoga teachers must understand the anatomy of the body in order to keep their students safe. Listen to your body when you practice at home. See how it reacts. Think about how you could have protected yourself if something felt off.

Counter Poses

We forget, as advanced yogis, how difficult the practice was at first. We might be tempted by the idea of creating long and challenging sequences for students.

Counter poses are a great way to ensure that your students have time to recover after each pose. You might notice that your students are feeling the Warrior II in their front quad. Straighten the front leg before doing a Reverse Warrior.

If the leg is bent, you should think about a way to straighten that leg. It works for both seated and standing positions.

It may seem not very easy at first, but it is actually very easy. You may already be able to do the poses instinctively if you have been practicing Yoga for some time. Teachers often say they don’t have a plan for class and let the flow happen based on their student’s needs.

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