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Seasonal Yoga: Ritucharya (Seasonal Regime as per Ayurveda) and Yoga Practice - New Year Yoga Sequence

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Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans

Overview

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Seasonal Yoga: Ritucharya (Seasonal Regime as per Ayurveda) and Yoga Practice - New Year Yoga Sequence: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions

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  • Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)
    WINTER

    This time of the year the body works hard to create a good digestive system and the body needs enough heat to be generated.

    A. Practicing yoga poses that generate heat, we have added Surya Namaskar into the sequence.

    B. Practice this for about 6 rounds of 3 pairs and work on the slow movement of the body, stretching the muscles that need to help to support the internal organs .
  • Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)
    A. Creating space for the muscles around the abdominal area , while contracting them helps to keep those muscles strong protecting the internal organs.

    B. Here we have used Sasangasana or Rabbit Pose to keep the kidney strong and active.

    C. Remain here for about 10 breaths, stretching the spine at the middle back and upper back, to go deeper with the stretch and emphasize on staying calm with the breathing.
  • Bhastrika Pranayama (Bhastrika Pranayama)
    A. Pumping energy into the body while creating heat, practice Bhastrika Pranayama.

    B. Prana or vital energy is one of the main tool for good health. This prana keeps the elements in the body in balance.

    C. Practicing this for about 3-5 minutes while ensuring taking rest in between is essential to take care of a strong and active digestive system.
  • Uddiyana Bandha
    A. Taking the practice deeper, is the holding of the breath within in Kumbhak (retention), for a stronger use of prana while building a good digestive system.

    B. Practice Uddiyana Bandha for 2-5 minutes, taking rest in between.

    C. Ensure the holding is natural and not suffocating.
    Work on awareness while using the abdominal muscles carefully.
  • Great Gesture (Maha Mudra)
    A. A great way to check if one has a strong will power and a strong abdominal muscles is the practice of Maha Mudra or Great Gesture.

    B. Though this pose and mudra requires a lot of practice, but just doing it once has a great effect on the internal organs.

    C. As Winter is the focus on Kidney, what better way is give attention to this organ with the practice of Maha Mudra.

    D. Practice for about 2 mins, breaking it to 30 seconds each time, and then gradually increasing the hold.
  • Constructive Rest Pose (Savasana Variation Bent Legs)
    A. Ending with the practice of Savasana is very essential to cool the body temperatures and gain back all the energy that was used to the maximum with the practice.

    B. Lying down in Savasana, with knees bent support the lower back. This support helps to keep the internal organs safe, without putting too much pressure around the muscles that were active and stretched with the practice of the yoga poses.

    C. Stay for 6 minutes with breath awareness.
  • Half Bound Lotus Forward Fold (Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana)
    SPRING

    This season prepares the body to throw out all the fat and the heaviness that get accumulated with winter. Focus here is the Liver. Using pressure around the upper and the lower abdomen, we gain power and flexibility.

    A. Start with this pose here which works on pressing the tummy, throwing the extra toxins out.

    B. We use Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana or Half Bound Lotus Forward Fold.

    C. Hold this pose for about 8 breaths, using the tummy muscles efficiently. The locking of the body with the hands is a good way to use the abdominal muscles for a strong Liver.
  • Greeting The Earth Pose (Bhunamanasana)
    A. Twisting is yet another good way to use the abdominal muscles to throw out the unwanted and blocked Prana.

    B. In Bhunamanasana or Greeting the Earth Pose, while one feels grounded, this pose helps to flush out the toxins effectively twisting the muscles.

    C. Stay for about 8 breaths and practice both sides equally.
  • Skull Shining Breathing Technique (Kapalabhati Pranayama)
    A. Pranayama supports the entire body when done well along with the right kind of yoga poses.

    B. Here Kapalabhati Pranayama is used to throw the toxins out and building fresh tissues with fresh oxygen supply.

    C. Practice this for about 5 minutes taking rest in between. The air thrown out should be natural and not forced with too much pressure.
  • Agnisar Kriya
    A. Holding the air within is a great way to cleanse the body and the blood.

    B. Practicing Kumbhak (retention) of breath in Agnisar Kriya while using the abdominal muscles is essential for Spring.

    C. Practice for about 3 minutes taking rest in between. While holding the breath, make sure the abdomen and the ribs are used intelligently.
  • Om

    11. Om

    A. Resting here by chanting OM for 3 minutes encourages positive energy while also preparing the body for the coming season.



  • Corpse Pose Variation Bolster (Savasana Variation Bolster)
    A.Rest completely in Savasana while supporting the leg below the knees with a bolster.

    B. Stay for about 6 minutes to work on the breath control and awareness
  • Legs Up The Wall Pose Bolster (Viparita Karani Bolster)
    SUMMER

    This season the body is said to be the weakest, and hence the lesser the exertion with the yoga practice the better. Cooling the body and nourishing it is best advised. Heart is the focus here.

    A. Start to relax in Viparita Karani Bolster. Using poses supporting the muscles and therefore the organs is a good way to keep the body nourished.

    B. A great way to ensure breathing is done from the upper part of the body, using the lower part marginally less.

    C. Stay here for about 8 breaths or more, enjoying the feeling of the blood flow in the opposite direction.
  • Cobra Pose Variation Elbows Back (Bhujangasana Variation Elbows Back)
    A. A bit of extra effort to pump blood using the heart muscles, here in Bhujangasana Variation.

    B. Stretching the upper back, helps to keep the chest and the diaphragm muscles active while supporting the heart.

    C. Stay here for about 6 breaths, using the upper chest intelligently.

  • Sitali (Sitali)

    15. Sitali (Sitali)

    A. Cooling the body as it is summer with the practice of pranayama is a must.

    B. Sitali Pranayama works best when done in summer. Practice for about 2-3 minutes, taking rest while enjoying the silence after each practice.
  • Sitkari (Sitkari)
    A. Continue with Sitkari to cool the body.

    B. Practice for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Anjali Mudra
    A. The expansion of the arms above the head is a great way to use the chest and diaphragm muscles.

    B. Relaxing the body and seated in Anjali Mudra, a good way to stay calm while the energy flow is moving upwards.

    C. Sit against the wall if required and practice of more than 3 minutes.
  • Reclined Butterfly With Bolster (Supta Baddha Konasana Bolster)
    A. Rest completely in Supta Baddha Konasana Bolster, while supporting the heart and the upper back.

    B. Remain for about 6 minutes enjoying the support given to the chest and therefore the heart. Calm and sound feeling of the mind should be encouraged.
  • Reclined Hero Pose Variation Elbows (Supta Virasana Variation Elbows)
    AUTUMN

    This season the body would have fought the rains with various infections related to the lungs with allergies and dust, and hence Lungs play an important role in the healing purpose. Removing the excess water in the body is important.

    A. Expanding the chest while focusing of the upper chest breathing, here in Supta Virasana variation, stretch the shoulders and the chest.

    B. The upper part of the body should be encouraged with more fresh blood.

    C. Remain for about 6-8 breaths, and go slow with the breathing.
  • Shoulderstand Seal Pose (Salamba Sarvangasana Yoga Mudrasana)
    A. Using poses that help to bring fresh blood towards the heart, lungs and the head plays an important role.

    B. In Salamba Sarvangasana Yoga Mudra, the using of the arms locked helps to activate the chest area to the fullest.

    C. Stay for about 6 breaths or more, using the abdominal muscles effectively to stay in this pose.
  • Skull Shining Breathing Technique (Kapalabhati Pranayama)
    A. Cleansing the lungs with the throwing of the toxins is done with the practice of Kapalabhati Pranayama.

    B. Less oxygen and more carbon-dioxide is the art of this pranayama.

    C. Practice for 5 minutes taking rest when needed.
  • Single Nostril Breath (Chandra Bhedana Pranayama)
    A. Chandra Bhedana Pranayama helps to take care of the body, building immunity which would have dropped down with the allergies during rains.

    B. Cooling the body and refreshing the nasal passages clearing it for easy flow of prana, brings balance not only to the body but the mind as well.

    C. Practice this for more than 3 minutes.
  • Candle Gazing (Trataka)
    A. Meditating is a great way to connect to the body, while clearing the mind of clutter.

    B. Practicing Tratak, improves concentration which further develops on keeping the body and the mind away from unnecessary habits and thoughts respectively.

    C. Practicing this for more than 2 minutes is when one derives the benefit.
  • Supported Half Frog Pose (Supported Ardha Bhekasana)
    A. Completely relaxing the body especially the upper body the practice of Supported Ardha Bhekasana is suggested.

    B. Giving the lungs and the breathing some support, the bolster is a great tool and prop for the same.

    C. Breath enjoying the process of pushing the bolster while breathing. Turn the head the other way if required to get maximum benefit taking care of both sides of the body.
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Note: Above yoga sequence is for educational purposes only. Please consult a medical professional and/or a licensed yoga teacher or yoga therapist before starting any exercise regime, including yoga.

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