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Autumn Equinox Yoga Sequence: Gentle Yoga For Vata Dosha

(Tummee Reference 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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Autumn Equinox Yoga Sequence: Gentle Yoga For Vata Dosha: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions

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  • Opening

    1. Opening

    OPENING THE VARIOUS JOINTS

    A. The practice of PAWANMUKTASANA Series 1 and 2 to be done to open the joints.
    B. A great way to also warm up the body while staying close to earth.
    C. Releases the excess vata or gas that is accumulated at the various joints.
    D. Helps to reduce the stiffness of the joints making the practice of the other poses easy and smooth.
  • Revolved Thunderbolt Pose (Parivrtta Vajrasana)
    After the practice of Pawanmuktasana Series 1 and 2, sit at the center of the yoga mat in Vajrasana

    PREPARING
    A. Sit on the knees and on the shins while resting the hips on the heels.
    B. Place the hands on the thighs and inhale/exhale extending the spine along with the torso.
    C. Close your eyes and stay taking 6 breaths as you connect.
    D. Release and open your eyes.

    THE POSE
    A. From Vajrasana:
    Inhale - raise the torso and turn towards the right side in a twist.
    Exhale - gaze behind as you take the shoulders, chest and head in a twist.
    Inhale/Exhale - to remain in Revolved Thunderbolt Pose for 3 breaths.
    Inhale/Exhale - release and relax
    Inhale - raise the torso and turn towards the left side in a twist.
    Exhale - gaze behind as you take the shoulders, chest and head in a twist.
    Inhale/Exhale - to remain in this posture for 3 breaths.
    Inhale/Exhale - release and relax.

    BENEFIT
    A. Twisting the spine opens the base of the spine to encourage easy flow of prana.
    B. The practice of this pose starts with the opening of the base of the spine moving to the crown to clear the passage or channel.
    C. Remaining in the twist allows the body to use the prana or energy efficiently, while stimulating the organs at the abdominal area.
    D. It also helps with deep breathing when the chest and the diaphragm muscles are active with the stretch and twist.

    VATA DOSHA
    A. This pose helps to reduce the stiffness around the lower back and the joints.
    B. The blocked energy at these joints releases reducing the aches and pain.
    C. Stretches the abdominal muscles stimulating the digestive fire or agni.

    KEY POINTS
    Stay calm and focused while in the twist making sure the breathing is deep and slow.
  • Frog Pose III (Mandukasana)
    PREPARING
    A. Sit in Thunderbolt Pose extending the spine and torso.
    B. Chest out, shoulders back, press the hips firm on the heels.
    C. Breathe slow and deep.

    THE POSE
    A. From Vajrasana:
    Inhale - form a fist and place it below your navel close to our hip joints.
    Exhale - extend the spine.
    Inhale - raise the chest upwards, pressing the hands deep in.
    Exhale - slowly go forward with the torso as you reach for the floor in front.
    Inhale/Exhale - stay down pressing the chest and face close to the thighs and floor respectively.
    Inhale/Exhale - stay for 6 breaths.
    Inhale/Exhale - rise up and release.
    Inhale/Exhale - to repeat again and stay for 6 more breaths.

    BENEFIT
    A. A forward bend while compressing the abdominal muscles acts as a gentle massage to the internal organs.
    B. Release stress and tensions with the forward bend.
    C. Reduces the unwanted gas in the body that can cause stiffness at the joints.
    D. Tones the belly.

    VATA DOSHA
    A. Helps with the digestion, as a high vata irritates the digestive system.
    B. Releases the heaviness around the belly.
    C. Calms the mind with the forward bend that helps with the vata balance.
    D. Encourages balance in the releasing the excess vata in the body.

    KEY POINTS
    Not to hold the breath while in the posture.
  • Seated Sun Salutation B (Seated Surya Namaskar B)
    PREPARING
    A. Release and sit in Thunderbolt Pose.
    B. Extend the spine and sit with chest out and shoulders back.

    THE POSE
    A. From Thunderbolt Pose:
    Inhale/Exhale - raise the torso and come in a forward fold stretching the spine and placing the nose on the floor.
    Inhale - raise the torso up.
    Exhale - lift the hips off the heels.
    Inhale - raise the arms up.
    Exhale - bring the arms down.
    Inhale - bring the hands to hips
    Exhale - take the torso in a backbend.
    Inhale - release
    Exhale - place the hands on the floor to come in all fours.
    Inhale - lift the legs off the floor, extending the chest and shoulders
    Exhale - bring the chest and shoulders towards the floor.
    Inhale - rest the entire body on the floor and raise the chest up placing the hands on the floor.
    Exhale - come to all fours.
    Inhale - extend the arms and the chest along with the shoulders.
    Exhale - stretch the torso on the floor placing the face and the chest on the floor.
    Inhale - come to all fours.
    Exhale - rest taking the torso back placing the hips on the heels.
    Inhale/Exhale - repeat again to complete one more round of Seated Sun Salutation B

    BENEFIT
    A. This seated Sun Salutation B, encourages flexing the spine and the upper body.
    B. A good option for those who find the original Sun Salutation a challenge.
    C. It improves blood circulation encouraging better energy flow.

    VATA DOSHA
    A. Releases the excess vata in the joints and in the abdominal area.
    B. Encourages easy flow of prana reducing the blocks.
    C. Keeps one grounded staying calm and soft with the practice.
    D. Deeper stretches while staying connected to the Earth.

    KEY POINTS
    Stretch in each pose and stay focused with deep inhalations to use the chest and the diaphragm muscles in the most efficient way.
  • Staff Pose (Dandasana)
    COUNTER AND TRANSITION POSE

    A. Release and come to sit in Staff Pose.
    B. Relax and stay here extending the legs and the torso.
    C. Stay for 6 breaths.
  • Greeting The Earth Pose (Bhunamanasana)
    PREPARING
    A. Seated in Staff Pose, breathe expanding the chest and spine.

    THE POSE
    A. From Staff Pose:
    Inhale - raise the torso up and turn towards the left side.
    Exhale - press the hands on the floor and bring the chest, shoulders and head towards the floor behind you.
    Inhale/Exhale - stay in posture for 3 breaths.
    Inhale/Exhale - release and come to center.
    Inhale - raise the torso up and turn towards the right side.
    Exhale - press the hands on the floor and bring the chest, shoulders and head towards the floor behind you.
    Inhale/Exhale - stay in posture for 3 breaths.
    Inhale/Exhale - release and come to the center.

    BENEFIT
    A. Twisting while the hips are firm on the floor, helps with improved flexibility of the upper body.
    B. Twists are good for the internal organs stimulating them.
    C. Better use of the chest and diaphragm muscles.

    VATA DOSHA
    A. Improves digestion.
    B. Keeps one grounded even with the deep stretch.
    C. Reduces the excess vata at the joints while in twist.
    D. Deeper inhalations to feel calm and at ease.

    KEY POINTS
    Don't raise the hips too much while in a twist. Engage the core muscles pulling in the belly while going down.
  • Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)
    PREPARING
    A. Stay seated in Staff Pose extending the spine.
    B. Keep the back straight and sit firm on the sit bones.

    THE POSE
    A. From Staff Pose:
    Inhale - fold the right leg and place the right foot close to the inner left thighs.
    Exhale - sit comfortably adjusting the hips on the sit bones.
    Inhale - extend the torso upwards.
    Exhale - go in a forward fold taking the torso towards the left thighs. Hold the left foot with the hands interlocking the fingers.
    Inhale/Exhale - stay pressing the chin towards the knee for about 5 breaths.
    Inhale/Exhale - rise up and relax, sitting up.
    Inhale - release the right leg extending in front and bend the left leg placing the left foot at the inner right things.
    Exhale - sit comfortably adjusting the hips on the sit bones.
    Inhale - extend the torso upwards.
    Exhale - go in a forward fold taking the torso towards the right thighs. Hold the right foot with the hands interlocking the fingers.
    Inhale/Exhale - stay pressing the chin towards the knee for about 5 breaths.
    Inhale/Exhale - rise up and relax, sitting up.

    BENEFIT
    A. A forward fold with focus on one side of the body helps to strengthen focusing on one side.
    B. When each side is stretched independently, it brings balance improving the spine strength and the various muscles around it.
    C. Calms the mind with deeper exhalation as you go forward.

    VATA DOSHA
    A. Pressing the abdominal muscles stimulates the internal organs, improving the digestive system.
    B. Forward fold calms the body, reducing tensions at the shoulders, neck and lower back.
    C. Cools the nervous system with forward bends.
    D. Balances the vata dosha while stimulating the agni.

    KEY POINTS
    Make sure to exhale completely while you stretch. Only after that, should you inhale and prepare to stay in the posture.
  • Upward Facing Seated Straddle Pose Holding Big Toes (Urdhva Mukha Upavistha Konasana Padangusthasana)
    PREPARATORY POSE FOR SIDE BENDS

    PREPARING
    A. From Staff Pose, come to sit extending the legs out sideways.
    B. Sitting comfortably on the sit bones, extend the torso and open the hips out completely.

    THE POSE
    A. From Seated Straddle Pose:
    Inhale - hold to toes with your hands.
    Exhale - stretch the shoulders, chest and head pulling the upper body upwards.
    Inhale/Exhale - stay for about 6 breaths stretching as you exhale.
    Inhale/Exhale - to release and relax.

    BENEFITS
    A. Prepares the body for deeper hip opening poses.
    B. Prepares the body for forward bends with external rotation of hips.
    C. Uses the shoulders and the chest improving in flexibility.

    VADA DOSHA
    A. In this sequence the use of side bends with grounding poses are seen, hence this posture helps prepare for the side bends while the hips are in external rotation.
    B. The spine stretches for greater flow of prana from base of spine, reducing blocks.
    C. Releases tensions at the middle back and upper back with the use of the diaphragm and chest muscles in a upwards stretch.
    D. Ensures balance with both sides of the body with the hips firm of the floor.

    KEY POINTS
    The focus is to sit on the sit bones equally and not to stretch upwards the most. Use the core muscles while pulling in the belly to feel the hips settle comfortably.
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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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