If you're a yoga teacher or a yogi who practices on your own and are feeling like you need inspiration to make your next vinyasa flow unique, here are a few of our favorite ways to spice up your sequence!
Flowing between poses that commonly aren’t placed next to one another by using a funky transition is a great way to spice up your class and leave students saying, “wow, that was cool.” Implement fun yoga transitions such as wide-legged forward fold to boat (by shifting weight into back hand and stepping back foot through to lower down to boat) or figure 4 downward dog to horizon lunge (spin into side plank then plant crossed-over ankle onto your mat).
Maybe it’s time to switch up the layout of your vinyasa class. Have you ever tried a ladder flow? Ladder flows are sequences where you create a simple flow then add on and/or elevate a couple of poses each time around, flowing 6-8 times. If you’re used to ladder sequencing, perhaps you try a Sun A, Sun B, Sun BII type of layout, introducing your sun salutation slow the first time, then repeating the exact same flow two more times at a faster pace.
Choosing a peak pose to work up to is a great way to get inspiration for your next class. This doesn’t have to be a complicated pose - it can be something like eagle or tree pose, or you can get fancy with flying pigeon, birds of paradise, or handstands. Whatever you choose as your peak pose, think about what muscles are working and what needs to be stretched and open in order to prepare students to get into that pose. Choose poses that help prep for the peak and sequence those into your flow.
Take typical poses and add a little umph to them! We love adding pulses to poses - such as in high lunge, goddess, or cheetah. We also love adding in core anytime there’s a chance - such as side plank knee-to-elbow crunches, eagle crunches, and goddess elbow to knee taps. You can always throw in fun poses like one-legged chaturangas or tip-toe chair pose.
Breathwork & Meditation
Pranayama, or the practice of breath regulation, is at the heart of yoga. We use our breath to move us throughout the entire flow, so try spending some time to work on breathing techniques. Introduce square breathing or alternate nostril breathing at the beginning of class, and encourage students to use Ujjayi breath throughout the vinyasa flow. Guide students through a short meditation as you transition them into savasana, such as a body scan or visualization.