Yoga Sequencing book cover
Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes

Paperback, 528 pages

Publisher: North Atlantic Books, 2012

ISBN-13: 860-1200638998

Dimensions: 8 x 10

Also in Kindle format


Yoga Sequencing presents the essential principles and methods for designing yoga classes. Offers sixty-seven model sequences, including multiple sequences for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students; for kids, teens, women across the life cycle, and seniors; classes to relieve depression and anxiety; and for each of the major chakras and ayurvedic doshas.

Enhanced with an elaborate guide to the constituent elements of over 125 yoga asanas, the book draws equally from ancient yoga philosophy and contemporary insights into functional anatomy, biomechanics, and kinesiology. The nuanced interrelationships among asanas within and between the seven asana families are explored and the anatomy of opening and stabilizing each pose is explained for sequences designed around specific needs and intentions. 

PRAISE FOR Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes

YS testimonial Stephen Cope

Photo of Stephen Cope

"Moving from philosophy and principles to methodology and technique, Yoga Sequencing gives yoga teachers and students alike a rich resource for designing wide-ranging classes for different intentions, needs, and aspirations."

— Stephen Cope, former director, Kripalu Center, founder, Institute for Extraordinary Living, author of The Great Work of Your Life

Sally Kempton YS

Sally Kempton photo

Mark Stephens, a master teacher of teachers, has given us a wise, practical guide that should be in every yoga maven's library. Here, he brings his expertise to a subject that every teacher and practitioner of yoga needs to understand.

– Sally Kempton, contributing editor, Yoga Journal, meditation teacher and author, Meditation for the Love of It and Awakening Shakti

Leslie Kaminoff YS

Leslie Kaminoff photo

"A comprehensive, timely and much-needed work on the important art of sequencing.  Mark's well-researched and systematically laid-out book is certain to become an instant classic and a reliable resource for all teachers of yoga asana, both beginning and experienced.  It is essential reading for any teacher training program that wishes to be considered state-of-the art."

– Leslie Kaminoff, yoga teacher, co-author, Yoga Anatomy

Jill Miller YS

Jill Miller photo

Mark provides a comprehensive map for the creative exploration and construction of yoga classes that cover a breath and depth of options. This meticulous matrix will certainly advance any yoga teacher's service to their students' practice.  

– Jill Miller, Creator of Yoga Tune Up®

James Bailey (YS)

Picture of James Bailey

A contemporary yoga classic…This text should be required reading in all yoga teacher training schools and by all serious practitioners. Needless to say, Mark is driven by an intense passion to enrich the transmission between teacher and student with new clarity and a three-dimensional understanding of the yoga body that is unequalled. Thank you Mark.

– James Bailey, DASc, LAc, MPH, E-RYT500, founder, Sevanti


Introduction: The Art and Science of Yoga Sequencing

Part One: Foundations and Principles

Chapter One: Philosophy and Principles of Sequencing

  • Traditional Approaches to Yoga  Sequencing Parinamavada and Vinyasa Krama
  • Principle One: Moving from Simple to Complex
  • Principle Two: Moving from Dynamic to Static Exploration
  • Principle Three: Cultivating Energetic Balance
  • Principle Four: Integrating the Effects of Actions
  • Principle Five: Cultivating Sustainable Self-transformation

Chapter Two: The Arc Structure of Yoga Classes

  • Yoga Chataqua: A Conscious Learning Journey
  • Initiating the Yogic Process
  • Creating a Theme-oriented Class
  • Warming and Awakening the Body
  • The Pathway to the Peak

•    Exploring the Peak
•    Integrating the Practice
•    Sidebar: Deepening the Integration of Asana
Chapter Three: Sequencing Within and Across Asana Families
•    The General Properties of Asanas
•    Standing Asanas
•    Core Awakening
•    Arm Support Asanas
•    Healthy Wrist Sequence 
•    Healthy Shoulder Sequence 
•    Back Bends
•    Twists
•    Forward Bends
•    Hip Openers
•    Inversions
•    Savasana
•    The Next Vinyasa in Sequencing
Chapter Four: Sequencing Asana Instructions
•    Teaching What You Know
o    Step One: Demonstrating Asanas
o    Step Two: Transitioning into Asanas
o    Step Three: Refining Asanas
o    Step Four: Transitioning out of Asanas
o    Step Five: Absorbing and Integrating the Effects of Asanas
•    Sequencing Cues within Asana Families
•    Down Dog as a Foundational Arm Support Asana

Part Two: Designing Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Classes
Chapter Five: Surya Namaskara—Sun Salutations
•    General Properties of the Surya Namaskara
•    Classical Surya Namaskara (Sequence 1)
•    Surya Namaskara A (Sequence 2)
•    Surya Namaskara B (Sequence 3)
•    Sidebar: Dancing Warrior (Sequence 4)
Chapter Six: Introductory and Beginning-level Classes
•    Creating and Teaching Beginning-level Sequences
•    Basic Introduction to Yoga Class (Sequence 5)
•    Introduction to Yoga Workshop for More Physically Fit Students (Sequence 6)
•    Focus on Back Bends (Sequence 7)
•    Focus on Hip Opening (Sequence 8)
•    Focus on Twisting (Sequence 9)
•    Focus on Standing Balance (Sequence 10)
•    Focus on Arm Support (Sequence 11)
•    Focus on Forward Bends (Sequence 12)
•    Focus on Inversion (Sequence 13)
Chapter Seven: Intermediate-level Classes
•    Creating and Teaching Intermediate-level Sequences
•    Focus on Back Bends I (Sequence 14)
•    Focus on Back Bends II (Sequence 15)
•    Focus on Hip Opening (Sequence 16)
•    Focus on Twisting (Sequence 17)
•    Focus on Standing Balance (Sequence 18)
•    Focus on Arm Support I (Sequence 19)
•    Focus on Arm Support II (Sequence 20)
•    Focus on Forward Bends (Sequence 21)
•    Focus on Inversions (Sequence 22)
Chapter Eight: Advanced-level Classes
•    Creating and Teaching Advanced-level Sequences
•    Focus on Back Bends I (Sequence 23)
•    Focus on Back Bends II (Sequence 24)
•    Focus on Hip Opening (Sequence 25)
•    Focus on Twisting (Sequence 26)
•    Focus on Standing Balance (Sequence 27)
•    Focus on Arm Support I (Sequence 28)
•    Focus on Arm Support II (Sequence 29)
•    Focus on Forward Bends (Sequence 30)
•    Focus on Inversions (Sequence 31)

Part Three: Sequencing Across the Life Cycle
Chapter Nine: Yoga Sequencing for Kids
•    Yoga for Elementary School–age Children (Sequence 32)
•    Yoga for Middle School–age Children (Sequence 33)
•    Yoga for High School–age Youth (Sequence 34)
Chapter Ten: Sequencing for Special Conditions of Women
•    Practicing Yoga during Menstruation
•    Yoga for Easing Menstrual Discomfort (Sequence 35)
•    Practicing Yoga during and after Pregnancy
•    Yoga Sequences by Stage of Pregnancy
•    General Guidelines and Sequences for the First Trimester
•    First Trimester of Pregnancy—New to Yoga (Sequence 36)
•    First Trimester of Pregnancy—Healthy and Experienced Yogini (Sequence 37)
•    General Guidelines and Sequences for the Second Trimester
•    Second Trimester of Pregnancy—New to Yoga (Sequence 38)
•    Second Trimester of Pregnancy—Healthy and Experienced Yogini (Sequence 39)
•    General Guidelines and Sequences for the Third TrimesterThird Trimester of Pregnancy—New to Yoga (Sequence 40)
•    Third Trimester of Pregnancy—Healthy and Experienced Yogini (Sequence 41)
•    Third Trimester of Pregnancy—During Labor (Sequence 42)
•    General Guidelines and Sequences for Postpartum Reintegration
•    Yoga for Postpartum Reintegration (Sequence 43)
•    Yoga Sequences for Menopause
•    Yoga for Symptoms of Hot Flashes (Sequence 44)
•    Yoga for Bone Health—Preventing Osteoporosis (Sequence 45)
•    Yoga for Reducing Mood Swings (Sequence 46)
Chapter Eleven: Yoga Sequencing for Seniors
•    Creating and Teaching Yoga Sequences for Seniors
•    Yoga for Seniors with Arthritis (Sequence 47)
•    Yoga for Seniors with Osteoporosis (Sequence 48)
•    Yoga for Seniors with Difficulty Balancing (Sequence 49)
•    Yoga for Seniors with Heart Disease (Sequence 50)

Part Four: Sequencing for More Radiant Health and Well-being
Chapter Twelve: Cultivating Emotional and Mental Health
•    Simple Relaxation Class for Beginning–Intermediate Students (Sequence 51)
•    Relax Deeply Class for Intermediate–Advanced Students (Sequence 52)
•    Mildly Stimulating Class for Beginning–Intermediate Students (Sequence 53)
•    Mildly Stimulating Class for Intermediate–Advanced Students (Sequence 54)
Chapter Thirteen: Chakra Sequences
•    Muladhara Chakra Class (Sequence 55)
•    Svadhisthana Chakra Class (Sequence 56)
•    Manipura Chakra Class (Sequence 57)
•    Anahata Chakra Class (Sequence 58)
•    Vishuddha Chakra Class (Sequence 59)
•    Ajna Chakra Class (Sequence 60)
•    Sahasrara: An Integrated Chakra Class (Sequence 61)
Chapter Fourteen: Ayurvedic Yoga Sequencing
•    Vata Balancing Class (Sequence 62)
•    Pitta Balancing Class (Sequence 63)
•    Kapha Balancing Class (Sequence 64)

Part Five: Bringing It All Together
Chapter Fifteen: Further Tips on Yoga Sequencing
•    Soulful Vinyasa Yoga—An Integrated Level 1–2 Class (Sequence 65)
•    Soulful Vinyasa Yoga—An Integrated Level 2–3 Class (Sequence 66)
•    Soulful Vinyasa Yoga—An Integrated Level 3+ Class (Sequence 67)

Appendix A: Glossary
Appendix B: The Constituent Elements of Asanas
Appendix C: Yoga Class Planning Worksheet
Appendix D: Popular Yoga Sequences
Appendix E: Additional Resources


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