Fun Yoga Transitions

One of the reasons I love teaching Power Vinyasa Yoga is the creative process of drawing up the sequences I guide my students through. Sequencing a yoga flow is in many ways like choreographing a dance routine; it is a craft that is both artistic and scientific and can end in a beautiful piece of movement. In the modern yoga world where all mindful movement is yoga, there is now more room than ever to experiment and present unique flows to your classes. I like to consider myself a pretty creative sequencer, I am always playing around with unique chains of postures and different transitions between them.

After humbly receiving positive feedback from my students about these sequences, I wanted to take the time and share some of my current favorite transitions I have been utilizing in my own sequences. All teachers are welcome to take these and try them on in your own classes. All home practitioners are welcome to take these and try them on in your own practice.

My Favorite Yoga Transitions

  1. Wide Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana) to Boat Pose (Navasana)

How to:

  • Inhale – Halfway Lift in Wide Legged Forward Fold
    • Lengthen your spine.
    • Gaze forward.
  • Exhale – Boat Pose
    • Shift the weight into your back hand.
    • Kick your back foot forward to the front of the room.
    • Lower down to a seat.
    • Use your core and back muscles to control your descent.

This is my absolute favorite transition at present! When cuing this the first time around, students usually look confused and unsure, so I typically demo this transition and talk them through it as I do. The transition is quite different and unexpected, but once students do it they feel that it is actually rather intuitive and is a great challenge for find stability in your core and back. In some ways, this transition almost feels like a break dancing move! I have received great feedback for this transition with many students expressing that not only is it challenging, but also fun to work on.

 

2. Chair (Utkatasana) to Airplane (Dekasana)

How to:

Inhale – Chair Pose

Exhale – Chair Plane

  • Sweep your arms back.
  • Roll your shoulder blades to kiss.
  • Ignite your triceps.

Inhale – back to Chair pose

Exhale – Airplane

  • Shift the weight into your R/L foot.
  • Sweep your R/L leg back.
  • Sweep your arms back.
  • Hinge your body to parallel with the mat.

This is a fun one that feels like a very natural progression and is a great challenge to balance and body control. Additionally, the use of this particular transition in a Sun Salutation B series makes Chair Pose the reset posture as oppose to Down Dog and makes Airplane the beginning to one sided postures as oppose to lifting a leg high to come to Low Lunge. With this as the beginning of Sun B eliminates the need to do Chaturangas to Upward Facing Dog to Downward Facing Dog.

 

 

3. One Legged Mountain Pose (Eka Pada Tadasana) to Standing Splits (Urdva Prasarita Eka Padasana)

How to:

Inhale – One Legged Mountain Pose

Exhale – Standing splits

  • Send your R/L leg back.
  • Hinge at your hips.
  • Bring your hands through heart center.
  • Slow steady dive down.
  • Bottom of the exhale your hands touch down.

This is another great transition that challenges balance and control. Similarly in the Chair Pose to Airplane Pose transition, this can require a Sun Salutation B to begin at the top of the mat. If you never go back to Downward Facing Dog, then this can mean no need for chaturangas!

 

4. Giva Squat to Crescent Plane

How To:

Exhale – Giva Squat and hold.

Inhale – Bring your hands to heart center.

Exhale – Crescent Plane.

  • Shoot your R/L leg back and land your toes down.
  • Sweep your arms back like Airplane.
  • Lift your torso to diagonal.

This one is very challenging, but very fun. You get a great test of balance and it helps create stability and strength in your standing leg. Additionally, this one takes a lot of core control.

 

5. Low Lunge Twist to Arm Circle to Warrior 2/Crescent Lunge/One Legged Mountain Pose

How To:

Inhale – Low Lunge Twist

Exhale – Arm Circle

  • Sweep your fingers back, down, and then forward into….
  • Inhale (Warrior 2 or Crescent Lunge or One Legged Mountain Pose)

Arm Circle is a true transition that you can use between Low Lunge Twist and these three postures. The use of the Arm Circle adds an extra element of flow and grace and feels like a natural connector from Low Lunge Twist to these postures that is different and fluid. Arm Circle comes to life especially during the flowing of a Sun Salutation B.

 

 

 

 

6. High Plank (Dandasana) to Side Plank (Vasisthasana) with Extended (Uttitha) Bottom Leg

How to:

Exhale – High Plank

Inhale – Side Plank with Uttitha Bottom Leg

  • Root down through your R/L hand.
  • Spin open to the R/L.
  • Extended your bottom leg to the R/L.

I enjoy this chain of movements for a couple of reasons. The first is that this variation with an extended bottom leg really challenges core muscles on the sides of the body in a way that other variations do not. Additionally, when flowing, this is another variation to eliminate a Chaturanga Dandasana. For example, from a Reverse Warrior you exhale to High Plank then inhale to Side Plank with Uttitha Bottom Leg then exhale to Downward Facing Dog. No Chaturanga during the flow, yet just as challenging, just in a different way.

 

7. Dancing Shiva (Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana) to Revolved Half Moon (Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana)

How to:

Inhale – prepare.

Exhale – Revolved Half Moon.

  • Kick your R/L back.
  • Swim your back arm up, forward, down.
  • Hinge down.
  • R/L hand down, L/R hand up.

This is a super fun transition that challenges balance and stability. Essentially, you are simply twisting from one side and then twisting to the other in a different way. I usually make sure students have a block on the highest setting at the top of their mat to aid them should they need to bring their bottom fingers to something for stability.

 

 

8. Side Lunge (Skandasana) to Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana)

How to:

Exhale – Skandasana

Inhale – Warrior 2

  • Push down through your back foot.
  • Rise up.
  • Pivot your feet.
  • Lunge forward into Warrior 2.

This pose is sort of like surfing; going from a squat and up to a standing position in a smooth movement. Moving from Skandasana to Warrior 2 challenges length strength as well as body control. Adding this transition into a flow makes the flow super dancy and fun. Example: inhale Star Pose, Exhale Skandasana to the back of the room, Inhale Warrior 2 to the front of the room.

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed this piece and feel inspired to have some fun in your yoga practice and classes! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop into the comment section below!

*Disclaimer – While I believe all of these yoga postures and transitions to be safe, I take no responsibility for any injuries or ailments sustained for practicing them. If you practice, you practice at your own risk.

9 Comments

  1. These are fun, I’m going to add these to my classes. I try to come up with different flows so my students don’t get bored. I have been doing a tree pose flowing into airplane or warrior 3. Thank you. Namaste

    Like

  2. Lanny says:

    Really nice core movements I’m going to incorporate a few of your flows next week in my lessons. Super …thanks for the inspiration 🧘🏻‍♂️🧘🏻‍♂️🧘🏻‍♂️Namaste

    Like

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