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.


Wide Legged Forward Fold to Boat Pose

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.

How to:

From Wide Legged Forward Fold –

Inhale – Halfway Lift

  • Flatten 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.

Chair Pose to Airplane Pose

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.

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.

One Legged Mountain Pose to Standing Splits

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!

How to:

From One Legged Mountain Pose –

Exhale – Standing splits

  • Send your R/L leg back.
  • Hinge forward and down.
  • Slow your descent.
  • At the bottom of the exhale your hands touch down.

Giva Squat to Crescent Plane

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.

How to:

From Giva Squat –

Inhale – Flatten your spine and bring your hands to heart center.

Exhale – Crescent Plane.

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

Revolved Lunge Twist to Warrior 2 or Crescent Lunge or One Legged Mountain Pose

The use of an “Arm Circle” is a true transition that you can use between Revolved Lunge 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 Revolved Lunge to these postures that is different and fluid. Arm Circle comes to life especially during the flowing of a Sun Salutation B.

How to:

From Revolved Lunge –

Exhale – Arm Circle

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

For Warrior 2 –

  • Spin your back heel down
  • Rise up
  • Open your arms to the front and back of the room

For Crescent Lunge –

  • Lift your torso up
  • Bring your shoulders over your hips
  • Bring your biceps by your ears

For One Legged Mountain –

  • Shift the weight into your right/left food
  • Pull your left/right knee toward your chest
  • Straighten your standing leg
  • Rise up to a stand with your left/right knee high

High Plank to Side Plank with Extended Bottom Leg

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.

How to:

From whatever standing posture you were in –

Exhale – High Plank

Inhale – Side Plank with Extended Bottom Leg

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

Dancing Shiva to Revolved Half Moon

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.

How to:

From Dancing Shiva –

Exhale – Revolved Half Moon

  • Send your right/left leg back.
  • Swim your right/left arm forward and down.
  • Hinge forward.
  • Bring your right/left arm down to a block, reach your left/right arm up t the sky.

Side Lunge (Skandasana) to 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 Side Lunge 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.

How to:

From Side Lunge (Skandasana)

Inhale – Warrior 2

  • Come up out of your Skandasana
  • Bend into your front knee
  • Straighten your back leg
  • Extend your arms to the front and back of the room

View all tutorials in 1 video here –

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.

14 Comments

  1. 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

  2. Erika says:

    These are lots of fun! I had to hop up and perform each one myself. The last one I was excited to see because I use it a lot use a lot in a power type class but I like to have people switch back and forth between warrior 2 and skandasana!

    Like

  3. Malinda says:

    I really enjoyed the videos and the cues for your transitions! I’m in teacher training now so they were very helpful. Your videos are well done. Thanks so much for your explanations and your videos! I’ll be back to your site often. Malinda

    Like

  4. Pingback: Fun Yoga Transitions 2 | Johnny La Pasta

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