Tag Archives: pose

Alternatives to Chaturanga Dandasana

As a Power Vinyasa Yoga instructor, I am well acquainted with the posture/transition Chaturanga Dandasana; well enough to have decided to have a restricted relationship with it.  Chaturanga Dandasana, also known as High to Low Plank which typically proceeds an Upward Facing Dog, is a challenging movement that indeed tests and strengthens shoulders, arms, chest, and upper back.  It is, however, a movement that requires proper form in order to be effective and not destructive.  Additionally, it is a transition that is often overused with many Power Vinyasa Yoga classes containing 25-30 Chaturangas or more per class.

 As yoga has risen in prominence and we have begun to apply more scientific theory and critical thought to the practice of yoga, we have discovered that the prominence of Chaturanga Dandasanas in Vinyasa Yoga can create complications for many practioncers, chief among them pain in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists.  Why?

  • Compression – Chaturanga Dandasana and Upward Facing Dog together create a good amount of compression in the shoulders and wrists even when form is optimal.
  • Form – Suboptimal form when performing Chaturanga Dandasana equates to the straining of muscles, ligaments, and tendons leading to inflammation.  Unfortunately, many practioncers – even advanced students – do not have optimal form in Chaturanga Dandasana.  Even those who do have optimal form may begin to sacrifice that form once fatigue sets in after dozens of Chaturangas have been offered in the class.
  • Repetition – Too much repetition of ANY movement can result in injury and complication.  Science tells us that when we use parts of bodies in one particular way too often while neglecting to counterbalance with other movements it can create reoccurring stress which will manifest as inflammation and injury.

In a Power Vinyasa yoga class, we can have all of the above happening at once.  And if a practioncer is partaking in Chaturanga Dandasana bountiful yoga classes multiple times per week, the above complications will be amplified.

 And so myself and many other yoga instructors of migrated away from defaulting to Chaturanga Dandasana and instead opted for other transitions and postures.  Incorporating alternatives to Chaturanga comes with a multitude of benefits, chief among them:

  • Variety – Science tells us that moving in a variety of ways – Dynamic Movement – optimizes mobility and overall health by introducing vectors and forces that work to ensure the body is strong at every angle and capable of all types of movement as oppose to just a few.
  • Neuroplasticity – Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections in response to learning and experience. When we present the brain with new movements to learn and experience, our brains work to carve out new neural pathways, and this helps to keep neuroplasticity optimized long term. (Yoga and dance are great practices for Neuroplasticity)
  • Presence – The introduction of various transitions and postures in a Vinyasa Yoga class inspires us to be more present in the practice because we are not following a familiar or even memorized routine and therefore cannot just go through the motions.
  • Fun! – It is both challenging and fun to try out different transitions and postures in the yoga class.

    Now, none of this is to say that Chaturanga Dandasana is wrong or bad.  After all, when used correctly Chaturanga Dandasana can also be dynamic movement.  However, knowing the complications Chaturanga Dandasana can present when being taught dozens of times, multiple days per week, I think it is advantageous for more Vinyasa Yoga instructors to offer alternatives. 

*Note: What about teaching Chaturanga Dandasana and giving students the option to skip the movement?
I have found that even when I offer this option, many students – particularly those that really do need a break from Chaturangas – will perform the movement out of habit or even ego.  And so, I typically opt to take Chaturanga Dandasana out of the equation.

Below are a few of my favorite Alternatives to Chaturanga Dandasana.  These Alternatives still provide a path back to Downward Facing Dog in the middle of a Vinyasa Flow whilst also offering new challenges and benefits.


Active Seal Pose

Arguably the best part of a Chaturanga Dandasna to Upward Facing Dog to Downward Facing Dog combination is the Upward Facing Dog which stretches the chest and belly and strengthens the upper and middle back.  Active Seal provides the same frontal stretch and lateral strengthening but passes on the compression of Chaturanga Dandasana and the additional compression Upward Facing Dog places on the wrists. Additionally, this pose flows easily and seems like a natural path back to Downward Facing Dog.

How to:

From Plank Pose –

Inhale – Active Seal

  • Drop knees to the floor
  • Curl your heels to your glutes
  • Straighten your arms
  • Lift your chest

Exhale – Downward Facing Dog

  • Land your already tucked toes on the ground
  • Lift your hips up and back
  • Gaze between your feet

Core Stabilizers

I never want my students to feel as though they are missing out on a more challenging work out because of the absence of Chaturangas in my class. So I like to have my Chaturanga Alternatives provide challenges of their own. For me, Vinyasa Yoga is all about core work, and few things challenge the core more than these Core Stabilizers! Here again, this movement easily transitions to Downward Facing Dog.

How to:

From Plank Pose

Inhale – Core Stabilizer

  • Lift right arm forward and your left leg back
  • Square your hips to the ground
  • Pull your abdominals in
  • Shrug your right shoulder blade and your left glute towards on another

Exhale – Downward Facing Dog

  • Place your right hand and your left foot down
  • Lift your hips up and back

Note: Invert rights and lefts for the other side.


Falling Star

This sequence is sure to challenge you and your students with upper body and core work! As a more complex string of movements, this is a fantastic one for neuroplasticity.

How to:

From Lunge or Plank Pose

Inhale – One Legged High Plank

  • Lift your right leg up and back

Exhale – Knee across body

  • Draw your right knee to your left elbow

Exhale – Falling Star

  • Extend your right leg out to the side
  • Turn your hips and chest up
  • Reach your left arm up

Inhale

Exhale – Bring your left hand down

Inhale – 3 Legged Dog

Exhale – Downward Facing Dog

Note: Invert rights and lefts for the other side.


Windshield Wiper Drills

Sometimes in place of Chaturanga Dandasana, I like to offer a muscle action drill which trains the body in strength and stamina. This sequence is sure to challenge you and your students with upper body and core work! As a more complex string of movements, this is a fantastic one for neuroplasticity.

How to:

From Lunge or Plank Pose

Inhale – One Legged High Plank

•           Lift your right leg up and back

Exhale – Knee across body

•           Draw your right knee to your left elbow

Inhale – Draw your knee to your right elbow

Exhale – Back to the left elbow

Repeat the movement several times

Inhale – 3 Legged Dog

Exhale – Downward Facing Dog

Note: Invert rights and lefts for the other side.


Side Plank with Extended Bottom Leg

Plank to Side Plank to Down Dog is a challenging and smooth sequence of postures on its own. Now add in the extension of the bottom leg in Side Plank and you have a smooth transition with a major core challenge in it! This is a great chain of movements to incorporate into a class with an oblique focus.

How to:

From Plank Pose

Inhale – Side Plank

  • Power down into your right hand
  • Roll open to the left
  • Stack your hips and shoulders
  • Reach your left hand up to the sky

Exhale – Extend Bottom Leg

  • Kick your right leg out to the side and hover it from the ground

Inhale – Reach your left arm

Exhale – Downward Facing Dog

  • Land your left hand
  • Square your shoulders and hips down
  • Send your right foot back
  • Lift your hips up and back

Note: Invert rights and lefts for the other side.


Sphinx Pose

Sphinx is one of my favorite poses for stretching the front line of the body and strengthening the back line of the body. Using this in place of a Chaturanga Dandasana-Upward Facing Dog-Downward Facing Dog sequence is not as quick, but it is effective and feels great.

How to:

From Plank Pose

Exhale – Forearm Plank

  • Lower down to your forearms
  • Bring your elbows underneath your shoulders
  • Bring your arms parallel like the number 11

Inhale – Sphinx Pose

  • Lower your hip bones to the ground
  • Untuck your toes
  • Lift your chest
  • Gaze forward and down
  • Breathe here for a couple rounds of breath

Exhale – Forearm Plank

  • Tuck your toes
  • Lift your hips in line with your shoulders

Inhale – Plank Pose

  • Plant one hand down at a time under your shoulders
  • Straighten your arms

Exhale – Downward Facing Dog

  • Lift your hips up and back


View all tutorials in 1 video here –

Conclusion

These are just a few poses, transitions, and sequences you can use in place of Chaturanga Dandasana to offer new challenges for body and mind.  Again, I do not wish to demonize Chaturanga Dandasana. We can absolutely still do and teach Chaturanga Dandasana, we can even still do Chaturanga Dandasana heavy classes from time to time, it still has a place in our lives.  I simply offer the science that incorporating other varieties of movements into our practices and teachings is advantageous and the opinion that doing so can be fun too!

Did you enjoy learning these Alternatives to Chaturanga? Do you have others you would like to share? Let me know in the comments.

*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.

Fun Yoga Transitions 2

Creatively sequencing challenging and fun vinyasa flow yoga classes is one of my favorite parts of my job as a yoga instructor.  For me, sequencing is both art and science – artistically choreographing movements while scientifically choosing postures and exercises that safely and effectively fulfill a purpose. 

In my 2019 article Fun Yoga Transitions, I shared some of the different, unique transitions I sometimes incorporate between yoga postures to create a diverse, challenging, and fun yoga flow class.  That article has become my most viewed post on Johnny La Pasta and I humbly continue to receive positive feedback from other yoga instructors who have found success in using those transitions in their own classes.

Now, I present to you Fun Yoga Transitions 2 in which I am sharing even more transitions I have been enjoying teaching and I think perhaps you will too!


Chair Vertical Twist Kick to Crescent Lunge

This transition challenges balance and coordination.  While it may be a complex move, it feels intuitive, dance-y, and fun!

How to:

From Chair Pose –

Exhale  – Chair Vertical Twist Kick

  • Sweep your Right arm back, reach your Left Arm Forward
  • Kick your Left heel up
  • Balance on your Right Leg

Inhale – Crescent Lunge

  • Send your Left foot to the back of your mat and land your toes
  • Circle your Right arm down, forward, and up
  • Turn your torso forward

Reverse Rights and Lefts when repeated on second side.


Half Splits to Revolved Low Lunge

This is a great low to the ground transition that links a great hamstring stretch (half splits) with a core strengthening twist (revolved low lunge) and therefore preps two key areas for a continued sequence. I enjoy using this transition at the beginning of a Sun Salutation B flow that will present further exercises for the hamstrings and the core.

How to:

From Half Splits

Inhale – Revolved Low Lunge

  • Lunge forward and plant your hands
  • Lift your back knee from the ground
  • Sweep your Right/Left arm forward and up

Revolved Low Lunge to Wide Legged Forward Fold

This is another transition that feels dance-y and fluid.  Additionally, it is a great transition for keeping low to the floor for classes focusing on grounding and foundation!

How to:

From Revolved Low Lunge

Exhale – Wide Legged Forward Fold

  • Sweep your top arm forward and down
  • Spin on your feet and turn your toes to the Right/Left edge of your mat
  • Walk your hands over to the side and place them underneath your shoulders
  • Allow your head to hang heavy

Revolved Crescent Lunge to Prayer Twist to Revolved One Legged Mountain

This has become one of my favorite chains of postures! This sequence is the ultimate challenge to core and balance requiring complete presence and concentration.

How to:

From Revolved Crescent Lunge

  • Inhale breath – Gaze down at your front foot and shift your weight forward

Exhale – Prayer Twist

  • Step your back foot up to meet your front foot
  • Sit your hips down below your shoulders
  • Maintain the twist in your torso
  • Inhale breath
  • Exhale shift the weight to your Right/Left foot

Inhale – Revolved 1 Legged Mountain

  • Slowly straighten your Right/Left leg
  • Lift your Right/Left knee up
  • Maintain the elbow to knee connection as you rise up

To Reverse – From Revolved 1 Legged Mountain

Exhale – Prayer Twist

  • Bend your standing leg and slowly lower your lifted toes to meet your grounded toes
  • Maintain the twist in your torso

Inhale – Shift the weight into your Right/Left foot

Exhale – Revolved Crescent Lunge

  • Step your Left/Right foot back
  • Maintain the twist in your torso

Low Lunge to Extended Side Angle

This is a different path to entering Extended Side Angle.  As oppose to coming down into Extended Side Angle from a Warrior 2 or a Reverse Warrior, this transition calls to move up into Extended Side Angle and thus utilize our muscles in a new way to enter the posture. The “Exhale – Lift your torso up by 4 inches until your side body is long” also provides a core challenge and capitalizes on the importance of a long side in this posture.

How to:

From Low Lunge

  • Bring your Right/Left hand to the inside of your front foot

Inhale – Extended Side Angle

  • Spin your back heel down
  • Roll your hips and chest open to the side
  • Lift your Right/Left hand to the sky
  • Exhale – lift your torso up by four inches until your Right/Left side body is long

Low Lunge to One Legged High Plank to Falling Star

Most often when we come down into a Low Lunge from a Reverse Warrior, Warrior 1, etc. we step our front foot back and move through a Chaturanga Dandasana.  This transition offers a fun alternative that challenges upper body and core in a way that is more dynamic than a typical Chaturanga.

How to:

From Low Lunge

Inhale – 1 Legged High Plank

  • Shoot your Right/Left Foot back
  • Hover your toes from the ground
  • Keep your hips in line with your shoulders

Exhale – Bring your Right/Left knee across your body to your opposite elbow

Inhale – Falling Star

  • Extend your Right/Left foot out to the side
  • Push down into your Right/Left hand
  • Lift your hips, chest, and Left/Right hand up to the sky

One Legged Mountain to Half Moon

This has become my favorite way to enter into Half Moon. Most often, we move into Half Moon from a Warrior 2 or an Extended Side Angle which requires us to launch forward and up by straightening our standing leg, lifting our back leg up, and finding length in our torso.  In this transition, the standing leg is already straight and we are already balanced one the one leg so we just have to focus on the rest of the posture.

How to:

From 1 Legged Mountain

Inhale – Open your Right/Left knee out to the side

Exhale – Half Moon

  • Kick your lifted foot back
  • Hinge forward and bring your Right/Left fingers down to a block
  • Roll your Right/Left hip and shoulder over your Left/Right hip and shoulder
  • Lift your Left/Right hand up to the sky

View all tutorials in 1 video here –

I hope you have enjoyed learning these transitions and posture chains. Try them on in your own practice and in your teaching. Let me know how these work for you in the comments 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.

YouTube Classes

Made for YouTube Vinyasa Flow and Restorative Yin Yoga Classes


In this 35 minute class, I guide you through a juicy, full-body focused flow with the intention of indulging in all that the practice has for you.
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Full body.
Postures: Wide Legged Forward Fold, Side Lunge, Warrior 2, Side Plank, Forearm Side Plank.
Duration: 35 Minutes


In this dynamic class, I guide you through a full body focused class in just 28 minutes with the intention of being dedicated and engaged with the present moment.
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Full body.
Postures: Revolved Crescent Moon, Warrior 2, Triangle, Core Stabilizers.
Duration: 28 Minutes


In this action packed class, I guide you through a challenging vinyasa flow aimed at helping us get committed to the moment and the experience.
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Full body.
Postures: Crescent Lunge, Warrior 2, Triangle, Revolved Crescent Lunge, Side Plank, Wild Thing.
Duration: 30 Minutes
Includes music!


In this compact and succinct class, I guide you through a challenging vinyasa flow aimed at helping us become more present and then unlock our power.
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Full body.
Postures: Airplane Pose, Warrior 3 Pose, Bear Pose, Falling Star.
Duration: 40 Minutes
Music – Any music you like!



In this 40 minute class, I guide you through a short and sweet Vinyasa flow you can squeeze into your busy day! This class is aimed at opening and releasing tension as well as building strength and stamina in mind, body, and heart.
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Full body.
Postures: Side Lunge, Warrior 2, Revolved Triangle, Half Moon, Wild Thing
Duration: 40 Minutes
Music – Any music you like!


In this 35 minute class, I guide you through a short and sweet Vinyasa flow with a full body emphasis you can squeeze into your busy day!
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Full body.
Postures: Mountain, Crescent Lunge, Exalted Warrior, Warrior 2, Tree, Boat Pose.
Music – Any music you like!


In this hour long class, we check in on our foundations and ground down to build and rise upward.
Duration: 1 hour
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Core, legs, arms.
Postures: Warrior 1, Revolved Triangle, Wide Legged Forward Fold.
Playlist: YouTube/Zoom Yoga – Burn – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1Bw… Song Placement: “Fading” by Shallou for when we flow Sun A unguided, “I Feel You” by Sol Kaskade for building Sun B, “Shades” by Tchami for flowing Sun B, “Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande, “..Last Day” by Shallou for cool down, “New Endings” by Bon Vie for Savasanha.


In this hour long class, we aim to release tension from our bodies, minds, and hearts while also doing the necessary hard work to be successful achieving that sweet release. Prepare for a juicy class that gets into all those tight, tense areas of the body as well as a good sweat too!
Duration: 1 hour
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Hamstrings, hips, shoulders, chest, front line, back line, and side lines
Postures: Wild Thing, Half Moon, Chipasana
Playlist: YouTube/Zoom Yoga – Funky – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/35g… Song Placement: “Heal Me” by Lady Gaga for when we flow Sun A unguided, “The Journey” by Sol Rising for building Sun B, “Can You Feel It” by Boehm for flowing Sun B, “Say a Prayer for Me” by Rufus Du Sol for Core, “Electric” by Alina Baraz feat. Khalid for cool down, “Immunity” by Jon Hopkins for Savasanha.


In this 30 minute class, we softly move to and from gentle restorative postures to release tension from various spaces in the body and promote relaxation. This mini class perfectly integrates into a more rigorous exercise and vinyasa yoga regime, allowing you the opportunity to slow down and rejuvenate.
Level: All-Levels
Emphasis: Full body, back, chest, shoulders, hips
Postures: Supported Child’s Pose, Puppy Pose, Butterfly Forward Fold, Supported Fish, Easy Twists, Legs Up the Wall
Playlist: YouTube/Zoom Yoga – Restore https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1Qz…
Song Placement: Simply play from beginning to end.


In this hour long class, we connect to constant source of strength, power, and light that we all have within us and use that to move through challenges. Just as clouds are temporary to the sky, our struggles and challenges are temporary to us, we will always get through them and back to the sun.
Duration: 1 hour
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Full body, shoulders, hips
Postures: Stargazer, Airplane, Revolved Dancers
Playlist: “YouTube/Zoom Yoga – Astral”
Song Placement: “Breathe Deep” by July Child is for when we flow Sun A unguided. “Take Me Higher” by Sol Rising is for when we are building Sun B. “Love Can Only Change You” by Sol Rising is for when we flow Sun B. “Stupid Love” by Lady Gaga is for when we do core. “Stargazer” by Sol Rising is for when we cool down starting in Swan Pose. “Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow” by Hammock is for Savasana.


In this 50 minute class, I invite you to find patience for the situation and for yourself, to find your strength to work through challenges, and to find your breath to keep calm as you navigate the journey.
Duration: 50 minutes
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Full body, core, shoulders, and back.
Postures: Handstand, Warrior 3, Airplane
Playlist: “YouTube/Zoom Yoga – Edgy” – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6lX1VfYkDp57Id8gsSgApZ?si=dLBh4vgKS_iRc4FTTUygAQ
“Back Down” by Bob Moses is intended for when we flow Sun A twice through without guidance. “Tearing Me Up” by Bob Moses is intended for when we build Sun B. “Underwater” by Rufus Du Sol is intended for when we flow Sun B. “You Were Right” by Rufus Du Sol is intended for when we do Core. “Southern Sea” by Garth Stevenson is intended for Savasana.


In this hour long class, I invite you to feel and experiencing everything that comes up for you in your body, your mind, and your heart. I encourage to keep breathing through the easy and good, the hard and the dark, and continue the journey.
Duration: 1 Hour
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Fully Body + Hips Peak Postures: Flying Squirrel, Horizon Lunge, Crow


In this hour long class, I invite you to accept where you are and what you are experiencing, trust the process you are working through, and trust your own self to find your way.
Duration: 1 Hour
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Full Body + Core
Postures: Side Crow, Revolved Crescent Lunge, Prayer Twist, Revolved 1 Legged Mountain


In this hour long class, I invite you to make the choice to bloom where you are planted, even if you find yourself in a space that feels difficult to bloom and flourish in. Recognize that you have what it takes to rise up and add beauty to the world where you are and as you are.
Duration: 1 Hour
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Emphasis: Full Body, Hips, Core
Postures: Birds of Paradise, Wild Thing, Side Lunge


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.

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“What to Remember When You Start to Doubt Yourself as a Yoga Teacher” on Elephant Journal!

Ciao friends! My most recent article, “What to Remember When You Start to Doubt Yourself as a Yoga Teacher” has been published on Elephant Journal! Very happy to be contributing regularly to this great publication. Please give it a read by following the link below:

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2018/04/what-to-remember-when-you-start-to-doubt-yourself-as-a-yoga-teacher/

 

Johnny’s Weekend Roundup!

Ciao friends! I am starting a new series on this blog called “Johnny’s Weekend Roundup!” which I will be publishing every other week or so. The intention behind my roundup is share links to other online material for your weekend browsing that I found interesting, informational, and otherwise inspiring that hopefully you will as well since we are all like-minded people here!

So here it goes – Johnny’s Weekend Roundup for the weekend of August 12, 2016!

Continue reading

Adapt and Embrace Yoga Class

If you have read any of my previous yoga posts on this blog, then you will know that I am a firm believer that yoga is a great way to exercise not only the body, but also the mind and the spirit to strengthen and prepare for what goes on in life off of the mat. In yoga classes, or at least the ones I teach and take, we often theme the class – the sequence of postures, the music, the spoken words, and the energetic intention – to correspond with other aspects of life and the self.

Recently, I was meant to travel to Denver to visit with my good friends for the weekend. I was all packed and ready to go when just a few hours before my flight, I learned that an unusual snow storm had begun to blanket the Denver area and that because of it I would not be able to make the trip. Now, my first reaction was one of deep disappointment and even a bit of anger. I had been looking forward to the visit for months and now it was all off! Understandably, the circumstances darkened my mood.

I remembered, however, that life flows like water and you never know when the current is going to shift. Sometimes, you simply have to adapt, go with that flow, embrace it and see where it takes you while keeping an open mind. I decided to practice what I preach and shift my perspective about the Denver trip cancellation. Firstly, I was able to rearrange the trip for just two weeks later so it wasn’t like all my hopes for Denver and seeing my friends were ruined; they were merely delayed. Secondly, I decided to look at my now free weekend as a blessing; I could now go to lunch with my cousin whose schedule and mine hadn’t been lining up for a get together, I could now work on writing projects I hadn’t had as much time to dedicate to as I would like, and I could simply relax. Once I took this mindset – once I adapted, embraced and went with the flow that the universe was pushing at me – all was well; it ended up being a great weekend in its own way with lots to be grateful for.

I took the experience as inspiration for the below yoga class. In this class, I talked to my students about adapting to the present, accepting and embracing what is, and going with it with a light sense of peace for it all. On the mat, this can mean adapting to how your body is feeling during the yoga practice, accepting how the body is doing without judgement or resistance, and simply continuing forward through the class as best as you can and with a sense of peace with where you are at that day. No solid plans to come in and nail a handstand or get that cool new posture you’ve been working on; simply coming in with an open mind to the practice and going with what comes. I then encouraged my students to take this off the mat as well by exploring where that adaptability and ability to go with the flow could be applied in their everyday lives.

The sequence is meant to representative of all of this and provide challenges that you must adapt to as they come; strange and unexpected transitions like Tibetan rolls, Baby Birds of Paradise as a peak posture – a rare but equally challenging and fun variant of the classic Birds of Paradise Pose, and a literal change in the direction of the class as this class was a Mandala flow – where you begin facing the front of the room but eventually end up facing the back of the room. From the feedback I received, my students really enjoyed the class for the sequence and the theme.

Here is the sequence that you are more than welcome to try and/or borrow!

IntegrationSun ASun BCore and Strength Part 1Strength Part 2Cool Down