Yoga Sequencing Magic is when you’re practicing asana, and everything just flows, exactly the way it’s supposed to. You feel a natural progressive arc happening, where you’re able to access the poses to ease into your body and soul.
The transitions between poses feel smooth & natural, and even though your thinking brain might be “offline”, you can still sense the deep harmony among the various movements.
It’s those classes when you think “how did they know!? Are they talking directly to me!?”, when it seems as if the teacher knows exactly what you’re going through and precisely what you need to receive in the practice.
When you’re so grateful you made the effort to show up on your mat, because what you received there is perfect for addressing what you’re finding in your life off the mat.
You can also experience the opposite. Yoga is always magic, of course, but when the edges of the transitions between poses are rough instead of smooth – or if the progression simply doesn’t make sense – you can feel that lack of harmony.
If you’re having to think about what’s coming next; if your analytical brain is engaged with the content of the practice, it’s hard to drop into the sweet spot that Yoga cultivates.
Ideally, a yoga class is a journey, where you can let go and rely on the instructor to guide you. You don’t need to look at the map; you trust them to keep you on track, to lead you both into – and then back out of – the forest. By being able to count on them to keep track of the boundaries, you might be able to drop out of the analytical mind enough to access deeper aspects of the poses.
I’ve personally been in classes where I was able to do poses that I “can’t do” because I was following the instructor’s cues, instead of approaching the asana head-on. Instead of my analytical brain thinking “oh, there’s that complex shape that I can’t do because of xyz”, I was able to follow the breadcrumbs of instruction. “Ok, I can put my leg there. Yep, I can put my hands here. Holy moly! I’m in that shape I’ve always wanted to try!!”
Of course, not every class is that profound, no matter how amazing the instructor! But when a yoga practice is well sequenced, it can be deeply beneficial on multiple levels and go far beyond just the direct, obvious physical benefits. It can leave you feeling nourished in both body & soul, better equipped and empowered to say “yes” to life, no matter what you step back into as you leave class.
And there are so many ways to create sequencing magic. You might experience a class themed around the season, or dedicated to the benefit of others who are suffering. It can be a deep dive into a muscle group, a joint, or a chakra. It might be specific to the location or demographic or the class; it can be part of a bigger focus of study.
But no matter what the intention or structure, you can feel the harmony of sequencing magic in your body and being. It brings you home to yourself in a way that other “exercise” or movement doesn’t. It’s akin to the forms one might practice in martial arts; those sequences carry a specific intention to hopefully produce a desired outcome.
I hope you’ll join me in exploring these concepts more deeply in the upcoming Yoga Sequencing Magic immersion. It qualifies for 300/500 hour Yoga Teacher Training credit with Yoga Alliance, for those of you who are instructors. But regardless of whether or not you’re looking for module credit, I’d love to explore this ancient science with you!
Leigh-Ann has been practicing yoga since 1997 and teaching it since 2005. She is attracted to fluid vinyasa styles, including moon salutations, and loves to geek out about yoga “off the mat” – such as how the philosophies behind the physical postures can enrich our journey, both for ourselves and for others. She is honored to co-teach the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program at Waynesville Yoga Center, and loves facilitating healing services to the community. A writer, dancer, massage therapist, creative marketing nerd, and proud Mom, she can be found travelling, enjoying the rhythm of the seasons, or soaking up the natural world when not working.