Hi all! I’m Teagan.
As a longtime yoga teacher, but newer LYT yoga teacher (I was in the 1st cohort of the online 200-hour program which graduated in April 2020 & completed the 300-hour in September 2021 – LYT Level 2 certified, woot!), and a recent addition to the LYT Prime platform, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the ways I put together my sequences for classes each week. Each class is different, and everyone has strategies that work for them, but I hope that by sharing my current process, you’ll get something useful out of it.
And I should say, first and foremost, if you haven’t taken Kristin William’s sequencing labs, then you need to get on that ASAP!
You can join me weekly on LYT Prime for LIVE Zoom classes every Thursday 8-9AM ET!
- Find Your Theme
My classes almost always start with an idea/theme/body part, etc. – some concept that is going to be the throughline. Here are some of the ways that themes come to me:
- it may come to me during a class I’m taking
- might be a cue that sticks with me – either from the teacher or something I come up with myself in my own body/mind
- might be something about their theme that I want to chew on and put my own spin on, something that feels meaningful to me
- might be some shapes or transitions that are in the class that I want to dissect and play around with more and in different ways
- because of an injury or pain I’m experiencing OR a part of my body that feels like it needs attention
- I ask myself ‘what can I do to try to help myself with this on my mat?’
- I know that what helps me can often be a way to help others
- from what I’m seeing working with my clients/students
- issues they’re having in their bodies
- concepts I think they need more clarification/work on as I watch them practice/move
- from something I’ve read or seen
- a body part or action in the body I want to know more about and am willing to do some research on OR one I want to educate others more on
- I think choosing a body part or action is a great way to embody your knowledge and help others to really understand it too
- of course, there are all the holidays, seasons, chakras, states of matter, etc. to pull from
I keep a running list of ideas on my phone that is ever-expanding. Whenever I think of one, I just add it to the list. That way I’m never short on inspiration when I need to pull together a class. And I try to pick a theme that I’m really excited about to teach on a given week so that I’m showing up with as much enthusiasm as possible when I’m teaching.
- Start Making a List of Poses/Ideas
The next thing I do is open up a Google doc and start listing off poses or movements that are in line with the theme. I think back on and also sometimes go back and look at previous classes that have relevant examples of whatever I’m looking to theme my class around. One of the wonderful things about LYT Daily, LYT Prime, and all the LYT trainings is that we have such an expansive library of resources to draw from. The more you practice LYT, the more the concepts, movements, and ideas become embedded into your body and mind, so start there, with what is already inside.
- Refer to Other Resources for Inspiration
Depending on the theme/idea I will also often go to Instagram and look at relevant hashtags or YouTube and seek out videos, usually from physical therapists, addressing whatever topic. These are great resources that have really helped spark my creativity in the past. I always try any ideas I get from these places out on my body first to make sure they make sense to me and convey what I’m trying to get across.
- Get On Your Mat
Once I have some ideas to work from, the next thing to do is to get on my mat. It’s true, I can design a class sitting on my bed (where I usually do work from at home), but it tends to be much more predictable, rote, and boring (in my personal opinion)*. When I get on my mat and start playing around with movement, the class often almost seems to write itself. And I get excited about what I’m putting together. This part somehow amazes me a lot of the time. Even though I’ve been planning yoga classes for over 15 years, the magic of the sequencing coming together still feels special. I love it.
* Although I have also considered designing a class called “The Obvious Class” and making the poses and transitions between poses as obvious as possible. I think that would be fun too!
Ideally, I have a day or two to let the class sit before I come back to it. That way I have a little more time to process the movements and have some space away from it so that I can come back with fresher eyes and make some refinements. These days I often end up with a few too many ideas and need to do some culling or trimming to fit it into the allotted time frame.
I do also design classes where I simply get on my mat and figure it out from there; no specific idea or theme per se, but just allowing my body to speak to me and move me around my mat as it needs. As yogis/human beings, we want to be able to access the wants, needs, desires of our minds, bodies, and spirits. So being able to tack between these different layers of ourselves and listen to them is an important aspect of feeling well-balanced and fulfilled.
I hope, for those of you who are teachers, these thoughts/explanations might add something to your sequencing process. I’d love to hear about your strategies too. Feel free to reach out on Instagram @yogawithteagan.
And I hope to see you in class soon.
Teagan Schweitzer, Ph.D., E-RYT 500