~Sequencing~

Sequencing is the way in which yoga poses are placed in a particular order to create a yoga practice with a logical flow or focus on a particular outcome. The various schools of yoga may offer different ideas about how to sequence a yoga class or personal practice.

Some types of yoga, such as Ashtanga and Bikram, follow specific sequencing that does not deviate. While Ashtanga has six sequences of increasing difficulty, all Bikram classes follow the same 26-pose sequence in the same order. Other styles of yoga, such as Hatha, Vinyasa and Iyengar, require the teacher or yogi to create a sequence.

Many modern yoga practices are linear, meaning that they begin with basic poses that build on one another in a seamless manner and also build in difficulty before transitioning to cooling postures and relaxation. Poses are usually performed once in a sequence, but an alternate way of sequencing might have the yogi perform each posture more than once but focus on a different aspect of the pose each time.

Sequences can also have more specific goals. For example, sequencing can focus on poses that address certain conditions, such as headaches, menstrual discomfort or depression. Or, sequencing can target specific areas of the body (shoulders, core muscles or back) or particular types of poses (twisting postures, forward folds or backbends).

For proper sequencing, the yoga instructor must understand the poses, how the poses build on one another, what muscle groups are involved, what the purpose and benefits of the poses are, and what is appropriate for each yogi based on their level of skill and specific needs.

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