How to make a yoga sequence (I)

This is one of the most interesting questions when bevoming a yoga teacher. How to make a sequence. There are several ways. Working with waves and peak poses, concentration on a body part or following the energy fields in the body, the so called chakras. This is the way I’ve been taught at my yoga teacher training.

First I’m going  to define the level and the duration. As a rule of thumb you can count for one sided poses circa 1,5 minutes and for two sided poses circa two minutes.

You start with the warming up and some stretches. From top to bottom, so from head to the ankles followed with the sun salutations. Beginners four up to twelve for more experienced yogis. Personally I have to do this amount to get warm and be flexible.

Then you do the standing poses. A standing forwardfold, an easy balance (eg.tree), poses where the feet make an angle of 90 degrees (warrior II, triangle), poses where the feet are parallel (wide spread forward fold), poses where the back foot is 45 degrees in (warrior I), finished with some more difficult balances (warrior III or half moon pose).

Now you can go to the floor with sitting forward bends. You prepare the core (navasana) to be ready for the arm balances (hey crow!).

Eliminate the toxins with a twist and open your heart with some backbands (cobra, camel). When you’re not a beginner do the inversions (shoulderstand, plough, fish pose and the headstand).

At the end enjoy a delicious savasana. When wanted or needed end with a meditation.

An example of this structure can be find in one of my intro classes

For writing the sequence out I use the yoga sequence builder of Tummee.com, a perfect tool! Very easy to use and plenty of asanas. When you miss one, they make it for you. (When using this link you and I get two months for free!)

This is only one way of sequencing. Later more methodes and links to other resources.

Made with Tummee’s Yoga Sequence Builder. Images owned by Tummee, used with permission

See more yoga sequences at YepYoga's sequence page or get inspired by the Yoga Sequences of Tummee.com

Towards hero pose

Normally I cannot bring my buttocks to my heels. My quads (especially the vastus lateralis) are too short and my knee is too stiff.

The most classical way is to put a rolled towel in the back of the knees or a block under the buttocks. Gradually in time you use a lower block or a thinner roll.

I made a short video how I prepare myself into hero pose. The first three preparations are explained in this video. The most poses are chosen to open the hips, lengthen the quads and/or the tensor fasciae latae. The three legged downward is to floss the nerve in the back of the knee.

Not in the video but it helps also for me tilting the hips slowly forward and backward, holding the arms next to the ears and grasping the opposite elbow while going into hero pose and focusing on my breath while slowly going down. Don’t forget to stop when something hurts !

Continue reading “Towards hero pose”

YepYoga TV is born

A new television channel maybe. Maybe in the future, for this moment it’s a youtube channel with playlists with interesting yoga videos with sequences, demos, anatomy etc. Take a subscription because in the future there will also be own content! Easy to reach by bit.ly/yepyogatv

Why I stopped eating meat

Until two years ago, I ate meat and fish. Bread with mortadella for breakfast and lunch and animal proteins for dinner like most of the people

At a certain moments I doubted but still ate it because I didn’t know how to replace it. In my education a meal consisted of pasta/rice/potatoes with vegetables and meat.

But  on the 30th of December 2015 I was standing in the supermarket with a package of Mortadella in my hand and suddenly a little voice said “WTF are you doing” I’ve put it back in the shelve and stopped eating meat.

Why did I stop?

Easy answer: It’s sad for the animals

The first seed is planted by this video. Little Luis explains it very well in this video:”We have to take care for them, not eat them”. Also the way they are treated at the farms and the butchers doesn’t make me very happy.

A little less easy answer: Why would I eat something i couldnt kill myself

Just before I decided to  stop eating, I saw a trailer of the movie “Vleesverlangen” (Desire for meat),  a Dutch movie where Marijn Frank is looking for the answer why she loves meat so much (here is the complete movie, unfortunately only in Dutch). This trailer alone was already enough to make a deep impression. The screenshot below is taken at the moment just before a cow is shot and shows everything. It made me realize that also I can’t even look at it neither, let alone do it myself.

Still from the movie Vleesverlangen (desire for meat)

The most difficult answer: we are all one

Everything has a consciousness and maybe we are all divine beings and connected to each other because we are all from the same source,  the universal and pure consciousness. When you would have said a year ago that I would write it now, I’d declare you for crazy, but the yoga teacher training made me aware of this of this thought and feeling.

Like my friend L. said:”The way of Yoga, the way of being your True Self will make You an empath towards all lviing beings. We are all One! ”

Also taken taken in account in this aspect is also the care for the environment and the impact on the world of breeding meat. Eating meat takes a lot of resources of the world.

Other factors

The decision was made in one second but not totally spontaneous. It has been a long time in the corner of my mind that it’s “bad” to eat meat, but the desire and lack of knowledge made me do it. But because of the yoga, you’re more conscious of your role, start to live more healtier and get to know ahimsa, non violence. Also due to the yoga I became more stronger to follow my own heart and stand up for my own opinion (I care less about the question “What would others think?”)

And now

In fact there are three options: one day I will eat meat again, who knows. Only the person who doesn’t think and evoluate doesn’t change his mind. The other option is that I become vegan, so I skip also cheese and eggs. I don’t see it happen because I like it too much and don’t know how to replace it (especially cheese on bread), but hey I used that as arguments a long time also for meat. Most chanceful is that I continue like this in the future. No meat and skipping a bit more eggs and cheese.

Not to forget that I respect the opinion of choices of others. So my room mate is still eating meat and I’m totally okay with it, occasionaly I even prepare it for him. I can show others my way, but everybody his own path in life…

Read also: The relation between yoga and vegetariarism

Pimp my Yogamat

I have bought my mat at the Bikram Yoga school in Arnhem for only 20 euro. I love it, it’s durable, comfortable and the anti grip is very good.  I have tried a lot of other mats in my yoga career, but mine is simply the best, especially seen the low price. After googling a lot, I think it’s a Rishikesh Premium of Bodhi. I certainly recommend this one!

To make alignment a little bit more easy, I pimped it a bit with some dots

Continue reading “Pimp my Yogamat”

10 in 10 out

Relaxing techniques don’t have to be difficult! At my work I use the “10 in, 10 out” technique to get people more relaxed. In fact I ‘stole’ it from Kino MacGregor who uses this in the beginning of her meditations. I made a little video with 5 breaths per minute. Continue reading “10 in 10 out”