When I first started practicing yoga, I wanted badly to be able to practice at home I just didn’t know hoooww…? I wasn’t sure how to “flow.” When I went to studio yoga classes I would try to remember a sequence, and I just felt stuck at sun salutations. I couldn’t figure out what to do after 5 sun sals and then I’d just stop.
When I went through my yoga teacher training at Solfire Yoga, which was probably the most amazing, transformational two weeks of my life, I learned the thing I most wanted to understand how to do – sequencing. How to create a custom yoga flow for myself, for my clients, or for specific issues. In fact, low and behold they made us partner up and create a custom flow after an interview with our classmate. It was exactly what I had wanted. There are a few basic concepts you want to focus on in creating a flow. Check it out 🙂
No. 1 | Find Your Peak
The idea is to build to a peak pose. A peak pose is not necessarily the hardest pose, but the one that takes the body the most preparation and openness to perform. As a yoga teacher, we do so much behind the scenes work with conscious intention and choosing specifically what moves to put people through, so they can have the best chance at being ready for the pose. I never realized this until going through my teacher training! It’s so so thought out, you wouldn’t even imagine…
No. 2 | Prepare Your Body
The idea is to prepare the body by going through several sequences to do the peak pose. What poses you choose all depend on what you are working to open and what level you are at. Let’s say you are a beginner with tight hips. Perhaps your peak is frog pose. Which is a challenging pose for most people. So you create a sequence of poses and movement that begins to open up the hips. Perhaps you start off light and hold a modified dragonfly twist and then come into a twisted monkey. Maybe you throw in a goddess pose, butterfly pose, cow face pose, lizard pose, or pigeon pose.
No. 3 | Free the Flow
One thing I found that has been helpful is to just get on your mat and let your body move around freely. Let the body stop naturally in specific places, and you will often find they are yoga poses. I remember doing stuff that I found later in a book and I was like, heyyy, I did that one without even knowing! So yeah. Just feel it and flow, without pressure, without expectations, without an ideal vision of what it should look like. Focus instead on what it should feel like.
No. 4 | Test It Out
After you’ve moved around a bit and your heart rate has elevated, start to incorporate some of the peak poses that you’ve researched. See how it feels to be in the pose. You can also try a variation of your peak pose that can make it more accessible for you in the beginning. In addition, going to studio classes will help you find your rhythm and identify movements and poses that feel good. It really helps to bring inspiration to your home practice! Seriously yall, it really does!
To sum it all up, start by deciding what part of the body you want to open up and work on. Do you want more hip flexibility? Do you want core strength? Do you want to loosen up the lower back? Decide. Then research poses that are good for those specific things. Choose a pose you’d really like to work towards, perhaps one that seems a bit challenging, but not impossible. From there, start to move around on your mat, perhaps start of with a 4-5 rounds of sunset salutations to warm the body and then give yourself permission to move around freely. Just flow. Put on some jams and let your body move intuitively! I promise you will enjoy it 🙂
As with anything else, it’s a matter of time, practice and dedication. Be patient with yourself and your body but come to your mat, often. The more you practice and feel your body on the mat, the more you will begin to naturally flow in and out of poses and be in tune with what your body needs. For now, take some time brainstorming what areas to work on and what poses will work to help. Then jump on your mat and get moving!
Hope this was helpful! As always, peace, love and namaste!