What is a Yoga Tune Up® Flow class, and how does one teach it? The answer is, as in all of Yoga Tune Up®, “it depends.” In this case, it depends on you, the teacher, and on your students.
I started practicing yoga many years ago, before the epidemic of style mutations we see today. It was simple. There was hatha and there was ashtanga. I was trained to teach vinyasa flow, a descendent of ashtanga. Thus, it is natural for me to structure a class around that model. At the small studio where I teach, my students enjoy vinyasa flow, so I design my YTU class around the reason they come to this studio. Remember, whatever format you prefer, can incorporate YTU. That’s why YTU works across all types of movement modalities!
Think about it. Even your breath creates a tiny vinyasa, a flow. Each inhale invites an expansion of movement outward from the center, to the extremities and eventually into space followed by an exhale; a contraction inward. Craft your YTU Flow class around this idea.
If you consider what makes a flow, you might come up with a list that includes:
- Moving fluidly from one place to another.
- Intense focus and engagement in an activity.
- Rhythmic movement and breath coordination.
- A state of effortless concentration.
- One breath per movement (a vinyasa flow).
- Or, better yet: Flow = breath x movement.
Not etched in stone, here is an outline for a vinyasa flow:
- Find a breath rhythm to serve your practice.
- Begin to move on that rhythm.
- Add in sun salutations (traditional or modified).
- Practice standing sequences.
- Practice backbending poses.
- Practice seated poses.
- Take savasana.
There is beauty in repetition. The sun salutations provide a memorized mantra of movement. A state of effortless concentration. They can be a useful tool to down-regulate, forget the world we occupied before practice. They offer another way to “turn off your on switch.” As YTU teachers we know there is no reason to over-do vinyasa and that it can lead to unhealthy stresses on the body. Particularly, already abused and misused, tissues and joints.
My fellow teachers, I hope you will return next week to explore more options for teaching a flowing Yoga Tune Up® class.