Lesson Plan: Advanced

5mins: Warm up – Work from the lower joints up.

– Rotate clockwise and anticlockwise. Ankles, knees, hips.

– Swing left leg forward and backwards. Same on the right leg.

– Twist arms and upper body round left to right.

– Windmill arms forwards and backwards.

– Stretch out the neck, use one hand to hold shoulder down use the other hand to pull the head other direction. Left, right, forward, backwards, look up and look down.

5-7mins: Ujjayi Breathing

– Teach students to breath first with mouth open, hear the air being pushed out with a slightly tighten throat making an hhhaaaa sound. Now breath the same but through the nose and with the mouth shut. Students should hear the noise of the air being controlled and squeezed in and out. This controlled breathing slows the breath down and strengthens the diaphragm.

– Stand in Samasthith with hands in prayer position. 3AUMs

2mins: Sit crosslegged/lotus/half lotus/comfortable postion with hands in prayer position. Inhale hands straight up look up at thumbs. Exhale stretch over to the right and place right hand down on the floor about hip distance from the side inline with the hips. Stretch the left arm overhead and look up at the left thumb. Inhale up, exhale change to other side. On the 3rd round hold for 5 breaths. Adjust students to have the arm parallel to the hips. Not learning forward or backward to much with a curved back.

 2mins: Back to centre with arms stretched overhead straight up still, keep the palms firmly pressed together and sway the body parallel to the wall with an exhale. Inhale back up exhale to the left. 3x each side. Then try and hold for 3 breaths. On each exhale try and go deeper into the pose. Adjust student’s shoulders, hips and arms to be as parallel and possible. Do not have to go deep as long as they are inline. If students not stretching the arms far enough get them to hold the top wrist with bottom hand.

 2mins: Sit on the heels, 5 big open up the heart circles with the arms. Inhale altogether arms up, look up at thumbs and exhale open arms up and rotate back, depressing and retracting the scapular. Reenergise the class.

1min: Lift buttocks off the mat again. Kneel on mat knees hip width apart. Inhale, look back and place hands on lower back. Exhale hold onto heels moving down into camel pose. If students cannot hold onto heels just hold lower back and hold for 5 breaths. Slowly come out of pose by placing hands on lower back again, engaging core to pull up.

Place hands down on the mat hip width apart right angle to the shoulders. Exhale into downward dog, hold for 5 breaths. Inhale look up and jump through to lieing position.

1.30mins: Lie on your back. Pull knees up to the chest, knees 90degrees from your bum so toes shooting straight up. Inhale, legs 45degrees and body up – low boat position. Exhale, body down to the mat knees back to chest toes pointing 90degrees up away from the face. Repeat 10x. Concentrate on flattening your back to the mat, so no arched backs. Make sure this is not to fast, same rhythm as the breath, steady and slow.

 Backward Vinyasa between exercises.

 1.30mins: Lie on the back, knees bent, feet tucked down towards the bum. Interlock fingers behind head or touch tips of the fingers behind the ears. Elbows out, not pointing forward. Inhale stretch the right leg straight in-front at 45degrees and twist the body so the right elbow touches the left bent knee. Exhale and in one movement bend the right knee to the chest and straighten the left knee 45degrees. Repeat 10 lots of 2, (ie 10x to the left 10x to the right) The body must be lifted off the mat to be able to twist enough. If too easy lower the legs closer to the floor. Make sure this is not to fast, same rhythm as the breath, steady and slow.

Repeat above 2 exercises again. One more round each.

3mins: Place arms 90degrees from the body, hands flat on the floor.  Legs straight up 90degrees from the body pointing towards the ceiling. Inhale lower the legs to the right, straight down towards the floor, same movement turn head to the left, ear on the mat. Exhale centre, inhale change other side. Repeat 5x each side.

Hug the knees and massage lower back.

3mins: Place hands stretched out right angle from the body, palms on the floor. Legs up 90degrees. Inhale and exhale once as you circle the legs. The lower to the floor the harder it is. 3x both sides.

1.30: Backward vinyasa. But hold in high plank for one minute. Adjust student to be in a completely straight plank. No high or low bums. Important to squeeze the bum, bunda and lift the head.

 1min: Release and lie flat for 5 breaths in Makarasana (crocodile pose). Stay with belly on the mat and bend knees to hold onto ankles behind. Inhale bring head and feet closer together to hold in Dhanurasana (bow pose). Tilt back onto pubic bone hold for 5 breaths. Exhale and release. Important to squeeze the scapular and bunda.

1 min: Back up into low plank. Hold for one minute. Adjust student to be in a completely straight plank. No high or low bums. Important to squeeze the bum, bunda and lift the head.

1min: Repeat Dhanurasana (bow pose) and hold for 5 breaths. Important to squeeze the scapular and bunda.

3mins: Dolphin pose. 20x. Important to squeeze the bum, bunda and thighs.

2mins: Inhale raise the left leg up, point the toes exhale release. Inhale raise the left leg up, point the toes and exhale release. Do 5x each leg.

2mins: Kneel in the centre of the mat. Measure your tripod by placing the tips of the fingers into bent elbows at the same time. Clasp hands in-front to create a triangle. Place top of the head nestled into the open clasped palms. Start by lifting hips and bum up into the air to form a triangle shape the top being the folders hips. Inhale, slowly walk feet closer to the head. Exhale walk feet back, inhale walk forward, exhale walk back. Do this 5x until your feet are close to the head and back is straight.

5mins: Now partner up to get into headstand if uneasy with this pose. Lift one foot off the mat and tuck into the bum. Steady yourself and bring the other up. Using the bunda, pull back slowly to be straight. If comfortable here, stretch the legs up slowly. Hold for 25 breaths.

Warm-down sequence

Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)

Halasana (Plough)

Karanapidasana (ear pressure)

Urdhva Padmasana (Upward lotus)

Matsyasana (Fish pose)

Sivasana (Corps pose)