Lesson Plan: First timer

4mins: Breathing

– With a beginner we need to start simple. Bring awareness to the belly. Breathing in and out only through the nose. Students will have forgotten the way to breath and naturally breath without awareness. At beginner level all we need to pursue at first is awareness and fullness of the breath. Steady breath, steady mind.

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.

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

7mins: Simple Surya Namaskara A

Stand at the front of the mat, Samasthitih with hands in payer position. Inhale, arms up, look up and gaze at thumbs. Exhale fold forward, back straight.  Inhale and place hands on mat by feet and with the same breath step right then left leg back into plank. Exhale, place knees on the mat, chaturanga. Inhale, slide slightly forwards and into upward facing dog. Exhale into Downward facing dog, hold for 5 breaths. Inhale, look up and lift the right leg up and forward between palms. Exhale, lift the left leg up and forward between palms. Inhale all the way up, gazing at the thumbs. Exhale into Samastitih. Change other side.

Do this 5rounds. But if notice that students are struggling or tiring quickly, only 3rounds

36mins: Asanas – Allow 3 minutes for each asana, but if spending more time on one or two cut some asanas. Make sure you have at least 3 cool down posses so students know it is winding down and their bodies and mind prepare for Sivasana.

1) Stand in Samasthith with hands in prayer position at the front of the mat, 3 Ujjiyi breaths. Inhale hands straight up look up at thumbs. With straight back parallel to the wall in front and behind, sway body and stretch to the right as you 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.

2) Stand in Samasthith with hands in prayer position at the front of the mat, 3 Ujjiyi breaths. Padangustasana – jump feet hip width apart, hands on the hips. Inhale, look up, arch back with hips forward, with the exhale fold forwards stay at 90degrees. Keep hands on hips, tailbone pointing up and lean the weight forwards. Hold for 5 breaths. Adjust students posture to have a straight back. May need to bring some up a little and place hands on shins, tailbones up. If students are capable, touch toes and pull down or hold ankles and pull. Repeat 1 more time. If Possible this time hold toes or place hands under feet.

3) Stand in Samasthith with hands in prayer position at the front of the mat, 3 Ujjiyi breaths. Jump feet to outside of the mat. Clasp hands behind back and interlock the fingers. Shoulders depressed and scapular retracted. Inhale, look up, arch back with hips forward, with the exhale fold forwards stay at 90degrees.  Adjust students to have a straight back, as this is more important than how deep they can go.

4) Inhale up, exhale 90degrees halfway up release hands and place on hips, twist to the right leg, hold onto ankle or shin exhale down and hold for 5 breaths. Inhale halfway up twist to the left leg, hold onto ankle or shin, exhale down and hold for 5 breaths. Adjust students to have a straight back, as this is more important than how deep they can go.

5) Stand in Samasthith with hands in prayer position at the front of the mat, 3 Ujjiyi breaths. Tree pose – Hands 1st in prayer position. Deep Ujjiyi breathing together. Raise hands up inhale down exhale, stretch three times and hold. 3 Ujjiyi breaths, Change other leg. Adjust students knees to be positioned parallel to the front and back wall. If struggling to balance place foot lower on the leg ie, at the knee or ankle.

6) Stand in Samasthith with hands in prayer position at the front of the mat, 3 Ujjiyi breaths. Lift right knee up twist to back of mat and place foot two hip widths apart. Right foot pointing to the back, left foot pointing to the side. Arms out parallel like warrior two. Exhale shift weight (without moving hips or knees) straight forward keeping arms straight and parallel not at an angle. Gaze at right thumb. Change other side. Adjust student’s arms, hips and right knee to be in parallel. Shoulders down scapular retracted. 

7) Stand in Samasthith with hands in prayer position at the front of the mat, 3 Ujjiyi breaths. Inhale, hands straight up and stand on tiptoes. Focus on a point with your eyes. Hold for 5 breaths, slowly exhale and move into Utkasana and hold for another 5 breaths. Look up at thumbs, straight back and tailbone tucked in. Adjust student’s arms to stay straight up, weight back but with back straight and tailbone tucked in.

8) From Utkatasana bring hands down into pray position, shoulders down and twist to the right. Hook left armpit around the right knee. If students not flexible stay in a stop sigh potion with left arm. If flexible keep hands in Pray position and twist body and shoulders around to move hands to heart centre. Elbows out head twisted back. Change other side. Adjust student’s hands to be held at heart centre, shoulders to be twisted back.

Between Utkatasana and the next pose insert a Simple Vinyasa. Uttanasan, half way up, Step back, Chaturanga, Upward facing dog, downward facing dog, knees down, and body up so student is prepared already kneeling on the mat.

9) Kneel on mat knees hip width apart. Inhale arms up right hand down, to the floor about hip distance away. Exhale, left arm stretch overhead towards the right. Look up to thumb. Inhale up, change other side. 3x each side then hold for 3 breaths. Adjust students to pull should back and keep back straight, no slouching forward. Inhale up and centre. Place hands on lower back. Hold for 5 deep breaths. Shoulders down and retract scapular. Inhale look up and back. If students flexible go into full camel pose. Adjust students to open up heart and look back. Slowly come out of pose by placing hands on lower back again, engaging core to pull up.

10) Dandasana. Place palms flat next to hips and push into the mat. Squeeze knees and hamstrings tight. Feet pointing up to the ceiling. Hold for 5 deep Ujjiyi breaths. On an inhale depress shoulders and retract scapular even more as look up and back, exhale back up. Repeat 3x. Adjust students shoulders, open up chest and push down and back shoulders.

11) Lie flat on back arms out stretched to the side and knees up towards the chest in table top. Inhale, twist hips to the right and turn head to the left. Exhale centre and repeat other side. Do 4x each side then hold position. For those who find easy straighten legs accordingly. Bring attention to the abdominal lock and awareness to the breath. Adjust student’s shoulders and hips to be flat on the mat.

12) Happy baby pose. Open hips and hold onto the inside of feet. Bring knees close to the side of the chest and rock side to side. Be happy, be relaxed, time to wind down.

5mins: Corps pose.

Talks student through a body scan. Work your way up from toes to forehead. Relax the toes, realise tension in the knees, let go of the shoulder, smooth the creases in the forehead ect…

2mins: Finally

Wiggle toes and hands, roll onto right side. Sit up into corps leg or comfortable position. Sit up straight with hands in pray position. Inhale, raise hands up, exhale hands to heart, 3x.

AUM 3x