Intermediate Lesson Plan No. 2

Intermediate 2 Lesson Plan – Roughly 75 minutes

Focus on: abs, butt & hip flexors in order to ease into a full back bend


Introduction: 1 min

Any medical conditions I need to know about?


Begin with a heating and energising Pranyama – Bhastrika – 4 mins

·         Provide a thorough description of this technique using visual cues.  Ensure that students are already very familiar with Kapalbhati and Ujjayi techniques:

“In Sanskrit, Bhastrika means leather bellow.  In the old days, leather bellows were used for starting fire places or furnaces.  The bellow can be expanded and contracted – when contracted air is forced out.  In this technique, we use our lungs like a leather bellow to forcefully and deeply inhale and exhale air through our nose.  Bhastrika Pranyama increases the heat or fire in the body.  Your tummy is relaxed – allow it to naturally move in and out with each breath cycle.  A forceful, deep and even inhale and exhale through the nostrils constitutes one cycle”

·         Demonstrate one round & give cues for good posture (i.e. back straight, shoulders relaxed, chin 90 degrees to floor, no straining, free movement through abs)

·         10 cycles, 3 deep breaths rest in between, 5 rounds

·         Seated cross legged at the front of the mat

·         Hands resting on knees


Simple full body standing warm up – 5 mins

·         Toes to head


Asanas – Roughly 60 mins


Sun Salutations – further warm up

·         Surya Namaskar A x4

·         Surya Namaskar B x4


First Exercise:

Demonstrate first round to avoid confusion

·         From completion of final Surya B, stand at the front of the mat in Samasthitih taking 3 deep breaths.

·         For this exercise, hands may be in heart center or on the hips.

·         Ground the left leg, shift weight to the left leg & engage quad to draw the kneecap upwards, squeeze left butt – stabilise.

·         Lift the right knee to create a 90 degree angle with the ground, toes pointed.

·         Without letting the right foot touch the ground, sweep the right leg behind you and straighten.  The idea is to get the leg parallel to the ground, lengthen leg to back of the room and dorsi-flex the foot.  Lean the torso forward slightly. The crease of the b
utt needs to be engaged. Hold for a full breath.

·         Without letting the foot touch the floor, bring the right knee back to the front, 90 degrees to the floor.

·         Bring the right leg back and come into a lunge.  Hold the lunge for 3 deep breaths. Use verbal cues: sink deep into the front knee, engage the back leg, try and push back heel to the ground, even weight on both legs, hips are square, shoulders rolled down and back, back is straight, keep breathing!

·         Repeat this x3 on the right side.

·         At completion of the 3rd lunge, bring the hands to either side of the front leg, Vinyasa.  Hold in Downward Dog for 3 deep breaths.

·         Jump to forward of the mat, fold forward, arms up, Samasthitih.

·         Repeat on the left leg.


Second Exercise:

·         From completion of previous exercise, hold in Downward Dog for 5 deep breaths

·         Bring right leg up into Three-legged Dog.  Verbal cues: Keep hips square, squeeze the crease of the right butt, lengthen leg to back of room, toes pointed.

·         Pulse from the crease of the butt to lift the leg 10 times – slow controlled movements!

·         Keeping the right leg up, bend the knee and open the hip to the right side, look under right armpit.  Hold for 3 deep breaths.

·         Bring the right leg back into three-legged dog, release.

·         Repeat on other side.


Third Exercise:

·         From Downward Dog, come into a plank position and hold for 5 deep breaths.  Use verbal cues: upper back flat, shoulders retracted and depressed (away from the ears), abs engaged, butt engaged, hips down.  Try to push heels towards the floor.

·         Bend alternate knees until they are nearly touching the ground, slow and controlled, squeezing abs tight – 10 reps (left & right is 1 rep)

·         Bring knees down, Child’s Pose.  Hold for 3 deep breaths – rest and recoup.

Depending on the ability of your students, you may choose to skip the Child’s Pose and hold in Downward Dog instead.


Fourth Exercise:

·         From Child’s Pose (of Downward Dog), come back into plank, Vinyasa.

·         Lift right leg to ceiling, three-legged dog.  Create as much height as possible (can even come onto the toes of the left foot) and bring right leg forward into Warrior 1.  Hold for 5 deep breaths – use verbal cues: sink lower on the front leg, hips are square, back leg completely straight, even weight on both legs, arms strong besides your ears, look up at your thumbs, arch back slightly, breathe!

·         Hands to heart center, transition into Warrior 2.  Hold for 5 deep breaths – use verbal cues: Hips in line with the side of the mat, externally rotate both hips, sink lower into the front leg, make sure the knee of the bent leg is not pointing inwards, back straight, butt on, arms strong, shoulders rolled down and back, gaze at the front thumb, breathe!

·         From Warrior 2, pivot the right heal so that both toes are pointing to the left side of the mat.  Hands on hips, breathe in, chest up look up, hinge from the hips and go down into Prasarita Padottanasana.  Hold for 5 deep breaths. Use verbal cues: leaning towards the front of your feet using hands to support you, relax your hamstrings and engage quads to lift your knee caps,  spread your sit bones apart and tilt pelvis towards the ceiling, suck your tummy in and fold further, lead from the chest, chin up, back straight, come deeper with every exhalation, breath!

·         From Prasarita Padottanasana, inhale and come up, rotate the right leg out and come back into Warrior 2, transition to Warrior 1.

·         Hands either side of the right leg, Vinyasa.

·         Repeat on left side.

·         Come down and rest in Child’s Pose for 3-5 deep breaths.

Depending on the ability of your students, you may choose to skip the Child’s Pose and hold in Downward Dog instead.


Fifth Exercise:

·         Come onto knees at the front of the mat to work on prep for camel posture.

·         Have hands in heart center and hinge back, holding for 3 deep breaths. Use verbal cues: squeeze your butt as much as you can, push your hips forward and hinge back with torso completely straight, abs on, nod your chin slightly and look straight forward, don’t jam your chin to your chest, breathing deeply.

·         Repeat this 3 times

·         End with a passive forward bend, try and round the back.


Sixth Exercise:

·         Come into Camel posture by first having your hands on your back.  One by one slowly lower hands to heels (option to hold at the crease of the knee).

·         Use verbal cues: push up from the hands so that you can stick your chest out as much as possible, pinch shoulder blades together, do not shrug your shoulders, keep shoulders away from your ears, keep pushing hips forward squeeze butt very tight, quads should also be carrying a bit of the burden but not too much. Hold Camel for 3 deep breaths.

·         Slowly come up, tuck chin and bring head up first, replace hands on-by-one onto lower back.

·         Come into a forward bend rounding in the back.

·         Repeat Camel once more.

·         End in extended Child’s Pose.


Seventh Exercise:

·         Roll up from Child’s Pose one vertebra at a time.

·         Dandasana

·         Paschimottanasana – hold for 3 breaths, come up halfway to perfect form and come back down for another 2 deep breaths.  Use verbal cues: make sure hips are square, shoulders are square, lead from the chest, chin up, straighten back, push your sit bones out further behind you, suck tummy in, engage quads and draw knee caps upwards, go deeper with every exhale.

·         Bring one knee up and do a spinal twist – hold for 5 deep breaths on each side. Use verbal cues: use your back hand to keep your spine very straight, twist deeper with every exhale, aim for shoulders to be square with the side of the mat, shoulders away from ears.



Eighth Exercise:

·         Come lying on your back for a little more ab work

·         Bring legs to 45 degrees (if students want to challenge themselves, they should aim for a 90 degree angle).

·         Bring hands behind the head and come into a crunch position lifting shoulder blades off the ground, elbows wide.  Keep this crunch position throughout the exercise.

·         Bring alternate legs down towards to ground and bring back up just before the leg touches the ground.  Do 10 repetitions (2 legs is 1 rep)

·         Use verbal cues: don’t jam your chin to your chest but keep it tucked, aim to lift from the chest, don’t strain the neck, your hands are just there for support so do not pull head up with your hands, abs on to keep your lower back nailed to the mat, lift higher and keep shoulder blades off the floor, breathe!

·         Bring knees to the chest and massage lower back – at least 3 deep breaths.


Ninth Exercise:

·         Prepare and come into a full backbend (Half Wheel) – hold for 5 deep breaths.

·         Use verbal cues: squeeze the butt extremely tight, use your legs to push your chest closer to the back wall, to take the burden off the lower and mid back push from your arms to push your chest out, engage your inner thighs to keep your legs from splaying apart, push, keep pushing, breathe!

·         Slowly release, hug knees, bring head up and roll up and down a few times.


·         Come into shoulder stand

·         Start lying on your back with your legs up, making a 90 degree angle.  Keeping legs straight, slowly roll up.

Verbal cues:

·         Once you have gotten as high as you can with your hands still planted on the ground, slowly bring your hands to your lower back to push you up further.

·         Adjust your head and neck to make sure you are comfortable.

·         Try and bring most of your weight to your shoulders

·         To ensure your back is straight, you should be feeling minimal pressure on your hands to keep your upright.

·         Quads and inner thighs are engaged but by no means straining as this should be a relaxing posture.

·         Breath deeply

·         Roll down while keeping legs straight and removing hands from beneath you.


Inversion Counter-posture

·         Come into your variation of Fish Pose. Verbal cues: squeeze your shoulder blades together extremely tightly, keep sticking your chest out, rest on the very top of your head, to minimise the strain and your head and neck you must keep sticking out your chest, breathing deeply to avoid feeling giddy.

·         Hold for 5 deep breaths and slowly release, tuck your chin to your chest to bring your head down safely.

Shavasana – 4 mins

Guided by the philosophies of Yoga Nidra – ‘sing’ a lullaby to students to relax their body from toes to top of the head.

Closing – 1 min

End class with a quote. 

3 Om’s



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