downdog days yoga sequence feature

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Downward Dog Yoga Class Sequence

This week’s downward dog yoga class sequence is inspired by the dog days of summer and National Dog Day.

For all my yoga class sequences, I use a six-stage strategy for planning. If you’re not familiar with it, you might find the following blog posts helpful:

In this post, I’ll be sharing the posture sequence for a downward dog yoga class centered around the theme of dog days of summer.

📓 You can find additional resources for class planning inside the Yoga Sequencing Society. With a library of centering and closing scripts, quotes, and templates, putting together transformative yoga classes has never been easier. Learn more about the Yoga Sequencing Society.

Prefer videos? Practice the downward dog yoga sequence with me.

using this week's theme

Since this week’s sequence focuses on downdog and its variations, I consider it a more intermediate level class due to the the arm-strengthening benefits of downdog. You’ll also enjoy hip-opening and deep hip stretches.

If you’d like to increase the intensity, you can add in Sun Salutations. To decrease the intensity, opt for table instead of downdog.

👉 The italicized paragraphs denote where you can customize and bring in your own story or lesson.

The dog days of summer is a phrase that dates back to Roman, Greece, and Eygptian times where the hottest times of the year coincided with the appearance of the brightest star in the sky, Sirius (the dog star).

You can download the free PDF Downdog Days of Summer posture sequence.

introduction + centering

Start in: CHILD’S

During the breath phase focus on deep belly breathing

For the downward dog yoga class, you can focus on cuing deep breaths, continuing the “trivia” about where the phrase dog days of summer originates, or sprinkle quotes about summer or dogs throughout.

If you like using quotes in your yoga classes, here’s one of my favorites:

Downdog Days of Summer quote

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows.” —Helen Keller

DOWNWARD DOG YOGA warm up

I’m using DOWNDOG as the inspiration asana. Many of the postures I’ve selected in the six different stages will start in adho mukha savasana, or have some connection to dogs. The sequence and selection of supporting postures strengthen your arms and stretch your hips.

👉 If you’re uncertain of a posture or how I’ve sequenced it together, be sure to watch the video.

  • Stretch arms side to side
  • Table/Cow/Cat
  • Wag the dog
  • Balancing table
  • Puppy
  • DOWNDOG/walk the dog
  • SS for more intensity
warm up downdog days of summer yoga theme

DOWNDOG YOGA WORKING ASANAS

Inspiration Asana: DOWNDOG

Rather than three different working sections, for this sequence you’ll repeat the basic flow shown under Section A and add on.

Section A: Standing

  • DOWNDOG
  • 3 legged dog
  • Fire hydrant
  • Kneel lunge
  • Plank 
  • Repeat opposite side

Section B: Plank/Downdog

  • DOWNDOG
  • 3 legged dog/hydrant
  • Flip the dog
  • 3 legged dog/high lunge
  • Pyramid
  • Plank
  • Repeat on opposite side

Section C: Standing Balance

  • DOWNDOG
  • 3 legged dog/hydrant
  • Flip the dog
  • 3 legged dog/high lunge
  • Pyramid
  • Prayer twist
  • Standing Splits
  • Chair, forward fold
  • Plank 
  • Repeat opposite side
working A B C downward dog days yoga theme

deep stretch/floor asanas

Inspiration asana: DOWNDOG

👉 If you’re uncertain of a posture or how I’ve sequenced it together, be sure to watch the video.

  • 3 legged dog, kneeling lunge
  • Pigeon
  • Repeat opposite side
  • Cobra or up dog, childs
  • Roll down to reclined
Floor downward dog yoga theme

DOWNDOG YOGA COOL-DOWN

Inspiration asana: DOWNDOG

  • Bridge
  • Reclined bound angle
  • Happy baby
  • Waterfall
  • Reclined spinal twist (L, R)
cool down + savasana downward dog yoga theme

final relaxation

Final relaxation, also known as SAVASANA, allows your body’s processes to return to normal, induces deep relaxation, and prepares you for meditation. So please never skip it.

The easiest and simplest method for a final relaxation is to repeat the centering with a few tweaks. I call this “book ending” because the start and end of class mirror each other.

For the downward dog yoga class theme, you could:

  • Read a poem or passage about summer, lazy days, dogs or pets.
  • Finish your story or lesson.
  • Wrap up with more quotes or a guided relaxation (found in the Yoga Sequencing Society).
  • Honor silence.
  • Then bring participants out of final relaxation and end class.

Looking for more tips on planning yoga classes?

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downdog summer yoga class
downdog yoga class flow
downdog days of sumer yoga sequence

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Shannon with Purple Lotus Yoga
Hi! I'm Shannon

For 20 years, I’ve helped women of all ages and sizes to realize their dreams of becoming inspiring yoga teachers. 

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Download your free PDF yoga sequence and use it when you teach your next class!

Thank you!