Starting anything new (a day, a week, a month, a season, or a change) provides the perfect backdrop for a New Beginnings yoga class sequence.
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 ideas and suggestions to teaching a yoga class around the theme of new beginnings.
And if after customizing your new beginnings yoga class sequence, you want to more ideas for themes and sequencing, you can check out the Yoga Class Planner.
Prefer videos? Watch how I plan a new beginning themed class.
using this week's theme
The selection for this week’s theme works for classes running 60 minutes. If you’d like to extend the class to 75 minutes, you can add 1-2 minutes in each asana section and increase savasana from 5 to 10 minutes.
There are so many ways you can go with the theme of new beginnings such as new starts, renewal, rebirth.
👉 One of my favorites is to offer a “back to basics” style yoga class.
The longer we practice the easier it is to let the asanas become routine. A foundation refresher can shake some mindfulness back into it.
Also teaching “back to basics” can be less intimidating for new participants, or give newbies a reason to try it out if they’ve been hesitant.
introduction + centering
Have the class start in EASY-SITTING
During the breath phase focus on deep belly breathing. INHALE the new. EXHALE the old. When you get to the intention phase, introduce the theme of new beginnings.
You can use one of the suggestions below to customize and personalize the theme:
- New starts shake us out of our routine, rocket us out of our comfort zones. And that’s where growth happens.
- Connect a quote from below and tie it to what it was like to try yoga for the first time.
- Or talk about how we put off new hobbies or adventures because we’re afraid we won’t like them or be any good at them.
- Maybe someone is thinking about teaching yoga but they’re not sure they’d be good at it.
- Bring in some philosophy. “Here begins the lessons on yoga.” Yoga Sutra 1.1
If you like using quotes, here are a few to choose from:
- “One day or Day One”
- “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu
- “Each new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” -Seneca
- “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” -Plato
- “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, pave another one.” -Dolly Parton
warm up asanas
If you’re using the back-to-basics approach, select a key asana in each stage. When you reach the key asana, spend some time revisiting it.
(In the centering stage, easy sitting was the key/foundational asana.)
Key Asana in Warm Up: MOUNTAIN
- Windmill arms up + down
- Side Stretch, both sides
- Fold over
- Switch legs
- Windmill arms
- Seated twist, both sides
- Fold over
- Table, Cow-Cat
- Downdog-Foward Bend
Mountain is a supremely important posture. Break it down. Point out alignment possibilities. Stand in it for several breaths until students have connected into the strength, balance, and synergy of their bodies.
Key Asana in Working: TABLE
Like in Mountain for the warm-up, when you get to table (about midway through the working stage), spend some time in it. Don’t be shy about pausing a “flow” class so participants can really dig into what makes up that particular asana.
What they learn in foundational asanas carry through to more challenging ones. For example: table leads to plank and plank leads to arm-strengthening that leads to arm-balancing postures.
Section A: Standing
- Five-pointed star
- Wide-angle fwd bend
- Twist (L, R)
Section B: Plank/Downdog
- Kneeling lunge (R)
- Kneeling lunge (L)
Section C: Standing Balance
- Standing splits (L)
- Standing fwd bend
- Figure 4 Chair (L, R)
- Standing splits (R)
deep stretch/floor asanas
Key Asana in Working: CHILD’S
- Pigeon (L, R)
- Prone boat
- Child’s pose
Key Asana in Working: TWIST
- Reclined bound angle
- Happy baby
- Reclined spinal twist (L, R)
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 new beginnings theme repeat what you did for breathing and relaxation. I recommend tweaking the “intention” to better fit for a longer savasana.
- Bring in different quotes
- Read a poem or passage about new starts, renewals, rebirths, etc.
- Or share the results of a time you embarked on a new beginning.
- Finally, honor silence, then bring participants out of savasana to end class.
enhancements for new beginnings theme
- I am stronger, wiser, and more confident with each new day.
- I am starting fresh by forgiving myself.
- I am grateful for this new moment and opportunity to grow.
The 3 of Wands can mean energy manifested, the arrival of opportunities, and progress. All great affirmations for the New Beginning theme.
If you like diffusing oils in your yoga classes, you’ll find some great options listed here. Scents like bergamot, geranium, lavender, and tangerine can invoke spring which is a time of renewal.
- Serpentine for personal growth
- Labradorite for improving strength of will
- Malachite for change and empowering oneself