Yoga Sequencing Lesson Plans “Simplicity”
Welcome to our collection of yoga sequencing lesson plans, which includes this yoga class plan called “Simplicity.
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Yoga Lesson Plan Name: “Simplicity”
Class Classic Theme Relationships: Yoga as a Discipline, Yogic Philosophy, 4th Chakra - Anahata
Yoga Sequencing Lesson Plans Teacher Notes
The mentality of “more” dominates our western culture when what really need is less.
Abundance of life lies in the secret of simplicity. This class is designed to get your students
thinking about the impact of their thoughts and choices on and off the mat.
Language of the Yoga Class
During the class, focus on the simple essence of each posture using words such as clarity,
clean lines, clearness, directness, ease, easiness, innocence, integrity, humility, mindfulness,
naturalness, openness, purity, restraint, singleness of mind, unity, non-attachment,
For example, “Allow your body to open up to its most natural expression of this pose. Find a
singleness of mind by following the movement of the breath.”
Now, create two more cues to use in your class.
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,“Simple Gifts” is an 1848 Shaker song by Elder Joseph Brackett.
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
This simple Shaker Dance Song celebrates the abundance of the simple life. A life able to
enjoy the delights of humility, love and joy. Even the song’s essence is simple and practical. It
is a dance song and many of the lyrics simplicity dictate the dancers’ next steps.
Just like dancing, our yoga draws us into the present moment with the need to focus completely on the task at hand, so we can truly enjoy ourselves – the movement of our bodies, fueled by the breath and connected with the guidance of the mind. The deliberative actions needed in our practice can teach us even more about simplicity off of our mats.
In yoga, we learn to listen to our bodies and to only do the postures that will grow our positive
energy in that moment. Just because we can do a pose does not mean that we should do that
pose today. The same goes for our lives off the mat – just because we can have something
does not mean we necessarily should have it. Henry David Thoreau once said, “A man is rich
in proportion to the things he can afford to let alone.”
Your abundant life may not look like the so called “American Good Life” filled with houses,
cars and boats, but will be an even fuller life – abounding in love, compassion and rich
relationships. The world is abundant. You will be provided for, and the more you give, the
more of this abundance you will receive.
Over the next few days find ways to experience a simple, abundant life – uncluttered your
living spaces and your schedule, enjoy nature and even help to preserve it, buy things only for
usefulness, give things away, use plain, honest words, and avoid buying products that
oppress other people. What other ways can you think of to enjoy all of the abundance we
already have? What will you do this week to practice simplicity?
Yoga Class Asana Invocation
As we move into our physical practice, we come humbly to our mats with the intention of
simply experiencing each moment. Drawing hands in at heart center and making the mudra of
the lotus – Padma Mudra – thumbs touching, pinky fingers touching and cupping the hands.
“Om Mani Padme Hum”
“May the jewel in the lotus shine forth the light and love of compassion to unite all as one.”
Yoga Flow – Simplicity of Practice
Focus your physical practice with simple flows, spending more time in each posture to really discover the essence of the pose and focus the mind of the breath.
Heart Opening – To open up pathways of love and compassion, focus in on heart-opening
postures such as Camel (Ustrasana), Wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana), Reverse Plank/Table
(Purvottanasana), or Fish Pose (Matsyasana).
Pranayama & Seated Meditation- Sama Vritti Pranayama – Equal Part Breathing
So Ham – Neutral Mantra, Part of Your Being Already, “I am that”
We can learn so much from even the simple act of breathing. Come to an Easy Seated Pose.
To elongate the spine, elevated your hips by rolling up a blanket or use a block to sit on. Allow
one leg to rest just forward of the other in Sukasana (Easy Seated Pose.) Keep your breath
ratio equal (Sama Vritti Pranayama) by counting to 4 on your inhale and then on your exhale.
Train the mind to focus on the breath being faithful to the numbers. You can lengthen the
breath, by counting to 6 or 7 if you like, but let the breathing stay deep and smooth.
Then, if comfortable, you can introduce the mantra, “So Ham”, which means “I am that.” In
your mind, inhaling the word “So”, and exhaling “Ham.” This is a neutral mantra, which means
it is already a part of who you are. You are just reminding your self – “I am.” Resisting the urge
to attach anything else to the mantra such as I am tired or even I am happy. Just pure “I am.”
An unattached, unfettered state of being. Stay with this mantra for at least 3-5 minutes.
Savasana – Guided Meditation
Guided Meditation for Simple Living
As you lie here, just look up to the ceiling with a soft gaze. Let your breath be natural and
relaxed. As your breath relaxes you even more, your eyes now begin to get heavier…and
heavier. So heavy that they begin to close… and then close completely. Let them become
heavy that even if you wanted to open them, you would not be able to. They are just so
Let this relaxation spread across your whole face…your scalp…the back of your head and
neck…and your whole neck…shoulders and chest. Your arms become heavy and open all the
way to your fingers. And now your heart center opens as your upper back and now your lower
back relax. Relax through your stomach. Let your hips fall open now… Your spreading the
relaxation down your legs…to your knees.. to your ankles, feet and toes. Everything is now
totally and utterly relaxed.
You are now present, and resting here is easy. Your body feels light, and your mind is quietly
joyful. While you are in this peaceful state…this is the time to teach yourself the power and
freedom of simplicity. Every day is a chance to live with even more compassion and empathy
towards the world and everything and everyone in it, but living with this much outward love
Right now, visualize that you are in a beautiful garden. Picture the flowers, fountains and
foliage that surrounds you. Listen to the sounds of the birds, the breeze and a gentle flow of
water. All of this beauty and peace relaxes you naturally and easily. You have no where you
need to go. Nothing that you need to do…no lists…just life. Only freedom to relax and let your
You now have a conscious appreciation for the beauty of this garden and
for the whole earth. As you breathe in the fresh air, you feel the union of your body and mind
with the earth through your breath. All living things are connected through this miracle we call
air. As you slow down and enjoy the simple pleasure of just being present, you can feel
belonging and can sense a shared vision of conscious appreciation.
You are satisfied with what you have. What you have is abundance. Accumulation of things is becoming less and less important to you as your heart turns more toward what is truly of
value to you.
In yogic philosophy we learn to do our work in life with no attachment to the results that follow.
You are now simply enjoying the work while you are doing it, and letting what happens
happen, but your life is not significantly altered by the results – instead, you are letting your
life be affected by the work – the totality of the journey. Each step is important to you now.
Your life is becoming more simple, but that does not mean it is becoming boring. The very
opposite in fact. Your life is becoming more abundant as you attract to yourself more gratifying
and exciting experiences. You are now preparing yourself for an even more rewarding
adventure in the days to come…being even more open to all the possibilities life has in store
Good. Now let your mind turn completely to your breath. Enjoy the simplicity of silence for a
few more minutes of meditation…