Yoga Teacher Plan for Class Lengthening the Side Body
Welcome Yogis! This is your yoga teacher plan for class “Reaching Dreams – Lengthening the Side Body”.
Yoga Lesson Plan Name: “Reaching Dreams – Lengthening the Side Body”
Yoga Sequencing Lesson Plans Teacher Notes
- Working to lengthen the side body has myriads of benefits. It allows for great spinal mobility, improves posture, and can even tone the midsection. If you’ve ever been sore after kayaking, or any other rowing activity, this is the lesson for you. If you’ve wanted to deepen your twists, facilitate more effortless binds, or find more extension in forearm stands, this class will benefit your practice.
- On a physical level, the class will stretch the intercostal muscles between the ribs as well as the latissimus dorsi muscle (Latin for “the broadest muscle in the back”). On a metaphysical level, this class will encourage practitioners to reach for their dreams.
- Spring is a wonderful time to use this practice as it can aid in Spring Detox plans.
These quotes may help inspire your students’ practice and your teaching
- “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Don Williams, Jr.
- “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman
- “Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be” Karen Ravn
Beginning Meditation and Pranayama
- Begin seated observing the breath. Chant one Om as a group. Feel the unity of your voices and the vibrations created. Bring hands to fists and point the thumbs up toward the ceiling. Arms find a V
- Practice Kalabhati breathing, breath of fire resulting in a sense of strength and courage to become our ideal selves.
Asanas For Yoga Teacher Planning
The side stretch flow
- Begin sitting in Virasana hero’s pose
- Reach the right arm up toward the ceiling and reach over the left, working to lengthen the line between the sit bones and the right middle finger
- Fold the torso forward, stretching both arms out to the left of your mat, walk the hands back through center, and then walk them through center and over the right of the mat.
- Lift the left arm creating an arc from the left sit bone all the way out the left middle finger
- Inhale back to an upright torso in hero’s
- Flow with the breath, repeating the the right and left
- Lie down on your mat. Make your way into Setu Bandha Sarvangasana.
- From bridge, interlace the fingers behind your back. Work to bring both palms together, the forearms coming closer and closer.
- Walk both feet to the right of the mat. Lower the hips down to the ground, to the right of your arms. Take several breaths here expanding the left, side body.
- Walk the feet to the left of the mat and repeat.
- This exercise begins to open the back to lateral, spinal movements.
Marichyasana III Spinal twist
- Inhaling one leg into the body, keeping a little space between the bent-leg’s foot and the extended-leg’s thigh
- Twist to look over one shoulder, keeping the back hand pulled in close to the base of the spine
- Repeat on the second side
- Parighasana, gate stretch – Reminding us to reach for our goals and dreams.
- Sun salutations with side body stretch
- Continue warming the body with 3 or 4 sun salutations, adding in the half moon side stretch
- After coming into Tadasana, mountain pose, interlace the hands above the head, with the index finger extended to the ceiling and reach to one side and then the next
Anjanayasana Side-Body Flow
- From down dog bring the right foot to the front of the mat. Drop the back knee and reach the right hand down to the ground on a block or the Earth off the mat. Reach the left hand high on a diagonal. Create one line from the left finger tips all the way down toward the toes. Imagining a lava lamp, allow the hips to be heavy. Hold for at least 3 breaths in this posture.
- Bring hands to Anjali mudra, prayer at the heart center. Inhale, extending out through the crown of the head and and exhale twist, gazing over the right shoulder.
- Same flow on the left
- Repeat on both sides a second time, this time taking the twist into the bind by hooking the left arm to the outside of the right thigh (on the right side).
- Next repeat the flow with the back knee lifted, taking the flow while in the crescent lunge
Virabhadrasana I Side Stretch
- Lift the right leg high into a 3-legged dog. Drop the standing leg heel to the Earth and reach the heart back toward the back of your might. This will help to create length through both sides
- Bring the knee into the nose, shifting the weight forward and step the right foot forward between the hands. Drop the back heel to the ground and on an inhale lift the torso, finding Warrior I.
- Bring hands to prayer and twist to look right, keep both hips square while twisting through the torso, especially the thoracic spine which has greater lateral mobility than the lumbar spine
- The right hand reaches down to the back thigh and the left hand reaches toward the ceiling, now creating a line from the inner back arch of the back foot all the way to the left finger tips.
- Repeat on the second side.
- Parsvottanasana – From Parsvottanasana find Parivrtti Trikonasana (blocks are recommended)
- Right foot steps to the front of the mat. Find the low-lunge from the beginning of class, back knee dropping to the mat.
- Find the twist with hands in prayer, twist from deep within the belly, hooking the left arm to the outside of the front leg. Press the top hand into the bottom to deepen the twist. Lie your torso back, onto the thigh. Take the drishti, your gaze, down to the ground.
- Tuck the toes of the back foot and lift the back knee. Straighten the back leg all the way.
- Step the back leg forward to meet the front staying in the twist. Inhale rising to the toes, exhale dropping the pelvis down, coming into a broken toes pose with the twist.
- Lower hands to the right side of the mat, Parsva Bakasana. Hold for two or three breaths
- Find Uttanasana, forward fold and take the second side
- Vrksasana – With arms extended in a V, reach the arms and torso to one side and then the next, almost like a “tree in the wind.” This works the balance within a side-stretch.
- Natarajasana with both legs, followed by a forward fold
- Dolphin push-ups
- Pincha Mayurasana prep
- Forearms to ground, using a block between the hands, then lift one leg and then the next
- Work to wrap the side of the body opposite to the extended leg down to the ground.
- Then adding the Parighasana side stretch into the work by working to eventually glue one side of the torso to the thigh.
- A belt might be used if the opposite hand as leg is not ready to reach for the outer-edge of the extended leg.
- Salamba Sirsasana
Other Yoga Sequencing Lesson Plans to Enjoy
Thank you for joining us on this yoga exercise plan. We have others for you to enjoy and use within the limits of your entire imagination.
- Hatha Yoga – Sun Moon Flow Class Plan
- Simplicity Yoga Class
- Fluidity Yoga Class
- Spirals and Change
- Yin Yoga or Slow Yoga
All the best, The Hyp-Yoga Team