20 + poses that students should have an intro to in an 8-week fundamentals class:

  1. Tadasana
  2. All 4’s- cat and dog tilts. + knee extensions
  3. Child’s pose
  4. Dolphin pose (bend arm/elbow dog)
  5. Dog pose
  6. Straight leg lunge (variations: arms up, twist)
  7. Plank and lower down (knees to floor first)
  8. Cobra (and Ardha Salabhasana, starfish (to strengthen contractive back musc)
  9. Setubandhasana
  10. Tree pose
  11. Baby dancer
  12. Prasarita Padottanasana
  13. Uttanasana
  14. Utkatasana
  15. Parsvakonasana (forearm on thigh, then block)
  16. Virabhadrasana
  17. Trikonasana (w/ block)
  18. Parsvottanasana
  19. Baddha Konasana (also supported baddha konasana)
  20. Jathara Parivartansana/ Alexander twist (foot on knee)
  21. Core strengthening (leg lifts on back keeping low back curve. Or navasana…)
  22. Standing Marichyasana with foot on chair/ seated chair twist
  23. Virasana
  24. Viparita Karani
  25. Savasana – progressive relaxation


  1. Salutation to the sun
  2. Wall push ups
  3. Chair at wall
  4. Cactus pose (to teach shoulder blades on the back)
  5. Diaphragmatic breathing
  6. Ujjayi breathing (towards end)

What are the primary principles of action/movement/alignment they should understand (no more then 6)

  1. Setting the foundation of the pose (what touches the floor) and feeling awareness of breath and inner body (softening the outer body)
  2. Muscular energy (1. Muscle to bone, hug the midline, periphery to core)
  3. Organic extension (1. From core to periphery 2. Lateral expansion from the midline 3. Circumferentially from bone out through muscles)
  4. Inner spiral of legs- thighs back, sitting bones widening (grounding femur)
  5. Outer spiral of legs- tailbone/bottom of buttocks lengthening to heels
  • Other focus points:
  • Shoulder principles (1. Side body long 2. Head of the arm bone back 3. Shoulder blades on the back)
  • pelvis in balance (IS/OS)
  • 90 degree angle of front leg in lunges/standing poses
  • safely coming out of a pose (inhale to come out in order to stay engaged and safe) – be sure to safely come out of poses in your demos!!
  • forward folding actions
  • progressive relaxation
  • introduce back body awareness (kidneys, backs of lungs)