Simplicity goes a long way. But as vinyasa flow teachers and practitioners, we usually thrive on some element of surprise and challenge as well. Wether you want to spice up your personal yoga practice or add a new twist to classes you are teaching, this is for you.
A connective vinyasa – usually Chaturanga Dandasana to Urdva Mukha Svanasana to Adho Mukha Svanasana – is the little dance you do between the right and left side in a flow. The connective vinyasa is a golden opportunity to explore new moves and to add a little personality to your class.
The six connective vinyasa's below all end up in Downward facing dog. Described below as we would teach them in a class, you can also download the pdf below and get a visual if you wish. This content is from Vinyasa Toolbox (developed by TNV:s Elin Jensen). Enjoy!
1. The backbend vinyasa
Inhale to Plank, lower your knees and bend the elbows, exhale come all the way to lie on the belly. Inhale, lift the chest to Cobra, exhale and draw the hips back to the heels. Lift the hips, hold the heels and expand into Camel, then come to Downward facing dog.
2. The dolphin vinyasa
From Downward facing dog, lower the elbows and keep the hands shoulder distance apart. Inhale, then exhale and shift chest forward, lift the elbows and end up in Chaturanga. Inhale to Upward facing dog, exhale to Downward facing dog.
3. The one leg core vinyasa
From Plank, inhale, then exhale draw the right knee to chest, lift the hips. Inhale shoot the leg back for one legged plank, exhale one-legged Chaturanga. Inhale Upward facing dog, exhale Downward facing dog. Do the other leg in the next connective vinyasa.
4. The shoulder roll vinyasa
From Plank, inhale. Exhale lower the knees, come all the way to the belly. Right arm straight out to the side at shoulder height. Roll to the right, left foot behind you. Do the other side. Then inhale to Cobra, exhale to Downward facing dog.
5. The core vinyasa
From Downward facing dog, jump through the hands to Navasana, boat pose. Inhale to low Boat pose, exhale to regular Boat pose. Repeat 5 times. Then from Boat pose, jump through to Chaturanga on an exhale, inhale to Upward facing dog, exhale to Downward facing dog.
6. The cat-cow vinyasa
From Downward facing dog, inhale lower the knees and lift the chest, exhale stay on the knees and round the spine. Inhale lift the chest, exhale lower chest and chin to the mat. Inhale push through to Cobra, exhale hips back to Childs pose. Inhale hands and knees, lift the chest, exhale Downward facing dog.
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Was this useful? Want more sequencing tips? Join our True North Vinyasa 50hr yoga teacher training! A retreat format course developed as a boost for vinyasa teachers. Next up is September 24–29 2023 in Switzerland. Learn more ››
Are you considering becoming a yoga teacher? Let us help sort out some of the most common questions. We've been educating yoga teachers for 5 years, and we've done countless free info talks with potential students just like you, with lots of questions about the world of teaching yoga and which yoga teacher training to choose.
Is it worth it to do a 200 hour training?
In the yoga teaching world, a Yoga Alliance 200 hour certificate is the most basic certification. It's not a licence, meaning you can call yourself a yoga teacher and work as one without any training or with a training that gives you some other certificate. More often than not however, a yoga studio will ask for your certification before putting you on the schedule. Assuming that you have a passion for yoga, investing in a 200 hour training and certificate is certainly worth it. Make sure you sign up for a Yoga Alliance certified school and make sure you speak to the directors and former students before making the commitment. You will learn more about what you love and grow as a person. You will also have the possibility to embark on a new professional career with confidence, whether that is full time or on the side of your main job.
What are the best yoga schools in the world?
This depends on what you are looking for. Our advice when picking a yoga school for your 200 hour teacher training:
- Don't trust the listings of Best yoga teacher trainings in the world. They are pretty much guaranteed paid advertising. Ask yourself "says who?"
- If you have a personal recommendation, look into that school first.
- Know what lineage of you are interested in. Pick the school based on what you see yourself teaching.
- Talk to the director or directors. If that's not possible, pick a different school.
- Read or watch testimonials. Ask to talk to a former student. If that's not possible, pick a different school.
Can you make money as a yoga teacher?
Of course you can! You have to be committed and work hard, as in any other profession, and create your own niche based on YOUR interests and skills. Just teaching 2 classes per week is fine if your main income comes from some other job. If you want to teach full time, you have to work hard on your brand, have an interest in small business management and be prepared to try lots of different things. A full time yoga teacher usually offers a combination of weekly classes, retreats, workshops, online classes and collaborations.
Am I too old to become a yoga teacher?
You might ask yourself this if you're over 30. Or over 40. Or 50. Or 60.
Here's the thing: Yoga by nature is adaptable to any age or ability level. People can begin doing yoga at any age. When you teach yoga, you are likely to attract students who are around your own age. This means, no matter what age you are, sharing your passion with the world is an amazing concept. You will be an inspiration to others. An older yoga teacher can also bring more life experience, wisdom and insight to their teaching. Don't let your age stand in the way of a career in teaching yoga. Use it to your advantage instead!
Is teaching vinyasa yoga a good side hustle?
Absolutely! Teaching yoga combines very well with a so called regular job. Vinyasa flow typically attracts people around 20–60 who have jobs, which means most classes are going to be offered in the evenings and on weekends. If you have a day job, this works!
Teaching 1–2 classes per week will allow you to be part of changing people's lives through yoga, and to be part of a community. You might even get other fringe benefits such as free classes at the studio. In addition it will give you a nice little extra income per month. Just make sure you charge the same as a full time teacher, even if you are not relying upon the income. This is important out of respect for the profession and for those who do rely upon teaching yoga as their primary income.
How long should you practice yoga before becoming a yoga teacher?
If you want to teach a subject, you need to know the subject. Then again, yoga is a unique subject. There are poses and transitions, the breath and basic alignment principles. Then there is philosophy, self growth and to some degree, spirituality. The subject is ever evolving and changing, and can be shaped by the teacher.
That being said, having a consistent practice before joining a 200 hour yoga teacher training is advisable. Your body will be ready to dive deeper, and you will already arrive with the knowledge that a practice is highly individual. In our training we ask for 2 years of regular and consistent practice as a pre-requisite. We've had students with less, but with a burning desire to go deeper. We've had students with an advanced practice, but mostly with an intermediate sort of practice and a longing for more. We have learned that having a strong practice and decades of experience practicing doesn't mean that you will be a talented yoga teacher. So many other qualities are part of the equation.
What is the difference between a 200hr and 300hr training?
The 200 hour certificate is the Yoga Alliance accredited basic educational format for yoga teachers. It is most commonly offered in a studio over weekends for a year or as an intensive retreat format course of 3-4 weeks.
The 300 hour course is the Yoga Alliance accredited second step format for yoga teachers. It might also be called an Advanced teacher training or a 500 hour teacher training (200+300 = 500 hours).
When a yoga teacher writes RYT200 it means that he or she has done a Yoga Alliance 200hr course. When he or she writes RYT500 it means they also took the second step of a 300 hour training. If you see the letter E in front, as in E-RYT200, it means the teacher also has a certain amount of hours (1000) of experience teaching. For the E-RYT500 it's 2000 hours.
What is True North Vinyasa all about?
We are a dedicated Vinyasa Teacher Training, 200 hour certified with Yoga Alliance. We are woman owned and operated and have educated hundreds of amazing yoga teachers since 2018. We run our yoga teacher trainings out of Portugal in an immersive format during 3 weeks. At the time of writing we offer a YTT each April and November. We are small scale, fully transparent and we don't leave you hanging after your training.
Check our dates and details here ››
Articles about the world of teaching and living Vinyasa Flow Yoga by Elin Jensen and Lisa Andersson Rhodiner