There are many ways in which you can prepare yin and restorative yoga class themes. The theme that you choose for your sequence can depend on a few different factors: time of day, type of class, and your audience. Your theme can be simple or complex and can affect any aspect of the class from the music played during class to the postures that are chosen for the sequence. When sequencing themes for restorative and yin yoga, you can create an offering that is unique and well-suited to the students in your classes by using a good theme.
Something that is important to consider as you begin to sequence and theme for yin and restorative classes is the specific benefits of each style that are unique to them. Yin yoga is a form that involves quite a bit of sensation as practitioners sit in postures to appropriately apply stress to the plastic tissues in the body. When they release from the pose, a rush of healing and regenerative fluids reenter the plastic tissues. Restorative yoga, on the other hand, is a form of no sensation at all. In fact, the purpose of this type of yoga class theme is to feel held and supported so that the practitioners can deeply rest. You might even say this is the first layer of a theme for your class – you wouldn’t offer a vinyasa style class and call it restorative yoga. This means that both yin and restorative classes both have slower yoga class themes compared to a typical vinyasa class. In a restorative class, you might see three or four postures offered in an hour whereas in a yin class, you might see six to eight postures in an hour. The set of postures that you choose when sequencing themes for restorative yoga or yin yoga is a great place to begin incorporating your theme. Yin yoga can be a bit easier to theme for anatomically as it’s a practice of sensation whereas restorative yoga is a practice of non-sensation. Below are some examples of ways in which you might theme anatomically:
- Yin/Restorative Yoga for Hips
- Yin/Restorative Yoga for Shoulders
- Yin Yoga for the Shoulders
- Yin Yoga for the Wrists and Ankles
Anatomical sequencing themes are just one technique that can be used as yoga class themes and are taught in the best online yoga teacher training. You might also decide to choose your theme based on the audience that you are teaching. For example, you might be holding space for desk workers at a corporate class so you choose to focus on the neck and shoulders or choose to weave in cues about balance and ease. You might want to theme your restorative yoga or yin yoga class for new parents so you focus on heart opening to counteract all the rounding done while holding and feeding the baby. Or, maybe you decide to hold space runners and create a sequence based on the legs.
Just as you can theme based on your audience, you can theme for a specific ailment, injury, or intended benefit. You might sequence your restorative class to support people who are recovering from injury – this is a beautiful tool to allow the body to harness its resources for healing and allow space for the person to find some feeling of calm. Something that is very prevalent in a lot of societies now is anxiety, and an excellent tool to practice self-care is yin yoga for anxiety. Michelle Young at My Vinyasa Practice has created a course themed around yoga for anxiety. Just as we would theme a yoga class, this course focuses on incorporating techniques that are known to be supportive for those who may experience anxiety.
Another avenue to explore for yoga class themes for your restorative or yin yoga classes would be the subtle bodies. The chakra system is a very straightforward way in which to do so as the chakra system has a physical counterpart in the spine and spinal cord in the form of nerve plexuses. The plexuses innervate specific areas of the body. Below are some examples of chakra themes:
- Yoga Class Themes for Restorative or Yin Yoga for the Root Chakra: include postures that access the hips and legs
- Yoga Class Themes for Restorative or Yin Yoga for the Solar Plexus: include twists
- Yoga Class Themes for Restorative or Yin Yoga for the Heart Chakra: include heart openers
- Yoga Class Themes Themes for Restorative or Yin Yoga for the Throat Chakra: include throat openers
As you can see, sequencing themes for a restorative or yin yoga class is similar to choosing a theme for a vinyasa yoga class. A great way to learn more about themes is to attend classes and see if there is an obvious theme! If no obvious theme is present, you might even ask the teacher if they had a theme in mind when sequencing their class. You can do this via live stream and on-demand yoga classes! You can find affordable, accessible, and authentic classes on the My Vinyasa Practice app. You can also explore Michelle Young’s Yoga for Anxiety course and the plethora of courses offered by My Vinyasa Practice and its Authors!