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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
This book is top notch for a number of reasons. The detailed explanation of the principles of sequencing and the structure of yoga classes makes it an immediate useful resource for all teachers. There are excellent tips for even the smallest considerations in designing classes. After 4 chapters on philosophy, principles, and techniques, the author provides 11 chapters covering sequencing of just about every type of class- all levels, ages, and conditions of the student are covered in detail, plus more on topics like yoga for ayurvedic type and chakra classes. The author is a yoga teacher and trainer who knows his subject well and who has the ability to share his knowledge with clarity and passion.
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91 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2013
I bought this book because I have an interest in sequencing. I went through my first teacher training at YogaWorks and Mr. Stephen's style is strongly YogaWorks. If you are unfamiliar with that branding, think "Ashtanga-lite." The workout start with sun salutes, but not as a many as a Ashtanga primary series. Once the sun salutes are done, there are standing poses, then sitting, with diversity, YogaWorks style not a set sequence like the Ashtanga series. One thing I value about the YogaWorks style is the concept of sequencing towards a peak pose.

Mr. Stephen's promise to show you how to "Design" a sequence is true. Following the concept of working towards a peak pose, or sequencing towards a theme, this book shows how to do either and more.

I eagerly bought this book in first addition and there are quite a few typos and mistakes. You look at the written description of the pose and it does not match the thumbnail picture. If you are familiar with yoga some of the mistakes are pretty hilarious. If you are new to yoga it would be bewildering.

My major criticism of this book: the sequencing is pretty narrow. If you are in fairly good shape you can use these sequences to get into better shape. But what he gives for a level one beginner class would be impossible for my beginner students to do. I can't believe that my students are atypical. I think a book ought be written for sequencing real beginners, because people beyond beginner status are less likely to need a sequencing guide.

Most yoga books for beginners such as Light on Yoga, or Moving into Stillness, or the Iyengar style books by the Mehta's include A beginner sequence, and all of those sequences are good, effective and beneficial. But they have only one or two sequences and are not written to teach a person how to design their own sequence. From this book I was hoping to get more than one beginner sequence, in fact I didn't really get even one. These sequences are appropriate for advanced beginners and advanced students. You need to be able to do a sun salute, without wrist problems, and squat without hip issues to do this kind of yoga. The picture on the cover should have been a clue to me, let it be for you.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2012
Yoga Sequencing is the best book ever written on how to design outstanding yoga classes; indeed, it's one of the best books ever written on yoga. And while it's an absolute must for all yoga teachers and teacher training programs, it's a wonderful resource for all levels of yoga students too.

This 528-page tome first covers the foundations and principles of sequencing in extraordinary yet very practical detail. As with the entire book, we discover in the first pages that the author, Mark Stephens, moves easily between all of the vast literature about yoga and the down to earth practicalities of teaching yoga in the modern world. He explains the five principles of sequencing in a way that makes them into useful tools that yoga teachers and students alike can apply in creatively fashioning their classes. He then shows how these principles are applied in developing the essential structure of yoga classes. Here the author introduces and explains the concept of peak postures and the method for identifying the constituent elements of postures, which is the key insight one needs in determining the sensible order of postures in any yoga class or routine.

Rather than leaving it to the reader to figure out all of the elements of every yoga posture, Stephens provides a vast resource in the appendix giving the constituent elements of each of over 125 asanas. This one resource - Appendix B - is more than worth the price of the entire book.

After showing how to set up the general structure of a class, Stephens goes into a detailed presentation of how to arrange the order of postures within and across the every family of postures - standing poses, core, arm balances, back bends, twists, forward bends, hip openers and inversions.

The most surprising part of the book - and it's a wonderful surprise - is an incredibly insightful chapter on sequencing the guidance of asanas, especially the section titled "Sequencing Cues in Each Asana Family." Here Stephens taps into his earlier book, Teaching Yoga, to provide detailed guidance on how to guide students in and out of postures, how to guide the refinement of asanas, and then how to very specifically order your instructional cues in a way that makes your instruction of each posture as clear and effective as can be with your students.

With all of this as the foundation, Stephens then gives us eleven chapters on sequencing for specific types of classes, covering different class levels (beginning, intermediate, advanced), sequencing across the life cycle (yoga for kids, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, post-partum reintegration, menopause, seniors), and for a more balanced and integrated life (covering stress depression, energetic balancing, chakra classes, yoga for your ayurvedic type) as well as his own favorite Soulful Vinyasa classes. In all, Stephens gives us 67 sequences, using hundreds of photographs in a beautifully laid out design that makes each sequence easy to follow.

This book should be required reading for every yoga teacher. It's an essential part of every yoga teacher's library and will be a great resource in yoga teacher training programs.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
Mark Stephens has written another amazing yoga book! I think it is an essential read for teachers, but full of information for all, this book is a thorough, practical guide to how to navigate through the intricacies of sequencing safe and transformative yoga practices for the many needs of today's practitioners, from advanced yogis to those with special needs or new to yoga. This book is filled with information and photos. Numerous sequences are included, but in addition, the author teaches us how to create our own sequences, with a solid understanding of why we might pick one pose, then another, making this book an invaluable resource and one I expect to return to again and again. Well done!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2012
This book couldn't be more perfect for a teacher in training. It gives advice on how to explain poses, breathing, etc to your beginner classes. It helps you step by step to put together lessons, and explains why they use each pose, which poses transition well into each other, etc.

They give PAGES upon PAGES of amazing sequences broken down by sequences for hip-openers, for twists, for back-bends, etc. I have done SO much research online and in my own reading and this book by far is the best planning book for teachers ever. It has become a staple for me!

I am almost done with my 200 hour yoga teacher training in NYC and at the stage where I need to start creating my own yoga class sequences, both for my final "exam" and also for myself. You learn SO much in Teacher Training (TT) and it's so crucial to incorporate the physics of yoga, the breathing of yoga, and other aspects when creating a script. This book is easy to understand, great to use as a teaching guide, and will help you so much as you begin to design your sequences as a teacher.

I plan to have this book with me as a reference for a long time :)
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
This book explains the practice of yoga and gives practical tools for creating your own classes. It is written in clear language. It is sophisticated yet accessible and is totally comprehensible. It is filled with common sense guidelines for safe and meaningful yoga classes. If you buy two yoga books, buy two of these and give one to your yoga teacher. This is a great gift to the yoga world!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2014
The information in the beginning is good, but most of the sequences just seem like the same poses repeated - not much variety or inspiration here.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2014
Sequencing in yoga is important but even more important is adaption and this book falls short in that area. It also does not take into consideration body types. And as a yoga teach I can affirm I have a lot more body types in my classes then this book pictures. Good as far as it goes but for what it is trying to encompass it does not go far enough. Hope sometime in the future Stephens comes out with Yoga Adaptations because his writing is good and good writing in yoga books is hard to find.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2012
Book has A LOT of information, great as a reference. I saw another review that mentioned the small pictures but the book makes up for it with such a variety of sequences that if you are familiar at all with asanas you won't need them and will find the book useful. The Appendix's were nice too. I carry it with me a lot to peruse whenever I have the chance.

I'm disappointed that I pre-ordered to get the best deal and it's almost two dollars cheaper now. That's more an issue with Amazon.

Overall though I like the book and think I will be using it for a long time!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2012
A very well written book detailing what order to practice yoga poses for the best advantage to the practitioner. Well documented, organized and explained. My only difficulty with the book is that often times poses are referred to only by their Sanskrit names, which I am not well enough versed in. As a beginning instructor, I really appreciated the soundly written book detailing which pose should follow which and why. Very helpful.
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