A Well Balanced Yoga Ritual

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Early April and the Commonwealth Games are upon us. Sounds like it could be hard to get anywhere! What about our yoga practice? It’s the perfect time to be disciplined and create our own home practice. For more support and inspiration for building a home yoga ritual, check out our 30 Day Yoga Challenge!


Planning a Well Balanced Yoga Sequence

When I am planning a yoga class I try and incorporate poses which stretch and strengthen around each of the major joints – shoulders, hips and spine. I include poses which move the spine in each of its 4 directions – forward, backwards, side to side and rotating.

But first it is necessary to relax and centre our attention inward with our Complete Yoga Breathing, moving into warming the body with a Salute series and then we are ready for action!

Pick your poses from the chart below making sure you choose at least one from each criteria. Most poses will fill more than one and as far as order goes, usually we start with standing poses to build strength and warmth, moving unto the back arches and inversions, then finish with passive twists, forward bends and a little relaxation. I have provided a suggested sequence in the chart and the order in which to perform the sequence is below.

Criteria   Poses Suggested sequence
Stretch around the pelvis Outside of the hips Pigeon, Sleeping Pigeon, Cow Face, Firelog Sleeping Pigeon
Inside of the hips Cobbler, Warrior 2, Triangle, Extended Side Angle, Wide Leg forward bend, Squat Triangle, Extended Side Angle
Back of hips Forward bends, Seated forward bend, Forward bends
Front of hips Crescent Moon, Supine Hero,

Lord of the Dance, Warrior 1, Warrior 3, Pigeon

Supine Hero,
Strengthen round the pelvis All strong standing poses Tree, Eagle, Half Moon, Extended Side Angle, Bridge, Chair Chair
Stretch the shoulders Back of the shoulders Eagle Pose Eagle
Front of the shoulders Reverse Prayer, Cow Face Cow Face
Under the shoulders Down Dog, Pigeon, Warrior 1 Down Dog
Strengthen the shoulders Plank, Crane, Side Plank, Bent Arm Plank Plank,
Strengthen the back Locust, Side Plank, Staff, Triangle, Extended Side Angle, Revolved Triangle, Chair, Revolved Side Angle, Revolved Lunge Locust


Strengthen the abdominals Boat, Plank, Side Plank, Staff Side Plank
Back bends Locust, Cobra, Bow, Camel, Bridge, Wheel, Pigeon, Fish Cobra
Forward bends Standing Forward Bend, Wide leg Forward Bend, Plough Standing forward bend
Side bends Triangle, Extended Side Angle, Gatelatch, Exultant Warrior Triangle

Extended Side Angle


Twists Revolved Triangle, Seated Twists, Supine Twist, Revolved Side Angle, Revolved Lunge Seated Twists,
Inversions Down Dog, Standing Wide Leg Forward Bend, Dolphin, Bowing Pose, Shoulder stand, Headstand Shoulder stand,


Following is an example of a well-balanced class with all aspects taken care of. Even though with the minimum of 5 breaths in each of the poses and the whole sequence only taking about 20 minutes you will feel that every part of your body has been stretched and strengthened.  Finish with a little relaxation and then meditation. If you have more time spend longer in each pose and if there are particular areas you feel need more stretching or strengthening add more poses from the chart.


Complete Yoga Breathing

Mountain Pose

Salutes x 3

Extended Side Angle


Extended Side Angle

Standing Wide Leg Forward Bend


Down Dog


Side Plank



Sleeping Pigeon

Seated Twist

Cow Face

Supine Hero

Shoulder Stand


Meditation (there’s plenty of choices on our music and videos page)



By Vrndavan Dasi

Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training