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Exploring The Peak Pose: 7 Step Formula Revealed


I hope this 7 step formula for creating a yoga lesson plan around a Peak Pose helps to spark your own yoga lesson planning creativity.  


Step 1
Peak Pose & Theme


Pick a pose you’d like your students to learn more about. Instead of your students practicing a pose for the traditional 1 to 5 minutes, they get to spend 10 to 20 minutes mastering it.

For example, if your peak pose was Crow Pose (Bakasana), you could say something like this at the beginning of class…


“Crow Pose, Bakasana in Sanskrit,
is going to be our peak pose.
When taking flight in Bakasana,
feel a world of endless opportunities
opening up in front of you.” 


Then throughout the class, keep bringing up the theme. Don’t just bring the theme up at the beginning and the end. Weave it into the class. You can’t overdo it. It’s impossible to overdo it. Allow yourself to weave away!

Crow Lesson Plan Theme Examples


Boldness


Crows are anything but shy. They are the extraverts of the bird world. Sometimes its good be bolder, braver and more brazen in how you express yourself. Call upon crow energy to move you into confidence.


Curiosity


Crows can’t resist sparkly things. They’ve just got to check stuff out. When you find yourself getting stuck in a rut, call upon crow energy to make you curious and go off exploring.


Higher Perspective


Crows are known to build their nests in very tall trees. Doing so, they get a better perspective on their surroundings. What areas of your life could benefit from seeing it from a higher perspective?


Support


Have you ever watched a group of crows ganging up together and chasing off predatory birds much bigger than they are? They work as a group, especially when dealing with adversity. Do you have an effective support group in your life? If not, it may be time to cultivate one.


Warning Signs


The crow is highly aware of looming danger. What areas of your life may cause danger if it’s not sorted out now?



Step 2
Sanskrit Storage


Wouldn’t it be just great if you could effortlessly store (remember) every single Sanskrit name in your brain!

But, let me guess. You think you’ve got a bad memory.

Right?

Wrong!

You’re got a marvellous mind, you just ain’t using it right.  Here’s a memory tactic so you never forget the Sanskrit for crow pose (BAKasana)…

Imagine you’ve got a crow on your BAK (back) when practicing crow pose. Feel its claws in your BAK. Hear the loud cawing as it tells you the steps on how to get into crow pose. 

The trick to remembering is to make the scene as bizarre as possible. It’s easy once you let your imagination out to play!

If you like this memory trick, you may like the blog post I wrote about how to remember your student’s names.


Step 3
Revel In Research


Go to town on researching your peak pose.  You could look through your yoga books, watch some youtube videos or use the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner.

Here are some teaching tips for Bakasana to get you started…

  • Develops 3 C’s: concentration, co-ordination & confidence.
  • Focus is on subtle control and coordination in the core, the Bandhas.
  • Let your mind feel as light as a bird.
  • Perform baby Bakasana to begin with (lifting one leg at a time).
  • Maintain a straight gaze so that the body balances.
  • Return to Tadasana (mountain pose).
  • Keep neck straight to avoid sprains and strains.
  • As you exhale feel that the floor is pushing you up.
  • Feel the shoulder blades broaden on your back.
  • Press through the arms.
  • Draw the belly in.
  • Breath without releasing your strong, active core.

Step 4
Magic Modifications


BAKasana puts a lot of weight in the hands and wrists. At least one or two people in your class will have weak wrists. That means you need to crank out a modification or what I say to my students a modification is magic because it invokes the secret universal law of Sometimes Less Is More.

Three modifications for BAKasana…

1. If you feel pain in the wrists, curl your fingers slightly instead of spreading them out.

2. Use a partner for better balance.  Your partner can support you as you lean forward and lift your feet off the ground, so that you don’t topple over.

3. Lift heels until you are balancing on the balls of your feet. Stay there instead of lifting off into BAKasana.

And for your advanced students, you could give them these magic modifications….

  • Eka Pada Bakasana I: One-Legged Crow Pose
  • Eka Pada Bakasana II: One-Legged Crow Pose
  • Handstand to Bakasana: Lower knees onto upper arms
  • Chaturanga: Jump back from BAKasana to Plank
  • Jump to Bakasana from Downward Facing Dog
  • Lower head down from Bakasana to Tripod headstand, tuck legs and lift back to BAKasana
  • Side Crow (Parsva BAKasana)

Step 5
Preparation Poses


If it’s a challenging pose (e.g crow) make it a priority to prepare students for it.

All the postures leading up to your peak pose will help prepare the student’s body, mind & spirit for practicing it for 10 to 20 minutes. The key to preparation poses is to make it easier for your students to physically and mentally take flight when it comes time to practice Bakasana.

Crow Preparation Poses

Preparation For Crow (BAKasana) Pose

Plank | Preparation For Crow (BAKasana) Pose

For crow pose, you could include wrist and arm strengtheners into your lesson plan such as

  • Mula Bandha: The Root Lift/Pelvic Floor
  • Uddiyana Bandha: Upward Abdominal Lift
  • Jalandhara Bandha: Throat Lift

Other Preparation Poses 


Step 6
Weave The Theme


Dare to let loose the yoga poet within upon your class.

Adding a bit of yoga imagery to your class is magical. It lifts the energy and spirits of your students. I’m not religious, but I am impressed by the poetry to be found in the Bible. It’s overflowing with imagery, which is the secret behind it’s success (most read book on the planet). Imagery turns the mundane into magic.

Below are some crow imagery that you can weave into throughout the class (anything positive to do with the crow is fair game for your crow theme).

For example during one of the preparation poses, you could say:


“Crows are well known for their adaptability. We humans sometimes get stuck in a rut. And when that happens, tapping into crow energy by practicing Crow Pose can help us fly out of ruts and soar into a world of endless opportunities.


I gave the example of “adaptability” above.

Here are several more crow characteristics: 

  • Alchemy
  • Destiny
  • Fearless
  • Higher perspective
  • Intelligence
  • Personal transformation
  • Trickster

Step 7
Shift Into Reverse Gear


It’s time to reverse the key actions of the pose. You’ll want to relax and stretch the muscles that supported the pose.

Counter poses for Crow Pose


Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit
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Fed up with taking so long creating yoga lesson plans? Then find why 1000+ yoga teachers worldwide are cawing (couldn’t resist the Crow analogy) about the Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.

Yoga Genie Lesson Planner
1000+ Yoga Poses In 15 Categories

Ashtanga Yoga

Supta Padangusthasana A

All the Ashtanga Primary Series poses are included in the Planner including: 

  • Surya Namaskar A poses
  • Surya Namaskar B poses
  • Padangusthasana
  • Pada Hastasana
  • Trikonasana
  • Parivritta Trikonasana
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana
  • Parivritta Parsvakonasana
  • Prasarita Padottanasana
  • Parsvottonasana
  • Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
  • Ardha Baddha Padma Uttanasana
  • Utkatasana
  • Virabhadrasana I
  • Virabhadrasana II
  • Dandasana
  • Paschimottanasana
    Purvottasana
  • Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana
  • Trianga Mukaikapada Paschimottanasana
  • Janu Sirsasana
  • Marichyasana
  • Paripurna Navasana
  • Adho Mukha Vrksasana
  • Bhujapidasana
  • Kurmasana
  • Supta Kurmasana
  • Garbha Pindasana
  • Kukkutasana
  • Baddha Konasana
  • Upavista Konasana
  • Supta Konasana
  • Supta Padangustasana
  • Ubhaya Padangustasana
  • Urdvha Mukha Paschimottanasana
  • Setu Bandhasana
  • Urdvha Dhanurasana
  • Paschimottanasana
  • Savasana
  • Salamba Sarvangasana
  • Halasana
  • Karnapidasana
  • Urdvha Padmasana
  • Pindasana in Sarvangasana
  • Matsyasana
  • Uttana Padasana
  • Sirsasana
  • Balasana
  • Baddha Padmasana
  • Yogimudrasana
  • Padmasana
  • Tolasana
  • Savasana

Bandhas

Bandas

Bandhas Include: 

  • Chin Lock (dynamic)
  • Chin Lock (passive)
  • Root Lock
  • Upward Abdominal Lock

Bolster Yoga

Bolster Yoga

Bolster Yoga Poses Include: 

  • Bike Ride
  • Bolster Chat
  • Bolster Creation
  • Bound Angle
  • Bound Angle (strap)
  • Bridge 1
  • Bridge 2
  • Bridge 3
  • Child
  • Easy Pose
  • Fish 1-6
  • Hero
  • Knee To Chest
  • Leg Lift
  • Legs Up
  • Legs Up Wall
  • Pigeon 1-3
  • And many more!

Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga Poses Include: 

  • Ab Breath
  • Ankle Curl
  • Arm Circles
  • Arm Lift
  • Arm Stretch
  • Arms Out
  • Arms Up
  • Backbend
  • Big Toe Hold
  • Bow
  • Breathwork
  • Bridge
  • Calf Raise
  • Centering
  • Chest Opener
  • Clam
  • Desk Posture
  • Down Dog
  • Flying Crane
  • Forward Bend
  • Grounding
  • Half Fold
  • Ham Lift
  • And many more!

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga Poses Include: 

  • Anjal Crown Chakra
  • Body Drops
  • Jnana Energy Focus
  • Lotus Arm Stretches
  • Neck Rolls
  • Ong Namo Guru Dev Name
  • Sat Nam 3rd Eye
  • Sat Nam Heart Chakra
  • See Saw Breath
  • And many more!

Laugher Yoga

Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga Games Include: 

  • Alien
  • Association
  • Ball Throw
  • Balloons
  • Clap Focus
  • Count To 20
  • Credit Card
  • Filleting
  • Freeze
  • Greetings
  • Ha
  • Halloween Monster
  • Heart Circle
  • Hello
  • High Fives
  • And many more!

Mantras

Mantras

Mantras Include: 

  • Aham Brahma Asmi
  • Aham Premal
  • Ang Sang Wahl
  • Cosmic
  • Gayatri
  • Jat Paahaaraa
  • Lord Shiva
  • Mahamrityunjay
  • Mangalam
  • Moola
  • Namaste
  • Om
  • Om Aim Hrim
  • Om Dum Durgayei
  • Om Gum Ganapateyie
  • And many more!

Xtras

Xtras

The Xtras category include for want of a better word, "extras" that make lesson planning that little bit easier. For example there is a X2 icon that you can use if you want to repeat the pose or sequence twice, there are breathe in and out icons, there are Sun Salutations A, B & C icons. There are lots more time saving icons.

Meditations

Meditations

Meditations Include: 

  • Awareness Of Your Gifts
  • Blue Force Field
  • Caged Bird
  • Celtic Seer
  • Crying Child
  • Destiny
  • Empty Cup
  • Follow Your Path
  • Golden Birds
  • Karmic Laws
  • Lao Tzu
  • Little Actions
  • Mandala
  • Mandala Talk
  • Mind Massage
  • And many more!

Mudras

Mudras

Mudras Include: 

  • Aakash
  • Adhi
  • Anjali
  • Apan Vayu
  • Apana
  • Asthma
  • Atmanjali
  • Bhairav
  • Bhramara
  • Bodhisattva
  • Brahma
  • Bronchial
  • Chin
  • Dhamachakra
  • Dhyani
  • Figa
  • Ganesha
  • Garuda
  • Gyan
  • Hakini
  • And many more!

Partner Yoga

Partner Yoga

Partner Yoga Include: 

  • Boat
  • Bow
  • Bridge
  • Camel
  • Child
  • Cobra
  • Confidence
  • Dead Bug
  • Downward Facing Dog 1
  • Downward Facing Dog 2
  • Engage Core
  • Hamstring Stretch
  • Knee To Chest
  • Lunge
  • Lying Twist
  • Plank
  • And many more!

Pranayama

Pranayama

Pranayama Exercises Include: 

  • Abdominal Breath
  • Alternate Nose Breath
  • Alternate Nose & Ujjayi Breath
  • Bellows Breath
  • Breath Counting
  • Breath Of Joy
  • Compassion Breath
  • Complete Breath
  • Dolphin Breath
  • Extended Exhale
  • Fire Breath
  • Humming Bee Breath
  • And many more!

Relaxation Exercises

Relaxation Exercises

Relaxation Exercises Include: 

  • Blue Bubble
  • Breathe In Positive
  • Counting Down
  • Dolphin
  • Glass Of Water
  • Palming
  • Pavlov
  • Peace Room
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Savasana 1-3
  • And many more!

Seated & Floor Poses

Seated Yoga

Seated & Floor Poses Include: 

  • Ankle Rotation
  • Archer
  • Bananasana
  • Bharadajasana Twist
  • Boat
  • Bound Angle
  • Bow
  • Bridge
  • Bridge Wall
  • Bridge Block
  • Butterfly
  • Butterfly Twist
  • Camel 1-4
  • Cat
  • Cat Pulling Tail
  • Child 1-2
  • Cobra 1-4
  • Confidence
  • Cow 1-3
  • Cow Face 1-3
  • Cradle Baby
  • And many more!

Standing Poses

Standing Poses

Standing Poses Include: 

  • Bird Of Paradise
  • Bound Extended Side Angle
  • Bound Triangle
  • Chair 1-3
  • Crescent Lunge
  • Crescent Moon
  • Dancer 1-2
  • Dolphin
  • Downward Facing Dog 1-8
  • Eagle
  • Extended Hand To Big Toe 1-2
  • Extended Side Angle 1-3
  • Extended Triangle
  • Fig Tree
  • Figure Four
  • Five Pointed Star
  • Forward Bend
  • Goddess 1-6
  • Half Moon Bound Revolved
  • Half Moon Bow
  • Half Splits
  • And many more!

This huge variety is why 1000+ yoga teachers, trainers and trainees are using the Drag & Drop Yoga Genie Lesson Planner.

Drag & Drop Yoga Genie Lesson Planner

A Drag & Drop Yoga Lesson Planner That Helps You Create Yoga Lesson Plans In Under 5 Minutes. Includes 2000+ Shared Yoga Lesson Plans, 1000+ Pre-filled Poses, One Click Sequences & Much More.

 

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George Watts

BWY Yoga Teacher at George Watts Yoga
This post was lovingly morphed into reality by BWY yoga teacher, George Watts. If you're looking for a treasure trove of yoga lesson planning goodness, take a quick peek at Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.

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