yoga teacher lesson planning tip

4 Quick & Easy Ways To Combine Yogic Breathing & Movement To Your Yoga Sequences


When your student focuses on their breath during a yoga sequence it immediately turns their experience from an ordinary, run-of-the-mill exercise into a deeper spiritual experience.

And each of the 4 breathing exercise are so simple.  

You could pick one of the breathing exercises for your next yoga class. Go on. Be daring. And then maybe another breathing exercise for your next 6 week yoga session.


The 4 yogic breathing exercises are…


1 – Abdominal Breathing Exercise


Ask your students to practice abdominal breathing during each movement.  

You can say something like this to your students:

Imagine your belly is a balloon that inflates on the in-breathe and deflates on the out-breath. When you go into the pose inflate the balloon. When you transition to a new pose deflate the balloon.  


2 – Breath Counting Exercise


Ask your students to “count their out-breath breath” during each movement.  

You can say something like this to your students:

“Today we are going to count our out-breath during our yoga flow sequence. Keep the breath quiet and slow. It’s very simple. All you need to do is count to three (don’t count higher than five) as you exhale in the pose. The next time you exhale in the pose you can count higher (or lower), but remember not to count any higher than five and count only when you exhale.” 


3 – Complete Breath Exercise


Ask your students to practice “one complete breath” during each movement.  

This has the effect of turning the movements into slow motion (almost as if they are performing the movements in water). For example if you were teaching Downward Facing Dog, you can say something like this to your students:

“From All Fours, inhale slowly through nose to a count of 4 into Downward Facing Dog, feel abdomen, mid-body (diaphragm area), and upper chest gently expand until you fill your lungs to capacity. When coming back down to All Fours, exhale  slowly through your nose to a count of 6, gently engage abdomen, feel body and diaphragm coming back to centre as you empty your lungs.”   


And the last one…


4 – Ujjayi Breath Exercise


Ask your students to practice one complete Ujjayi breath during each movement.  

For example if you were teaching Downward Facing Dog, you can say something like this to your students:

“From All Fours, inhale through your nose, and exhale slowly through a wide-open mouth. Direct the out-going breath slowly across the back of your throat with a drawn-out HA sound. When moving into Downward Facing Dog inhale through your nose, and when coming back down to All Fours exhale slowly through a wide-open mouth.”  


If you like the idea of creating yoga sequences quickly and easily, take a peek at our Drag & Drop Yoga Lesson Plan Creator (for yoga teachers).

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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 look at my affordable yoga lesson plan bundles for yoga teachers . And if you'd like to save time creating yoga lesson plans sign up today for a free 7 day trial for my Yoga Lesson Plan Creator.

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