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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
Drag. Drop. Teach. 

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 Teacher Lesson Plan Kit

 

The largest collection of yoga teacher lesson planning resources on the web. Created by yoga teachers 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 quick peek at Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.
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