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How to Set Up a 1 Hour Yoga Class

author image Clarissa Adkins
Clarissa Adkins is a freelance writer and registered yoga teacher. With a Bachelor of Arts in English and a creative writing concentration from James Madison University, she has written and continues to write articles about healthy lifestyles and yoga for various online publications.
How to Set Up a 1 Hour Yoga Class
Participants sitting during a yoga class in a fitness studio. Photo Credit David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

For the proper set up of a one hour yoga class, you should have prior yoga teacher training and certification. Yoga Alliance sets standards for yoga schools in the United States, and it lists accredited schools on its website. Remember that yoga classes vary greatly in styles and designs. As long as you warm-up and cool-down your students properly, much of your class content is open to creativity in sequencing and form.

Step 1

Choose your music -- music provides a soothing background to a class and a structure that makes it simple to plan poses within the allotted class time. The easiest way to plan an hour class is to have 60 minutes of yoga music prior to figuring out your yoga sequence. Practice teaching your class to your music once you have your class designed.

Step 2

Designate one to three minutes for your introduction. The introduction should always include your name, class name and length. You can also include general tips on how to enjoy the class, yogic principles to keep in mind or a simple, inspirational passage or quote. Design your introduction according to the level and style you will teach. For example, it would be more vital to tell a beginner class that you breathe in and out through the nose during class, than it would be to tell experienced yogis in an advanced class.

Step 3

Use five to 10 minutes for yogic breathing time. You can teach a particular Pranayama exercise or stick with basic complete breath techniques. Depending on your style, you might add a chant or mantra to the beginning of this segment, as practiced in Sivananda yoga, for example.

Step 4

Teach a Sun Salutation A and B sequence for five to 10 minutes or longer, depending on the intensity of the class you want to present. For more gentle formats, spend five of your warm-up minutes breaking down the pieces of the Sun Salutations, having students hold a Kneeling Plank and Cobra for more than one breath, for example, so they learn the mechanics of each pose before flowing through them. Sun Salutations vary from style to style, but most of them include eight poses, according to "Yoga Journal." You can also warm-up with a Cat and Cow pose combination or a supine Spinal Twist flow.

Step 5

Use 20 to 25 minutes of your hour for standing and balance poses. If you use a vinyasa style, then you can move quickly through yoga sequences by switching between poses on an inhale or exhale. For example, a simple sequence is to move students through Warrior I, II, Reverse, Warrior III and Side Angle, switching to the next pose after a complete breath. Leave time to repeat your sequence on each side of the body. Your class can also include holding poses for five to ten breaths during this segment.

Step 6

Use 10 to 15 minutes for deeper stretches and floor poses. Teach poses such as Seated Forward Bend, King Pigeon, Boat, Side Plank and inversions. You can hold poses for seven breaths or longer during this segment. Make sure you use counter poses, if applicable.

Step 7

Restore your students with a remaining five to 15 minute segment of relaxation. You can teach guided meditation or visualizations for part of the time. End with complete release in Savasana, or Corpse pose. Leave a few minutes for silence.

Step 8

Take one or two minutes to talk your students out of relaxation and bring them into an easy seated position. Thank them for practicing yoga and encourage them to ask questions after class.

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