Sequencing By Body Part

This mode of sequencing is the crudest, but no less functional for it. With a goal of either endurance or flexibility the student can select a given body part and focus on that, in much the same way that one might organize a workout at the gym. Arms, legs, hip-openers, core strength, shoulder openers, simply choose your focus and practice poses that mainly work on those areas, bearing in mind these pointers:


Begin with one or two simple warm-ups, perhaps a couple of rounds of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) or a few hip and shoulder openers. Take care not to tire yourself out before you even begin.

If you choose to work on endurance, it is best to limit the number of poses and variations you will practice. For example, if you are building up your time in Shirshasana (Head Stand) or Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand), doing a bunch of variation may make the time seem like it goes by faster, but the shifting from pose to pose can easily throw off your alignment and tire you out more quickly. Once you are firmly established with a particular timing, then you can increase the challenge by adding variations.

An exception to this would be if you are working on your overall endurance, in which case you might think of practicing a larger number of poses, but holding them for shorter periods of time.

In terms of timings, think along these lines for each of the categories:

Standing Poses
Beginner: 20-30 sec
Intermediate: 30-45 sec
Advanced: 60-90 sec or more

Seated Poses
Beginner: 60 sec
Intermediate: 2 min
Advanced: 5 min

Forward Bends
Beginner: 20-30 sec
Intermediate: 30-45 sec
Advanced: 60-90 sec

Reclined Poses
Beginner: 20-30 sec
Intermediate: 30-45 sec
Advanced: 60-90 sec

Core Poses
Beginner: 15 sec
Intermediate: 30 sec
Advanced: 60 sec

Beginner: 20-30 sec
Intermediate: 30-45 sec
Advanced: 60-90 sec

Arm Balances
Beginner: 10 sec
Intermediate: 20 sec
Advanced: 30 sec

Beginner: 1 min
Intermediate: 2-5 min
Advanced: 5-10 min

Back Bends
Beginner: 15 sec
Intermediate: 30 sec
Advanced: 45-60 sec

Restorative Poses
Beginner: 1-3 min
Intermediate: 3-5 min
Advanced: 5-10 min


If you are working towards increasing flexibility in a particular area, then you need not spend quite as much time in each variation. 20 seconds should be your lower limit and 30-40 seconds is a suitable upper limit. Instead of longer holdings, think about doing a number of variations, but in the most supported manner possible. To truly work on balanced, healthy flexibility you have to ensure that the body is properly aligned, lest you merely go into habit and reinforce potentially damaging patterns. Prop yourself up sensibly and do not push yourself. Better to allow the body to open up slowly over a longer period of time. Every time you increase flexibility in one part of the body, the rest of the body has to readjust to accommodate, and that can take time.

Related Posts:
Modes of Sequencing
Sequencing For Balance Within A Practice
Sequencing By Category Of Poses
Sequencing By Progression Deeper Into The Body
Sequencing By Progression According To Pose And Counter-Pose
Sequencing By Energetic Quality
Sequencing By Physiological Quality
Sequencing By Action