Sequencing By Energetic Quality

There are several ways of approaching this mode of sequencing. One would be to ensure a generalized energetic balance to a practice, as we looked at in the previous post: Sequencing For Balance Within A Practice. By allowing for the overall effects of a class of poses it is possible to structure a practice is such a way as to energy or pacify the body and mind, while also achieving a soothing energetic journey.

Asana and Ayurveda

In Mira Mehta's wonderful, and unfortunately out of print, book "How To Use Yoga" she builds practices according to the effect on the doshas, the three Ayurvedic constitutions:

pitta: fiery qualities; sharp mind and cutting wit; extroverted; amenable.
kapha: earthy and watery qualities; cold and clammy; romantic, frugal, kind, loyal.
vata: airy qualities; visual artists and poets; timidity and introversion; easily deranged.

Each category of poses has a very specific effect on the the three qualities:

Standing Poses: raise kapha, raise pitta, balance vata
Seated Poses: raise kapha, raise pitta, balance vata
Forward Bends: raise kapha, raise pitta, settle vata
Reclined Poses: raise kapha, raise pitta, equalize vata
Core Poses: settles kapha, raise pitta, raises vata
Twists: settle kapha, raise pitta, raise vata
Inverted Poses: settle kapha, raise pitta, balance vata
Back Bends: settle kapha, raise pitta, raise vata
Restorative Poses: raise kapha, settle pitta, balance vata

With a little knowledge of the principles of Ayurveda, it then becomes possible to structure a practice to balance out the three doshas.

Moment-By-Moment Practice


A third way of approaching an energetic mode of sequencing is to observe the energetic effects of each pose moment by moment. This requires a certain amount of objectivity and discernment. Without any particular plan other than to change one's energetic state--anxious, melancholic, lethargic, frustrated, grieving, elated--one can improvise a practice based on the perceived effects of a given pose as you practice.

Start with a simple pose, say Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog) or Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) and observe its effect on your mental/emotional/energetic state. If it exacerbates the state, choose a pose from another category. If it balances the state, continue as you were going until you feel the body/mind returning to a state of balance.


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