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Iyengar Yoga videos: Miscellaneous Asanas

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What is a miscellaneous sequence?

A miscellaneous sequence in yoga includes many different pose types. For example, instead of focusing on standing poses only, you will probably also include some seated twists, inversions, and balancing asanas.

Miscellaneous sequences are usually more dynamic and flowing. The aim is to make smooth transitions. One pose naturally follows another.

How to build a miscellaneous sequence

First of all, determine your focus area. You need to have good knowledge and understanding of each asana and its benefits. It is important to be familiar with different asanas and how they make you feel. If you have a stiff neck and shoulders, modify your regular sequence to include shoulder-opening exercises. If you have back pain, add props to suit your needs, add twisting poses, and choose asanas that help release the back and mildly elongate the spine. If your mood is flat and energy levels are low, choose uplifting yoga poses such as heating inversions and standing balances.

Different pose types can be combined according to your needs. Listen to your body. Follow your intuition.

For example, Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) is a heating inversion and is very energising. Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose) is an uplifting standing pose. If you are low on energy, try incorporating such poses into your routine.

On the other hand, Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) is a soothing and cooling posture, just like most forward bend asanas. If you are feeling stressed or edgy, combine yoga poses with calming effects.

What are the benefits of combining different asana types?

Many asanas in yoga have similar properties, even if they target different areas in the body. Miscellaneous sequences allow you to reap the benefits that you are most in need of. They teach you to look differently at your practice.

Instead of focussing on one pose type (e.g., standing asanas) and working only on building physical strength, you can focus on catering to your specific needs. For example, dealing with back pain, relieving fatigue, reducing stress levels, easing an anxious mind, or reducing tension in the neck and shoulders.

Consult a certified yoga instructor or read up on pose descriptions to help you understand how to build your miscellaneous sequence.