The Best Gentle Flow Yoga Sequence Ever

This is my all-time favorite BEST gentle flow yoga sequence ever.

I’ve been practicing yoga for almost 25 years. I’ve been to a lot of classes, experienced many of the various yoga types, and tried a whole lot of posture sequences. While I enjoy mixing things up with different styles of yoga from time to time, I long ago settled on vinyasa (flow) yoga as my practice of choice. (I’ll tell you why in a minute.) And over the years, I’ve discovered some key components I need from a yoga session in order for it to feel complete. What I’m sharing with you today is my all-time favorite, absolute BEST gentle flow yoga sequence ever.

That’s a lot of praise, I know. But it’s truly how I feel! For me, a good yoga sequence needs to check several important boxes:

  • Well-balanced between whole body strengthening & whole body stretching
  • Well-balanced between standing, seated & floor postures
  • Elevates my heart rate
  • Includes a balance series
  • Includes inversions
  • Plenty of core-strengthening
  • Hip & heart openers
  • Follows an arc from warming up to more intense strengthening to gentler stretching
  • Postures flow naturally and easily from one to the next
  • Leaves me feeling like every part of my body has received some love, and every cell in my body is more alive & awake.

This gentle flow yoga sequence does all of these things, and that’s why I love it so much. In fact, it’s so ideal, it’s one of two main flows I build my entire practice around. To keep things fresh, I just swap a few postures here and there when it feels right, or when I know certain parts of my body need a little more attention.

Why Vinyasa & Gentle Flow Yoga?

When I started doing yoga, I initially learned the Ashtanga style, specifically the primary series. This is a vinyasa style of yoga, which means the postures transition in a flowing manner that’s synchronized with the breath. Ashtanga teaches several series of posture flows, based on your mastery level, which are the same every time you practice. They include the primary, intermediate, and advanced series.

I love Ashtanga yoga. In fact, my other go-to gentle flow yoga sequence is based on the primary series. It formed the foundation of what I think a good, well-rounded yoga practice should look like. However, as my practice evolved over the years, I felt drawn to branch out and explore other expressions & combinations of postures. I found my way to the more versatile, general vinyasa style.

What I love about vinyasa yoga is its graceful synchronicity. It feels almost like a dance to me. It’s more dynamic than other forms of yoga, which means there’s more movement and a more aerobic aspect to it. As you flow between postures, your heart rate gets pumping. You generate more heat in your body, which stimulates better blood circulation. All of this has an internal purifying and energizing effect. This is in addition to the strengthening and stretching effects, the improvements in balance, posture, and mobility, and the increases in self-awareness and self-acceptance that can also be found in other types of yoga.

Gentle Flow Yoga Sequence to synchronize the energy of your body-mind-spirit system.

Why Gentle Flow Yoga?

I choose to work with a gentle flow yoga sequence because it meets my needs. I get all the benefits I want from my yoga practice with minimal risk of injury. (My husband is a chiropractor. In our chiropractic wellness center, we saw all kinds of injuries related to physical activities, including yoga. So, I take these risks perhaps more seriously than the average person.)

Gentle flow yoga feels lifelong sustainable, and it’s accessible every time I come to the mat. It feels nurturing and loving to my body. In other words, I don’t feel like I’m trying to push myself to accomplish the most advanced poses or to drench myself in sweat. I’m taking care of my body-mind-spirit system in a way that feels balanced to me.

Now, I realize there are many yogis who not only embrace, but thrive on the physical challenge of exploring what their bodies can do when pushed. I’m amazed when I see people practicing in this way. It’s truly remarkable and takes consistent discipline, concentration, and commitment to do so. There are many yogic paths, all of which can take you to the ultimate goals of yoga.

I’m personally more drawn to the meditative aspects of my yoga practice than the physical. A gentle flow yoga sequence suits that intention well, and even though it’s not as rigorous as some other approaches, it has served to maintain my body’s optimal health for many years. That’s what a balanced yoga practice looks like for me.

Regardless of your chosen yogic path, everyone can use a good gentle yoga flow at least every now and then. The sequence I’m sharing below is well-rounded and suitable for most yoga practitioners.

Before Trying This Gentle Flow Yoga Sequence

If you’ve been doing flow yoga for a while and feel comfortable with it as a personal practice, you can skip to the next section to find my gentle flow yoga sequence. For everyone else, there are a few things you’ll want to know before giving it a try.

3 Things To Keep in Mind

First, vinyasa yoga is not exactly a beginner practice. I say exaclty because people who are relatively new to yoga can do flow yoga. However, it’s important to have a good grasp of your form in the different postures before you start trying to connect them together with your breath in a flow. If you’ve never done yoga before, it’s best to take a few beginner classes where there’s a slower pace, and the focus is on understanding how to do each pose safely and effectively.

Second, in vinyasa yoga, there’s a big emphasis on breath. It involves coordinating your inhales and exhales with your movements into and out of postures. In general, you want to inhale when you enter a posture, move upward, or arch your spine (open your chest). You want to exhale when you exit a posture, move downward, or round your spine. If you’ve never done flow yoga, it might be helpful to attend a few classes to get a feel for this rhythm before trying to do this gentle flow yoga sequence on your own.

Lastly, as with all forms of yoga, listen to your body. Don’t push yourself to do something that’s causing pain, that you don’t know how to do, or that you don’t feel comfortable doing just because it’s in the sequence. You can skip or swap any posture that doesn’t feel right for any reason. A healthy yoga practice honors your body at all times, deepening your love and respect for your body as you explore it with self-awareness and self-acceptance.

Note…

As with all physical activities, be sure to seek guidance from your healthcare provider(s) to ensure any physical conditions or limitations you may have are attended to in your practice. That may mean there are certain movements and/or poses you should avoid.

My Gentle Flow Yoga Sequence

I’ve created a PDF with graphics for all the poses in an easy-to-follow format. You can print it out and place it right next to your mat for reference. Over time, as you practice with this gentle flow yoga sequence, you’ll become more familiar with it and be able to do it from memory. You can receive the printable PDF via email by subscribing to my newsletter below. (Bonus: You’ll also receive my Guided Meditation for Intentional Wellness!)


The Sequence

This is a full yoga workout. It usually takes me about 45 minutes to complete, depending on my pace. I’ve indicated postures that should be held with a number in parenthesis. This number denotes how many breaths to complete while holding the pose. Of course, if any posture is feeling especially yummy, you can hold it as long as you like! You may want to start out with a gentle warming-up of your spine, such as seated twists and cat-cow.

Vinyasa

  • 5 Classic Sun Salutations
  • Mountain
  • Upward Salute
  • Forward Bend
  • Half-Forward Bend
  • High Lunge Rt. Leg (5)
  • Low Lunge Rt. Leg (5)
  • Plank
  • Chaturanga
  • Upward Dog
  • Downward Dog (5)
  • 3-Legged Dog Rt. Leg
  • Pigeon Rt. Leg (5)
  • Plank
  • Chaturanga Flow to Downward Dog
  • Downward Dog (5)
  • High Lunge Lt. Leg (5)
  • Low Lunge Lt. Leg (5)
  • Plank
  • Chaturanga Flow to Downward Dog (5)
  • 3-Legged Dog Lt. Leg
  • Pigeon Lt. Leg (5)
  • Plank
  • Chaturanga Flow to Downward Dog
  • Downward Dog (5)
  • Step or hop to front of mat
  • Half-Forward Bend
  • Forward Bend
  • Upward Salute
  • Mountain

Standing Series

  • Warrior 1 Rt. Leg (5)
  • Warrior 3 Rt. Leg (5)
  • Warrior 2 Rt. Leg (5)
  • Reverse Warrior Rt. Leg (5)
  • Triangle Rt. (5)
  • Half Moon Rt. (5)
  • Revolved Triangle Rt. (5)
  • Plank
  • Chaturanga Flow to Downward Dog
  • Downward Dog (5)
  • Step or hop to front of mat
  • Half-Forward Bend
  • Forward Bend
  • Upward Salute
  • Mountain
  • Repeat Standing Series on Left Side

Balance Series

  • Eagle Pose (5) Both Sides
  • Dancer Pose (5) Both Sides
  • Mountain
  • Upward Salute
  • Forward Bend
  • Half-forward Bend
  • Plank (5)
  • Lower to Floor

Floor Series

  • Locust (5)
  • Bow (5)
  • Cobra (5)
  • Child Pose (5)
  • Garland (5)
  • Seated Forward Bend (5)
  • Half Lord of Fishes (5) Both Sides
  • Seated Bound Angle (5)
  • Boat Pose (5) Repeat 3-5 times
  • Bridge (5)
  • Knees to Chest (5)
  • Shoulder Stand (5)
  • Plow (5)
  • Happy Baby (5 Rocks)
  • Savasana (Stay as long as you like!)

Closing Your Gentle Flow Yoga Practice

For the full yoga experience, after completing your gentle flow yoga sequence, come to a seated position for meditation. Yoga poses are intended not only to take care of our bodies, but also to establish the ideal internal environment for accessing a meditative state. Your body and mind are now primed for meditation. So be sure to take this opportunity to bring your yoga practice to its full conclusion with meditation. (In my article on developing a home yoga practice, I go into this meditation portion in more detail. You can read it here.)

Closing Thoughts…

I hope you enjoy this gentle flow yoga sequence as much as I do. Feel free to add more challenging poses, such as King Pigeon after Pigeon or Crow Pose after Garland. And of course, you can modify, skip poses, and add props (like blocks) wherever needed. Make it your own!

I love sharing my passions with people. I haven’t actively taught yoga in a few years, other than for groups of friends, so I want to thank you for this opportunity to share what I love with you. Namaste.

Author: Rose Hahn

Rose Hahn's passion for inspiring intentional wellness has evolved over the past 20 years from a personal practice, to working as a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, to founding the first neuroscience and mindfulness-based addiction treatment center in Texas with her husband. Currently, her energy is focused on her wellness blog, an upcoming book, and her yoga/music/arts event production company.

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