Yoga Sequencing Deck Review

Can Cards Help You Plan Your Yoga Practice at Home?

Laura Williams

Yoga is supposed to be all about finding your center and taking a break from the day-to-day. But I'll be honest, sometimes I just want to do yoga because it makes me feel good... and it makes me feel even better if I can follow my own flow while watching the latest Big Bang Theory. (I know, I know, I'm sure there are yoga gurus out there spinning in their graves.)

Not to toot my own horn, but I'm a pretty legitimate fitness expert.

What I'm not is a yoga expert.

I've been to enough yoga classes to know the difference between a downward dog and a warrior II, and most classes seem to start with some variation of a sun salutation, but I really need the knowledge of an instructor to lead me through a well-sequenced class that effectively warms up the body and increases intensity while preventing injury.

When I was told about the new Yoga Sequencing Deck ($14) - a deck of 100 double-sided cards with short vinyasa transitions and a wide variety of poses - I was hoping I'd be able to use the deck to start crafting my own home practices. And while I can and do use it for this purpose, I didn't find it as user-friendly as I'd hoped.

Yoga Sequencing Deck Overview

The Yoga Sequencing Deck is exactly what it says it is - a deck of cards with yoga poses on them. These cards include poses appropriate for every level, from the very basic to the very advanced.

Each pose is clear and easy to mimic, particularly if you're already familiar with the basics. Each card also lists the Indian and English names for the pose so you can start learning the different vernacular (this is one of the features I like best).

Reading the Fine Print

After opening the deck the first time, I painstakingly read the very fine print on the instruction cards.

This offered my first surprise. On the publisher's website and sales pages, the following statement is made: "With the Yoga Sequencing Deck, practitioners of all levels can craft original yoga classes and practices right at home." However, the fine print indicated that the deck was geared toward yoga instructors or the more intermediate or advanced practitioners. Since I consider myself somewhere between beginner and intermediate, it left me feeling a little wary.

Using the Deck

I use the deck and I continue to use the deck, but there are good and bad things about the it. First, the bad:

  • The sheer number of poses you can choose from is somewhat overwhelming. If you're not a more advanced practitioner, just going through all the cards and trying to pick out the ones you want to use can end up taking awhile.
  • The double-side printing can be tricky. The fact that there are poses on the front and back of each card can throw you off if you want to use both poses - as you flip through the deck during your practice, you have to double check both sides of each card between poses, which interrupts the flow.
  • There were no suggested sequences or series, aside from the vinyasa transition cards. I kept finding myself wanting a "start here" card to help me plan my first practice.
  • There was no organizational system to quickly identify certain types of cards. I kept finding myself wanting some sort of color coding or number system to quickly identify poses focused on certain areas, like hip-openers or heart-openers. This would have made the sheer number of cards less overwhelming.

But despite my complaints, I do find the deck useful. Here's why:

  • It reminds me of transitions I probably wouldn't try on my own. I'm pretty used to the standard sun salutation, but the deck offers a few other transitions that are helpful.
  • It reminds me of poses I definitely wouldn't remember on my own. As a relative newbie, there are a lot of yoga poses that I've tried, but can never remember on my own. The deck makes it easy to identify some of these poses.
  • It sets me up for a longer practice. When left to my own devices, my yoga sequences are probably only about 15 minutes long. With the Yoga Sequencing Deck, my yoga sessions easily last 35 to 55 minutes. This is because the deck reminds me of so many poses I wouldn't otherwise remember that I end up incorporating them into a practice.

While I wouldn't suggest the deck for someone who's never done yoga before, it's not a bad tool to add to a home practice. Just don't assume it's a perfect system right for everyone.

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