How To Theme a Yoga Class

How To Theme a Yoga Class

How To Theme a Yoga Class

Having a theme in your yoga class can really make a huge difference. Of course, creating safety physically is the first priority- through a strong, sensible sequence. And maintaining the integrity of that safety through intelligent cueing is also a must. If you’re still stuck on these two areas, check out my online 100 hour YTT to deep dive into both topics, and come out a stronger teacher. 

On the other hand, if you’re already feeling pretty strong with your sequencing and cueing, and you’re ready to spice it up with a little more– this tells me you’re ready to start adding themes to your classes. Remember, your cueing will also come in handy when it comes to themes. So make sure to read my How to Cue Yoga Poses blog to get a good handle on the verbal component of teaching yoga. 

This post will share how to find inspiration in theming your next yoga class, as well as examples of how themes can be expressed through an anatomically focused class. While theming can be dismissed as flowery and unnecessary, a strong theme that is cohesive throughout the yoga practice will inevitably create a moving experience for your students. 

How To Theme a Yoga Class

How To Find Inspiration in Theming a Yoga Class

Here’s the thing about being inspired, it’s available to us at any time. We just have to be open to it. That means that in those moments where you feel a little blocked, or stuck creatively as a teacher (this is normal, it happens to us all btw), then you can take this feeling as a reminder to open up again. 

Try to see your world with fresh eyes, and you’ll be surprised what comes back to you. We can seek inspiration for them in so many ways. But here in this post, I’ll outline 3 areas where you can always look for creativity in finding a theme for your next yoga class. 


The seasons are a powerful place to theme from, as the energy of each season really is incredibly tangible. Even if you live in a more tropical place that only has two seasons (like where we live in Nicaragua), you can still create themes around these topics. 

Try to think about what the season you’re currently in really feels like. Let’s say it’s Spring, how does Spring feel to you? How can you translate this into a yoga class? Maybe you decide to focus on transitions, because Spring is all about transitioning from Winter to Summer. Or perhaps you focus on this idea of birth in Spring, as nature is blooming in every way. How can you capture that idea of blooming in a yoga class? Get creative with it!

The great thing about working with the seasons is that they last for several months. And you can pull many ideas for the same season. Having a theme that extends for a longer period of time can help to create a building sensation to your classes. And can also keep you on track when it comes to class planning. 

Yoga Philosophy

As yoga teachers, we know that yoga is made up of 8 limbs. And that asana is just one of those 8 limbs. While modern yoga heavily focuses on asana for a yoga practice, as teachers we know there’s a whole lot going on that actually creates a more holistic experience. 

Providing yoga philosophy theming is a great way to lightly educate your students of what it means to practice yoga beyond the asana. Remember, in doing this to make sure it’s accessible and relatable. And you’re not shoving a ton of information down their throats in a way that might overwhelm them. You want to take yogic philosophy. And make it understandable from our modern day lens so that it actually resonates with your students. 

Yoga philosophy spans far and wide, which is why it’s a great well to draw from for inspiration in theming your yoga classes. You can theme around the 8 limbs of yoga, the Yamas, the Niyamas, mythology of postures, the 7 chakras, Ayurveda, and so much more. 

Personal Life

I have to start off by saying that even if you create a class that’s inspired by events, emotions, or experiences in your personal life- to make sure that the focus of the class isn’t on you and your healing, but for your students, instead. As a yoga teacher, we want to hold and maintain space for our students, without taking up so much of it that they can’t have their own experiences. So, please make sure you have boundaries around what you decide to share in theming your yoga class off of your personal life. 

If you’re not comfortable sharing with your students anything about your personal life, there’s still a way that you can theme from an inspired place of your own experiences. Let’s say you’ve recently had a bad break up, and you’re feeling the intensity of heartbreak and healing. You can create a sequence that revolves around backbends (heart openers). And talk about the vulnerability of opening your heart without relating it back to you in any way. 

The thing is that when we theme our personal lives, we’ll often find that these are universal problems, experiences, and emotions. Sure, your students might not also be going through heartbreak at that moment. But everyone can relate to the idea of being a little nervous to be vulnerable and open their heart- in whatever capacity that means to them. 

How to Theme for an Anatomically Focused Class

How to Theme for an Anatomically Focused Class

If you’re more of an anatomy buff, and you don’t love speaking to anything other than alignment and anatomy in your yoga classes- that’s okay! You can still maintain your personal style. And sprinkle in a theme to compliment your style, rather than take away from it.

It’s also important to remember that you don’t want to overkill your theme anyways. You don’t need to drill it into every shape in the class. But rather plant the seed at the beginning, and gently water it along the way. Less is more, when it comes to thematic language. Which means you can still go off on your anatomical cueing no problem. 

Embodiment Through Asana

The best way to theme for more anatomically focused classes is to create a sequence that you think embodies your theme. This might be really literal and straightforward, like the backbend example I gave earlier in relation to vulnerability. Or, it might be a little more nuanced and subtle in your own artistic way. 

In modern yoga, we often get requests from students to focus on the body. They want to open their hips, they want to learn how to do Crow pose, so on and so forth. Which means you can still please your students by pulling from their request anatomically. And then looking at that part of the body- or that pose- to draw a parallel with a theme. 

This means, you can either have the theme first, and then choose asanas that embodies this message. Or, you can have the anatomical focus first, and extract a theme from the physicality of the shape. 


Language is everything when it comes to teaching yoga. It honestly doesn’t matter if you have the most creative sequence in the world if you can’t properly explain how to do it in a safe and effective manner. While most of our cueing is about telling people what to do with their bodies, we can also use our yoga cues to connect back to our theme. The real kicker is that you can use thematic language in an anatomical way. 

As an example, let’s say you’re teaching a class that’s all about getting grounded and you’re focusing on the Root Chakra as a theme. Your sequence will likely have a lot to do with low postures, the feet and legs, and balancing shapes. Now, as you describe these yoga poses, you can use verbs like “ground” or “plant,” to create an earthy feel to the class. 

Think of what the earth feels like to you. And notice how and where you can incorporate that language into the description of the shape in a meaningful way. Remember, you’re not speaking in poetry and going so over the top, that you lose them in the ethers of your theme. But rather watering the seed you planted in the beginning moments of the class through adjectives and verbs along the way. 


Perhaps you don’t feel as comfortable speaking to a theme, but you still want to create the feeling of one in your class. Or, maybe you want to enhance your sequence and your words to really make the theme come alive. This is where the environment comes into play. 

When you’re theming through your environment, call on the senses. Is there anything you can do with smell- probably using a diffuser, incense, candles, or burning something like palo santo or sage. What about sight- maybe wearing a certain color, or dimming the lights. Sound is all about music, of course. Touch can be enhanced through yoga props or hands on assists. Taste might mean you offer coconut water after class. 

There are so many ways to play with your environment as a yoga teacher. And we know that the environment really impacts our students’ ability to drop in more completely. Of course, we want the environment to be safe. But if we want to take it a step further, we can create a thematic environment for our students to have an even more holistic experience in their yoga practice. 

What do you think? Are you ready to theme your next class yet? I hope so! 

I can’t wait to see what you come up with. 



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