As yoga teachers, we have to look at how to schedule our classes. At some point, of course, you’ll have enough experience to wing it. But as a beginning yoga teacher, I wouldn’t recommend doing this. I’ve done it a couple of times in the beginning because I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare my classes at some point. You know, combining a full-time job with 5 freelance classes a week.
Luckily at some point, there were a couple of entrepreneurs who found a way to make our lives easier! We wouldn’t have to make notes anymore on our notebooks, nor drawing the sticky figures which didn’t make sense at all anymore after a couple of hours as you couldn’t remember what you drew. The two players in the field at the moment are Tummee and YogaClassPlan.
Why A Yoga Sequence Planner?
But first of all, why do you need a yoga sequence planner as a yoga teacher? Well that answer is fairly simple: to make your life as a teacher easier. Here are a couple of tips I’d like to give to aspiring yoga teachers to make their entrance into the world of yoga teachers easier:
#1 Never Come Unprepared
As a beginning yoga teacher this is my first advice to you, Never go unprepared into a yoga class. Especially in the beginning when you are still finding your way to teach. Winging it in your first classes can be tricky as you’ve still got so much to think about.
You’ve got to think about which movements form a good sequence, which alignments you can give, options for particular poses to make it more challenging for more advanced students. And many more things. So, in the beginning, it might be a good idea to plan your classes and make some additional notes for it. You don’t have to study hard on it, but there is nothing worse than freezing while you are teaching a paying class.
#2 Don’t Plan Too Much In Advance
This is something that I had to discover the hard way. At the beginning of my teaching career, I didn’t have so many classes, so I tried to have a plan for a whole week of three classes as I was teaching vinyasa yoga anyway in different studios. Then, I discovered something about group energy…
Not one group is the same and one class plan won’t be suitable for another yoga class you’ll be teaching. You’ll be having different people joining your class with different moods, and those need to be taken care of differently with a different class for any group.
I’ve discovered this the hard way during a very busy week where I was trying to make one class for three different yoga sessions. Right before my class started I wanted to try it out to make sure to remember all the poses I’ve written down. And I felt that it wasn’t right anymore. The energy completely shifted. Which resulted in creating a different yoga class right before I had to teach. Not fun!
So as a true yogi, tap into your yogic powers a little bit before your yoga class and make sure that you create a yoga class that will suit the group energy.
#3 Test Your Lesson Plans
Not only is testing your yoga classes great to see if they are fitting with the group energy of your yoga class, but it’s also a great way to determine if there’s a good flow.
And above that, you’ll also see what’s missing and what’s right. In these test runs, you’ll be able to see where you can make adjustments that will benefit your students and where you need to put a counterpose. So be sure you do these tests before beginning your class!
But now, there’s a couple of tools to help you with your lesson planning. I’ve been testing them for you to make sure that you won’t lose too much time and have more space to test your class and do your practice.
Review Yoga Sequence Planners
For this article, I’ve got two online planners for you that will help you with your planning. One of them is Tummee and I’ve been using it since I’ve passed my yoga teacher training in India. The other one I’ve discovered a couple of months ago and although it’s quite similar, there are some differences that you need to know about.
For this review, I’ve prepared my IBS yoga sequence with both of the tools two show you the difference between the two of them. This gives you an idea about what might be suitable for you.
I’ve been using Tummee the longest now so I’ve got quite some experience with this tool already. It was the first yoga class planner out there and that makes it the leader out there at the moment with the most extended yoga poses library available. Whatever pose you are looking for, they’ll probably have it!
Not only that, but it’s also nice to see that they have a couple of small sequences available for you to use. Like the wind release pose flow (see picture). It will save you a lot more time as you won’t have to think about how to create a flow like this in your yoga plan.
The tool itself is easy to use, however, I have to say that even after all these years that I’m using the tool, the interface hasn’t changed a lot, and it might be a good idea to get a couple of updates on their website to improve the visuals of the tool and the website itself. At the moment it does serve for what it needs to do, but with all the amazing websites out there, they might want to add something to make themself stand out of the crowd.
Oh, hold on, that’s not everything just yet! There’s still more to do and see at Tummee! They are still adding more poses to the tool every single week and they are also having classes to teach you how to pronounce the Sanskrit name of the poses you are adding to your class.
The latter might be great as Ghomukasana sounds a lot better than cow-face pose. Not only that but having the Sanskrit names incorporated into your yoga class gives your classes a more authentic ring to it.
Another great part of Tummee is that you can use their statistic page with your yoga sequence to have a look at where to focus on your class lies. You can’t call your yoga class a full-body stretch if you are missing out on a couple of muscle groups. This is why this page comes in handy, to remind you of the areas you’ll need to include in your yoga class.
And for the last part, we are going to talk about pricing! And I do have to say that they have some great offers for what’s included in their package:
- Free Access For Life after 16 months
- No worries about monthly payments
*Somehow the option for a lifetime membership is only available after registering to the website. When you finish your free trial and you decide to pay for your membership, this option will show up as well.
the next tool that has been around for a couple of years already as well is YogaClassPlan. The website and tool look absolutely stunning and quite professional.
When I started using this tool I found it a bit harder to create my yoga classes as I was so used to Tummee. However, I feel that YogaClassPlan, in the end, was quite easy to use and because of its more sophisticated tool, it was easier to add cues and options for my yoga classes.
The tool itself is very straight-forward. You look for a pose and you drag it into your plan. Quite easy, isn’t it? If you’d like to add some more information, you just hit the right-mouse on the pose where you’d like to add something to and type it in after clicking the right option.
When you’re done creating your amazing yoga class, you can tap the print button and you’ll get a pdf form of your yoga sequence. What I liked about this is that the yoga class that I’ve built would be the same is wrote down my yoga classes in my notebook.
You first have the image of the yoga pose, after that, you’ll see the name. Followed by the additional text that you’ve added. This makes it a great overview of your yoga cheat-sheets. You can even decide on which kind of format you’d like to have it printed. Which makes it ideal to take with you as well.
And now, prices!
Comparing Tummee Vs. YogaClassPlan
And now, to finalize this article, a quick review of how they are comparing towards each other. As you’ll be looking for a great tool, this is a comparison of the two tools.
To begin the comparison, we’ll start with the price. As you’ll see Tummee has quite an amazing price that is even affordable for yoga teachers who are just starting. But then again, YogaClassPlan also has quite a competitive price. They are both affordable, although that Tummee has a price you can’t say no to.
Besides that, they both have a 15-day trial, so you can try them both out and see whatever fits you best.
A fair warning though, with YogaClassPlan you have to fill in your bank details already and the monthly subscription starts right after your trial. So if you aren’t going for this plan, make sure that you cancel it in time if you don’t want to continue! However, they have a 60-day money-back guarantee. Even if you forget to cancel the plan, you can always ask your money back anyway.
Regarding the interface of both of the tools, they have both their pros and cons.
Tummee for example still doesn’t look that sophisticated after all those years that it has been around already. They have done some great improvements, but they could make their website a bit more appealing in the future.
This while YogaClassPlan already has a greater look and they sure do look very professional.
When it comes down to the planning, I like the figures that Tummee is providing more though, they have more depth to them which makes it easier to see how the pose is looking. This isn’t offered by YogaClassPlan and even though their figures are looking a bit more detailed, they have lost a bit the depth of the movement into their lesson plan creator.
Tummee offers a very wide offer of functions for creating your classes, which makes it great to see what else is needed within your classes. You can even create your classes into the small details like how long to be in a pose, which type of breathing, add cues, etc.
This might make Tummee a very complete tool to create your yoga classes, but it can also mean that you might lose a lot of time again while perfecting your plans. And we were looking for a tool that takes a lot of time out of our hands so we can focus more on our practice.
YogaClassPlan is more simple and doesn’t offer all of these functions, which makes it easier not to get lost into creating your lesson plan.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 2020
In the beginning of this year I actually received an e-mail from both companies telling me about a couple of features that they are going to implement soon, or already have implemented.
Tummee for example is working on updating their interface. As I’ve mentioned in my article, the website hasn’t been looking that streamlined and they could do with making it a bit more appealing. I’m gonna keep a close eye on it just to make sure that they really did something about it and that they didn’t just mention it to write something about it.
YogaClassPlan reached out to me to let me know that they’ve actually released an app in January. This was amazing news to hear as in this changing world where people are traveling all the time, this feature might be useful. Not just for yogi’s who are always traveling between classes, but now you can also leave your computer at home when you are going on your travels.
It depends on you of course on what your needs are when you are creating a lesson plan for your yoga classes. My ultimate favorite is Tumme though as they have a complete tool to use. That said, YogaClassPlan also has its perks and I like the layout better of their hand-outs. Sadly the two of them aren’t combinable, otherwise, I’d use that tool for the future.
Have you tried one of these tools already, and if so, which one has your preference? Let me know in the comment section down below!