A Peak Pose is often taught as the climax to your class, often taught somewhere in the middle of the class. Some would say it is the most challenging pose of the class or the pose that needs the most preparatory asana in order to come into safely.
As for whether we need to include a peak pose in every class… like with many things Yoga, it depends!
For your 200-hour practicum, you are not being asked to include a peak pose in the criteria, but you may find that there are naturally peak poses in your class, such is the nature of building a sequence with a warm-up, middle part of the class (which usually includes peak poses) and a cool down to Savasana.
Once you venture out into the world of teaching, you might enjoy theming your classes around a specific peak pose and teaching your students how to safely come into the pose and what areas of the body have to be activated and warmed up before reaching the pose, and the same afterwards, what areas of the body need releasing or lengthening, to cool down after the pose. This may be more of a workshop-style class.
Or you might teach a class based on the theme of heart opening for example, where a lot of your poses are backbends, and so you may find in a class like that, that you are teaching a few peak poses in the class, such as Dancer Pose, Wheel Pose or Bow Pose.
You may not choose to teach your yoga classes with the intention of reaching a peak pose in every class. Perhaps your intention is to thread a theme throughout the class through journaling prompts or to invite pranayama or meditation to be the focus of the class.
You have perhaps been to classes that have used a peak pose as the intention for the class and you may have been in classes when a peak pose has not been obvious or where asana has not been the main focus of the class. Which type of class and way of teaching are you drawn to as a practitioner? This may help you to determine how you might choose to theme and sequence the classes you teach.
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