Saucha – Purity – Day 9 – 2020

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Congrats on completing our November Challenge! Please stay with us.. we will check in with our monthly daily commitment on Tapas Day and have another Svadhyaya Journal Day this week.

Happy Monday Yogis! We completed our round of practices of the Yamas and now we are moving on to the Niyamas! Last time we practiced the first of the Niyamas, Saucha / purity with our bodies, with a deep clean or pampering self-care practice.

sun and bubbles in water tide gentle wave on beach - saucha purity cleanliness clean house Quote: The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment. - Marie Kondo
The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment. – Marie Kondo

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Saucha / Purity with our surroundings. I personally do not do well when my home is cluttered or disorganized. I need everything to have its own place to go back to, or else I cannot find anything! Pick an area of your home or office to declutter and clean. Get storage bins, drawer organizers, or whatever you need to help yourself keep this area clean and organized going forward. Whether it is your closet, garage, junk drawer, basement, car, or your e-mail inbox, work on bringing Saucha to one of your spaces that you feel needs some TLC.

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Saucha today. I always feel my mind is less cluttered when my space is less cluttered. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 9 – 2020

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PS technically this is Day 30 of your Challenge if you started on 10/31 – congratulations! We have Day 31 planned for tomorrow to complete November. Please stay with us.. we will check in with our monthly daily commitment on Tapas Day and have another Svadhyaya Journal Day this week.

Happy Sunday Yogis! We are staying sync-ed up with our 30 Day Challenge group, and today is Aparigraha or Non-Attachment Day. Last time we practiced the positive of the last of the YamasAparigraha / non-attachment by practicing gratitude (or with a special non-attachment technique), but today we will take it a step further.

blue and orange cloudy alpine sunset in mountains with pine trees - aparigraha non-attachment attachment meaning Quote: Overcoming attachment does not mean becoming cold and indifferent. On the contrary, it means learning to have relaxed control over our mind through understanding the real causes of happiness and fulfillment, and this enables us to enjoy life more and suffer less. - Kathleen McDonald
Overcoming attachment does not mean becoming cold and indifferent. On the contrary, it means learning to have relaxed control over our mind through understanding the real causes of happiness and fulfillment, and this enables us to enjoy life more and suffer less. – Kathleen McDonald

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Aparigraha / non-grasping with our actions. Today we will take action without making expectations of a particular outcome. Need some ideas? Sometimes we do nice things for others, hoping for a particular result and we then end up disappointed if the other person does not react how we planned. Try today to not hold expectations for another person’s behavior. Or perhaps set aside a few hours to relax, or enjoy time with loved ones, or just go for a drive without a pre-set agenda, and see where life takes you!

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Aparigraha today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

Brahmacharya – Moderation – Day 9 – 2020

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Happy Saturday Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the fourth of the Yamas – Brahmacharya / Moderation with choosing the middle path in any area of our lives. Today we will be more specific with our moderation .. this is one of my favorite Brahmacharya practices, and I am super thrilled this one lands on a weekend for our intro challenges ๐Ÿ™‚

close up snowy boulder granite rock with shadowy snowmelt - brahmacharya moderation disconnect unplug Quote: Work is important, but you also need to disconnect, to unplug at times, in order to be even more concentrated when you do work. - Massimiliano Allegri
Work is important, but you also need to disconnect, to unplug at times, in order to be even more concentrated when you do work. – Massimiliano Allegri

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Brahmacharya / Moderation with our electronics and social media. Perhaps try an Unplugged Weekend with no electronics! Social media may be a useful tool to keep in touch with friends and family, especially in this isolating time. However, social media does not make us happy, and it can also distance us from the people we are spending time with. Many of us spend WAY too much time on our phones. It is the weekend, so many of us are off of work today. If you can, practice Brahmacharya with your phone and especially with social media, and enjoy your time with your loved ones this weekend. Perhaps encourage the entire household to spend a few hours “off the grid.” Or, go all out today with a full digital detox!

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Please comment if you decided to practice Brahmacharya / Moderation today with your phones and social media, how did it go? How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 9 – 2020

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Happy Friday Yogis! We are staying sync-ed up with our 30 Day Challenge group, and today is Asteya or Non-Stealing Day. Last time we practiced the positive version of the third of the YamasAsteya / non-stealing with an act of generosity, but today we will take it a step further and examine non-stealing.

close up pink and purple tropical flower on dark purple green leaves - asteya non-stealing generosity giving Quote: I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. - Maya Angelou
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. – Maya Angelou

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively practice Asteya / non-stealing. Or, with our Yamas / Interpersonal Ethics focused December coming up, you may want to focus on practicing generosity for today’s Asteya practice and take advantage of Black Friday Deals to prep for holiday charitable causes like Angel Tree and Toys for Toys drives.

Need ideas for how to practice non-stealing?

This is going to be similar to our Satya practice from yesterday, and we should reflect on areas of our life where we may be acting a bit selfishly or taking advantage of a situation. If you are taking a lot of assistance or time from a particular person but not giving much in return, reflect on that and consider how you can make the situation more fair. Or, examine a situation where you have been taking more than giving, express gratitude, and see how you can make things more balanced and take better care of those who take care of you. Examine areas where you can focus a bit more Asteya, and express that however it feels right to you.

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Asteya today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

Satya – Truthfulness – Day 9 – 2020

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Happy Thursday Yogis! Also, Happy Thanksgiving to my US Yogis!

Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day! We are staying synced up with our 30 Day Challenge group. We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the second of the Yamas with a kind truth, but today we will examine and practice from a different angle.

close up purple fireweed flowers with green leaves and pine trees cool alpine flower perspective - satya truthfulness true self Quote: The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are. - Carl Jung
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are. – Carl Jung

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Satya / truthfulness with ourselves. Need ideas? It can be big or small.

This usually means examining mindsets, practices, or people in our life that may not be serving us. For example, maybe you are like me and should really examine eating less candy and more veggies. Or maybe you have other unhealthy practices like smoking, or a medical issue you have been putting off getting examined. Perhaps you have โ€œfriendsโ€ who cut you down to bring themselves up or consistently take but never offer support.

We usually know deep down what truths we need to acceptโ€ฆ perhaps meditate to allow these thoughts to come up. Accepting difficult truths is a big step, and do not push yourself to do anything until you are ready. But, if you decide you are up for it, plan a course of action to resolve what you had been avoiding.

If you are visiting or zooming family for Thanksgiving today, arguments are common around the holiday table. Rather than thinking you are projecting Satya on others (remember Satya is KIND truth), reflect on something shared with me by a wise friend – “we can either be right, or be happy” and reflect on whether engaging in conflict will make you happy.

Please remember this can be a difficult practice, so be gentle with yourself!

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Satya with yourself today. This can be difficult, but honestly is always the best policy. Always remember, be kind!

Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 9 – 2020

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Happy Wednesday Yogis! We are restarting the Limbs of Yoga for our daily positive practices with the first of the YamasAhimsa or non-harming. We also have a 30 Day Challenge continuing, so we will stay linked up with the challenge group. Our last Ahimsa Day we practiced with a random act of kindness, but today we will focus on practicing non-harming.

PS I want to announce for December we are going to have a special Yamas / Interpersonal Ethics focused month. December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my nerdy research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

orange and purple epic alpine sunset in mountains with shadowy pine trees - ahimsa nonviolence love Quote: Thatโ€™s all nonviolence is โ€“ organized love. - Joan Baez
Thatโ€™s all nonviolence is โ€“ organized love. – Joan Baez

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Ahimsa / non-harming today. Or, for US Yogis with the holiday tomorrow, you may want to practice Ahimsa with a random act of kindness and make a cash donation to a food bank or Meals on Wheels to help support families and individuals struggling during the holidays in these difficult times.

Need ideas for non-harming practice today? It can be big or small. We should strive to exercise non-harming with our thoughts, words and/or actions.

For actions, you can avoid killing a bug you find in the house, and instead use a cup and paper or cardboard to carry outside. Perhaps drive compassionately if you have to drive today. Maybe refrain from letting your temper get the best of you and stay kind throughout a difficult interaction.. this will probably be non-harming in both words and actions. Keep in your mind and try to follow โ€œif you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.โ€ Or, to practice Ahimsa with our thoughts, try to stay positive today with yourself, and notice and stop yourself from any negative self-talk.

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Ahimsa today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

Hydration and Ayurveda – Day 2 – 2020

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Happy Tuesday Yogis! National Hydration Day was in the middle of my first month of entries, which is now my 30 Day Intro Challenge. I am glad to revisit this during the year, because I always forget to prioritize this! I have mentioned that I love resolutions, and โ€œdrink more waterโ€ has been at the top of my New Yearsโ€™ Resolutions list every year for at least 20 years. I also love holidays and any reason to celebrate, so I hope you all enjoy recognizing some of these random national and international holidays.

close-up indigo dark blue water alpine lake dillon summit county colorado
Lake Dillon, Colorado

Today we will focus on hydration again before restarting our 8 Limbed Yoga practices, since I personally DO need to revisit my resolution to drink more water and many of you may also struggle with this. So, maybe this is the key to my finally keeping my resolution to drink more water.. roundabout method, but yay! I also completed my Ayurveda Continuing Education, so I am covering both since they do have some correlations.

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to track, evaluate, and possibly increase your hydration levels. If you are like me and need help with this, maybe get a new water bottle to keep water with you and help track oz you drink during the day. If you have a favorite bottle already, perhaps try the Ulla clip which will blink to remind you if you have not drunk for a while (thanks to SEB for this tip!). Try adding fruit, mint, tea, cucumber, etc to your water if that encourages you to drink more during the day. Or perhaps try an app like Drink Water – Daily Reminder (free version is fine) to help with tracking and pop-up reminders, and a tool for personalized recommended oz of water per day.

Ayurveda – Water with Meals

This week is Thanksgiving in the US. This is basically an eating holiday, so I want to revisit Ayurvedic wisdom that resulted in a huge improvement in my digestion. Although drinking a large glass of water before a meal is often recommended for weight loss, this weakens (by dilution) your stomach acid and therefore digestion. I try to time my water intake 30 min before or 60 min after a large meal. This seemingly simple and small adjustment allowed me to reduce and then completely stop extremely strong stomach medications (Dexilant), and improved my gastro paresis.

Please keep this logical recommendation from Ayurveda in mind during your holiday meals, and see if your digestion improves by increasing time between hydration and meals!


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Please comment and share your thoughts on today’s hydration discussion. I hope you are doing better than I am keeping up with your hydration goals than I am ๐Ÿ™‚ Always remember, be kind!

Asanas – Poses – Adho Mukha Svanasana & Shisulasana

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Happy Monday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series. Today is the last day of this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaAdho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog
Twisted/Sister AsanaShisulasana / Dolphin Pose

Ajaneyasana - low lunge pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose
Parivrrta Ashta Chandrasana - high lunge with twist pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
Shisulasana – Dolphin Pose

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog or Shisulasana / Dolphin Pose. If you want to begin to work on inversions, Shisulasana / Dolphin Pose toe-taps is a great beginner exercise to build arm and core strength!

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Sagittarius Season – Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

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Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

Happy Sunday Yogis! Our Challengers are taking a break from the Sun Salutations pose breakdown for Sitali Pranayama, a cooling breath we covered on the Summer Solstice! If it is as cold as it is in Colorado today, you may want to try a warming Pranayama such as Bellows Breath again today!

Today is the start of Sagittarius Season – Happy Birthday Sagittarius Yogis! We will cover an Asana today inspired by Sagittarius– Dhanurasana (DAWN-new-RA-sa-nuh) or Bow Pose.

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Bow Pose Asanas inspired by the start of Sagittarius Season!

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red and white sagittarius zodiac astrology symbol

Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

This Asana is a great full body stretch, and is especially great for the chest and shoulders. This is a deep stretch that requires you to be fairly open already, so I try to work this pose in near the end of my Asana practice.

You will enter this pose by laying on your stomach on the mat, in reverse corpse. Bend your knees and bring your feet towards your booty, and reach back to grab your feet with your hands.

Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

Feet and Legs โ€“ Your legs should be pointing straight – make sure your knees do not turn out to the sides. Grab your feet near your ankles, with thumbs pointing down. As you become more flexible, your legs will come up to bring you further into a backbend, but you will always keep your knees straight back/

Torso and Head  โ€“ Lift your head and chest off the mat and look straight ahead.

Arms โ€“ Keep your shoulders down and back. Your thumbs should point down, grabbing the outside of your feet near your ankles. As you become more flexible and comfortable with this pose, you may flip your grip as you move

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You may want to try a strap in each hand wrapped around the feet to work your way into this pose!

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Please comment and let us know how Bow pose was for you! Do you want to share an Asana inspiration for your sign’s pose? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Bhujangasana & Salamba Bhujangasana

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Happy Wednesday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaBhujangasana / Cobra Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaSalamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx Pose

Bhujangasana - cobra pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
Salamba Bhujangasana - sphinx pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx Pose

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Bhujangasana / Cobra Pose or Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx Pose. If you are a new Yogi, I recommend sticking with Bhujangasana / Cobra Pose rather than the full Urdhva Mukha Svanasana / Upward Facing Dog expression of the pose. Be careful working into backbends if these are new to you!

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Asanas – Poses – Chaturanga Dandasana & Dandasana

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Happy Friday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaChaturanga Dandasana / Four-Limbed Staff Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaDandasana – Staff Pose

Chaturanga Dandasana - four-limbed staff pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff Pose
Dandasana - staff pose with strap - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Dandasana – Staff Pose

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Chaturanga Dandasana / Four-Limbed Staff Pose or Dandasana – Staff Pose. Either of these Asanas are great foundations for Yoga Workouts – see Chaturanga Dandasana / Four-Limbed Staff Pose for arm workout and Dandasana – Staff Pose for glute workout!

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You may want to try a strap, couch pillow, blanket, or bolster to help yourself ease into Dandasana of you have tight hamstrings.

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Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This page contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which Asana and yoga workout did you choose to practice today? Always remember, be kind!

Asanas – Poses – Phalakasana & Purvottanasana

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Happy Thursday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaPhalakasana / Plank Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaPurvottanasana / Reverse Plank

Phalakasana - plank pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Phalakasana – Plank Pose
Purvottanasana - reverse plank pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Purvottanasana – Reverse Plank Pose

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Phalakasana / Plank Pose or Phalakasana / Plank Pose. Either of these Asanas are great foundations for Yoga Workouts – see Phalakasana / Plank Pose for arm workout and Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank for glute workout!

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which Asana and yoga workout did you choose to practice today? Always remember, be kind!

Asanas – Poses – Anjaneyasana & Parivrtta Anjaneyasana

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Happy Wednesday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaAnjaneyasana / Low Lunge
Twisted/Sister AsanaParivrtta Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge Twist

Ajaneyasana - low lunge pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge
Parivrrta Ashta Chandrasana - high lunge with twist pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
Parivrtta Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge Twist

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge or Parivrtta Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge Twist. Please note that I usually choose to practice my Sun Salutations Series in the morning currently with High Lunge as this Asana is easier on my knees, and I can perform without even a mat quickly in the morning, and even outside! I also have incorporated the suggestion from one of our Yogis, and I cactus my arms on an exhale through the lunge into Phalakasana / Plank Pose.

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Asanas – Poses – Uttanasana & Parivrtta Uttanasana

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Happy Tuesday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaUttanasana / Standing Forward Bend
Twisted/Sister AsanaParivrtta Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend Twist

Uttanasana - standing forward bend pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend
Parivrrta Uttanasana - standing forward bend with twist pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend or Parivrtta Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend Twist. Both of these are great hip openers, and Uttanasana will always be special to me since this Asana helped me finally touch my toes!

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You may want to try a block or bending your knees slightly if you cannot reach the floor – focus on keeping a straight back more than straight legs!

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which Asana did you choose to practice today? Always remember, be kind!

Asanas – Poses – Talasana & Vrksasana

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Happy Monday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaTalasana / Palm Tree Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaVrksasana / Tree Pose

Talasana - palm pose variation - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black pants and bright hooded yellow sweatshirt, outdoors yoga in the woods
Talasana – Palm Tree Pose
Vrksasana - tree pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing green dress, outdoors barefoot yoga in the woods
Vrksasana – Tree Pose

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Talasana / Palm Tree Pose or Vrksasana / Tree Pose. Both of these are great balancing poses for new Yogis! I find practicing balancing Asanas brings a calming stillness after focusing on holding the pose.

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these arboreal Asanas? Always remember, be kind!

Asanas – Poses – Day 8 – 2020 – Finding Your Center

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Happy Sunday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaTadasana / Mountain Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaSukhasana, Siddhasana, Padmasana & Virasana

Tadasana - mountain pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Padmasana - full lotus pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Tadasana / Mountain Pose or finding your preferred comfortable seat. I consider finding your preferred grounding pose to be finding your center . Most Yoga classes start and end with these Asanas. Each of these centering Asanas are great poses for meditation.

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You may want to try aย block, couch pillow, blanket, or bolster to help yourself find a comfortable seat.

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these seated poses? Always remember, be kind!

Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 11 – 2020 – Meditation

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bright blue alpine lake in snow-capped mountain valley with bright blue cloudless sky - meditation mindfulness stillness Quote: The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. - James Allen
The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. – James Allen

Happy Saturday Yogis! Today we are having a KISS day – try a Meditation Practice of your choice!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is any Meditation Practice for Upper Limbs Day. You can scan through all of our recent meditations or check our most recent Dharana Day Post for a variety of focused meditative practices.

I want to report back on my new sleep meditation that I have been trying this month! I have NOT been perfect with this habit, and have not kept up with listening to this every night (quite a few nights I fell asleep with the television on) . However, I have found when I used this 8-hour sleep meditation I not only fall asleep faster, but I stay asleep better throughout the night. I wonder if the ambient noise puts me back to sleep if I am waking up? Either way, I am very pleased to have found a natural sleep aid for my tool box!

Diwali

Today is also the peak day of Diwali – India’s Festival of Lights. This is a 5 day Festival which has been going on (in fact my Ekadashi fasting earlier this week is celebrated before Diwali’s Feasting) for two days already. This third day is the peak of this festival of lights – perhaps get some Diwali sprit for your meditation practice today by lighting a candle and doing a flame-gazing meditation or trying this Diwali-themed meditation.

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Please comment and share what meditation you chose for today! If you have another favorite sleep meditation, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

Pranayama – Breathing – Day 9 – 2020 – Diaphragmatic Breath

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snowy alpine valley snow covered dark green pine trees and snow capped mountain with bright blue sky and wispy white clouds - breath breathing pranayama Quote: Breathing well means breathing more slowly and deeply. Relax, feel your breathing, and breathe comfortably. Once aware, it naturally becomes deeper and slower. - Iichii Lee
Breathing well means breathing more slowly and deeply. Relax, feel your breathing, and breathe comfortably. Once aware, it naturally becomes deeper and slower. – Iichii Lee

Happy Friday Yogis! Before we get into our detailed review of the Sun Salutations Asana Series discussed yesterday, we will take two days to cover the remaining 8 Limbs of Yoga. We are going to review Diaphragmatic Breathing today, along with our challengers, with a slightly different approach.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Diaphragmatic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Today we are going to try either standing in Tadasana, or laying down, rather than in a comfortable seat as we have done in the past. I love practicing Pranayama laying down in Shavasana, as I feel I can breathe deeper into my belly. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start either standing in Tadasana or laying down in Shavasana. Begin by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Did you try standing in Tadasana or laying down in Shavasana today? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

Asanas – Poses – Day 7 – 2020 – Sun Salutations

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surya namaskar sun salutations series demonstration blue yogi around indigo dark blue sun
Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutations

Happy Thursday Yogis! During our last intro challenge, we covered a twisted/sister version of each Asanas. Since I am still recovering from an injury, we are going to stay with our Challenge Group and have a KISS (keep it super simple) Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series.

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series โ€“ Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Also, focus on incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing or Ocean Breathing, and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose as you are moving through this Asana series.

The next few days as new Yogis doing our 30 Day Challenge are learning this series, we will re-examine variations of each of the poses in the Sun Salutations Series.. stay tuned!

Ajaneyasana - low lunge pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? If this is part of your morning practice, how many repetitions do you do? Always remember, be kind!

Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 8 – 2020 – 11/11 Ekadashi

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Happy Wednesday Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of daily positive practices from the Niyamas, ending with Ishvara Pranidhana. Due to my nerdiness, I enjoy learning about all kinds of ancient and world holidays and traditions. So, I will be pulling interesting traditions from various holidays for inspiration for our Daily Yogi practices, especially when they line up. I am festive and open, but please remember if any practices I am suggesting do not resonate with you, select one of your choice and catch up with us tomorrow! I am getting a bit out there today and trying a pretty intense fast today in honor of the Rama Ekadashi holiday, since I have always wanted to try this and it lines up with today’s Ishvara Pranidhana practice. Feel free to join me if you’d like, but please note today’s Daily Yogi practice is focusing on our standard challenging practice of surrender. I am a first-time faster, so I will report back in the comments.

gold ekadashi mandala lace card gold accents on gold and gray background Quote: happy ekadashi
Happy Ekadashi

Ekadashi 11/11

Today is Rama Ekadashi, one of the most important Ekadashis of the year. Ekadashi is a tradition in India, celebrated every 11th day of the Vedic Lunar Calendar. Ekadashi is a day to fast, cleanse, and rejuvenate. I have a very mixed past experience with fasting – I have old friends who include fasting as part of their religion/culture, and I have heard both praise and warnings for fasting from medical and health professionals. However, due to my past life as an accountant I get very excited about numbers and numerology, and today’s Super 11/11 Ekadashi seems like a good time for me to try! I am NOT making this a Daily Yogi required practice today… intermittent fasting is NOT for everyone, and I have the nagging warnings from health professionals in the back of my mind! There are Health Benefits to Intermittent Fasting, but you should check with your physician before trying intermittent fasting or any drastic diet change. Traditional Ekaadashi fasting practices vary from simply avoiding rice and grains, to consuming only fruits and vegetables, to full fasting throughout the holiday. Traditionally The Bhagavad Gita is also read on Rama Ekadashi.

I was surprised after doing a bit of research how many proverbs relate to fasting!

He who eats until he is sick must fast until he is well. English Proverb
Fasting today makes the food good tomorrow. German Proverb
Abstinence and fasting cure many a complaint. Danish Proverb
A fast is better than a bad meal. Irish Proverb
The best of all medicines are rest and fasting. Benjamin Franklin
I fast for greater physical and mental efficiency. Plato

close up hardwood tree trunk cool perspective - fasting Quote: If thou wouldst preserve a sound body, use fasting and walking; if a healthful soul, fasting and praying; walking exercises the body, praying exercises the soul, fasting cleanses both. - Francis Quarles
If thou wouldst preserve a sound body, use fasting and walking; if a healthful soul, fasting and praying; walking exercises the body, praying exercises the soul, fasting cleanses both. – Francis Quarles

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice acceptance when something bad or less-than-positive happens today for Ishvara Pranidhana Day. I will be certainly using this for my Ekadashi fasting today! Try a deep breathing exercise when you encounter a problem. If you lose your temper, perhaps try to step outside yourself and see yourself reacting to a difficulty, and ask yourself if your reaction was productive. If it is possible, try seeing the silver lining for potential for growth in a bad situation. If you are practiced in religious faith, perhaps try praying for your own peace, calm, and understanding instead of a solution to a problem you are facing. Again, this is a journey and this particular practice today is one of the most difficult, so be gentle with yourself. If at first you do not succeed, evaluate what your reaction contributed, and try again next time. Treat this as an experiment, and see how you feel later after trying different approaches to problems that arise.

Advanced Yogis who incorporate Ishvara Pranidhana into their lives may begin seeing difficulties as challenges to overcome, and opportunities to practice managing our responses. This is one of the keys of long-lasting happiness, since getting upset often does nothing to help a bad situation and only makes things more difficult for ourselves. Instead, try to stay calm, and do not allow a negative encounter to draw you into negativity. Of course, this is easier said than done! Remember, it is a journey.

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Please comment to share how this exercise impacted you. Have you ever tried fasting? Feel free to share your successes or your struggles with either of today’s challenging practices. Always remember, be kind!

Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 8 – 2020 – Journal Day

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blue sky with shadowy pine trees alpine sunset reflecting pink on snow capped mountain -svadhyaya self-study self-reflection Quote: You cannot have a meaningful life without having self-reflection. - Oprah Winfry
You cannot have a meaningful life without having self-reflection. – Oprah Winfry

Happy Tuesday Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Today we will continue our Svadhyaya / self-study with a special Journal Day prompt. I have been doing a lot of journaling lately, more frequently than just Svadhyaya Days, since I have had a lot of interesting life events to document. However, I am more interested in doing a bit more of a self-reflective journal day today! Also, I am still waiting for my guided journal to arrive, so I am following a prompt I found searching through my Journal Prompts Pins!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to make a self-reflective journal entry for Svadhyaya Day. Today, I am doing a few prompts I found that I found interesting. If my picks do not resonate with you, please scroll through our Journal Prompts Pins below!

Journal DaY

  • Describe yourself in 10 words
  • What inspires you?
  • What does your ideal morning look like?

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Please comment and share if you selected another journal prompt. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya Day? Always remember, be kind!

Tapas – Discipline – Day 8 – 2020

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looking up at clear blue sky green leafy tree with branches cool perspective - tapas self-discipline motivation Quote: Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most. - Abraham Lincoln
Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most. – Abraham Lincoln

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. This is our fourth Tapas or discipline Day. Our intro Tapas day, we made a goal that was important to us. Our second day, we checked in on our progress. It has been nearly two months, so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up!! If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the electronic and visual reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success!

Yoga is a practice, and successfully changing our habits is about consistency, so we will keep checking in on our goals on Tapas Days.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to monitor our daily habit goals, and set a new one if needed. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! There are many free Apps for 30 Day Challenge workouts. My favorite is a free app called 30 Day Butt, which allows the pop-up phone notifications I love so much. We are in the middle of an Intro Challenge for November, which we will do again in January. We had a September daily Asana challenge, and a daily meditation challenge for October – these are great Daily Yoga Practices to integrate into your morning routine! If none of these resonate with you, please pick a habit that is meaningful to you to add to your life.

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This page contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

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Please comment and share how you are doing. Have you kept up with your new habit? Are you changing your systems or perhaps setting a new meaningful goal? Always remember, be kind!

Santosha – Contentment – Day 8 – 2020

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aspen forest creek with blue river water gray boulders and brown tree branches - santosha contentment happiness appreciation gratitude Quote: You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled. - Charles Spurgeon
Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most. – Abraham Lincoln

Good Morning Yogis! Our challengers are learning to remember to incorporate Santosha / contentment with Asana practice. We have discussed that Yoga is a practice, and I find nearly all of the limbs to be challenging. I personally have a hard time with Santosha, finding it especially difficult to “turn off” to just relax and enjoy where I am. So, today you have the choice between Santosha in the present moment, or Santosha with your Asana practice today.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice for Santosha Day is either bringing Santosha into our Asana practice, or focusing on the present moment, ideally in nature.

Yogis practicing Santosha with their Asana practice – perhaps try a challenging balance pose! Here is a list of balance-focused Asanas and instructions from Yoga Journal. Personally, I am working through an injury this month while trying to maintain my daily Asana practice, and working on Santosha with my limited hip-focused practices on the days when I cannot use my shoulders for my preferred daily Asana series.

For those Yogis practicing the finding the happiness in the “now” – here are some of our best tips!

  • Go on a walk, and perhaps literally stop and smell the roses.
  • Take a run and feel the wind on your face.
  • Being around water is especially calming, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river.
  • Go for a hike and appreciate the beauty around you rather than focusing on finding a perfect selfie spot.
  • Since we are still in the days of social distancing, maybe pack a picnic and head to the back yard or a nearby park.
  • Read a book on your deck or by the window.
  • Sit quietly, and go through all of your senses one by one to appreciate your surroundings.
  • Any way that feels right for you to get out of your head, and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.

PS calmly notice when your thoughts drift back to the past or forward to the future. Try to bring yourself back to the present moment by focusing on the sight, sounds, smells, taste, or feel of your surroundings.

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

Do not push yourself to pain on your Yoga Journey! Many Yogis of all levels embrace all kinds of blocks and props. Do not hesitate to grab a couch pillow for extra support, a block for extra support or when you cannot reach the floor, or a strap for extra arm-reach and leverage.

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

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Please comment and share how your Santosha Day went focusing on living in the now. Please share any favorite practices or tricks! Always remember, be kind!

Saucha – Purity – Day 8 – 2020

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waves crashing on beach cool perspective sunny day gentle tide - saucha cleanliness purity Quote: Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world. - George Bernard Shaw
Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world. – George Bernard Shaw

Happy Saturday Yogis! We are restarting the Niyamas for our daily practices with Saucha or Purity Day. We are going to keep our practices synchronized with the challenge group!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a deep cleaning or pampering of our bodies for Saucha Day. Need some ideas November is Healthy Skin Month. I recommend focusing on skin today – I am going to do a mask! Also, in honor of Healthy Skin Month and its focus on skin cancer prevention, I am putting a reminder in my phone to schedule a dermatologist check-up.

  • Enjoy a long shower orย bubbleย bath.
  • Maybe give yourself aย pedicure, with aย warm foot soakย andย lotion massageย after, whether youย paint your toesย or not.
  • Perhaps try aย tooth whitening treatment.
  • Relax with aย face maskย and cucumber slices over your eyes.
  • If you want to try a new Ayurvedic practice, maybe tryย oil-pullingย (I recommend 2-15 minutes, not 20-30) with coconut oil.
  • If the days of social distancing are done, maybe book a last-minute facial or salon treatment of your choice.
  • Clean your insides with a clean-eating day – no junk food, or perhaps try another clean eating diet method or cleanse of your choice.
  • Whatever practice feels right for you to integrate Saucha into your day.

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This page contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Saucha today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!