Birthday/New Year Resolution

Welcome New Yogis! If you are in a 30 Day Challenge, you may want to check the challenge welcome page and shortcut page, and get Free Printable Challenge Calendar and our First 30 Day Checklist!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE STARTS 11/01/2020

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My first post :D!

Hi everyone, I’m Tarryn Tyler. I finished my Yoga Teacher Training this year. After learning about Yoga philosophy and the Eight Limbs of Yoga, I was looking for ways to help ensure I integrated these teachings and practices from the Yoga Sutras into my life each day. I was unable to find an app, so I tried using my Yoga philosophy flashcards in my day planner to add one each day. Although they helped, unfortunately, my note cards alone did not cut it… I do much better accomplishing my goals with multiple reminders, especially pop-up notifications on my phone! I decided to take what I learned from my varied experiences in the high-pressure corporate world, and created an App to help motivate myself and others to take positive actions to make ourselves and the worlds a little better each day.

I completed my Yoga Teacher Training online due to the recent COVID crisis. We had HUGE discussion groups with a large and diverse group of Yogis on very different journeys. I enjoyed the input from so many people with such different backgrounds, as well as the camaraderie in this isolating time. I also recently joined a 90 Day Yoga Challenge on Facebook with a few of my friends from college, and the daily accountability helped me with physically practicing every day. So, I decided to develop my App to integrate with a full website to form a community from all walks of life to support and encourage each other on our journeys, and keep easy access to favorite past practices.

I love New Years, and I especially love New Years’ Resolutions. I make them not only every New Years, but also on my birthdays and anniversaries. So, today is my Birthday, and my BIG Birthday Resolution is consistently applying one Yoga teaching a day from the Yoga Sutras.

Please note I am FAR from perfect. I made this blog and app because I needed them! I do not really have an “off button” which is perhaps why I was drawn to Yoga. I also do not think I ever learned an inside voice… which is why it is a good thing I have a blog, rather than a podcast! I am just a Yogi and Yoga Teacher, not a master or guru… We are on this journey together 🙂 Also, I am just an Ashtanga Yoga student, not an authorized Ashtanga Teacher yet… which requires a trip to the only approved Ashtanga School in India #goals. As you will learn on this journey with me, I love self-improvement of all kinds, and the main point of my Birthday Resolution is another resolution from New Years.. to try to be a little better all day. That’s the best we can do, right?

So.. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world! I think that line is from maybe both Gandhi and Superman?? You will also quickly learn that I am a huge nerd.. I am an accountant, gamer, former tax CPA, and recovering overachiever who really enjoys learning and deep dark internet research holes. I moved to Colorado and began being outdoorsy and adventurous too. I am sooo excited to share my varied interests that may come up as we integrate different practices into our days. Please feel free to join the community and share your experiences, and/or ignore any suggestions that do not appeal to you.

I have ONE RULE… Please, everyone joining this community and commenting: PLEASE BE KIND. There is enough negativity in the world, and we are in especially stressful quarantine-times right now, so please… only add positivity. We are very protective of the safe space here, and I will be more than happy to stamp out cruelty or negativity here.

So… Welcome Yogis! Feel free to introduce yourself here, or join in along the way. To start, I am going to focus on introducing each of the 8 Limbs of Yoga, and I hope you enjoy learning and incorporating these practices into your day along with me!

Tarryn Tyler Daily Yogi Padmasana Lotus Pose
Padmasana – Lotus Pose
Click for more Seated Asanas

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Ashtanga – The 8 Limbs of Yoga – Intro Yoga Philosophy – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

8 limbs of yoga

Welcome, New Yogis! If you are in a 30 Day Challenge, you may want to check the challenge welcome page and shortcut page, and get free printable calendars and checklists! We will begin with some background info before we get into the Daily Yogi practices for our group. For this intro day, we will introduce Ashtanga or The 8 Limbs of Yoga, from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Daily Yogi’s Daily Positive Practices are inspired by the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Our Daily practices will generally cycle through these 8 Limbs and their branches.


What is Yoga?

We will start at the beginning. So.. what is Yoga? Is it exercise? Is it a philosophy?

Linguistically, Yoga is Sanskrit for “to yoke” or “to join” and is often translated to English as “union”. 

Technically, Yoga is a set of practices, that for many results in a calmer and happier life. Yoga practice involves exercise (Asanas) and much more. Traditional Yogi Texts include the Vedas, The Bhagavad Gita, and the Yoga Sutras. The 8 Limbs of Yoga where Daily Yogi draws inspiration are from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Religion according to Merriam Webster is “the belief in a god or in a group of gods; an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods.” Therefore, by this definition, Yoga is not a religion. Yoga allows for practitioners of any, all, and no religious background. Also, Yoga philosophy parallels the beliefs of at least five distinct Eastern religions. The various Yogic Texts also alludes to main themes (ie the golden rule, charity, etc) in western monotheistic religions. However, some of the practices some individuals incorporate into their Yoga routine, such as chanting, can have a “religious” feel to others. So, if any practices do not appeal to you, remember you are free to take what works and leave what does not.

There are 8 Limbs of Yoga according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Ashtanga (ahsh-TAHN-guh) is a Sanskrit word meaning “eight-limbed.”

The 8 Limbs of Yoga

1 Yamas (YAH-muhs) – Interpersonal Ethics (5: Ahimsa / Non-Harming, Satya / Truthfulness, Asteya / Non-Stealing, Brahmacharya / Moderation, and Aparigraha / Non-Attachment)
2 Niyamas (KNEE-yah-muhs) – Personal Observances (5: Saucha / Purity, Santosha / Contentment, Tapas / Discipline, Svadhyaya / Self-Study, and Ishvara-Pranidhana / Surrender)
3 Asanas (AH-sa-nuhs) – Poses (Hundreds)
4 Pranayama (PRAH-na-YAH-muh) – Breath (Dozens)
5 Pratyahara (PRAHT-yah-HA-ruh) – Withdrawal of the Senses
6 Dharana (dah-RA-nuh) – Intense Focus
7 Dhyana (dee-YAH-nuh) – Full Meditation
8 Samadhi (sah-MA-dee) – Enlightenment

The first four limbs are varied personal practices, exercises, and habits. The last four limbs are mostly meditation-based and build upon each other. So, I created the tree graphic above to share how I envision the Limbs of Yoga. The first four limbs are roots of the tree, that feed and support the sequential growth of the upper four limbs. We will focus primarily on the lower four limbs with our daily practices. However, we will also touch on some meditation techniques of the upper four limbs.

Sanskrit and Linguistics

A quick note about Sanskrit: as I mentioned before, I am a huge nerd, and particularly love languages. In addition to my native English, I have studied Spanish, French, Latin, Classical Greek, and Japanese. Classical Sanskrit is the language of ancient India, the Vedas, and Yoga. It is one of the original/foundational languages. So, I have been fascinated by Sanskrit roots that trickle down into literally all of the languages I have studied. Also, for those of you who are interested, Classical Sanskrit is supposed to be the true name or vibration for each word. So, I will use both English and Sanskrit / Yoga terms. Also I will also do my best to provide simplified (if not 100% accurate) pronunciations for those of you new to Sanskrit/Yoga.

Ashtanga Vinyasa

There is a specific type of Asana that many refer to as “Ashtanga.” I usually call this style of Yoga “Ashtanga Vinyasa.” Ashtanga Vinyasa is a series of specific, challenging, and dynamic sets of Asana sequences and other Yoga practices. We will discuss this more later.

Daily Yogi App

I also created an app as a Tapas tool, with daily gentle reminders and easy access to our daily positive Yogi practices. The Daily Yogi App is AVAILABLE NOW on both Apple and Android devices. Our app enables pop-up notifications and quick access to our daily positive practices. Additionally, the app also allows for easy research on each of the 8 Limbs of Yoga

We are glad to have you here! Please do what is right for you to succeed! Start your journey with a 30 Day Challenge Group. Follow us on Instagram (where we have second daily reminders!) or Facebook, and join our group bringing positivity to our lives and the world each day! Sign up for daily emails for positive practice suggestions in your inbox every day. Download our app for Apple or Android to enable daily push-reminders, and/or join our group discussions to share your journey.

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Yamas #1 – Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Intro

Welcome New Yogis! If you are in a 30 Day Challenge, you may want to check the challenge welcome page and shortcut page, and get free printable calendars and checklists!

Happy June Yogis! I feel it is auspicious to start this Daily Yogi journey on the first of the month!

Many of the translations from Sanskrit to English for the Yamas (YAH-mas), or Interpersonal Ethics, are things you should NOT do. I consider many of the Yamas to be different embodiments of The Golden Rule – “do unto others as you would want done to you.” Of course we aim to not do the negative thing, but on the flip side we also should try to embody the positive opposite.

Ahimsa (Ah-HIM-sa) literally translates to English as “to not harm”, and is often translated as compassion or non-violence. I believe Ahimsa is all about positivity and doing the right thing. To practice Ahimsa, we try to avoid harming others physically or with speech/thoughts, and to practice kindness and compassion. This means nurturing positive actions, words, and thoughts.

Please note that perfect adherence to many yoga principles is not possible for most normal people. Technically, non-harming is impossible for many professions such as farmers harvesting crops or raising livestock, and physicians who may have bad outcomes despite the best training, efforts, and intentions. No one should give up a profession that may result in unintended harm, or fret that an accident or a lifestyle you grew up with (ie a non-vegan diet) will hinder you on your journey. You probably are not a monk, and therefore perfect adherence is not expected of you. That said, you should always do your best within reason to avoid harming others. The main lesson of Ahimsa, in my opinion is to do the right thing, be a good person, and cultivate positive thoughts, words, and actions. What that means to you and your lifestyle is personal, like much of the Yogi’s Journey.

We are in strange times here in 2020. Between COVID’s health, social, and economic impacts, and the mounting injustices that have fueled the BLM protests, I am sure we can all agree the world can use more kindness. So, let’s start easy.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is performing a random act of kindness. Need some ideas? It can be big or small. Bring home a favorite meal or treat for a loved one. Be extra friendly driving in the car, giving someone the right of way. If you can, pay for the order for the person behind you in a drive through. Has that ever happened to you? It happened to my sister, it made her day! If you are reading and we are no longer in the days of social distancing, hold the door open for the person behind you, or help someone who is struggling to reach or carry something. Volunteer. Give to charity. Plant a tree. Whatever feels like the right way for you to actively practice kindness and compassion, or to do your small part to make someone else smile, or make the world better today than it was yesterday.

Please comment to share your experience if you tried one of our suggestions, or one of your own! Always remember, be kind!

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Yamas #2 – Satya – Truthfulness – Intro

As you will notice, much of the Yamas, or Interpersonal Ethics, are based fairly universally agreed upon morals and the Golden Rule. This iteration means being truthful to others and with yourself, in thoughts, words, and actions.

It is important to note that the literal translation of Satya (SAHT-yah) is truth, but it is often translated as Benevolent Truthfulness. This means it is usually better to keep a hurtful truth to oneself. If you determine it is necessary to share a hurtful truth, make sure to do so as gently and compassionately as possible. On a deeper level, Satya is about more than just not telling lies, but about seeing the reality of situations, others, and ourselves.

I think with the current COVID health and economic situations, as well as current events and news recently, we are all suffering with an abundance of hurtful truths (and untruths) in the world. We all can use more benevolent truths.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is sharing a kind truth with someone you care about. Need some ideas? Let’s make it big today… these are hard times and we could all use a big pick me up! Do not compliment someone about something that changes every day, like their hair or outfit. Contact your best friend just to say how much you admire their drive, or loyalty or the ability to always make you laugh. Tell your significant other how much you appreciate the thing you love most about them. Call a friend or family member who had a significant positive impact on your life, and let them know how thankful you are. Message an old colleague or boss who helped you on your path, and thank them for their mentoring. Reach out to someone you love and/or someone you know could use a pick-me-up.

Please share your story if you helped someone you care about have a better day, whether you tried one of our suggestions, or one of your own! Always remember, be kind!

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Yamas #3 – Asteya – Non-Stealing – Intro

Asteya (Ah-STAY-ya) translates to English as Non-Stealing, and is another universal moral and reflection of the golden rule. Asteya of course means literally not stealing possessions, but it also means not stealing or being selfish with the time, energy, and ideas of others. The positive opposite behavior of stealing that we want to encourage is generosity. There is a balance between giving and receiving.. one should not allow oneself to be taken advantage of, along with not taking advantage of others.

Asteya can be a deep philosophical consideration for yourself, examining situations where you may be acting a bit selfishly or taking advantage because you can. However, I hate to keep saying it.. but we are in difficult times and many are struggling right now. So, let’s focus on bringing more positivity to the world.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a random act of generosity. Need some ideas? It can be big or small. If you can, make a donation to a food bank, or charity to help those in need, since many people are out of work and struggling to feed their families. If you are short on cash, ask someone you care about who is having a tough time if you can help with household chores, or yard work, or anything else to make their lives easier and take something off their plate. Go through the pantry, or old clothes, or the garage, and donate to someone you care about or a charitable organization. Whatever feels like the right way for you to practice being generous and sharing with others.

Please comment to share your experience if you tried one of our suggestions, or let us know about one of your own! Always remember, be kind!

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Yamas #4 – Brahmacharya – Moderation – Intro

Brahmacharya (BRA-ma-KA-ree-ya) literally means “on the path of God” in a direct translation from Sanskrit. It is often translated to English as celibacy or continence. I prefer the slightly less literal translation of Godlike, because it reminds me of a song by a German band, but I believe Brahmacharya’s true meaning to be “moderation.” What comes up for you from these various translations?

I took a course on Japanese Religions as part of my incomplete Japanese minor in college, and this particular practice reminds me of the middle path in Buddhism. What does this mean? Without getting too far into Buddhist philosophy (maybe later.. Buddhist and Yoga philosophy are very similar in some areas), the Middle Path of Moderation is a central tenet of Buddhism and major part of the Buddha’s journey to enlightenment. In this part of the story, he examines his experiences with a hedonistic life of luxury as a prince, and a minimalist austere life of a monk with extended fasting. He realizes neither of these lifestyles is healthy or sustainable for a long time, and a Middle Path of eating a healthy and well balanced diet is more ideal than either extreme.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is making a conscious choice of living in moderation or taking the middle path. Need some ideas? It can be big or small. Look for temptations during the day, and neither indulge nor ignore the craving, but instead make a healthy choice. Like maybe a salad instead of fast food, or fruit instead of candy, or yogurt instead of cake or ice cream. Maybe have just a couple pieces of candy instead of NOMMING the whole bag. Can you tell I LOVE candy 🙂 Or maybe make today the first day taking steps to minimize an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Perhaps get a nicotine gum or patch to stop smoking, or plan a reasonable cut-back schedule with small goals you can reach rather than the cold-turkey approach. If you have been super busy with work and family with our current quarantine situation, ask for help and take 15 minutes minimum to spoil yourself with a bath or workout or even a nap, whatever you need! Or, choose your own way to practice a more balanced lifestyle today that feels right to you.

Please comment to share your experience if you tried one of our suggestions, or one of your own! Always remember, be kind!

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Yamas #5 – Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Intro

Aparigraha (ah-PA-ree-GRA-ha) is “non-grasping on all sides” in a direct translation from Sanskrit. It is frequently translated as non-attachment or non-possessiveness.

This is an interesting topic for us in the Western World. We live in a very capitalist society, where most of us are constantly working and pushing for the next cool gadget, promotion, or life milestone. Aparigraha is about both not attaching ourselves to a particular outcome, and also gratitude and enjoying the present moment. If we are focused on the next thing in the future, we often miss out on what is right in front of us. This does not mean we should not put forth our best efforts or pursue things that make us happy, but the key is to focus on the present and actually experience and appreciate each moment.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to make a list of 5 things you are grateful for in your life, right now. Need some ideas? They can be big or small. You may be grateful for physical things like your health or your long hair or your home or your beautiful garden. You may be grateful for your family or friends or pets. You may be proud of something you accomplished or positive personal traits like humor or loyalty. You may be grateful for past learning experiences or positive changes you see in yourself or the world. Or, these are tough times.. if you are proud for getting out of bed or taking a shower, or putting on pants for your zoom meeting, then celebrate small victories! This practice is about finding the joy and blessings in the moment. Focus your attention to positivity and abundance already in your life, rather than putting off your happiness for something in the future.

Please comment to share how this exercise made you feel, or feel free to share your list! Always remember, be kind!

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Niyamas #1 – Saucha – Purity – Intro

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

We have completed introducing and practicing each of the Yamas and hopefully, we have brightened the world we interact with over the last few days. I remember Ni-yamas as IN-Yamas, or our inner ethics. Niyamas (KNEE-ya-mas) are guidelines for our own personal habits or observances.

Saucha (SOW-cha) literally translates as purity or cleanliness from Sanskrit. This is a logical first for Yoga’s personal observances.. many of us start our day with a shower every morning. Saucha is about purity of the body as well as the mind, and reminds us to take a self-inventory of behaviors in our lives that no longer serve us, like unhealthy habits or negative thoughts.

We are still in the days of COVID quarantine. If I examine my own habits, I am sure my past self who lived in muggy Atlanta and showered every morning would cast a side-eye at my new every other day shower habit. Did I become a dirty hippie when I moved from Atlanta to the mountains of Colorado. Perhaps.. it is certainly debatable 🙂 However the main reason is more closely related to the super dry air at 11,000 feet where I live, that was causing excessively dry skin when I was showering more frequently. Daily Saucha practices will vary depending on your own body and your own needs. We will talk about Ayurveda, a sister science to yoga with many cleanliness rituals, during upcoming Saucha days.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to pamper yourself with a deep cleaning or other self-care. Need some ideas? If you have been stuck inside and allowed some areas your personal grooming to slide, maybe try something like a long shower or bubble bath. Maybe give yourself a pedicure, with a warm foot soak and lotion massage after, whether you paint your toes or not. Perhaps try a tooth whitening treatment. Relax with a face mask and cucumber slices over your eyes. If you want to try a new Ayurvedic practice, maybe try oil-pulling (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. Whatever practice feels right for you to integrate Saucha into your day.

Please comment to share your experience if you tried one of our suggestions, or one of your own! Always remember, be kind!

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Niyamas #2 – Santosha – Contentment – Intro

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Santosha (san-TOE-shah) is literally translated as complete contentment. Personally, I find Santosha as similar to practicing the positive of Aparigraha (non-attachment) or gratitude within ourselves, as opposed to with our surroundings. If you are a new Yogi beginning your Yoga journey, it is important to bring this concept of Santosha in your Asana practice.

Many of you will be surprised to hear I could not touch my toes until I was 30 years old! This was not due to lack of effort… I was athletic throughout my youth, and performed various styles of dance throughout my life. However, despite me pushing myself during stretching especially in ballet class, my toes were always *just* beyond my reach. At 24, I sustained a sacral fracture and was basically couch-ridden for over a month. It was a very long and painful healing process, complete with super strong prescription painkillers that did nothing for my pain (ginger problems). After being told I would have pain throughout my life, I finally decided to try Yoga.

I am sure you Yogis either have heard or will hear in the Yoga community “Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is about what you learn on the way down.” I have to admit, when I started getting serious about Yoga, for me it was VERY much about touching my toes. I compared myself to everyone else in the Yoga class who could easily touch their toes or fold into advanced versions of various poses, while I struggled to get half way into the “easy” version. I share this with you, because it is so common for newbies like me!

After continued classes at Yoga studios and home Asana practice, after about three years I could finally touch my toes! I did this not by bouncing or pushing myself in painful deep stretches like I had tried for about a decade in dance, but by gently holding poses while focusing on correct alignment, and breathing myself open. I also learned on the way down that I had been generally holding my breath while pushing myself throughout my dance stretches, completely counter to the way I typically breathed through movement in dance.

I had another lesson in Santosha at a Hot Yoga studio shortly after I began seriously practicing. I started regularly attending beginner classes at a Hot Yoga studio, and heard other students talking about a wonderful hot Vinyasa class held in the evenings. I felt confident after improving in my beginner classes, and decided to check it out. I walked in for the class and saw a few other students MEDITATING IN PERFECT HEAD STANDS in the Hot Yoga room. I was extremely impressed and intimidated. The class started, and it was a super challenging and dynamic Vinyasa class that I could barely keep up with. I ended up spending about half the class in Child’s Pose recovering, and was slightly embarrassed at being the newbie in the room. However, 30 minutes of deep breathing in Child’s Pose in the Hot Yoga room may have been EXACTLY what I needed. This was the day I finally cured the nagging pain in my lower back from my sacral injury, from my story above. Also, at the end of class, one of the shirtless ripped Yogi guys who had been relaxing in an impressive handstand at the start of class told me he did the same thing his first class.

As we progress further into more advanced Asanas / Yoga poses, you will encounter some that you may never do. Some poses, such as Eka Pada Sirsasana / Leg Behind Head Pose or Kurmasana / Turtle Pose, are journeys in themselves. It is essential for Yogis to weave this concept of Santosha / contentment into our physical Asana practice. Do not compare yourself to others in the room, or even yourself from another day of practice. Be compassionate with yourself and your body, and be content with where you are today. Notice and appreciate where you are, and observe yourself rather than judge yourself as you gently move forward on your journey.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to weave Santosha / contentment into your Asana or physical Yoga practice. Notice and appreciate where you are in your practice without judgement. If you are a new Yogi, maybe promise yourself to be gentle with your body, not comparing yourself to more flexible practitioners. More advanced Yogis also should be gentle with their bodies, and perhaps should revisit this concept of contentment with our journeys. Perhaps you have taken time off from practice.. release the guilt, spend a few minutes on your mat, and enjoy the time you make for yourself. Please keep in mind, exercising contentment in your Asana practice is essential to avoid injury!

Please comment to share how you bring contentment and acceptance to your Asana practice, or another aspect of your life today. Always remember, be kind!

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Niyamas #3 – Tapas – Discipline – Intro

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Tapas (TAH-pas) is one of the easiest of the Niyamas to understand. Tapas is derived from a Sanskrit root meaning “to burn”. Tapas is often translated as self-discipline.

Tapas / self-discipline is what helps us build daily rituals and practices. We tap into Tapas when we push ourselves to get on the Yoga mat every day when we do not feel like it, or do necessary homework or work tasks that we find boring, or commit and stick to daily meditation or a healthy diet. I created the Daily Yogi App as a Tapas tool to encourage myself and those who would like to join to be a little better every day.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to select a meaningful positive new habit or practice to do every day, and set yourself up for success. Need suggestions? It can be big or small. Maybe you commit to this Daily Yogi journey of positive practices with our group every day. Maybe you commit to daily Asana / physical Yoga practice. Perhaps you have always wanted to meditate every day… well, today is the day to start! If you always wanted to learn a language, check out the free Duolingo site and app and get started (and feel free to add me, TarrynTyler as your Duolingo friend). If you’re an insatiable consumer of education like me, check out these free EdX online courses from Harvard or look around the EdX site for other free classes from other schools. Maybe you want to eat healthy, or try out a new fad diet, or start taking supplements. Whatever is meaningful for you, make the commitment today!

Now, for the second part.. Set yourself up for success! Tapas is not just about setting a goal, it is about exercising self-discipline and follow through. If you use a calendar or planner, write your goal down every day. Maybe add a daily reminder, alarm, or calendar appointment on your phone. Try getting sticky notes and sticking on your bathroom mirror, just inside the front door, or on your night stand.. maybe all three spots! If you have similar friends or family members, maybe try out an accountability-buddy, a friendly competition, or a group 30 Day Challenge. Perhaps schedule giving yourself a small reward on the weekend for sticking to your new habit for the full week. Also, physically set yourself up for success… buy the right foods and dispose of temptations for diet changes, set out exercise equipment and clothes the night before if you want to wake up and exercise, schedule out your lessons to complete by a meaningful date, etc. Whatever methods work for you, try any and all ways to gently encourage yourself to make positive changes or accomplish your goals.

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Please comment to share your experience if you tried one of our suggestions, or one of your own! Always remember, be kind!

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Niyamas #4 – Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Intro

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Svadhyaya (svad-HYEYE-ya) literally translates from Sanskrit as reading or reciting to oneself, but is typically translated as self-study. Svadhyaya includes not only self-study, but also study of “sacred texts.” This includes the sacred texts of Yoga such as the Yoga Sutras where we take inspiration for Yogi Daily’s positive practices. This also includes reading or studying sacred texts of any and all world religions such as the Bible, Buddhist texts, or whatever religious or philosophical texts resonate with you.

Svadhyaya is all about approaching life with the open mind and heart of a scholar, continuously leaning and growing. It is also about actually practicing learning. This is our first Svadhyaya day, so we will focus on self-study and new beginnings rather than scripture.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to start keeping a journal. I have found a journal to be one of the best ways to study and learn oneself, directly from yourself! Buy a guided or blank paper journal, or make a free online journal (password protect for privacy!) with LiveJournal or WordPress. If you already keep a journal or diary, start adding to your entries about this new journey you are beginning with us. Remember to include notes about both events and your feelings.


Want more Ideas for journal day?
Check our Journal prompts board on Pinterest!

Please comment and let us know if you keep a diary/journal now, or if this is new for you! If this is already part of your life, please share how often you write or your feelings and experience with keeping a journal. If this is new for you, let us know if you went paper or electronic, and how you feel about staring this new practice. Always remember, be kind!

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Niyamas #5 – Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Intro

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Ishvara Pranidhana (Ish-VA-ra PRA-knee-DAH-na) is literally translated to English as surrender to all-pervading consciousness. The more common translations include surrender or devotion, and the essential concept here is faith in a higher power. This surrender is not about giving up hope when you face your problems, but acceptance. Ishvara Pranidhana is typically the most confusing of the Niyamas, especially for new Yogis or those who do not practice outside religions.

Despite the difficulty of both understanding and incorporating this last of the Niyamas into our lives, it is often one of the most rewarding. We all have good days, and we all have bad days. The essence of this is allowing the bad days to pass, trying to believe everything happens for a reason, and keeping moving forward in positive directions despite challenges we may face. I have called my short temper in the past “Ginger Rage”. Tantrum is probably more appropriate… for example very frequently swearing if I get cut off on the highway. But has my little tantrum helped the situation at all?

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.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice acceptance when something bad or less-than-positive happens 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.

Please comment to share how this exercise impacted you. Feel free to share your successes or your struggles with this challenging practice. Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Intro – Sun Salutation Series

Welcome to the Third Limb of Yoga, Asanas. Today we are learning Sun Salutations! Asana (AH-sa-nuh), or “pose” in Sanskrit, is what most new Yogis think of when they hear the word “Yoga” 

Whether Asana and Yoga are truly synonymous is up to interpretation. As we have learned, Asana is just one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Some deeply philosophical Yogis consider Asana practice as only one part of Yoga, and its main purpose is to increase flexibility and stability and minimize pain, in order to prepare the body for meditation and then the Upper Limbs of Yoga. Many other Yogis only enjoy the physical Asana practice, and do not care to pursue learning more about the other practices. Whether Asana is your entire practice or just a part, depends on what works for you and your journey!

Asana/Yoga classes come in many styles. These range from more active styles like Vinyasa which combines breath and movement into a rigorous workout that seems like a dance, to Restorative Yoga where relaxing poses can be held for up to 10 minutes. 

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. We recommend adding to your morning routine as recommended by the traditional Yogic texts – try three on each side. We are covering a modified Sun Salutations C that adds extra chest opening. This Asana sequence is extremely common in most Vinyasa and “flow” classes.

Today I will introduce the full traditional Surya Namaskar sequence, and then over the next few days, we will cover each of these Asanas or poses in detail. Click the photos or links for a detailed breakdown of the pose. Whether you are new to Yoga or an advanced Yogi, please feel free to add your own experience with making these poses more accessible

Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutations

Begin standing with feet grounded, toes together, standing up straight
Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Continue reading “Asanas – Poses – Intro – Sun Salutation Series”
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Pranayama – Breathing – Intro – Diaphragmatic Breathing

Before we get into detailed breakdown of the Asana Series poses from yesterday, we will take two days to cover the remaining 8 Limbs of Yoga – Pranayama or breath, and the Upper Limbs.

Pranayama (PRA-na-YA-muh) literally translates from Sanskrit to English as Energy (Prana) Expansion (Ayam). The most common translations of Pranayama are breath or breathing. The literal translation, along with the fact that breathing is its own Limb of Yoga like Asanas / poses or Yamas / ethics, should indicate how important breath is for Yogis. Most of us who have attended classes at Yoga Studios learn quickly that Yoga is more than exercise, and Breath is both a focus and frequently its own portion of studio Yoga classes. 

I wanted to cover Pranayama and Diaphragmatic Breath before getting to the detail of each Asana, because breathing is as much a part of Sun Salutations as the poses themselves! If you do not typically focus on breathing during your Yoga practice, please consider setting Breath as your intention at the start of your next session.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Diaphragmatic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. We recommend incorporating this Diaphragmatic breath into your Asana practice, and bring it forward into meditation!

Diaphragmatic Breath

When I first started practicing Yoga, I was shocked to learn I was breathing “wrong.” This shallow chest breathing seems to be the American Way – try for yourself! Put 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!  

Put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly, as you did in the breathing test above.

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.

This is the first part of Three-Part or Yogic Breath!

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate diaphragmatic breathing like this, or other Pranayama into your Asana practice? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Intro – Meditation

The last 4 limbs of yoga build upon all 4 of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These are:

5 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the Senses

6 – Dharana – Intense Focus

7 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

8 – Samadhi – Enlightenment

You will notice these practices are all meditation focused. As mentioned, they build upon each other. Unfortunately, these later limbs are individual practice focused, and not all Yogis decide to pursue them on their journeys. Please do share your experiences and tips with the community, but we will let you discover these when you are ready and on your own.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try this Breath-Focused Meditation Practice. Meditation has always been difficult for me personally, with my “monkey mind” but these methods below have worked for me! If you have wanted to begin a Daily Meditation Practice, I recommend starting at 5 minutes, working up to 10 minutes, and consider increasing up to 30 minutes at your own pace. Personally, I meditate for 10-15 minutes at most in the morning to get centered for the day.

Start sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position. Try to find a quiet, comfortable space. Relax and focus on your breath. Allow your belly to expand on each inhale, and contract to empty your lungs fully on each exhale. (Check our Pranayama section for more detail on diaphragmatic breathing).

Notice any outside distractions such as wind or noises from the street, and try to allow them to fade into the background as you calmly turn your focus inwards. Notice any inside distractions coming from your mind, as our inner world/voice is typically used to running wild on auto-pilot. Calmly allow these passing thoughts to fade, and turn your attention back to your breath. 

Start working towards calming your mind. Focus on counting to 10 with your breath. Inhale 1, exhale 2, inhale 3, exhale 4, and continue to 10. If you notice your thoughts wandering, gently let them go, turn your attention back to your breath, and begin again with 1 on your next inhale.

Or, if you prefer more than numbers for your focus, try thinking to yourself “inhale peace and relaxation” each inhale, and “exhale stress and tension” each exhale. Many Yogis enjoy guided meditations to help focus.

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this meditation exercise! If you meditate, how long do you typically meditate for and how frequently? Do you have another meditation technique or guided meditation you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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Tadasana – Mountain Pose – Sun Salutations Poses – Surya Namaskar Asanas

Good morning Yogis! Welcome to our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series from a couple of days ago. We will begin at the beginning Asana of this Sun Salutations series Tadasana (ta-DA-sa-nuh), which literally translates from Sanskrit as Mountain Pose, and is often first pose in many Yoga classes. You will be surprised how much there is to take into account for your posture in this seemingly basic standing pose!

I know many of you who have practiced Yoga in the past, especially those who have attended classes at Yoga Studios, are very familiar with this series and the poses in them. However, what really got me interested in Yoga, and start focusing on Yoga rather than Pilates, was ONE class I did not want to take, after sporadically practicing Yoga for over 3 years. This transformation class was an alignment focused mandatory new student class at a Hot Yoga studio I wanted to join shortly after moving to Atlanta in 2013. We went into deep detail on each of the poses in the Sun Salutations series in this class, and I learned I had alignment issues in nearly all of these “easy” poses. I completely changed my practice and focus after only one class.

Also, I expect quite a few Yogi newbies will be joining us on this journey. I was SO nervous to attend my first Yoga class in a studio rather than following a DVD, and being comfortable with these basic poses is often the key to feeling comfortable in a studio practicing with others.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. This time, do the full series twice on each side rather than just once. Stop and take a couple breaths in each Tadasana / Mountain pose, and see if you came back into “proper” alignment. Check where you placed your feet, hips, and shoulder/ears. and gently adjust if necessary before you start again. Also, we will focus on incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing, and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose.

Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Feet – Think of your feet as three primary contact points with the ground. These are the heels, pinky toes, and big toes. Make sure your big toes are touching. If possible, make sure the back of your heels are touching. If you have a lower back injury like I do, you may find it easier to keep the heels slightly apart. Claw your toes into the mat slightly to keep your arches from falling into the mat.

Legs – Make sure your legs are comfortably straight. Perhaps keep a slight bend in the knee. Always make sure you avoid hyper-extending or locking your knees.

Hips – Make sure your hips are neutral. Try to tilt your hips forward and back a bit to get a feel for your natural posture. Err on the side of tucking your tailbone under, rather than sticking your booty out.

Torso – Notice your rib cage. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. Allow your arms to rest by your sides a couple inches away from your body, with your palms facing forward or slightly to the outside.

Head and Neck – Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. Either close your eyes, or gaze softly ahead.

If you are a new Yogi, please be gentle with yourself! Please remember this is a journey, and be compassionate and accept where you are today. I have been practicing over 10 years and am still constantly working to improve my ear/shoulder alignment.

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Did you have any surprises going through your alignment from the ground up? Did you notice yourself improving as you repeated this series? Were you able to get the “flow” with your breath? More experienced Yogis.. have you taken a class or otherwise done a “back to the basics”? Always remember, be kind!

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Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today we are covering Talasana or Palm Tree Pose.

Talasana (ta-LA-sa-na) or Palm Tree Pose is a slightly change to the pure traditional Sun Salutations series. Typically, the second Asana or pose is Tadasana / Mountain Pose with arms raised above your head, or a slight backbend. I prefer modifying the series here to get a bit more of a stretch in my arms, since I still have a lot of tightness in my upper body from spending so much time at a desk.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. This time, we will do the full series three times on each side rather than just once. Jump to today’s variations!

Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

Feet – Your feet can stay grounded in the same spot as they were in Tadasana / Mountain Pose. Make sure your big toes are touching. If possible, make sure the back of your heels are touching. If you have a lower back injury like I do, you may find it easier to keep the heels slightly apart. Claw your toes into the mat slightly to keep your arches from falling into the mat.

Legs – Make sure your legs are comfortably straight. Perhaps keep a slight bend in the knee, Always make sure you avoid hyper-extending or locking your knees

Hips – Make sure your hips are neutral. Try to tilt your hips forward and back a bit to get a feel for your natural posture. Err on the side of tucking your tailbone under, rather than sticking your booty out.

Torso – Notice your rib cage. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open.

Arms – Bring your arms above your head, keeping your shoulders pressed down and back. Bring you palms to face each other, and interlock your fingers. If comfortable, flip your hands forward and up, keeping your fingers interlocked, so your palms now face up to the ceiling or sky.

Head and Neck – Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. Either close your eyes, or gaze softly ahead.

Talasana Variations

Stop and take a couple breaths in each Talasana / Palm Tree pose, and feel the stretch in your arms. Perhaps do one round of Sun Salutations with arms just above your head, not locked in the Palm hands, and see which you prefer. Or, perhaps try the traditional version with a gentle Standing Backbend. Also, focus on incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose as you are moving through this Asana series.

If you feel comfortable with this pose series and want to work on balance and increase the stretch, come into the full expression of Talasana for a breath or two. Raise your heels off the mat and balance on the balls of your feet. Then press down through your heels while still keeping them raised slightly off the ground, to get a stretch along your whole body. Focus on pressing down through your heels while being lifted slightly off the floor, rather than getting all the way up onto your toes.

Raise and then press down through heels

Please comment to share your experience or if you have any questions! What did you think? Do you prefer this series with the palm hands, or traditional arms above your head? Did you try the full expression of the pose with your heels raised? Always remember, be kind!

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Mats and Equipment for Newbies!

You may want to try with a strap between your hands if your shoulders are tight, or for a different stretch in the arms.

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today we are covering Uttanasana.

Uttanasana (OO-ta-NA-sa-na) or Standing Forward Bend is the Asana / Pose that will always be special to me, since it helped me to finally touch my toes! Today we will break down the traditional expression of this pose, and perform a couple of different ways during our continued Sun Salutations practice.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side. We will try three different variations of Uttanasana with our three repetitions. We had been focusing on breathing the last couple days. Today, since we are working on a challenging Asana, we will focus on bringing Santosha / Contentment to our Asana practice and accept where we are today without judgement. Jump to today’s variations!

Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Feet – Your feet will stay grounded in the same spot as they were in Tadasana / Mountain Pose. Make sure your big toes are touching. If possible, make sure the back of your heels are touching. If you have a lower back injury like I do, you may find it easier to keep the heels slightly apart. Claw your toes into the mat slightly to keep your arches from falling into the mat.

Legs – Make sure your legs are comfortably straight. Perhaps keep a slight bend in the knee, or a deeper bend if you have very tight hamstrings. Always make sure you avoid hyper-extending or locking your knees in this pose!

Hips – On the EXHALE, you bend from your hips, not from your waist. Try to lift your hips/seat towards the ceiling.

Torso – Notice your bending is from the hips, not the waist. Try to focus on working your chest towards your thighs, rather than focusing on getting nose to knees.

Arms – Evaluate where you are in this pose, and arms will be placed accordingly. If you have space in this pose, you can place your palms on the ground, and press down into the ground slightly. If you have tight hamstrings and are working into the full expression of this pose, wrap your hands behind knees or shins, wherever is comfortable, and help yourself lightly pull your chest towards your legs.

Head and Neck – Keep your neck neutral, and allow your head to hang gently.

Uttanasana Variations

The first round, come into your standard Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend. On the next inhale, straighten your knees, press your hands into your legs/shins/ankles or perhaps a block, and straighten your back into Ardha (ARD-ha) Uttanasana / Standing Half Forward Bend. Exhale and fold back into Uttanasana. Inhale and continue into your lunge, perhaps pausing in runners lunge, and complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

Ardha Uttanasana – Half Standing Forward Bend

The second round, come into Uttanasana with your knees bent as much as necessary to completely rest your chest on your thighs. Tuck your chin, grab your ankles with your middle fingers pointing down to your heels, and wrap your forearms so they are as close to parallel behind your calves as possible. Now inhale, and slightly lift your hips. Take another inhale and exhale here, before moving on to lunge and complete the Sun Salutation series. OMG right?? This is a VERY deep hamstring stretch I learned in Hot Yoga, that will help you progress deeper into the traditional version of this Asana.

The last round, come into a comfortable Uttanasana for you, either traditional or with your chest resting on your thighs. This time, cross your forearms and grab each elbow/arm with the opposite hand to come into Rag Doll Pose. Hang for a couple breaths here, and breathe try to breathe into any tight spots in your hips.

Uttanasana Variation – Rag Doll

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Mats and Equipment for Newbies!

This is a great pose to try with a block or two, especially if you cannot reach the ground! Flip the blocks to the proper height to adjust for a parallel back in Half Standing Forward Bend, and a folded fully into Uttanasana!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


Please comment to share your experience or if you have any questions! What did you think of this exercise? Which version of Uttanasana did you prefer? Always remember, be kind!

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Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today we are covering both Anjaneyasana and Ashta Chandrasana.

Anjaneyasana (AHN-jaw-nay-YA-sa-nuh) or Low Lunge is part of the traditional Sun Salutations. Warning – DO NOT perform Lunge with your back knee resting if you have an injury, or perhaps try a blanket or pillow for extra support under your knee, or get an extra cushioned mat. Today we will first break down High Lunge or Ashta Chandrasana (AHSH-ta chan-DRAH-sa-nuh), cover how to come into Low Lunge, and perform these lunges a couple of different ways during our continued Sun Salutations practice. Ashta Chandrasana literally translates as 8 Point Moon or Crescent Moon Pose, and Anjaneyasana translates to English as Son of Anjani Pose, and has a very cool mythology.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side. We will try three different variations of lunges with our three repetitions. We will go back to working to incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose. Jump to today’s variations!

Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge & Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

Ashta Chandrasana- High Lunge Variation

Feet – We will start with RIGHT foot facing forward. Keep your right foot grounded and pointing straight ahead. Step your left foot straight back 3-4 feet, and ground the ball of your foot into the ground and make sure heel/foot is pointing straight back to come into HIGH LUNGE.

Legs – Make sure your front/right foot is directly above your ankle, and front/right knee is bent at about 90 degrees. If you are staying in High Lunge, your back/left leg should be completely straight, pressing back through your heel. If you are coming into Low Lunge, you can slowly rest your back knee and shin on the mat.

Hips – Make sure the points of your hips are both facing straight forward, and you are not twisting to one side or the other. Try to make sure you are tucking your hips/tailbone under, not sticking your booty out.

Torso – Take note of your rib cage. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open.

Arms – Evaluate where you are in this pose, and arms will be placed accordingly. If you do not feel stable or this pose is new for you, keep your hands on your hips. There are many possible arm variations for this pose. If you feel stable, raise your hands above your head on the inhale, making sure to keep your shoulders down away from your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. Either gaze straight ahead, or look up between your hands if you feel comfortable.

Variations

The first round, come into Ashta Chandrasana / High Lunge with your hands on your hips. Inhale your arms up above your head with palms facing each other if you feel comfortable, and notice this challenging balance rising into High Lunge after Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend. Perhaps take a full inhale and exhale here to work your balance. Exhale your arms down to each side of your feet, and perhaps pause in Runner’s Lunge before continuing on to Phalakasana / Plank, and complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

The second round, step left foot back and slowly rest knee and shin into Anjaneyasana/Low Lunge if you feel comfortable with the pressure on your knee. If this is not comfortable on your knees, please try a blanket or pillow for extra support under your knee, or stay in High Lunge again this round and perhaps try a twisted variation. Make sure your front knee is above your ankle, and either keep your back foot supported on the ball of your foot or lay the top of your foot flat against the mat if you are in a Low Lunge. Inhale your arms up and take a full inhale and exhale here. Notice how your body feels in High Lunge vs Low Lunge, and the deeper stretch along your back thigh before continuing and completing the Sun Salutation series on each side.

Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

The last round, we will try an advanced Low Lunge for those up for a challenge. Come into a deep Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge if you feel comfortable with the pressure on your knee. This time, raise your hands above your head put your palms together on the inhale, and if it feels right, allow yourself to come into a gentle backbend and gaze up at your hands. PS perhaps try to cactus out your arms as suggested by one of our commenters – I have added this to my morning Sun Salutations Routine! Enjoy this deep stretch in your chest and thighs, and breathe try to breathe into any tight spots in your hips.

Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge with gentle back bend

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Mats and Equipment for Newbies!

Consider a blanket or pillow for extra support under your knee, or get an extra cushioned mat!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


Please comment to share your experience or if you have any questions! What did you think of this exercise? Which version of Lunge did you prefer with your Sun Salutations? Always remember, be kind!

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Phalakasana – Plank

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today we are finally to one of the most popular Yoga Asanas – Phalakasana

Phalakasana (PA-la-KA-sa-na) or Plank is familiar from the viral social media craze a few years ago. This Asana / pose is important to perform correctly and frequently to help develop arm strength. Today we will be performing our Sun Salutations with challenging Phalakasana / Plank modifications that I use myself, so that I will hopefully look like Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow one day (#goals).

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side. We will try three different challenging variations of Plank with our three full repetitions. Since this pose is a challenge for me as well as other new Yogis who are working on building up arm strength, our focus will be back on Santosha / Contentment, and honoring and accepting where we are on our Asana journey. Jump to today’s variations!

Phalakasana – Plank Pose

Phalakasana – Plank Pose

Feet – You will be balancing with a majority of weight on hands, but make sure to put a decent amount of weight in the balls of your feet for stability. I try to keep my feet about hip distance apart for more stability.

Legs – It is more important to keep your body in a straight line from the top of your head to your knees, than to have straight legs. If possible, keep your entire body straight. If not possible or if you feel unstable, bend your knees to the mat and reduce the body weight you are holding up.

Hips – Your hips are the key to keeping your body straight from head to feet or knees. Perhaps lightly tighten your abdominal muscles to help keep your pelvis from drooping.

Arms – This pose is great for building arm strength. Make sure your hands/wrists are directly below your shoulders, and arms are straight. Spread your fingers wide to help support your weight, keeping middle fingers pointing face forward. Make sure you are keeping shoulders down and back, away from your ears.

Head and Neck – Look straight down or perhaps a bit ahead of you on your mat. Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders.

Phalakasana Variaions

The first round, come into Phalakasana / Plank with knees bent and resting on the mat, in the modified version. Now the hard part – hold your Phalakasana / Plank for 10 SECONDS. I know, this is a challenge! You may want to activate your abs to help support your weight. Lower yourself to the mat SLOWLY with, control keeping your elbows close to your torso, to continue on to Chaturanga Dandasana / 4 Limbed Staff or Ashtanga Namaskara / knees-chest-chin, and complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

Phalakasana – Modified Plank

The second round, either do another modified plank or if you are feeling strong, come into a full Plank for your 10 second holds. Make sure you keep your body in a straight line, and do not allow your hips to droop or raise up and break your straight line. If this is too challenging, allow your knees to drop to the mat and perform your 10 second holds in the modified Plank, and complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

The last round, we will try a side Plank on each side, rather than a 10 second hold. Come into Plank with your hands a bit in front of rather than directly under your shoulders. We will open to the right first. Drop your left knee to the ground, and INHALE and open your body towards the right while raising your right arm to the sky/ceiling. You should be facing to the right side, supported on your left knee, left hand/arm, and right foot. If you are comfortable here and want a challenge, straighten your left leg so you are supported on just the outside of your foot and left hand/arm. I typically hold my side plank for a breath or two, not a full 10 seconds. EXHALE down and back to plank or table top, and do another side plank opening to your left. Come back to your standard Plank, inhale, and then exhale down with control to Chaturanga Dandasana or knees-chest-chin, and complete the Sun Salutation series with side planks on each side.

Please comment to share your experience or ask any questions! What did you think of this exercise? Which versions of Plank hold and Side Plank did you perform? Do you think you will add these arm strength exercises to your routine? Always remember, be kind!

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Chaturanga Dandasana – 4 Limbed Staff or Yoga Push-Up

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series.

Chaturanga Dandasana (CHA-too-RAHN-guh Dan-DAH-sa-na) or 4 Limbed Staff is the most difficult pose for those with weak arms in this series. I have also heard this sometimes called “Yoga Push-Up” a fitting name and good way to think about this Asana. It took me almost 5 years to be able to slowly lower and hold into the Chaturanga Dandasana from Plank! And I am still working on pushing back up into an Urdhva Mukha Svanasana / Upward Facing Dog (like Emily Blunt ideally). Today we will be performing our Sun Salutations series first with Ashtanga Namaskara (ahsh-TAHN-guh NA-mahs-CAR-uh) or knees-chest-chin, and work into the full expression of the traditional Asana in the series.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side. We will progress from Ashtanga Namaskara to Chaturanga Dandasana with our three repetitions. Since this pose is a challenge for me as well as other new Yogis who are working on building up arm strength, our focus will be Santosha / Contentment again, and honoring and accepting where we are on our Asana journey. Jump to today’s variations!

Chaturanga Dandasana – 4 Limbed Staff

Chaturanga Dandasana – 4 Limbed Staff Pose

Feet – You should keep feet in place after lowering from Phalakasana / Plank, about hip distance apart and supported on toes and top of balls of feet.

Legs – Try to keep your body in a straight line as you lower down from Phalakasana / Plank. However, it is more important to keep your body in a straight line from head to knees than to have your legs straight, so feel free to drop knees to the mat to enable you to lower your chest to the mat slowly with control.

Hips – Keep your hips in line with the rest of your body when lowering from Phalakasana/Plank. After lowering to the ground, if coming into Ashtanga Namaskara / knees-chest-chin, you will raise your hips to come into the pose.

Arms – This pose is great for building arm strength, but requires a lot of strength for the traditional pose. As you lower from plank, bend your elbows to slowly lower yourself, keeping your elbow tucked tight next to your ribs. As you are working into the pose, your hands will likely be directly below your shoulders. As you build strength, you should try to work your hands down, closer to your ribs than shoulders.

Head and Neck – Keep your head in line with the rest of your body, looking down. Note where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. Gaze straight down at your mat.

Variations

Ashtanga Namaskara – Knees-Chest-Chin

The first round, from Phalakasana / Plank we will lower down to the mat gradually. Many new Yogis basically drop the entire way to the mat in this series, which does not help build the arm strength needed to lower with more control or work into Chaturanga Dandasana. First drop the knees to the mat, keeping your arms straight, maintaining the straight line in your body straight from head to knees. Keep your feet supported by your toes and the tops of your balls of your feet as they were in Phalakasana / Plank. Then slowly bend your elbows, keeping your hands under your shoulders, arms close to your ribs, and elbows pointing straight back/up while keeping your hips lifted. Lower your chest slowly until it meets the mat, and look ahead and rest your chin on the mat. Ashtanga Namaskara is a pose of its own and literally translates to 8 Limbed Salute, and this Asana / pose has eight points of contact with the mat at chin, chest, hands, knees, and feet. Take a full inhale and exhale here before pressing into your hands into the mat on an exhale and moving on to complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

The second round, from Phalakasana / Plank we will lower down slowly, with control, keeping our bodies straight all the way to the floor. Keep your arms tucked close to your ribs and elbows pointing straight up/back, all the way down flat to the mat. Make sure your hands stay just below your shoulders, and Keep your feet supported by your toes and the tops of your balls of your feet as they were in Phalakasana / Plank. As your body hits the mat, look ahead and place your chin on the mat. Now lightly press your hands and toes into the mat as you raise your hips to come into the full expression of the pose again. Take a full inhale and exhale here before moving on an exhale to complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

The last round, we will try a full expression of Chaturanga Dandasana. Come into Phalakasana / Plank and exhale and lower down slowly, with control, keeping arms close to the body again. However, this time we will stop just above the floor, maintaining the straight line from head to heels and active core we held lowering from Phalakasana / Plank. It is easiest to keep hands under shoulders, but work towards having your hands a bit lower than your shoulders as you gain arm strength. Hold here in Chaturanga Dandasana, pressing hands and feet into the mat and keeping a straight line, for as long as you can! Count how many breaths you are able to take in this challenging pose and share with the group! I can personally only hold for about 2-3 breaths at this point.. arm strength is one area Asana/Yoga has helped me improve, but I am still working on it.

For your own practice, I would recommend evaluating where you are with both honesty and compassion. If you are falling to the ground quickly, I would recommend dropping to your knees and coming into Ashtanga Namaskara as in our first exercise. Chaturanga Dandasana helps build arm strength for more challenging arm balances, so I recommend working on the progression to Chaturanga Dandasana if you want to further your Asana practice.

Please comment to share your experience with this exercise! Were you able to come into Chaturanga Dandasana? How long were you able to hold this Asana? Did you prefer Chaturanga Dandasana or Ashtanga Namaskara? Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama – Sitali – Cooling Breath

Good morning Yogis! We are taking a short break from our regularly scheduled breakdown of the poses in our Sun Salutations Asana Series, to celebrate the Summer Solstice! Since it is likely very warm today and will stay warm for the next few months, we will kick off the first day of summer with Sitali (Sih-TA-lee) which literally translates from Sanskrit as cooling or soothing, a cooling Pranayama / Breath exercise.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying out a cooling breath Pranayama Practice. We recommend trying this after drinking water so your mouth is moist, and as a stand-alone technique when you need to cool down!

Sitali Pranayama – Cooling Breath

Start with Diaphragmatic Breathing for 10 full inhales and exhales.

Next, open your mouth into a small o. Stick out your tongue a bit more than half way, and roll your tongue. Picture either an unfurling leaf, which helped inspire sages to develop this breathing technique, or a hard taco shell, which is probably a more familiar and descriptive image.

Breathe in deeply through your MOUTH, drawing the air over your tongue almost like you were using a straw.

Close your mouth and put your tongue flat on the roof of your mouth, and breathe OUT through your NOSE keeping your mouth closed.

Form an o with your mouth at the end of your exhale, and curl your tongue outside your mouth again for your next INHALE. Continue this for 10-20 full breaths.

If you want to continue, keep your mouth closed to return to diaphragmatic breathing for 10 full breaths before repeating. You may continue this cooling breath exercise for 10-15 minutes. I recommend doing Pranayama on its own whenever you need to cool down, or after a vigorous Asana practice. I would not recommend practicing this particular breathing technique during or before Asanas or other exercise.

Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after this cooling breath. Cooling breath can leave you with an especially dry mouth if you are not hydrated.

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Sitali Pranayama exercise! Have you ever tried this or another cooling breath? Always remember, be kind!

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Bhujangasana – Cobra

Good morning Yogis! Did you know today is International Yoga Day?? Let’s all make sure we get on our mats and practice today! That is my plan, as we continue our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today we are covering Bhujangasana, Sarpasana, and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side. We will progress from the Phalakasana / Plank portion of the series down to the mat, and breath back up again. Since back bends can cause injury, our focus will be Santosha/Contentment again, and honoring and being gentle with our bodies.

The traditional Asana in this series is Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (ORD-hvah MOOK-ha sva-NA-sa-NA) / Upward Facing Dog Pose, but I typically prefer practicing with Bhujangasana (BOO-jawng-GA-sa-na) / Cobra. Today we will be performing our Sun Salutations series first with two versions of Bhujangasana, and then try with the full expression of the traditional Asana in the series. Jump to today’s variations!

Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose

Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose

Feet – Your feet should still be about hip distance apart. However, if your toes are still tucked, you should release and lay the tops of your feet down on the mat.

Legs – Keep your legs straight and laying flat on the mat if coming into Bhujangasana/Cobra. We will talk about legs for Urdhva Mukha Svanasana/Upward Facing Dog a bit later.

Hips – Keep your hips grounded and even on the mat to come into Bhujangasana/Cobra. That is the main difference between Bhujangasana and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, two very similar poses.

Arms – Keep your hands spread and right under your shoulders as you lower from the Plank portion of the series to come into Bhujangasana. Keep your elbows back and tucked close to your body, and forearms on the floor. On the INHALE you may press the hands and arms lightly into the ground as you raise your chest from the mat into a gentle back bend.

Head and Neck – Keep your head and neck neutral, and either close your eyes or gaze gently ahead. If you are comfortable with back bends and want an extra stretch along your front, you may gently lift your chin a bit at the peak of the pose.

Variations – Sarpasana – Snake Pose & Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog Pose

The first round, from Chaturanga Dandasana or knees-chest-chin we lower down to the mat, making sure our hips and legs are flat on the mat and our hands are under our shoulders with forearms laying flat on the mat. Now, lift your forearms from the mat, and lift your torso up off the mat as you INHALE into Bhujangasana / Cobra. This is a great way to see where is safe to work from if you are a new Yogi to avoid injury. Take a full exhale and inhale here before pressing into your hands into the mat on an exhale and moving on to Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog and complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

Bhujangasana – Cobra
Lifted Forearm Variation

The second round, from the Phalakasana / Plank portion of the series we will lower down to the mat for Bhujangasana, with hips and legs flat on the mat. Now INHALE and lightly press your hands into the mat as you raise your torso while keeping your hip bones grounded into the mat, perhaps a little bit further than last time without your arms. Take a full exhale and inhale here before moving on an exhale to complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

Urdhva Muhka Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog

The last round, we will try a full expression of Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. Come down to the floor, but this time move your hands further down, close to your ribs rather than under your shoulders. Press up and lift your torso and your hips off the ground, until you are supported on the tops of your feet. If you are not able to come into the full expression of this pose, be gentle and just come into a deep Bhujangasana. Or, to get a deep chest stretch without a deep back bend, grasp your hands together behind your back, thumbs to bum, and INHALE up into Sarpasana / Snake.

Sarpasana – Snake Pose

For your own practice, I would recommend evaluating where you are with both honesty and compassion. Do not push yourself in these back bends! Work your flexibility slowly, and you will be surprised in the changes that come over time.

Please comment to share your experience or any questions with this exercise! Have you tried this “no hands” Bhujangasana / Cobra before? Did you try Urdhva Mukha Svanasana / Upward Facing Dog or Sarpasana / Snake? Which was your favorite gentle backbend? Always remember, be kind!

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Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are completing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today we are covering Adho Mukha Svanasana, possibly the most popular and famous traditional Asana, that comes to mind when we think of Yoga.

The final Asana to introduce in this series is Adho Mukha Svanasana (AHD-ho MOOK-ha Sva-NA-sa-NA) / Downward Facing Dog. Today we will be performing our Sun Salutations series first with two ways to come into the traditional expression of this pose, and then try a more challenging version.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side, working on the correct alignment for this pose. Since this pose can be difficult for those with tight hamstrings and heels often do not reach the floor for new Yogis, our focus will be Santosha / Contentment again, and accepting and being gentle with where we are on our journeys. Jump to today’s variations!

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Feet – Your feet should still be about hip distance apart. However, your feet will flip and you will end with the balls of both feet on the mat, reaching your heels towards the mat. You can bring your feet a bit closer in to help your heels start reaching the mat. It is very difficult for heels to reach the mat when hamstrings are very tight, so be gentle with yourself in this pose, and perhaps walk your feet in or walk the dog into this pose as described below.

Legs – Keep your legs straight and make sure you do not hyperextend your knees. It may be helpful to bend one knee then the other a few times to “walk the dog” and work work into the pose.

Hips – On the EXHALE you lift your hips up to the ceiling/sky to come into this Asana. Try to keep you hips pointing up and back, as you lightly press your chest back towards your thighs to deepen this stretch.

Arms – Keep your hands spread, middle fingers pointing forward, shoulder distance apart. Press into the mat and keep your arms straight, and keep your shoulders pressed down away from your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your head and neck neutral, and either close your eyes or gaze gently down at your mat.

Adho Mukha Svanasana Variations

The first round, from Bhujangasana / Cobra, come up into Table Top with knees bent and shins flat on the mat hip distance apart, and hands directly below shoulders and middle fingers pointing ahead. On an EXHALE, press your hands into the mat and lift your hips back to come into Adho Muhka Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog. Perhaps “walk the dog” into the pose by bending one knee and then the other, to help loosen each leg and work into the pose. Take a couple of full inhales and exhales here, before bringing your LEFT foot forward to come back into your lunge and complete the Sun Salutation on both sides.

“Walking the dog” into Adho Mukha Svanasana

The second round, from Bhujangasana / Cobra, flip your toes, press into the mat, and lift your hips to come straight into Adho Mukha Svanasana without coming through Table Top. Take a full inhale and exhale here, and complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

The last round, we will try a more challenging expression of Adho Mukha Svanasana. Come back directly into Adho Mukha Svanasana as in the last round. Now, lift your LEFT leg straight back to come into three-legged down dog. HOLD your leg up here for 10 seconds, pressing both hands and your standing foot into the ground. On an INHALE, bend your LEFT leg and bring your LEFT knee straight under to your chest. Come all the way through and plant your LEFT foot on the mat in front of you, getting your balance as you come directly into your lunge. Continue on to complete the Sun Salutation Series on both sides, making sure to raise your RIGHT leg next time.

Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana – Three-Legged Down Dog

Please comment to share your experience with this exercise or any questions! Do you prefer coming through Table Top or straight into Adho Mukha Svanasana? Have you tried “walking the dog” before? Always remember, be kind!

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Hydration and Ayurveda – Intro

Good morning Yogis! Did you know today is National Hydration Day!? I have mentioned that I love resolutions, and “drink more water” has been at the top of my New Years’ 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. Today we will focus on hydration before restarting our 8 Limbed Yoga practices, since I personally need to revisit my resolution to drink more water and many of you may also struggle with this.

This is also a good time to introduce Ayurveda (EYE-your-VAY-duh), which literally translates as “science of life” and can be thought of as a sister science to Yoga. You may be familiar with some Ayurvedic practices such as neti (sinus rinsing), oil pulling, or tongue scraping. Many of these practices are recommended first thing in the morning, along with drinking water. Ayurveda recommends drinking warm water to start the day after cleaning the mouth, but I personally prefer tea rather than water to start the day. Ayurveda also recommends drinking less water or other liquids at/with meals to aid digestion.

Today’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 S 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.

Please comment and share if you tried a calculator to see your recommended oz per day.. do you usually drink too much or not enough water? Did you enjoy this self-care focused practice?

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Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 1

Good Morning Yogis! I started Daily Yogi with flash cards of the Yamas and Niyamas in my day planner. Now, after deep dives introducing the 8 Limbs of Yoga and each of the Asanas / Poses in Surya Namaskar / Sun Salutations, we are back to my flash card days. Last time we practiced the opposite of the first of the Yamas, Ahimsa / non-harming with a random act of kindness, but today we will take it a step further.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Ahimsa or non-harming today. Need ideas? 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 “if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.” Or, to practice Ahimsa with our thoughts, try to stay positive today with yourself, and notice and stop yourself from any negative self-talk.

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

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 1

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the second of the Yamas, Satya/Truthfulness with a kind truth, but today we will examine and practice from a different angle.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Satya/truthfulness with ourselves today. 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 “friends” 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 accept… 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.

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!

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Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 1

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the positive version of the third of the Yamas Asteya/non-stealing with an act of generosity, but today we will take it a step further and examine non-stealing.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Asteya/non-stealing. Need ideas? 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.

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

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Brahmacharya – Moderation – Day 1

Good Morning 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.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Brahmacharya/Moderation with our electronics and social media. 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.”

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!

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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 1

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the opposite of the last of the Yamas Aparigraha/non-attachment by practicing gratitude, but today we will take it a step further.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise 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!

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

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Saucha – Purity – Day 1

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Good Morning 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 NiyamasSaucha / purity with our bodies, with a deep clean or pampering self-care practice.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise 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.

Want more Cleaning Ideas and hacks?
Check our cleaning Tips & Tricks on Pinterest!

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!

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 1

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the second of the NiyamasSantosha / contentment with ourselves on the mat, by honoring and being gentle with our bodies, and not pushing ourselves to pain… Santosha is the key to avoiding injury during Asanas / Poses. Today we will be focusing on Santosha with our lives, not just our bodies.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Santosha / contentment by focusing on the present moment, ideally in nature. I have heard if we focus on the past we will be depressed, if we focus on the future we will be anxious, and the key to joy is living in the present moment. A couple of the Yamas and Niyamas reflect this secret of happiness hidden in the “now”. I find one of the easiest ways to do this is to get outside and be active! 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 always especially calming for me, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river. Perhaps 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, or read a book on your deck or by the window. Whatever feels like the best way for you to get out of your little bubble, and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.

Also, 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.

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Please comment and share how you did focusing on the present moment today. Did you get outside? Were you able to find contentment in the now? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 1

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Good Morning Yogis, Happy July! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the third of the NiyamasTapas / discipline by making a commitment to a daily habit that was important to us. Today we will be checking in with ourselves.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to exercise Tapas by monitoring our progress with our daily goals. There are many recommendations on how to best instill a new habit, but the average opinion is this usually takes at least 30 days. If you have not kept up on your new daily commitment, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success!

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 goal? Always remember, be kind!

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 1

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the fourth of the NiyamasSvadhyaya / self-study by beginning a journal if we had not kept one. Today we will focus on the other Svadhyaya practice of studying sacred texts. I am selecting three passages from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where I draw inspiration for the Daily Yogi practices. I am giving you three quotes that I enjoy, in case some do not resonate with you. The Sutras are written in Sanskrit, so I often tweak the translations to English depending on what I want to focus on. Or, if you practice a religion, perhaps read a meaningful section of your traditional sacred texts.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to reflect on the quotes from the Yoga Sutras. Or, feel free to reflect on quotes from your own religion’s sacred texts.

Today’s Quotes from the Yoga Sutras

Journal DaY

Also, this is a good time to make another journal entry if you have not kept up with this new practice! I do not typically make a personal reflective journal entry every day, but I am pleased to be reminded to keep up with this on Svadhyaya days. If you are not sure what to write about, perhaps journal about your thoughts on any quotes from any sacred texts, or your Yogi journey so far.


Please comment and share your thoughts on the above quotes, or your own readings if you would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya Day? Always remember, be kind!

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 1 – OM

Good Morning Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the fifth of the Niyamas Ishvara Pranidhana/surrender by working on practicing acceptance rather than upset reactions to a difficult situation. Today we will focus on the literal translation from Sanskrit, surrender to all-pervading consciousness, and introduce this all-pervading consciousness by its vibration/sound/representation OM.

OM – Sanskrit

We are kind of getting into chanting and mantras now, which is an area that can have a religious feel to new Yogis. Try to keep your Svadhyaya from yesterday, and approach with the open mind of a scholar. But, if these practices do not resonate with you or your journey, that’s fine! Skip today, and come back tomorrow 🙂

I will just comment briefly on my experience and the linguistics of OM, since that is what drew my interest prior to my Yoga teacher training. Many of you who have attended Yoga classes at studios will have likely done some OM-ing at the start or end of class. I was honestly a bit put off by the OMs in my first Yoga class! But, after a few classes I tried just going with it, and I started really enjoying the energy in the room during the OMs.

OM is pronounced as a very long A-U-M or OOOM, not like “on” with an m. OM is familiar in the East, but often the only exposure for those in the West is at Yoga class. I was intrigued during my Yoga training to learn that the A and U/O sounds in Sanskrit are beginning and ending vowels. Japanese also has A and U/O sounds as beginning and ending vowels, and the final letter is the M/N sound as in OM. The A and U sounds are also the beginning and ending vowels in English. I cannot help but compare to Alpha and Omega from Classical Greek (first and last letters) and other traditions, and wonder about the connections of OM trickling into various languages and religions!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try some OMs. You can do this on your own if you are practiced, or check out this video to learn how to properly OM on your own, or perhaps try this video as background for meditation.

Here is a great article on the basic pronunciation of OM and its meaning. If you want more info, please check out this article on OM and Yoga, or check out the Wikipedia article for a deep dive into OM in Yoga as well as religions across the world.

Please comment and share your experience if you got your OM on with us today! Have you tried this before, or is this new to you? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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4th of July and Clean Beach Week

Good morning Yogis! For those of you in the United States, it’s Independence Day. In honor of the holiday, we will take a break from focusing on self-improvement, and focus on making the world a bit brighter today!

Yesterday was the start of Clean Beach Week. If you do not want to read through the link… 4th of July is the number one day for beach attendance, but also the number one day for beach littering! I think everyone across the political spectrum can agree that litter on beaches or anywhere in nature is quite undesirable.

I learned that plastic is not truly recyclable, and often ends up on our beaches. We are often doing better by throwing plastic in the trash than the recycle bin! Recycle IS last in “Reduce Reuse Recycle” so see if there are other ways you can reduce or reuse your plastics, since they often are not actually recycled.

We also have a special announcement to make! Our Daily Yogi App is now available for both Apple and Android devices! If reminders and notifications are helpful for you, please use the App and allow notifications, to see new daily posts and to help stay up to date with our daily practices! We also moved our morning posts to an earlier time for those across the US who prefer email notifications – check new sign-up on right sidebar or click here to subscribe.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to participate in Clean Beach week, or another form of outdoor clean-up. You can consider this a practice of selfless Saucha. So, if you are one of the many people heading to the beach this weekend, make sure to pick up after yourself! Maybe bring gloves and trash bags and do some extra clean-up in honor of Clean Beach Week since you’re already there. If you are not near any beaches or have other plans, keep an eye out for litter while you are out and do a little clean up when the opportunity presents itself. If you do not have holiday plans, perhaps find and participate in an organized clean-up.. these events are usually great for maintaining social distancing! Perhaps plant a tree. Or, keep your holiday plans and support beach and ocean cleanup efforts by purchasing a 4Ocean sea plastic bracelet. Or, if none of these suggestions resonate with you, find another way to practice some environmentalism!

Please comment and share how you helped brighten up the world a bit today. How did this make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Ashtanga Series

Good morning Yogis! We have talked quite a bit about Ashtanga, or the 8 Limbs of Yoga. This is a direct reference to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. There is also a style of Yoga/Asanas called Ashtanga, or Ashtanga Vinyasa you have likely seen at some Yoga studios. I am just a student of Ashtanga Yoga, not a teacher.. which will require a trip to the one Ashtanga Yoga school in India (one day!). Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a series of specific, challenging, and dynamic sets of Asana sequences and other Yoga practices. There are 6 Ashtanga Vinyasa Series: beginner, intermediate, and four advanced.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a beginner Ashtanga Vinyasa Asana series. Even though this is called a beginner series, you will see it is quite challenging!

This video is about as gentle and easy as possible for the beginner series.

This video is a more challenging and traditional version of the Ashtanga beginner series.

Please comment to share your experience with this beginner Ashtanga series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

Palasana – Plow Pose
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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 1 – Ujjayi Pranayama – Ocean Breath

Good morning Yogis! It is Pranayama Day today, the Fourth Limb of Yoga. Today we will be learning Ujjayi (oo-JAW-yee) Pranayama. This is literally translated from Sanskrit as Victorious Breath, but is commonly referred to as Ocean Breath due to the sound of this technique. This is another great cooling and calming breathing technique, and is ideal during Asana practice. You may have learned this in Yoga class before, especially if you have attended a Hot Yoga class.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breathing.

Start with Diaphragmatic Breathing for 3 full inhales and exhales.

Open your mouth and inhale and exhale through your mouth. Contract your throat to slightly say “HA” on the exhales. Keep this light contraction in your throat so you slightly say “SA” on the inhales. You will start noticing the ocean sound from which this technique gets its name.

Now, close your mouth. Inhale and exhale through your nose, while keeping this contraction in your throat to keep the ocean sound continuing on both inhales and exhales. As you become comfortable with this breathing technique, try your Asana practice with this Ujjayi Pranayama.

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Ujjayi Pranayama exercise! Have you ever tried this technique as a standalone or during your Asana practice? Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Meditation – Day 1 – Guided Meditations

Good Morning Yogis! We will typically have just one day for last 4 limbs of yoga. The upper limbs build upon all 4 of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and must truly be attained on your own. On days dedicated to the upper limbs, we will try various meditation techniques. Last time, we tried the Breath-Focused meditation practice that was the first technique to really calm me. Today, we will try a guided meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Guided Meditation Practice. (Three options below) Meditation has always been difficult for me personally, with my “monkey mind.” Many people, and especially new Yogis, find guided meditations to be an easy entry to meditation. Having something to listen to often helps calm rushing thoughts.

Start sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position, or I would recommend getting into bed for the Sleep/Relaxation option. Try to find a quiet, comfortable space. Relax and focus on your breath. Allow your belly to expand on each inhale, and contract to empty your lungs fully on each exhale. (Check our Pranayama section for more detail on diaphragmatic breathing).

Morning Motivational Meditation (10 minutes)

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Grounding Meditation (9 minutes)

Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this meditation exercise! Have you tried guided meditations before? If you have another favorite, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Hatha Series

Utkatasana – Powerful or Chair Pose

Good morning Yogis! We have talked quite a bit about working various techniques into your Asana practice, discussed Surya Namaskar / Sun Salutations, and introduced Ashtanga Vinyasa. However, I realize many of you may be new to Yoga, and there are many kinds of Asana styles. We will take a brief detour and introduce some of these other styles of Yoga. Hopefully you will find one or a few favorite Asana styles to integrate into your daily practice, and be more informed to select between class offerings at a Yoga studio. Today we will cover Hatha Yoga and try a Hatha Yoga Series.

We have talked about the 8 Limbs of Yoga. We will be focusing on the Third Limb – Asanas or Poses, covering quite a few Asana styles. There are also 6 Branches of Yoga, which come to us from the Bhagavad Gita. Basically, different Branches of Yoga give different weights and priorities to particular practices from the 8 Limbs of Yoga. We will start with Hatha Yoga, which is both an Asana style and a Branch of Yoga. The Hatha Branch of Yoga actually covers all styles of Asana (from fast-paced Vinyasa to calming Restorative), since Hatha Yoga is the Branch that focuses on Asanas or poses and movement.

Hatha can be translated to English as either “Sun and Moon” (implying balance) or “Forceful”. Even though all Asana Styles and Asana Practices are technically Hatha Yoga, you can typically expect a Hatha class at a Yoga studio to be a more slow paced class than a Vinyasa class, and to have more detailed instructions. Often Hatha classes at studios are the beginner / intro Yoga classes.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a beginner Hatha Asana series. I am a huge fan of Rodney Yee. I practice at home with videos or apps far more than I do at Yoga Studios. The first Asana Yoga practice I ever tried was in college, with my roommate and a Rodney Yee DVD. So, I feel it is appropriate to start with a couple video options from Rodney Yee‘s Hatha and Beginner series.

Recommended Hatha Yoga Videos

Beginner Morning Hatha Series

AM Connection Hatha Series

Please comment to share your experience with this Hatha series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Vinyasa Series

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our exploration of various styles of Asana/poses.

Vinyasa is arguably the most common class at Yoga Studios in the West. This is a fast-paced Asana practice combining breath with fast transitions between Asanasa/poses to “flow” almost like a dance. Although these classes are popular, they are not for beginners. You should know many poses very well and sometimes how to transition between these poses

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a Vinyasa series. Vinyasa and Power Flow are similar, but not exactly the same. Vinyasa refers to the connections between breath and movement. Power flow also has this breath/movement connection or “flow” but is primarily cardio and strength-focused.

Beginner Vinyasa Series

Power Flow Series

Please comment to share your experience with these Vinyasa series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Iyengar Series

Virabhadrasana II – Warrior 2

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our exploration of various styles of Asana / poses. Today we are moving on to a slightly more difficult style.

Iyengar is somewhat between Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. The creators of Iyengar and Ashtanga Vinyasa trained under the same Yoga Master, so it is no surprise there are some similarities! Iyengar, like Ashtanga, is typically a regimented series progression of Asanas / poses, with Sun Salutations in the series. However, Ashtanga is a flow style, while Iyengar instructors usually focus on proper alignment, and often hold the poses for a longer time. Iyengar also often uses props to aid with proper alignment. Because of this approach to Asanas, Iyengar classes are typically a good fit for beginners or Yogis with injuries. I really enjoy learning proper alignment with Iyengar, and trying to bring these “corrective focuses” into flow classes.

Have you used props before? If not, I strongly recommend trying today with an Iyengar series! I typically use blocks and a strap to help get proper alignment in some poses impacted by my tight hamstrings. We will talk more about different props later, but these two are probably the most helpful to Yogis at all levels!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is an Iyengar series. We have recommendations for Iyengar series both with and without props.

Beginner Iyengar Series with Props

Iyengar Series with and without Props

Please comment to share your experience with these Iyengar series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Bikram/Hot Series

Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our exploration of various styles of Asana/poses.

Hot Yoga is probably my favorite style! I know this can be very divisive.. a few of my friends who are Yogis think I’m nuts for loving Hot Yoga so much. I kind of get it.. Hot Yoga is super intense, and many go to Yoga Classes to chill out, not sweat in a room over 100°F! I usually drink an entire large water bottle both before and during the class. However, I find the added flexibility I get from basically doing Yoga in a sauna to be well worth the extra sweat!

Bikram is basically a brand name of Hot Yoga. Bikram Studios are always 105°F (41°C) and 40% humidity. Bikram Yoga is a set 26 pose sequence, and only Bikram Studios can perform this particular series. Many other Hot Yoga studios do similar but not identical sequences, and they may also have cooler “hot” rooms to accommodate Hot Vinyasa or other blended style offerings. Whether true Bikram or another Asana style in a cooler hot room, all Hot Yoga makes you SWEATY! Bonus Saucha/Purity practice – make sure to take a quick shower very soon after all Hot Yoga! When they open, most Hot Studios have showers in case you live far from the studio.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a Hot or Bikram series. If you are able to, perhaps try to practice these in a warm room or perhaps outside if today is a warm nice day. See if you can find the increased flexibility from Asana practice in a hot area, despite all Hot Yoga and Bikram studios likely being closed for COVID! I am trying in my living room, which is about 85°F on warm sunny summer afternoons if we do not open doors or windows! Make sure you have plenty of water, and if trying the Hot Vinyasa series make sure the temperature is well below the 105°F standard Bikram room!

PS If Hot Yoga is not your thing, perhaps go back to one of your favorite styles this week and try the second video! Also, Hot Yoga can be particularly dangerous or difficult for those with injuries or health conditions, so please evaluate safety with a medical professional before trying Hot Yoga.

Hot Vinyasa Series

Beginner Bikram Series (this 26 pose sequence is traditionally performed twice)

Please comment to share your experience with these Hot and Bikram series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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Simplicity, Poetry, and Nature

Good morning Yogis! We are taking a quick break from our exploration of various styles of Yoga, and celebrating Simplicity Day, in honor of the Poet and Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau’s birthday. I grew up in the suburbs of Boston and have visited Walden Pond, which so inspired much of his work. Thoreau seems to have some Yogi tendencies himself, with his love of nature, isolated journey of self-discovery, and quotes like  “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” I believe this simplicity practice ties in with both Santosha/Contentment and Asteya/Non-Stealing. Please see the bottom of this post for one of my favorite Thoreau poems, and links to more!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to embrace simplicity. This can be big or small. Many sources hint that a key to true happiness is living in the now, and getting out in nature is a great way to do this. So, perhaps go for a walk around or sit quietly by a lake or pond in honor of Thoreau, or get outside in another way that is meaningful for you. Tomorrow is Amazon’s Prime Day – so let’s all try not to put in any online orders today.. is there anything that really cannot wait one more day? If you are up for a challenge, take a look at your life and surroundings, and see what things you can do without to simplify your life or space. Whatever practice resonates with you, try for more physical or mental simplicity today.

Please comment and share your experience! How did you simplify your day or life? Were you able to avoid putting in an Amazon order for the day? Always remember, be kind!

I Am The Autumnal Sun

Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature
— not his Father but his Mother stirs
within him, and he becomes immortal with her
immortality. From time to time she claims
kindredship with us, and some globule
from her veins steals up into our own.

I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run;
When will the hazel put forth its flowers,
Or the grape ripen under my bowers?
When will the harvest or the hunter’s moon
Turn my midnight into mid-noon?
I am all sere and yellow,
And to my core mellow.
The mast is dropping within my woods,
The winter is lurking within my moods,
And the rustling of the withered leaf
Is the constant music of my grief….

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

More THOREAU:

Thoreau-Online.org

Poets.org

PoetryFoundation.org

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Asanas – Poses – Yin and Restorative

Balasana – Child Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are wrapping up our introduction to the variety of styles of Asana/poses.

Yin is probably familiar to those in the west from “Yin and Yang” (PS Yang actually rhymes with pong, not pang!). Yin and Yang is a concept of complementary opposing forces. Yin represents dark, shade/shadow, feminine, and passive sides. Yang represents light, sun/light, male, and active sides. Our exploration of Hot/Bikram Yoga was definitely a Yang Yoga Style, and Vinyasa is also a very active style. So, we would expect a Yin class to be passive, and the opposite of an active/Vinyasa style class. Yin classes are often slow paced, with Asanas/poses held for a longer period of time.

Restorative Yoga is a type of Yin Yoga. This style usually utilizes props to support the body in Asanas/poses held for very long periods of time, typically 5-10 minutes. Restorative Yoga is typically extremely gentle and safest for Yogis with injuries.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a Yin or Restorative series. As I mentioned, Restorative Yoga typically requires a lot of support! I prefer lots of blankets, bolsters, and/or pillows for most restorative poses. I usually only use blocks during restorative practice for support under limbs… I prefer couch pillows for my head! If you do not have a bolster, you can try a large firm pillow.

Beginner Yin Yoga

Restorative Yoga (bolster or large firm pillow required)

Please comment to share your experience with these Yin and Restorative series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the limbs of yoga for our daily positive practices with Ahimsa or non-harming. We will focus on the positive of non-harming, or kindness for our practice today.

Today is also our first KISS Day! I learned the KISS Method acronym in the business world as “keep it simple, stupid.” But that is kind of rude, so my KISS Days acronym is “Keep It Super Simple” 🙂

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a random act of kindness for today’s Ahimsa/non-harming day. Need ideas? Here’s what we used for inspiration for our intro Ahimsa Day!

  • Bring home a favorite meal or treat for a loved one.
  • Be extra friendly driving in the car, giving someone the right of way.
  • If you can, pay for the order for the person behind you in a drive through. Has that ever happened to you? It happened to my sister, it made her day!
  • If we are no longer in the days of social distancing or you are in your household, hold the door open for the person behind you, or help someone who is struggling to reach or carry something.
  • Volunteer.
  • Give to charity.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Whatever feels like the right way for you to actively practice kindness and compassion, or to do your small part to make someone else smile, or make the world better today than it was yesterday.

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

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day.

I recently heard a Sufi saying that made me reflect on Satya:

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try to apply the “Three Gate Rule” for your speech for today’s Satya/truthfulness day. For those of you who cannot see the graphic above – “Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself ‘is it true?’ At the second gate, ask ‘is it necessary?’ At the third gate, ask ‘is it kind?’ “

Please comment and share how your Satya practice went today! Always remember, be kind!

PS For another 3 Gate Rule for Actions related to Brahmacharya/moderation delivered in a quirky, amusing, and wholesome TV show, check out Joe Pera’s approach to grocery shopping. Yes, yes, yes.

PPS I got a report that one of our Yogis reads our daily practice first thing in the morning before getting out bed, rather than scrolling through social media.. which made me super happy <3!!! So, we are moving our AM posts up another couple of hours for my East Coast Yogis who may want access earlier in the morning. Don’t worry, app notifications and email updates will still be delivered at 10am ET / 7am PT, but our morning posts will be available on dailyyogi.world and in the app at 6am ET.

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Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Asteya or Non-stealing Day.

It is also National Give Something Away Day. So, we will be practicing Asteya with the positive of non-stealing or generosity today!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to participate in National Give Something Away Day for today’s Asteya/non-stealing day. Need some ideas?

  • If you have old luggage you no longer use, please consider donating to a foster care agency, since many foster children are forced to move with garbage bags.
  • Purge toys, books, kitchen gadgets, and/or electronics you no longer use, and consider donating as appropriate to a local organization for the elderly, women and/or children.
  • Consider making a cash donation to your local food bank, hospital, or another nonprofit or charity that is meaningful to you.
  • Do a closet clean-out and donate clothes you do not wear any more… or consider starting a wardrobe tracking method to help identify what you do not wear and could donate. PS consider making the extra effort donating directly to local organizations for the homeless, women, or children rather than the easy dropboxes for Goodwill.

Please comment and share how you practiced Asteya and/or participated in Give Something Away Day today! Always remember, be kind!

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Brahmacharya – Moderation – Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Brahmacharya or moderation Day. I personally need a bit more work-life balance in my life right now, so we are having another KISS (keep it super simple) Day!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to exercise moderation in a way is meaningful for you today for Brahmaharya day. Need some ideas? Here’s what we used for inspiration for our intro Brahmacharya Day!

  • Look for temptations during the day, and neither indulge nor ignore the craving, but instead make a healthy choice. Like maybe a salad instead of fast food, or fruit instead of candy, or yogurt instead of cake or ice cream. Maybe have just a couple pieces of candy instead of NOMMING the whole bag (this one is both inspired by and directed towards me!)
  • Make today the first day taking steps to minimize an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Perhaps get a nicotine gum or patch to stop smoking, or plan a reasonable cut-back schedule with small goals you can reach rather than the cold-turkey approach.
  • If you have been super busy with work and family with our current quarantine situation, ask for help and take 15 minutes minimum to spoil yourself with a bath or workout or even a nap, whatever you need!
  • Choose your own way to practice a more balanced lifestyle today that feels right to you.

Please comment and share how you chose to practice Brahmacharya today! Always remember, be kind!

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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Aparigraha or non-attachment Day. We are going to take a closer look at Aparigraha/non-attachment by examining the attachment we are supposed to be avoiding.

Non-attachment is a common Eastern philosophical concept and practice. This is a part of Zen/Buddhism, Jainism, and Taoism. This is not a very common concept in the Western world, so we will learn a bit more about it by trying to understand attachment today.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to observe your own attachment with situations that cause stress for Aparigraha day. I usually can do this by identifying a “should” or “should not” statement. One of my more common “shoulds” was “I shouldn’t be late right now” whenever I got stuck in traffic when driving to work. I was attached to being on time. Often anxiety about the future or regret about the past is tied to feelings attachment. I have a mental mind trick to trigger the practice of non-attachment for these situations that I will share with you on our next Aparigraha day. But for now, just try to observe your own attachment to situations today.

If you are up for it… after the situation has passed, evaluate the results of your attachment responses. Consider whether stressing about the future or regretting the past helps or hurts your efficacy, efficiency, and your peace of mind.

PS This may be a good time for journal entries for some bonus Svadhyaha!

Please comment and share your experience with observing your own attachment for Aparigraha Day! Always remember, be kind!

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