Halloween / Samhain & Celtic New Year 2021 – Flame Gazing Meditation

Good morning Yogis! Happy Halloween!

Also, welcome to our 30 Day Intro Challenge! We are starting another 30 Day Intro Challenge for November. Typically we start our intro weekends with Resolutions / Intention Settings. October 31 / November 1 is the start of the New Year for the Celtic Calendar so today we are combining our Resolutions / Intention Setting & Intro to Ashtanga / 8 If you have been with us since January and our last Challenge, please consider revisiting your intentions and resolutions for the year, since we are at the 3/4 point of 2021.

New & Intro Challenge Yogis – Please navigate to our intro weekend posts below!

00 Birthday/New Year Resolution
Ashtanga – The 8 Limbs of Yoga (must read!)

We are going to close out our Meditation Month Bonus Challenge with a special type of holiday-themed meditation.

I have mentioned my interest in mythology of all kinds, and my super Irish name (Tarryn) means I am particularly interested in Celtic mythology. Today is Halloween in the West, and this holiday has some traditions that trickled down from the Celtic holiday Samhain. This is one of four seasonal Celtic holidays, half way between the fall equinox and winter solstice. It was traditionally celebrated October 31-November 1 because Celtic days began and ended at sunset, rather than at midnight as they do today. There are many interesting ancient Samhain traditions and rituals, some of which filtered down into Halloween. You can read more here if you are interested. We will focus on one traditional Samhain ritual – Bonfires, and today we will discuss Flame Gazing Meditation, a Dharana practice.

blue and purple flames on black background

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a form of Flame Gazing, a Dharana Practice. There are a few different forms of this you can try!

Flame Gazing Meditation

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Dharana exercise! Have you done this meditative flame-gazing before, not knowing this was a meditation practice? Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – October 2021 – Meditative Practices – Mandalas

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October’s Emotional Wellness Month. Additionally, today is Upper Limbs Day. Today we will try a new Dharana Meditative Practice – Mandalas!

Also, welcome to our 30 Day Intro Challenge! We are starting another 30 Day Intro Challenge for November. Typically we start our intro weekends with Resolutions / Intention Settings. If you have been with us since January and our last Challenge, please consider revisiting your intentions and resolutions for the year, since we are at the 3/4 point of 2021.

New & Intro Challenge Yogis – Please navigate to our intro weekend posts below!

00 Birthday/New Year Resolution
Ashtanga – The 8 Limbs of Yoga (must read!)

Dharana is the 6th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as concentration. I prefer to think of Dharana as intense focus, a bit stronger than “concentration”. This is typically the second step for meditation – after letting the outside world slip away, we then direct our focus inward. Please see our deep dive of Dharana for more info. Most of the meditative practices we think of are therefore Dharana practices – see our full list!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dharana Mandala Meditative Practice! Please see blank Mandalas below, or consider one of my recommended Mandala coloring books… I am excited now years later I have the opportunity to share some of my favorite Mandala colorings! I prefer colored pencils or crayons for Mandala coloring books, because unfortunately my coloring sharpies bleed through the pages.

Or, if coloring is not your thing, try out a Mandala Kaleidoscope Meditation! I am not a huge fan of the new-agey music (unless using a special HZ), and prefer muting and listening to a meaningful song or album. You may also want to look into Tibetan Sand Mandalas!

Blank Mandalas

Check out my favorite Mandala Coloring books and supplies


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

Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Meditative Mandala exercise! If you have another favorite Mandala practice or coloring book, then please share! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama (Breathing) – October 2021: Day 2 – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath)

Good morning Yogis! Today is a Pranayama Day Practice!

cool perspective looking at the top of snow covered colorado mountains under partly cloudy sky during alpine twilight - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Bliss begins with the breath. We breathe in and accept all that is new. We breathe out, and release all that has passed. - Sara Wiseman
Bliss begins with the breath. We breathe in and accept all that is new. We breathe out, and release all that has passed. – Sara Wiseman

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Pranayama Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Pranayama Practice – Nadi Shodhana.

This is our last Pranayama Day for our special meditation month, so today we will cover a meditative Pranayama practice – Nadi Shodhana (NAH-dee show-DAH-nuh). This literally translates as “channel-clearing” but we frequently use a more descriptive translation of alternate-nostril breathing. This technique is meant to clear the body’s energy channels, and I find it is super cleansing for the entire respiratory system – you may want to keep some tissues handy for this technique, and do not perform if you have a stuffy nose!

orange breath graphic on yellow gold background

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Nadi Shodhana or Channel Clearing, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this alternate-nostril breath. We recommend trying this breath technique during meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

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

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Channel Clearing / Alternate-Nostril Breathing

  • Get in position – you will want to come into a comfortable seat. Place your left hand on your left knee. Bring your right hand into a Vishnu Mudra, folding your first two fingers to your palm (or if this is not comfortable, bring all three center fingers to the palm, or rest your index and middle fingers on your forehead/third eye)
  • Use the right thumb to close the right nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your left nostril only, keeping your diaphragmatic breath technique, breating into your belly.
  • Move your right ring and pinky finger to close the left nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your right nostril only.
  • Continue this alternate-nostril breathing for 3-5 minutes. Remember, exhale and inhale, then switch sides.

This technique can be quite confusing – you may want to follow along our recommended video this first time!

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Have you tried this alternate-nostril breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas (Poses) – October 2021: Day 2 – Vinyasa Yoga Series

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a meditation-focused month for October, and today is Asana Day. So, today we will revisit Vinyasa Yoga and its meditative flowing style, before we cover some new Asanas.

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 Asanas / 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. Vinyasa refers to the connections between breath and movement and a traditional Vinyasa class will move like a dance. Power flow also has this breath/movement connection or “flow” but is primarily cardio and strength-focused.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a traditional Vinyasa Yoga series. This is a very challenging Asana practice moving quickly between each Asana.. you may want to try the beginner version if you have never tried a Vinyasa class before or are still learning the poses!

Recommended Videos

Beginner Vinyasa Series (try if you are still learning to “flow” breath with movement)

Intermediate Vinyasa Series

Check out a sped-up version of each of these videos above, to get a quick idea of what this style is like! You will notice linking breath to motion to “flow” through poses like a dance, with each Asana often held for only one breath.

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Adho Mukha Svanasana - downward facing dog down dog pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing multicolor star print set doing yoga inside in cool pink and purple yoga studio
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog

Like this Yoga set? Click here for product links and discount codes!

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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Ishvara Pranidhana (Surrender) – October 2021: Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of daily positive practices from the Niyamas. We first practiced the fifth of the NiyamasIshvara Pranidhana / surrender by working on practicing acceptance rather than upset reactions to a difficult situation. As we discussed in our intro, Ishvara Pranidhana is the most difficult of the Niyamas to understand and practice, but also one of the most rewarding. So, today we will work again on the challenging practice of acceptance in difficult times.

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Surrender.

cool shot of mining spoils looking out under cloudy sky in mountain valley - ishvara pranidhana surrender acceptance dharma purpose Quote: You cannot fulfil God's purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans. - Rick Warren
You cannot fulfil God’s purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans. – Rick Warren

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.

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

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

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Svadhyaya (Self-Study) – October 2021: Day 2 – Positivity

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. During our intro studying sacred texts, we studied three passages from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where I draw inspiration for the Daily Yogi practices. My favorite was “Negative thoughts can be neutralized by positive thoughts”. Today we will examine three more thoughts on the power of our thoughts and positive thinking. Or, if you practice a religion, perhaps read a meaningful section of your traditional sacred texts.

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Svadhyaya Day today, our meditation is a Positive Energy Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to reflect on today’s quote on positivity. Or, feel free to reflect on quotes from your own religion’s sacred texts.

cool shot decordova sculpture garden outdoor artwork gray concrete stepped modern art under bright blue partly cloudy sky - svadhyaya self-study power of positive thinking Quote: If you are positive, you’ll see opportunities instead of obstacles. - Widad Akrawi
If you are positive, you’ll see opportunities instead of obstacles. – Widad Akrawi

Journal DaY

Also, this is a good time to make another journal entry if you have not kept up with this new practice! I am focused on Svadhyaya this year, but last year was happy 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. Or, use one of the recent prompts from my 5 year guided journal recommended below: What required extra patience today? What are you proud to have done today? What fears are you facing?


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

Please comment 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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Tapas (Discipline) – October 2021: Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Tapas or Discipline Day! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. This is our third Tapas or Discipline Day. On our first/intro Tapas Day, we made a goal that was important to us, and we have checked on our progress and/or made new goals each Tapas Day. If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success! If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge!

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Tapas day today, try a Morning Motivation Guided Meditation.

Now, we are going to have a bit of tough love here. This is now our eighth Tapas Day.. if you have not kept up with your habit from our first day, we really need to be honest with ourselves. If you have always wanted to speak French but it just is not happening for you.. you need to put in the time and effort to learn French! You will never just magically wake up one day with your dream at your feet, you need to put in the work. You can sign up for classes at a local community college or adult education center, get a free language app, get an audio-course to learn on your commute, maybe all three, whatever works for you! Thomas Edison said “Success is 10% Inspiration and 90% Perspiration” and I also enjoy articles on Discipline over Motivation. I do best with sticking to my goals by planning them for first thing in the morning. If you cannot make mornings work, plan it into your day like a doctors appointment or other meeting you cannot miss – put it on your calendar, set alarms and reminders, etc. DO IT!
PS building discipline is hard at first, but if you keep at it, it WILL get easier!

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

cool shot of sun coming through darkened pine trees in the snow - tapas self-discipline motivation Quote: The fact is, discipline is only punishment when imposed on you by someone else. When you discipline yourself, it's not punishment but empowerment. - Les Brown
The fact is, discipline is only punishment when imposed on you by someone else. When you discipline yourself, it’s not punishment but empowerment. – Les Brown

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to monitor our daily habit goals, and set a new one if needed. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! There are many free Apps for 30 Day Challenge workouts. My favorite is a free app called 30 Day Butt, which allows the pop-up phone notifications I love so much. We are also starting our intro Challenge 11/01 – 30 Day Yoga Challenge of Intro Philosophy, Poses & Positivity. Register and find our Current Challenge Group if you would like to join!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE in November

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

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

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Santosha (Contentment) – October 2021: Day 2 – Mindfulness

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Santosha / contentment Day. Today we are going to introduce Mindfulness, a concept and practice that relates to Santosha.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is fully being present or “in the moment” without distractions, and observing your inner and/or outer world without judgment. This is a practice embraced by both Eastern Philosophy and Western Psychology as key for both contentment and stress reduction. Many enjoy Yoga because it brings Mindfulness with focus on breath, moving between poses, and being present in our bodies. Mindfulness can help reduce anxiety, remain calm in stressful situations, support positive thinking, and increase the quality of our lives.

More on Mindfulness and Benefits

Psychology Today – Understanding, Practicing, and Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindful – Getting Started with Mindfulness (and Meditation)

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For our Mindfulness-focused Santosha Day today, our meditation is a  Mindfulness Guided Meditation.

cool shot of cloudy sky above snow-capped mountains - santosha contentment happiness mindfulness mindful Quote: Mindfulness isn't difficult. We just need to remember to do it. - Sharon Salzberg
Mindfulness isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it. – Sharon Salzberg

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice for Santosha Day is to try to practice Mindfulness. Like many other challenging mental practices in Yoga like Aparigraha, remember this is a journey and be patient with your progress in this difficult practice, especially if it is new for you!

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

  • Go on a walk, and perhaps literally stop and smell the roses.
  • Take a run and feel the wind on your face.
  • Being around water is especially calming, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river.
  • Go for a hike and appreciate the beauty around you, rather than focusing on finding a perfect selfie spot.
  • Take note of your thoughts during a stressful situation, and observe them without judgment rather than getting caught up with them.
  • Bring Mindfulness to your eating by paying attention to all five senses, chewing slowly, and truly enjoying every bite!
  • Sit quietly, and go through all of your senses one by one to appreciate your surroundings.
  • Try a body scan, especially in Shavasana after Asana practice, in a comfortable chair, or before bed.
  • Check out more Mindfulness practices from Mindful.org

Please remember Mindfulness is a difficult practice, so please be gentle with yourself!

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

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Saucha (Purity) – October 2021: Day 2 – Scorpio Season – Vrschikasana (Scorpion Pose)

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 Niyamas, Saucha / purity with our bodies, with a deep clean or pampering self-care practice.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Saucha Day today, since we will be cleaning our homes my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Organizing our Thoughts.

Vrischikasana - scorpion pose - yoga pose cool artsy blue and black edit yoga girl in black dress
Vrischikasana – Scorpion Pose

Vrschikasana – Scorpion Pose

Today is the start of Scorpio Season – Happy Birthday Scorpio Yogis! We will also dedicate today to an Asana today inspired by Scorpio – Scorpion Pose or Vrschikasana (Vrr-schih-KA-sa-nuh)! This is an advanced pose for advanced Yogis comfortable with inversions, requiring both strength and balance. I am SO happy I was able to practice this Asana a bit at my friends’ house – she has a perfect little spot on the side of her bed near the wall, so I could be supported on both sides! This is not a pose I regularly practice, so instead of our typical breakdowns, please see this great guide from my Pinterest Community about working into this pose!

blue and white scorpio zodiac astrology symbol

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Saucha / Purity with our surroundings. Scorpions live in burrows, and today we will focus on cleaning our own homes!

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!

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

Please comment 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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Aparigraha (Non-Attachment) – October 2021: Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Aparigraha or Non-Attachment Day. Last time we practiced the positive of the last of the YamasAparigraha / non-attachment directly by practicing non-attachment with our actions. Today we will practice the positive meaning of non-attachment, or gratitude.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Aparigraha Day today, my meditation for the day is a Morning Gratitude Guided Meditation.

cool perspective parking lot with trucks and street lights under cloudy sunrise - aparigraha non-attachment gratitude Quote: Gratitude turns negative energy into positive energy. There is no situation or circumstance so small or large that it is not susceptible to gratitude's power. - Melody Beattie
Gratitude turns negative energy into positive energy. There is no situation or circumstance so small or large that it is not susceptible to gratitude’s power. – Melody Beattie

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to make a list of five things (I just love Top 5 Lists!) 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 and 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.

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

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Brahmacharya (Moderation) – October 2021: Day 2

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

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Brahmacharya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Balance.

cool perspective alpine snowstorm in the mountains with darkened pine trees and cloudy swirling snow clouds - brahmacharya moderation middle-path balance Quote: But you do have choices about how you spend your time. Balancing what you need to do with what you want to do can lead to happiness and success. - Stephen Hall
But you do have choices about how you spend your time. Balancing what you need to do with what you want to do can lead to happiness and success. – Stephen Hall

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to exercise moderation or take the Middle Path in a way is meaningful for you today for Brahmacharya Day. Need some ideas?

  • 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!
  • Take a digital break – plan today to have an evening without phone or social media.
  • Choose your own way to practice a more balanced lifestyle today that feels right to you.

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

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Asteya (Non-Stealing) – October 2021: Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! It is Asteya Day! Last time we practiced the positive version of the third of the YamasAsteya / non-stealing with an act of generosity, but today we will take it a step further and examine non-stealing.

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Asteya day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Balance in Our Lives.

cool perspective guardrail and road along sunlit alpine lake under partly cloudy sky - asteya non-stealing balance Quote: We need to introduce a little balance into your life. Part of this balance means not missing out on some of the marvels of life around you, the fun, some excitement, or other challenges in life. - Catherine Pulsifer
We need to introduce a little balance into your life. Part of this balance means not missing out on some of the marvels of life around you, the fun, some excitement, or other challenges in life. – Catherine Pulsifer

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively practice Asteya / non-stealing in our lives. 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.

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Satya (Truthfulness) – October 2021: Day 2

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

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Satya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on uncovering your True Self.

sun shining behind snow-capped mountain under bright blue sky - satya truth truthfulness self honesty Quote: The whole key is to be honest with yourself, find the weak spots, work on it, get it done. - Wladimir Klitschko
The whole key is to be honest with yourself, find the weak spots, work on it, get it done. – Wladimir Klitschko

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.

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

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Ahimsa (Non-Harming) – October 2021: Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Limbs of Yoga for our daily positive practices with Ahimsa or non-harming. Our last Ahimsa Day we practiced with a random act of kindness, but today we will focus on practicing non-violence.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Ahimsa day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Non-Violence.

california beach with palm trees and families wading in the bay - ahimsa nonviolence nonharming harm Quote: Nonviolence is essentially based on recognizing the humanity in every one one of us. - Grace Lee Boggs
Nonviolence is essentially based on recognizing the humanity in every one one of us. – Grace Lee Boggs

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Ahimsa / 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.

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – October 2021 – Dhyana (Full Meditation)

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a month focused on meditation for October. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, but during meditation months we will take couple days to cover each of the four upper limbs, rather than combining into one.

We already covered Pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses and Dharana or Intense Focus. The last three Limbs of YogaDharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are often referred to as the “innermost quest” and studied together. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the lower limbs, and sequentially upon each other. However, these practices are all meditation focused, and must truly be practiced and understood on your own. Samadhi is basically our goal and will be discussed only occasionally… we are skipping Samadhi this round of through the 8 limbs of Yoga, and jumping right into our meditation month tomorrow. Today we will discuss Dhyana and try a Meditation to reach this state. Check out our deep dive on Dhyana.

cool shot decordova sculpture garden outdoor artwork blue and black twisted modern art under bright blue partly cloudy sky - upper limbs of yoga Dhyana full meditation Quote: To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still. - Jiddu Krishnamurti
To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

Dhyana is the 7th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as meditation. I prefer to think of Dhyana as full meditation, a bit stronger and more specific than “meditation”. This is typically the goal of meditation, to fully stop our thoughts and have a quiet mind. After withdrawing inside ourselves with Pratyahara and focusing our minds on a single subject with Dharaha, we may reach the level of meditation where our thoughts actually stop. In true Dhyana or true meditation, we typically are not aware of this clear-minded state until we come out of it.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dhyana-focused Meditation Practice. You can try our breath-focused meditation again, and then allow your mind to quiet. Or, you can try a guided meditation meant to help bring the state of Dhyana.

Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey! I am working on Dhyana.. I usually can focus on one thing with Dharana, but my mind wanders fairly quickly when I try to quiet it for full meditation.

Dhyana Guided Meditation

Our Breath-Focused Meditation – first focus on breath, then allow your mind to quiet.

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – October 2021 – Dharana (Intense Focus) – Guided Meditation & Meditative Practices

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a month focused on meditation for October. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, but during meditation months we will take couple days to cover each of the four upper limbs, rather than combining into one. We covered Pratyahara or withdrawal of the sense yesterday. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the lower limbs, and then sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. Today we will revisit Dharana, and then try a Dharana Guided Meditation or other Meditative Practice.

cool shot of alpine town in mountain valley under partly cloudy sky with snow on mountain tops - upper limbs of yoga dharana meditation intense focus Quote: We are not born focusing. It’s an acquired skill that requires initial effort and constant upgrading. - Robert Genn
We are not born focusing. It’s an acquired skill that requires initial effort and constant upgrading. – Robert Genn

Nearly all meditation practices you think of are types of Dharana.

Dharana is the 6th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as concentration. This comes from the Sanskrit root “dhri” meaning to hold, carry, or maintain. I prefer to think of Dharana as intense focus, a bit stronger than “concentration”. This is typically the second step for meditation – after letting the outside world slip away, we then direct our focus inward. Please see our deep dive of Dharana for more. Most of the meditative practices we think of are therefore Dharana practices – see our full list!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dharana-focused Meditation Practice. Perhaps try our breath-focused meditation again to prepare for tomorrow’s next level of meditation. Perhaps focus on your breath or body in Shavasana / Corpse Pose after an Asana practice, another meditative practice from our list, try a guided meditation below, or any other method of your own.. whatever feels right to you. We will cover mandalas and flame gazing later!

Dharana or Intense Focus Meditative Practices

Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

Morning Motivational Meditation (10 minutes)

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Full Night Sleep Meditation (8 hours)

Grounding Meditation (9 minutes)

Body Scanning Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Self-Reflective Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation (12 minutes)

Celestial Visualization Guided Meditation (7 minutes)

Manifest Meditations (Power of Attraction) (10 minutes) 

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You may want to try a block, couch pillow, blanket, or bolster in order to help yourself find a comfortable seat for meditation.

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

Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Dharana exercise! If you have another favorite, then please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – October 2021 – Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses) – Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We have completed our daily positive practices and meditations inspired by the first four Limbs of Yoga, and are back to the Upper Limbs. We are also in the middle of a month focused on meditation for October. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, but during meditation months we will take couple days to cover each of the four upper limbs, rather than combining into one meditation day.

cool shot of alpine dirt road with fresh snowfall in the mountains with darkened green pine trees and sunlit clouds under the moon - upper limbs of yoga pratyahara withdrawal of senses go within peace within Quote: Peace is a sacred space within, it is the temple of our internal landscape. We are free to visit it, whenever we seek sanctuary. Underneath the chaos of everyday living, peace is patiently awaiting our discovery... go within. - Jaeda DeWalt
Peace is a sacred space within, it is the temple of our internal landscape. We are free to visit it, whenever we seek sanctuary. Underneath the chaos of everyday living, peace is patiently awaiting our discovery… go within. – Jaeda DeWalt

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So, this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Pratyahara-focused Meditation Practice. You can try this with Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, with a guided meditation, or on your own.. whatever feels right to you! Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Pratyahara Meditation! If you have another favorite, then please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama (Breathing) – October 2021 – Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

Good morning Yogis! Today is a KISS (keep it super simple) Day! So, we are going to revisit Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice.

cool perspective looking at the top of snow covered colorado mountains under a bright blue partly cloudy sky - pranayama breath breathing Quote: The mind is the king of the senses, and the breath is the king of the mind. - B.K.S. Iyengar
The mind is the king of the senses, and the breath is the king of the mind. – B.K.S. Iyengar

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Pranayama Day today, try our Breath-Focused Meditation with our Three Part Breath Below!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this three-part breath. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

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

Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

  • PART 1 – Belly: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of three part breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale.
  • PART 2 – Ribs: After 10 complete belly breaths, after expanding into your belly – try expanding your rib cage outwards on inhales and allowing to compress on exhales.
  • PART 3 – Chest: After 10 full inhale and exhalations with rib cage expansion – first fill your belly, then expand rib cage, then try allowing your clavicle (collar bone) to rise as you fill and empty your lungs completely for another 10 breaths.

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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? Have you tried this full three-part breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas (Poses) – October 2021 – Top 5 Meditation Poses

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will cover my Top 5 Positions or Asanas for Meditation.

Please try all of these meditation poses, at least briefly and see which feels best for you! Please note there is no right or wrong here.. I am sharing MY Top 5, but many others may disagree with me. For example, I find Virasana / Hero Pose comfortable for an extended time only with a block under my seat, and occasionally find Lotus Pose enjoyable, which is too intense for many Yogis.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a meditation in the position / Asana of your choice. We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October. Try our breath-focused meditation, or perhaps a meditative drive or hike! If you prefer guided meditations, for Asana Day today try a Restorative Asana class with Guided Meditation.

TOP 5 MEDITATION POSITIONS / ASANAS

1. SIDDHASANA – ADEPT’S POSE – CROSS-LEGGED SEATED MEDITATION

Siddhasana - adepts adept's pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

I enjoy Siddhasana (sid-DAH-sa-na) or Adepts Pose for Meditation. This is basically my comfortable seated position, and that is just how I always envisioned meditating! This Asana is basically a slightly more difficult version of Sukhasana / Easy Pose.

Start in a comfortable cross legged position. Then spread your knees a bit further, and bring your feet in towards your groin – keep your leg on the mat and tuck your ankles/shins over each other. Look down and make sure there is no empty space between your legs and feet. Keep your torso straight and tall over your hips. 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. You can put your hands on the ground and gently press to lengthen your back, or rest your hands on your knees. You can pull a bit on your knees to help open your chest and help keep your back straight. You should keep your head, neck, and shoulders aligned over your hips in any seated pose. Your hands can either gently rest on knees and/or in your favorite mudra/placement for meditation. PS if any poses are uncomfortable, try with a couch pillow or block under your seat! Try not to move your body while meditating, I find it helps to switch my legs each day of practice for any cross legged positions to even out my posture!

Make sure you keep your back straight, not rounded in any seated position! If you notice your back rounding in this pose, move your legs back out to Sukhasana / easy pose, making a small triangle of empty space between your legs. I prefer Siddhasana over Sukhasana, because bringing in my feet helps me maintain a straighter back. I also prefer Siddhasana over Padmasana / Lotus Pose for meditation, since Lotus can get a bit strenuous on my ankles for an extended time.

2. SEATED IN A CHAIR – SEATED MEDITATION

Chair Yoga is very common, and chairs are often the most comfortable seat we can find! It is important to be comfortable and maintain your posture if you will be sitting for an extended period of time, and a chair can help with both. Driving is also my favorite meditative activity, so sitting in a chair (driver’s seat also counts to me) makes this #2 for my Top 5!

3. SHAVASANA – CORPSE POSE – RECLINED / SUPINE MEDITATION

shavasana savasana - corpse pose - yoga pose girl red hair wearing black on gray yoga mat
Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Shavasana or Corpse Pose is often considered the most important Asana, especially after Asana Class. I occasionally enjoy deep meditations if I need help to fall asleep, and it is absolutely required to be in bed in Shavasana for those guided meditations! One of my favorite things about meditation in Shavasana is that I can breathe more deeply into my belly than I am able to in a seated position.

Lay on your back, and allow your legs and feet to gently splay open. Rest your arms a few inches away from your body, with palms facing up. Close your eyes, and allow your entire body to relax and sink into the mat. You can use a couch pillow under your head and/or knees, or any modifications to make this pose more comfortable for an extended time. I occasionally take Shavasana with knees bent and feet on the floor, and/or with elbows bent and hands under my head or cactus-arms to the side.

To come out, gently roll onto your right side, then press your hand into the mat to come back up slowly into a seated position.

4. TADASANA – MOUNTAIN POSE – STANDING / WALKING MEDITATION

Tadasana - mountain pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Tadasana / Mountain Pose is often thought of as neutral standing, but this a power pose for many Yogis. Yoga Retreats frequently offer meditation walks or mindfulness hikes. This is something I try with our Santosha practices of enjoying the present moment! A meditative walk or hike is a great way to begin meditating, especially if mindfulness practices are new to you, or you have difficulty calming the mind while sitting quietly.

5. VIRASANA – HERO’S POSE – KNEELING MEDITATION

Virasana - hero hero's pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Virasana / Hero’s Pose is actually the most comfortable seat for many Yogis. However, this is my Top 5, and I find kneeling positions strenuous on my feet and knees for extended periods of time. I can only hold kneeling positions comfortably with a block under my seat! I do enjoy meditation in a kneeling position, resting my hands on my knees.

This is a kneeling Asana, and usually much more comfortable for Yogis with tight hips than the cross legged posses above. Start kneeling with knees and toes together. Then, bring the toes apart, and sit yourself down between your legs. Make sure to keep your back straight, with hips, shoulders, and head in line. This pose can be rough on my knees, and sometimes bothers my heels and tops of my feet if I’ve been wearing high heels. I find this pose much more comfortable with a block under my seat as pictured below.

Virasana - hero hero's pose with block - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Virasana with block

CHECK OUT OUR Other Top 5 lists
TOP 5 YOGA Equipment and Yoga MATS!

I would recommend a block, couch pillows, or perhaps a folded-up blanket for support under the seat. Pick your favorite chair for a seated meditation, or comfortable shoes for a meditative hike or walk!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

There you have it, my Top 5 Meditation Positions! Please comment to share if your Top 5 would be different.. I know many Yogis enjoy seated positions other than Adept’s Pose, or prefer Shavasana to any other position. Always remember, be kind!

mountain yogi padmasana lotus tarryn vokes tarryn tyler
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Ishvara Pranidhana (Surrender) – October 2021 – OM

Good Morning Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Today we will practice Ishvara Pranidhana / Surrender focusing on the literal translation from Sanskrit – surrender to all-pervading consciousness and its vibration/sound/representation OM. We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October. For Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, we will get our OMs on! I am going to practice a Guided Meditation with some OMs!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice some OMs for Ishvara Pranidhana Day. 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. Please see my intro to OM for more info and links for in-depth research. 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 a guided meditation.

cool shot of sunset in dark blue cloudy sky in snowy mountain valley - ishvara pranidhana surrender acceptance OM vibration Quote: Everything in life is vibration. - Albert Einstein
Everything in life is vibration. – Albert Einstein

CYMATICS

I recently learned about Chladni platescymatics, and visual representation of OM. If you are a science nerd like me, PLEASE go check this out.. it is mind-blowing.

silver om symbol on dark blue background
Om – Sanskrit

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

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Svadhyaya (Self-Study) – October 2021 – Self-Reflective Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Svadhyaya / Self-Study Day. We started practicing this Niyama by beginning a journal as a tool for self-reflection – if this is your first Svadhyaya Day, please consider starting a paper or electronic journal today and joining us with this practice!

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October. For Svadhyaya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Self-Reflective Guided Meditation. You will want to take notes from this guided meditation in your journal!

cool shot of midtown atlanta and stone mountain under cloudy blue sky with glass skyscrapers - svadhyaya self-study positive thinking power of thoughts Quote: Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is! - The Bhagavad Gita
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is! – The Bhagavad Gita

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try this self-reflective guided meditation for Svadhyaya Day This is one of the most interesting guided meditations I have tried, so today’s practice is this self-reflective guided meditation that utilizes the very challenges we face with meditation.

Journal DaY

Also, this is a good time to make a full journal entry if you have not kept up with this new practice! I have been doing a lot of journaling lately, more frequently than just Svadhyaya Days, since I have had a lot of interesting life events to document and prioritized Svadhyaya practice for myself for 2021… I am using both daily prompt 5-year guided journal and more artsy guided journal, but am happy to have a more free-style writing day today. If you are not sure what to write about, the Self-Reflective Guided Meditation may give some prompts from yourself to explore. Or, you can journal on your reflections on today’s quote from The Bhagavad Gita (available in our free Daily Yogi App). The Bhagavad Gita or God’s Song is a section from the Indian Sacred Epic – The Mahabharata. It is the most widely known of these Sacred Texts, and is widely read among modern-day thinkers.

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

Please comment and share your thoughts on today’s guided meditation or quote 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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Tapas (Discipline) – October 2021 – World Mental Health Day

Good Morning Yogis! Today is World Mental Health Day and we are in the middle of October National Emotional Wellness Month. I created Daily Yogi as a Tapas tool, to help with reminding and motivating myself to practice the Yoga Sutras. These positive practices from the Sutras support mental health, positive mindset, and Yoga’s path to enlightenment!

mental health practices infographic: eating well, get enough sleep, manage stress, be sociable, having fun, activity and exercise, avoid alcohol smoking and drugs, get plenty of sunlight, practicing healthy thinking, taking care of your body, digital detox, helping others, slowing down, solving problems, ask for help
eating well, get enough sleep, manage stress, be sociable, having fun, activity and exercise, avoid alcohol smoking and drugs, get plenty of sunlight, practicing healthy thinking, taking care of your body, digital detox, helping others, slowing down, solving problems, ask for help

We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day, and today is Tapas (self-discipline) Day. Each Tapas Day, we are making and/or checking a goal that was important to us. It has been a little more than 10 months since our first Tapas Day for the year, and I would say I have successfully formed my new habit of (almost) daily Duolingo language practice, and have moved on testing daily Asana and Meditation habits. If you have not kept up with your daily habit goals, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the electronic and visual reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success!

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Tapas day today, try a Morning Motivation Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to monitor our daily habit goals, and set a new one if needed. Also, let’s practice some of the recommended activities to support mental health for Mental Health Day today! We have covered many of these practices on the graphic on past days, but I can see get plenty of sunlight and get enough sleep have been missed since last year’s World Mental Health Day – perhaps evaluate your sleep and sunlight intake, and take steps to make time for more sleep and sunlight each day! If you want to get an extra Yoga Workout for Tapas Day, I recommend Tiger Crunches – a great Ab and Glute workout!

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

cool perspective sun shining over mountain peaks with grassy lake in lush alpine valley - sunshine fresh air get outside mental health Quote: Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. – Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Please comment and share how you are doing. Have you kept up with your new habit? Are you changing your systems or perhaps setting a new meaningful goal? Is there another 30 Day Challenge theme you would like us to try? Always remember, be kind!

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Santosha (Contentment) – October 2021

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Santosha / Contentment Day… today is one of my favorite daily Sutra-inspired practices!

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Santosha Day today, my meditation for the day is a Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation. Try to remember any positive affirmations that resonate with you – perhaps add to your journal, repeat and reflect on your moment in nature today, and/or come back to them during meditation. I enjoyed “Today I look for and appreciate the good” and “I am worthy, I am enough.”

cool perspective sunlit cloudy mountain sky with pink orange and blue sunset - santosha contentment happiness satisfaction Quote: The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. - Thich Nhat Hanh
The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice for Santosha Day is focusing on the present moment, ideally in nature. We are practicing the finding the happiness in the “now”. Here are some of our best tips!

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

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

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

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Saucha (Purity) – October 2021

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Niyamas for our daily practices with Saucha or Purity Day.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Saucha Day today, my meditation for the day is a Cleansing Guided Meditation.

deep blue alpine lake in snowy mountain valley under bright blue partly cloudy sky - saucha purity cleanliness self-care Quote: Cleanliness is a habit that keeps the body, mind, and environment neat, clean, and delightful and free from dirt and toxic things. - Amit Ray
Cleanliness is a habit that keeps the body, mind, and environment neat, clean, and delightful and free from dirt and toxic things. – Amit Ray

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a deep cleaning or pampering of our bodies for Saucha Day. Need some ideas?

  • Enjoy 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.
  • Clean your insides with a clean-eating day – no junk food, or perhaps try another clean eating diet method or cleanse of your choice.
  • Whatever practice feels right for you to integrate Saucha into your day.

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

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Utthita Tadasana – Five Pointed Star Pose – Draconids Meteor Shower

Good morning Yogis! Today is the ideal day for the Draconids Meteor Shower. This is a fairly minor meteor shower at only 10/hour, but it is one of the few meteor showers that is best viewed in the early evening.. if the sky is clear, try to catch a shooting star tonight! I seriously LOVE stars, all kinds of stars… whether sparkling in the sky, printed all over my footed pajamas, or doodled in the margins of all my notebooks. So today we are taking a break after completing the Yamas and before starting the Niyamas to cover Utthita Tadasana (OOT-hi-ta ta-DA-sa-nuh) or Five Pointed Star Pose.

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For our Star Themed day today, my meditation for the day is a Celestial Visualization Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Utthita Tadasana or Five Pointed Star Pose, and try to stargaze and catch a shooting star in tonight’s Meteor Shower! PS the Draconids Meteor Shower peaks tomorrow October 8th, but the dark sky of the new moon makes for ideal viewing tonight! This meteor shower is active until the 10th, so you can stargaze another night if visibility is poor today.

Utthita Tadasana – FIve Pointed Star Pose

The literal translation for this pose from Sanskrit is “Extended Mountain Pose” and we will enter from Tadasana or Mountain Pose. The traditional version and variation below are frequently used in Kid’s Yoga, or this is a common transitional Asana that is often passed-through (ie when moving into Warrior Poses) but not often held in adult classes. However, this “Extended” Mountain Pose is a great power pose on its own!

Utthita Tadasana - five-pointed star pose - yoga pose girl pink and purple planet galaxy background
Utthita Tadasana – Star Pose

Feet and Legs – Starting with your legs closed in Tadasana / Mountain Pose, step or hop your feet out as wide as comfortable, at least double hip-width. Try to have your wrists under ankles when you raise your arms around to come into the traditional expression of this Asana – I prefer holding his pose with legs closer together for a solid “power pose”. Toes can point straight ahead, or turn out slightly to point at the corners of your mat. 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.

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.

Arms – Exhale and spread your arms wide at shoulder height to come into the traditional version of Utthita Tadasana. Spread your fingers wide, and your palms can face down to the floor or straight ahead.

Hold this pose for as long as comfortable, usually 3-5 breaths.

To come into the variation below, keep your shoulders down and back, and raise your hands above your head.

Utthita Tadasana - five-pointed star pose variation hands raised - yoga pose girl blue planet galaxy background
Utthita Tadasana – Star Pose – Hands Raised

PPS If you are comfortable with Utthita Tadasana, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!

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

Utthita Tadasana will not require any props other than a yoga mat.
You can try holding a strap between hands for tight shoulders and to keep arms in line.

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Utthita Tadasana / Five Pointed Star Pose before? Were you able to catch a shooting star for the Draconids Meteor Shower? Always remember, be kind!

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Aparigraha (Non-Attachment) – October 2021

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Aparigraha or Non-Attachment Day.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Aparigraha Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on non-attachment.

close-up of cool bright green succulent plants blossoming - aparigraha nonattachment detachment Quote: Be aware of the ephemeral nature of material things. Lose your attachment to them. - Shui-ch’ing Tzu
Be aware of the ephemeral nature of material things. Lose your attachment to them. – Shui-ch’ing Tzu

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!

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

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Brahmacharya (Moderation) – October 2021

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Brahmacharya or Moderation Day.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Brahmacharya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Balance.

side of gray brick building with sheet metal house in bright green sunlit forest - brahmacharya moderation middle path Quote: Everything that exceeds the bounds of moderation has an unstable foundation. - Seneca the Younger
Everything that exceeds the bounds of moderation has an unstable foundation. – Seneca the Younger

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

  • Today is Amazon Prime Day and a great chance to practice moderation! Perhaps make sure to only purchase things you really need this year, and not get sucked into frivolous purchases because of great deals!
  • 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.

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

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Asteya (Non-Stealing) – October 2021

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Asteya or Non-stealing Day. So, we will be practicing Asteya with the positive of non-stealing or generosity today!

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Asteya Day today, my meditation for the day is a brief Generosity Guided Meditation.

cool perspective looking up at flower pod and right green plant leaves - asteya non-stealing generosity Quote: It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert. - Jacques-Yves Cousteau
It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert. – Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice a random act of generosity for today’s Asteya / Non-stealing Day. Need some ideas?

  • Today is World Animal Day – Please consider making a donation to the World Wildlife Fund to help protect endangered animals and their environments!
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Please comment if you would like to share how you practiced Asteya today! Always remember, be kind!

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Satya (Truthfulness) – October 2021

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day. Today’s Satya practice is focused on the “benevolent truth” translation of Satya from Sanskrit.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Satya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation – Seeing Your True Self about loving yourself and seeing your true potential.

cool new england rock garden landscape with bright green grass, gray rocks, and trees under partly cloudy sky - satya truth truthfulness self honesty Quote: The ability to ask questions is the greatest resource in learning the truth. - Carl Jung
The ability to ask questions is the greatest resource in learning the truth. – Carl Jung

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is sharing a kind truth with someone you care about. 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. Need some ideas?

  • 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.

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Please comment if you would like to share how your Satya practice went today! Always remember, be kind!

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Ahimsa (Non-Harming) – October 2021 – International Day of Non-Violence

international day of non-violence october 10.01 blue and white world infographic

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Limbs of Yoga for our daily positive practices with Ahimsa or non-harming. Today is also the International Day of Non-Violence, created by the United Nations honoring Ghandi’s birthday.

chichen itza mexico aztec temple across green lawn under partly cloudy sky - ahimsa nonviolence kindness Quote: Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Ahimsa day today, my meditation for the day is a Loving Kindness Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a random act of kindness for today’s Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day and International Day of Non-Violence. Need ideas? Here is 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.

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

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October Emotional Wellness Month 2021 – Intentions and Yoga Philosophy

Good Morning Yogis! Happy October! October is National Emotional Wellness Month. I find challenge-focused months super helpful for my own motivation, so today we are starting another challenge for October – Daily Meditation! You do not have to participate in this or any of our particular monthly challenge themes, we will be continuing our daily Positive Practices drawn from Yoga Philosophy throughout next month. Consider getting the Daily Yogi App for reminders if you are participating – this is a great Tapas tool!

close-up tangled maze bush branches and green leaves growing around cast iron planter around one single central small bright red flower - intentions yoga reality power of positive thinking Quote: Your world is a living expression of how you are using and have used your mind. - Earl Nightingale
Your world is a living expression of how you are using and have used your mind. – Earl Nightingale

As we begin Emotional Wellness Month and our bonus daily meditation challenge, I want to discuss an important common concept from Yoga Philosophy – Setting Intentions! If you have attended Yoga classes at a Yoga Studio, you likely have heard your teacher recommend setting an intention for your practice that day. We have talked about keeping Santosha / contentment in Asana practice to avoid injury. I often set Pranayama / Breath as my intention for Asana practice with a mantra of “breathe” or “just breathe”, since in more dynamic classes I forget to maintain my preferred Ocean Breath as the Asana series picks up speed. Here is a great article with more on intentions and mantras on and off the Yoga mat.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to set a positive intention for yourself for October, keeping October’s mental and emotional wellness theme in mind. This can be big or small:

Part of the reason we set intentions in Asana practice is to have something positive to come back to that we want to focus on. Additionally, we will have this to return to when we meet challenges. I set “just breathe” as my intention for nearly a decade now, and I do truly breathe into difficulties on the mat, and I have improved my breath during v practice by keeping this in the back of my mind. There is much to be said for the power of positive thinking.

Although I do believe in the power of positive thinking and believe this helps with emotional wellness, I will discuss my own views on this a bit later this month. Here is more info if you do not want to wait!

More on the Power of Positive Thinking

The Law of Attraction & Power of Positive Thinking Intro

11 Ways to Boost Positive Thinking

The Old School of Positive Thinking – Earl Nightengale

The Old School of Positive Thinking – Florence Scovel Schinn

Today is the first day of our Daily Meditation Challenge for October! Some of my favorite guided meditations are Manifest Meditations, which harness the powers of positive thinking, visualization, and the law of attraction. Today my meditation practice is one of my favorite 10 Minute Manifest Meditations.

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Please comment and share how if setting positive intentions is part of your Yoga or Asana practice. Are you taking other steps to improve your mental and emotional wellness this month? Are you going to join us in our daily meditation challenge for October? Always remember, be kind!

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