December 2021 Holiday Season – Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga: Meditation – New Years Eve

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

cool perspective looking at fluorescent lit glass art in dark room - meditation, upper limbs of yoga calm mind Quote: Are you a stingy breather? Well, don’t be. Be extravagant with you breathing and come fully alive. - Ron Fletcher
With meditation, you become a sensitized superhero, completely in control, with endless possibilities at your fingertips. – Tara Stiles

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is any Meditation Practice for Upper Limbs Day. You can scan through all of our recent meditations or check our most recent Dharana Day Post for a variety of focused meditative practices. I recommend a New Years Themed Guided Meditation to get a head start for our resolutions practices tomorrow!

New Years Eve

Today is also New Years Eve, the last day of the year. 2021 has been a challenging year full of changes, and I am focused on continuing the positive changes with a New Years Themed Guided Meditation today.

Last year I tried an energy clearing guided meditation and theta wave ambient noise meditation for New Years Eve. If these do not resonate with you, perhaps try a guided meditation on finding your path or Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation.

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

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Pranayama (Breathing) – Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day! We will revisit a warming and energizing new technique – Bhastrika Pranayama or Bellows’ Breath!

cool perspective looking at blue sky reflection in ornate dark mirror - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Are you a stingy breather? Well, don’t be. Be extravagant with you breathing and come fully alive. - Ron Fletcher
Are you a stingy breather? Well, don’t be. Be extravagant with you breathing and come fully alive. – Ron Fletcher

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Bhastrika Pranayama, an energizing Pranayama Practice. We will start diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this breath. Please note this is a technique that should be practiced on its own, NOT during Asana practice! This Pranayama is best first thing in the morning, or if you need an energy boost during the day. Also, this technique is best on an empty stomach, or at least a couple hours after eating!

This is a great technique to watch and follow along – click here for video instructions!

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start 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.

Bhastrika Pranayama / Bellows Breath

  • After 5-10 full Diaphragmatic Breaths, close your mouth and begin the Bellows Breath:
  • Exhale forcefully through the nose, followed by inhaling forcefully through the nose.
    • These are quick forceful breaths, about one second for each inhale and one second for each exhale.
    • Use your diaphragm to initiate this breath, so your belly moves in and out quickly with your breath. Note that due to the speed, your breath will likely only reach your chest, not your belly.
    • Keep head, neck, and shoulders still throughout this technique.
  • Complete a round of 10 Bellows Breaths.
  • Move back to Diaphragmatic Breathing for 5-10 complete breaths. If you are getting dizzy, just stick with one round.
  • Complete a second round of 20 Bellows Breaths.
  • Move back to Diaphragmatic Breathing for 10 complete breaths.
  • Complete a third round of 30 Bellows Breaths.
  • Do not practice more than 3 rounds or 60 total Bellows Breaths at a time.

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Have you tried this breath technique? How many rounds did you complete? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Asanas (Poses) – Asana Styles – Hatha Series

purple yogi girl uttkatasana chair pose yoga
Utkatasana – Chair or Powerful Pose

We just wrapped up practice of the Niyamas after our extended Yamas Holiday practices, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will cover Hatha Yoga and try a Hatha Yoga Series. I have been trying to keep Asanas as a daily practice lately, and I practice Hatha style most frequently as part of my morning routine.

Branches Vs Limbs of Yoga

We have talked about the 8 Limbs of Yoga, a number of practices that build upon each other. We will now 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. I consider different Branches of Yoga to be different Paths of Yoga. In my understanding, different Branches of Yoga give different weights and priorities to particular practices from the 8 Limbs of Yoga. For example, I believe Ghandi’s Karma Yoga emphasizes the practice of certain Yamas – particularly Ahimsa, Satya, and Aparigraha. My particular approach with Daily Yogi focusing on practicing all 8 Limbs of Yoga is quite similar to the Raja (also called Ashtanga) Branch of Yoga. However Raja Yoga places much more emphasis and focus on the Upper Limbs and Meditation, and we are taking a more practical approach with more focus on the Lower Limbs for our daily practices. Remember, I discuss that my personal practice usually includes daily Asanas and Meditation, so please consider adding daily personal practice focuses or intentions each month with me if you would like a more traditional Raja Yoga approach!

Hatha 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.

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.

Recommended Hatha Yoga Videos

Beginner Morning Hatha Series

AM Connection Hatha Series

Check out a sped up version of the first video above, to get a quick idea of what Hatha style is like! You will notice beginner poses held for a longer period of time with more instruction.

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Utkatasana - chair powerful pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink and green sparkle set doing yoga inside in cool pink and green yoga studio
Utkatasana – Chair or Powerful Pose

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

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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December 2021 Holiday Season – Niyamas (Personal Observances)

Good Morning Yogis! We just completed our special Holiday week of Yamas practices. We typically take 5 days to practice each of the Niyamas (personal observances), but today we will have a ‘personal day’ and select one or two of our choice to practice today.

cool perspective two friends walking across a lit up bridge during holidays at night - self-care self-love self-improvement personal development niyamas personal observances Quote: The swiftest way to triple your success is to double your investment in personal development. - Robin Sharma
The swiftest way to triple your success is to double your investment in personal development. – Robin Sharma

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice any of the 5 Niyamas or personal observances of our choice. I am practicing Saucha with some cleaning and organizing, and Svadhyaya with a journal day! Need more ideas?

  • Practice Saucha with cleaning your surroundings or a personal deep-cleaning
  • Practice Santosha with mindfulness practices or living in the moment
  • Practice Tapas with a workout or getting something done you have been putting off
  • Practice Svadhyaya with a journal day or reading a sacred text of your choice
  • Practice Ishvara Pranidhana with acceptance and non-attachment with your actions and any difficult situations

INTRO CHALLENGE On Now!
Next challenge May 2022

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice one of the Niyamas today. Always remember, be kind!

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Aparigraha (Non-attachment)

Good Morning Yogis! We just completed our special Holiday week of Brahmacharya. Today we will practice the last of the YamasAparigraha / non-attachment.

cool shot of cloudy gray sky over snowy landscape under red rocks - aparigraha nonattachment detachment Quote: To Karma (action) alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction. - The Bhagavad Gita
To Karma (action) alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction. – The Bhagavad Gita

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

Today’s quote is from the Bhagavad Gita, check out the Daily Yogi App for quick access to the Gita!

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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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December 2021 Holiday Season – Brahmacharya (Moderation): Day 7 – Boxing Day

Good Morning Yogis! We are wrapping up our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

cool shot of purple and gray sunset over darkened pine trees in epic alpine valley - brahmacharya moderation middle path unplug digital detox Quote: We were promised a simpler life, and technology has only complicated our lives. - Freeman Thomas
We were promised a simpler life, and technology has only complicated our lives. – Freeman Thomas

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our nineteenth day of Holiday Yamas Practices! After counting down the first 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing), we are now having a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will quickly wrap up the remaining 7 Limbs of Yoga before we restart the 8 Limbs of Yoga for our January Challenge.

Holiday Season – Boxing Day

Today is the final day of a full week of Brahmacharya (moderation) practices. Today is also Boxing Day, a UK and Canadian holiday I grew up with on my calendars but never understood! Boxing Day was originally a day off for servants to celebrate the Christmas holiday with their families, and was named because their employers presented them with a “box” gift for the holiday. In modern times, Boxing Day is more like a Black Friday shopping discount holiday. Today we are closing our week of holiday moderation with one of my favorite Brahmacharya practices – a digital detox day!

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

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Please comment and share how your Brahmacharya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Brahmacharya (Moderation): Day 6 – Christmas

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

cool perspective bare aspen trees and dark green pine trees in snowy alpine landscape under cloudy gray sky - brahmacharya moderation middle path balance rest Quote: Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. - Maya Angelou
Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. – Maya Angelou

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our eighteenth day of Holiday Yamas Practices! After counting down the first 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing), we are now having a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation!

Holiday Season – Christmas

Today is the sixth day of a full week of Brahmacharya (moderation) practices. Today is also Christmas, which is a day nearly every business is closed. So, today we will practice Brahmacharya with our lives by taking a full day off from work! Many of us, especially in the US, work many more hours than the typical 9-5, and with email and remote access we often are expected to communicate for work from home as well. There is research that this excessive work focus is NOT good for our mental health, so please take the opportunity today if you can to completely disconnect from work including emails!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to examine Brahmacharya / moderation with our work / life balance by taking a full day off from work. PS I have friends who are medical professionals who often work on this holiday to allow coworkers with children to be with their families… if you also have to work today, plan to completely turn off from work on your next day off! If you are too busy with work or holiday events to relax today, schedule for yourself a complete ‘day off’ as soon as possible!

INTRO CHALLENGE On Now!
Next challenge May 2022

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Please comment and share how your Brahmacharya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Brahmacharya (Moderation): Day 5 – Christmas Eve

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

shiny blue Christmas decoration in nature among dark green pine trees covered with snow in snowy alpine landscape - brahmacharya moderation middle path silence quiet Quote: Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence. - Deepak Chopra
Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence. – Deepak Chopra

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our seventeenth day of Holiday Yamas Practices! After counting down the first 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing), we are now having a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation!

Holiday Season – Christmas Eve

Today is the fifth day of a full week of Brahmacharya (moderation) practices. Today is also Christmas Eve. I grew up celebrating Christmas, and my favorite Christmas Carol growing up was Silent Night on Christmas Eve. So, today we will practice Brahmacharya with our speech.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to examine Brahmacharya / moderation with our speech. Perhaps have a truly Silent Night and enjoy a quiet night at home with the family. You can follow our Gate Rule we use for Satya for speech, or perhaps just try to only speak if necessary for the day. For those of you that know me, this will be quite a challenge!

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Please comment and share how your Brahmacharya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Brahmacharya (Moderation): Day 4

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my nerdy research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

cool shot of purple and blue sunset over darkened pine trees in epic alpine valley - brahmacharya moderation middle path Quote: The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you don’t, life controls you. - Tony Robbins
The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you don’t, life controls you. – Tony Robbins

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our sixteenth day of Holiday Yamas Practices! After counting down the first 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing), we are now having a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation!

Holiday Season – 12/23

Today is the fourth day of a full week of Brahmacharya (moderation) practices. Today we will examine another translation of Brahmacharya as celibacy. I do not completely agree with this, I generally prefer to follow the middle path as we have discussed. In fact, I believe this middle path concept (and the emphasis in Buddhism on meditation) is the primary difference between Yoga and Buddhist philosophy. I myself consider this an evolution in the philosophy, and generally adhere to the middle path rather than any form of abstinence… I am the type of person where avoidance frequently leads to over-indulgence! I personally consider celibacy a goal or path only for monks, similar to perfect adherence to Ahimsa / non-harming which can be difficult or impossible in some professions (especially medical professionals). Some Yogis consider celibacy to be an extremely important practice on the path to enlightenment and I will admit my preferred translation of “Godlike” does tie in with this. Either way, Brahmacharya practice is typically related to the channeling and appropriate use of all forms of personal energy, which I do my best to practice. So, perhaps try a day of or set yourself up for a period of celibacy if you are interested in this practice – but remember this practice is not for everyone, and consider first non-harming with your partner if you are in a relationship! Or, you can focus on the practice of controlling and proper use of our own personal energy in its various forms.

In addition to moderating sexual energy, we should consider our mental and physical energy usage as well. A number of our past Brahmacharya practice days relate to moderation of food, which is an important practice in regulating desire for myself as a foodie… and the Buddha’s realization surrounding the middle path arose from considerations surrounding his aescetic’s diet. We frequently waste time and mental energy reading social media, or ruminating on negative thoughts, experiences, or fears. Most of us are prone to either lethargy or over-exertion physically. I am personally constantly trying to strike a better balance between work and personal time, and many of us are so busy with our day-to-day lives we do not have time during the day for even 5-10 minutes of self-care.. this constant business is not an ideal use of energy, and many of us experience burnout. I find mindfulness to be one of the easiest ways to practice Brahmacharya, both being present in the moment, and examining both our reasons for and our feelings with our actions or inactions.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to examine Brahmacharya / moderation and the middle path in our lives with our own energy. We are in the middle of a full week of holiday Brahmacharya focused moderation practices. Although some Yogis translate Brahmacharya as celibacy and focus on redirecting this energy, we will examine proper use of various kinds of personal energy. I recommend practicing mindfulness with your actions and desires today, and evaluating whether you are using your mental and physical energy appropriately. Or, perhaps set yourself up for a period of celibacy if you are interested in this practice and it is compatible with your life.

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Please comment and share how your Brahmacharya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Brahmacharya (Moderation): Day 3 – Capricorn Season – Mermaid Pose

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my nerdy research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana - mermaid pose - yoga pose girl wearing black yoga pants and tank top artsy background sparkly pale pink and yellow lights
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – Mermaid Pose

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our fifteenth day of Holiday Yamas Practices! After counting down the first 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing), we are now having a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation!

Holiday Season – Capricorn Season

Today is the third day of a full week of Brahmacharya (moderation) practices. Today we will also celebrate the start of Capricorn Season which technically started yesterday! I was surprised to learn that although Capricorn is an earth sign, this sign is represented by a Sea Goat! This Sea Goat is basically half-fish and half-goat, so I selected the half-fish Mermaid Pose for today! This is an advanced pose, that I am not able to hold safely yet.. please do not try this advanced pose until you are ready! For our second focused moderation practice, we will examine practicing moderation with Asana practice.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to examine Brahmacharya / moderation and the middle path with our Asana practice. This is somewhat similar to the practice of Santosha or contentment with our Asanas. There are many advanced poses I cannot yet express fully, and the Asana I selected to represent the start of Capricorn Season is Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (EH-huk PAH-duh RAH-juh-kah-po-TA-sa-nuh) or Mermaid Pose is one of those poses! This pose requires a lot of openness in both the chest and hips, and have just started being comfortable with step two of this pose, to bend my back leg from regular One-legged Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose, and cannot yet hook my arm! When practicing Asanas and working into advanced poses, keeping Brahmacharya and Santosha in mind is important to avoid injury, and to only move as far into a pose as is comfortable, and be gentle with your body. You will notice this Yogi is a model, not me, since I am not yet able to perform this pose. Like our Scorpio advanced pose, we will only include instructions for advanced teachers and Yogis on Tummee below.

If you want to practice a beginner pose where Brahmacharya is necessary to gently work progress and avoid injury – try gentle standing backbends!

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana - mermaid pose - yoga pose girl wearing black yoga pants and tank top artsy background underwater in ocean with fish and light streaking through the water
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – Mermaid Pose

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

You will likely need both a block and a strap for support as you work your way into this pose!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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Please comment and share how you practice Brahmacharya with your Asanas. Are you able to express Mermaid Pose? How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Brahmacharya (Moderation): Day 2 – Winter Solstice

Good Morning Yogis – Happy Winter! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my nerdy research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

cool shot of alpine mountain valley with snowy pine trees under light blue sky full of snow clouds - brahmacharya moderation middle path Quote: What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. - John Steinbeck
What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. – John Steinbeck

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our fourteenth day of Holiday Yamas Practices! After counting down the first 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing), we are now having a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation!

Holiday Season – Winter Solstice

Today is the second day of a full week of Brahmacharya (moderation) practices. Today is also the Winter Solstice, the shortest and darkest day of the year. Many cultures have important holidays on the Solstice such as Dongzhi and Yalda. So, for our first focused moderation practice, we will examine our energy and resource usage, and I recommend using candles on this longest night of the year!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to examine Brahmacharya / moderation and the middle path in our lives with energy and resource consumption. This is the start of a full week of holiday Brahmacharya focused moderation practices. If you are wrapping gifts consider using greener options like gift bags, recycled paper, or other options. Review your adherence to reduce reuse recycle – which should be practiced in that order. Or, on this darkest night of the year, perhaps skip the electricity and use candles or the fireplace!

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Please comment and share how your Brahmacharya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Brahmacharya (Moderation): Day 1 – Yule

Good Morning Yogis – Happy Yule! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my nerdy research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

cool shot of alpine mountain valley with snowy pine trees under cloudy blue sky - brahmacharya moderation middle path Quote: Moderation in exercise, eating and amusement is the best guarantee of a beneficial vacation. - Ollie Reeves
Moderation in exercise, eating and amusement is the best guarantee of a beneficial vacation. – Ollie Reeves

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our thirteenth day of Holiday Yamas Practices! After counting down the first 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing), we are now having a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation!

Holiday Season – Yule

Today is the first day of a full week of Brahmacharya (moderation) practices. Today we will have a KISS (keep it super simple) Day and revisit my interpretation of Brahmacharya as the middle path – neither excess nor avoidance. Set an intention for yourself for taking the middle path this week in an area of your choice. I will be keeping this in mind throughout Christmas week in the US. Do not deprive yourself, enjoy small amounts of your holiday treats without over-indulging! If this concept of the middle path is new to you, please see more here or go here for a deep-dive.

Today (using the ancient method of measuring days beginning from sunset, rather than midnight) is also the first day of Yule. Yule is an ancient Germanic and Norse winter holiday, which has had many traditions carry into modern Christmas traditions. These include feasting, gift-giving, Christmas trees, holly, mistletoe, and of course Yule-tide and Yule log references in many Christmas carols.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to examine Brahmacharya / moderation and the middle path in our lives and set an intention for this week of moderation. This is the start of a full week of holiday Brahmacharya practices, so we will will have focused moderation practices, but I suggest setting a goal for yourself for this week in a way of your choosing! I often choose to revisit food-related moderation because I love candy, and easily eat far too much when I partake mindlessly rather than mindfully… and this is especially true with the special holiday treats around Christmas!

INTRO CHALLENGE On Now!
Next challenge May 2022

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Please comment and share how your Brahmacharya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Asteya (Non-Stealing): Day 3

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

cool shot of people standing inside big ben clock - asteya non-stealing giving balance time Quote: Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back. - Harvey MacKay original work - https://unsplash.com/photos/IXpuRZvhCT0
Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back. – Harvey MacKay

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our twelfth day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week (starting tomorrow!) of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

Holiday Season – 12/19

Today is the third and final day of our Asteya (non-stealing) practices. Today we will practice the positive of non-stealing in a specific way – with time.

This is always a challenge for me, so I am excited to start integrating this Asteya practice! It seems like I try to be 10 minutes early for everything, but always end up 5 minutes late. This is something I always want to improve on.. I dislike having to sit for a long time in a waiting room, and always feel guilty doing this to people waiting for me! I did a bit of research, and learned this is a problem for optimists, who generally hope for things to go well and do not plan a buffer for things that inevitably go wrong. This commute optimism is my main problem, both in the city when traffic can build up quickly and in the mountains where you can easily get stuck behind a slow truck on a single-lane road. Additionally, if I am running late and see a beautiful cloud formation, or sunset, or another picture-perfect scene, I do not have the flexibility to stop and enjoy or photograph the moment!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to examine Asteya / Non-Stealing in our relationship with and management of time. If you are like me and struggle with this 5-minute late issue, please check out this great detailed list of causes and solutions for tardiness.

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

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Asteya (Non-Stealing): Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

alpine valley with darkened green pine trees in snowy epic mountain valley under cloudy blue purple sky with moon and evening star shining through the clouds - asteya non-stealing giving generosity Quote: We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers. - Seneca
We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers. – Seneca

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our eleventh day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

Holiday Season – 12/18

Today is the second day of our Asteya (non-stealing) practices. Today we will practice the positive of non-stealing with a random act of generosity.

  • Consider participating in a traditional holiday toy drive like Angel Tree and Toys for Toys drives.
  • Donate food or (they prefer) cash to your local food bank.
  • Donate to any charitable cause that is meaningful to you – education, children, seniors, environmental, spiritual, health, or other charitable organizations… whatever resonates to you, give your support to something you care about!
  • Consider making a donation in loved ones’ names in their honor this year if they insist they do not want a gift.
  • Help a friend or family member – reach out and ask what you can do to make things better for them during these stressful times!
  • Whatever feels like the right way for you to actively practice kindness and generosity with others, or to make someone else smile today.

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

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Asteya (Non-Stealing): Day 1 – Saturnalia

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

alpine valley with darkened green pine trees in snowy epic mountain valley under clear purple blue twilight sky -  asteya non-stealing giving balance Quote: People who care about each other enjoy doing things for one another. They don't consider it servitude. - Ann Landers
People who care about each other enjoy doing things for one another. They don’t consider it servitude. – Ann Landers

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our tenth day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

Holiday Season – Saturnalia

Today is the first day of our Asteya (non-stealing) practices. Today is also the start of Saturnalia, a week-long ancient Roman agricultural festival honoring Saturn or Cronus from Greek mythology. I minored in Classics and loved Greek and Roman language and mythology, so am excited to share this random Roman holiday! PS I also am particularly interested in Celtic mythology from my own heritage, and we will cover Yule in the North in a couple of days! Saturnalia was primarily a carnival-like atmosphere about feasting, gambling, and gift-giving. The most interesting part about Saturnalia is that slaves were served a banquet by their masters for this holiday! So, inspired by Saturnalia‘s role reversal, we will do one of my favorite Asteya practices of balance and non-stealing in our relationships.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Asteya / Non-Stealing in our relationships! I am sure no Yogis nowadays treat loved ones like slaves! However, we should consider who in our life gives and cares most for us, and make sure to both show appreciation and give back. Check out this past practice if you need more ideas.

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

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Satya (Truthfulness): Day 4

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

cool shot of snow covered dark rocks under bright blue clear sky - satya truth honesty truthfulness right action correct action Quote: Thoughts lead on to purpose, purpose leads on to actions, actions form habits, habits decide character, and character fixes our destiny. - Tryon Edwards
Thoughts lead on to purpose, purpose leads on to actions, actions form habits, habits decide character, and character fixes our destiny. – Tryon Edwards

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our ninth day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

Holiday Season – 12/16

Today is the fourth day and final of our Satya (truthfulness) practices. We are ending three days of Satya practice to cover each Satya practice recommended by the 8-Fold Path – correct thoughts, speech, and actions. So today we will practice Satya (truthfulness) with our actions. Correct action from the 8-Fold Path covers a range of behaviors – non-harming, non-stealing, moderation, and avoiding fraud, deceitfulness, and dishonesty.. it is almost all of the Yamas! I consider correct action to be acting with moral integrity. Also, like the other Satya practices of correct thoughts and correct speech, kindness is integral to this practice of Satya with our actions.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Satya / Truthfulness with correct action from the 8-Fold Path! I consider this to be an extension of yesterday’s Three Gates Rule / correct speech practice from yesterday to all actions.

Or, you can follow my own quote modified from an adage from a friend to make the right decisions and help choose the correct action – “be a good person, and do the right thing.”

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Please comment and share how your Satya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Satya (Truthfulness): Day 3 – Zamenhof / Esperanto Day

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

cool shot of mount rushmore under bright blue sky - satya truth honesty truthfulness right speech correct speech Quote: When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say. - Abraham Lincoln original work - https://unsplash.com/photos/9_onxRgAmRA
When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say. – Abraham Lincoln

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our eighth day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

Holiday Season – Zamenhof Day

Today is the third day of our Satya (truthfulness) practices. Today is also Zamenhof Day, honoring the creator of Esperanto.  L. L. Zamenhof created Esperanto in 1887 as an easy-to-learn universal second language. Although Esperanto did not grow into the universal second language as it was intended, it has lived on and in fact grown a bit due to online language programs like Duolingo. Although linguistic Esperanto never really caught on, financial reporting Esperanto has been implemented fairly successfully through International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). As both an accountant and linguistics nerd who attempted to learn some Esperanto years ago, I was particularly excited to learn about Zamenhof Day and pleased it ties in with today’s Satya focus of correct speech.

Okay, back to Satya practice!

We are in the middle of three days of Satya practice to cover each Satya practice recommended by the 8-Fold Path – correct thoughts, speech, and actions. So today we will practice Satya (truthfulness) with our speech. Correct speech from the 8-Fold Path means avoiding lying, idle chatter, and divisive or abusive speech. As we discussed this week, Satya means KIND truth, and is more about restraint than speaking your truth.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Satya / Truthfulness with correct speech from the 8-Fold Path! Try to apply the “Three Gates Rule” for your speech for today’s Satya / truthfulness day.

The Three Gates Rule is one of my favorite sayings about truth, and one of the easiest ways for me to remember the correct practice of Satya and correct speech with restraint and kindness.

beach under pier water cool ocean perspective - satya truthfulness sufi saying Quote: 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? - Sufi Saying
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? – Sufi Saying

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.

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Satya (Truthfulness): Day 2 – Halcyon Days

Good Morning Yogis – Happy Monday! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our seventh day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

close-up purple blue hyacinth flowers and green leaves - satya truth honesty truthfulness right thoughts correct thoughts Quote: Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Holiday Season – Halcyon Days

Today is the second day of our Satya (truthfulness) practices, and we just ended 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming) kindness practices. Today is also the start of Halcyon Days. Have you heard of this?! I had heard the name referenced by musicians, and it sounded vaguely familiar from my Classics classes especially Greek mythology, but never really knew. Well, I just learned so you will too 🙂

Halcyon Days nowadays refers to any calm period, but technically these are the 7 days before and after the winter solstice. This two week period is supposed to have particularly calm weather and seas, named after the Halcyon bird (European Kingfisher) which nests during this period. The Halcyon was thought to have the power to calm the seas, from the myth of Alcyone recorded by Ovid. I think random facts are cool…. maybe Halcyon Days will be a trivia question for you in the future!

Okay, back to Satya practice!

We will take the next three days of Satya practice to cover each Satya practice recommended by the 8-Fold Path – correct thoughts, speech, and actions. So today we will practice Satya (truthfulness) with our thoughts. Although this concept of correct thoughts from the 8-Fold Path is fairly complex, we are going to take a simple view for today’s practice – refraining from ill-will against oneself or others. If you do decide to look further into this concept of correct thoughts, you will find Ahimsa is frequently referenced in this kindness in thoughts towards oneself and others. As we discussed yesterday, Satya means KIND truth. So, today we will revisit our challenging Ahimsa of thoughts positive thinking practice for today’s Satya correct thoughts practice.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Satya / Truthfulness with correct thought from the 8-Fold Path!

Remember this can be a difficult practice, so be extra kind and patient with yourself today if today’s practice is difficult.. you have to start somewhere, check out some of the tools above for support!

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Please comment and share how your Satya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Satya (Truthfulness): Day 1

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

cool perspective looking up at cloudy blue sky in the mountains with darkened green pine trees - satya kind truth honesty truthfulness friends and family Quote: Cherish your friends and family. They have helped you get where you are today. - Catherine Pulsifer
Cherish your friends and family. They have helped you get where you are today. – Catherine Pulsifer

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our sixth day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

Holiday Season – 12/13 Satya

Today is the first day of our Satya (truthfulness) practices, and we just ended 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming) kindness practices. Today we will combine the two a bit with one of my favorite Satya (truthfulness) practices – sharing a kind truth with a loved one. Remember – Satya is translated as KIND truth, and is more about restraint than sharing your truth… please keep the three gates saying in mind with your Satya practice. We will take the next three days of Satya practice to cover each Satya practice recommended by the 8-Fold Path – correct speech, thoughts, and actions.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to share a kind truth with a loved one for our first Holiday Satya / Truthfulness Day! 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.

Geminids Meteor Shower

blue toned top half of earth from space with bright sun in background and shooting star meteor shower

I want to let everyone know tonight is the peak night of the Geminids meteor shower! I love shooting stars, and the Geminids meteor shower is considered the best of the year! Meteors will be visible throughout the sky, but primarily originating from the constellation Gemini (my sun sign). PS tonight is the peak, but if it is too cloudy you can try again for the next couple of days.

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Ahimsa (Non-Harming): Day 5 – Positive Thinking

Good Morning Yogis – we made it to the weekend! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

cool perspective dark green pine trees covered with snow in snowy alpine landscape - ahimsa nonviolence kindness positivity power of positive thinking Quote: Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better. - Harvey Mackay
Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better. – Harvey Mackay

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our fifth day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

Holiday Season – 12/12

Today is the last day of our Ahimsa (non-harming) practices, so we will practice in a way we have not yet this week – with our thoughts. Many of us suffer from negative self-talk or other negative thoughts, and they do not serve us. There is much to be said for the power of positive thinking. So, today, we will practice kindness with our thoughts today to both ourselves and others. PS it is quite difficult to have a positive thought and negative speech, so our kind thoughts should extend to our words!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice kindness with our thoughts and speech for our final Holiday Ahimsa / Non-harming Day!

Remember this can be a difficult practice, so be extra kind and patient with yourself today if today’s practice is difficult.. you have to start somewhere, check out some of the tools above for support!

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

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Ahimsa (Non-Harming): Day 4 – Mountain Day

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

cool shot of twilight in light blue clear sky with pale moon over snowy alpine mountain landscape with darkened pine trees -  ahimsa nonviolence kindness environmentalism conservation Quote: The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. - Lady Bird Johnson
The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. – Lady Bird Johnson

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our fourth day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

Holiday Season – International Mountain Day

Today is International Mountain Day. This day was created by the UN to increase awareness about these fragile ecosystems. Also, I live in the mountains in Colorado, like 25% of the earth’s animals and 15% of the earth’s humans. So today we will focus on practicing Ahimsa (non-harming) with the environment today!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice kindness to the environment for Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day!

  • Consider making a donation to the World Wildlife Fund to help protect endangered animals and their environments! I am an animal lover and environmentalist, this one is near and dear to me, but I apologize for repeating over and over 🙂
  • Plant a tree!
  • Perhaps go for a hike in the mountains, and maybe bring gloves and trash bags and do some extra clean-up in honor of Mountain Day.
  • If you are not near any mountains 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.
  • Find and participate in an organized local clean-up.. these events are usually great for maintaining social distancing!
  • Support beach and ocean cleanup efforts by purchasing a 4Ocean sea plastic bracelet.
  • Hold for extra time in Tadasana / Mountain Pose today.
  • Or, if none of these suggestions resonate with you, find another way to practice some environmentalism!

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

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Ahimsa (Non-Harming): Day 3 – International Animal & Human Rights Days

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our third day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

cute dark squirrel on snowy fence post among dark green pine trees in snowy alpine landscape - ahimsa nonviolence kindness Quote: I’m a big believer in acts of kindness, no matter how small. - Liam Neeson
I’m a big believer in acts of kindness, no matter how small. – Liam Neeson

Holiday Season – International Animal & Human Rights Days

Today is International Animal Rights Day and Human Rights Day. So today we will focus on practicing Ahimsa (non-harming) with either the Human or Animal members of our community today.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice kindness to either Human or Animal members of our community for Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day!

ANIMALS

humans

  • Consider participating in a traditional holiday toy drive like Angel Tree and Toys for Toys drives.
  • Donate food or (they prefer) cash to your local food bank.
  • Donate to any charitable cause that is meaningful to you – education, children, seniors, environmental, spiritual, health, or other charitable organizations… whatever resonates to you, give your support to something you care about!
  • Consider making a donation in loved ones’ names in their honor this year if they insist they do not want a gift.
  • Help a friend or family member – reach out and ask what you can do to make things better for them during these stressful times!
  • Whatever feels like the right way for you to actively practice kindness and generosity with others, or to make someone else smile today.

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

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Ahimsa (Non-Harming): Day 2 – Universal Human Rights Month

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our second day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

Holiday Season – Charity Drives

Today we will focus on practicing Ahimsa (non-harming) with others today, since we focused on personal practice yesterday and because December is also Universal Human Rights Month. I think one of the most classic traditions embodying the holiday spirit of giving and kindness is participating in the food, toy, and charity drives for those in need. We will get some bonus Asteya (non-stealing) generosity practice as well!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice kindness to others for Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day!

  • Consider participating in a traditional holiday toy drive like Angel Tree and Toys for Toys drives.
  • Donate food or (they prefer) cash to your local food bank.
  • Donate to any charitable cause that is meaningful to you – education, children, seniors, environmental, spiritual, health, or other charitable organizations… whatever resonates to you, give your support to something you care about!
  • Consider making a donation in loved ones’ names in their honor this year if they insist they do not want a gift.
  • Help a friend or family member – reach out and ask what you can do to make things better for them during these stressful times!
  • Whatever feels like the right way for you to actively practice kindness and generosity with others, or to make someone else smile today.
cool perspective bare aspen trees and dark green pine trees in snowy alpine landscape under cloudy gray sky - ahimsa nonviolence kindness Quote: Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver. - Barbara De Angelis
Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver. – Barbara De Angelis

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

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Ahimsa (Non-Harming): Day 1 – Rohatsu / Bodhi Day

Good morning Yogis! We just completed our positive practicing cycling through the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Today is the first day of special Holiday Yamas Practices! December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We start by counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

yogi blue tan background

Holiday Season – rohatsu / Bodhi Day

Today is the celebration of Bodhi Day (Enlightenment) for Zen Buddhists in Japan – called Rohatsu which translates to the 8th day of the 12th month. Bodhi Day is celebrated at different times of the year for different sects of Buddhism due to switching from traditional lunar calendars to the Gregorian calendar we use today, but most Buddhists recognize this holiday in January. This is a very reflective and quiet holiday, often practiced with up to a week of intense meditation called Sesshin. Since this is a very personal holiday, we will focus on practicing Ahimsa (non-harming) with ourselves today.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice kindness to ourselves for Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day! Give yourself the kindness you need the most right now! Need some ideas?

  • Make time for a long meditation for yourself in honor of Rohatsu today.
  • Perform a random act of kindness for yourself! Get yourself your favorite food, a book you have always wanted, or give yourself a day off.
  • If you have something you have been holding on to or feel guilty about, let it go! Learn to forgive yourself and move forward from the past.
  • Make time for extra self-care today – perhaps take a long bath, give yourself a facial or pedicure, make time for your favorite hobby, or check out this huge list of self-care activities.
  • If you are practicing Asanas regularly, remember to be kind to yourself and keep Santosha (contentment) in mind and do not push yourself to injury.. I am relearning this lesson after injuring my shoulder last month and having to take things slowly!
  • Whatever feels like the right way for you to actively practice kindness and compassion with yourself, or to make yourself happy today.
cool shot of snow covered alpine mountain valley with darkened pine trees under sunlit cloudy sky - ahimsa nonviolence kindness nice to yourself Quote: Be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is always mean to you all the time. - Christine Arylo
Be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is always mean to you all the time. – Christine Arylo

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – December 2021 Holiday Season – Loving-Kindness / Maitri Guided Meditation

Happy Tuesday Yogis, it is Upper Limbs Day! We are beginning our special Holiday Yamas practices tomorrow, so today we will have a KISS (keep it super simple) Day! We will keep the Yamas holiday spirit with our meditation practice for Upper Limbs Day today by trying a special loving-kindness guided meditation.

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We will start soon by counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing). Then we will have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

blue shadowy snow on rocky mountain cliff with bright sun coming through green pine trees - upper limbs of yoga meditation maitri loving kindness Quote: For an aspiring bodhisattva, the essential practice is to cultivate maitri, or loving-kindness. - Pema Chodron
For an aspiring bodhisattva, the essential practice is to cultivate maitri, or loving-kindness. – Pema Chodron

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Loving-Kindness Meditation for Upper Limbs Day. Loving-Kindness is a concept from Buddhism called Metta or Maitri and means benevolence, loving-kindness, friendliness, amity, good-will, and active interest in others.. basically many of the positive qualities the Holiday Season represents! I am providing a few recommendations for this style of guided meditation based on how much time you have available to practice.

Loving-Kindness Guided Meditation

Loving-Kindness Gudied Meditation (5 minutes)

Loving-Kindness Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Loving-Kindness Guided Meditation (25 minutes)

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Please comment and let us know which meditation you tried. We are starting a daily meditation challenge for October, so please share any favorite guided meditations or meditation practices!! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama (Breathing): Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath – December 2021 Holiday Season

Happy Monday Yogis! We are celebrating a special Yamas / Interpersonal Ethics focused month starting a bit later this week for the Holiday Season! So, before we get started today is a KISS (keep it super simple) Day for Pranayama Day today! We are going to revisit Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. This is one of my favorite Pranayama techniques!

cool perspective looking at the top of snow covered colorado mountains and alpine landscape under partly cloudy bright blue sky - pranayama breath breathing Quote: If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. - Amit Ray
If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. – Amit Ray

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We will start soon by counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing). Then we will have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

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 – keep this practice in mind to use throughout this month if needed, since the holiday season can be stressful!

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): Malasana (Garland Pose) – December 2021 Holiday Season: Krampusnacht

Happy Sunday Yogis! We just wrapped up practices focused on the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today is the first of the holidays we will discuss for our special Holiday month, and we will cover a festive Asana Malasana or Garland Pose, often referred to as a “yoga squat.”

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We will start soon by counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing). Then we will have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

Holiday Season – Krampusnacht

Krampus!

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

Today is the first holiday for this season I am going to share – Krampusnacht! I have been into world history and traditions for many years, and Krampusnacht is the most amusing December holiday to me.. partly because of the name “Krampus” which makes me giggle. This holiday is seriously like the Nightmare before Christmas!

Krampusnacht is celebrated primarily in Bavarian mountain towns the evening before St. Nicholas Day. This is a different European Christmas tradition than we are familiar with in the United States. St. Nicholas Day, celebrated earlier in December, is the day for gifts from St. Nicholas or Father Christmas – for only good children. The bad children do not get coal… they were either stolen, eaten, or scared straight by the monstrous Krampus the evening before!

I am guessing with this terrifying holiday, areas celebrating Krampusnacht have the best-behaved children in the world. I tried to make one Malasana picture a bit scary today for the Krampus theme!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Asana – Malasana or Garland Pose. This pose is great to counter sitting at a desk all day!

Malasana - garland pose - yoga pose girl wearing tie dye shirt with trippy yellow holiday lights on black dark background
Malasana – Garland Pose

Malasana – Garland Pose

This is a deep hip opener – make sure to practice a bit before attempting this pose! This seemingly simple pose is a journey pose, and you will begin to move your torso forward as your chest and hips open with practice!

  • Start standing in Tadasana / Mountain Pose.
  • Step your feet out a bit wider than hip-distance, and turn your toes out 45 degrees.
  • Bend your knees and slowly come into a full low squat.
  • Bring your arms forward between your knees, and bring palms together into a prayer position, pressing elbows into thighs.
  • Press gently into thighs and bring your chest forward.
    • Take note of your head and neck – keep in line with your torso
    • Take note of where your weight is in your feet, both front to back and side to side. Keep even side to side, and keep most weight in your heels.
  • Hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. Begin with holding 30-60 seconds, and work up to 3-5 minutes!

If you have tight hips and knees, or have trouble balancing here, you may want to sit on a block for support.

Malasana - garland pose - yoga pose girl wearing tie dye shirt and black pants with holiday winter white bare aspen tree forest background
Malasana – Garland Pose

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.

PS If you are comfortable with variations of these poses, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried this Asana before? Is this your first time learning about Krampusnacht? Always remember, be kind!

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Niyamas (Personal Observances) – December 2021 – Wildlife Conservation Day

Happy Saturday Yogis! This will be our second to last Niyamas day of the year, since we will soon begin our December Holidays special Yamas practices. Today we will take a Personal Day with an extra Niyamas practice of your choice!

Today is also Wildlife Conservation Day. I care about both animals and conservation.. please remember that we all share this world, and consider making a donation to the World Wildlife Fund to help protect endangered animals and their environments!

cool perspective Boston Harbor Walk pier under cloudy sky - self-care self-love niyamas personal observances Quote: People who love themselves come across as very loving, generous and kind; they express their self-confidence through humility, forgiveness and inclusiveness. - Sanaya Roman
People who love themselves come across as very loving, generous and kind; they express their self-confidence through humility, forgiveness and inclusiveness. – Sanaya Roman

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice any of the 5 Niyamas or personal observances of our choice. I am practicing Saucha with some cleaning and organizing, and Svadhyaya with a journal day! Need more ideas?

  • Practice Saucha with cleaning your surroundings or a personal deep-cleaning
  • Practice Santosha with mindfulness practices or living in the moment
  • Practice Tapas with a workout or getting something done you have been putting off
  • Practice Svadhyaya with a journal day or reading a sacred text of your choice
  • Practice Ishvara Pranidhana with acceptance and non-attachment with your actions and any difficult situations

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We will start soon by counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing). Then we will have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

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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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Ishvara Pranidhana (Surrender) – December 2021 – OM

Happy Friday 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.

cool shot of twilight in dark blue clear sky with crescent moon and evening star over reflective alpine lake among darkened mountains - ishvara pranidhana surrender acceptance OM vibration Quote: Om is the signature sound of this Universe. It is the soundless sound of existence. - Banani Ray
Om is the signature sound of this Universe. It is the soundless sound of existence. – Banani Ray

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.

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) – December 2021

Happy Thursday Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day before we start our special Yamas Holiday month. This is our last specific Svadhyaya / self-study Day before the end of the year, so I am going to again focus on self-study today with a special Journal Day prompt. I have been doing a lot of journaling lately, more frequently than just Svadhyaya Days, since I have had this as a resolution for 2021. I am beginning to think about my New Year’s Resolutions and which various world holidays to tie in with Yamas practices for this month, so I am selecting journal prompts based on that today!

PS If you are not into journaling, perhaps focus on the other main Svadhyaya practice today – study of sacred texts. December is also Spiritual Literacy Month, encouraging reading sacred / spiritual texts from a variety of spiritual backgrounds. This does not have to be Yogic Texts.. I enjoy reading the Bhagavad Gita, but if you practice or are interested in any religion, please read whatever resonates with you! You can access the Gita for free in our App!

cool perspective alpine landscape with highway road in the mountains under partly cloudy bright blue sky - svadhyaya self-study learning Quote: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. - Dr. Seuss
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr. Seuss

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

Journal DaY

  • What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? What new traditions do you want to make?
  • What are you naturally drawn to? What do you spend your time reading or studying?
  • If you could change just one thing about yourself, what would it be? How do you think your life would be better? Have you ever tried to change it?

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

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Tapas (Discipline) – December Holiday Yamas Month

Happy Wednesday Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. This is our 15th Tapas or discipline Day for 2021! Our intro Tapas Day, we made a goal that was important to us. Each Tapas Day, we checked in on our progress. It has been nearly a month since our last Tapas Day, so if you are a new Yogi and have kept up on your daily habit, you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up!! If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success! Yoga is a practice, and successfully changing our habits is about consistency, so we will keep checking in on our goals on Tapas Days.

PS I want to report back on my Duolingo Daily Habit.. I have kept up with this goal and I am currently on over a year long streak, going for 500 🙂

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

cool shot of orange and blue sunset over darkened pine trees in epic alpine valley - tapas self-discipline positivity Quote: Discipline yourself to find something positive in every situation every day. You attract positivity when you are positive within. - Brian Tracey
Discipline yourself to find something positive in every situation every day. You attract positivity when you are positive within. – Brian Tracey

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to check in on our daily habits. Additionally, I recommend either getting some exercise for Tapas Day and Work Out Wednesday, or setting a Yamas-focused goal for the month of December. 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 other 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.

I love resolutions, and am setting positive thinking and focus on gratitude resolution for the month of December, to align with our Yamas holiday month.

Nearly all holidays this month involve feasting, so we will start the month with a work out! If you eat more calories you should burn more calories, and I love holiday treats, so I am preparing for the holiday season with burning more calories – getting extra exercise!

I am also going to do a couple of our past Yoga Workouts today – Tiger Crunches for Core and Glutes, and Upward Plank Holds for Glutes.

Vyaghrasana - tiger pose - yoga pose girl wearing platform black high heels and tiger dress, yoga in the forest, sexy yoga girl with art effect
Vyaghrasana – Tiger Pose

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

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