December 2022 Holidays – 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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December 2022 Holidays – 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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December 2022 Holidays – 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 2022 Holidays – 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!

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

December 2022 Holidays – 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.

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December 2022 Holidays – 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!

December 2022 Holidays – 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!

December 2022 Holidays – 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!

December 2022 Holidays – 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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December 2022 Holidays – 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!

December 2022 Holidays: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Loving-Kindness / Maitri Guided Meditation

Happy Wednesday 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 Guided 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!

December 2022 Holidays: Pranayama (Breathing) – Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

Happy Tuesday Yogis! We are celebrating a special Yamas / Interpersonal Ethics focused month starting a bit later this week for the 2022 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 breathwork 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 breathing practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

December 2022 Holidays: Asanas (Poses): Malasana (Garland Pose) – Krampusnacht

Happy Monday 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

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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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December 2022 Holidays: Niyamas (Personal Observances) – Wildlife Conservation Day

Happy Sunday 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 today! What did you think? Always remember, be kind!