Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 7

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

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 7

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the fourth of the NiyamasSvadhyaya / self-study by beginning a journal if we had not kept one. Today we will focus on the other Svadhyaya practice of studying sacred texts. Last time we practiced with studying sacred texts, we studied three passages from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where I draw inspiration for the Daily Yogi practices. My favorite was “Negative thoughts can be neutralized by positive thoughts”. Today we will examine three more thoughts on the power of our thoughts and positive thinking. Or, if you practice a religion, perhaps read a meaningful section of your traditional sacred texts.

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

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

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

Today’s Quotes on the power of our thoughts

Journal DaY

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


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

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 7

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

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

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

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

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

close-up bright green ivy leaves on vine - tapas self-discipline motivation discipline Quote: Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps going growing. - John C. Maxwell

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

Next INTRO CHALLENGE STARTS 11/01/2020

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

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 7 – Mindfulness

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

Mindfulness

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

More on Mindfulness and Benefits

Psychology Today – Understanding, Practicing, and Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindful – Getting Started with Mindfulness (and Meditation)

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saucha – Purity – Day 7 – Scorpio Season – Vrschikasana – Scorpion Pose

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

Vrschikasana – Scorpion Pose

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

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

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

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

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

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 6 – OM

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

OM – Sanskrit

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.

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 – Day 6 – Self-Reflective Guided Meditation

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

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

Journal DaY

Also, this is a good time to make a full journal entry if you have not kept up with this new practice! I do not typically make a personal reflective journal entry every day, but I am pleased to be reminded to keep up with this on Svadhyaya days. If you are not sure what to write about, the Self-Reflective Guided Meditation may give some prompts from yourself to explore. Or, you can journal on your reflections on today’s quote from The Bhagavad Gita (available in our free Daily Yogi App). The Bhagavad Gita or God’s Song is a section from the Indian Sacred Epic the Mahabharata. It is the most widely known of these Sacred Texts, and is widely read among modern-day thinkers.

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self – Bhagavad Gita

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

Please comment and share your thoughts on today’s guided meditation or quote if you would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya day? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 6 – World Mental Health Day

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

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

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

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

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

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 6

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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Saucha – Purity – Day 6

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

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

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

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

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September Self-Improvement Month 2020 – Reflections and Yoga Philosophy

Good Morning Yogis! Today is the last day of September and our Daily Asana Challenge for September. September is National Self-Improvement Month. I find challenge-focused months super helpful for my own motivation, so as we complete our daily Asana practice challenge for September I am announcing another challenge for October – Daily Meditation! You do not have to participate in this or any of our particular monthly challenge themes, we will be continuing our daily Positive Practices drawn from the 8 Limbs of Yoga throughout next month.

As September Self Improvement Month and our Daily Asana Challenge are drawing to a close, I want to discuss an important common concept from Yoga Philosophy – Practice not Perfection! If you participated in the 30 Day Asana Challenge, how did you do? I will say, I was not perfect! I had a couple of travel days in September, and I missed a couple of my scheduled full-length Asana classes and only did a couple rounds of Sun Salutations. But, you know what… that’s okay! I still had about 28 of 30 days I hit my goal… that is probably 20 more days of full-length Asana classes than I would have done without setting this goal, and I hit my Apple Watch activity rings for the month! Our Tapas daily habits should be viewed the same way! It is great if you adhere perfectly to your goals. But you know what, sometimes life gets in the way.. if you miss a day or even a few days, just get back to it. One slip up does not mean defeat or failure. I have heard success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. So, keep practice not perfection in mind on your Yoga and/or self-improvement Journeys. This is a concept we will revisit – click here for more quotes about not focusing on or being demotivated by perfection. I am adding a few more of my favorites at the bottom of today’s post!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to reflect on your progress, keeping “Practice not perfection” in mind. This can be with your progress with Asanas or our challenge during September, your daily habits, or whatever you wish!

Today is the last day of our Daily Asana Challenge for September. Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our reflective day today, I recommend a Hatha class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner AM (20 Minute), which I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Up… I typically practice Asana most consistently in the morning, and this is my favorite morning series!

I have been building strength and doing this series quite a bit throughout September, so I am excited to finally move up to Intermediate AM (20 Minute) next month! Please note I have been occasionally working this beginner series for multiple years, but my focus on daily Asana has helped me finally take the step to the next level… progress, not perfection!

Remember, it usually takes 30 days to create a new habit! I am going to do my best to keep up with at least 15-20 minute AM Asana sessions. Either way, we will revisit daily Asanas in 2021 to reinforce this habit.

Please comment and share how you did with your progress, and celebrate your victories! Did you participate in our daily Asana challenge or keep up with your daily habit? Are you planning to participate in the meditation challenge or set another new goal? Always remember, be kind!

I prefer today’s picture quote and the ones below over the shooting for the moon and landing among the stars, which is beautiful imagery, but scientifically not very accurate.

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali
“Change happens outside of your comfort zone.” – Robbie Kramer
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” – Henry Ford
“Fail early, fail often, in order to succeed sooner.” – Tom Kelley

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Niyamas – Personal Observances – Day 1 – Agnistambhasana – Fire Log Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras. Our last few cycles we took one day for all five of each of the Yamas and Niyamas, but this time we will take one day for these Limbs of Yoga. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Agnistambhasana (AHG-nis-tam-BAH-sa-nuh) or Fire Log Pose is my choice to represent the Niyamas, or Personal Observances – this Limb of Yoga covers how we should manage ourselves, and in Fire Log we are opening into and gazing at ourselves.

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Niyamas Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar Series.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Intermediate Flexibility (30 Minutes).

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Fire Log Pose for Niyamas Day! This is a deep hip opener – make sure to practice on both sides! I consider this a slightly more targeted and intense version of Baddha Konasana / Cobbler Pose.

Agnistambhasana – Fire Log Pose

  • Start in a cross legged position. You hips should stay neutral. Take note of your booty – it should be almost tucked under rather than sticking out. You may want to sit on a block or couch pillow if you notice rounding in your back or shoulders. Keep your back, neck, and head in a straight line – notice any rounding in lower back or shoulders, and adjust your tail bone. Look straight ahead.
  • Begin with your right foot on top – bring your right ankle on top of your left knee. Make sure your knees and feet are stacked, and feet are flexed. Bring shins parallel to front if possible.
  • Inhale and press your hands into the mat next to your hips to lengthen your spine.
  • Exhale and walk your hands forward as far as possible, lowering your torso over your legs. You may want to put a block or couch pillow under your head to help relax into the pose. Breathe deeply into your belly and hips, and let your hips and lower back release.
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths. Walk your hands back to sit up on an inhale.
  • Switch your legs so left leg is on top, and repeat on the other side.

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

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Fire Log before? Always remember, be kind!

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 5 – Balasana – Child’s Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the last of the NiyamasIshvara Pranidhana or surrender. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Balasana (bah-LA-sa-nuh) or Child’s Pose is my choice to represent Ishvara Pranidhana. I feel this pose, folding over from kneeing, represents the surrender. There are two versions of this pose that I enjoy practicing, and we will cover both variations.

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, I recommend a gentle Yin or Restorative class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing a Forward Folds class that I feel embodies Ishvara Pranidhana.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Child’s Pose for Ishvara Pranidhana Day! Many Yoga Studios where I practiced in the past use only Wide Child’s Pose below. I prefer to use both versions of this pose in my practice. I start with regular Child’s Pose for about 30 seconds with palms up, then expand to Wide Child’s Pose for 30-45 seconds, then close legs and return to Child’s Pose again for 30 seconds before moving on.

Balasana – Child’s Pose

Balasana – Child’s Pose

Start in a kneeling position, sitting on your feet with your knees about hip distance apart. Fold forward from your hips, resting your chest on your thighs. You can rest your chin or forehead on the mat. Bring your arms back behind you and rest your hands on the mat. Palms can face up for more of a stretch between your shoulders, or palms can face down for more of a lower back stretch.

Balasana – Wide Child’s Pose

Balasana – Wide Child’s Pose

Start in Child’s Pose above. Bring your toes together, spread your thighs, and lay your chest between your legs on the mat. Bring your hands forward on the mat in front of you – your palms should always be down on the mat in Wide Child’s Pose.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold each pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. I start with regular Child’s Pose for about 30 seconds with palms up, then expand to Wide Child’s Pose for 30-45 seconds, and bring legs together and arms back to return to Child’s Pose again with palms down for 30 seconds before moving on. You can also use a couch pillow or block under your head or chest for extra support.

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

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried both variations of Child’s Pose before? Can you feel a difference in the stretch flipping your palms in the first version of Balasana? Always remember, be kind!

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 5 – Trikonasana & Utthita Parsvakonasana – Triange & Extended Side Angle

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the fourth of the NiyamasSvadhya++na or self-study. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Trikonasana (trih-ko-NA-sa-nuh) or Triangle Pose and Utthita Parsvakonasana (OOT-hit-tah PARS-va-ko-NA-sa-nuh) or Extended Side Angle Pose are my choices to represent Svadhyaya. I feel like I am literally turning back and looking at myself in these poses, a perfect embodiment of self-reflection.

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Svadhyaya Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my old favorites with both of today’s poses – Intermediate Combination (30 Minutes).

Our first Svadhyaya day, we started journals to have a source for self-study. I am using Svadhyaya days to keep up with this practice.. perhaps make another journal entry with me today!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Triangle and Extended Side Angle Pose for Svadhyaya Day! These poses are common in all styles and levels of Yoga. I find these poses easiest to enter from a wide legged stance, flipping my legs into position, and leaning over into the pose. If you have a hard time reaching the ground, these are great poses to modify with a block to help open your chest to the side! Always make sure to perform these poses on both sides – it is easiest to come back up to wide legged pose, flip your feet, and perform on the other side

Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

Trikonasana – Triangle

Feet – Feet should be about 3 – 4 1/2 feet apart, flat on the ground. The front foot should point straight ahead, and the back foot should point straight to the side (or pointing slightly forward if hips are tight).

Legs – Your legs should both be straight. Keep back leg straight, with knee to the side. Keep front leg straight, with knee pointing forward.

Hips – Hips are debated in Triangle! I prefer to keep open to the side, but I have heard many Yoga Teachers recommend keeping stacked ie down to the ground. Perhaps try both, and see which feels better to your body!

Torso – Make sure you are bending from the hips, not the waist. Try to keep your torso facing to the side, as close to parallel to the ground as possible.

Arms – Your arms should be open to the side at your shoulders, palms open to the side. If you can, press your bottom hand into the mat or your shin to help your chest open to the side. If you cannot reach easily, press your hand into a block. Make sure to keep your shoulders pulled down and back, away from your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your neck in line with your body. If comfortable, look up at your hand. Otherwise, you can keep your head in line with your torso and look down or straight out to the side.

Trikonasana – Triangle (block)

Utthita Parsvakonasana – Extended Side Angle

Utthita Parsvakonasana – Extended Side Angle

Feet – Feet should be about 3 – 4 1/2 feet apart, flat on the ground. The front foot should point straight ahead, and the back foot should point straight to the side (or pointing slightly forward if hips are tight).

Legs and Hips – Keep back leg straight, with knee to the side. Keep front leg bent, with front knee over ankle. Keep hips open to the side. Try to expand the space between your legs as your breathe in this pose.

Torso – Make sure you are bending from the hips, not the waist. Try to keep your torso facing to the side, as close to parallel to the ground as possible. Rotate your chest up to open to the side as much as possible

Arms – Reach your top arm straight over your head near your ear, making a straight line from your back foot to your top hand. If you can, press your bottom hand into the mat or your shin to help your chest open to the side. If you cannot reach the mat easily, bend your arm and rest on your knee, or press your hand into a block. Make sure to keep your shoulders pulled down and back, away from your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your neck in line with your body. If comfortable, look up at your hand. Otherwise, you can keep your head in line with your torso and look down or straight out to the side.

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

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Triangle, Extended Side Angle, or the modified variations before? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 5 – Utkatasana – Powerful / Chair Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the third of the NiyamasTapas or Discipline. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Utkatasana (oot-kah-TA-sa-nuh) or Chair pose is my choice to represent Tapas. This is a challenging pose, and a great workout when held for an extended time. The literal translation from Sanskrit is Powerful or Intense Pose. If you hold this Asana for a full minute, I am sure you will feel why this pose was named “Intense”!

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Tapas Day today, I recommend a vigorous Vinyasa class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing a new Hip Hop Vinyasa.

Each Tapas day, we check in on our progress with the daily habits we have set for ourselves. It typically takes 30 Days to set a new habit (which is why I love these 30 Day Challenges!) so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up.. perhaps it is time to add a new daily habit to your routine!! 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.

As mentioned we are in a daily Asana Challenge, which I have kept up with by wearing workout clothes to bed and practicing first thing in the morning. I also have a daily habit of practicing French or Spanish with Duolingo… I am pretty pleased with myself to have a 29 Day Streak, about to hit 30 tomorrow! I have missed fewer than 20 days in all of 2020, but there is just something very rewarding about the increasing number of days in a row. And, lastly, this daily Asana Challenge has helped put me on the right path to meet another goal – hitting all three rings on my Apple Watch.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Chair Pose for Tapas Day! This pose is common in all styles and levels of Yoga. It is a great alternative to backbends to stretch thighs and back, and is a fantastic workout for legs and glutes when held for 30-60 seconds!

Utkatasana – Chair or Powerful Pose

Utkatasana – Chair

Start standing in Tadasana / Mountain Pose. Separate your feet to about hip-distance apart.

Inhale and lift your arms above your head, palms facing in, and sit your hips back as if you are sitting back in a chair. Keep your shoulders down and back straight, and try to get your thighs as close to parallel to the ground as possible. It is more important to have a straight back than to “sit” lower into your chair. Look up between your hands if comfortable.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. I recommend playing with weight in your feet a bit through this pose – generally you should keep all weight in your heels. Perhaps try lifting your toes slightly from the mat! Or, shift your weight into the balls of your feet, and try lifting your heels slightly from the mat, preparing for more advanced variations of this pose like Awkward Pose (a Hot Yoga favorite) and Drinking Bird Pose. Or, try placing a block between your knees for an even more challenging lower-body workout!

To come out of Utkatasana, inhale and straighten your knees back to Tadasana / Mountain Pose, then exhale and lower your arms – you may want to come all the way forward into Uttanasana / Standing Forward Fold to counter this pose after holding for a long time.

Utkatasana – Chair (lifted heels)

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

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Utkatasana or the more advanced variations before? Always remember, be kind!

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 5 – Andanda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the second of the NiyamasSantosha or Contentment. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Ananda Balasana (ah-NAN-duh buh-LA-sa-nuh) or Happy Baby pose is my choice to represent Santosha. In addition to having a synonym for contentment in the name, it is hard not to smile rocking back and forth like a happy baby in this pose!

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Santosha Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Intermediate Flexibility, and adding an extra Ananda Balasana at the end of this series.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Happy Baby Pose for Santosha Day! This pose is a favorite among all levels of Yogis, and is a great passive hip opener.

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby

Start laying on your back in Savasana or Corpse Pose with your knees bent and feet on the mat. Exhale and hug your knees in towards your chest.. you may want to enjoy this pose for a few breaths before coming into this pose!

Inhale and reach your hands between your knees. Grab the outside of each foot, exhale and spread your legs to each side of your torso. Ideally, your thighs will be parallel to the ground on each side of your torso and your feet will be flat up to the sky, but only bring your legs down as far as is comfortable. Your arms should be gently spreading your legs to the sides rather than forcing them down to the ground.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. You can stay still, or rock slightly side to side like a happy baby this pose is named for. When you’re ready, release your feet and come back into Savasana / Corpse pose with your knees bent and feet on the mat.

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

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried this pose before? Always remember, be kind!

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Saucha – Purity – Day 5 – Parivrtta Sukhasana & Jathara Parivartanasana – Seated & Reclined Twist Poses

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the first of the NiyamasSaucha or Purity. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Seated Twist or Parivrrta Sukhasana (pa-ree-VRR-tah sook-HA-sana) and Reclined Twist or Jathara Parivartanasana (jah-TAH-ruh PAH-ree-var-tah-NAH-sa-nuh) are my choices to represent Saucha, since these twisting Asanas assist in detoxification according to BKS Iyengar. I have seen this twisting/detoxifying benefit debated, but most agree that twisting Asanas do help with digestion.

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Saucha Day today, I recommend a gentle Yin or Restorative class which will likely feature these twisting poses.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Twist and Align, which includes many twisting poses!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try our twisting Asanas for Saucha Day! These poses are frequently included near the end of class for all levels Yogis and all styles of Yoga. Make sure to hold these twisting poses for a few breaths, and ALWAYS practice twisting Asanas on both sides!

Partivrrta Sukhasana – Seated Twist Pose

Partivrrta Sukhasana – Seated Twist

Start in a comfortable cross-legged position of your choice – I prefer Siddhasana over Sukhasana. If the cross-legged positions are not comfortable seats for you, you can try in Virasana instead. Whatever seat you choose, make sure your hips and shoulders are aligned and stacked over each other before you begin, and upon returning to center.

Inhale and sit tall, perhaps press your hands into your knees to help lengthen your spine. On an exhale, bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee, and rest your right fingers on the mat behind you to bring your shoulders around to the right.

Lengthen your spine on inhales, and twist a bit further if comfortable on exhales in twisting poses. You can gently press your fingers into your knee to help deepen the twist. Hold for several breaths, and return to center on an inhale.

Make sure to repeat on both sides! If you are seated in a cross-legged position, flip your feet the opposite way and perform again on both sides.

Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined Twist Pose

Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined Twist

Start laying on your back in Shavasana or Corpse Pose with your knees bent and feet on the mat. Exhale and hug your knees in towards your chest.. you may want to enjoy this pose for a few breaths before starting the twist!

Inhale and bring your legs up slightly away from your chest so your knees are over your hips, and extend your arms straight out at shoulder height with palms facing down to prepare for the twist. On an exhale, lower both legs down to the right until your right knee touches the ground, making sure your knees stay parallel to or below hip level (NOT tucked up towards your arms, which can cause injury!). Try to keep both shoulders on the ground. If comfortable, you can lift your head slightly and look towards the left, or just keep looking straight up.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. Inhale to lift your legs and come back to center, then exhale your legs down to the left and repeat on the other side.

For a slightly deeper twist you can either hop your butt slightly to the left before twisting to the right, and repeat this little pre-twist booty hop on the other side. For a much deeper twist, you can cross your left leg over right leg before lowering legs to the right, and vice versa.

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

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried these twisting poses before? Always remember, be kind!

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National Read a Book Day

Good Morning Yogis! We are pausing our journey through the Yoga Sutras for Labor Day Holiday Weekend for another holiday – National Read a Book Day.

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September. Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing Intermediate Flexibility (30 Minute)!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to participate in National Read a Book Day. If you have not read a book in a long time, perhaps grab one off the shelf you have been meaning to read, or try something new and inspiring! I read mostly fantasy novels or self-improvement books, so my suggestions are the addicting Game of Thrones Series (books have much more than the show!!!) or Tony Robbins’s Awaken the Giant Within. PS I most enjoy fantasy novels on an e-reader so I can immediately link dictionary to words like medieval weaponry I may not be familiar with.

If you already read regularly, perhaps try something different today! Get some bonus Svadhyaya / self-study by reading one of Yoga’s Sacred Texts – the Bhagavad Gita or God’s Song. The Gita is a section from the Indian Sacred Epic the Mahabharata. It is the most widely known of these Sacred Texts, and is widely read among modern day thinkers. Oppenheimer quoted the Gita after creating the nuclear bomb, and it is highly regarded by Henry David Thoreau, Carl Jung, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and other great minds.

The Bhagavad Gita is available in our free app!

Also, this is a good time to make another journal entry if you have not kept up with this new practice! I do not typically make a personal reflective journal entry every day, but I am pleased to be reminded to keep up with this on all Svadhyaya days. If you are not sure what to write about, perhaps journal about your thoughts on today’s reading.

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

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 4

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September.

Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, I recommend a Yin or Restorative Yoga class, letting go and enjoying some passive stretching.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing a new class, Forward Bends (20 minutes). There is just something about forward fold Asanas that embodies Ishvara Pranidhana for me!

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

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

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

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

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study Day 4 – Meyers-Briggs / MBTI

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September.

Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Svadhyaya Day today, I recommend an Iyengar Style class, making sure to monitor your alignment.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner AM (20 Minute), which I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Today we will continue our fun self-study method series covering the next few Svadhyaya Days. I got very interested in personality typing a few years ago. My two favorite methodologies are called Meyers-Briggs and the Enneagram. I have had some friends get annoyed by my interest in these personality analysis methods, and say they’re like horoscopes… My answer is I think astrology is another fun method to learn about ourselves! I find it much easier to have something to compare to than trying to analyze myself from scratch. Last time we practiced Svadhyaya/self-study by learning about the Enneagram. Today we will learn about Meyers-Briggs Personality Typing, or MBTI. This personality typing method is based on the order of the ways we prefer to process information. There are many websites that go into deep dives of the MBTI system and the types, but for today we will just learn our primary type.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to determine and read up on your MBTI type. Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection!

Free MBTI test (basic test should be fine for today)

Type In Mind – one of my favorite sites for deep-dive MBTI research

Review your MBTI test results, and note whether you agree or disagree with your personality typing and resulting personality traits.

If you disagree with your MBTI test results, check the strengths and weakness pages for some similar personality types – you can find a full list of personality types here. When you find YOUR type, it will ‘click’ with you! Also, our past experiences may cause us to “test” as another type. I am definitely a classic ENFJ. However, my test results often come out as ESTJ because of my business background and my constant efforts to be more rational and observant.

We are just scratching the surface of MBTI today. However, you should be aware MBTI typing is not 16 boxes, but generalizations based on combined results from four different personality aspects ie introversion / extroversion.. I view these personality aspects as gradients 0-100, split around the half way point. In other words, an ENFJ who is near 100% extroversion will have many similarities with, but still be quite different from another ENFJ who is at close to 51% extroversion, just barely over the line from introversion.

This is a good time to make another journal entry! Perhaps review the strengths and weaknesses page for your personality type and analyze how they may or may not apply to you. Maybe check out the additional sections for relationships and recommended careers for your type. Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection!

Please comment and share your thoughts on your MBTI results if would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya day? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 4

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. This is our fourth Tapas or discipline Day. Our intro Tapas day, we made a goal that was important to us. Each Tapas day, we checked in on our progress. It has been nearly a month and a half, so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up!! If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the 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.

We have a Daily Asana Challenge for September. Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Tapas Day today, I recommend a dynamic Vinyasa class.

PS I’m currently reinvigorated and super motivated for my Duolingo Daily Habit after seeing nearly 180 and 365 day streaks from friends. I am at about 90%, but have missed a few days here and there… practice not perfection, but I’m working for it! I’m currently at a 14 day streak, going for 180 🙂

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to get some exercise for Tapas Day and Work Out Wednesday. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! We have a 30 Day Asana Challenge going on right now for September! Register and find our Daily Asana group if you would like to join! 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 usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am trying out a Hip Hop Vinyasa Series (25 Minute). 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.

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? Are you joining us with our Asana Challenge? Always remember, be kind!

Vyaghrasana – Tiger Crunches
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Santosha – Contentment – Day 4 – September Self-Improvement Month

Good Morning Yogis! Happy September! September is National Self-Improvement Month. I find challenge-focused months super helpful for my own motivation, so we’re going to continue with a daily Asana practice challenge for September.

Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Santosha Day today, I recommend a Hatha class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner Combination (30 Minute), so I can complete my Beginners Essentials Badge. I would also classify this series as Hatha Style.

We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the second of the Niyamas, Santosha / contentment with ourselves on the mat, by honoring and being gentle with our bodies, and not pushing ourselves to pain… Santosha is the key to avoiding injury during Asanas / Poses, so please make sure to carry this throughout the month if you are participating in the September Asana Challenge! Today we will be focusing on Santosha with our lives, not just our bodies.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Santosha/contentment by focusing on the present moment, ideally in nature. I have heard if we focus on the past we will be depressed, if we focus on the future we will be anxious, and the key to joy is living in the present moment. A couple of the Yamas and Niyamas reflect this secret of happiness hidden in the “now”. I find one of the easiest ways to do this is to get outside and be active! Go on a walk, and perhaps literally stop and smell the roses. Take a run and feel the wind on your face. Being around water is always especially calming for me, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river. Perhaps hike and appreciate the beauty around you rather than focusing on finding a perfect selfie spot. Since we are still in the days of social distancing, maybe pack a picnic and head to the back yard or a nearby park, or read a book on your deck or by the window. Whatever feels like the best way for you to get out of your little bubble, and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.

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

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

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Saucha – Purity – Day 4

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!
Congrats on completing our August Challenge! Please stay with us.. we will check in with our monthly daily commitment on Tapas Day and have another Svadhyaya Journal Day this week.

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

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

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

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

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Virgo Season – Goddess Pose

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!

Utkata Konasana – Goddess Pose

Good morning Yogis! Our Challengers are taking a break from the Sun Salutations pose breakdown for Sitali Pranayama, a cooling breath we covered on the Summer Solstice! If it’s as hot where you are as it is in Colorado today, you may want to try some Sitali again today!

Today is the start of Virgo Season – Happy Birthday Virgo Yogis! We will cover two Asanas today inspired by Virgo – Utkata Konasana / Goddess Pose and Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclined Goddess Pose.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try the Goddess Asanas inspired by the start of Virgo Season!

Tag @dailyyogi.world with your Goddess Pose Pics on Instagram!

Utkata Konasana – Goddess Pose

This Goddess Pose is a standing pose. The literal translation from Sanskrit is Fierce Angle Pose, so try to embody a fierce warrior Goddess for this pose! Only come down as far as you are comfortable! Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Feet – Feet should be about 3 – 4 1/2 feet apart, flat on the mat. Turn your toes out to point 45 degrees out to each side.

Legs and Hips – Bend your knees to come into this pose. The full expression is with thighs parallel to the ground, but only come down as far as is comfortable. It is more important to keep your knees over your ankles than to have a deep bend in the leg! Try to keep your hips neutral, but try to keep your booty tucked under rather than sticking out.

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

Arms – Cactus your arms – hold arms up with elbows at 90 degree angles, fingers spread, and palms facing forward.

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

Supta Baddha Konasana – reclined goddess pose

This Asana is called both Reclined Goddess Pose and Reclined Bound Angle Pose, the literal Sanskrit translation. This comfortable passive stretch is a common pose for Restorative Yoga! You can place a couch pillow under the knees, head, or upper body for support. You can place a cushion or block just below your shoulder blades for a more advanced chest-opening. I try to work this pose in near the end of nearly all my longer Asana practices.

Supta Badha Konasana – Reclined Goddess

Feet and Legs – Your legs should be turned out and feet together. Let your knees fall to the ground, as far as is comfortable.

Hips – Hips should face up to the sky. Take note of your booty – it should be almost tucked under rather than sticking out.

Torso and Head  – Let your back rest or even sink into the ground comfortably in this Asana. Look straight up, and rest your head comfortably on your mat, or perhaps on a pillow.

Arms – Raise your arms above your head on the mat as is comfortable. Keep your shoulders down. Either grab each elbow, or perhaps cactus your arms out to the side.

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 3

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!

Good Morning Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of daily positive practices from the Niyamas. As we discussed in our intro, Ishvara Pranidhana is the most difficult of the Niyamas to understand and practice, but also one of the most rewarding. So, today we will work again on the challenging practice of acceptance in difficult times.

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

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

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

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 3 – Enneagram

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Today we will continue our fun self-study method series covering the next few Svadhyaya Days. I got very interested in personality typing a few years ago. My two favorite methodologies are called Meyers-Briggs and the Enneagram. I have had some friends get annoyed by my interest in these personality analysis methods, and say they’re like horoscopes… My answer is I think astrology is another fun method to learn about ourselves! I find it much easier to have something to compare to than trying to analyze myself from scratch. Last time we practiced Svadhyaya/self-study by pulling our star charts. Today we will learn about the Enneagram. This personality typing method is based on what drives us and our deepest fears. There are many websites that go into deep dives of the Enneagram system and the types, but for today we will just learn our primary type.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to determine and read up on your Enneagram type. Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection.

Free Enneagram test (basic test should be fine for today)

Enneagram Institute – one of my favorite sites for deep-dive Enneagram research

Review your Enneagram test results, and note whether you agree or disagree with your Enneagram typing and resulting personality traits.

We are just scratching the surface of the Enneagram today, but you should know some basics about how the Enneagram works. Each person exhibits the traits of their primary type, plus three others. You typically have some traits of one type next to your own, called a wing. Also, each type acts like other specific types across from their own type (see graphic below) when pushed in positive or negative situations. I am a type 6 (with a very strong 7 wing!), and act like a 3 when I am stressed, and like a 9 when I am growing in a positive way. If you disagree with your Enneagram test results, check the descriptions for the related types, and see if you are testing as one of your related types!

This is a good time to make another journal entry! Perhaps evaluate not only your type, but whether you see yourself “mirroring” your related types when moving in positive and negative situations.

Please comment and share your thoughts on your Enneagram results if would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya day? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 3

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!

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

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

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

Get the Daily Yogi App – Get quick access to
today’s practice and daily pop-up reminders!

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

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 3

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!

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

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

Yogis practicing Santosha with their Asanas – perhaps try a challenging balance pose! Here is a list of balance-focused Asanas and instructions from Yoga Journal.

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

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

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

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

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Saucha – Purity – Day 3

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Niyamas for our daily practices with Saucha or purity Day. We are going to keep our practices synchronized with the challenge group!

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

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

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

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 2

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

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

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

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

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 2 – Star Charts

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced Svadhyaya / self-study by focusing on the practice of studying sacred texts, and keeping up with our journals to have research materials to aid our self-study.

Today we will start a fun self-study method series for the next few Svadhyaya Days. I got very interested in personality typing a few years ago. My two favorite methodologies are called Meyers-Briggs and the Enneagram. I have had some friends get annoyed by my interest in these personality analysis methods, and say they’re like horoscopes… My answer is I think astrology is another fun method to learn about ourselves! I do not hold myself or others to any strict interpretations of astrology or personality typing, but I do think having something to compare to for self-analysis is helpful, and much easier than starting self-analysis from scratch! So, let’s start with a deeper dive into astrology, because horoscopes are familiar to most of us. This is just for fun and to have a tool for comparison.. but if you do not like astrology, feel free to skip today and meet us back tomorrow 🙂

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to pull a star chart for yourself. Most people know their primary sun sign, but there is a lot more astrologers interpret from the stars at your time of birth! Generate your free star chart here (you will need your birth time and place for full chart with rising signs). Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection.

There is a LOT to read, and it is worth reading the entire analysis. Your main astrological signs are:
Sun Sign – true self, identity and personality. This is the zodiac sign you are most familiar with
Moon Sign – inner self, emotional self and approach to relationships
Ascendant or Rising Sign – outer self, social self and impression you give off

Review your star chart reading, and note what you agree or disagree with from your reading. This is a good time to make another journal entry!

Please comment and share your thoughts on your star chart if would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya day? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 2

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

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to get some exercise for Tapas Day and Work Out Wednesday. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! There are many free Apps for 30 Day Challenge workouts. My favorite is a free app called 30 Day Butt, which allows the pop-up phone notifications I love so much. We are also starting a Challenge on 8/1 for our first 30 Days of Daily Yogi.. a 30 Day Yoga Challenge of Intro Philosophy, Poses & Positivity. Register and find our Current Challenge Group if you would like to join!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE STARTS 11/01/2020

Days
Hours
Minutes
Second

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

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! Although we tried to incorporate Santosha/contentment with our challenging Ardha Chandrasana / Half Moon Pose exercise yesterday, it is worth another day of focus. We have discussed that Yoga is a practice, and I find nearly all of the limbs to be challenging. I personally have a hard time with Santosha, finding it especially difficult to “turn off” to just relax and enjoy where I am.

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

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

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

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

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Moon Day – Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose

Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose

Good morning Yogis! Today would normally be Santosha/contentment Day.. but it is also Moon Day, honoring the 51st anniversary of the day we landed on the moon! So, we are going to talk about one of my favorite balancing poses that you should practice with Santosha in mind – Ardha Chandrasana (ARD-ha chahn-DRA-sa-nuh) or Half Moon Pose.

This is a common pose for intermediate level and above Yogis. This pose can also be a good challenge for motivated beginners who work their way up to the pose properly. There are so many incredible, strong, and flexibile Yogis on Instagram! However, you often do not see the work to get into advanced poses – usually some Asana practice prior to the photo with easier similar poses, and years of practice before that day!

You should first practice getting into Ardha Chandrasana with easier but similar poses. Some poses to work on first, and that Yoga Teachers frequently use, include Utthita Parsvakonasana/Extended Side Angle, Trikonasana/Triangle Pose, Tri Pado Adho Mukha Svanasana/Three Legged Down Dog, and/or Virabhadrasana III/Warrior 3. Also, a block can be helpful for some Yogis under the front hand (ironically I have less balance with the block). Since this is a fairly complex pose that is best worked up to in a series rather than practiced on its own, I am recommending an Asana series building up to this pose!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try an Asana series working into Ardha Chandrasana / Half Moon Pose for Moon Day! If you are a new Yogi, be gentle with yourself and practice Santosha/Contentment, and notice and accept where you are on this “journey” pose.. this is a difficult Asana, and there is a lot going on. It took me quite a bit of practice to hold this pose without falling over!

Vinyasa building to Ardha Chandrasana / Half Moon

Detailed breakdown of Ardha Chandrasana / Half Moon Pose

PS If this is a bit too advanced for you right now, honor Moon Day with some Hatha, which can be translated as “sun and moon.” Check out our recommended Hatha Yoga series!

PPS If you are comfortable with Ardha Chandrasana and/or variations of this pose, please tag us with your half moon on Instagram!

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Ardha Chadrasana / Half Moon Pose before? Always remember, be kind!

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Saucha – Purity – Day 2

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try clean eating today for Saucha day. “You are what you eat” so let’s bring purity to our digestive systems today with a day of no junk or processed food! I tried the paleo diet (admittedly not for me) and I was quite surprised at the improvement in my skin and energy levels by eating mostly fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. If you want a real challenge, perhaps make today a full vegetarian or vegan day!

PS if you already have a clean diet, do not take today off! Instead, make your practice today a deep clean or pampering of your choice for your body for Saucha day. Check out our intro Saucha day post if you need ideas!

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

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4th of July and Clean Beach Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 1 – OM

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

OM – Sanskrit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 1

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

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

Today’s Quotes from the Yoga Sutras

Journal DaY

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


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

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 1

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

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

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

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

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 1

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

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Santosha / contentment by focusing on the present moment, ideally in nature. I have heard if we focus on the past we will be depressed, if we focus on the future we will be anxious, and the key to joy is living in the present moment. A couple of the Yamas and Niyamas reflect this secret of happiness hidden in the “now”. I find one of the easiest ways to do this is to get outside and be active! Go on a walk, and perhaps literally stop and smell the roses. Take a run and feel the wind on your face. Being around water is always especially calming for me, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river. Perhaps hike and appreciate the beauty around you rather than focusing on finding a perfect selfie spot. Since we are still in the days of social distancing, maybe pack a picnic and head to the back yard or a nearby park, or read a book on your deck or by the window. Whatever feels like the best way for you to get out of your little bubble, and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.

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

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

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Saucha – Purity – Day 1

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

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

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

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

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

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Niyamas #5 – Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Intro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Niyamas #4 – Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Intro

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

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

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

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


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

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

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Niyamas #3 – Tapas – Discipline – Intro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Niyamas #2 – Santosha – Contentment – Intro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Niyamas #1 – Saucha – Purity – Intro

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

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

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

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to pamper yourself with a deep cleaning or other self-care. Need some ideas? If you have been stuck inside and allowed some areas your personal grooming to slide, maybe try something like a long shower or bubble bath. Maybe give yourself a pedicure, with a warm foot soak and lotion massage after, whether you paint your toes or not. Perhaps try a tooth whitening treatment. Relax with a face mask and cucumber slices over your eyes. If you want to try a new Ayurvedic practice, maybe try oil-pulling (I recommend 2-15 minutes, not 20-30) with coconut oil. If the days of social distancing are done, maybe book a last minute facial or salon treatment of your choice. Whatever practice feels right for you to integrate Saucha into your day.

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

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