Aparigraha (Non-Attachment): May 2023 Yoga Challenge

Happy May 28, 2023 – Aparigraha (Non-Attachment)

Happy Sunday Yogis! We are staying sync-ed up with our 30 Day Challenge group, and today is Aparigraha or Non-Attachment Day. Last time we practiced the positive of the last of the YamasAparigraha / non-attachment by practicing gratitude, but today we will take it a step further.

Today is also the second anniversary of Daily Yogi! We will focus on meditation for June, but move on to a summer special feature July.

30 Day Challengers

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!
PS technically this is Day 30 of your Challenge if you started on 4/28 – congratulations! We have Day 31 planned for tomorrow to complete May. Please stay with us.. we will check in with our monthly daily commitment on Tapas Day and have another Svadhyaya Journal Day this week2

cool perspective sunlit clouds in blue sky -aparigraha nonattachment detachment Quote: Being attached is what prevents us from seeing, it is what clouds  this miraculous awareness. - Geoffrey Shugen Arnold
Being attached is what prevents us from seeing, it is what clouds this miraculous awareness. – Geoffrey Shugen Arnold

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

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

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Brahmacharya (Moderation): May 2023 Yoga Challenge

Happy May 28, 2023 – Brahmacharya (Moderation)

Happy Saturday Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the fourth of the Yamas – Brahmacharya / Moderation with choosing the middle path in any area of our lives. Today we will be more specific with our moderation .. this is one of my favorite Brahmacharya practices, and I am super thrilled this one lands on a weekend for our intro challenges 🙂

30 Day Challengers

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

cool perspective looking up at leafty tree among green cactus with clear blue sky background - brahmacharya moderation disconnect unplug Quote: There is no WiFi in the forest, but I promise you’ll find a better connection, - Unknown
There is no WiFi in the forest, but I promise you’ll find a better connection, – Unknown

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

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

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Please comment if you decided to practice Brahmacharya / Moderation today with your phones and social media, how did it go? How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

Asteya (Non-Stealing): May 2023 Yoga Challenge

Happy May 26, 2023 – Asteya (Non-Stealing)

Happy Friday Yogis! We are staying sync-ed up with our 30 Day Challenge group, and today is Asteya or Non-Stealing Day. Last time we practiced the positive version of the third of the Yamas – Asteya / non-stealing with an act of generosity, but today we will take it a step further and examine non-stealing.

30 Day Challengers

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

epic snow covered colorado alpine mountain valley under bright blue sky - asteya non-stealing balance Quote: Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create. - Jana Kingsford
Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create. – Jana Kingsford

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

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

This is going to be similar to our Satya practice from yesterday, and we should reflect on areas of our life where we may be acting a bit selfishly or taking advantage of a situation. If you are taking a lot of assistance or time from a particular person but not giving much in return, reflect on that and consider how you can make the situation more fair. Or, examine a situation where you have been taking more than giving, express gratitude, and see how you can make things more balanced and take better care of those who take care of you. Examine areas where you can focus a bit more Asteya, and express that however it feels right to you.

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Satya (Truthfulness): May 2023 Yoga Challenge

Happy May 25, 2023 – Satya (Truthfulness)

Happy Thursday Yogis! Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day! We are staying synced up with our 30 Day Challenge group. We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the second of the Yamas with a kind truth, but today we will examine and practice from a different angle.

30 Day Challengers

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

epic cloudy purple and pink alpine sunset in mountains with darkened green pine trees - satya truth honesty truthfulness Quote: The thing that is really hard and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning to work on becoming yourself. - Anna Quindlen
The thing that is really hard and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning to work on becoming yourself. – Anna Quindlen

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Satya / Truthfulness with ourselves. Need ideas? It can be big or small.

This usually means examining mindsets, practices, or people in our life that may not be serving us. For example, maybe you are like me and should really examine eating less candy and more veggies. Or maybe you have other unhealthy practices like smoking, or a medical issue you have been putting off getting examined. Perhaps you have “friends” who cut you down to bring themselves up or consistently take but never offer support.

We usually know deep down what truths we need to accept… perhaps meditate to allow these thoughts to come up. Accepting difficult truths is a big step, and do not push yourself to do anything until you are ready. But, if you decide you are up for it, plan a course of action to resolve what you had been avoiding.

Please remember this can be a difficult practice, so be gentle with yourself!

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

Ahimsa (Non-Harming): May 2023 Yoga Challenge

Happy May 25, 2023 – Ahimsa (Non-Harming)

Happy Wednesday Yogis! We are restarting the Limbs of Yoga for our daily positive practices with the first of the YamasAhimsa or non-harming. We also have a 30 Day Challenge continuing, so we will stay linked up with the challenge group. Our last Ahimsa Day we practiced with a random act of kindness, but today we will focus on practicing non-harming.

30 Day Challengers

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

PS I want to announce our schedule for the next couple months! We will have a June Meditation focus, and flow state summer fun activities for July. We will do our next 30 Day Challenge in August.

looking up from road into sunlit clouds in sky with cool perspective - ahimsa non-harming non-violence kindness Quote: The more we practice nonviolence in our words, thoughts and actions the more peaceful will be our inner state. - Amit Ray
The more we practice nonviolence in our words, thoughts and actions the more peaceful will be our inner state. – Amit Ray

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Ahimsa / Non-Harming today.

Need ideas for Ahimsa practice today? It can be big or small. We should strive to exercise Non-Harming with our thoughts, words and/or actions.

For actions, you can avoid killing a bug you find in the house, and instead use a cup and paper or cardboard to carry outside. Perhaps drive compassionately if you have to drive today. Maybe refrain from letting your temper get the best of you and stay kind throughout a difficult interaction.. this will probably be non-harming in both words and actions. Keep in your mind and try to follow “if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.” Or, to practice Ahimsa with our thoughts, try to stay positive today with yourself, and notice and stop yourself from any negative self-talk.

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Aparigraha (Non-Attachment)

Happy May 6, 2023 – Aparigraha (Non-Attachment)

Happy Friday Yogis! Today we are going to stay sync-ed up with our challengers and revisit the positive practice of Aparigraha (non-attachment) today.

30 Day Challengers

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

close-up bright blue flower with fuzzy background of green grass and leaves and brown rocks - aparigraha non-attachment gratitude Quote: Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want. - Jim Rohn
Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want. – Jim Rohn

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

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

Perhaps get some bonus Svadhyaya (self-study) by making your gratitude list today in your journal!

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Brahmacharya (Moderation)

Happy May 4, 2023 – Brahmacharya (Moderation)

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

30 Day Challengers

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

cool perspective Boston common garden with purple and white flowers and bright green leaves and grass along asphalt walkway -brahmacharya moderation middle-path Quote: Everything in moderation, and there's a perfect balance in this life if we can find it. - Ryan Robbins
Everything in moderation, and there’s a perfect balance in this life if we can find it. – Ryan Robbins

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to exercise moderation or take the Middle Path in a way that is meaningful for you today for Brahmaharya Day. Remember – the middle path is about moderation, not denial! Need some ideas?

  • Look for temptations during the day, and neither deny nor fully indulge the craving, but instead make a healthy choice. Like maybe a salad or healthy sandwich instead of fast food, or fruit instead of candy, or yogurt instead of cake or ice cream. Maybe have just a couple pieces of candy instead of NOMMING the whole bag (this one is both inspired by and directed towards me!), or have one very small serving of exactly what you are craving.
  • Make today the first day taking steps to minimize an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Perhaps get a nicotine gum or patch to stop smoking, or plan a reasonable cut-back schedule with small goals you can reach rather than the cold-turkey approach.
  • If you have been super busy with work and family with our current quarantine situation, ask for help and take 15 minutes minimum to spoil yourself with a bath or workout or even a nap, whatever you need!
  • Take a digital break – plan today to have an evening without phone or social media.
  • Choose your own way to practice a more balanced lifestyle today that feels right to you.

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Asteya (Non-Stealing)

Happy May 3, 2023 – Asteya (Non-Stealing)

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

30 Day Challengers

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

close up cool perspective purple flowers - asteya non-stealing generosity Quote - Generosity is an activity that loosens us up. By offering whatever we can – a dollar, a flower, a word of encouragement – we are training in letting go. - Pema Chodron
Generosity is an activity that loosens us up. By offering whatever we can – a dollar, a flower, a word of encouragement – we are training in letting go. – Pema Chodron

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

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

  • Ask someone you care about who is having a tough time if you can help with household chores, or yard work, or anything else to make their lives easier and take something off their plate.
  • If you have old luggage you no longer use, please consider donating to a foster care agency, since many foster children are forced to move with garbage bags.
  • Purge toys, books, kitchen gadgets, and/or electronics you no longer use, and consider donating as appropriate to a local organization for the elderly, women and/or children.
  • Consider making a cash donation to your local food bank, hospital, animal shelter, or another nonprofit or charity that is meaningful to you (I usually donate to World Wildlife Fund).
  • Do a closet clean-out and donate clothes you do not wear any more… or consider starting a wardrobe tracking method to help identify what you do not wear and could donate. PS consider making the extra effort donating directly to local organizations for the homeless, elderly, women, or children rather than the easy dropboxes for Goodwill.

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Satya (Truthfulness)

Happy May 2, 2023 – Satya (Truthfulness)

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day. We are staying synced up with our 30 Day Challenge group. We will practice today focusing on the “benevolent truth” translation of Satya from Sanskrit.

30 Day Challengers

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

close-up purple blue and white columbine flower with fuzzy background of green grass and leaves and brown rocks - satya truth truthfulness honesty Quote - When words are both true and kind, they can change the world. - Buddha
When words are both true and kind, they can change the world. – Buddha

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is sharing a kind truth with someone you care about. Let’s make it big today… these are hard times and we could all use a big pick me up! Do not compliment someone about something that changes every day, like their hair or outfit. Need some ideas?

  • Contact your best friend just to say how much you admire their drive, or loyalty or the ability to always make you laugh.
  • Tell your significant other how much you appreciate the thing you love most about them.
  • Call a friend or family member who had a significant positive impact on your life, and let them know how thankful you are.
  • Message an old colleague or boss who helped you on your path, and thank them for their mentoring.
  • Reach out to someone you love and/or someone you know could use a pick-me-up.

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Ahimsa (Non-Harming)

Happy May 1, 2023 – Ahimsa (Non-Harming)

Happy Monday Morning Yogis! We are beginning our cycle practicing each of the Limbs of Yoga with Ahimsa or non-harming. We also have a 30 Day Challenge Group starting positive practices today, and we will stay mostly coordinate with the Challenge group most of the month. Today we will focus on the positive opposite of non-harming, or kindness for our Ahimsa practice today.

30 Day Challengers

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

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

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

looking up through purple flowers and green leaves at sky with cool perspective - ahimsa non-harming non-violence kindnessQuote - When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. - The 14th Dalai Lama
When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. – The 14th Dalai Lama

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

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

  • Bring home a favorite meal or special treat for a loved one.
  • Be extra friendly driving in the car, giving someone the right of way.
  • If you can, pay for the order for the person behind you in a drive through. Has that ever happened to you? It happened to my sister, it made her day!
  • If we are no longer in the days of social distancing or you are in your household, hold the door open for the person behind you, or help someone who is struggling to reach or carry something.
  • Volunteer.
  • Give to charity (I recommend donating to WWF or supporting 4Ocean – a business doing great things for ocean clean-up!)
  • Plant a tree.
  • Whatever feels like the right way for you to actively practice kindness and compassion, or to do your small part to make someone else smile, or make the world better today than it was yesterday.

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Asana April 2023: Earth Day & Lyrids Meteor Shower

Happy Asana April 23, 2022 – Earth Day & Lyrids Meteor Shower

Good morning Yogis! Today is Earth Day and tonight is the peak of the Lyrids Meteor Shower! This meteor shower is average (20/hr) and produces bright streaking trails, so try to catch a shooting star if you have clear skies this week! So, before we begin another quick Asana series, let’s take a quick break to celebrate Earth Day and focus on enjoying the earth with Santosha practice, or help conservation and environmental efforts with Ahimsa or Asteya practice today.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Earth Day today, I recommend a dynamic Vinyasa series to focus on physical health, or a more meditative Yin and Restorative 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 trying a new Vinyasa class, one of the specialty focuses I have not yet tried.

close-up cool perspective of leafy purple multicolor art from meow wolf denver - earth day environmentalism conservation Quote: The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for. - Ernest Hemingway
The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for. – Ernest Hemingway

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a practice of your choice focused on enjoying or conserving nature for today’s Earth Day.

  • Consider making a donation to the World Wildlife Fund to help protect endangered animals and their environments! I am an animal lover and environmentalist, this one is near and dear to me, but I apologize for repeating over and over 🙂
  • April is Stress Awareness Month, so perhaps consider a meditative walk or hike to enjoy your natural environment!
  • Plant a tree!
  • Perhaps go for a hike and bring gloves and trash bags and do some extra clean-up in honor of Earth Day.
  • Find and participate in an organized local clean-up.. these events are usually great for maintaining social distancing!
  • Support beach and ocean cleanup efforts by purchasing a 4Ocean sea plastic bracelet.
  • Or, if none of these suggestions resonate with you, find another way to practice some environmentalism!

Want more Santosha practices? Check out our Santosha Guide!

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Asana April 2023: Aparigraha (Non-Attachment) – Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Standing Hand to Big Toe)

Happy Asana April 12, 2023 – Aparigraha (Non-Attachment) – Standing Hand to Big Toe

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fifth and last of the Yamas – – Aparigraha or Non-Attachment.

Standing Hand to Big Toe or Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (OOT-hit-TAH HAH-stah Pa-dahn-goose-THAH-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Aparigraha, since this is a very challenging balance and full-leg stretch. You will also likely fall over a few times, so enjoy a few laughs working on this Asana! In fact, I usually practice with a variation of this pose, and I occasionally work on the full version but cannot fully straighten my leg. Please see our wonderful featured Yogi @metalynith who is making awesome progress with flexibility and balance in her Yoga practice, and volunteered to model this challenging Asana for me <3!

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana - standing hand to big toe pose - yoga pose girl glasses wearing black trippy cool background
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Aparigraha Day today, I recommend a passive Yin or Restorative class, or a balance-focused 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 – Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose that I can do! 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!

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try some Standing Hand to Foot for Aparigraha Day! This is a challenging pose for all levels Yogis. Make sure to incorporate Aparigraha, and just practice without expectations, and see how you can progress with this journey pose. Remember – practice not perfection! We will talk about the variations of this pose both with and without the toe hold today! Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Aparigraha Day – try making a gratitude list!

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana Variation – Standing Hand to Big Toe Variation

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana - standing hand to big toe pose variation - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Beginner Standing Hand to Big Toe

Feet and Legs â€“ Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose. Claw your toes into the mat slightly to keep your arches from falling into the mat. Perhaps keep a slight bend in the knee, Always make sure you avoid hyper-extending or locking your knees. We will perform with the right leg first – so shift all weight into your left leg. After placing your hands on your hips, inhale and slowly lift your right leg, trying to bring parallel to the ground.

Hips â€“ Make sure your hips are neutral. Err on the side of tucking your tailbone under, rather than sticking your booty out.

Torso â€“ Notice your rib cage in mountain pose. 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. Make sure you keep your back straight throughout this Asana, and do not let your shoulders or lower back round.

Head and Neck â€“ Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. Gaze ahead at a single unmoving point to help with balance.

Arms â€“ Place your hands on your hips to stay balanced in this pose.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Standing Hand to Big Toe

Feet and Legs â€“ Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose. Claw your toes into the mat slightly to keep your arches from falling into the mat. Perhaps keep a slight bend in the knee, Always make sure you avoid hyper-extending or locking your knees. We will perform with the right leg first – so shift all weight into your left leg. After placing your hands on your hips, inhale and slowly bend your right leg and lift your right foot in towards your groin. Grab a hold of your right big toe with your right index and middle fingers. On an exhale, slowly extend your leg forward. It is okay if you cannot get your leg straight – it is better to keep your spine long than have a straight leg.

Hips â€“ Make sure your hips are neutral. Err on the side of tucking your tailbone under, rather than sticking your booty out.

Torso â€“ Notice your rib cage in mountain pose. 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. Make sure you keep your back straight throughout this Asana, and do not let your shoulders or lower back round. If you notice your back rounding, either bend your knee slightly to straighten your back, or work the beginner version of this Asana above until you can come into parallel to the ground without losing your posture.

Head and Neck â€“ Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. Gaze ahead at a single unmoving point to help with balance.

Arms â€“ Place your left hand on your left hip to help stay balanced in this pose. Keep a hold of your right big toe with your right index and middle fingers, and bend your elbow to deepen the stretch.

To come out of either variation of this pose, first release any toe hold and slowly lower your foot back down to the ground on an exhale. Make sure to repeat this Asana on both sides, and notice any differences in balance and flexibility between sides without judgement!

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Asana April 2023: Brahmacharya (Moderation) – Anuvittasana (Standing Backbend)

Happy Asana April 11, 2023 – Brahmacharya (Moderation) – Standing Backbend

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fourth of the YamasBrahmacharya or Moderation and Anuvittasana. Standing Backbend or Anuvittasana (Ah-NUH-vee-TAH-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Brahmacharya, since this pose requires moderation – you must gently lean back and avoid straining to avoid injury! This is a great pose for monitoring your yoga journey with Asanas, because you will come further and further into backbends as you increase your flexibility. Moreover, this pose literally translates from Sanskrit as “found” or “obtained” pose. I think further emphasizes the journey aspect of this Asana.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. So, for Brahmacharya Day today, I recommend a Vinyasa class, which will include this pose as part of Sun Salutations.

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 Flexibility (30 Minute), which includes plenty of Standing Backbends!

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try some Standing Backbends for Brahmacharya Day! This is a common opening pose series for all levels Yogis and all styles of Yoga. We will now talk about the standing and supported variations of this pose today! Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Brahmacharya Day – try a ditgital detox!

Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

Anuvittasana - standing backbend pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

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

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

Hips â€“ Make sure your hips are neutral to start. Then on the exhale, tuck your tailbone under and press your hips slightly forward to come into the backbend. As you get more comfortable with this pose, you can press your hips further forward to come into a deeper backbend.

Torso â€“ Notice your rib cage in Tadasana / Mountain Pose. 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. First inhale your hands into position, and then exhale as you gently press your hips forward and lean your torso back into a comfortable backbend.

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

Arms â€“ On an inhale before exhaling back into this pose, bring your arms over your head next to your ears, keeping your shoulders down and back. You can press your palms together, or keep them slightly separated.

Beginner Yogis may want to come into Salamba Anuvittasana – Supported Standing Backbend as pictured below. Point your fingers down towards the mat and press your palms into your hips or lower back, and make sure your elbows stay pointed straight back to help your chest open.

Finally, to come out of this pose, lead forward and lift with your chest on an inhale to come back into Tadasana / Mountain Pose.

Salamba Anuvittasana - standing supported backbend pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Salamba Anuvittasana – Standing Supported Backbend

Come into Anuvittasana / Standing Backbend on inhales, and back to Tadasana / Mountain. or all the way forward to Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend on exhales. Then, repeat a few times. I recommend this series to stretch and warm up the spine and torso at the beginning of Asana practice!

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

Want more Brahmacharya practices? Check out our Brahmacharya Guide!

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Asana April 2023: Asteya (Non-Stealing) – Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulder Stand)

Happy Asana April 10, 2023 – Asteya (Non-Stealing) – Supported Shoulder Stand

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the third of the YamasAsteya or Non-Stealing. Since we are in the middle of an April Daily Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Salamba Sarvangasana (Sah-LAHM-ba Sar-vahn-GAH-sa-nuh) or Supported Shoulder Stand is my choice to represent Asteya since this is a supported balancing pose, and one way to practice Asteya is examining and maintaining balance in our relationships, making sure to support those who support us.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Asteya 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 one of my favorites – Intermediate Balance (30 Minute), which includes series moving between Salamba Sarvangasana / Supported Shoulder Stand and Halasana / Plow Pose!

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Salamba Sarvangasana / Supported Shoulder Stand for Asteya Day! This is a challenging inversion. If you are a new yogi, only come up as high as you are comfortable! We will start from corpse, and use the core to lift into this Asana.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Asteya Day – perform a random act of generosity!

Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

Salamba Sarvangasana - supported shoulder stand pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

Feet and Legs – Start laying on your back in Shavasana / Corpse pose, with knees bent. As you press palms into the mat, use your core to lift your legs as close to perpendicular to the floor as you are comfortable. Try to use your core and bring your entire body into a straight line if possible. This is one of the few Asanas where it is best to keep your toes pointed, for balance. Keep your legs supported with your arms, perhaps just stay in Ardha Sarvangasana / Half Shoulder Stand (image below) until you build balance and core strength to bring your legs and torso closer to a straight line.

Torso and Head – You will lift your torso from the floor to come into this inversion. Allow your chin to come to your chest. Make sure you do not turn your head or neck to either side in this or any inversion to avoid injury.

Arms â€“ Start in Shavasana / Corpse pose, with knees bent and palms resting on the floor next to your hips. To come into the pose, press your hands firmly into the mat for leverage to lift your legs and torso off the floor. Once you are able, turn your fingers in and grab your hips, using your hands and arms to support your lower body in this inversion.

To come out of this pose, lower your hips and legs over your head into Ardha Sarvangasana as pictured below, release your hands to the mat, and slowly unroll your body down to the mat into Shavasana / Corpse.

Ardha Sarvangasana - half shoulder stand pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Ardha Salamba Sarvangasana – Half Supported Shoulder Stand

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

Want more Asteya practices? Check out our Asteya Guide!

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried either version of Sarvangasana / Shoulder Stand before? Always remember, be kind!