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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Asanas – Poses – Day 5 – Top 5 Meditation Positions / Asanas

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

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

TOP 5 MEDITATION POSITIONS / ASANAS

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

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Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

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

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

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

2. SEATED IN A CHAIR – SEATED MEDITATION

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

3. SHAVASANA – CORPSE POSE – RECLINED / SUPINE MEDITATION

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Shavasana – Corpse Pose

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

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

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

4. TADASANA – MOUNTAIN POSE – STANDING / WALKING MEDITATION

Tadasana – Mountain Pose

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

5. VIRASANA – HERO’S POSE – KNEELING MEDITATION

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Virasana – Hero’s Pose

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

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

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Virasana – Hero’s Pose with Block

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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Utthita Tadasana – Five Pointed Star Pose – Draconids Meteor Shower

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

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Utthita Tadasana or Five Pointed Star Pose, and try to stargaze and catch a shooting star in tonight’s Meteor Shower! PS the Draconids Meteor Shower peaks tonight October 7th but is active until the 10th, so you can stargaze another night if visibility is poor today.

Utthita Tadasana – FIve Pointed Star Pose

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

Utthita Tadasana – Five Pointed Star

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

Hips – Make sure your hips are neutral. Try to tilt your hips forward and back a bit to get a feel for your natural posture. Err on the side of tucking your tailbone under, rather than sticking your booty out.

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

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

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

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

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

Utthita Tadasana – Star Variation

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

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

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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World Heart Day – Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy / Melting Heart Pose

Good morning Yogis! Today is World Heart Day! This holiday was created by the World Heart Foundation 20 years ago to help combat and raise awareness for cardiovascular disease. Please take the time today to consider your heart health, and consider any positive steps you may want to take to improve your heart health such as limiting salt intake, quitting smoking, or scheduling a medical check-up. If you are 40 or over, consider scheduling a lipid panel if you have never had your cholesterol checked. So, for World Heart Day today, we will talk about another new Asana commonly referred to as Melting Heart Pose: Uttana Shishosana (OO-ta-na she-SHOW-sa-nuh) which literally translates as Intense or Extended Puppy 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 Labor Day today, I recommend a Yin or Restorative class, which will use our featured Asana for today.

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 Minute).

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Uttana Shishosana or Melting Heart Pose, or perhaps try an Asana series working into this pose for World Heart Day! This is a common pose for all levels Yogis and all styles of Yoga, especially restorative classes. This pose is often considered a hybrid between two common favorites: Balasana / Child’s Pose and Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog. This pose is easiest to enter from Table Top.

Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy / Melting Heart Pose

Uttana Shishosana - extended puppy melting heart pose with block - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Uttana Shishosana – Melting Heart / Extended Puppy with Block

Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy / Melting Heart Pose

Legs, Hips and Feet – Start in Table Top, with your knees under your hips and feet hip distance apart. Your legs will stay in place as you move into the pose. Hips should stay neutral – try to keep your hips right over your knees! I often end up relaxing back into my hips as I relax into the pose. Take note of your booty – it should be almost tucked under rather than sticking out.

Torso  – Keep your back, neck, and head in a straight line – notice any rounding in lower back, and adjust your tail bone and ribs.

Arms and Head – Start in Table Top, with your hands under your shoulders. To come into Uttana Shishosana, slowly walk your hands forward as far as possible as you bring your chest to the mat. Make sure to keep your shoulders down and back, away from your ears. Rest your forehead or chin on the mat.

Hold this pose for as long is comfortable. Walk your hands back up to Table Top to come out.

Uttana Shishosana - extended puppy melting heart pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Uttana Shishona – Melting Heart Pose

PPS If you are comfortable with Uttana Shishosa, please tag @dailyyogi with your pictures on Instagram!

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


Please comment to share your experience or any questions! Have you tried Uttana Shishosana / Extended Puppy Pose before? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 4 – Family Health & Fitness Day – Family & Kids Yoga

Good morning Yogis! Today is Asana Day, and it is also Family Health and Fitness Day USA! 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 Family Heath & Fitness Day today, I recommend a dynamic Vinyasa series, or try a Family or Kids Yoga Session! Cosmic Kids Yoga has a ton of different classes enjoyable for school aged kids. Or, look for ‘mommy and me’ yoga for options for Yogis with younger children.

Cosmic Kids Yoga – check out the Disney-themed Yoga Adventures!

Yoga with Infants

Yoga with Toddlers

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 60 minute Vinyasa, and breaking a sweat for Family Health and Fitness Day!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Vinyasa series, or perhaps a family Yoga series if you have children! Many Kids’ Yoga classes use traditional Yoga Asanas (poses) with fun animal names and animal sounds. This is a great trick for busy parents – get some Yoga in your day, even if it is hard to find alone time in your day! Unfortunately the animal noises and trippy cartoons in Family or Kids’ Yoga may not be as relaxing and meditative as you are used to, but I personally find the physical benefits of Asana practice equally if not more beneficial than the mental benefits.

Today’s Daily Yogi practice is fitness based, but today’s Family Health and Fitness Day USA is focused on both health and fitness. So, I would like to share a couple things I have learned from some of my research on nutrition to cover the health piece. I have a few old friends who are MDs… and though there is a bit more coverage for DOs, I was shocked how little traditional education for MDs focuses on nutrition! These old friends with MDs will be slightly horrified to learn about my interest and continuing education in Ayurveda, so I will mostly hold off on going there… for today (though I still swear by my Ayurvedic Diet that explains why I am a rare American woman who does not like salads and also supports my love of cheese).

The modern scientific community has made many changes in nutrition recommendations in recent years. Remember the Food Pyramid you learned about in school, which recommended 1/3 – 1/2 of your daily calories from grains? That has changed to a Food Circle or Plate, with some very different diet recommendations! Along with this change to 50% fruits and veggies rather than 50% grains, I have seen a lot of recommendations about trying to “eat the whole rainbow” to get more essential vitamins and minerals in your diet, and this seems fairly logical to me. Here are a couple nutrition info-graphics on this, click if you want to print or save for reference!

If you are interested in nutrition and diet, I strongly recommend doing research on MacroNutrients which is widely accepted by the scientific and fitness communities. Or, perhaps do some more digging on ancient Ayurveda if I piqued your interest and you enjoyed our star chart exercise. I’m just a nerd and like all the learning 🙂

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried kids or family yoga before? Please share any favorites.. Vinyasa and Kids’ Yoga are probably the two styles I practice the least! Have you heard these nutrition recommendations before? Always remember, be kind!

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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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Yamas – Interpersonal Ethics – Day 1 – Salabhasana – Locust Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are restarting 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! Salabhasana (sa-la-BAH-sa-nuh) or Locust Pose is my choice to represent the Yamas, or Interpersonal Ethics – this Limb of Yoga covers how we should interact with the world, and in Locust we are opening our bodies outwards. 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 Yamas Day today, I recommend a Hatha 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 favorite longer classes – Beginner Combination (60 Minutes).

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Locust Pose for Yamas Day! There are many variations of this Asana, ranging from beginner to very advanced. Today we will cover the beginner and intermediate versions of this pose that I commonly practice. Please do not push yourself in these back bends – although these Asanas are great for mitigating lower back pain and strengthening, you can cause injury by pushing beyond your limits. For all variations of Salabhasana / Locust Pose, you will start laying face down on your mat in reverse corpse pose.

Ardha Salabhasana – Half Locust Pose

Ardha Salabhasana – Half Locust
  • Start laying face down on your mat.
  • Work both arms under your body and either interlace your fingers, leave palms down, or make fists. Bring your chin to the mat.
  • Inhale and lift your right leg up as high as possible, keeping both hips even and on the mat. Try to point your foot back as far as possible.
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths, and slowly lower your leg on an exhale. Repeat with left foot.

Salabhasana – Locust Pose

Salabhasana – Locust
  • Start laying face down on your mat. Bring your chin to the mat and arms next to your body.
  • Inhale and lift your head, chest, arms, and legs off the mat as high as possible.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back, away from your ears. Your arms can be straight back, with palms facing in or out (perhaps try both!). Or, perhaps bring your arms straight in fromt of you for a “Superman” Salabhasana Variation (see below)
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths, and slowly lower your entire body back to 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 both variations of Salabhasana / Locust Pose before? Have you tried a more advanced version? Which is your favorite? Always remember, be kind!

Salabhasana Variation – Superman

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Libra Season – Tolasana – Scales Pose

Good morning Yogis! Happy Fall! Today is not only the Fall Equinox, but it is also the start of Libra Season – Happy Birthday Libra Yogis! We will cover an Asana today inspired by Libra – Tolasana or Scales Pose. This is one of the few arm balances and advanced poses I can do! I had to try to channel my Libra friend with that smile, which was quite difficult in this challenging Asana.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Tolasana or Scales Pose inspired by the start of Libra Season! The full expression of this pose is from Padmasana or Lotus Pose, but there are variations for both the Lotus Legs and full Arm Balance to make accessible for beginner Yogis. This Asana is a great workout for the arms and core!

Tolasana – Scales

Tolasana – Scales Pose

Start in either Padmasana / Lotus Pose, or cross your legs and bring one foot on top of the opposite thigh to come into Half Lotus. If neither pose is comfortable, stay in a comfortable cross-legged position.

Place your hands on the mat, palms down and middle fingers pointing straight to the sides and fingers spread. Exhale and press into the mat with your hands, as you contract and lift your legs and seat off the mat. If you cannot lift your entire seat off the floor, come into Half Lotus and lift your hips off the ground, using your other foot on the mat for stability. Hold for a few breaths if you can, and slowly lower back to the mat on an exhale.

Tag @dailyyogi.world with your Tolasana / Scales Pose Pics on Instagram!

Please comment and let us know how Scales pose was for you! Did you try full Lotus Legs? Were you able to lift your seat from the mat? Do you want to share an Asana inspiration for your sign’s pose? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 3 – Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the third limb of Yoga – Asanas. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Shavasana (shah-VA-sa-nuh) or Corpse Pose is my choice for Asana Day today – this is possibly the most important Asana, and we have not discussed it yet!

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 Intermediate Relaxation (30 minutes).

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try focus on Shavasana or Corpse Pose in your Asana practice today for Asana Day! Shavasana at the end of your Asana practice is important for your body to take in the changes you made during that session. Also, the Shavasana section of an Asana class is a great time for meditation and Pranayama.

I learned you should have 5 minutes of Shavasana for every 30 minutes of practice. However, this means only 10 minutes of Shavasana after an hour of practice, but I have read about more meditative benefits of Shavasana at 15 minutes and longer. Perhaps adjust your practice schedule to allow for a longer Shavasana today!

Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Shavasana – Corpse

Lay on your back, and allow your legs and feet to gently splay open. Rest your arms a few inches away from your body, with palms facing up. Close your eyes, and allow your entire body to relax and sink into the mat.

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

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama or Yogic / Three-Part Breath). You can use a couch pillow under your head and/or knees, or any modifications to make this pose more comfortable for an extended time. I occasionally take Shavasana with knees bent and feet on the floor, and/or with elbows bent and hands under my head or cactus-arms to the side.

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

Please comment to share your experience! Do you always include Shavasana with your Asana practice? Have you taken a 15 minute or longer Shavasana 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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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 5 – Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Standing Hand to Big Toe

Good morning Yogis! We are beginning our cycle through the Yoga Sutras, and continuing with the last of the YamasAparigraha or non-attachment. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! 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
Click above for more of @metalynith’s impressive advanced Asanas!

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 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 Daily Yogi Practice is to try some Standing Hand to Foot for Aparigraha Day! This is a challenging pose for 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.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana Variation – Standing Hand to Big Toe Variation

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana Variation

Feet and Legs – 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 – Make sure your hips are neutral. Err on the side of tucking your tailbone under, rather than sticking your booty out.

Torso – 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 – 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 – Place your hands on your hips to stay balanced in this pose.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Standing Hand to Big Toe

Feet and Legs – 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 – Make sure your hips are neutral. Err on the side of tucking your tailbone under, rather than sticking your booty out.

Torso – 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 – 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 – 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!

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

Please comment to share your experience! Where are you on your journey with this challenging pose? Always remember, be kind!

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Brahmacharya – Moderation – Day 5 – Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

Good morning Yogis! We are beginning our cycle through the Yoga Sutras, and continuing with the fourth of the YamasBrahmacharya or moderation and Anuvittasana.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

Since we are in the middle of a September Daily Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! 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.

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. 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 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.

Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

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

Hips – Make sure your hips are neutral 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 – 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 – 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 – 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

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!

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried both versions of Standing Backbend before? Always remember, be kind!

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Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 5 – Salamba Sarvangasana – 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 a September 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.

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 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 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

Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

Feet and Legs – Start 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. 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 – 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 Pose.

Ardha Sarvangasana – Half Shoulder Stand

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

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

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 5 – Parighasana – Gate Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the second of the YamasSatya or truthfulness. Since we are in the middle of a September Daily Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Parighasana (Pah-ree-GAH-sa-nuh) or Gate pose is my choice to represent Satya, since one of my favorite quotes about truth is the Sufi Three Gate Saying below!

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 Satya 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 – Beginner Flexibility (30 Minute), which includes a gate series!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Parighasana / Gate Pose for Satya Day! This is one of the few Asanas / poses that intentionally works a turned – out leg. We will talk about how to get into this pose from a kneeling position today! Start in a comfortable kneeling position.

Parighasana – Gate Pose

Parighasana – Gate

Feet & Legs – Start by kneeling, sitting on your feet. Lift your seat and come up onto your knees, keeping your legs about hip-distance apart. We will start on the right – extend your right leg to the right, turning your leg out, and laying your right foot flat on the ground. Try to keep your standing knee and foot in a line

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

Torso – Notice your rib cage. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. On the exhale, you will move your torso right towards your right leg, as far as is comfortable. If you are a new Yogi, you may want to just keep your torso fairly upright, rather than allowing your shoulders or hips to come out of alignment.

Arms – Put your right hand on your right hip. Inhale your left arm straight up next to your ear. Exhale and extend your left arm to the right as you lean your torso to the right. Allow your right hand to slide down your right thigh.

Head and Neck – Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. If it’s comfortable, as you lean to the right, turn your head and gaze down at your right leg.

To come out of this pose, inhale your left arm and torso back up, and sit back down on your feet in a kneeling position. Make sure to repeat this Asana on both sides!

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

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Parighasana / Gate Pose before? Always remember, be kind!

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Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 5 – Marjaryasana / Bitilasana – Cat / Cow

Good morning Yogis! We are beginning our cycle through the Yoga Sutras, and starting with the first of the YamasAhimsa or non-harming. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, I thought it would be fun to feature a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Cat / Cow or Marjaryasana (Mahr-jar-ee-AH-sa-nuh) / Bitilasana (Bih-Ti-LA-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Ahimsa, since this series is a great opening series to help avoid injury, by gently opening and warming up the back at the beginning Asana practice!

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 Ahimsa 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 – Beginner Combination (30 Minute), which includes a cat/cow opening!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try some Cat/Cows for Ahimsa Day! This is a common opening pose series for all levels Yogis and all styles of Yoga. We will talk about how to get into both variations from Table Top or Bharmanasana today! Start in Table Top – with hands directly under shoulders, and knees directly under hips.

Table Top – Bharmanasana
Click image above for our Yoga Ab Workout!

Marjaryasana – Cat Pose

Marjaryasana – Cat

Feet & Legs – Start in Bharmanasana / Table Top or Bitilasana / Cow, with tops of feet laying on the mat. Your legs should stay hip-distance apart in table top. You will keep both knees and feet grounded on the mat in table top through both Asanas / poses!

Hips – Turn your tailbone under and bring your hips forward on an exhale to come into Marjaryasana / Cat from Bharmanasana / Table Top or Bitilasana / Cow.

Torso – On the exhale, you will curl your spine and get as much of a rounding in your back as possible in this pose.

Arms – On the exhale, press your palms into the mat as you curve your back, pressing the mat away from you.

Head and Neck – Curl your head and neck under in line with the rest of your spine, and gaze back at your thighs.

Bitilasana – Cow Pose

Bitilasana – Cow

Feet and Legs – Start in Bharmanasana / Table Top or Marjaryasana / Cat, with tops of feet laying on the mat. Your legs should stay hip distance apart in table top. You will keep both knees and feet grounded on the mat in table top through both Asanas / poses!

Hips – Turn your tailbone up and stick your booty out on the inhale to come into Bitilasana / Cow from Bharmanasana / Table Top or Marjaryasana / Cat.

Torso – On the inhale, you will drop your belly and get as much of a chest opener and curve in the back as comfortable.

Arms – On the inhale, pull back on the mat with your hands to pull your torso forward for more of a chest opening.

Head and Neck – Pull head and neck up and forward from Bharmanasana / Table Top or Marjaryasana / Cat, gazing straight ahead.

Come into Bitilasana / Cow on inhales, and Marjaryasana / Cat on exhales. 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!

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Cat / Cow before? Always remember, be kind!

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Labor Day – Baddha Konasana – Cobbler / Butterfly / Bound Angle Pose

Baddha Konasana – Cobbler Pose

Good morning Yogis! Happy Labor Day to all my US Yogis! I was thinking of poses that relate to work for today’s Asana Day, and came up with either Cobbler or Plow. I think Plow / Halasana may be a bit much for some of the Newbie Yogis I know are with us right now, and Cobbler / Baddha Konasana is one of my favorites!

Halasana – Plow 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 Labor Day today, I recommend a Yin or Restorative class, which will use our featured Asana for today, and aid relaxation away from work.

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 Minute), which includes both Halasana / Plow and Supta Baddha Konasana / Reclined Goddess or Reclined Bound Angle. I am going to modify Agnistambhasana / Fire Log Pose to Baddha Konasana / Bound Angle Pose to get an extra Cobbler in as well!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Baddha Konasana or Cobbler Pose, or perhaps try an Asana series working into this pose for Labor Day! This is a common pose for all levels Yogis and all styles of Yoga, especially restorative classes. The upright pose and most variations are all technically Baddha Konasana or literally Bound Angle Pose. However, I think of Bound Angle or Butterfly Pose as sitting straight up, Cobbler Pose as leaning forward over the legs, and Reclined Goddess as laying back in Supta Baddha Konasana. We will talk about how to get into both variations from Baddha Konasana today!

Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose

Baddha Konasana – Cobbler Pose

Feet and Legs – Your legs should be turned out and feet together. Let your knees fall to the ground, as far as is comfortable. If you have tight hips, you may want to put couch pillows under your knees for support. You may want to scoot your feet a bit forward if you bring your torso forward or back into the Reclined Goddess or Cobbler variations of this pose.

Hips – 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.

Torso and Head  – 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.

Arms – Gently grab hold around your feet. It may help to scoot your legs forward slightly before trying either variation:
To come into what I envision as the Cobbler variation of Bound Angle / Butterfly Pose, gently walk your hands forward and drape your chest over your legs on an exhale.
To come into Supta Baddha Konasana / Reclined Goddess, use your hands for support as you lean back and rest your back and head on the mat. If comfortable, you can bend your elbows over your head, clasp your hands together, and rest your head in your hands.

If your chest or shoulders are tight, try a block under each arm like below for a more restorative version of Baddha Konasana / Cobbler Pose!

Restorative Variation – Baddha Konasana / Cobbler

PPS If you are comfortable with Baddha Konasana, Halasana and/or variations of these poses, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Baddha Konasana / Cobbler Pose or Halasana / Plow Pose before? Always remember, be kind!

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Shisulasana – Dolphin Pose

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

Good morning Yogis! We are completing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, and today is our last twisted or sister version for Daily Yogis.

The final Asana in this series is Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog. Today we will cover its sister pose, Shisulasana (SHIH-suh-LA-sa-na). This is a great Asana, and one I did not start practicing until my teacher training! Since Adho Mukha Svanasana can be rough on the upper body for new Yogis, this is a great alternative. This pose is also one of the first poses to really work on for inversions. In fact, this pose is often called Ardha Sirsasana or Ardha Pincha Mayurasana since it is half way to these advanced inversion Asanas. Today we will try Sun Salutations with Shisulasana, and perhaps try some toe taps for those Yogis who want to try to work into inversions!

PS I am currently working into more advanced arm balances and inversions.. it has taken me many years to build enough upper arm strength, and inversion and balance Asanas are the most challenging on my Asana journey. I have heard what we avoid we most need to learn, so I will include my experiences as I safely work these in to my practice!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side, coming into Shisulasana / Dolphin Pose rather than Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog. I find it a bit easier to come into Dolphin from Salamba Bhujangasana / Sphinx since my forearms are already grounded. Jump to today’s variations!

Shisulasana – Dolphin Pose

Shisulasana – Dolphin Pose

Feet – Your feet should still be about hip distance apart. Coming from either Bhujangasana / Cobra or Sambhala Bhujangasana / Sphinx, your feet will flip and you will end with the balls of both feet on the mat, reaching your heels towards the mat. You can bring your feet a bit closer in to help your heels start reaching the mat. It is very difficult for heels to reach the mat when hamstrings are very tight, so be gentle with yourself in this pose, and perhaps walk your feet in or walk the dog into this pose.

Legs – Keep your legs straight and make sure you do not hyperextend your knees. Perhaps walk your legs back and forth a bit, since you may want a bit of a different angle than you are used to in Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog.

Hips – On the EXHALE you lift your hips up to the ceiling/sky to come into this Asana. Try to keep you hips pointing up and back, as you lightly press your chest back towards your thighs to deepen this stretch.

Arms – The main difference between Shisulasana and Adho Mukha Svanasana is Dolphin’s bent elbows. I enter this pose from Sphinx or Table Top by clasping my hands together into one fist, and pressing my fist and my forearms into the mat as I lift my hips. Once you are comfortable in this pose, you can release your hands and press palms firmly into the mat.

Head and Neck – Keep your head and neck neutral, and either close your eyes or gaze gently down at your mat or legs.

Shisulasana – Dolphin Pose Variations

If you would like to try the inversion work, try some toe taps in Shisulasana! Make sure your forearms stay grounded, and lift one leg up, keeping your hips centered. Try some hip circles as high as your leg will go, touch toe down a couple times, and repeat on the other side on the next round of Sun Salutations. The next step working into inversions is to practice falling, but you will want to work on building balance and strength in Shisulasana for quite a while before ‘taking off’ on inversions!

Shisulasana Toe Taps

Please comment to share your experience with this exercise! Have you practiced Shisulasana before? Do you include inversions in your current practice? Always remember, be kind!

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Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx Pose

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

Good morning Yogis! Did you know today is International Yoga Day?? Let’s all make sure we get on our mats and practice today! That is my plan, as we continue our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series.

The traditional Asana in this series is Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (ORD-hvah MOOK-ha Sva-NA-sa-nuh) / Upward Facing Dog, but I typically prefer practicing with Bhujangasana (BOO-jawng-GA-sa-nuh) / Cobra. Today we will be performing our Sun Salutations series with Salamba Bhujangasana / Sphinx Pose for the most gentle backbend. PS The literal translation from Sanskrit is Supported Cobra Pose.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side. We will progress from the Phalakasana / Plank portion of the series down to the mat, and breathe back up again into Salamba Bhujangasana / Sphinx Pose.

Salamba Bhujangasana / Sphinx Pose

Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx

Feet – Your feet should still be about hip distance apart. However, if your toes are still tucked, you should release and lay the tops of your feet down on the mat.

Legs – Keep your legs straight and laying flat on the mat if coming into Bhujangasana / Cobra. We will talk about legs for Urdhva Mukha Svanasana / Upward Facing Dog a bit later.

Hips – Keep your hips grounded and even on the mat to come into Salamba Bhujangasana / Sphinx.

Arms – Keep your hands spread and right under your shoulders as you lower from the Plank portion of the series as if you were coming to come into Bhujangasana. On the INHALE raise your chest from the mat into a gentle backbend, and walk your hands forward in front of you, placing your forearms flat on the floor and parallel to each other. This is the main difference between Cobra and Sphinx – the supporting forearms. Cobra can be lifted or raised slightly from the ground, but palms stay under shoulders, rather than in front of you.

Head and Neck – Keep your head and neck neutral, and either close your eyes or gaze gently ahead. If you are comfortable with back bends and want an extra stretch along your front, you may gently lift your chin a bit at the peak of the pose.

Please comment to share your experience with this exercise! Have you tried this “Supported” Bhujangasana / Sphinx pose before? 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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Dandasana – Staff Pose

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

Good morning Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is continuing a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we are covering similar, sister, or switched around versions of each pose!

Our Challenge Group is covering Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff or Yoga Push-Up. Today we will cover Dandasana, or Staff Pose. This is probably the only altered pose this week that is easier than what our Challengers are covering!

Basically, this pose is sitting on the ground with your feet straight in front of you. However, as with many of the “basic” poses, there is a lot of alignment to consider for the proper expression of this pose!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a modified and more challenging version of our Glutes Yoga Workout. Today, we will start in Dandasana / Staff, lift into Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank, and HOLD. I like to work up my hold times… I start with 10 reps of holding in Purvottanasana for 3 breaths, 10 reps of 5 breath holds, and then 5 reps of 10 breath holds. If you’re up for a challenge, perhaps try 10 reps of the 10 breath holds. Either way, you’ll certainly feel the burn by the end!

Dandasana – Staff Pose

Dandasana – Staff Pose

Feet – You should keep heels on the mat, and feet flexed straight up, with toes pointing to the sky. I have to admit, this was a bit weird for me coming from a dance background! This is yet another yoga pose where your toes should be straight ahead and flexed, NOT turned out and pointed.

Legs – This pose can be very tricky for Yogis with tight hamstrings! It is more important to have a straight back here than straight legs. Try your best to keep legs on the ground. Activating the quads can help release tight hamstrings. If you feel your back rounding, allow your knees to bend slightly, and/or put a couch pillow under your seat!

Hips and Torso – Your sit bones should stay grounded to the mat. To help hamstrings release and keep a straight back, err on the side of sticking your booty out a bit rather than tucking it under. Your torso should stay aligned over your hips – check your hips, ribs, and shoulders are stacked right over your hips. Perhaps try a few cat/cow motions with your torso, and settle in a neutral middle spot.

Arms – Keep you shoulders pulled down you back to help open your chest and keep a straight back. If you are comfortable, you can rest your hands on your thighs. I like to press my hands into the mat, fingers pointing straight to the side, to help both straighten and stretch out my back a bit.

Head and Neck – Keep your head in line with the rest of your body, 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.

This pose is tricky for Yogis with tight hamstrings. Try a couch pillow under your seat and/or use a strap to help posture and work chest towards thighs.

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

I recommend getting a strap, and perhaps a couch pillow or blanket for Dandasana!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


Please comment to share your experience with this exercise! How many reps were you able to do of the 10 second holds? Do you prefer this lift and hold, or the standard lifts we did yesterday? Always remember, be kind!

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Purvottanasana – Reverse or Upward Plank

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

Good morning Yogis! Our challengers are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, so we will learn about similar poses. Our challengers are learning about Phalakasana or Plank Pose. So, we will cover its reverse, Purvottanasana / Reverse or Upward Plank today. This an arm balance and foundation for a great Yoga Workout for the core and buns!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank Yoga Workout! If this is a new pose for you, then perhaps try just 5-10 repetitions of your reverse plank, holding for a full breath at the top. If this is familiar to you, then see how many you can do and share!

Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank Pose

Start sitting on your mat in Dandasana / Staff Pose, with your legs straight in front of you.

Feet – You will be balancing with a majority of weight on hands, but make sure to put a decent amount of weight in the heels of your feet for stability. I try to keep my feet slightly apart for more stability. Try to place the bottom of your feet flat on the floor

Legs – It is more important to keep your body in a straight line from the top of your head to your knees, than to have straight legs. If you are unable to support yourself with straight legs, then bend your knees and plant your feet to come into Catuspadapithamasana or Crab Pose (aka reverse table top) instead – see picture below.

Hips – Your hips and glutes are the key to keeping your body straight from head to feet or knees. Therefore, tighten and lift your glutes to keep your hips in line with the rest of your body!

Arms – This pose is great for building arm strength. I have heard directions for fingers pointing either straight back or straight forward – perhaps try both! Starting from Staff / Seated, make sure your hands/wrists are directly below your shoulders, and arms are straight. Spread your fingers wide to help support your weight, while keeping middle fingers pointing straight forward or back. Press into your palms as you tighten your glutes and core to lift your body from the floor into a straight line. Make sure you are keeping shoulders down and back, not shrugging up to your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your head and neck neutral, try not to let head drop down or get out of line with your sine. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press up/sideways, then bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders.

Catuspadapithmanasana – Crab Pose

Please comment to share your experience or any questions! What did you think of this exercise? Which way did you point your fingers? Do you think you will add these arm strength exercises to your routine? Always remember, be kind!

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Parivrtta Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge Twist

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

Good morning Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will cover similar, sister, or switched around versions of each pose! Our Challenge Group is covering High and Low Lunges today. Twisting poses are one of the more frequent variations in Yoga. I love adding twists in certain Asanas to deepen and expand the stretch, and prayer twists in either/both High and Low Lunge are my favorites!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side. We will try three different variations of lunges with different twists with our three repetitions. The key with these twisted lunges, is to remember to turn TOWARDS your front leg.

Parivrrta Ashta Chandrasana & Anjaneyasana – High & Low Lunge Twist

Parivrrta Ashta Chandrasana- High Lunge Twist

The first round, come into Ashta Chandrasana / High Lunge, right foot forward with your hands on your hips and pause here. On an exhale, turn gently to the right, placing your left hand on the outside of your right knee. You can use the pressure from your hand on your knee to help yourself turn, and help your back stay straight. You can rest your back hand on your back leg Take a full breath here, straightening your back on the inhale, and twisting a bit more on the exhale. On an exhale come back to center. Continue with your Sun Salutations, bringing your arms down to each side of your feet, and perhaps pause in runner’s lunge before continuing on to Phalakasana / Plank, and complete the Sun Salutations with twists on each side.

The second round, come into Ashta Chandrasana / High Lunge, right foot forward with your hands on your hips and pause here. Inhale and press your palms together at your heart into prayer hands. Exhale and turn your upper body gently to the right, placing your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. Take a full breath here, and on an exhale come back to center. Continue with your Sun Salutations, bringing your arms down to each side of your feet, and perhaps pause in runner’s lunge before continuing on to Phalakasana / Plank, and complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

Parivrrta Ashta Chandrasana – Prayer Twist High Lunge

The last round, we will try an advanced Twisted Low Lunge for those up for a challenge. Come into a deep Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge if you feel comfortable with the pressure on your knee. Exhale and turn gently to the right, with your left hand on your right knee. Come back to center on an exhale, and continue your Sun Salutations series on each side.

Parivrrta Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge Twist

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think of this exercise? Which version of twisted Lunge did you prefer with your Sun Salutations? Always remember, be kind!

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Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

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

Good morning Yogis! As our Challengers are continuing the detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we are covering sister or twisted versions of each Asana. Today we are covering the twisted version of the Asana in series.

Parivrtta Uttanasana (PA-ree-VRR-tah OO-ta-NA-sa-nuh) or Standing Forward Bend Twist is a great hip and hamstring opener, especially for those Yogis who are still working at touching their toes!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side. We will pause in Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend, and try one twist on each side! Since we are in a Sun Salutations flow, just hold the twist for a breath or two, not the full 30-60 seconds we normally would do.

Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

Start in Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend. Please see Uttanasana post for detailed breakdown, since this pose is a variation!

Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

We will start on the right side:

  • Allow your LEFT leg to bend, and keep your right leg straight.
  • Place your LEFT hand on the ground, on right shin, or on a block as you turn your torso and head to the right side.
  • INHALE – Extend your right arm straight up to open your chest, and look up at your right hand.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds, and release on an EXHALE back down to Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend. As you hold this pose, lengthen your spine a bit on each inhale, and twist a bit more on each exhale.
  • Repeat on the left side – bending your right leg, placing right hand on mat, and opening to the left.

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think of this exercise? Have you tried Parivrtta Uttanasana before? Always remember, be kind!

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

You may want a block if you have a difficult time reaching the floor. Please see today’s comments for suggestions for hyber-mobile Yogis!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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Vrksasana – Tree Pose

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

Good morning Yogis! As our challengers are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will learn about similar poses. Our challengers are learning about Talasana / Palm Tree Pose, so we will learn about another arboreal Asana – Vrksasana / Tree Pose!

Vrksasana (Vrrk-SA-sa-na) or Tree Pose is one of the most popular balancing Asanas. I am sure you have seen this pose before on at least Instagram or Facebook!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to work on Vrksasana / Tree Pose. Try to hold this pose for 30-60 seconds, and make sure to practice this Asana on both sides!

Vrksasana – Tree Pose

Vrksasana – Tree Pose with Prayer Hands behind Back

Feet and Legs – Start in Tadasana / Mountain Pose, and shift your weight onto one side.. let’s start with the right side. Keep this foot strongly grounded. You should keep your grounded foot pointed straight head if possible.. with my dance background I find it slightly easier to slightly turn this foot out, but I am working towards pointing forward! Then, after you find your balance, bend your left knee as you slightly turn out or externally rotate your left hip. Place the sole of your left foot as high as is comfortable on your right leg with toes pointing down. New Yogis working their balance may want to ground the toes of the left foot into the mat, and rest the left heel on the right ankle. Advanced Yogis may want to bring the left foot all the way up to the groin, or even higher and forward into a half-lotus leg. Intermediate Yogis often place the left foot just below or just above the knee.

NOTE – DO NOT place your left foot on your right knee!!! This pressure on the knee can cause injury.

Hips – Make sure your hips are neutral. Try to tilt your hips forward and back a bit to get a feel for your natural posture. Err on the side of tucking your tailbone under, rather than sticking your booty out.

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

Arms – I get into Vrksasana from Tadasana / Mountain Pose by firstly placing my hands on my hips for balance. Many Yogis inhale and raise arms above the head in line with the ears, with palms facing each other. However, you can get creative with your arms here! Moreover, if you a New Yogi or are working on your balance, maybe leave your hands on your hips to help balance. Perhaps try prayer hands at your heart, or prayer hands behind your back. Whatever feels right for you!

Head and Neck – Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. I usually look up, or gaze softly ahead at a single un-moving point to help with balance.

Make sure to perform Vrksasana on both sides! To come out, slowly lower hands and feet to come back down into Tadasana / Mountain Pose.

Please comment to share your experience! Did you try the standard arms, or get creative with a variation? Where did you place your foot? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 2 – Sunday Seats – Comfortable Seats for Meditation

Good morning Yogis! Yoga classes often start with Tadasana or Mountain Pose, a standing grounding pose. On the other hand, some classes start with seated grounding poses. We will cover a few of these comfortable seats for meditation Asanas for today’s Sunday Seats.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try the seated centering Asanas. Firstly, please try all of them, at least briefly, and see which feels best for you! Please note different seats are comfortable for different bodies. I enjoy Padmasana / Lotus Pose which many Yogis find very uncomfortable, and I find Virasana / Hero’s Pose a bit rough on my knees and best with a block under my seat. Also, these seated poses are also the best positions for your meditation and Pranayama practice! Perhaps select your favorite as your comfortable seated position for your meditation practice going forward!

Upper BodY

Firstly, you should keep your head, neck, and shoulders aligned over your hips in each pose. Secondly, keep your shoulders down and back, and try to keep your back from rounding. Finally, your hands can either gently rest on knees and/or in your favorite mudra / placement for meditation. We will focus just on the lower body in each of these positions. Also, if any poses are uncomfortable, try with a couch pillow or block under your seat! Lastly, I find it helps to switch my legs and do both sides for any cross legged positions to even out my posture!

Sukhasana – Easy Pose

Sukhasana – Easy Pose

Sukhasana (sook-HA-sa-nuh) is basically just a comfortable seated position! Firstly, look down at your legs – you should see a small triangle of empty space. Keep your torso straight and tall over your hips. Then 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. Finally, notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. You can put your hands on the ground and gently press to lengthen your back, or rest your hands on your knees. You can pull a bit on your knees to help open your chest and help keep your back straight.

Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

Siddhasana (sid-DAH-sa-nuh) is basically a slightly more difficult version of Sukhasana / Easy Pose. Start in Sukhasana / Easy Pose. Then, spread your knees a bit further, and bring your feet in towards your groin. Next, look down and make sure there is no empty space between your legs. Finally, make sure you keep your back straight, not rounded! If you notice your back rounding in this pose, move your legs back out to Sukhasana / easy pose. I prefer Siddhasana over Sukhasana, especially because bringing in my feet helps me maintain a straighter back.

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

This is a comfortable seat for advanced Yogis only. Please do not force yourself into this pose! Many Yogis work Ardha Padmasana (ARD-ha pahd-MA-sa-nuh), or Half Lotus and can only express the full pose after extensive Asana practice. Make sure you keep your back straight, not rounded! I ALWAYS do an Asana series in this pose, cross my legs the other way, and repeat! This leg base is used in many other advanced Asanas and variations, such as Tolasana / Scales Pose and advanced Matsyasana – Fish Pose.

First, start in Siddhasana / Adept’s Pose. Lift and pull in your right foot, and place on top of your left thigh, as close to your hip as possible. You can leave your other leg here, in Adrha Padmasana – Half Lotus. Or, you can pull your left leg up and over onto your right leg, to come into the full expression of Padmasana.

Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Since Virasana (veer-AH-sa-nuh) or Hero’s Pose is a kneeling Asana, it usually much more comfortable for Yogis with tight hips than the cross legged poses above. Firstly start kneeling with knees and toes together. Then, bring the toes apart, and sit yourself down between your legs. This pose can be rough on my knees, and sometimes bothers my heels and tops of my feet if I have been wearing high heels. I therefore find this pose much more comfortable with a block under my seat as pictured below.

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 to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these seated poses? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 1 – Sun Salutations

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

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Good morning Yogis! I have to admit the last few weeks I have been not practicing Asanas much other than my morning Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. I did a bit of research, and most recommendations I found were to perform 12 Rounds of Sun Salutations. I had been doing three on each side, so I am going to work on getting my morning practice up to six per side!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Also, focus on incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing or Ocean Breathing, and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose as you are moving through this Asana series. Perhaps join me in doing sets of 12 each morning!

The next few days as new Yogis doing our 30 Day Challenge are learning this series, we will examine variations of each of the poses in the Sun Salutations Series.. stay tuned!

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? If this is part of your morning practice, how many repetitions do you do? Always remember, be kind!

Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

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Top 5 -Yoga Mats – Daily Yogi

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is your choice of Asana from any Asana Style. Perhaps browse my Top 5 Yoga Mats list below, and see if your mat is the best fit for you! Or skip to my tips for how to clean your mat!

I LOVE High Fidelity and its Top 5s, so I am doing another Top 5 for Yoga Mats today. As I mentioned yesterday in my Yoga Equipment Top 5, a new Yogi should get a real Yoga Mat.. towels just do not cut it! There is a huge variety of Yoga Mats out there. Here are my Top 5 favorites:

Top 5 Yoga Mats

Note – I am short, 5’1. If you are a tall Yogi, make sure you pay attention to mat length.. you will definitely want an extra-long yoga mat!!

1 – Retrospec Solana Extra Thick Yoga & Pilates Mat

As I mentioned yesterday in my Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies, the main feature in a Yoga Mat to consider is thickness. I had a back injury and have concrete floors, so I need a very thick mat for comfort. A standard mat is 1/8″ thick, but the Retrospec Solana Mat is available 1/2″ or 1″ thick. As I mentioned yesterday, the main down-side to an extra-thick mat is that I cannot feel the ground through the mat, and this makes balancing poses harder. Thick mats are also not very easy to bring back and forth to the studio, even with a carrying strap. However, if you need extra cushioned mats for your everyday yoga practice like I do, try the Retrospec Solana Extra Thick Yoga & Pilates Mat.

2 – BalanceForm GoYoga Mat

This is a solid inexpensive standard yoga mat. It is standard thickness, average friction, and comes with an easy to use carrying strap. If you are a newbie Yogi who does not need an extra cushioned mat or any of the added features with the specialty mats listed below, BalanceForm’s GoYoga Mat is probably the best fit for you.

3 – SKL Travel Yoga Mat

My every day mat is extra thick, but that is the worst kind of mat for traveling, especially in luggage. I love to travel with a foldable travel yoga mat. The most important consideration with travel mats is the texture. Many travel mats are super thin, but they are frequently too slippery for me. Also, surprisingly, some travel mats are very heavy. I love the SKL Travel Mat texture – soft and leathery. It folds up well into its included travel bag, and is even machine washable!

4 – Reetual Hot Yoga Mat

I LOVE Hot Yoga. If you do not also love Hot Yoga, move on to the next on our list! But, this is my Top 5 Yoga Mats and I certainly want a mat for Hot Yoga when it is safe to be in the studio! If you also drank that kool-aid and practice Hot / Bikram Yoga, you have likely experienced Hot Yoga sweat slips. The Reetual Hot Yoga Mat helps avoid this slippage. Yes you can probably use a towel, but I prefer this mat that does the work for me.. I do not like to move a towel around or have it bunch up under me. This mat is also standard thickness, so you can feel the ground in Bikram / Hot series balancing Asanas. It’s a bit pricey, but the best sweat-absorbing mat for Hot Yoga I have found.

5 – Heathyoga Alignment Mat

Alignment Yoga Mats are all the rage right now, so I have to include one in my Top 5 Yoga Mats list! A ton of premium yoga mats are on the market like the popular (original?) Liforme Alignment Mat and Cork Alignment Mat. A lot of the high end alignment mats are fairly expensive, heavy, and cover nearly all the special features listed above in one mat. My favorite affordable every day alignment mat is the Heathyoga Alignment Mat – average thickness, not too heavy, and sufficient friction to avoid slipping.

How to Clean your Mat

Not sure how to clean your Yoga Mat? I make my own cleaner in a little spray bottle – a mix of equal parts water and white vinegar with a couple drops of tea tree oil. I use this regularly, and wipe down with a hand towel. I like this spray to clean my luggage too! I sometimes use a spray bottle with water and a little dish soap when my mat gets extra dirty outside. If you do not want to make your own mat cleaner, there are plenty of great pre-made cleaning sprays.


There you have it Yogis, my Top 5 Yoga Mats. Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this list! If you have a favorite mat that I did not mention.. let me know! Stay tuned tomorrow to sync up with our 30 Day Challenge Group! Always remember, be kind!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE STARTS 11/01/2020

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Top 5 – Yoga Equipment

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is your choice of Asana series from any Asana Style. Perhaps try some of our Top 5 Yoga Equipment new Yogis should consider below your practice today!

I LOVE High Fidelity and its Top 5s, so I am going to do a Top 5 Yoga Equipment today. There is SO much Yoga equipment out there.. a lot of super cool pieces (like the yoga wheel or inversion bench) are better for more advanced Yogis. But I wanted to create a good Top 5 list for eager new Yogis, especially those who are new to Yoga in COVID quarantine, and maybe have not tried these at a studio!

Top 5 Yoga equipment for new yogis

1 – Yoga Mat

Sorry to be so predictable with #1, but it’s true! A few poses are fine on the ground or outside, but you really should use a Yoga Mats, which is really just a clean cushion. We will talk bit more about (my top 5) Yoga Mats tomorrow. The main feature to evaluate when purchasing a Yoga Mat is thickness. Texture, weight, and portability are other considerations. I had a back injury and need a very thick mat for comfort, but I cannot “feel” the ground through extra thick mats, making balancing poses more difficult. I have a super thin mat I love for traveling, but I would be sore in my injured lower back if I used it regularly. PS I do NOT use a towel.. towels are not thick enough and do not stay flat, plus Yoga Mats are usually slightly sticky which helps with many Asanas. I will use nothing, rather than just a towel.. If you get nothing else, get a real Yoga Mat!

2 – Foam Blocks

If you have practiced in a studio, foam blocks are usually the first prop you will try. I recommend getting two blocks, so you can use one under each limb in certain poses and Restorative Asana classes. Blocks are especially helpful for new Yogis who cannot reach the ground in in poses like Trikonasana / triangle pose, under the seat in Virasana / Hero pose… even advanced Yogis regularly use blocks for comfort or support, and to help fully express Asanas. They are fairly inexpensive, so I recommend just getting two blocks and a strap in a set for under $25.

3 – Yoga Strap

A strap basically acts as an extension of your arms. This is great for Yogis with tight shoulders who cannot reach behind their back, or Yogis with tight hamstrings who cannot easily reach their toes. This is placed behind the foam block which is used more often, but the strap is very useful, especially for new Yogis. They are fairly inexpensive, so I recommend just getting two blocks and a strap in a set for under $25.

4 – Couch Pillows

If you practice at a Yoga Studio, you will often see large bolsters and blankets. These are awesome props, and especially great for Restorative Yoga classes where you need a lot of support. But often, I miss having a couch throw pillow at Yoga Studios more than I miss bolsters and blankets when I practice at home! I have fairly tight hamstrings so I like a couch pillow under my seat in Dandasana / Staff Pose, or under my head for Shavasana / Corpse Pose. I also like a couch pillow under my knees if I am on them for a long time, such as doing Ab work in Vyaghasana / Tiger Pose. PS If you love Restorative Yoga, I do recommend getting the blankets and bolsters for home.. you’ll want the extra support if you regularly practice this style!

5 – Wii Fit with Balance Board

This is probably one you will not find on any other lists, but this is my Top 5 Yoga Equipment list 🙂 I still have the original Wii with balance board, and Nintendo makes the balance board for the Wii U. I am an old school (slightly reformed) gamer, but I still regularly use my over 15 year old original Wii, especially for fitness! MAKE SURE YOU PURCHASE THE BALANCE BOARD AND GAMES FOR THE CORRECT WII SYSTEM!

The Wii fit Plus game (get plus version, which has more Asanas than standard version) requires the balance board, and there is a Yoga section in the Wii Fit game. There is also a Wii Yoga game, but I have been more than entertained with Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sports and Wii Zumba for years. Using Wii balance board for Yoga tests your balance, and lets you see exactly where you place or shift your weight in various Asanas. I got SO much insight from the Wii balance board for my normal standing posture, my uneven weight distribution in arm-balance poses, and where my weight wobbles in Vrksasana / Tree Pose and balancing poses before I fall over. This is by far the most expensive thing on this list without the Wii or Wii U console even included, but I think it’s worth every penny! It gives you valuable information and immediate feedback you cannot get from anything else. That said, the balance board is definitely not necessary for your daily practice.. though it is a source of super useful info as you take your Asanas to the next level.

Mirrors

PS I am giving Mirrors a bonus #6 spot even though this is a Top 5 Yoga Equipment list – sometimes our bodies are not placed how they feel, and using a mirror at home, at the gym, or in a Yoga (or Dance) Studio makes a huge difference!


There you have it Yogis, my Top 5 Yoga Equipment for New Yogis. Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this list! Stay tuned for my Top 5 Yoga Mats tomorrow, and our 30 Day Challenge Group catching up with us on Monday! Always remember, be kind!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE STARTS 11/01/2020

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Vyaghrasana – Tiger Pose & Yoga Abs Workout

Good morning Yogis! Today is International Tiger Day to raise awareness about this endangered species. Please consider supporting conservation efforts through WWF’s Tx2 Initiative.

We will talk about Vyaghrasana (Vyah-GRAH-sa-na) or Tiger Pose today. This Asana is a great foundation for an awesome Abs and Glutes Yoga Workout!

Since it is Tiger Day and we are still in COVID quarantine in the US, I could not resist wearing my Las Vegas tiger dress! PS Yes I am wearing shorts underneath. Who knows when it will be safe enough to prowl the Vegas Strip again?! Hopefully the attention will raise donations to help save the tigers 🙏

That said, I really do not want to be an Instagram Yoga model.. I want to partner with them! Please contact me if you would like to be featured on upcoming Asana Days!!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Vyaghrasana / Tiger Pose Ab Workout! Details for Vyaghrasana and instructions for Ab and Glutes Workout below!

We will start in Bharmanasana – Table Top. Keep your hands grounded, and lift one leg straight up and back into Vyaghrasana / Tiger Pose, then perform a “crunch” before repeating! Check for pics of this sequence below.

Feet – Starting in Bharmanasana – Table Top, with tops of feet laying on mat. You will keep one knee and foot grounded here on the mat, and lift the other foot straight back and up – start with lifting the right foot!

Legs – Your legs should start hip distance apart in table top. Your right leg should be lifted straight back and up. I recommend keeping a bend in the back leg.

Hips – Try to keep your hips parallel to the floor from Bharmanasana (Table Top), through Vyaghrasana, into the crunch, and back. If you are a more advanced Yogi, you may want to move your hips slightly to add a bit of a Cat/Cow motion with your torso.

Torso – You will start with torso parallel to the floor. Keep straight for your first try. As you become comfortable with Vyaghrasana, you may allow a bit of a backbend, and curve back slightly to get a bit of a Cat/Cow motion through this Ab Workout.

Arms – You will start with your hands directly under shoulders, pointing straight ahead in Bharmanasana (Table Top). New Yogis can stay here. More advanced Yogis may want to lift the opposite arm as their lifted leg straight ahead for an added balance challenge, and curl in to touch knee to elbow on the crunch.

Head and Neck – Keep the neck neutral. New Yogis may want to keep the gaze down on the mat. More advanced Yogis who are adding back bend motions should lift the head up and gaze straight ahead as they lift their leg into Vyaghrasana, and drop gaze to the ground (perhaps even touch nose to knee) as they come into their crunch.

Try to do this in sets of 10 on the right, and then repeat 10 on the left. I usually do 20-30 on each side.

Bharmanasana – Table Top
Vyaghrasana – Tiger Pose
Marjaryasana – Cat Pose Variation – Yoga Crunch

PS If you want to try an intermediate level chest-opening variation of this pose, tighten you core for strength as you reach back and grab your extended foot with the opposite hand. This is Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana or One-Handed Tiger Pose. You can also try this pose reaching the left hand back directly back to the left foot for an even more difficult balance! Hold Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana for 3-5 breaths on each side.

Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana – One-Handed Tiger Pose

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Have you tried this Yoga Ab Workout? Always remember, be kind!

PS please remember to consider supporting Tiger conservation efforts through WWF’s Tx2 Initiative.

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Asanas – Poses – Warrior Weekend – Baddha & Viparita Virabhadrasana – Humble & Reverse Warrior

Viparita Virabhadrasana – Reverse Warrior Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are still on the Third Limb of Yoga, Asanas or poses, and continuing with Warrior Weekend! We are going to cover the other two Warrior Poses – Baddha Virabhadrasana (Humble Warrior) and Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior). Though there can be slight differences in “proper” way to perform a pose from teacher to teacher and even within the same class, I am sharing what I keep in mind during these poses when I practice.

You will notice all Virabhadrasanas have the same strong base/legs – front foot pointing straight forward, back foot grounded and pointing to the side.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying Baddha Virabhadrasana (Humble Warrior) & Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior). Try to hold each Asana / pose for a few breaths, and try on both sides! We will break down each pose below.

Baddha Virabhadrasana (Humble Warrior)

We will start in Virabhadrasana I – Warrior 1 from yesterday, flip the back foot into Ashtanga Chandrasana – High Lunge, and fold into Baddha Virabhadrasana – Humble Warrior.

Here is a great video to follow along with!

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). As you fold into Baddha Virabhadrasana, you can either keep back foot grounded, or flip your back leg so knee is under, and back foot is grounded with toes/ball of foot into your mat for extra balance.

Legs – Your front leg should stay bent with your knee directly over the ankle. Keep back leg straight, and as you fold into Baddha Virabhadrasana, you may want to flip leg so the knee is pointing down to the ground and back toes are grounded into the mat (high lunge back leg).

Hips – Point both hips straight forward. Bend from your hips to fold into Baddha Virabhadrasana – Humble Warrior, so hips are pointing forward and a bit down.

Torso – As you fold at your hips into Baddha Virabhadrasana, you will rest your torso/chest on your front knee. Next, notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps keep your chest open.

Arms – Start with arms behind you, hands clasped with thumbs pointing down. This is an arm bind, or “Baddha” in Sanskrit (technically this pose is “bound warrior” in English). Keep our arms in this bind behind you (or perhaps raise your arms slightly if comfortable) as you lean forward into Baddha Virabhadrasana.

Head and Neck – Keep your head and neck in line with the rest of your torso, and allow both to gently curve as you lean forward and look down into Baddha Virabhadrasana.

Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior)

This is my favorite of the Warrior poses! Start in Virabhadrasana / Warrior II from yesterday, and lean back into Viparita Virabhadrasana / Reverse Warrior.

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). Keep your back foot grounded into your mat to help open your hips.

Legs – Your front leg should be bent with knee directly over ankle. Keep back leg straight, with knee to the side.

Hips – Hips should stay open to the side. Take note of your booty – it should be almost tucked under rather than sticking out.

Torso – Start with your torso straight and tall over your hips. As you lean back into Viparita Virabhadrasana, keep your hips and shoulders to the side, but allow your ribs to turn slightly up to the ceiling.

Arms – Start with your arms parallel to the ground, with palms facing down. Drop your back and hand let slide down your back leg, as you flip your front palm and move up and back, keeping your shoulders facing to the side and down.

Head and Neck – Keep your neck neutral, and allow your gaze to follow your top hand until you are looking up and slightly back.

Please comment to share your experience with these Virabhadrasanas or Warrior Poses! What did you think? Which one did you like the best? Always remember, be kind!

Inspiring Viparita Virabhadrasana from @just.hoop.ine
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Asanas – Poses – Warrior Weekend – Virabhadrasana I II & III – Warrior Pose 1 2 & 3

Virabhadrasana II

Good morning Yogis! We are back to the Third Limb of Yoga, Asanas or poses! We are going to take today and tomorrow to cover a few Virabhadrasanas or Warrior Poses. These poses are all very common in Yoga classes, especially Vinyasa style. Though there can be slight differences in “proper” way to perform a pose from teacher to teacher and even within the same class, I am sharing what I keep in mind during these poses when I practice.

You will notice all Virabhadrasanas have the same strong base/legs – front foot pointing straight forward, back foot grounded and pointing to the side. Even Virabhadrasana III, with the back leg off the ground, starts from Virabhadrasana I.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying Virabhadrasanas or Warrior Poses 1 2 & 3. Try to hold each Asana / pose for a few breaths, and try on both sides! We will break down each pose below.

Here is a great quick video going through Virabhadrasanas I II & III. Please note this Warrior 1 is a modified beginner version with the back foot pointing a bit forward. I do recommend trying this version if you are a beginner, and working on getting the back foot further pointed to the side as you become more comfortable with these turned-out hips.

Virabhadrasana I

This is the first Warrior Pose, but actually the most awkward for me and the one I practice the least. I typically perfer to replace Virabhadrasana I / Warrior I with Ashtanga Chandrasana / High Lunge as described in the “hips” section below.

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 front leg should be bent with your knee directly over the ankle. Keep back leg straight, with knee to the side.

Hips – Hips are quite tricky in traditional Virabhadrasana 1! Try to point both hips straight forward, even though this will never be 100% possible since your back foot is pointing out to the side. If this pose is too awkward or rough on your hips, flip your back leg so knee points down, and ground back foot with toe/ball into the mat, and come into a more comfortable Ashtanga Chandrasana / High Lunge.

Torso – 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 – Start with hands on your hips, to try to feel your hips pointing forward as much as possible. If you are comfortable, keep your shoulders down, INHALE and raise your hands to the sky, keeping your arms next to your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your head in line with the rest of your torso, looking straight ahead or up between your raised hands. 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.

Virabhadrasana II

This is the most well-known Warrior pose! Even if you have practiced this Asana before, it’s worth going back to basics with this pose, making sure you have a solid foundation before “flowing” through this pose in a Vinyasa class.

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). Keep your back foot grounded into your mat to help open your hips.

Legs – Your front leg should be bent with knee directly over ankle. Keep back leg straight, with knee to the side.

Hips – Hips should stay open to the side. Take note of your booty – it should be almost tucked under rather than sticking out.

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

Arms – Raise your arms parallel to the ground, with palms facing down. Look left and right and make sure both arms are the same height, and pointing straight forward and back. Hint – many Yogis let the back arm droop a bit!

Head and Neck – Keep your head in line with the rest of your torso, looking straight ahead at your front hand (or straight to the side if easier on your neck). 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.

Virabhadrasana III

This is a challenging balance pose, usually entered from Warrior 1 or High lunge. See how long you can hold for… work up to 3 full breaths if you can!

Feet – Start grounded in Virabhadrasana / Warrior I. 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). When you lean forward into Virabhadrasana / Warrior III, keep your back foot pointed or flexed to the side, whatever helps your balance.

Legs – You will start with front leg bent with knee directly over ankle. As you lean forward, straighten your standing leg. Work your raised back leg to parallel to the ground, and keep straight with knee pointing down or to the side, whatever helps your balance.

Hips – You will lean forward into Warrior III bending at your hips, not your waist. Your hips will point straight down at the ground when you come into the full expression of the pose.

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

Arms – Raise your arms parallel to the ground, with palms facing each other. Keeping your arms and back leg parallel to the ground helps balance in this pose!

Head and Neck – Keep your head and neck in line with your torso. Look straight down at your mat, or perhaps a bit ahead, whatever helps your balance.

Please comment to share your experience with these Virabhadrasanas or Warrior Poses! What did you think? Which one did you like the best? Always remember, be kind!

Please stay tuned for more warrior poses tomorrow!

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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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Asanas – Poses – Yin and Restorative

Balasana – Child Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are wrapping up our introduction to the variety of styles of Asana/poses.

Yin is probably familiar to those in the west from “Yin and Yang” (PS Yang actually rhymes with pong, not pang!). Yin and Yang is a concept of complementary opposing forces. Yin represents dark, shade/shadow, feminine, and passive sides. Yang represents light, sun/light, male, and active sides. Our exploration of Hot/Bikram Yoga was definitely a Yang Yoga Style, and Vinyasa is also a very active style. So, we would expect a Yin class to be passive, and the opposite of an active/Vinyasa style class. Yin classes are often slow paced, with Asanas/poses held for a longer period of time.

Restorative Yoga is a type of Yin Yoga. This style usually utilizes props to support the body in Asanas/poses held for very long periods of time, typically 5-10 minutes. Restorative Yoga is typically extremely gentle and safest for Yogis with injuries.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a Yin or Restorative series. As I mentioned, Restorative Yoga typically requires a lot of support! I prefer lots of blankets, bolsters, and/or pillows for most restorative poses. I usually only use blocks during restorative practice for support under limbs… I prefer couch pillows for my head! If you do not have a bolster, you can try a large firm pillow.

Beginner Yin Yoga

Restorative Yoga (bolster or large firm pillow required)

Please comment to share your experience with these Yin and Restorative series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Bikram/Hot Series

Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our exploration of various styles of Asana/poses.

Hot Yoga is probably my favorite style! I know this can be very divisive.. a few of my friends who are Yogis think I’m nuts for loving Hot Yoga so much. I kind of get it.. Hot Yoga is super intense, and many go to Yoga Classes to chill out, not sweat in a room over 100°F! I usually drink an entire large water bottle both before and during the class. However, I find the added flexibility I get from basically doing Yoga in a sauna to be well worth the extra sweat!

Bikram is basically a brand name of Hot Yoga. Bikram Studios are always 105°F (41°C) and 40% humidity. Bikram Yoga is a set 26 pose sequence, and only Bikram Studios can perform this particular series. Many other Hot Yoga studios do similar but not identical sequences, and they may also have cooler “hot” rooms to accommodate Hot Vinyasa or other blended style offerings. Whether true Bikram or another Asana style in a cooler hot room, all Hot Yoga makes you SWEATY! Bonus Saucha/Purity practice – make sure to take a quick shower very soon after all Hot Yoga! When they open, most Hot Studios have showers in case you live far from the studio.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a Hot or Bikram series. If you are able to, perhaps try to practice these in a warm room or perhaps outside if today is a warm nice day. See if you can find the increased flexibility from Asana practice in a hot area, despite all Hot Yoga and Bikram studios likely being closed for COVID! I am trying in my living room, which is about 85°F on warm sunny summer afternoons if we do not open doors or windows! Make sure you have plenty of water, and if trying the Hot Vinyasa series make sure the temperature is well below the 105°F standard Bikram room!

PS If Hot Yoga is not your thing, perhaps go back to one of your favorite styles this week and try the second video! Also, Hot Yoga can be particularly dangerous or difficult for those with injuries or health conditions, so please evaluate safety with a medical professional before trying Hot Yoga.

Hot Vinyasa Series

Beginner Bikram Series (this 26 pose sequence is traditionally performed twice)

Please comment to share your experience with these Hot and Bikram series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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