Asanas – Poses – Talasana & Vrksasana

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

Happy Monday 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 review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaTalasana / Palm Tree Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaVrksasana / Tree Pose

Talasana - palm pose variation - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black pants and bright hooded yellow sweatshirt, outdoors yoga in the woods
Talasana – Palm Tree Pose
Vrksasana - tree pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing green dress, outdoors barefoot yoga in the woods
Vrksasana – Tree Pose

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Talasana / Palm Tree Pose or Vrksasana / Tree Pose. Both of these are great balancing poses for new Yogis! I find practicing balancing Asanas brings a calming stillness after focusing on holding the pose.

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these arboreal Asanas? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 8 – Finding Your Center

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

Happy Sunday 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 review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaTadasana / Mountain Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaSukhasana, Siddhasana, Padmasana & Virasana

Tadasana - mountain pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Padmasana - full lotus pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Seated Asanas

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Tadasana / Mountain Pose or finding your preferred comfortable seat. I consider finding your preferred grounding pose to be finding your center . Most Yoga classes start and end with these Asanas. Each of these centering Asanas are great poses for meditation.

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


Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This page contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

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

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November 2020 Intro Yoga 30 Day Challenge & Celtic New Year

Happy November Yogis! Also, welcome to our 30 Day Intro Challenge! November 1 is the start of the New Year for the Celtic Calendar so today we are combining our Resolutions / Intention Setting & Intro to Ashtanga / 8 Limbs of Yoga for our Intro Challenge Weekend.

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

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to set our own intentions and goals for this new month. Our daily practices will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout November. Please consider setting an intention for yourself for this month, or keeping another daily Yoga practice (ie Asanas, Pranayama, or Meditation) that is meaningful to you!

I had a minor shoulder/neck injury early last month and had to let my daily Asana practice slide, so I am getting back to daily Sun Salutations first thing in the morning, and building back my daily Asana practice. In addition, to help maintain my daily meditation practice from last month, I am switching to guided meditations before bed rather than in the morning with my coffee. I also keep waking up in the middle of the night lately, so I am experimenting to see if an 8-hour sleep meditation will help me STAY asleep… I will report back 🙂 I am also keeping practice not perfection in mind – because of my healing injury, I will very likely have to skip a few days of Sun Salutations 🙁 The key here is getting back to it when I am able, not getting discouraged and throwing in the towel because I missed a couple of days!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE starts – 01/01/2021

Days
Hours
Minutes
Second

Please comment if you would like to share your intentions or your own personal bonus daily yoga practice for this month. Stay tuned tomorrow for our first positive practice from the Yoga Sutras – we will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout November! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 10 – Meditative Practices – Mandalas

Happy Friday Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October’s Emotional Wellness Month. Additionally, today is Upper Limbs Day. Today we will try a new Dharana Meditative Practice – Mandalas!

Dharana is the 6th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as concentration. I prefer to think of Dharana as intense focus, a bit stronger than “concentration”. This is typically the second step for meditation – after letting the outside world slip away, we then direct our focus inward. Please see our deep dive of Dharana for more info. Most of the meditative practices we think of are therefore Dharana practices – see our full list!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dharana Mandala Meditative Practice! Please see blank Mandalas below, or consider one of my recommended Mandala coloring books… I am excited now years later I have the opportunity to share some of my favorite Mandala colorings! I prefer colored pencils or crayons for Mandala coloring books, because unfortunately my coloring sharpies bleed through the pages.

Or, if coloring is not your thing, try out a Mandala Kaleidoscope Meditation! I am not a huge fan of the new-agey music (unless using a special HZ), and prefer muting and listening to a meaningful song or album. You may also want to look into Tibetan Sand Mandalas!

Blank Mandalas

Check out my favorite Mandala Coloring books and supplies


Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This page contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Meditative Mandala exercise! If you have another favorite Mandala practice or coloring book, then please share! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 7 – Yogic Breath – Three Part Breath

Good morning Yogis! Or actually perhaps good evening is more appropriate.. we are changing our post times to 2am Mountain Time along with our instagram posts to make it easier for Yogis overseas to stay on time with us! Daily e-mails and app notifications will not change. Other than this posting time change, today is a KISS (keep it super simple) Day! So, we are going to revisit Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice.

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Pranayama Day today, try our Breath-Focused Meditation with our Three Part Breath Below!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this three-part breath. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start in a comfortable seat by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

  • PART 1 – Belly: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of three part breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale.
  • PART 2 – Ribs: After 10 complete belly breaths, after expanding into your belly – try expanding your rib cage outwards on inhales and allowing to compress on exhales.
  • PART 3 – Chest: After 10 full inhale and exhalations with rib cage expansion – first fill your belly, then expand rib cage, then try allowing your clavicle (collar bone) to rise as you fill and empty your lungs completely for another 10 breaths.

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate diaphragmatic breathing like this, or other Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried this full three-part breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – 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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is siddhasana-1-1500x1124.jpg
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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is shavasana-1-1500x821.jpg
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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is virasana-2-1500x1126.jpg
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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is virasana-block-1-1500x1124.jpg
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


Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This page contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

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 Shavasana 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!

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


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!

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October Emotional Wellness Month 2020 – Intentions and Yoga Philosophy

Good Morning Yogis! Happy October! October is National Emotional Wellness Month. I find challenge-focused months super helpful for my own motivation, so today we are starting another challenge for October – Daily Meditation! You do not have to participate in this or any of our particular monthly challenge themes, we will be continuing our daily Positive Practices drawn from Yoga Philosophy throughout next month. Consider getting the Daily Yogi App for reminders if you are participating – this is a great Tapas tool!

As we begin Emotional Wellness Month and our bonus daily meditation challenge, I want to discuss an important common concept from Yoga Philosophy – Setting Intentions! If you have attended Yoga classes at a Yoga Studio, you likely have heard your teacher recommend setting an intention for your practice that day. We have talked about keeping Santosha / contentment in Asana practice to avoid injury. I often set Pranayama / Breath as my intention for Asana practice with a mantra of “breathe” or “just breathe”, since in more dynamic classes I forget to maintain my preferred Ocean Breath as the Asana series picks up speed. Here is a great article with more on intentions and mantras on and off the Yoga mat.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to set a positive intention for yourself for October, keeping October’s mental and emotional wellness theme in mind. This can be big or small:

Part of the reason we set intentions in Asana practice is to have something positive to come back to that we want to focus on. Additionally, we will have this to return to when we meet challenges. I set “just breathe” as my intention for nearly a decade now, and I do truly breathe into difficulties on the mat, and I have improved my breath during Asana practice by keeping this in the back of my mind. There is much to be said for the power of positive thinking.

Although I do believe in the power of positive thinking and believe this helps with emotional wellness, I will discuss my own views on this a bit later this month. Here is more info if you do not want to wait!

More on the Power of Positive Thinking

The Law of Attraction & Power of Positive Thinking Intro

11 Ways to Boost Positive Thinking

Today is the first day of our Daily Meditation Challenge for October! Some of my favorite guided meditations are Manifest Meditations, which harness the powers of positive thinking, visualization, and the law of attraction. Today my meditation practice is one of my favorite 10 Minute Manifest Meditations.

Please comment and share how if setting positive intentions is part of your Yoga or Asana practice. Are you taking other steps to improve your mental and emotional wellness this month? Are you going to join us in our daily meditation challenge for October? Always remember, be kind!

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September Self-Improvement Month 2020 – Reflections and Yoga Philosophy

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

As September Self Improvement Month and our Daily Asana Challenge are drawing to a close, I want to discuss an important common concept from Yoga Philosophy –

Practice not Perfection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 6 – Bhastrika Pranayama – Bellows Breath

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day! We celebrated the first day of fall last week, and the days are getting shorter and cooler. So, today we will learn a warming and energizing new technique – Bhastrika Pranayama or Bellows’ Breath!

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 Pranayama Day today, I recommend a gentle morning Hatha class, perhaps after trying out this new technique!

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

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

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

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air.
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Bhastrika Pranayama / Bellows Breath

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

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

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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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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 5 – Samadhi – Enlightenment / Integration

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September. Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Upper Limbs Day today, I recommend a meditative Yin or Restorative session.

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 Minute)!

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and must truly be attained on your own. We started a series on each of the upper limbs, and covered Pratyahara, Dharana, and Dhyana. Since this is very heavy philosophy, we spread these out, discussing each level in detail on our days dedicated to the upper limbs. The last three limbs – Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are often referred to as the “innermost quest” and studied together.

Samadhi is the 8th and final Limb of Yoga, and is literally translated as “integration”. Many consider Samadhi to be enlightenment. This is typically the final goal of meditation in some Eastern religions and philosophies – enlightenment. I consider Samadhi to be not only the final Limb of Yoga, but a synonym for Yoga. Samadhi is “integration” and yoga is “union” so I feel these are two words for the same goal. As we have discussed, this is a journey.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Meditation Practice of your choice for Upper Limbs Day. You can try our breath-focused meditation, another Dharana focused meditation, or another guided meditation of your choice.

Please comment and let us know which meditation you tried, and what you thought of this study of the upper limbs or yoga! If you have another favorite guided meditation, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 5 – Bikram Pranayama – Hot Yoga Breath

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day! We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September, so we will learn a moving Pranayama technique common in all kinds of Hot Yoga Classes, that originated in Bikram studios. This breath technique is part of the opening in the classic Bikram series.

Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Pranayama Day today, I recommend a Hot Yoga Style class, which will include this breath technique!

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Bikram’s Pranayama a moving Pranayama Practice used in all kinds of Hot Yoga classes. We will start diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this breath. I am sure you will have tried this Pranayama technique if you have practiced any kind of style at a Hot Yoga studio – this breath feels particularly great in a hot and humid environment.

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

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air.
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Bikram Pranayama / Hot Yoga Breath

  • Clasp your hands together, and bring your fists under your chin with your thumbs at your throat. Squeeze your elbows together.
  • Inhale through your nose into your belly, and allow elbows to float up, keeping your chin in place.
  • Let your your chin float up and exhale, as you squeeze your elbows together.
  • Continue the cycle – allow your chin float down and elbows to float up on your inhale.

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried Hot Yoga or this breath technique? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? 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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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 4 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

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

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 Minute)!

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and must truly be attained on your own. We started a series on each of the upper limbs, and covered Pratyahara and Dharana. Since this is very heavy philosophy, we are spreading these out and discussing each level in detail on our days dedicated to the upper limbs. The last three limbs – Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are often referred to as the “innermost quest” and studied together.

Dhyana is the 7th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as meditation. I prefer to think of Dhyana as full meditation, a bit stronger and more specific than “meditation”. This is typically the goal of meditation, to fully stop our thoughts and have a quiet mind. After withdrawing inside ourselves and focusing our minds on a single subject with Dharaha, we may reach the level of Dhyana where our thoughts actually stop. In true Dhyana or true meditation, we typically are not aware of this clear-minded state until we come out of it.

Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey! I am working on Dhyana.. I usually can focus on one thing with Dharana, but my mind wanders fairly quickly when I try to quiet it for Dhyana.

Dhyana Guided Meditation

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dhyana-focused Meditation Practice. You can try our breath-focused meditation again, and then allow your mind to quiet. Or, you can try a guided meditation meant to help bring the state of Dhyana.

Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Dhyana exercise! If you have another favorite guided meditation, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 4 – Vilona Pranayama – Retained Breath

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

Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Pranayama Day today, I recommend a Hatha or Iyengar Style class, making sure to monitor your alignment, and perhaps try today’s new breathing technique (variation 3) when poses are held for an extended time!

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Vilona Pranayama or Retained Breath, a Pranayama Practice. We will start diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this breath. Vilona Pranayama translates as “against the wave” and is a retained breath technique. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice if poses are held for an extended period! Or, you can use this cooling breath technique to calm down after an active workout, or to help with anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Vilona Pranayama / Retained Breath

  • VARIATION 1 – Retain before Inhale: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of this breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale. Then, hold your breath for a count of 6 before each inhale. Your breath pattern will be Inhale 6, Exhale 6, Hold 6, Inhale 6…
  • VARIATION 2 – Retain before Exhale: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of this breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale. Then, hold your breath for a count of 6 before each exhale. Your breath pattern will be Inhale 6, Hold 6, Exhale 6, Inhale 6…
  • VARIATION 3 – Retain before Inhale and Exhale: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of this breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale. Then, hold your breath for a count of 6 before each inhale AND exhale. Your breath pattern will be Inhale 6, Hold 6, Exhale 6, Hold 6, Inhale 6…

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried retained breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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Hydration and Ayurveda – Day 1

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

Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Good morning Yogis! National Hydration Day was in the middle of my first month of entries, which is now my 30 Day Intro Challenge. It has been only two months… but I’m already ready to revisit this! I have mentioned that I love resolutions, and “drink more water” has been at the top of my New Years’ Resolutions list every year for at least 20 years. I also love holidays and any reason to celebrate, so I hope you all enjoy recognizing some of these random national and international holidays. Today we will focus on hydration again before restarting our 8 Limbed Yoga practices, since I personally need to revisit my resolution to drink more water and many of you may also struggle with this. So, maybe this is the key to my finally keeping my resolution to drink more water.. roundabout method, but yay!

On my Intro Hydration Day, I also introduced Ayurveda (EYE-your-VAY-duh), which literally translates as “science of life” and can be thought of as a sister science to Yoga. I completed my Ayurveda Continuing Education a couple months ago. Last time I discussed some of the Ayurvedic Hydration recommendations, and I think I will keep talking about Ayurveda on these Hydration days. But first, let’s stay on track with our daily hydration!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to track, evaluate, and possibly increase your hydration levels. If you are like me and need help with this, maybe get a new water bottle to keep water with you and help track oz you drink during the day. If you have a favorite bottle already, perhaps try the Ulla clip which will blink to remind you if you have not drunk for a while (thanks to SEB for this tip!). Try adding fruit, mint, tea, cucumber, etc to your water if that encourages you to drink more during the day. Or perhaps try an app like Drink Water – Daily Reminder (free version is fine) to help with tracking and pop-up reminders, and a tool for personalized recommended oz of water per day.

Ayurvedic Morning Routine – Intro

Ayurveda recommends a daily morning self-care routine. One of the first recommended morning ritual practices in Ayurveda is tongue scraping. I tried this practice during my Ayurveda training, and this is one that I continued. If you want to try a new Ayurvedic practice, perhaps add this to your morning routine and see what you think!

More info on Tongue Scraping from healthline


Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This page contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

Please comment and share if you tried a calculator to see your recommended oz per day.. do you usually drink too much or not enough water?

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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.

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Please comment to share your experience with this exercise! Have you tried this “Supported” Bhujangasana / Sphinx pose before? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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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!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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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.

Parivrtta Ashta Chandrasana & Anjaneyasana – High & Low Lunge Twist

Parivrtta 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.

Parivrtta 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.

Parivrtta 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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YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee – Parivrtta Anjaneyasana
YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee – Parivrtta Ashta Chandrasana

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Vrksasana – Tree Pose

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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.

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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!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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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 Ardha 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


Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This page contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 3 – Dharana – Intense Focus

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Good Morning Yogis! As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and must truly be attained on your own. We started a series on each of the upper limbs, and covered Pratyahara. Since this is very heavy philosophy, we will spread these out and discuss each level in detail on our days dedicated to the upper limbs.

Dharana is the 6th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as concentration. This comes from the Sanskrit root “dhri” meaning to hold, carry, or maintain. I prefer to think of Dharana as intense focus, a bit stronger than “concentration”. This is typically the second step for meditation – after letting the outside world slip away, we direct our focus inward.

Our first breath-focused meditation was actually a Dharana meditation – with intense focus on our breath. Other Dharana meditations can include meditations with a focus on sounds like a Mantra or special word, focusing our sight on one set object such as a flower, color, hands, etc, or doing a scan and focusing our attention to our bodies. Some guided meditations are Dharana based, such as manifestation meditations or loving kindness meditations. Also, special practices like creating mandalas or flame gazing are Dharana exercises.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dharana-focused Meditation Practice. You can try our breath-focused meditation again along with our Challengers. Perhaps focus on your breath or body in Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, try a guided meditation below, or any other method of your own.. whatever feels right to you. We will cover mandalas and flame gazing later!

Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

Breath-focused Dharana Meditation

Body Scanning Guided Meditation

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation

Want more on Meditation?
Check our Meditation Board on Pinterest!

Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Dharana exercise! If you have another favorite, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 3 – Yogic Breathing – Three Part Breath

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Before we get into twisted and modified versions of poses in the detailed breakdown of the Sun Salutations Asana Series discussed yesterday, we will take two days to cover the remaining 8 Limbs of Yoga.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this three-part breath. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start in a comfortable seat by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

  • PART 1 – Belly: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of three part breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale.
  • PART 2 – Ribs: After 10 complete belly breaths – after expanding into your belly, try expanding your rib cage outwards on inhales and allowing to compress on exhales.
  • PART 3 – Chest: After 10 full inhale and exhalations with rib cage expansion – first fill your belly, then expand rib cage, then try allowing your clavicle (collar bone) to rise as you fill and empty your lungs completely for another 10 breaths.

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate diaphragmatic breathing like this, or other Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried this full three-part breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 3

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

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

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

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

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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 – 01/01/2021

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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 – 01/01/2021

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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!

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

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Special Announcements

Good afternoon Yogis! I am interrupting our daily positive practice posts for a couple special announcements!

I want to formally announce our 30 Day Challenge – Intro Philosophy, Poses & Positivity starting this weekend! Special thanks to my friends who are about half way through this challenge 🙏 We have two days of intro posts, so you can start any time 8/1-8/3. We will sync up daily practices with the challenge group for August. If you are participating, please consider signing up for our email list, getting the app, or following on Instagram / Twitter / Facebook for daily reminders and notifications.

Also, I am sooo excited to share that Daily Yogi made the Top 50 Yoga Teacher Blog Feeds! We are #39! I am so thrilled since we are new, not an established organization, teacher, or yoga studio with lots of followers.

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 2 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses

Good Morning Yogis! As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and must truly be attained on your own. I had a question about differences in these levels of meditation. Since this is very heavy philosophy, we will spread these out and discuss each level in detail on our days dedicated to the upper limbs.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside.

Please keep in mind that Pratyahara is not about finding a perfectly quiet area to meditate… I live in a remote area in the mountains of Colorado, where the silence was at first deafening after moving from Peachtree Street in Atlanta. However, it is never truly quiet here! Whether the wind is blowing, birds or marmots are chirping, dirt bikes and ATVs are zipping around, or the nearby creek is raging, there is ALWAYS some kind of distraction. Again, the point is not about isolating yourself from these distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and allowing outside distractions to fade away.

Shavasana, or corpse pose, is one of the first ways many new Yogis (including myself!) experience Pratyahara. Yoga Instructors allow a quiet space at the end of class to encourage us to allow our bodies and minds to fade away. There are also guided meditations to encourage this. Or, if you are practiced with meditation, this is typically your first step before moving into a deep meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Pratyahara-focused Meditation Practice. You can try this with Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, with a guided meditation, or on your own.. whatever feels right to you! Remeber this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

Calming Asana close with long Shavasana

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Pratyahaha exercise! If you have another favorite, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 2 – Simhasana Pranayama – Lion’s Breath

Good morning Yogis! It is Pranayama Day today, the Fourth Limb of Yoga. The last few Pranayama techniques we have discussed were cooling breaths, and today we will focus on a warming breath technique.

We are going to talk about Simhasana Pranayama (sim-HA-sa-na PRA-na-YA-ma) Lion’s Breath today.. fitting for Leo Season.. Happy Birthday Leo Yogis! This is a technique frequently used by my favorite Yoga Instructor in Atlanta (I miss you Olivia! You rock!). She would usually end her classes with this, and the entire room would erupt in laughter. This is a great Pranayama to try first thing in the morning, with children, or whenever you need a little stress relief.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying Simhasana Pranayama or Lion Pose Breath. This is a Pranayama that should be performed in a particular Asana pose, not just a normal seated position.

Start in a kneeling position (Virasana – Hero’s pose), or in a seated position with legs crossed if more comfortable. Press your palms into your knees, and straighten your arms to open your chest. This is Simhasana, or Lion’s Pose.

Virasana – Hero’s Pose
Straighten arms to Simhasana – Lion’s Pose

Start with Diaphragmatic Breathing for 3 full inhales and exhales to get your deep breathing going. Keep your eyes closed during this time.

Now we’ll start our Lion’s Breath! Make sure your eyes are closed, and do another full inhale through your nose.

On your exhale, open your eyes and mouth, and stick your tongue out as far as possible as you contract your throat to slightly say “HA” on the exhale. I always feel like I am channeling a Chinese Guardian Lion Statue!

After exhaling completely with your lion face, close your eyes and mouth for another calm inhale. Repeat this exhale for 3-10 eyes open, tongue out Lion’s Breaths.

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Simhasana Pranayama exercise! Have you ever tried this technique as a standalone or during your Asana practice? Always remember, be kind!

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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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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 2

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

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

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

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

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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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Asanas – Poses – Iyengar Series

Virabhadrasana II – Warrior 2

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our exploration of various styles of Asana / poses. Today we are moving on to a slightly more difficult style.

Iyengar is somewhat between Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. The creators of Iyengar and Ashtanga Vinyasa trained under the same Yoga Master, so it is no surprise there are some similarities! Iyengar, like Ashtanga, is typically a regimented series progression of Asanas / poses, with Sun Salutations in the series. However, Ashtanga is a flow style, while Iyengar instructors usually focus on proper alignment, and often hold the poses for a longer time. Iyengar also often uses props to aid with proper alignment. Because of this approach to Asanas, Iyengar classes are typically a good fit for beginners or Yogis with injuries. I really enjoy learning proper alignment with Iyengar, and trying to bring these “corrective focuses” into flow classes.

Have you used props before? If not, I strongly recommend trying today with an Iyengar series! I typically use blocks and a strap to help get proper alignment in some poses impacted by my tight hamstrings. We will talk more about different props later, but these two are probably the most helpful to Yogis at all levels!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is an Iyengar series. We have recommendations for Iyengar series both with and without props.

Beginner Iyengar Series with Props

Iyengar Series with and without Props

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

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Asanas – Poses – Vinyasa Series

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

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

Vinyasa is arguably the most common class at Yoga Studios in the West. This is a fast-paced Asana practice combining breath with fast transitions between Asanasa/poses to “flow” almost like a dance. Although these classes are popular, they are not for beginners. You should know many poses very well and sometimes how to transition between these poses

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a Vinyasa series. Vinyasa and Power Flow are similar, but not exactly the same. Vinyasa refers to the connections between breath and movement. Power flow also has this breath/movement connection or “flow” but is primarily cardio and strength-focused.

Beginner Vinyasa Series

Power Flow Series

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

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Asanas – Poses – Hatha Series

Utkatasana – Powerful or Chair Pose

Good morning Yogis! We have talked quite a bit about working various techniques into your Asana practice, discussed Surya Namaskar / Sun Salutations, and introduced Ashtanga Vinyasa. However, I realize many of you may be new to Yoga, and there are many kinds of Asana styles. We will take a brief detour and introduce some of these other styles of Yoga. Hopefully you will find one or a few favorite Asana styles to integrate into your daily practice, and be more informed to select between class offerings at a Yoga studio. Today we will cover Hatha Yoga and try a Hatha Yoga Series.

We have talked about the 8 Limbs of Yoga. We will be focusing on the Third Limb – Asanas or Poses, covering quite a few Asana styles. There are also 6 Branches of Yoga, which come to us from the Bhagavad Gita. Basically, different Branches of Yoga give different weights and priorities to particular practices from the 8 Limbs of Yoga. We will start with Hatha Yoga, which is both an Asana style and a Branch of Yoga. The Hatha Branch of Yoga actually covers all styles of Asana (from fast-paced Vinyasa to calming Restorative), since Hatha Yoga is the Branch that focuses on Asanas or poses and movement.

Hatha can be translated to English as either “Sun and Moon” (implying balance) or “Forceful”. Even though all Asana Styles and Asana Practices are technically Hatha Yoga, you can typically expect a Hatha class at a Yoga studio to be a more slow paced class than a Vinyasa class, and to have more detailed instructions. Often Hatha classes at studios are the beginner / intro Yoga classes.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a b