Meditation June 2022 – Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga: Mantra Meditation

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our special Upper Limbs week! We are ending a special bonus daily meditation month with a week of special meditation practices.

cool perspective shot looking at pine tree branch with droopy green needles and baby pine cones surrounded by branches in pine grove - mantra meditation Quote: Everyone has their own mantra. - Russell Brand
Everyone has their own mantra. – Russell Brand

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a mantra meditation. You can try some OMs, a traditional Sanskrit mantra, or some common English motivational mantras.

MantraS

25 Motivational Mantras

Learn about and practice some OMs

Intro to Sanskrit Mantras

Read and learn about Mantras in English

Morning Positive Affirmations (5 min video – English)

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Please comment to share which mantra meditation you tried or prefer. Always remember, be kind!

Meditation June 2022 – Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga: Trataka (Flame Gazing Meditation)

Today we are trying out a Dharana (intense focus) practice – Mandalas! Most meditative practices are forms of Dharana, the 6th Limb of Yoga.

Please see full post for blank mandalas, mandala videos, and more info!

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a special Upper Limbs week of meditative practices. Today we will focus on Flame Gazing Meditation, a Dharana practice I particularly enjoy during winter with the wood stove. A candle is usually best for summer, and traditional Trataka is practiced with the flame from a candle or oil lamp.

cool decordova sculpture garden perspective shot of black and red firey waving platform holding black rock with background of grassy field under shade of green leafy trees - fire trataka flame gazing meditation Quote: The most tangible of all visible mysteries - fire. - Leigh Hunt
The most tangible of all visible mysteries – fire. – Leigh Hunt

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a form of Flame Gazing, a Dharana Practice. There are a few different forms of this you can try!

Flame Gazing Meditation – Trataka

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Dharana exercise! Have you done this meditative flame-gazing before, not knowing this was a meditation practice? Always remember, be kind!

Meditation June 2022 – Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga: Meditative Mandalas

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a special Upper Limbs week of meditative practices. Today we will revisit one of my favorite 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

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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!

Meditation June 2022 – Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga: Evening Meditation

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our special Upper Limbs week! We are in the middle of a special bonus daily meditation month aligning with our 8 Limb Yoga practices, but this week we will cover special meditation practices.

cool decordova sculpture garden clear glass doors with dirt path through grassy field dreamland  under cloudy blue sky - sleep meditation dream Quote: Your future depends on your dreams, so go to sleep. - Mesut Barazany
Your future depends on your dreams, so go to sleep. – Mesut Barazany

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Bedtime or Sleep Meditation for Upper Limbs Day. I am providing a few recommendations for this style of guided meditation based on your preferences. I find I fall asleep much easier with a sleep meditation, and I find the 6-8 hour meditations help me stay asleep through the night. I recently have been enjoying trying different Hz Solfeggio Frequency sleep music.

Sleep Guided Meditation

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Meditative Sleep Music (8 Hours)

Delta Wave Healing Sleep Music (11 Hours)

528Hz Manifest Guided Meditation (8 Hours)

Sleep Music for Dreams (8 Hours)

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Please comment and let us know which meditation you tried. We are starting a daily meditation challenge for June, so please share any favorite guided meditations or meditation practices!! Always remember, be kind!

Meditation June 2022 – Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga: Morning Meditation

Good morning Yogis, it is the start of a special Upper Limbs week to close out the month of June! We are in the middle of a special bonus daily meditation month aligning with our 8 Limb Yoga practices, so this final week we will focus on the Upper Limbs and cover special meditation practices.

cool perspective looking up at grape vine with dark green leaves covering trellis gate with sun rays peeking through the foliate - upper limbs meditation morning routine Quote: The day will be what you make it, so rise, like the sun, and burn. - William C. Hannan
The day will be what you make it, so rise, like the sun, and burn. – William C. Hannan

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Morning Meditation for Upper Limbs Day. I am providing a few recommendations for this style of guided meditation based on how much time you have available to practice. I truly find I have a much better day when I start the morning with a guided meditation!

Morning Guided Meditation

Morning Guided Meditation (5 minutes)

Morning Motivation Guided Meditation (10 minutes)

Morning Manifest Guided Meditation (20 minutes)

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Please comment and let us know which meditation you tried. I switch between different morning meditations each day, so please share any favorite guided meditations or meditation practices!! Always remember, be kind!

Pranayama (Breathing): Yogic Breath (Three Part Breath) – Meditation June 2022

Good morning Yogis! Today is a KISS (keep it super simple) Day! So, we are going to revisit Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice.

cool perspective looking up at gray sky with twisting brown tree branches covered in green leaves - pranayama breath breathing Quote: When the breath wanders the mind is unsteady, but when the breath is calmed, the mind too will be still. - Hatha Yoga Pradipika
When the breath wanders the mind is unsteady, but when the breath is calmed, the mind too will be still. – Hatha Yoga Pradipika

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June! For Pranayama Day today, try our Breath-Focused Meditation with our Three Part Breath Below! If you prefer guided meditations, perhaps check out this talk on breath, mindfulness, and spirituality from the author of today’s quote.

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!

Meditation June 2022 – Summer Solstice & Cancer Season: Catuspadapitham Asana (Crab Pose)

Good Morning Yogis! Today is the start of Cancer Season – Happy Birthday Cancer Yogis! We will cover an Asana today inspired by Cancer – Crab Pose. This is a great chest opener and counter-pose for forward bends, but you should avoid this pose if you have neck or shoulder injuries. Today is also the Summer Solstice – Happy Summer!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Crab Pose Asanas inspired by the start of Cancer Season!

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blue and white cancer zodiac astrology symbol

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June! For our Astrology-focused day today, my meditation for the day is a Celestial Visualization Guided Meditation. Or try a special Pranayama exercise with a Zodiac-themed meditative breath Simhasana Pranayama – Lion’s Breath for Leo.

Catuspadapitham Asana – Crab Pose

Catuspadapitham Asana - crab pose reverse table tob - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Catuspadapitham Asana – Crab Pose

The full expression Asana is a great chest opener, and is especially great for the core and glutes. I usually practice this as a counter pose after Navasana or Boat Pose. This is also a precursor to the advanced Urdhva Dhanurasana or Wheel Pose.

You will enter this pose by sitting on the mat in Dandasana or Staff Pose if you are coming from Navasana or Boat Pose with your hands on the mat. Bend your arms back and place your hands palm down on the mat just behind your hips – they can face forward or back for this Asana, but make sure to point fingers towards your shoulders if working progression to Wheel. To come up, press into your hands and lift your booty off the ground, then use your core to lift your hips and torso to parallel to the ground. Hold for 2-6 breaths. To come out, lower your back to the mat, then lay legs back out.

Catuspadapitham Asana - crab pose reverse table tob - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Catuspadapitham Asana – Crab Pose

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

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Santosha (Contentment) – Meditation June 2022: Mindfulness

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

Mindfulness

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

More on Mindfulness and Benefits

Psychology Today – Understanding, Practicing, and Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindful – Getting Started with Mindfulness (and Meditation)

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

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

cool perspective close-up of light green evergreen spruce tree needles - santosha contentment mindfulness present moment Quote - Always hold fast to the present. Every situation, indeed every moment, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Always hold fast to the present. Every situation, indeed every moment, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

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

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

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

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

Brahmacharya (Moderation) – Meditation June 2022

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Brahmacharya or Moderation Day.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June! For Brahmacharya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Balance.

close-up white daisy flower with fuzzy background of green grass and leaves and white lattice - bramacharya balance middle path moderation Quote: Next to love, balance is the most important thing. - John Wooden
Next to love, balance is the most important thing. – John Wooden

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to exercise moderation in a way that is meaningful for you today for Brahmacharya Day. Need some ideas? Here’s what we used for inspiration for our intro Brahmacharya Day!

  • Look for temptations during the day, and neither indulge nor ignore the craving, but instead make a healthy choice. Like maybe a salad instead of fast food, or fruit instead of candy, or yogurt instead of cake or ice cream. Maybe have just a couple pieces of candy instead of NOMMING the whole bag (this one is both inspired by and directed towards me!)
  • Make today the first day taking steps to minimize an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Perhaps get a nicotine gum or patch to stop smoking, or plan a reasonable cut-back schedule with small goals you can reach rather than the cold-turkey approach.
  • If you have been super busy with work and family with our current quarantine situation, ask for help and take 15 minutes minimum to spoil yourself with a bath or workout or even a nap, whatever you need!
  • Choose your own way to practice a more balanced lifestyle today that feels right to you.

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Please comment and share how you chose to practice Brahmacharya today! Always remember, be kind!

Asteya (Non-Stealing) – Meditation June 2022

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

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June! For Asteya Day today, my meditation for the day is a brief Generosity Guided Meditation.

cool perspective purple flowers with green leaves in background - asteya non-stealing generosity Quote: Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness. - 14th Dalai Lama
Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness. – 14th Dalai Lama

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

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

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Please comment if you would like to share how you practiced Asteya today! Always remember, be kind!

Satya (Truthfulness) – Meditation June 2022

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day. Today’s Satya practice is focused on the “benevolent truth” translation of Satya from Sanskrit.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We have just started a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June! For Satya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation – Seeing Your True Self about loving yourself and seeing your true potential.

close-up white daisy flower with fuzzy background of green grass and leaves and white lattice - satya truth truthfulness Quote: Those who have failed to work toward the truth  have missed the purpose of living. - Buddha
Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of living. – Buddha

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

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

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Please comment if you would like to share how your Satya practice went today! Always remember, be kind!

Ahimsa (Non-Harming) – Meditation June 2022

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Limbs of Yoga for our daily positive practices with Ahimsa or non-harming.

close-up white flower with fuzzy background of green grass and leaves and white lattice - ahimsa nonviolence kindness Quote: Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. - 14th Dalai Lama
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. – 14th Dalai Lama

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June! For Ahimsa day today, my meditation for the day is a Loving Kindness Guided Meditation. You can read more about Loving-Kindness or Maitri here!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a random act of kindness for today’s Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day. Need ideas? Here is what we used for inspiration for our intro Ahimsa Day!

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

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

Meditation June 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga: Samadhi (Enlightenment / Integration)

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a daily meditation practice challenge for June, and the end of a brief series on the Upper Limbs of Yoga.

yogi blue gray background

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. 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.

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

Meditation June 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga: Dhyana (Full Meditation)

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June. Additionally, we are in the middle of a quick series of daily practices inspired by the Upper Limbs. We already covered Pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses and Dharana or Intense Focus. The last three Limbs of YogaDharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are often referred to as the “innermost quest” and studied together. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the lower limbs, and sequentially upon each other. However, these practices are all meditation focused, and must truly be practiced and understood on your own. Samadhi is basically our goal and will be discussed occasionally! Today we will discuss Dhyana and try a Meditation to reach this state. Check out our deep dive on Dhyana.

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 with Pratyahara and focusing our minds on a single subject with Dharaha, we may reach the level of meditation 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.

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.

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 full meditation.

Dhyana Guided Meditation

Our Breath-Focused Meditation – first focus on breath, then allow your mind to quiet.

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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!

Meditation June 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga: Dharana (Intense Focus) – Guided Meditation & Meditative Practices

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June. Additionally, we are in the middle of a quick series of daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. We covered Pratyahara or withdrawal of the sense yesterday. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the lower limbs, and then sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. Today we will revisit Dharana, and then try a Dharana Guided Meditation or other Meditative Practice.

Nearly all meditation practices you think of are types of Dharana.

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 then direct our focus inward. Please see our deep dive of Dharana for more. 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-focused Meditation Practice. Perhaps try our breath-focused meditation again to prepare for tomorrow’s next level of meditation. Perhaps focus on your breath or body in Shavasana / Corpse Pose after an Asana practice, another meditative practice from our list, 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!

Dharana or Intense Focus Meditative Practices

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

Morning Motivational Meditation (10 minutes)

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Full Night Sleep Meditation (8 hours)

Grounding Meditation (9 minutes)

Body Scanning Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Self-Reflective Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation (12 minutes)

Celestial Visualization Guided Meditation (7 minutes)

Manifest Meditations (Power of Attraction) (10 minutes) 

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

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

Meditation June 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga: Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses) – Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We have completed our daily positive practices and meditations inspired by the first four Limbs of Yoga, and are back to the Upper Limbs. We are also in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, but during meditation months we will take couple days to cover each of the four upper limbs, rather than combining into one.

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 therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

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. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

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

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We have a bonus daily meditation challenge this month. Today I recommend trying this Pratyahara Guided Meditation perfect for Shavasana after your Asana practice.

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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

Meditation June 2022: National Trails Day & National Prairie Day – Moving Meditation

Good morning Yogis! Today is National Trails Day and National Prairie Day and tomorrow is World Environment Day,. So, we are taking a quick break from our cycle of practices inspired by the 8 Limbs of Yoga to focus on practices for our special Meditation Month and getting outside for these environmentally focused holidays.

cool perspective midtown atlanta looking down from above with glass reflection - moving meditation mindfulness Quote: Action does not get one to the destination, action IS the destination. - Brian S. Woods
Action does not get one to the destination, action IS the destination. – Brian S. Woods

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a moving meditation. I recommend a meditative hike or drive! Check out the US National Parks Pass if you love meditative hikes – this covers US national park entrance fees for a year, and helps support public conservation.

Moving Meditations

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.

Driving is my favorite meditative activity, I definitely have the “monkey mind” so having something big to focus on is very helpful for me, and these meditative drives often result in solutions to problems or my best ideas.

Or try a Restorative Asana class with Guided Meditation for a meditative Asana session.

NEXT INTRO CHALLENGE August 2022

Days
Hours
Minutes
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Please comment to share which moving meditation you tried or prefer. Always remember, be kind!

May 2022 Yoga Challenge: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Meditation

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

midtown atlanta at night with lit buildings and fourth of july fireworks downtown - meditation, upper limbs, stars Quote: If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I'd bet they'd live a lot differently... when you look into infinity, you'll realize that there are more important things than what people do all day. - Calvin & Hobbes
If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’d bet they’d live a lot differently… when you look into infinity, you’ll realize that there are more important things than what people do all day. – Calvin & Hobbes

Happy Saturday Yogis! Today we are having a KISS day – try a Meditation Practice of your choice!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is any Meditation Practice for Upper Limbs Day. This past week was also International Astronomy Day (two each year!) so perhaps try this cool Celestial Visualization Guided Meditation or some meditative stargazing. Or, in light of May’s Correct Your Posture Month, try a traditional breath-focused meditation with a focus on your alignment. You can scan through all of our recent meditations or check our recent Dharana Day Post for a variety of focused meditative practices.

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

Please comment and share what meditation you chose for today! If you have another favorite meditation, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

Asana April 2022: Asanas (Poses) – Seated Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Limbs of Yoga. Today we will begin a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Arm Balance, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Standing, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will begin with Seated and review favorite seated poses that are best for meditation. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

Sukhasana - easy pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink and black lace set doing yoga inside in cool pink and purple yoga studio
Sukhasana – Easy Pose

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BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our focus on Seated Asanas today, I recommend a passive Yin or Restorative class.

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any seated Asana. 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!

If you are able, I recommend Padmasana / Lotus Pose or try Gomukhasana / Cow Face Pose for the current Taurus Season!

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 - comfortable cross-legged easy pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
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.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

Siddhasana - adepts adept's pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
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.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Padmasana - full lotus pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
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.

If you are being extra festive today, perhaps also try Lotus Mudra with your hands, and read more about its history!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Virasana - hero hero's pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
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.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

More Seated Asanas

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

Dandasana – Staff Pose

Navasana – Boat Pose

Parivrtta Sukhasana – Seated Twist Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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!

Asana April 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Meditations: 4/20

Good Morning Yogis, it is Upper Limbs Day! We just finished a series covering Asanas for each of the first three Limbs of Yoga! Today is also April 20th – Happy 420 stony Yogis!

close-up cool perspective of multicolor glass reflections of van goh painting from immersive exhibition - meditation upper limbs of yoga open mind Quote: Open-minded people do not impose their beliefs on others. They just accept all of life’s perspectives and realities, doing their own thing in peace without judging anyone. - Steven Aitchison
Open-minded people do not impose their beliefs on others. They just accept all of life’s perspectives and realities, doing their own thing in peace without judging anyone. – Steven Aitchison

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.

420 – Marijnaua & Yoga

Marijuana use for Yogis is a highly divisive subject! I will not share my personal stance, but here are a few different opinions to help you decide whether this substance will add or detract from your Yoga practice!

Cannabis and Yoga: An Essential Guide 

5 Reasons Yogis Shouldn’t Smoke Marijuana

Yoga While High? Combining Cannabis and Asanas

Cannabis and Yoga Go Together Like…

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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

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

Please comment and let us know which meditation you tried. Always remember, be kind!

Asana April 2022: Asanas (Poses) – 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 an April 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, so I would like to revisit this today!

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Asana 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 session 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.

For a twist on Shavasana today – perhaps try a few rounds of Sun Salutations and end with a standing Shavasana in Tadasana / Mountain Pose!

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 savasana - corpse pose - yoga pose girl red hair wearing black on gray yoga mat
Shavasana – Corpse Pose

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!

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

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

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! Do you always include Shavasana with your Asana practice? Have you taken a 15 minute or longer Shavasana before? Always remember, be kind!

Asana April 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Meditation

Good morning Yogis! Today we are having a KISS (keep it super simple) Day for Upper Limbs Day today with a Meditation Practice of your choice!

close-up cool perspective of yellow painting projection from immersive exhibition - meditation, upper limbs, moving meditation Quote: Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed. - Saint Francis de Sales
Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed. – Saint Francis de Sales

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April. Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. I recommend a Vinyasa series today for a meditative flow.

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)!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is any Meditation Practice of your choice for Upper Limbs Day. You can scan through all of our recent meditation practices or check our Dharana Day Post for a variety of focused meditative practices. Or, if you prefer a moving meditation for our Asana Month, try a Vinyasa series for a meditative flow.

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

Please comment and share what meditation you chose for today! If you have another favorite meditation, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

Meditation March 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Breath-Focused Meditation

Good morning Yogis! We are featuring a few of my favorite Upper Limbs meditation practices wrapping up a special bonus daily meditation month. Tomorrow we will restart our practices inspired by the 8 Limbs of Yoga and our bonus daily Asana challenge April.

close-up cool perspective of dark green glass reflective art - upper limbs of yoga breath breathing meditation Quote: Breathing meditation can quiet the mind, open the body, and develop a great power of concentration. - Jack Kornfield
Breathing meditation can quiet the mind, open the body, and develop a great power of concentration. – Jack Kornfield

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try the traditional Breath-Focused Meditation Practice. This traditional meditation method is supposed to bring you to Samadhi – from Dharana and into Dhyana. Meditation (particularly on my own with breathing and not a guided meditation or Dharana practice) has always been difficult for me personally, with my “monkey mind” but these methods below have worked for me!

Start sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position. Try to find a quiet, comfortable space. Relax and focus on your breath. Allow your belly to expand on each inhale, and contract to empty your lungs fully on each exhale. (Check our Pranayama section for more detail on diaphragmatic breathing).

Notice any outside distractions such as wind or noises from the street, and try to allow them to fade into the background as you calmly turn your focus inwards. Notice any inside distractions coming from your mind, as our inner world/voice is typically used to running wild on auto-pilot. Calmly allow these passing thoughts to fade, and turn your attention back to your breath. 

Start working towards calming your mind. Focus on counting to 10 with your breath. Inhale 1, exhale 2, inhale 3, exhale 4, and continue to 10. If you notice your thoughts wandering, gently let them go, turn your attention back to your breath, and begin again with 1 on your next inhale.

Or, if you prefer more than numbers for your focus, try thinking to yourself “inhale peace and relaxation” each inhale, and “exhale stress and tension” each exhale. Many Yogis enjoy guided meditations to help focus.

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

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this meditation exercise! If you meditate, how long do you typically meditate for and how frequently? Do you have another meditation technique or guided meditation you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

Meditation March 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Moving Meditation

Good morning Yogis! We are featuring a few of my favorite Upper Limbs meditation practices wrapping up a special bonus daily meditation month.

cool shot of cloudy alpine valley with dark grey clouds over dark green pine trees in the mountains - meditation, upper limbs of yoga, moving meditation, flow, motion Quote: The idea is that flowing water never goes stale, so just keep on flowing. - Bruce Lee
The idea is that flowing water never goes stale, so just keep on flowing. – Bruce Lee

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a moving meditation. I recommend a meditative drive or hike!

Moving Meditations

Driving is my favorite meditative activity, I definitely have the “monkey mind” so having something big to focus on is very helpful for me, and these meditative drives often result in solutions to problems or my best ideas.

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.

Or try a Restorative Asana class with Guided Meditation for a meditative Asana session.

NEXT INTRO CHALLENGE August 2022

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Please comment to share which moving meditation you tried or prefer. Always remember, be kind!

Meditation March 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Evening Meditation

Good morning Yogis! We are featuring a few of my favorite Upper Limbs meditation practices wrapping up a special bonus daily meditation month.

cool shot of epic cloudy alpine sunset with bright orange sun shining through purple gray clouds over darkened mountains and pine trees - meditation, upper limbs, evening Quote: It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it. - John Steinbeck
It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it. – John Steinbeck

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Bedtime or Sleep Meditation for Upper Limbs Day. I am providing a few recommendations for this style of guided meditation based on your preferences. I find I fall asleep much easier with a sleep meditation, and I find the 6-8 hour meditations help me stay asleep through the night.

Sleep Guided Meditation

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Sleep Manifest Guided Meditation (8 Hours)

Meditative Sleep Music (8 Hours)

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Please comment and let us know which meditation you tried, or please share any favorite guided meditations or meditation practices!! Always remember, be kind!

Meditation March 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Morning Meditation

Good morning Yogis, it is Upper Limbs day! We are wrapping up a special bonus daily meditation month aligning with our 8 Limb Yoga practices, so we will close the month with a few of my favorite special meditation practices.

deep blue alpine lake in mountain valley full of green pine trees under bright blue sky - meditation, upper limbs, morning Quote: With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. - Eleanor Roosevelt
With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Morning Meditation for Upper Limbs Day. I am providing a few recommendations for this style of guided meditation based on how much time you have available to practice. I truly find I have a much better day when I start the morning with a guided meditation!

Morning Guided Meditation

Morning Guided Meditation (5 minutes)

Morning Motivation Guided Meditation (10 minutes)

Morning Manifest Guided Meditation (20 minutes)

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

Please comment and let us know which meditation you tried. Or, please share any favorite guided meditations or meditation practices!! Always remember, be kind!

Meditation March 2022: Brahmacharya (Moderation)

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

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! For Brahmacharya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Balance.

forest with green leafy trees under blue sky - brahmacharya moderation middle path balance Quote: Time and balance the two most difficult things to have control over, yet they are both the things that we do control. - Catherine Pulsifer
Time and balance the two most difficult things to have control over, yet they are both the things that we do control. – Catherine Pulsifer

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to exercise moderation or take the Middle Path in a way is meaningful for you today for Brahmacharya Day. Need some ideas?

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

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Please comment and share how you chose to practice Brahmacharya today! Always remember, be kind!