Tapas – Discipline – Day 6 – World Mental Health Day

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

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Labor Day today, I recommend a Yin or Restorative class, which will use our featured Asana for today.

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

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

Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy / Melting Heart Pose

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

Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy / Melting Heart Pose

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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

Good morning Yogis! Today is Asana Day, and it is also Family Health and Fitness Day USA! We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Family Heath & Fitness Day today, I recommend a dynamic Vinyasa series, or try a Family or Kids Yoga Session! Cosmic Kids Yoga has a ton of different classes enjoyable for school aged kids. Or, look for ‘mommy and me’ yoga for options for Yogis with younger children.

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

Yoga with Infants

Yoga with Toddlers

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am trying a new 60 minute Vinyasa, and breaking a sweat for Family Health and Fitness Day!

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

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

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

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

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

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Hydration and Ayurveda – Day 1

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

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.

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

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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Asanas – Poses – Day 1 – Sun Salutations

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

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

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

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

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

Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

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Saucha – Purity – Day 3

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

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

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

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

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

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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 3

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

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Aparigraha or non-attachment Day. We will continue our series from last time, and both learn and try out an Aparigraha mind trick to help practice mental non-attachment. I call this method “removing should-ing” and I learned it years ago in a life-changing book: The Myth of Stress. I know reading an entire book is too much for a single day practice, but thankfully the author put the “meat and potatoes” of his method online!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice non-attachment by trying the ActivInsight method today to flip your mind about a stressful situation for Aparigraha day.

You can read about the active insight method here. Please note this entry is the fourth in his intro series, so you may want to start with the first entry here. If this method works for you, I strongly suggest reading the book for guidelines to use this method effectively for different types of stressful situations.

Please comment and share your experience with the ActivInsight method for Aparigraha Day! Always remember, be kind!

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National Anti-Boredom Month

Good morning Yogis! We are waiting another couple of days to start our cycle through the Limbs of Yoga to sync up with our 8/1 30 Day Challenge group! I learned July is National Anti-Boredom Month and today is the last day of the month. Since it is the last day of July, it’s Friday, and most of us have been struggling with quarantine boredom, let’s honor this national month today with some fun!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to have some Friday fun for Anti-Boredom month! Need ideas? I always recommend getting outside and enjoying nature, and perhaps get some bonus Santosha practice by staying present and enjoying the moment! Or check out 21 Ways to Reduce Boredom or 100 Ideas for Quarantine Fun. There are SO many virtual performances, tours of world-class destinations, and continuing education courses available online.. staying at home does not have to mean staying bored!

Please comment if you’d like to share how you had fun this Friday! 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.

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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Saucha – Purity – Day 2

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

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

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

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

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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Aparigraha or non-attachment Day. We are going to take a closer look at Aparigraha/non-attachment by examining the attachment we are supposed to be avoiding.

Non-attachment is a common Eastern philosophical concept and practice. This is a part of Zen/Buddhism, Jainism, and Taoism. This is not a very common concept in the Western world, so we will learn a bit more about it by trying to understand attachment today.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to observe your own attachment with situations that cause stress for Aparigraha day. I usually can do this by identifying a “should” or “should not” statement. One of my more common “shoulds” was “I shouldn’t be late right now” whenever I got stuck in traffic when driving to work. I was attached to being on time. Often anxiety about the future or regret about the past is tied to feelings attachment. I have a mental mind trick to trigger the practice of non-attachment for these situations that I will share with you on our next Aparigraha day. But for now, just try to observe your own attachment to situations today.

If you are up for it… after the situation has passed, evaluate the results of your attachment responses. Consider whether stressing about the future or regretting the past helps or hurts your efficacy, efficiency, and your peace of mind.

PS This may be a good time for journal entries for some bonus Svadhyaha!

Please comment and share your experience with observing your own attachment for Aparigraha Day! Always remember, be kind!

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Simplicity, Poetry, and Nature

Good morning Yogis! We are taking a quick break from our exploration of various styles of Yoga, and celebrating Simplicity Day, in honor of the Poet and Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau’s birthday. I grew up in the suburbs of Boston and have visited Walden Pond, which so inspired much of his work. Thoreau seems to have some Yogi tendencies himself, with his love of nature, isolated journey of self-discovery, and quotes like  “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” I believe this simplicity practice ties in with both Santosha/Contentment and Asteya/Non-Stealing. Please see the bottom of this post for one of my favorite Thoreau poems, and links to more!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to embrace simplicity. This can be big or small. Many sources hint that a key to true happiness is living in the now, and getting out in nature is a great way to do this. So, perhaps go for a walk around or sit quietly by a lake or pond in honor of Thoreau, or get outside in another way that is meaningful for you. Tomorrow is Amazon’s Prime Day – so let’s all try not to put in any online orders today.. is there anything that really cannot wait one more day? If you are up for a challenge, take a look at your life and surroundings, and see what things you can do without to simplify your life or space. Whatever practice resonates with you, try for more physical or mental simplicity today.

Please comment and share your experience! How did you simplify your day or life? Were you able to avoid putting in an Amazon order for the day? Always remember, be kind!

I Am The Autumnal Sun

Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature
— not his Father but his Mother stirs
within him, and he becomes immortal with her
immortality. From time to time she claims
kindredship with us, and some globule
from her veins steals up into our own.

I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run;
When will the hazel put forth its flowers,
Or the grape ripen under my bowers?
When will the harvest or the hunter’s moon
Turn my midnight into mid-noon?
I am all sere and yellow,
And to my core mellow.
The mast is dropping within my woods,
The winter is lurking within my moods,
And the rustling of the withered leaf
Is the constant music of my grief….

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

More THOREAU:

Thoreau-Online.org

Poets.org

PoetryFoundation.org

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 1 – Ujjayi Pranayama – Ocean Breath

Good morning Yogis! It is Pranayama Day today, the Fourth Limb of Yoga. Today we will be learning Ujjayi (oo-JAW-yee) Pranayama. This is literally translated from Sanskrit as Victorious Breath, but is commonly referred to as Ocean Breath due to the sound of this technique. This is another great cooling and calming breathing technique, and is ideal during Asana practice. You may have learned this in Yoga class before, especially if you have attended a Hot Yoga class.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breathing.

Start with Diaphragmatic Breathing for 3 full inhales and exhales.

Open your mouth and inhale and exhale through your mouth. Contract your throat to slightly say “HA” on the exhales. Keep this light contraction in your throat so you slightly say “SA” on the inhales. You will start noticing the ocean sound from which this technique gets its name.

Now, close your mouth. Inhale and exhale through your nose, while keeping this contraction in your throat to keep the ocean sound continuing on both inhales and exhales. As you become comfortable with this breathing technique, try your Asana practice with this Ujjayi Pranayama.

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

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Hydration and Ayurveda – Intro

Good morning Yogis! Did you know today is National Hydration Day!? 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 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.

This is also a good time to introduce Ayurveda (EYE-your-VAY-duh), which literally translates as “science of life” and can be thought of as a sister science to Yoga. You may be familiar with some Ayurvedic practices such as neti (sinus rinsing), oil pulling, or tongue scraping. Many of these practices are recommended first thing in the morning, along with drinking water. Ayurveda recommends drinking warm water to start the day after cleaning the mouth, but I personally prefer tea rather than water to start the day. Ayurveda also recommends drinking less water or other liquids at/with meals to aid digestion.

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 S 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.

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? Did you enjoy this self-care focused practice?

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Pranayama – Sitali – Cooling Breath

Good morning Yogis! We are taking a short break from our regularly scheduled breakdown of the poses in our Sun Salutations Asana Series, to celebrate the Summer Solstice! Since it is likely very warm today and will stay warm for the next few months, we will kick off the first day of summer with Sitali (Sih-TA-lee) which literally translates from Sanskrit as cooling or soothing, a cooling Pranayama / Breath exercise.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying out a cooling breath Pranayama Practice. We recommend trying this after drinking water so your mouth is moist, and as a stand-alone technique when you need to cool down!

Sitali Pranayama – Cooling Breath

Start with Diaphragmatic Breathing for 10 full inhales and exhales.

Next, open your mouth into a small o. Stick out your tongue a bit more than half way, and roll your tongue. Picture either an unfurling leaf, which helped inspire sages to develop this breathing technique, or a hard taco shell, which is probably a more familiar and descriptive image.

Breathe in deeply through your MOUTH, drawing the air over your tongue almost like you were using a straw.

Close your mouth and put your tongue flat on the roof of your mouth, and breathe OUT through your NOSE keeping your mouth closed.

Form an o with your mouth at the end of your exhale, and curl your tongue outside your mouth again for your next INHALE. Continue this for 10-20 full breaths.

If you want to continue, keep your mouth closed to return to diaphragmatic breathing for 10 full breaths before repeating. You may continue this cooling breath exercise for 10-15 minutes. I recommend doing Pranayama on its own whenever you need to cool down, or after a vigorous Asana practice. I would not recommend practicing this particular breathing technique during or before Asanas or other exercise.

Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after this cooling breath. Cooling breath can leave you with an especially dry mouth if you are not hydrated.

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Sitali Pranayama exercise! Have you ever tried this or another cooling breath? Always remember, be kind!

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