Ishvara Pranidhana (Surrender) – September 2021 – Padangusthasana – Toe Stand Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fifth and last of the NiyamasIshvara Pranidhana or Surrender.

Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Padangusthasana (Puh-DAHN-gus-THA-sa-nuh) or Toe Stand Pose is my choice to represent Ishvara Pranidhana. I feel this pose, folding over from a standing position, represents the surrender. This is an advanced Asana requiring balance and poise, folding into the pose from a one-legged stand,

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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 Bikram series, which includes this challenging Asana.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing a Forward Folds class that I feel embodies Ishvara Pranidhana.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Toe Stand Pose for Ishvara Pranidhana Day!

Padangusthasana – Toe Stand Pose

Padangusthasana - Toe Stand - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Padangusthasana – Toe Stand

Start standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). We will perform coming onto the RIGHT toe. Bend your left leg, and bring your left foot onto the top of your right thigh.

Padangusthasana - Toe Stand - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Padangusthasana – Toe Stand Prep

Lean forward at the waist, keeping your left foot on your right thigh. Place one or two hands on the ground for stability.

Padangusthasana - Toe Stand - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Padangusthasana – Toe Stand Prep

Bend your right knee and lower down into a toe stand, keeping your hands grounded for stability.

Padangusthasana - Toe Stand - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Padangusthasana – Toe Stand Prep

Once you are grounded and stable, slowly bring your hands in front of your chest in prayer position or another Mudra of your choice.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. I recommend performing on both sides, and monitoring differences and progression with your balance on each side!

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried this Asana before? Always remember, be kind!

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Svadhyaya (Self-Study) – September 2021 – Ardha Hanumanasana & Utthan Pristhasana – Half Monkey & Lizard Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fourth of the NiyamasSvadhyaya or Self-Study and discussing Ardha Hanumanasana and Utthan Pristhasana.

Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Ardha Hanumanasana (ARD-huh HAH-nuh-mah-NA-sa-nuh) or Half Monkey Pose and Utthan Pristhasana (OOT-han Pris-THAH-sa-nuh) or Lizard Pose are my choices to represent Svadhyaya. I feel like I am literally looking at myself in these poses, a perfect embodiment of self-reflection. Also, flowing between these poses has been both a strategy and a way to monitor my progression working forward splits!

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Svadhyaya Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my old favorites with both of today’s poses – Intermediate Flexibility (30 Minutes) which works these poses.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Half Monkey and Lizard Pose for Svadhyaya Day! I enjoy flowing between these two Asanas to work my flexibility for Hanumanasana or Full Splits! I recommend working both of these Asanas on one side, and then switching and repeating on the other side.

Instructions are for each pose with the LEFT side. Make sure to repeat this sequence on both sides!

Ardha Hanumanasana – Half Monkey Pose

Ardha Hanumanasana - Half Monkey Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Ardha Hanumanasana – Half Monkey Pose

Start in a comfortable kneeling position. Come up onto your knees, and bring your left foot forward placing your heel on the mat, keeping your hips above your right knee. Hinge forward slightly at the waist, and place your hands on each side of your straight left leg to support your upper body. If comfortable, bring your forehead down towards your left shin, making sure to keep your hips stacked over your right knee. Breathe deeply and hold this pose for 30-60 seconds. To come out, lift your upper body and either bring your left leg back to kneeling, or plant your left foot to come forward into Lizard Pose.

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Utthan Pristhasana – Lizard Pose

 Utthan Pristhasana - Lizard Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Utthan Pristhasana – Lizard Pose

This Asana has many variations to fit your body and flexibility. I prefer to enter this pose by flowing forward from Half Monkey, or shifting my front leg and lowering down from a Low Lunge.

Step and plant your left foot, keeping your knee directly above the ankle. Move your left foot out a few inches to the left, and hug your knee towards your shoulder. Plant your palms on the ground in front of you to support your upper body while you set your lower body. Keep your right leg straight back – you can rest your knee on the ground for a more passive hip-opening, or come up onto your right toes and straighten your leg for a more intense stretch. You can stay on your hands, or lower down onto your elbows for a deeper stretch. To come out, come back up onto your hands, and either press back into Half Monkey, or step your left foot back to come into Downward Dog.

Utthan Pristhasana - Lizard Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Utthan Pristhasana – Lizard Pose (Beginner)

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Instructions are for each pose with the LEFT side. Make sure to repeat this sequence on both sides!

Journal DaY

Our first Svadhyaya Day, we started journals to have a source for self-study. I am using Svadhyaya Days to keep up with this practice.. perhaps make another journal entry with me today! If you are not sure what to write about, you can use my prompt for today – I have always associated September (after Labor Day) with the start of the academic school year since I grew up outside of Boston. So, what is something you have always wanted to learn – a hobby, an academic topic, a language, a sport… whatever it is, write about what you want to learn and why, and consider this for your Tapas daily habit!


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.

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

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Half Monkey, Lizard, or another set of Asanas to work Splits before? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas (Discipline) – September 2021 – Bakasana – Crow Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the third of the NiyamasTapas or Discipline and Utkatasana.

Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Bakasana (Bah-KAH-sa-nuh) or Crow pose is my choice to represent Tapas. This is a challenging pose, and a great workout when held for an extended time. This is also one of the first arm balances I have been working on. Thank you to our featured Yogi Nick for both his demonstration of Crow Pose and his tips for beginners!

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Tapas Day today, I recommend a vigorous Power Yoga class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing a new Hip Hop Vinyasa.

Each Tapas day, we check in on our progress with the daily habits we have set for ourselves. It typically takes 30 Days to set a new habit (which is why I love these 30 Day Challenges!) so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up.. perhaps it is time to add a new daily habit to your routine!! If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success! Yoga is a practice, and successfully changing our habits is about consistency, so we will keep checking in on our goals on Tapas Days.

As mentioned we are in a daily Asana Challenge, which I have kept up with by wearing workout clothes to bed and practicing first thing in the morning. I also have a daily habit of practicing French or Spanish with Duolingo… I am pretty pleased with myself to be on my way to a year of practice!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Crow Pose for Tapas Day! This pose is challenging, but is one of the first Arm Balances many Yogis (including myself) want to add to their practice.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Tapas Day – set or check-in on a meaningful daily habit!

Bakasana – Crow Pose

Bakasana - Crow Pose - yoga pose yoga guy wearing gray and black black doing yoga outside in a grassy yard
Bakasana – Crow Pose

Start sitting on your heels in a kneeling position. Move into a wide squat in Malasana with feet slightly wider than your shoulders.

Bring your torso forward between your knees and place your palms on the mat a bit wider than shoulder width with fingers spread wide. You can keep your arms straight for the traditional version of this pose, or bend your elbows to make a shelf if easier. Bring your knees close to your arms and lift your hips, coming onto your toes.

Slowly lean forward as you engage your core, allowing your feet to lift from the floor. Pause here if you are comfortable. Or, to come into the full expression of the pose, try to bring your knees to your armpits as you draw your heels up towards your seat and round your spine.

PS if you are worried about face-planting, put a block under your forehead!

Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds. To come out, slowly lower your feet to the mat, and press back into Child’s Pose.

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Bakasana or the more advanced variation like Flying Crane before? Always remember, be kind!

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Santosha (Contentment) – September 2021 – Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – One Legged King Pigeon

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the second of the NiyamasSantosha or Contentment. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (EH-kah PAH-duh RAH-juh kah-po-TAH-sa-nuh) or One Legged King Pigeon pose is my choice to represent Santosha. This pose, especially with a forward fold, always brings me to a mindful place in my Asana practice, and whenever I practice, I just want to hang out in this pose!

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Santosha Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Intermediate Flexibility, which includes both variations of this pose.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try One-Legged King Pigeon Pose for Santosha Day! This pose is a favorite among all levels of Yogis, and is a great passive hip opener.

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – One Legged King Pigeon Pose

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana - One Legged King Pigeon Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – One Legged King Pigeon Pose

Start in Table Top. We will begin with the LEFT leg forward. Bring your left knee forward, and place it next to the inside of your left hand. Extend your left leg straight back as you lower your hips, making sure you keep the top of your foot on the mat and hips pointing forward. Press your hands into the mat and roll your shoulders back, puffing out your chest to come into the standard version of this pose.

After a breath or two, you may want to slowly walk your hands forward to rest your upper body over your front leg in a forward fold. You can keep your front leg parallel to the front of your mat to deepen the stretch. Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 30-60 seconds. To come out, lift yourself back onto your hands if you are in a forward fold, flex up onto your back toes, and come back up into either Downward Dog or Tabletop. Make sure to repeat on the other side.

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana - One Legged King Pigeon Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – One Legged King Pigeon with Forward Fold

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried either version of this pose before? Always remember, be kind!

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Saucha (Purity) – September 2021 – Ardha Bhekasana – Frog Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the first of the NiyamasSaucha or Purity. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Ardha Bhekasana (ARD-ha bhe-KA-sah-nuh) is my choice to represent Saucha, since this pose always reminds me of wringing out a rag!

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Saucha Day today, I recommend a gentle Yin or Restorative class which will likely feature twisting poses.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Twist and Align, which includes many twisting poses!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Half Frog Asanas for Saucha Day! You will notice that this is a floor version but very similar backbend to Natajarasana or King Dancer Pose from yesterday! ALWAYS practice this Asana on both sides!

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Saucha Day – practice some clean self-care!

Ardha Bhekasana – Half Frog Pose

Ardha Bhekasana - Half Frog Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Ardha Bhekasana – Half Frog Pose

Start laying face-down on your mat in Reverse Corpse Pose. We will perform on the right side first. Prop yourself up with your left forearm, keeping your elbow under your shoulder. Exhale to bend your right leg towards your bottom, and inhale as you reach back with your right hand to grab the top or outside of your right foot. Keep your elbow pointing straight up and back, and avoid letting your shoulders collapse. Lengthen your spine on inhales, and press your foot and leg further towards the floor on exhales. Hold for 30 seconds and release back to Reverse Corpse.

Make sure to repeat on both sides! If you are comfortable with this Asana, perhaps try the advanced full version of the pose!

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I would recommend couch pillows, or perhaps a folded-up blanket for support under the torso and ribs.

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried this pose or its full expression before? Always remember, be kind!

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Aparigraha (Non-Attachment) – September 2021 – Natarajasana – King Dancer Pose

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

King Dancer or Natarajasana (NAH-tah-ra-JAH-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Aparigraha, since this is a very challenging balance and back bend. You will also likely fall over a few times, so enjoy a few laughs working on this Asana! In fact, I often work just the beginner version of this pose, and do not often come into the full version. this is a popular advanced Asana for Instagram, and I enjoy watching other Yogis journey with this pose! PS Check out the mythology behind this pose!

Natarajasana - King Dancer Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Natarajasana – King Dancer Pose

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Aparigraha Day today, I recommend a passive Yin or Restorative class, or a balance-focused series.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose! 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 King Dancer Pose for Aparigraha Day! This is a challenging pose for all levels Yogis. Make sure to incorporate Aparigraha, and just practice without expectations, and see how you can progress with this journey pose. Remember – practice not perfection! We will talk about the variations of this pose as you progress today! Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose.

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

Natarajasana – King Dancer Pose

Natarajasana - Beginner King Dancer Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Natarajasana – King Dancer Pose (Beginner)

Feet and Legs – Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose. Claw your toes into the mat slightly to keep your arches from falling into the mat. Perhaps keep a slight bend in the knee, Always make sure you avoid hyper-extending or locking your knees. We will perform with the right leg first – so shift all weight into your left leg. When you are ready, slowly bend your right leg back. Grab the INSIDE of your right foot with your right hand, to begin opening your chest.

Hips – Make sure your hips stay pointing forward, not opening to the side.

Torso – Notice your rib cage in mountain pose. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. Make sure you keep your torso in line with the rest of your body, do not jut your ribs forward.

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

Arms – Grab the INSIDE of your right foot with your right hand, to begin opening your chest. Raise your left arm straight up, to come into the beginner pose above.

To move into the pose, exhale and lean forward slightly, raising your right leg and lowering your left arm to stay balanced. You may come as far forward as you are comfortable, but try to only lean as far forward with your arm as needed to offset lifting your leg. Eventually, you may grab your foot with both hands behind your head, but this expression of the pose requires master balance and flexibility.

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

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

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

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Brahmacharya (Moderation) – September 2021 – Ustrasana – Camel Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fourth of the YamasBrahmacharya or Moderation and Ustrasana or Camel Pose.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

Since we are in the middle of an Asana-focused set of practices for September, we featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Ustrasana and Ardha Ustrasana (ARD-huh oos-TRAH-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Brahmacharya, since this pose requires moderation – you must gently lean back and avoid straining to avoid injury! This is a great pose for monitoring your yoga journey with Asanas, because you will come further and further into backbends as you increase your flexibility. I actually prefer Ardha Ustrasana, or the half version, with a Mudra!

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Half Camel and/or Camel Pose for Brahmacharya Day! This is a common peak pose that you should only practice after warming up, in the middle to end of your session. This is an intermediate pose that should always be followed with a counter-pose such as Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose) or Balasana (Child’s Pose).

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

Ustrasana – Camel Pose

Ustrasana - Camel Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Ustrasana – Camel Pose

Start sitting on your feet in a comfortable kneeling position. On an inhale, come up onto your knees, keeping your legs about hip-distance apart and your feet pointing straight. Place your palms on your hips, with your fingers pointing forward and elbows pointing back. Exhale, press your hips forward while you roll your shoulders back and lift your chest, to come into a slight backend with your hands supporting your lower back. As you deepen the backend, you can reach one hand back at a time to hold your heels.

Beginner Yogis may want to come into Ardha Ustrasana – Half Camel Pose as pictured below. Reach only one hand back, and reach the other hand straight up. I like to touch my first finger to my thumb in a Mudra. If you are having problems reaching your heel, you can also come up onto your toes to decrease the distance you must reach!

Finally, to come out of this pose, inhale and put your hands back on your lower back, come back up onto your knees, and then sit back on your heels. Remember to always follow this pose with Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose) or Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Ardha Ustrasana - Half Camel Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Ardha Ustrasana – Half Camel Pose

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried both versions of Camel Pose before? Do you prefer a different Mudra with this pose? Always remember, be kind!

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Asteya (Non-Stealing) – September 2021 – Sasangasana – Rabbit Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the third of the YamasAsteya or Non-Stealing. Since we are in the middle of a September Daily Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Sasangasana (SAH–sahn-GAH-sa-nuh) or Rabbit Pose is my choice to represent Asteya since this is a moderate inversion pose where you must find the right balance for yourself, and one way to practice Asteya is examining and maintaining balance in our relationships, making sure to support those who support us.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana-focused set of practices for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Asteya Day today, I recommend a gentle Yin or Restorative class.

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Sasangasana / Rabbit Pose for Asteya Day! This is a beginner pose that is great for neck and shoulder tension, but you must be cautious to only go as far into this pose as you are comfortable.

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

Sasangasana – Rabbit Pose

Sasangasana - Rabbit Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Sasangasana – Rabbit Pose

Start in a comfortable kneeling position. Lean slightly forward, roll your back as much as possible, and place your head down on the mat in front of your knees. Grab the back of your feet with your hands, on an inhale, lift your hips and lean forward rolling onto the top of your head. Hold for 30-60 seconds, and release back to a kneeling position.

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried either version of Sasangasana / Rabbit Pose before? Always remember, be kind!

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Satya (Truthfulness) – September 2021 – Supta Virasana – Reclined Hero’s Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the second of the YamasSatya or Truthfulness. We are in the middle of a special Asana-focused round through the Sutras. Each day, we will feature a new Asana (including more intermediate poses) that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Supta Virasana (Sup-tuh Vi-RAH-sa-nuh) or Reclined Hero Pose is my choice to represent Satya, since I feel sharing kind truths requires both courage and openness represented by this pose.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of daily Asana-focused practices for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Satya Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner Flexibility (30 Minute), and switching out Camel Pose for Reclined Hero Pose!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Supta Virasana / Reclined Hero’s Pose for Satya Day! This is one of my favorite poses, and I often enjoy switching this pose with more targeted breathwork for Camel Pose. We will talk about how to get into this pose from a kneeling position today!

WARNING – This is an intermediate pose, requiring a lot of flexibility in the legs, lower back, and front of body. You may want to consider trying with one leg in front at a time, or only coming back into Ardha Supta Virasana or Half Reclined Hero Pose, especially if you have knee problems!

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Satya Day – share a kind truth with someone you care about!

Supta Virasana – Reclined Hero Pose

Start in a comfortable kneeling position. Lean slightly forward to bring your knees together and spread your feet, placing your bottom between your feet, your hands on your thighs, and sit tall in Virasana Pose for a few breaths. Keep your knees and seat grounded as you move from Virasana into the reclined pose.

Virasana - Hero's Hero Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Virasana – Hero Pose

Place your hands on the mat behind your seat with fingers pointing forward. Come down onto your elbows into Ardha Supta Virasana, or Half Reclined Hero Pose. This may be enough!

Ardha Supta Virasana - Half Reclined Hero Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Ardha Supta Virasana – Half Reclined Hero Pose

If you are able, keep walking your hands forward to lay all the way back on the ground. You can leave your hands here, next to your knees, or bring your hands together and rest behind your head for an extra chest and shoulder opening.

To come out of this pose, walk your arms back under your ribs and come back up onto your elbows into Ardha Supta Virasana, and slowly walk your arms and torso back up to Virasana. Make if you are placing one leg forward in a beginner modification to repeat this Asana on both sides!

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

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

You may want to try a couch pillow or blanket under the knees for extra support.

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! Have you tried the full or half version of Supta Virasana before? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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Ahimsa (Non-Harming) September 2021 – Parsva Balasana – Thread the Needle Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are beginning our cycle through the Yoga Sutras, and starting with the first of the YamasAhimsa or Non-Harming. We are beginning a special Asana-focused round through the Sutras. Each day, we will feature a new Asana (including more intermediate poses) that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Thread the Needle Pose or Parsva Balasana (PAR-svuh buh-LAH-sa-nuh) / is my choice to represent Ahimsa, since this is part of a great opening series to help avoid injury, by gently opening and warming up the back at the beginning of Asana practice!

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of daily Asana-focused practices for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Ahimsa Day today, I recommend a gentle Yin or Restorative class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner Combination (30 Minute), which includes a Cat / Cow opening!

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

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

Parsva Balasana – Thread the Needle Pose

Parsva Balasana - Thread the Needle Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Parsva Balasana – Thread the Needle Pose

We will perform on both sides, starting turning towards the LEFT with the RIGHT shoulder down.

Bharmanasana - tabletop pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Table Top – Bharmanasana
Click image above for our Yoga Ab Workout!

Feet & Legs – Start in Bharmanasana / Table Top with tops of feet laying on the mat and both hands directly under shoulders. Your legs should stay hip-distance apart in Table Top. You will keep both knees and feet grounded on the mat in table top through this Asana / pose!

Hips – Keep your hips in place when moving from Bharmanasana / Table Top with your hips over your knees.

Torso – On the exhale, you will keep your spine long and turn your rib cage to the left with your shoulder.

Arms and Head – On the exhale, slide your RIGHT hand and arm behind and under your LEFT hand. Keep ‘threading the needle’ until your RIGHT shoulder is on the ground, and rest your right ear on the mat. You can then reach your LEFT hand either straight in front of you on the mat, or reach straight up towards the sky.

Breathe into your ribs and hips, and hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. To come out, place your LEFT hand back down, and unthread your right arm to come back into Bharmasana / Table Top, and repeat on the other side.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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

Follow us on Instagram – easy access to our daily positive practices
Plus second daily reminder photo / edit On INSTAGRAM Only

@dailyyogi.world
tag us with your Asana pics!
enable notifications for pop-up reminders!

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 1 – August 2021 Yoga Challenge Day 13 – Meditation

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

cool perspective close-up evergreen pine needle branches over brown forest floor  - moving meditation mindfulness Quote: The more regularly and the more deeply you meditate, the sooner you will find yourself acting always from a center of peace. - J. Donald Walters
The more regularly and the more deeply you meditate, the sooner you will find yourself acting always from a center of peace. – J. Donald Walters

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. Today is also a night you can catch the Perseids Meteor Shower, so perhaps try this cool Celestial Visualization Guided Meditation or some meditative stargazing. 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!

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August 2021 Yoga Challenge – Intro Weekend – Resolutions and Intentions – 8 Limbs of Yoga

Good morning Yogis! We are beginning another 30 Day Intro Challenge for August. Yesterday we set our intentions for the month, and today we will set focuses for our 8 Limbs Practices. New Yogis – please just learn about the 8 Limbs for now!

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 a philosophy based focus or intention for yourself from the 8 Limbed Yoga Practices for August. In traditional Yoga this is something a Guru would recommend for his student, but this is a personal journey so please focus on prioritizing a few practices that you need in your life. Please review the 8 Limbs of Yoga and select one or two practices that you would like to focus on more often than our cycle of every 10-20 days with Daily Yogi.

Our daily practices will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout this month. If this is not your first month of Daily Yogi, consider setting coordinating your philosophical practice with a more physical daily Yoga practice (ie Asanas, Pranayama or Meditation) that is meaningful to you as we discussed yesterday! For example, if you have set Meditation as your daily practice and Ahimsa (non-violence) as your intention for the month, perhaps select Loving-Kindness Meditation for your daily meditation practice. Or, if you have selected Pranayama and Santosha (contentment), make sure to bring mindfulness to your breath work practices, focusing on the sensations throughout your body with each inhale and exahle.

If you have been with us since January, you may remember for 2021 I am prioritizing Svadhyaya (self-study) with increasing the frequency of my journaling habit, Satya (truthfulness) particularly with myself and things that no longer serve me, and Santosha (contentment) with mindfulness and living in the present moment. I have been very consistent with my Svadhyaya habit thanks to my 5 year daily prompt journal (see below in recommended journals) and my Santosha (contentment) mindfulness practices, but am happy to reflect and revisit my commitment to Satya (truthfulness) now mid-year.

cool perspective decordova sculpture garden shot of ent tree person sculpture background of summer new England garden with green leaves and gray rocks - yoga life Quote: True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied. - Aadil Palkhivala
True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied. – Aadil Palkhivala


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 if you would like to share your practice intentions for this challenge month. Stay tuned for our first positive practice from the Yoga Sutras on Monday – we will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout the month! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 20 – 2021 – 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) 

yogi gold gray background

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

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

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 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!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 1 – May 2021 Yoga Challenge – 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. Today is 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!

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Yoga Challenge – May 2021 – Resolutions and Intentions – 8 Limbs of Yoga

Good morning Yogis! We are beginning another 30 Day Intro Challenge for May. Yesterday we set our intentions for May, and today we will set focuses for our 8 Limbs Practices. New Yogis – please just learn about the 8 Limbs for now!

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 a philosophy based focus or intention for yourself from the 8 Limbed Yoga Practices for May. In traditional Yoga this is something a Guru would recommend for his student, but this is a personal journey so please focus on prioritizing a few practices that you need in your life. Please review the 8 Limbs of Yoga and select one or two practices that you would like to focus on more often than our cycle of every 10-20 days with Daily Yogi.

Our daily practices will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout this month. If this is not your first month of Daily Yogi, consider setting coordinating your philosophical practice with a more physical daily Yoga practice (ie Asanas, Pranayama or Meditation) that is meaningful to you as we discussed yesterday! For example, if you have set Meditation as your daily practice and Ahimsa (non-violence) as your intention for the month, perhaps select Loving-Kindness Meditation for your daily meditation practice. Or, if you have selected Pranayama and Santosha (contentment), make sure to bring mindfulness to your breath work practices, focusing on the sensations throughout your body with each inhale and exahle.

If you have been with us since January, you may remember for 2021 I am prioritizing Svadhyaya (self-study) with increasing the frequency of my journaling habit, Satya (truthfulness) particularly with myself and things that no longer serve me, and Santosha (contentment) with mindfulness and living in the present moment. I have been very consistent with my Svadhyaya habit thanks to my 5 year daily prompt journal (see below in recommended journals) and my Santosha (contentment) mindfulness practices, but am happy to reflect and revisit my commitment to Satya (truthfulness) now mid-year.

cool picture of omia vegas nightclub with purple and yellow lights - yoga practice self-improvement Quote: Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame. - B.K.S Iyengar
Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame. – B.K.S Iyengar


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 if you would like to share your practice intentions for this challenge month. Stay tuned for our first positive practice from the Yoga Sutras on Monday – we will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout the month! Always remember, be kind!

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 5 – 2021 – Balasana – Child’s Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fifth and last of the NiyamasIshvara Pranidhana or Surrender.

Since we are in the middle of an April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Balasana (bah-LA-sa-nuh) or Child’s Pose is my choice to represent Ishvara Pranidhana. I feel this pose, folding over from kneeing, represents the surrender. There are two versions of this pose that I enjoy practicing, and we will cover both variations.

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 Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, I recommend a gentle Yin or Restorative class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing a Forward Folds class that I feel embodies Ishvara Pranidhana

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Child’s Pose for Ishvara Pranidhana Day! Many Yoga Studios where I practiced in the past use only Wide Child’s Pose below. I prefer to use both versions of this pose in my practice. I start with regular Child’s Pose for about 30 seconds with palms up, then expand to Wide Child’s Pose for 30-45 seconds, then close legs and return to Child’s Pose again for 30 seconds before moving on.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Ishvara Pranidhana Day – try practicing acceptance in a difficult situation!

Balasana – Child’s Pose

Balasana - child child's pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Balasana – Child’s Pose

Start in a kneeling position, sitting on your feet with your knees about hip distance apart. Fold forward from your hips, resting your chest on your thighs. You can rest your chin or forehead on the mat. Bring your arms back behind you and rest your hands on the mat, and let your shoulders melt over your knees. Palms can face up for more of a stretch between your shoulders, or palms can face down for more of a lower back stretch.

Balasana – Wide Child’s Pose

Balasana - wide child's pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Balasana – Wide Child’s Pose

Start in Child’s Pose above. Bring your toes together, spread your thighs, and lay your chest between your legs on the mat. Bring your hands forward on the mat in front of you – your palms should always be down on the mat in Wide Child’s Pose.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold each pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. I start with regular Child’s Pose for about 30 seconds with palms up, then expand to Wide Child’s Pose for 30-45 seconds, and bring legs together and arms back to return to Child’s Pose again with palms down for 30 seconds before moving on. You can also use a couch pillow or block under your head or chest for extra support.

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

Follow us on Instagram – easy access to our daily positive practices
Plus second daily reminder photo / edit On INSTAGRAM Only

@dailyyogi.world
tag us with your Asana pics!
enable notifications for pop-up reminders!

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried both variations of Child’s Pose before? Can you feel a difference in the stretch flipping your palms in the first version of Balasana? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 5 – 2021 – Trikonasana & Utthita Parsvakonasana – Triangle & Extended Side Angle

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fourth of the NiyamasSvadhyaya or Self-Study and Trikonasana and Utthita Parsvakonasana.

Since we are in the middle of an April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Trikonasana (trih-ko-NA-sa-nuh) or Triangle Pose and Utthita Parsvakonasana (OOT-hit-tah PARS-va-ko-NA-sa-nuh) or Extended Side Angle Pose are my choices to represent Svadhyaya. I feel like I am literally turning back and looking at myself in these poses, a perfect embodiment of self-reflection.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Svadhyaya Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my old favorites with both of today’s poses – Intermediate Combination (30 Minutes).

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Triangle and Extended Side Angle Pose for Svadhyaya Day! These poses are common in all styles and levels of Yoga. I find these poses easiest to enter from a wide legged stance, flipping my legs into position, and leaning over into the pose. If you have a hard time reaching the ground, these are great poses to modify with a block to help open your chest to the side! Always make sure to perform these poses on both sides – it is easiest to come back up to wide legged pose, flip your feet, and perform on the other side

Journal DaY

Our first Svadhyaya Day, we started journals to have a source for self-study. I am using Svadhyaya Days to keep up with this practice.. perhaps make another journal entry with me today! I personally made increased Svadhyaya one of my New Years’ Resolutions this year, and have been using both daily prompt 5-year guided journal and more artsy guided journal that I already completed! The 5-year guided journal prompt for today 4/16 is “How do you think people describe you?” or maybe use of the following days’ prompts: “What is your most attractive quality?” or “Train, car, or airplane?”

Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

Trikonasana - triangle pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

Feet – Feet should be about 3 – 4 1/2 feet apart, flat on the ground. The front foot should point straight ahead, and the back foot should point straight to the side (or pointing slightly forward if hips are tight).

Legs – Your legs should both be straight. Keep back leg straight, with knee to the side. Keep front leg straight, with knee pointing forward.

Hips – Hips are debated in Triangle! I prefer to keep open to the side, but I have heard many Yoga Teachers recommend keeping stacked ie down to the ground. Perhaps try both, and see which feels better to your body!

Torso – Make sure you are bending from the hips, not the waist. Try to keep your torso facing to the side, as close to parallel to the ground as possible.

Arms – Your arms should be open to the side at your shoulders, palms open to the side. If you can, press your bottom hand into the mat or your shin to help your chest open to the side. If you cannot reach easily, press your hand into a block. Make sure to keep your shoulders pulled down and back, away from your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your neck in line with your body. If comfortable, look up at your hand. Otherwise, you can keep your head in line with your torso and look down or straight out to the side.

Trikonasana - triangle pose with block - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Trikonasana with block

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Utthita Parsvakonasana – Extended Side Angle

Utthita Parsvakonasana - extended side angle pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Utthita Parsvakonasana – Extended Side Angle

Feet – Feet should be about 3 – 4 1/2 feet apart, flat on the ground. The front foot should point straight ahead, and the back foot should point straight to the side (or pointing slightly forward if hips are tight).

Legs and Hips – Keep back leg straight, with knee to the side. Keep front leg bent, with front knee over ankle. Keep hips open to the side. Try to expand the space between your legs as your breathe in this pose.

Torso – Make sure you are bending from the hips, not the waist. Try to keep your torso facing to the side, as close to parallel to the ground as possible. Rotate your chest up to open to the side as much as possible

Arms – Reach your top arm straight over your head near your ear, making a straight line from your back foot to your top hand. If you can, press your bottom hand into the mat or your shin to help your chest open to the side. If you cannot reach the mat easily, bend your arm and rest on your knee, or press your hand into a block. Make sure to keep your shoulders pulled down and back, away from your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your neck in line with your body. If comfortable, look up at your hand. Otherwise, you can keep your head in line with your torso and look down or straight out to the side.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee


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.

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

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Triangle, Extended Side Angle, or the modified variations before? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 5 – 2021 – Utkatasana – Powerful / Chair Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the third of the NiyamasTapas or Discipline and Utkatasana.

Since we are in the middle of an April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Utkatasana (oot-kah-TA-sa-nuh) or Chair pose is my choice to represent Tapas. This is a challenging pose, and a great workout when held for an extended time. The literal translation from Sanskrit is Powerful or Intense Pose. If you hold this Asana for a full minute, I am sure you will feel why this pose was named “Intense”!

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 Tapas Day today, I recommend a vigorous Power Yoga class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing a new Hip Hop Vinyasa.

Each Tapas day, we check in on our progress with the daily habits we have set for ourselves. It typically takes 30 Days to set a new habit (which is why I love these 30 Day Challenges!) so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up.. perhaps it is time to add a new daily habit to your routine!! If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success! Yoga is a practice, and successfully changing our habits is about consistency, so we will keep checking in on our goals on Tapas Days.

As mentioned we are in a daily Asana Challenge, which I have kept up with by wearing workout clothes to bed and practicing first thing in the morning. I also have a daily habit of practicing French or Spanish with Duolingo… I am pretty pleased with myself recently passing a 200 Day Streak! I have missed fewer than 20 days in all of 2020, but there is just something very rewarding about the increasing number of days in a row. And, lastly, this daily Asana Challenge has helped put me on the right path to meet another goal – hitting all three rings on my Apple Watch.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Chair Pose for Tapas Day! This pose is common in all styles and levels of Yoga. It is a great alternative to backbends to stretch thighs and back, and is a fantastic workout for legs and glutes when held for 30-60 seconds!

For an off-the-mat practice for Tapas Day – set or check-in on a meaningful daily habit!

Utkatasana – Chair or Powerful Pose

Utkatasana - powerful chair pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Utkatasana – Chair Pose

Start standing in Tadasana / Mountain Pose. Separate your feet to about hip-distance apart.

Inhale and lift your arms above your head, palms facing in, and sit your hips back as if you are sitting back in a chair. Keep your shoulders down and back straight, and try to get your thighs as close to parallel to the ground as possible. It is more important to have a straight back than to “sit” lower into your chair. Look up between your hands if comfortable.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. I recommend playing with weight in your feet a bit through this pose – generally you should keep all weight in your heels. Perhaps try lifting your toes slightly from the mat! Or, shift your weight into the balls of your feet, and try lifting your heels slightly from the mat, preparing for more advanced variations of this pose like Awkward Pose (a Hot Yoga favorite) and Drinking Bird Pose. Or, try placing a block between your knees for an even more challenging lower-body workout!

To come out of Utkatasana, inhale and straighten your knees back to Tadasana / Mountain Pose, then exhale and lower your arms – you may want to come all the way forward into Uttanasana / Standing Forward Fold to counter this pose after holding for a long time.

Utkatasana - powerful chair pose variation - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Utkatasana with toes lifted

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Utkatasana or the more advanced variations before? Always remember, be kind!

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 5 – 2021 – Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the second of the NiyamasSantosha or Contentment. Since we are in the middle of an April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Ananda Balasana (ah-NAN-duh buh-LA-sa-nuh) or Happy Baby pose is my choice to represent Santosha. In addition to having a synonym for contentment in the name, it is hard not to smile rocking back and forth like a happy baby in this pose!

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 Santosha Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Intermediate Flexibility, and adding an extra Ananda Balasana at the end of this series.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Happy Baby Pose for Santosha Day! This pose is a favorite among all levels of Yogis, and is a great passive hip opener.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Santosha Day – try a mindfulness practice to find contentment in the present moment!

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Ananda Balasana - happy baby pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Start laying on your back in Savasana / Corpse Pose with your knees bent and feet on the mat. Exhale and hug your knees in towards your chest.. you may want to enjoy this pose for a few breaths before coming into this pose!

Inhale and reach your hands between your knees. Grab the outside of each foot, exhale and spread your legs to each side of your torso. Ideally, your thighs will be parallel to the ground on each side of your torso and your feet will be flat up to the sky, but only bring your legs down as far as is comfortable. Your arms should be gently spreading your legs to the sides rather than forcing them down to the ground.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. You can stay still, or rock slightly side to side like a happy baby this pose is named for. When you’re ready, release your feet and come back into Savasana / Corpse Pose with your knees bent and feet on the mat.

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried this pose before? Always remember, be kind!

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Saucha – Purity – Day 5 – 2021 – Parivrtta Sukhasana & Jathara Parivartanasana – Seated & Reclined Twist Poses

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the first of the NiyamasSaucha or Purity. Since we are in the middle of an April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Seated Twist or Parivrtta Sukhasana (pa-ree-VRR-tah sook-HA-sana) and Reclined Twist or Jathara Parivartanasana (jah-TAH-ruh PAH-ree-var-tah-NAH-sa-nuh) are my choices to represent Saucha, since these twisting Asanas assist in detoxification according to BKS Iyengar. I have seen this twisting/detoxifying benefit debated, but most agree that twisting Asanas do help with digestion.

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 Saucha Day today, I recommend a gentle Yin or Restorative class which will likely feature these twisting poses.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Twist and Align, which includes many twisting poses!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try our twisting Asanas for Saucha Day! These poses are frequently included near the end of class for all levels Yogis and all styles of Yoga. Make sure to hold these twisting poses for a few breaths, and ALWAYS practice twisting Asanas on both sides!

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Saucha Day – try a self-care deep clean!

Parivrtta Sukhasana – Seated Twist Pose

Parivrrta Sukhasana - seated twist easy pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Parivrrta Sukhasana – Seated Twist – Easy Pose

Start in a comfortable cross-legged position of your choice – I prefer Siddhasana over Sukhasana. If the cross-legged positions are not comfortable seats for you, you can try in Virasana instead. Whatever seat you choose, make sure your hips and shoulders are aligned and stacked over each other before you begin, and upon returning to center.

Inhale and sit tall, perhaps press your hands into your knees to help lengthen your spine. On an exhale, bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee, and rest your right fingers on the mat behind you to bring your shoulders around to the right.

Lengthen your spine on inhales, and twist a bit further if comfortable on exhales in twisting poses. You can gently press your fingers into your knee to help deepen the twist. Hold for several breaths, and return to center on an inhale.

Make sure to repeat on both sides! If you are seated in a cross-legged position, flip your feet the opposite way and perform again on both sides.

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Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined Twist Pose

Jathara Parivartanasana - reclined twist - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined Twist Pose

Start laying on your back in Shavasana or Corpse Pose with your knees bent and feet on the mat. Exhale and hug your knees in towards your chest.. you may want to enjoy this pose for a few breaths before starting the twist!

Inhale and bring your legs up slightly away from your chest so your knees are over your hips, and extend your arms straight out at shoulder height with palms facing down to prepare for the twist. On an exhale, lower both legs down to the right until your right knee touches the ground, making sure your knees stay parallel to or below hip level (NOT tucked up towards your arms, which can cause injury!). Try to keep both shoulders on the ground. If comfortable, you can lift your head slightly and look towards the left, or just keep looking straight up.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. Inhale to lift your legs and come back to center, then exhale your legs down to the left and repeat on the other side.

For a slightly deeper twist you can either hop your butt slightly to the left before twisting to the right, and repeat this little pre-twist booty hop on the other side. For a much deeper twist, you can cross your left leg over right leg before lowering legs to the right, and vice versa.

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

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I would recommend a block, couch pillows, or perhaps a folded-up blanket for support under the seat.

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried these twisting poses before? Always remember, be kind!

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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 5 – 2021 – Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Standing Hand to Big Toe

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

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

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

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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

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

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

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

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana Variation – Standing Hand to Big Toe Variation

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

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

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

Torso – Notice your rib cage in mountain pose. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. Make sure you keep your back straight throughout this Asana, and do not let your shoulders or lower back round.

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

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

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Standing Hand to Big Toe

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

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

Torso – Notice your rib cage in mountain pose. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. Make sure you keep your back straight throughout this Asana, and do not let your shoulders or lower back round. If you notice your back rounding, either bend your knee slightly to straighten your back, or work the beginner version of this Asana above until you can come into parallel to the ground without losing your posture.

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

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

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

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

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

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Brahmacharya – Moderation – Day 5 – 2021 – Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fourth of the YamasBrahmacharya or Moderation and Anuvittasana.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

Since we are in the middle of an April Daily Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Standing Backbend or Anuvittasana (Ah-NUH-vee-TAH-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Brahmacharya, since this pose requires moderation – you must gently lean back and avoid straining to avoid injury! This is a great pose for monitoring your yoga journey with Asanas, because you will come further and further into backbends as you increase your flexibility. Moreover, this pose literally translates from Sanskrit as “found” or “obtained” pose. I think further emphasizes the journey aspect of this Asana.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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

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

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

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

Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

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

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

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

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

Torso – Notice your rib cage in Tadasana / Mountain Pose. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. First inhale your hands into position, and then exhale as you gently press your hips forward and lean your torso back into a comfortable backbend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 5 – 2021 – Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

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

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Intermediate Balance (30 Minute), which includes series moving between Salamba Sarvangasana / Supported Shoulder Stand and Halasana / Plow Pose!

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

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

Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 5 – 2021 – Parighasana – Gate Pose

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

beach under pier water cool ocean perspective - satya truthfulness sufi saying Quote: Before you speak let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate ask yourself - is it true? At the second gate ask - is it necessary? At the third gate ask - is it kind? - Sufi Saying
Before you speak let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate ask yourself – is it true? At the second gate ask – is it necessary? At the third gate ask – is it kind? – Sufi Saying

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 an alignment-focused Iyengar class.

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

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

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Satya Day – share a kind truth with someone you care about!

Parighasana – Gate Pose

Parighasana - gate pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Parighasana – Gate Pose

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You may want to try a couch pillow or blanket under the knees for extra support.

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 5 – 2021 – Marjaryasana / Bitilasana – Cat / Cow

Good morning Yogis! We are beginning our cycle through the Yoga Sutras, and starting with the first of the YamasAhimsa or Non-Harming. Since we are in the middle of an April bonus daily Asana Challenge, we will revisit Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Cat / Cow or Marjaryasana (Mahr-jar-ee-AH-sa-nuh) / Bitilasana (Bih-Ti-LA-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Ahimsa, since this series is a great opening series to help avoid injury, by gently opening and warming up the back at the beginning Asana practice!

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 Ahimsa Day today, I recommend a gentle Yin or Restorative class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner Combination (30 Minute), which includes a cat/cow opening!

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

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

Bharmanasana - tabletop pose - yoga pose girl wearing platform black high heels and tiger dress, yoga in the forest, sexy yoga girl
Table Top – Bharmanasana
Click image above for our Yoga Ab Workout!

Marjaryasana – Cat Pose

Marjaryasana - cat pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Marjaryasana – Cat Pose

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

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

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

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Bitilasana – Cow Pose

Bitilasana - cow pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Bitilasana – Cow Pose

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

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

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

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Come into Bitilasana / Cow on inhales, and Marjaryasana / Cat on exhales. Repeat a few times. I recommend this series to stretch and warm up the spine and torso at the beginning of Asana practice!

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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 17 – 2021 – 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!

ominous gray storm clouds over rocky mountain lowlands with light snow  covering brown and grey rocky peaks and green succulent in foreground - upper limbs of yoga meditation mindfulness Quote: The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness. - Sakyong Mipham
The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness. – Sakyong Mipham

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!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 15 – 2021 – Dharana – Intense Focus – Guided Meditation & Meditative Practices

Good Morning Yogis! We are nearing the end of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March. 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.

close-up bright green succulents in bright sunlight - upper limbs of yoga dharana meditation intense focus Quote: Dharana locks consciousness on a single place, object, or idea. - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Dharana locks consciousness on a single place, object, or idea. – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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) 

yogi gold gray background

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

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

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 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!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 11 – 2021 – Dharana – Intense Focus – Guided Meditation & Meditative Practices

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March. 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) 

yogi gold gray background

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

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

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 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!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 1 – 2021 – Meditation

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

close up deep red blooming lilly with yellow center and dark green leaves in background - meditation breathing understanding Quote: Without full awareness of breathing, there can be no development of meditative stability and understanding. - Thich Nhat Hanh
Without full awareness of breathing, there can be no development of meditative stability and understanding. – Thich Nhat Hanh

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. I recommend today’s breath focused meditation, which is challenging but a great meditation for progression through the Upper Limbs. You can scan through all of our recent meditations or check our most 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!

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New Year 2021 Resolutions and Intentions – 8 Limbs of Yoga

Good morning Yogis! We are running another 30 Day Intro Challenge for January. Typically we start on Saturdays with Resolutions / Intention Setting, but we will do 3 days of Resolutions and Intention for the New Year. We set our New Years Resolutions and examined Dharma, and today we will set focuses for our 8 Limbs Practices. New Yogis – please just learn about the 8 Limbs for now!

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 focus for yourself from the 8 Limbed Yoga Practices for 2021. In traditional Yoga this is something a Guru would recommend for his student, but this is a personal journey so please focus on prioritizing a few practices that you need in your life. Our daily practices cycle through the 8 Limbs of Yoga, and I am currently focused on daily Asana practice for the month of January. For 2021, I am prioritizing Svadhyaya (self-study) with increasing the frequency of my journaling habit, Satya (truthfulness) particularly with myself and things that no longer serve me, and Santosha (contentment) with mindfulness and living in the present moment. Last year I prioritized Ahimsa (non-harming) and Meditation. Or, consider the Karma Yoga path of Ghandi with prioritizing Ahimsa (non-harming) and Satya (truthfulness). Or, review the 8 Limbs of Yoga and select a few that you would like to practice more frequently than every 10-20 days with Daily Yogi.

ominous purple cloud alpine sunset in mountains with darkened pine trees - yoga sutras mind Quote: Yoga is the ending of disturbances of the mind. - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Yoga is the ending of disturbances of the mind. – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


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.

Our daily practices will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout January. If this is not your first month of Daily Yogi, consider setting another daily Yoga practice (ie Asanas, Pranayama or Meditation) that is meaningful to you!

Please comment if you would like to share your practice priorities for 2021 or January. Stay tuned for our first positive practice from the Yoga Sutras on Monday – we will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout January! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 13 – Meditation – New Years Eve

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

glowing purple alpine sunset in mountains with darkened pine trees - meditation mindfulness stillness Quote: Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight. - Ajahn Brahm
Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight. – Ajahn Brahm

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is any Meditation Practice for Upper Limbs Day. You can scan through all of our recent meditations or check our most recent Dharana Day Post for a variety of focused meditative practices.

New Years Eve

Today is also New Years Eve, the last day of the year. 2020 has been a difficult year, so I am doing some energy clearing guided meditation and theta wave ambient noise meditation today. If these do not resonate with you, perhaps try a guided meditation on finding your path or Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation.

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!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 11 – 2020 – Meditation

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

bright blue alpine lake in snow-capped mountain valley with bright blue cloudless sky - meditation mindfulness stillness Quote: The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. - James Allen
The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. – James Allen

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. You can scan through all of our recent meditations or check our most recent Dharana Day Post for a variety of focused meditative practices.

I want to report back on my new sleep meditation that I have been trying this month! I have NOT been perfect with this habit, and have not kept up with listening to this every night (quite a few nights I fell asleep with the television on) . However, I have found when I used this 8-hour sleep meditation I not only fall asleep faster, but I stay asleep better throughout the night. I wonder if the ambient noise puts me back to sleep if I am waking up? Either way, I am very pleased to have found a natural sleep aid for my tool box!

Diwali

Today is also the peak day of Diwali – India’s Festival of Lights. This is a 5 day Festival which has been going on (in fact my Ekadashi fasting earlier this week is celebrated before Diwali’s Feasting) for two days already. This third day is the peak of this festival of lights – perhaps get some Diwali sprit for your meditation practice today by lighting a candle and doing a flame-gazing meditation or trying this Diwali-themed meditation.

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 sleep meditation, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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