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

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

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

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

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

Blank Mandalas

Check out my favorite Mandala Coloring books and supplies


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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 8 – Dharana – Intense Focus – Guided Meditation & Meditative Practices

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October’s Emotional Wellness Month. 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 discuss 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) 

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 3 – Dharana – Intense Focus

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breath-focused Dharana Meditation

Body Scanning Guided Meditation

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation

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

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

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Niyamas #5 – Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Intro

Daily Yogi branch of Niyamas lower limb of yoga - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana
Niyamas – Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Ishvara Pranidhana (Ish-VA-ra PRA-knee-DAH-na) is literally translated to English as  “renouncing the fruits of action” (thank you Thiru at classicyoga.co.in for this translation!) to all-pervading consciousness. The more common translations include surrender or devotion (which we will use for brevity), and the essential concept here is faith in a higher power. This surrender is not about giving up hope when you face your problems, but acceptance. It helps to recall the full translation from Sanskrit above for the true meaning of this practice: non-attachment to outcomes of our actions. Ishvara Pranidhana is typically the most confusing of the Niyamas, especially for new Yogis or those who do not practice outside religions.

Despite the difficulty of both understanding and incorporating this last of the Niyamas into our lives, it is often one of the most rewarding. We all have good days, and we all have bad days. The essence of this is allowing the bad days to pass, trying to believe everything happens for a reason, and keeping moving forward in positive directions despite challenges we may face. I have called my short temper in the past “Ginger Rage”. Tantrum is probably more appropriate… for example very frequently swearing if I get cut off on the highway. But has my little tantrum helped the situation at all?

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

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

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

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Niyamas #4 – Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Intro

Daily Yogi branch of Niyamas lower limb of yoga - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana
Niyamas – Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Svadhyaya (svad-HYEYE-ya) literally translates from Sanskrit as reading or reciting to oneself, but is typically translated as self-study. Svadhyaya includes not only self-study, but also study of “sacred texts.” This includes the sacred texts of Yoga such as the Yoga Sutras where we take inspiration for Yogi Daily’s positive practices. This also includes reading or studying sacred texts of any and all world religions such as the Bible, Buddhist texts, or whatever religious or philosophical texts resonate with you.

Svadhyaya is all about approaching life with the open mind and heart of a scholar, continuously leaning and growing. It is also about actually practicing learning. This is our first Svadhyaya day, so we will focus on self-study and new beginnings rather than scripture.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to start keeping a journal. I have found a journal to be one of the best ways to study and learn oneself, directly from yourself! Buy a guided or blank paper journal, or make a free online journal (password protect for privacy!) with LiveJournal or WordPress. If you already keep a journal or diary, start adding to your entries about this new journey you are beginning with us. Remember to include notes about both events and your feelings.


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.

Want more Ideas for journal day?
Check our Journal prompts board on Pinterest!

Please comment and let us know if you keep a diary/journal now, or if this is new for you! If this is already part of your life, please share how often you write or your feelings and experience with keeping a journal. If this is new for you, let us know if you went paper or electronic, and how you feel about staring this new practice. Always remember, be kind!

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Niyamas #3 – Tapas – Discipline – Intro

Daily Yogi branch of Niyamas lower limb of yoga - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana
Niyamas – Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Tapas (TAH-pas) is one of the easiest of the Niyamas to understand. Tapas is derived from a Sanskrit root meaning “to burn”. Tapas is often translated as self-discipline.

Tapas / self-discipline is what helps us build daily rituals and practices. We tap into Tapas when we push ourselves to get on the Yoga mat every day when we do not feel like it, or do necessary homework or work tasks that we find boring, or commit and stick to daily meditation or a healthy diet. I created the Daily Yogi App as a Tapas tool to encourage myself and those who would like to join to be a little better every day.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to select a meaningful positive new habit or practice to do every day, and set yourself up for success. Need suggestions? It can be big or small. Maybe you commit to this Daily Yogi journey of positive practices with our group every day. Maybe you commit to daily Asana / physical Yoga practice. Perhaps you have always wanted to meditate every day… well, today is the day to start! If you always wanted to learn a language, check out the free Duolingo site and app and get started (and feel free to add me, TarrynTyler as your Duolingo friend). If you’re an insatiable consumer of education like me, check out these free EdX online courses from Harvard or look around the EdX site for other free classes from other schools. Maybe you want to eat healthy, or try out a new fad diet, or start taking supplements. Whatever is meaningful for you, make the commitment today!

Now, for the second part.. Set yourself up for success! Tapas is not just about setting a goal, it is about exercising self-discipline and follow through. If you use a calendar or planner, write your goal down every day. Maybe add a daily reminder, alarm, or calendar appointment on your phone. Try getting sticky notes and sticking on your bathroom mirror, just inside the front door, or on your night stand.. maybe all three spots! If you have similar friends or family members, maybe try out an accountability-buddy, a friendly competition, or a group 30 Day Challenge. Perhaps schedule giving yourself a small reward on the weekend for sticking to your new habit for the full week. Also, physically set yourself up for success… buy the right foods and dispose of temptations for diet changes, set out exercise equipment and clothes the night before if you want to wake up and exercise, schedule out your lessons to complete by a meaningful date, etc. Whatever methods work for you, try any and all ways to gently encourage yourself to make positive changes or accomplish your goals.

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today’s practice and daily pop-up reminders!

Please comment to share your experience if you tried one of our suggestions, or one of your own! Always remember, be kind!

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Niyamas #2 – Santosha – Contentment – Intro

Daily Yogi branch of Niyamas lower limb of yoga - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana
Niyamas – Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Santosha (san-TOE-shah) is literally translated as complete contentment. Personally, I find Santosha as similar to practicing the positive of Aparigraha (non-attachment) or gratitude within ourselves, as opposed to with our surroundings. If you are a new Yogi beginning your Yoga journey, it is important to bring this concept of Santosha in your Asana practice.

Many of you will be surprised to hear I could not touch my toes until I was 30 years old! This was not due to lack of effort… I was athletic throughout my youth, and performed various styles of dance throughout my life. However, despite me pushing myself during stretching especially in ballet class, my toes were always *just* beyond my reach. At 24, I sustained a sacral fracture and was basically couch-ridden for over a month. It was a very long and painful healing process, complete with super strong prescription painkillers that did nothing for my pain (ginger problems). After being told I would have pain throughout my life, I finally decided to try Yoga.

I am sure you Yogis either have heard or will hear in the Yoga community “Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is about what you learn on the way down.” I have to admit.. when I started getting serious about Yoga, for me it was VERY much about touching my toes. I compared myself to everyone else in the Yoga class who could easily touch their toes or fold into advanced versions of various poses, while I struggled to get half way into the “easy” version. I share this with you, because it is so common for newbies like me!

After continued classes at Yoga studios and home Asana practice, after about three years I could finally touch my toes! I did this not by bouncing or pushing myself in painful deep stretches like I had tried for about a decade in dance, but by gently holding poses while focusing on correct alignment, and breathing myself open. I also learned on the way down that I had been generally holding my breath while pushing myself throughout my dance stretches, completely counter to the way I typically breathed through movement in dance.

I had another lesson in Santosha at a Hot Yoga studio shortly after I began seriously practicing. I started regularly attending beginner classes at a Hot Yoga studio, and heard other students talking about a wonderful hot Vinyasa class held in the evenings. I felt confident after improving in my beginner classes, and decided to check it out. I walked in for the class and saw a few other students MEDITATING IN PERFECT HEAD STANDS in the Hot Yoga room. I was extremely impressed and intimidated. The class started, and it was a super challenging and dynamic “Warm” Vinyasa class that I could barely keep up with. I ended up spending about half the class in Child’s Pose recovering, and was slightly embarrassed at being the newbie in the room. However, 30 minutes of deep breathing in Child’s Pose in the Hot Yoga room may have been EXACTLY what I needed. This was the day I finally cured the nagging pain in my lower back from my sacral injury, from my story above. Also, at the end of class, one of the shirtless ripped Yogi guys who had been relaxing in an impressive handstand at the start of class told me he did the same thing his first class.

As we progress further into more advanced Asanas / Yoga poses, you will encounter some that you may never do. Some poses, such as Eka Pada Sirsasana / Leg Behind Head Pose or Kurmasana / Turtle Pose, are journeys in themselves. It is essential for Yogis to weave this concept of Santosha / contentment into our physical Asana practice. Do not compare yourself to others in the room, or even yourself from another day of practice. Be compassionate with yourself and your body, and be content with where you are today. Notice and appreciate where you are, and observe yourself rather than judge yourself as you gently move forward on your journey.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to weave Santosha / contentment into your Asana or physical Yoga practice. Notice and appreciate where you are in your practice without judgement. If you are a new Yogi, maybe promise yourself to be gentle with your body, not comparing yourself to more flexible practitioners. More advanced Yogis also should be gentle with their bodies, and perhaps should revisit this concept of contentment with our journeys. Perhaps you have taken time off from practice.. release the guilt, spend a few minutes on your mat, and enjoy the time you make for yourself. Please keep in mind, exercising contentment in your Asana practice is essential to avoid injury!

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

Do not push yourself to pain on your Yoga Journey! Many Yogis of all levels embrace all kinds of blocks and props. Do not hesitate to grab a couch pillow for extra support, a block for extra support or when you cannot reach the floor, or a strap for extra arm-reach and leverage.

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 how you bring contentment and acceptance to your Asana practice, or another aspect of your life today. Always remember, be kind!

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Niyamas #1 – Saucha – Purity – Intro

Daily Yogi branch of Niyamas lower limb of yoga - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana
Niyamas – Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

We have completed introducing and practicing each of the Yamas and hopefully, we have brightened the world we interact with over the last few days. I remember Ni-yamas as IN-Yamas, or our inner ethics. Niyamas (KNEE-ya-mas) are guidelines for our own personal habits or observances.

Saucha (SOW-cha) literally translates as purity or cleanliness from Sanskrit. This is a logical first for Yoga’s personal observances.. many of us start our day with a shower every morning. Saucha is about purity of the body as well as the mind, and reminds us to take a self-inventory of behaviors in our lives that no longer serve us, like unhealthy habits or negative thoughts.

We are still in the days of COVID quarantine. If I examine my own habits, I am sure my past self who lived in muggy Atlanta and showered every morning would cast a side-eye at my new every other day shower habit. Did I become a dirty hippie when I moved from Atlanta to the mountains of Colorado? Perhaps.. it is certainly debatable 🙂 However the main reason is more closely related to the super dry air at 11,000 feet where I live, that was causing excessively dry skin when I was showering more frequently. Daily Saucha practices will vary depending on your own body and your own needs. We will talk about Ayurveda, a sister science to yoga with many cleanliness rituals, during upcoming challenge days.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to pamper yourself with a deep cleaning or other self-care. Need some ideas? Keep it basic with a long shower or relaxing bubble bath. Maybe give yourself a pedicure, with a warm foot soak and lotion massage after, whether you paint your toes or not. Perhaps try a tooth whitening treatment. Relax with a face mask and cucumber slices over your eyes. If you want to try a new Ayurvedic practice, maybe try oil-pulling (I recommend 2-15 minutes, not 20-30) with coconut oil. If the days of social distancing are done, maybe book a last minute facial or salon treatment of your choice. Whatever practice feels right for you to integrate Saucha into your day.

Want more Self-Care Ideas and hacks?
Check our Self Care Board On Pinterest!

Please comment to share your experience if you tried one of our suggestions, or one of your own! Always remember, be kind!

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Yamas #5 – Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Intro

Daily Yogi branch of Yamas lower limb of yoga - Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha
Yamas – Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha

Aparigraha (ah-PA-ree-GRA-ha) is “non-grasping on all sides” in a direct translation from Sanskrit. It is frequently translated as non-attachment or non-possessiveness.

This is an interesting topic for us in the Western World. We live in a very capitalist society, where most of us are constantly working and pushing for the next cool gadget, promotion, or life milestone. Aparigraha is about both not attaching ourselves to a particular outcome, and also gratitude and enjoying the present moment. If we are focused on the next thing in the future, we often miss out on what is right in front of us. This does not mean we should not put forth our best efforts or pursue things that make us happy, but the key is to focus on the present and actually experience and appreciate each moment.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to make a list of 5 things you are grateful for in your life, right now. Need some ideas? They can be big or small. You may be grateful for physical things like your health or your long hair or your home or your beautiful garden. You may be grateful for your family or friends or pets. You may be proud of something you accomplished or positive personal traits like humor or loyalty. You may be grateful for past learning experiences or positive changes you see in yourself or the world. Or, these are tough times.. if you are proud for getting out of bed or taking a shower, or putting on pants for your zoom meeting, then celebrate small victories! This practice is about finding the joy and blessings in the moment. Focus your attention to positivity and abundance already in your life, rather than putting off your happiness for something in the future.

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Yamas #4 – Brahmacharya – Moderation – Intro

Daily Yogi branch of Yamas lower limb of yoga - Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha
Yamas – Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha

Brahmacharya (BRA-ma-KA-ree-yuh) literally means “on the path of God” in a direct translation from Sanskrit. It is often translated to English as celibacy or continence. I prefer the slightly less literal translation of Godlike, because it reminds me of a song by a German band, but I believe Brahmacharya’s true meaning to be “moderation.” What comes up for you from these various translations?

I took a course on Japanese Religions as part of my incomplete Japanese minor in college, and this particular practice reminds me of the middle path in Buddhism. What does this mean? Without getting too far into Buddhist philosophy (maybe later.. Buddhist and Yoga philosophy are very similar in some areas), the Middle Path of Moderation is a central tenet of Buddhism and major part of the Buddha’s journey to enlightenment. In this part of the story, he examines his experiences with a hedonistic life of luxury as a prince, and a minimalist austere life of a monk with extended fasting. He realizes neither of these lifestyles is healthy or sustainable for a long time, and a Middle Path of eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is more ideal than either extreme.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is making a conscious choice of living in moderation or taking the middle path. Need some ideas? It can be big or small. Look for temptations during the day, and neither indulge nor ignore the craving, but instead make a healthy choice. Like maybe a salad instead of fast food, or fruit instead of candy, or yogurt instead of cake or ice cream. Or have a small serving of exactly what you are craving.. Maybe have just a couple pieces of candy instead of NOMMING the whole bag. Can you tell I LOVE candy 🙂 Or maybe make today the first day taking steps to minimize an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Perhaps get a nicotine gum or patch to stop smoking, or plan a reasonable cut-back schedule with small goals you can reach rather than the cold-turkey approach. If you have been super busy with work and family with our current quarantine situation, ask for help and take 15 minutes minimum to spoil yourself with a bath or workout or even a nap, whatever you need! Or, choose your own way to practice a more balanced lifestyle today that feels right to you.

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Yamas #3 – Asteya – Non-Stealing – Intro

Daily Yogi branch of Yamas lower limb of yoga - Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha
Yamas – Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha

Asteya (Ah-STAY-yuh) translates to English as Non-Stealing, and is another universal moral and reflection of the golden rule in the Yamas. Asteya of course means literally not stealing possessions, but it also means not stealing or being selfish with the time, energy, and ideas of others. The positive opposite behavior of stealing that we want to encourage is generosity. There is a balance between giving and receiving.. one should not allow oneself to be taken advantage of, along with not taking advantage of others.

Asteya can be a deep philosophical consideration for yourself, examining situations where you may be acting a bit selfishly or taking advantage because you can. However, I hate to keep saying it.. but we are in difficult times and many are struggling right now. So, let’s focus on bringing more positivity to the world today.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a random act of generosity. Need some ideas? It can be big or small. If you can, make a donation to a food bank, or charity to help those in need, since many people are out of work and struggling to feed their families. If you are short on cash, ask someone you care about who is having a tough time if you can help with household chores, or yard work, or anything else to make their lives easier and take something off their plate. Go through the pantry, or old clothes, or the garage, and donate to someone you care about or a charitable organization. Whatever feels like the right way for you to practice being generous and sharing with others.

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Yamas #2 – Satya – Truthfulness – Intro

Daily Yogi branch of Yamas lower limb of yoga - Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha
Yamas – Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha

As you will notice, much of the Yamas, or Interpersonal Ethics, are based fairly universally agreed upon morals and the Golden Rule. This iteration means being truthful to others and with yourself, in thoughts, words, and actions.

It is important to note that the literal translation of Satya (SAHT-yah) is truth, but it is often translated as Benevolent Truthfulness. This means it is usually better to keep a hurtful truth to oneself. If you determine it is necessary to share a hurtful truth, make sure to do so as gently and compassionately as possible. On a deeper level, Satya is about more than just not telling lies, but about seeing the reality of situations, others, and ourselves.

I think with the current COVID health and economic situations, as well as current events and news recently, we are all suffering with an abundance of hurtful truths (and untruths) in the world. We all can use more benevolent truths.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is sharing a kind truth with someone you care about. Need some ideas? Let’s make it big today… these are hard times and we could all use a big pick me up! Do not compliment someone about something that changes every day, like their hair or outfit. Contact your best friend just to say how much you admire their drive, or loyalty or the ability to always make you laugh. Tell your significant other how much you appreciate the thing you love most about them. Call a friend or family member who had a significant positive impact on your life, and let them know how thankful you are. Message an old colleague or boss who helped you on your path, and thank them for their mentoring. Reach out to someone you love and/or someone you know could use a pick-me-up.

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Yamas #1 – Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Intro

Daily Yogi branch of Yamas lower limb of yoga - Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha
Yamas – Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha

Welcome New Yogis! If you are in a 30 Day Challenge, you may want to check the challenge welcome page and shortcut page, and get free printable calendars and checklists!

Happy June Yogis! I feel it is auspicious to start this Daily Yogi journey on the first of the month!

Many of the translations from Sanskrit to English for the Yamas (YAH-muhs), or Interpersonal Ethics, are things you should NOT do. I consider many of the Yamas to be different embodiments of The Golden Rule – “do unto others as you would want done to you.” Of course we aim to not do the negative thing, but on the flip side we also should try to embody the positive opposite.

Ahimsa (Ah-HIM-sa) literally translates to English as “to not harm”, and is often translated as compassion or non-violence. I believe Ahimsa is all about positivity and doing the right thing. To practice Ahimsa, we try to avoid harming others physically or with speech/thoughts, and to practice kindness and compassion. This means nurturing positive actions, words, and thoughts.

Please note that perfect adherence to many yoga principles is not possible for most normal people. Technically, non-harming is impossible for many professions such as farmers harvesting crops or raising livestock, and physicians who may have bad outcomes despite the best training, efforts, and intentions. No one should give up a profession that may result in unintended harm, or fret that an accident or a lifestyle you grew up with (ie a non-vegan diet) will hinder you on your journey. You probably are not a monk, and therefore perfect adherence is not expected of you. That said, you should always do your best within reason to avoid harming others. The main lesson of Ahimsa, in my opinion is to do the right thing, be a good person, and cultivate positive thoughts, words, and actions. What that means to you and your lifestyle is personal, like much of the Yogi’s Journey.

We are in strange times here in 2020. Between COVID’s health, social, and economic impacts, I am sure we can all agree the world can use more kindness. So, let’s start easy.

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

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Ashtanga – The 8 Limbs of Yoga – Intro Yoga Philosophy – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Welcome, New Yogis! If you are in a 30 Day Challenge, you may want to check the challenge welcome page and shortcut page, and get free printable calendars and checklists! We will begin with some background info before we get into the Daily Yogi practices for our group. For this intro day, we will introduce Ashtanga or The 8 Limbs of Yoga, from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Daily Yogi’s Daily Positive Practices are inspired by the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Our Daily practices will generally cycle through these 8 Limbs and their branches.


What is Yoga?

We will start at the beginning. So.. what is Yoga? Is it exercise? Is it a philosophy?

Linguistically, Yoga is Sanskrit for “to yoke” or “to join” and is often translated to English as “union”. 

Technically, Yoga is a set of practices, that for many results in a calmer and happier life. Yoga practice involves exercise (Asanas) and much more. Traditional Yogi Texts include the Vedas, The Bhagavad Gita, and the Yoga Sutras. The 8 Limbs of Yoga where Daily Yogi draws inspiration are from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Religion according to Merriam Webster is “the belief in a god or in a group of gods; an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods.” Therefore, by this definition, Yoga is not a religion. Yoga allows for practitioners of any, all, and no religious background. Also, Yoga philosophy parallels the beliefs of at least five distinct Eastern religions. The various Yogic Texts also allude to main themes (ie the golden rule, charity, etc) in western monotheistic religions. However, some of the practices some individuals incorporate into their Yoga routine, such as chanting, can have a “religious” feel to others. So, if any practices do not appeal to you, remember you are free to take what works and leave what does not.

There are 8 Limbs of Yoga according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Ashtanga (ahsh-TAHN-guh) is a Sanskrit word meaning “eight-limbed.”

Daily Yogi - brown tree trunk and green leaves showing upper and lower Limbs of Yoga - Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Ishvara Pranidhana
Limbs of Yoga – Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Ishvara Pranidhana

The 8 Limbs of Yoga

1 Yamas (YAH-muhs) – Interpersonal Ethics (5: Ahimsa / Non-Harming, Satya / Truthfulness, Asteya / Non-Stealing, Brahmacharya / Moderation, and Aparigraha / Non-Attachment)
2 Niyamas (KNEE-yah-muhs) – Personal Observances (5: Saucha / Purity, Santosha / Contentment, Tapas / Discipline, Svadhyaya / Self-Study, and Ishvara-Pranidhana / Surrender)
3 Asanas (AH-sa-nuhs) – Poses (Hundreds)
4 Pranayama (PRAH-na-YAH-muh) – Breath (Dozens)
5 Pratyahara (PRAHT-yah-HA-ruh) – Withdrawal of the Senses
6 Dharana (dah-RA-nuh) – Intense Focus
7 Dhyana (dee-YAH-nuh) – Full Meditation
8 Samadhi (sah-MA-dee) – Enlightenment

The first four limbs are varied personal practices, exercises, and habits. The last four limbs are mostly meditation-based and build upon each other. So, I created the tree graphic above to share how I envision the Limbs of Yoga. The first four limbs are roots of the tree, that feed and support the sequential growth of the upper four limbs. We will focus primarily on the lower four limbs with our daily practices. However, we will also touch on some meditation techniques of the upper four limbs.

Sanskrit and Linguistics

A quick note about Sanskrit: as I mentioned before, I am a huge nerd, and particularly love languages. In addition to my native English, I have studied Spanish, French, Latin, Classical Greek, and Japanese. Classical Sanskrit is the language of ancient India, the Vedas, and Yoga. It is one of the original/foundational languages. So, I have been fascinated by Sanskrit roots that trickle down into literally all of the languages I have studied. Also, for those of you who are interested, Classical Sanskrit is supposed to be the true name or vibration for each word. So, I will use both English and Sanskrit / Yoga terms. Also I will also do my best to provide simplified (if not 100% accurate) pronunciations for those of you new to Sanskrit / Yoga.

Ashtanga Vinyasa

There is a specific type of Asana that many refer to as “Ashtanga.” I usually call this style of Yoga “Ashtanga Vinyasa.” Ashtanga Vinyasa is a series of specific, challenging, and dynamic sets of Asana sequences and other Yoga practices. We will discuss this more later.

Daily Yogi App

I also created an app as a Tapas tool, with daily gentle reminders and easy access to our daily positive Yogi practices. The Daily Yogi App is AVAILABLE NOW on both Apple and Android devices. Our app enables pop-up notifications and quick access to our daily positive practices. Additionally, the app also allows for easy research on each of the 8 Limbs of Yoga

We are glad to have you here! Please do what is right for you to succeed! Start your journey with a 30 Day Challenge Group. Follow us on Instagram (where we have second daily reminders!) or Facebook, and join our group bringing positivity to our lives and the world each day! Sign up for daily emails for positive practice suggestions in your inbox every day. Download our app for Apple or Android to enable daily push-reminders, and/or join our group discussions to share your journey.

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