April Fools Day – Stress Awareness Month, Humor Month & Laughter Yoga

Good Morning Yogis! Happy April and April Fools’ Day! April is Stress Awareness Month and also National Humor Month.

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

Laughter Yoga

Okay, this is NOT a joke for April Fools’ Day! There is a Yoga Style called Laughter Yoga. This is not an Asana class, but a special practice that incorporates laughing, breathing, clapping, and chanting. I recommend checking out this short video for a quick info and intro session.. her longer videos are even better! I love the quote “Negative thoughts can be neutralized by positive thoughts” from the Yoga Sutras, and Laughter Yoga is a great positivity technique! See more on positivity below.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are beginning a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For today’s start of Stress Awareness Month, I recommend a relaxing Yin or Restorative class.

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

close-up bright orange bird of paradise flower with green leaves and brown mulch background - laughter santosha happiness positivity Quote: No matter what your heartache may be, laughing helps you forget it for a few seconds. - Red Skelton
No matter what your heartache may be, laughing helps you forget it for a few seconds. – Red Skelton

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to set a positive intention for yourself for April, keeping April’s stress reduction theme in mind. This can be big or small:

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

More on the Power of Positive Thinking

The Law of Attraction & Power of Positive Thinking Intro

11 Ways to Boost Positive Thinking

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 16 – 2021 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

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

close-up light and dark green striped plant leaves - upper limbs of yoga Dhyana full meditation Quote: Dhyana is the continuous flow of thought toward that object. - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Dhyana is the continuous flow of thought toward that object. – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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

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

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

Dhyana Guided Meditation

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

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

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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) 

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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 14 – 2021 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses – Guided Meditation

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

close-up bright green succulents with grass-shoots and small potted plant - upper limbs of yoga pratyahara withdrawal of senses Quote: When the consciousness goes within by uncoupling from external objects, the senses also do so - this is Pratyahara. This results in the ultimate mastery over the senses. - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
When the consciousness goes within by uncoupling from external objects, the senses also do so – this is Pratyahara. This results in the ultimate mastery over the senses. – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So, this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 12 – 2021 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

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

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

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

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

Dhyana Guided Meditation

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

yogi crimson gray background

Get the Daily Yogi App – Get quick access to
today’s practice and daily pop-up reminders!

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

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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 10 – 2021 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses – Guided Meditation

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

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So, this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 3 – 2021 – Self-Reflective Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Svadhyaya / Self-Study Day. We started practicing this Niyama by beginning a journal as a tool for self-reflection – if this is your first Svadhyaya Day, please consider starting a paper or electronic journal today and joining us with this practice!

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March. For Svadhyaya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Self-Reflective Guided Meditation. You will want to take notes from this guided meditation in your journal!

mirror trippy green blue and purple swirl stellar galaxy star background - svadhyaya yoga journey self-study self-reflection Quote: Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. - The Bhagavad Gita
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. – The Bhagavad Gita

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try this self-reflective guided meditation for Svadhyaya Day This is one of the most interesting guided meditations I have tried, so today’s practice is this self-reflective guided meditation that utilizes the very challenges we face with meditation.

Journal DaY

Also, this is a good time to make a full journal entry if you have not kept up with this new practice! I do not typically make a personal reflective journal entry every day, but I am pleased to be reminded to keep up with this on Svadhyaya days. If you are not sure what to write about, the Self-Reflective Guided Meditation may give some prompts from yourself to explore. Or, you can journal on your reflections on today’s quote from The Bhagavad Gita (available in our free Daily Yogi App). The Bhagavad Gita or God’s Song is a section from the Indian Sacred Epic the Mahabharata. It is the most widely known of these Sacred Texts, and is widely read among modern-day thinkers.

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

Please comment and share your thoughts on today’s guided meditation or quote if you would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya Day? Always remember, be kind!

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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 3 – 2021

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Aparigraha or Non-Attachment Day.

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

mountain stream trickling down steep bright oxidized dirt cliff with dark green pine trees and felled dead fallen trees - brahmacharya moderation middle-path Quote: Attachment comes from a perception of lack - all comes from fear. - Yvette Soler
Attachment comes from a perception of lack – all comes from fear. – Yvette Soler

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Aparigraha / non-grasping with our actions. Today we will take action without making expectations of a particular outcome. Need some ideas? Sometimes we do nice things for others, hoping for a particular result and we then end up disappointed if the other person does not react how we planned. Try today to not hold expectations for another person’s behavior. Or perhaps set aside a few hours to relax, or enjoy time with loved ones, or just go for a drive without a pre-set agenda, and see where life takes you!

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 9 – 2021– Breath-Focused Scanning Meditation

Good morning Yogis! We are wrapping up our special Upper Limbs week! Next month we will have a special bonus daily meditation month aligning with our 8 Limb Yoga practices, but this week we will cover special meditation practices.

per perspective bright blue partly cloudy sky with sun peeking from clouds over alpine valley with green pine trees and rocky mountains - meditation mindfulness Quote: One conscious breath in and out is meditation. - Eckhart Tolle
One conscious breath in and out is meditation. – Eckhart Tolle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Asanas – Poses – Asana Styles – Ashtanga Vinyasa Series

purple yogi girl halasana child pose yoga
Halasana – Plow Pose

Good morning Yogis! We have talked quite a bit about Ashtanga, or the 8 Limbs of Yoga. This is a direct reference to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. There is also a style of Yoga / Asanas called Ashtanga, or Ashtanga Vinyasa you have likely seen at some Yoga studios. I am just a student of Ashtanga Yoga, not a teacher.. which will require a trip to the one Ashtanga Yoga school in India (one day!). Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a series of specific, challenging, and dynamic sets of Asana sequences and other Yoga practices. There are 6 Ashtanga Vinyasa Series: beginner, intermediate, and four advanced.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a beginner Ashtanga Vinyasa Asana series. Even though this is called a beginner series, you will see it is quite challenging!

Recommended Videos

This video is about as gentle and easy as possible for the beginner series.

This video is a more challenging and traditional version of the Ashtanga beginner series.

Check out a sped-up version of each of these videos above, to get a quick idea of what this style is like! You will notice a rigorous flow practice combined with advanced Asanas.

halasana - plow plough pose -  yoga pose yoga girl wearing blue fish-scale dragon-scale set doing yoga inside in cool indigo blue studio
Halasana – Plow Pose

Like this yoga set? Click here for product links and discount code!

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 your experience with this beginner Ashtanga series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 2 – 2021

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the fourth of the NiyamasSvadhyaya / self-study by beginning a journal if we had not kept one. Today we will focus on the other Svadhyaya practice of studying sacred texts.

I am selecting one quote today from one of Yoga’s Sacred Texts – the Bhagavad Gita or God’s Song. The Gita is a section from the Indian Sacred Epic the Mahabharata. It is the most widely known of these Sacred Texts, and is widely read among modern day thinkers. Oppenheimer quoted the Gita after creating the nuclear bomb, and it is highly regarded by Henry David Thoreau, Carl Jung, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and other great minds. Perhaps some bonus Svadhyaya / self-study by reading more of the Gita! Or, if you practice a religion, perhaps read a meaningful section of your traditional sacred texts.

The Bhagavad Gita is available in our free app!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to reflect on the quotes from the Gita. Or, feel free to reflect on readings or quotes from your own religion’s sacred texts.

Today’s Quote from the Gita

epic cloudy purple pink and glowing orange alpine sunset on winding road in mountains with darkened pine trees and snow-capped mountain peaks - svadhyaya self-study knowledge bhagavad gita scripture Quote: It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection. - The Bhagavad Gita
It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection. – The Bhagavad Gita

Journal DaY

Also, this is a good time to make another journal entry if you have not kept up with this new practice! I have been prioritizing Svadhyaya this year with a daily 5-year guided journal (see below in my recommendations), but I am pleased to be reminded to keep up with longer writing on Svadhyaya days. If you are not sure what to write about, perhaps journal about your thoughts on any quotes from any sacred texts, or your Yogi journey so far.


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

Please comment and share your thoughts on the above quotes, or your own readings if you would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya Day? 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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Santosha – Contentment – Day 9 – 2020 – December Holidays & Yamas Month

Happy Tuesday and Happy December Yogis! This month, we are going to have a special Yamas / Interpersonal Ethics focused month. December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my nerdy research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

Today is Giving Tuesday. Please consider participating if you are able – you can get a bonus Ahimsa practice of kindness, Asteya practice of generosity, and enjoy how it feels to give back for today’s Santosha / contentment practice!

Before we begin our Yamas-focused practices for the month, we will continue on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas and remaining Limbs of Yoga into our day. Last time we practiced the second of the Niyamas, Santosha / contentment with ourselves on the mat, by honoring and being gentle with our bodies, and not pushing ourselves to pain. Today we will be focusing on Santosha with our lives, not just our bodies.

blue shadowy snow on rocky mountain cliff with snow-covered dark rocks and pine trees - santosha contentment happiness Quote: Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others. - Booker T. Washington
Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others. – Booker T. Washington

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Santosha / contentment by focusing on the present moment, ideally in nature. I have heard if we focus on the past we will be depressed, if we focus on the future we will be anxious, and the key to joy is living in the present moment. A couple of the Yamas and Niyamas reflect this secret of happiness hidden in the “now”. I find one of the easiest ways to do this is to get outside and be active! Go on a walk, and perhaps literally stop and smell the roses. Take a run and feel the wind on your face. Being around water is always especially calming for me, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river. Perhaps hike and appreciate the beauty around you rather than focusing on finding a perfect selfie spot. Since we are still in the days of social distancing, maybe pack a picnic and head to the back yard or a nearby park, or read a book on your deck or by the window. Whatever feels like the best way for you to get out of your little bubble, and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.

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

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Please comment and share how you did focusing on the present moment today. Did you get outside? Were you able to find contentment in the now? 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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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 8 – 2020 – 11/11 Ekadashi

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

Happy Wednesday Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of daily positive practices from the Niyamas, ending with Ishvara Pranidhana. Due to my nerdiness, I enjoy learning about all kinds of ancient and world holidays and traditions. So, I will be pulling interesting traditions from various holidays for inspiration for our Daily Yogi practices, especially when they line up. I am festive and open, but please remember if any practices I am suggesting do not resonate with you, select one of your choice and catch up with us tomorrow! I am getting a bit out there today and trying a pretty intense fast today in honor of the Rama Ekadashi holiday, since I have always wanted to try this and it lines up with today’s Ishvara Pranidhana practice. Feel free to join me if you’d like, but please note today’s Daily Yogi practice is focusing on our standard challenging practice of surrender. I am a first-time faster, so I will report back in the comments.

gold ekadashi mandala lace card gold accents on gold and gray background Quote: happy ekadashi
Happy Ekadashi

Ekadashi 11/11

Today is Rama Ekadashi, one of the most important Ekadashis of the year. Ekadashi is a tradition in India, celebrated every 11th day of the Vedic Lunar Calendar. Ekadashi is a day to fast, cleanse, and rejuvenate. I have a very mixed past experience with fasting – I have old friends who include fasting as part of their religion/culture, and I have heard both praise and warnings for fasting from medical and health professionals. However, due to my past life as an accountant I get very excited about numbers and numerology, and today’s Super 11/11 Ekadashi seems like a good time for me to try! I am NOT making this a Daily Yogi required practice today… intermittent fasting is NOT for everyone, and I have the nagging warnings from health professionals in the back of my mind! There are Health Benefits to Intermittent Fasting, but you should check with your physician before trying intermittent fasting or any drastic diet change. Traditional Ekaadashi fasting practices vary from simply avoiding rice and grains, to consuming only fruits and vegetables, to full fasting throughout the holiday. Traditionally The Bhagavad Gita is also read on Rama Ekadashi.

I was surprised after doing a bit of research how many proverbs relate to fasting!

He who eats until he is sick must fast until he is well. English Proverb
Fasting today makes the food good tomorrow. German Proverb
Abstinence and fasting cure many a complaint. Danish Proverb
A fast is better than a bad meal. Irish Proverb
The best of all medicines are rest and fasting. Benjamin Franklin
I fast for greater physical and mental efficiency. Plato

close up hardwood tree trunk cool perspective - fasting Quote: If thou wouldst preserve a sound body, use fasting and walking; if a healthful soul, fasting and praying; walking exercises the body, praying exercises the soul, fasting cleanses both. - Francis Quarles
If thou wouldst preserve a sound body, use fasting and walking; if a healthful soul, fasting and praying; walking exercises the body, praying exercises the soul, fasting cleanses both. – Francis Quarles

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

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

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Please comment to share how this exercise impacted you. Have you ever tried fasting? Feel free to share your successes or your struggles with either of today’s challenging practices. Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 9 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

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 already covered Pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses and Dharana or Intense Focus. The last three Limbs of YogaDharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are often referred to as the “innermost quest” and studied together. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the lower limbs, and sequentially upon each other. However, these practices are all meditation focused, and must truly be practiced and understood on your own. Samadhi is our goal and will be discussed occasionally, but unfortunately beyond at least my daily practices! Today we will discuss Dhyana and try a Meditation to reach this state. Check out our deep dive on Dhyana.

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

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

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

Dhyana Guided Meditation

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

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

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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 7 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses – Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We have completed our daily positive practices and meditations inspired by the first four Limbs of Yoga, and are back to the Upper Limbs. We are also in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October’s Emotional Wellness Month. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will discuss the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So, this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 6 – 2020 – Self-Reflective Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Svadhyaya / Self-Study Day. We started practicing this Niyama by beginning a journal as a tool for self-reflection – if this is your first Svadhyaya Day, please consider starting a paper or electronic journal today and joining us with this practice!

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October. For Svadhyaya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Self-Reflective Guided Meditation. You will want to take notes from this guided meditation in your journal!

mirror trippy pink and purple swirl gradient background - svadhyaya yoga journey self-reflection Quote: Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. - The Bhagavad Gita
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. – The Bhagavad Gita

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try this self-reflective guided meditation for Svadhyaya Day This is one of the most interesting guided meditations I have tried, so today’s practice is this self-reflective guided meditation that utilizes the very challenges we face with meditation.

Journal DaY

Also, this is a good time to make a full journal entry if you have not kept up with this new practice! I do not typically make a personal reflective journal entry every day, but I am pleased to be reminded to keep up with this on Svadhyaya days. If you are not sure what to write about, the Self-Reflective Guided Meditation may give some prompts from yourself to explore. Or, you can journal on your reflections on today’s quote from The Bhagavad Gita (available in our free Daily Yogi App). The Bhagavad Gita or God’s Song is a section from the Indian Sacred Epic – The Mahabharata. It is the most widely known of these Sacred Texts, and is widely read among modern-day thinkers.

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

Please comment and share your thoughts on today’s guided meditation or quote if you would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya Day? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 6 – 2020 – World Mental Health Day

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

mental health practices infographic: eating well, get enough sleep, manage stress, be sociable, having fun, activity and exercise, avoid alcohol smoking and drugs, get plenty of sunlight, practicing healthy thinking, taking care of your body, digital detox, helping others, slowing down, solving problems, ask for help
eating well, get enough sleep, manage stress, be sociable, having fun, activity and exercise, avoid alcohol smoking and drugs, get plenty of sunlight, practicing healthy thinking, taking care of your body, digital detox, helping others, slowing down, solving problems, ask for help

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

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

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

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.

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

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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 6 – 2020

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Aparigraha or Non-Attachment Day.

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Aparigraha Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on non-attachment.

sun and bubbles in water tide gentle wave on beach - aparigraha non-attachment attachment peaceful Quote: The less attached you are the more peaceful you are. - anonymous
The less attached you are the more peaceful you are. – Anonymous

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Aparigraha / non-grasping with our actions. Today we will take action without making expectations of a particular outcome. Need some ideas? Sometimes we do nice things for others, hoping for a particular result and we then end up disappointed if the other person does not react how we planned. Try today to not hold expectations for another person’s behavior. Or perhaps set aside a few hours to relax, or enjoy time with loved ones, or just go for a drive without a pre-set agenda, and see where life takes you!

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

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October Emotional Wellness Month 2020 – Intentions and Yoga Philosophy

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

close-up tangled maze bush branches with red and green leaves - intentions yoga reality Quote: Our intention creates our reality. - Wayne Dyer
Our intention creates our reality. – Wayne Dyer

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

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

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

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

More on the Power of Positive Thinking

The Law of Attraction & Power of Positive Thinking Intro

11 Ways to Boost Positive Thinking

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

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

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September Self-Improvement Month 2020 – Reflections and Yoga Philosophy

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

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

Practice not Perfection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 6 – Meditations

Good Morning Yogis, it is Upper Limbs Day! We just finished a series covering each of the 4 Upper Limbs of Yoga, so today we will have a KISS (keep it super simple) Day!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Meditation Practice of your choice for Upper Limbs Day. You can try our breath-focused meditation, another Dharana focused meditation, or another guided meditation of your choice. We are starting a daily meditation challenge for October, so please feel free to share any favorite guided meditations or meditation practices!

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

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

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

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

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

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

yogi blue tan background

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 4 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Upper Limbs Day, continuing our series on each of the four upper limbs.

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.

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

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

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

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

yogi crimson tan background

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

Dhyana 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 Dhyana exercise! If you have another favorite guided meditation, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 4

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

Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, I recommend a Yin or Restorative Yoga class, letting go and enjoying some passive stretching.

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 class, Forward Bends (20 minutes). There is just something about forward fold Asanas that embodies Ishvara Pranidhana for me!

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

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

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

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

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study Day 4 – Meyers-Briggs / MBTI

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

Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Svadhyaya Day today, I recommend an Iyengar Style class, making sure to monitor your alignment.

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

We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Today we will continue our fun self-study method series covering the next few Svadhyaya Days. I got very interested in personality typing a few years ago. My two favorite methodologies are called Meyers-Briggs and the Enneagram. I have had some friends get annoyed by my interest in these personality analysis methods, and say they are like horoscopes… My answer is I think astrology is another fun method to learn about ourselves! I find it much easier to have something to compare to than trying to analyze myself from scratch. Last time we practiced Svadhyaya / self-study by learning about the Enneagram. Today we will learn about Meyers-Briggs Personality Typing, or MBTI. This personality typing method is based on the order of the ways we prefer to process information. There are many websites that go into deep dives of the MBTI system and the types, but for today we will just learn our primary type.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to determine and read up on your MBTI type. Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection!

Free MBTI test (basic test should be fine for today)

Type In Mind – one of my favorite sites for deep-dive MBTI research

Review your MBTI test results, and note whether you agree or disagree with your personality typing and resulting personality traits.

If you disagree with your MBTI test results, check the strengths and weakness pages for some similar personality types – you can find a full list of personality types here. When you find YOUR type, it will ‘click’ with you! Also, our past experiences may cause us to “test” as another type. I am definitely a classic ENFJ. However, my test results often come out as ESTJ because of my business background and my constant efforts to be more rational and observant.

We are just scratching the surface of MBTI today. However, you should be aware MBTI typing is not 16 boxes, but generalizations based on combined results from four different personality aspects ie introversion / extroversion.. I view these personality aspects as gradients 0-100, split around the half way point. In other words, an ENFJ who is near 100% extroversion will have many similarities to, but still be quite different from another ENFJ who is at close to 51% extroversion, just barely over the line from introversion.

This is a good time to make another journal entry! Perhaps review the strengths and weaknesses page for your personality type and analyze how they may or may not apply to you. Maybe check out the additional sections for relationships and recommended careers for your type. Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection!


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

Please comment and share your thoughts on your MBTI results if would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya Day? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 4

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. This is our fourth Tapas or discipline Day. Our intro Tapas Day, we made a goal that was important to us. Each Tapas Day, we checked in on our progress. It has been nearly a month and a half, so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up!! 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.

We have a Daily Asana 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 dynamic Vinyasa class.

PS I’m currently reinvigorated and super motivated for my Duolingo Daily Habit after seeing nearly 180 and 365 day streaks from friends. I am at about 90%, but have missed a few days here and there… practice not perfection, but I’m working for it! I’m currently at a 14 day streak, going for 180 🙂

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to get some exercise for Tapas Day and Work Out Wednesday. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! We have a 30 Day Asana Challenge going on right now for September! Register and find our Daily Asana group if you would like to join! There are many free Apps for other 30 Day Challenge workouts. My favorite is a free app called 30 Day Butt, which allows the pop-up phone notifications I love so much.

Vyaghrasana – Tiger Crunches

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am trying out a Hip Hop Vinyasa Series (25 Minute). I am also going to do a couple of our past Yoga Workouts today – Tiger Crunches for Core and Glutes, and Upward Plank Holds for Glutes.

Want more Workout Ideas?
Check our Health & Fitness Board On Pinterest!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE starts – 05/01/2021

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Please comment and share how you are doing. Have you kept up with your daily habit? Are you changing your systems or perhaps setting a new meaningful goal? Are you joining us with our Asana Challenge? Always remember, be kind!

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 4 – September Self-Improvement Month

Good Morning Yogis! Happy September! September is National Self-Improvement Month. I find challenge-focused months super helpful for my own motivation, so we are going to continue with 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 a Hatha class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner Combination (30 Minute), so I can complete my Beginners Essentials Badge. I would also classify this series as Hatha Style.

We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the second of the Niyamas, Santosha / contentment with ourselves on the mat, by honoring and being gentle with our bodies, and not pushing ourselves to pain… Santosha is the key to avoiding injury during Asanas / Poses, so please make sure to carry this throughout the month if you are participating in the September Asana Challenge! Today we will be focusing on Santosha with our lives, not just our bodies.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Santosha / contentment by focusing on the present moment, ideally in nature. I have heard if we focus on the past we will be depressed, if we focus on the future we will be anxious, and the key to joy is living in the present moment. A couple of the Yamas and Niyamas reflect this secret of happiness hidden in the “now”. I find one of the easiest ways to do this is to get outside and be active! Go on a walk, and perhaps literally stop and smell the roses. Take a run and feel the wind on your face. Being around water is always especially calming for me, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river. Perhaps hike and appreciate the beauty around you rather than focusing on finding a perfect selfie spot. Since we are still in the days of social distancing, maybe pack a picnic and head to the back yard or a nearby park, or read a book on your deck or by the window. Whatever feels like the best way for you to get out of your little bubble, and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.

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

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Please comment and share how you did focusing on the present moment today. Did you get outside? Were you able to find contentment in the now? 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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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 3

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

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

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

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

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 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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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 3 – Enneagram

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

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Today we will continue our fun self-study method series covering the next few Svadhyaya Days. I got very interested in personality typing a few years ago. My two favorite methodologies are called Meyers-Briggs and the Enneagram. I have had some friends get annoyed by my interest in these personality analysis methods, and say they are like horoscopes… My answer is I think astrology is another fun method to learn about ourselves! I find it much easier to have something to compare to than trying to analyze myself from scratch. Last time we practiced Svadhyaya / self-study by pulling our star charts. Today we will learn about the Enneagram. This personality typing method is based on what drives us and our deepest fears. There are many websites that go into deep dives of the Enneagram system and the types, but for today we will just learn our primary type.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to determine and read up on your Enneagram type. Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection.

Free Enneagram test (basic test should be fine for today)

Enneagram Institute – one of my favorite sites for deep-dive Enneagram research

Review your Enneagram test results, and note whether you agree or disagree with your Enneagram typing and resulting personality traits.

We are just scratching the surface of the Enneagram today, but you should know some basics about how the Enneagram works. Each person exhibits the traits of their primary type, plus three others. You typically have some traits of one type next to your own, called a wing. Also, each type acts like other specific types across from their own type (see graphic below) when pushed in positive or negative situations. I am a type 6 (with a very strong 7 wing!), and act like a 3 when I am stressed, and like a 9 when I am growing in a positive way. If you disagree with your Enneagram test results, check the descriptions for the related types, and see if you are testing as one of your related types!

This is a good time to make another journal entry! Perhaps evaluate not only your type, but whether you see yourself “mirroring” your related types when moving in positive and negative situations.

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

Please comment and share your thoughts on your Enneagram results if would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya Day? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 3

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

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. This is our fourth Tapas or discipline Day. Our intro Tapas day, we made a goal that was important to us. Our second day, we checked in on our progress. It has been nearly two months, so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up!! 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 electronic and visual 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.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to monitor our daily habit goals, and set a new one if needed. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! There are many free Apps for 30 Day Challenge workouts. My favorite is a free app called 30 Day Butt, which allows the pop-up phone notifications I love so much. We are in the middle of an Intro Challenge for August, which we will do again in November. In September we will have a daily Asana challenge, and a daily meditation challenge for October. If none of these resonate with you, please pick a habit that is meaningful to you to add to your life.

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Please comment and share how you are doing. Have you kept up with your new habit? Are you changing your systems or perhaps setting a new meaningful goal? Always remember, be kind!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calming Asana close with long Shavasana

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 2

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

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

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

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

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 2 – Natal Star Charts

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced Svadhyaya / self-study by focusing on the practice of studying sacred texts, and keeping up with our journals to have research materials to aid our self-study.

Today we will start a fun self-study method series for the next few Svadhyaya Days. I got very interested in personality typing a few years ago. My two favorite methodologies are called Meyers-Briggs and the Enneagram. I have had some friends get annoyed by my interest in these personality analysis methods, and say they are like horoscopes… My answer is I think astrology is another fun method to learn about ourselves! I do not hold myself or others to any strict interpretations of astrology or personality typing, but I do think having something to compare to for self-analysis is helpful, and much easier than starting self-analysis from scratch! So, let’s start with a deeper dive into astrology, because horoscopes are familiar to most of us. This is just for fun and to have a tool for comparison.. but if you do not like astrology, feel free to skip today and meet us back tomorrow 🙂

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to pull a birth star chart for yourself. Most people know their primary sun sign, but there is a lot more astrologers interpret from the stars at your time of birth! Generate your free star chart here (you will need your birth time and city for full chart with rising signs). Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection.

There is a LOT to read, and it is worth reading the entire analysis. Your main astrological signs are:
Sun Sign – true self, identity and personality. This is the zodiac sign you are most familiar with
Moon Sign – inner self, emotional self and approach to relationships
Ascendant or Rising Sign – outer self, social self and impression you give off

Review your star chart reading, and note what you agree or disagree with from your reading. This is a good time to make another journal entry!


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Please comment and share your thoughts on your star chart if would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya day? Always remember, be kind!

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! Although we tried to incorporate Santosha/contentment with our challenging Ardha Chandrasana / Half Moon Pose exercise yesterday, it is worth another day of focus. We have discussed that Yoga is a practice, and I find nearly all of the limbs to be challenging. I personally have a hard time with Santosha, finding it especially difficult to “turn off” to just relax and enjoy where I am.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice for Santosha Day is focusing on the present moment, ideally in nature. We are practicing the finding the happiness in the “now”. Here are some of our best tips!

  • Go on a walk, and perhaps literally stop and smell the roses.
  • Take a run and feel the wind on your face.
  • Being around water is especially calming, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river.
  • Go for a hike and appreciate the beauty around you rather than focusing on finding a perfect selfie spot.
  • Since we are still in the days of social distancing, maybe pack a picnic and head to the back yard or a nearby park.
  • Read a book on your deck or by the window.
  • Sit quietly, and go through all of your senses one by one to appreciate your surroundings.
  • Any way that feels right for you to get out of your head, and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.

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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Meditation – Day 1 – Guided Meditations

Good Morning Yogis! We will typically have just one day for last 4 limbs of yoga. The upper limbs build upon all 4 of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and must truly be attained on your own. On days dedicated to the upper limbs, we will try various meditation techniques. Last time, we tried the Breath-Focused meditation practice that was the first technique to really calm me. Today, we will try a guided meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Guided Meditation Practice. (Three options below) Meditation has always been difficult for me personally, with my “monkey mind.” Many people, and especially new Yogis, find guided meditations to be an easy entry to meditation. Having something to listen to often helps calm rushing thoughts.

Start sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position, or I would recommend getting into bed for the Sleep/Relaxation option. Try to find a quiet, comfortable space. Relax and focus on your breath. Allow your belly to expand on each inhale, and contract to empty your lungs fully on each exhale. (Check our Pranayama section for more detail on diaphragmatic breathing).

Morning Motivational Meditation (10 minutes)

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Grounding Meditation (9 minutes)

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

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Asanas – Poses – Asana Styles – Ashtanga Vinyasa Series

purple yogi girl halasana child pose yoga
Halasana – Plow Pose

Good morning Yogis! We have talked quite a bit about Ashtanga, or the 8 Limbs of Yoga. This is a direct reference to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. There is also a style of Yoga / Asanas called Ashtanga, or Ashtanga Vinyasa you have likely seen at some Yoga studios. I am just a student of Ashtanga Yoga, not a teacher.. which will require a trip to the one Ashtanga Yoga school in India (one day!). Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a series of specific, challenging, and dynamic sets of Asana sequences and other Yoga practices. There are 6 Ashtanga Vinyasa Series: beginner, intermediate, and four advanced.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a beginner Ashtanga Vinyasa Asana series. Even though this is called a beginner series, you will see it is quite challenging!

Recommended Videos

This video is about as gentle and easy as possible for the beginner series.

This video is a more challenging and traditional version of the Ashtanga beginner series.

Check out a sped-up version of each of these videos above, to get a quick idea of what this style is like! You will notice a rigorous flow practice combined with advanced Asanas.

halasana - plow plough pose -  yoga pose yoga girl wearing blue fish-scale dragon-scale set doing yoga inside in cool indigo blue studio
Halasana – Plow Pose

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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


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

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 1 – OM

Good Morning Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the fifth of the Niyamas Ishvara Pranidhana/surrender by working on practicing acceptance rather than upset reactions to a difficult situation. Today we will focus on the literal translation from Sanskrit, surrender to all-pervading consciousness, and introduce this all-pervading consciousness by its vibration/sound/representation OM.

OM – Sanskrit

We are kind of getting into chanting and mantras now, which is an area that can have a religious feel to new Yogis. Try to keep your Svadhyaya from yesterday, and approach with the open mind of a scholar. But, if these practices do not resonate with you or your journey, that’s fine! Skip today, and come back tomorrow 🙂

I will just comment briefly on my experience and the linguistics of OM, since that is what drew my interest prior to my Yoga teacher training. Many of you who have attended Yoga classes at studios will have likely done some OM-ing at the start or end of class. I was honestly a bit put off by the OMs in my first Yoga class! But, after a few classes I tried just going with it, and I started really enjoying the energy in the room during the OMs.

OM is pronounced as a very long A-U-M or OOOM, not like “on” with an m. OM is familiar in the East, but often the only exposure for those in the West is at Yoga class. I was intrigued during my Yoga training to learn that the A and U/O sounds in Sanskrit are beginning and ending vowels. Japanese also has A and U/O sounds as beginning and ending vowels, and the final letter is the M/N sound as in OM. The A and U sounds are also the beginning and ending vowels in English. I cannot help but compare to Alpha and Omega from Classical Greek (first and last letters) and other traditions, and wonder about the connections of OM trickling into various languages and religions!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try some OMs. You can do this on your own if you are practiced, or check out this video to learn how to properly OM on your own, or perhaps try this video as background for meditation.

Here is a great article on the basic pronunciation of OM and its meaning. If you want more info, please check out this article on OM and Yoga, or check out the Wikipedia article for a deep dive into OM in Yoga as well as religions across the world.

Please comment and share your experience if you got your OM on with us today! Have you tried this before, or is this new to you? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 1 – 2020

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the fourth of the NiyamasSvadhyaya / self-study by beginning a journal if we had not kept one. Today we will focus on the other Svadhyaya practice of studying sacred texts. I am selecting three passages from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where I draw inspiration for the Daily Yogi practices. I am giving you three quotes that I enjoy, in case some do not resonate with you. The Sutras are written in Sanskrit, so I often tweak the translations to English depending on what I want to focus on. Or, if you practice a religion, perhaps read a meaningful section of your traditional sacred texts.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to reflect on the quotes from the Yoga Sutras. Or, feel free to reflect on quotes from your own religion’s sacred texts.

Today’s Quotes from the Yoga Sutras