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.

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!

  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    3
    Shares

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.

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)

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) 

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!

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


  • 12
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    14
    Shares

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

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!

Get today’s Daily Yogi Positive Practice in your inbox
Register for our email list!

Get easy access to the rest of the meditations in this series in your inbox

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
  • 6
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    8
    Shares

Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 6 – OM

Good Morning Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Today we will practice Ishvara Pranidhana / Surrender focusing on the literal translation from Sanskrit – surrender to all-pervading consciousness and its vibration/sound/representation OM. We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October. For Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, we will get our OMs on! I am going to practice a Guided Meditation with some OMs!

OM – Sanskrit

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice some OMs for Ishvara Pranidhana Day. 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. Please see my intro to OM for more info and links for in-depth research. 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 a guided meditation.

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

Get today’s Daily Yogi Positive Practice in your inbox
Register for our email list!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 6 – 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!

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.

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self – Bhagavad Gita

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Tapas – Discipline – Day 6 – World Mental Health Day

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

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

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

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

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

Get today’s Daily Yogi Positive Practice in your inbox
Register for our email list!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

  • 4
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    7
    Shares

Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 6

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Aparigraha or non-attachment Day. 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.

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!

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

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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!

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 Asana 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.

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!

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

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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.

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!

I prefer today’s picture quote and the ones below over the 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

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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)!

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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.

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.

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!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

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

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.

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 Dharaha, 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.

Dhyana Guided Meditation

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.

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!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

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.

Get today’s Daily Yogi Positive Practice in your inbox
Register for our email list!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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’re 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 with, 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!

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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.

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.

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!

Vyaghrasana – Tiger Crunches
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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’re 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.

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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.

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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’re 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.

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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.

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

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Santosha – Contentment – Day 3

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

Good Morning Yogis! Our challengers are learning to remember to incorporate Santosha/contentment with Asana practice. 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. So, today you have the choice between Santosha in the present moment, or Santosha with your Asana practice today.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice for Santosha Day is either bringing Santosha into our Asana practice, or focusing on the present moment, ideally in nature.

Yogis practicing Santosha with their Asanas – perhaps try a challenging balance pose! Here is a list of balance-focused Asanas and instructions from Yoga Journal.

For those Yogis 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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 2 – 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’re 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 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 place 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!

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!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

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!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Asanas – Poses – Ashtanga Series

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!

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.

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

Palasana – Plow Pose
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

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!

  • 2
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    5
    Shares

Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 1

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

Journal DaY

Also, this is a good time to make another 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, perhaps journal about your thoughts on any quotes from any sacred texts, or your Yogi journey so far.


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!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 1

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the opposite of the last of the Yamas Aparigraha/non-attachment by practicing gratitude, but today we will take it a step further.

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!

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

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 1

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the positive version of the third of the Yamas Asteya/non-stealing with an act of generosity, but today we will take it a step further and examine non-stealing.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Asteya/non-stealing. Need ideas? This is going to be similar to our Satya practice from yesterday, and we should reflect on areas of our life where we may be acting a bit selfishly or taking advantage of a situation. If you are taking a lot of assistance or time from a particular person but not giving much in return, reflect on that and consider how you can make the situation more fair. Or, examine a situation where you have been taking more than giving, express gratitude, and see how you can make things more balanced and take better care of those who take care of you. Examine areas where you can focus a bit more Asteya, and express that however it feels right to you.

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

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Satya – Truthfulness – Day 1

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the second of the Yamas, Satya/Truthfulness with a kind truth, but today we will examine and practice from a different angle.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Satya/truthfulness with ourselves today. Need ideas? It can be big or small. This usually means examining mindsets, practices, or people in our life that may not be serving us. For example, maybe you are like me and should really examine eating less candy and more veggies. Or maybe you have other unhealthy practices like smoking, or a medical issue you have been putting off getting examined. Perhaps you have “friends” who cut you down to bring themselves up or consistently take but never offer support. We usually know deep down what truths we need to accept… perhaps meditate to allow these thoughts to come up. Accepting difficult truths is a big step, and do not push yourself to do anything until you are ready. But, if you decide you are up for it, plan a course of action to resolve what you had been avoiding.

Please comment and share how you decided to practice Satya with yourself today. This can be difficult, but honestly is always the best policy. Always remember, be kind!

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 1

Good Morning Yogis! I started Daily Yogi with flash cards of the Yamas and Niyamas in my day planner. Now, after deep dives introducing the 8 Limbs of Yoga and each of the Asanas / Poses in Surya Namaskar / Sun Salutations, we are back to my flash card days. Last time we practiced the opposite of the first of the Yamas, Ahimsa / non-harming with a random act of kindness, but today we will take it a step further.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Ahimsa or non-harming today. Need ideas? It can be big or small. We should strive to exercise non-harming with our thoughts, words and/or actions.

For actions, you can avoid killing a bug you find in the house, and instead use a cup and paper or cardboard to carry outside. Perhaps drive compassionately if you have to drive today. Maybe refrain from letting your temper get the best of you and stay kind throughout a difficult interaction.. this will probably be non-harming in both words and actions. Keep in your mind and try to follow “if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.” Or, to practice Ahimsa with our thoughts, try to stay positive today with yourself, and notice and stop yourself from any negative self-talk.

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

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Intro – Meditation

The last 4 limbs of yoga build upon all 4 of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These are:

5 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the Senses

6 – Dharana – Intense Focus

7 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

8 – Samadhi – Enlightenment

You will notice these practices are all meditation focused. As mentioned, they build upon each other. Unfortunately, these later limbs are individual practice focused, and not all Yogis decide to pursue them on their journeys. Please do share your experiences and tips with the community, but we will let you discover these when you are ready and on your own.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try this Breath-Focused Meditation Practice. Meditation has always been difficult for me personally, with my “monkey mind” but these methods below have worked for me! If you have wanted to begin a Daily Meditation Practice, I recommend starting at 5 minutes, working up to 10 minutes, and consider increasing up to 30 minutes at your own pace. Personally, I meditate for 10-15 minutes at most in the morning to get centered for the day.

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.

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!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Niyamas #5 – Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Intro

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Ishvara Pranidhana (Ish-VA-ra PRA-knee-DAH-na) is literally translated to English as surrender to all-pervading consciousness. The more common translations include surrender or devotion, and the essential concept here is faith in a higher power. This surrender is not about giving up hope when you face your problems, but acceptance. Ishvara Pranidhana is typically the most confusing of the Niyamas, especially for new Yogis or those who do not practice outside religions.

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

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

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

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!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Niyamas #4 – Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Intro

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

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

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

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


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

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

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Niyamas #3 – Tapas – Discipline – Intro

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

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

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

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

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

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

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

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Niyamas #2 – Santosha – Contentment – Intro

Daily Yogi Yamas - Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get today’s Daily Yogi Positive Practice in your inbox
Register for our email list!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Yamas #5 – Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Intro

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

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

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

Please comment to share how this exercise made you feel, or feel free to share your list! Always remember, be kind!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Yamas #4 – Brahmacharya – Moderation – Intro

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

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

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

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

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Yamas #3 – Asteya – Non-Stealing – Intro

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

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

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

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

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Yamas #2 – Satya – Truthfulness – Intro

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

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

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

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

Please share your story if you helped someone you care about have a better day, whether you tried one of our suggestions, or one of your own! Always remember, be kind!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Yamas #1 – Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Intro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

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

8 limbs of yoga

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


What is Yoga?

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

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

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

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

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

The 8 Limbs of Yoga

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

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

Sanskrit and Linguistics

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

Ashtanga Vinyasa

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

Daily Yogi App

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

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

Get today’s Daily Yogi Positive Practice in your inbox
Register for our email list!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
  • 12
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    13
    Shares