Asanas (Poses) – Subtle Techniques – Hasta Mudras

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Limbs of Yoga. Before we will begin a series on more advanced specific Asanas, I want to cover a couple of subtle techniques – Bandhas, often called Yoga Locks or Binds, and Mudras usually translated as seals, marks or special hand gestures. The primary benefits and reasons for Bandhas and Mudras are for altering the flow of energy during particular Asanas. This discussion behind these subtle techniques is beyond our short and sweet daily practices, but please see the links for more detailed information on the philosophy behind each practice.

Hasta Mudras – Special Hand Gestures

I have been familiar with using Mudras from Bollywood dancing since before beginning Yoga. Beginner Yogis may be familiar with the ‘prayer hands’ during Asana class, or recognize some of these gestures from images of meditation practices, and Hindu or Buddhist imagery.

There are hundreds Mudras! Each has a unique purpose, benefit, and meaning, but a handful of Mudras from the image below are most common. The power of each Mudra is tied to both elemental and reflexology.

PS there are also Mudras performed with other parts of the body such as Mana Mudras with the head, a practice particular to Kundalini. I find generally in the US that’ Mudra’ refers to hand seals only, and other special practices are referred to by their full names.

Mudras - Atmanjali, Apana, Gyan, Prithvi, Shunya, Vayu, Prana, Vajra, Apan Vayu, Varuna, Muluka, Abhaya infographic with blue background
Mudras – Atmanjali, Apana, Gyan, Prithvi, Shunya, Vayu, Prana, Vajra, Apan Vayu, Varuna, Muluka, Abhaya

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Mudra. I recommend trying both Gyan Mudra and Apana Mudra, which we will integrate with our Asanas later this week.

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

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Have you used Mudras before in your practice? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas (Poses) – Subtle Techniques – Bandhas (Yoga Locks or Binds)

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Limbs of Yoga. Before we will begin a series on more advanced specific Asanas, I want to cover a couple of subtle techniques – Bandhas, often called Yoga Locks or Binds, and Mudras meaning seals, marks or special hand gestures. The primary benefits and reasons for Bandhas and Mudras are for altering the flow of energy during particular Asanas. This discussion behind these subtle techniques is beyond our short and sweet daily practices, but please see the links for more detailed information on the philosophy behind each practice.

Bandhas – Yoga Locks or Binds

I have been familiar with using Bandhas in both dance and Pilates, which I studied before beginning Yoga. Most Yogis use three primary Bandhas from Ashtanga, and combine all three for the fourth Maha Bandha or Great Lock. Some Yogis also consider grounding Hand and Foot Bandhas in this category. We will cover the traditional Ashtanga Bandhas, but please check out more info and instructions for Hasta (Hand) and Pada (Foot) Bandhas .

Bandha activation is commonly hinted at with instructions by Yoga Teachers in beginner classes, for example lifting the pelvic floor or tightening the core. See below for more details to activate each of the primary Bandhas and how to activate all three for the Maha Bandha.

Sukhasana - comfortable cross-legged easy pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Sukhasana – Easy Pose

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Bandha or Bind. I recommend trying each Bandha in a comfortable seated position of your choice, but you may find this easiest standing in Tadasana.

Mula Bandha – Root Lock

This is the lock referenced with ‘lifting your pelvic floor’ and is similar to Keigel exercises and Pilates’ pelvic floor activation. You can also think of this as moving energy up from the root and into your navel. Activating this Bandha during Asana practice can help give a sense of weightlessness moving between standing poses and especially ‘floating forward’ on the ma . You can activate the Mula Bandha by inhaling and tightening the pelvic floor inward and upward towards the navel, then relaxing.

Uddiyana Bandha – Upward Abdominal Lock

This is the lock often hinted at with ‘activating your core’ but takes this a step further. This Bandha is famous for a picture of a man performing this bind in a manner his ribcage protrudes intensely. Activating this Bandha during Asana practice can help give a sense of balance moving between poses. You can activate the Uddiyana Bandha by inhaling deeply, then exhaling completely so your stomach sucks in. Then, ‘inhale’ slightly without actually breathing air, and activate the diaphragm locking downward towards the navel. Then slowly exhale to relax the lock and breathe normally.

Jalandhara Bandha – cHIN Lock

This lock is automatically performed by many beginner Yogis without realizing it is a Bandha! This Bandha is activated by bending the head forward until the chin presses into your neck or chest. This Bandha is activated during Hot Yoga Pranayama, and in certain Asanas. Jalandhara Bandha keeps energy channeled downward.

Maha Bandha – Great Lock

This Bandha is a combination of the previous three, and is an advanced energy and meditation technique. To properly perform this, you first activate the Jalandhara, then Uddiyana, then Mula Bandha and hold all three. Then release Mula, Uddiyana, and Jalandhara in that order.

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Have you used Bandhas before in your practice? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 2 – August 2021 Yoga Challenge Day 14 – Tadasana & Centering

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

Happy Sunday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

We recently added videos each day to our original pose breakdowns.. check out the new video with options for arms through this pose below and in our original Tadasana post!

Sun Salutations AsanaTadasana / Mountain Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaSukhasana, Siddhasana, Padmasana & Virasana

Tadasana - mountain pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Padmasana - full lotus pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Tadasana / Mountain Pose or finding your preferred comfortable seat. I consider finding your preferred grounding pose to be finding your center . Most Yoga classes start and end with these Asanas. Each of these centering Asanas are great poses for meditation.

What do I do with my hands?!

Check out this little video for a few options for arms through Tadasana. I prefer to “swan dive” forward as in the first and second option. I find bringing hands up together above head and bringing prayer hands straight down to be most popular in the Yoga Studios I visit. You can also try bringing arms up straight in front of you… Try a few options, and pick your favorite!

Like this Yoga set? Click here for product links and discount codes!

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these seated poses? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 2 – May 2021 Challenge – Tadasana & Centering

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

Happy Sunday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

We recently added videos each day to our original pose breakdowns.. check out the new video with options for arms through this pose below and in our original Tadasana post!

Sun Salutations AsanaTadasana / Mountain Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaSukhasana, Siddhasana, Padmasana & Virasana

Tadasana - mountain pose with prayer hands - yoga pose yoga girl wearing purple doing yoga inside in purple yoga studio
Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Like this Yoga set? Click here for product links and discount codes!

Padmasana - full lotus pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Tadasana / Mountain Pose or finding your preferred comfortable seat. I consider finding your preferred grounding pose to be finding your center . Most Yoga classes start and end with these Asanas. Each of these centering Asanas are great poses for meditation.

Since May is Correct your Posture Month if you have done this before, I strongly suggest checking and correcting your posture as we revisit this traditional series. Take note of your ankles, knees, hips, ribcage, shoulders, chin, and ears, and take note of both the location and any tilt in these areas.

What do I do with my hands?!

Check out this little video for a few options for arms through Tadasana. I prefer to “swan dive” forward as in the first and second option. I find bringing hands up together above head and bringing prayer hands straight down to be most popular in the Yoga Studios I visit. You can also try bringing arms up straight in front of you… Try a few options, and pick your favorite!

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these seated poses? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Seated Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Limbs of Yoga. Today we will begin a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Arm Balance, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Standing, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will begin with Seated and review favorite seated poses that are best for meditation. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

Sukhasana - easy pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink and black lace set doing yoga inside in cool pink and purple yoga studio
Sukhasana – Easy Pose

Like this Yoga set? Click here for product links and discount codes!

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

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

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any seated Asana. Firstly, please try all of them, at least briefly, and see which feels best for you! Please note different seats are comfortable for different bodies. I enjoy Padmasana / Lotus Pose which many Yogis find very uncomfortable, and I find Virasana / Hero’s Pose a bit rough on my knees and best with a block under my seat. Also, these seated poses are also the best positions for your meditation and Pranayama practice! Perhaps select your favorite as your comfortable seated position for your meditation practice going forward!

If you are able, I recommend Padmasana / Lotus Pose or try Gomukhasana / Cow Face Pose for the current Taurus Season!

Upper Body

Firstly, you should keep your head, neck, and shoulders aligned over your hips in each pose. Secondly, keep your shoulders down and back, and try to keep your back from rounding. Finally, your hands can either gently rest on knees and/or in your favorite mudra / placement for meditation. We will focus just on the lower body in each of these positions. Also, if any poses are uncomfortable, try with a couch pillow or block under your seat! Lastly, I find it helps to switch my legs and do both sides for any cross legged positions to even out my posture!

Sukhasana – Easy Pose

Sukhasana - comfortable cross-legged easy pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Sukhasana – Easy Pose

Sukhasana (sook-HA-sa-nuh) is basically just a comfortable seated position! Firstly, look down at your legs – you should see a small triangle of empty space. Keep your torso straight and tall over your hips. Then take note of your rib cage. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Finally, notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. You can put your hands on the ground and gently press to lengthen your back, or rest your hands on your knees. You can pull a bit on your knees to help open your chest and help keep your back straight.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

Siddhasana - adepts adept's pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

Siddhasana (sid-DAH-sa-nuh) is basically a slightly more difficult version of Sukhasana / Easy Pose. Start in Sukhasana / Easy Pose. Then, spread your knees a bit further, and bring your feet in towards your groin. Next, look down and make sure there is no empty space between your legs. Finally, make sure you keep your back straight, not rounded! If you notice your back rounding in this pose, move your legs back out to Sukhasana / easy pose. I prefer Siddhasana over Sukhasana, especially because bringing in my feet helps me maintain a straighter back.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Padmasana - full lotus pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Padmasana – Lotus Pose

This is a comfortable seat for advanced Yogis only. Please do not force yourself into this pose! Many Yogis work Ardha Padmasana (ARD-ha pahd-MA-sa-nuh), or Half Lotus and can only express the full pose after extensive Asana practice. Make sure you keep your back straight, not rounded! I ALWAYS do an Asana series in this pose, cross my legs the other way, and repeat! This leg base is used in many other advanced Asanas and variations, such as Tolasana / Scales Pose and advanced Matsyasana – Fish Pose.

First, start in Siddhasana / Adept’s Pose. Lift and pull in your right foot, and place on top of your left thigh, as close to your hip as possible. You can leave your other leg here, in Ardha Padmasana – Half Lotus. Or, you can pull your left leg up and over onto your right leg, to come into the full expression of Padmasana.

If you are being extra festive today, perhaps also try Lotus Mudra with your hands, and read more about its history!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Virasana - hero hero's pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Since Virasana (veer-AH-sa-nuh) or Hero’s Pose is a kneeling Asana, it usually much more comfortable for Yogis with tight hips than the cross legged poses above. Firstly start kneeling with knees and toes together. Then, bring the toes apart, and sit yourself down between your legs. This pose can be rough on my knees, and sometimes bothers my heels and tops of my feet if I have been wearing high heels. I therefore find this pose much more comfortable with a block under my seat as pictured below.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

More Seated Asanas

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

Dandasana – Staff Pose

Navasana – Boat Pose

Parivrtta Sukhasana – Seated Twist Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these seated poses? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 10 – 2021 – Comfortable Seats for Meditation

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will revisit my favorite seated poses that are best for meditation. Yoga classes often start with Tadasana or Mountain Pose, a standing grounding pose. On the other hand, some classes start with seated grounding poses. We will cover a few of these comfortable seats for meditation Asanas for today’s practice. Or, check out our Top 5 Meditation Poses for non-seated meditation poses!

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! For Asana Day today, I recommend a moving meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try the seated centering Asanas. Firstly, please try all of them, at least briefly, and see which feels best for you! Please note different seats are comfortable for different bodies. I enjoy Padmasana / Lotus Pose which many Yogis find very uncomfortable, and I find Virasana / Hero’s Pose a bit rough on my knees and best with a block under my seat. Also, these seated poses are also the best positions for your meditation and Pranayama practice! Perhaps select your favorite as your comfortable seated position for your meditation practice going forward!

If you are able, I recommend Padmasana / Lotus Pose since we are getting close to the start of Spring! If you are being extra festive today, perhaps also try Lotus Mudra with your hands, and read more about its history!

close up pond filled with bright green lilly pad leaves and pink and white lotus flower and blooming flower buds
Lotus Flowers

Upper BodY

Firstly, you should keep your head, neck, and shoulders aligned over your hips in each pose. Secondly, keep your shoulders down and back, and try to keep your back from rounding. Finally, your hands can either gently rest on knees and/or in your favorite mudra / placement for meditation. We will focus just on the lower body in each of these positions. Also, if any poses are uncomfortable, try with a couch pillow or block under your seat! Lastly, I find it helps to switch my legs and do both sides for any cross legged positions to even out my posture!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Sukhasana – Easy Pose

Sukhasana - comfortable cross-legged easy pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Sukhasana – Easy Pose

Sukhasana (sook-HA-sa-nuh) is basically just a comfortable seated position! Firstly, look down at your legs – you should see a small triangle of empty space. Keep your torso straight and tall over your hips. Then take note of your rib cage. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Finally, notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. You can put your hands on the ground and gently press to lengthen your back, or rest your hands on your knees. You can pull a bit on your knees to help open your chest and help keep your back straight.

Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

Siddhasana - adepts adept's pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

Siddhasana (sid-DAH-sa-nuh) is basically a slightly more difficult version of Sukhasana / Easy Pose. Start in Sukhasana / Easy Pose. Then, spread your knees a bit further, and bring your feet in towards your groin. Next, look down and make sure there is no empty space between your legs. Finally, make sure you keep your back straight, not rounded! If you notice your back rounding in this pose, move your legs back out to Sukhasana / easy pose. I prefer Siddhasana over Sukhasana, especially because bringing in my feet helps me maintain a straighter back.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Padmasana - full lotus pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Padmasana – Lotus Pose

This is a comfortable seat for advanced Yogis only. Please do not force yourself into this pose! Many Yogis work Ardha Padmasana (ARD-ha pahd-MA-sa-nuh), or Half Lotus and can only express the full pose after extensive Asana practice. Make sure you keep your back straight, not rounded! I ALWAYS do an Asana series in this pose, cross my legs the other way, and repeat! This leg base is used in many other advanced Asanas and variations, such as Tolasana / Scales Pose and advanced Matsyasana – Fish Pose.

First, start in Siddhasana / Adept’s Pose. Lift and pull in your right foot, and place on top of your left thigh, as close to your hip as possible. You can leave your other leg here, in Ardha Padmasana – Half Lotus. Or, you can pull your left leg up and over onto your right leg, to come into the full expression of Padmasana.

If you are being extra festive today, perhaps also try Lotus Mudra with your hands, and read more about its history!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Virasana - hero hero's pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Since Virasana (veer-AH-sa-nuh) or Hero’s Pose is a kneeling Asana, it usually much more comfortable for Yogis with tight hips than the cross legged poses above. Firstly start kneeling with knees and toes together. Then, bring the toes apart, and sit yourself down between your legs. This pose can be rough on my knees, and sometimes bothers my heels and tops of my feet if I have been wearing high heels. I therefore find this pose much more comfortable with a block under my seat as pictured below.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these seated poses? Always remember, be kind! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! For Asana Day today, I recommend a moving meditation.

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Asanas – Poses – Day 2 – 2021 – Tadasana & Centering

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

Happy Sunday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

We are adding videos each day to our original pose breakdowns.. check out the new video with options for arms through this pose below and in our original Tadasana post!

Sun Salutations AsanaTadasana / Mountain Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaSukhasana, Siddhasana, Padmasana & Virasana

Tadasana - mountain pose with prayer hands - yoga pose yoga girl wearing purple doing yoga inside in purple yoga studio
Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Like this Yoga set? Click here for product links and discount codes!

Padmasana - full lotus pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Tadasana / Mountain Pose or finding your preferred comfortable seat. I consider finding your preferred grounding pose to be finding your center . Most Yoga classes start and end with these Asanas. Each of these centering Asanas are great poses for meditation.

What do I do with my hands?!

Check out this little video for a few options for arms through Tadasana. I prefer to “swan dive” forward as in the first and second option. I find bringing hands up together above head and bringing prayer hands straight down to be most popular in the Yoga Studios I visit. You can also try bringing arms up straight in front of you… Try a few options, and pick your favorite!

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these seated poses? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 8 – Malasana – Garland Pose – Krampusnacht

Happy Saturday Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today is the first of the holidays I get to discuss for our special Holiday month, and we will cover a festive Asana Malasana or Garland Pose, often referred to as a “yoga squat.”

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We will start early next week by counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing). Then we will have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

PS sorry to our far eastern Yogis especially in Australia – I am changing our morning posting time to 9am Tokyo Time which is 12am universal RSS time for our app. If you would like to receive posts earlier in the day for your time zone, please contact me!

Holiday Season – Krampusnacht

Krampus!

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

Today is the first holiday for this season I am going to share – Krampusnacht! I have been into world history and traditions for many years, and Krampusnacht is the most amusing holiday to me.. partly because of the name “Krampus” which makes me giggle. This holiday is seriously like the Nightmare before Christmas!

Krampusnacht is celebrated primarily in Bavarian mountain towns the evening before St. Nicholas Day. This is a different European Christmas tradition than we are familiar with in the United States. St. Nicholas Day, celebrated earlier in December, is the day for gifts from St. Nicholas or Father Christmas – for only good children. The bad children do not get coal… they were either stolen, eaten, or scared straight by the monstrous Krampus the evening before!

I am guessing with this terrifying holiday, areas celebrating Krampusnacht have the best-behaved children in the world. I tried to make my Malasana picture a bit scary today for the Krampus theme!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Asana – Malasana or Garland Pose. This pose is great to counter sitting at a desk all day!

Malasana – Garland Pose

Malasana – Garland Pose

This is a deep hip opener – make sure to practice a bit before attempting this pose! This seemingly simple pose is a journey pose, and you will begin to move your torso forward as your chest and hips open with practice!

  • Start standing in Tadasana / Mountain Pose.
  • Step your feet out a bit wider than hip-distance, and turn your toes out 45 degrees.
  • Bend your knees and slowly come into a full low squat.
  • Bring your arms forward between your knees, and bring palms together into a prayer position, pressing elbows into thighs.
  • Press gently into thighs and bring your chest forward.
    • Take note of your head and neck – keep in line with your torso
    • Take note of where your weight is in your feet, both front to back and side to side. Keep even side to side, and keep most weight in your heels.
  • Hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. Begin with holding 30-60 seconds, and work up to 3-5 minutes!

If you have tight hips and knees, or have trouble balancing here, you may want to sit on a block for support.

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

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried this Asana before? Is this your first time learning about Krampusnacht? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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Asanas – Poses – Day 8 – 2020 – Finding Your Center

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

Happy Sunday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaTadasana / Mountain Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaSukhasana, Siddhasana, Padmasana & Virasana

Tadasana - mountain pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Padmasana - full lotus pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Tadasana / Mountain Pose or finding your preferred comfortable seat. I consider finding your preferred grounding pose to be finding your center . Most Yoga classes start and end with these Asanas. Each of these centering Asanas are great poses for meditation.

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these seated poses? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 6 – Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will cover my absolute favorite hip opener and one of my favorite Asanas – Supta Kapotasana (SOUP-tuh kah-poe-TAH-sa-nuh) or Reclined Pigeon Pose.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Asana Day today, our meditation is a Guided Meditation on Releasing and Letting Go as we will be doing physically with today’s Asana!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Asana – Supta Kapotasana or Reclined Pigeon. This pose is great for lower back pain, and especially for sciatic nerve issues.

Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

This is a deep hip opener – make sure to practice on both sides! There are many Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose variations. This is considered the easiest version, but I find it the best and most versatile. I enjoy moving my legs around a bit to find and target different tight spots in the hips.

  • Start laying on the ground face up in Shavasana – Corpse Pose. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground.
  • Begin with your right foot on top – bring your right ankle to your left knee, making your legs into a figure 4.
    • If you are a new Yogi or have very tight hips and already feel a stretch.. stay here! Breathe deeply into your hips in this pose.. I find new male Yogis may need to practice this for up to a year before being comfortable enough to move into the full expression of this pose below!
    • If you are staying here in Ardha Supta Kapotasana or Half-Reclined Pigeon Pose, hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. I usually hold 30-60 seconds per side in my regular practice.
    • Switch your legs so left leg is on top, and repeat on the other side.
Ardha Supta Kapotasana – Half Reclined Pigeon Pose
  • Reach your hands around your leg and clasp around your left knee.
  • Exhale and hug your left knee in towards your chest. Breathe deeply into your belly and hips, and let your hips and lower back release.
  • Hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. I usually hold 30-60 seconds per side in regular practice. I occasionally hold this Asana for up to 5 minutes, moving my knees closer or away from my chest, or side to side slightly to target problem areas.
  • Switch your legs so left leg is on top, and repeat on the other side.
Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

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

CHECK OUT OUR Other Top 5 lists
TOP 5 YOGA Equipment and Yoga MATS!

You may want a couch pillow, or perhaps a folded-up blanket for extra support under the head.

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried the half or full version of this Asana before? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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Asanas – Poses – Day 5 – Top 5 Meditation Positions / Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will cover my Top 5 Positions or Asanas for Meditation.

Please try all of these meditation poses, at least briefly and see which feels best for you! Please note there is no right or wrong here.. I am sharing MY Top 5, but many others may disagree with me. For example, I find Virasana / Hero Pose comfortable for an extended time only with a block under my seat, and occasionally find Lotus Pose enjoyable, which is too intense for many Yogis.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a meditation in the position / Asana of your choice. We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October. Try our breath-focused meditation, or perhaps a meditative drive or hike! If you prefer guided meditations, for Asana Day today try a Restorative Asana class with Guided Meditation.

TOP 5 MEDITATION POSITIONS / ASANAS

1. SIDDHASANA – ADEPT’S POSE – CROSS-LEGGED SEATED MEDITATION

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Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

I enjoy Siddhasana (sid-DAH-sa-na) or Adepts Pose for Meditation. This is basically my comfortable seated position, and that is just how I always envisioned meditating! This Asana is basically a slightly more difficult version of Sukhasana / Easy Pose.

Start in a comfortable cross legged position. Then spread your knees a bit further, and bring your feet in towards your groin – keep your leg on the mat and tuck your ankles/shins over each other. Look down and make sure there is no empty space between your legs and feet. Keep your torso straight and tall over your hips. Take note of your rib cage. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. You can put your hands on the ground and gently press to lengthen your back, or rest your hands on your knees. You can pull a bit on your knees to help open your chest and help keep your back straight. You should keep your head, neck, and shoulders aligned over your hips in any seated pose. Your hands can either gently rest on knees and/or in your favorite mudra/placement for meditation. PS if any poses are uncomfortable, try with a couch pillow or block under your seat! Try not to move your body while meditating, I find it helps to switch my legs each day of practice for any cross legged positions to even out my posture!

Make sure you keep your back straight, not rounded in any seated position! If you notice your back rounding in this pose, move your legs back out to Sukhasana / easy pose, making a small triangle of empty space between your legs. I prefer Siddhasana over Sukhasana, because bringing in my feet helps me maintain a straighter back. I also prefer Siddhasana over Padmasana / Lotus Pose for meditation, since Lotus can get a bit strenuous on my ankles for an extended time.

2. SEATED IN A CHAIR – SEATED MEDITATION

Chair Yoga is very common, and chairs are often the most comfortable seat we can find! It is important to be comfortable and maintain your posture if you will be sitting for an extended period of time, and a chair can help with both. Driving is also my favorite meditative activity, so sitting in a chair (driver’s seat also counts to me) makes this #2 for my Top 5!

3. SHAVASANA – CORPSE POSE – RECLINED / SUPINE MEDITATION

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Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Shavasana or Corpse Pose is often considered the most important Asana, especially after Asana Class. I occasionally enjoy deep meditations if I need help to fall asleep, and it is absolutely required to be in bed in Shavasana for those guided meditations! One of my favorite things about meditation in Shavasana is that I can breathe more deeply into my belly than I am able to in a seated position.

Lay on your back, and allow your legs and feet to gently splay open. Rest your arms a few inches away from your body, with palms facing up. Close your eyes, and allow your entire body to relax and sink into the mat. You can use a couch pillow under your head and/or knees, or any modifications to make this pose more comfortable for an extended time. I occasionally take Shavasana with knees bent and feet on the floor, and/or with elbows bent and hands under my head or cactus-arms to the side.

To come out, gently roll onto your right side, then press your hand into the mat to come back up slowly into a seated position.

4. TADASANA – MOUNTAIN POSE – STANDING / WALKING MEDITATION

Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Tadasana / Mountain Pose is often thought of as neutral standing, but this a power pose for many Yogis. Yoga Retreats frequently offer meditation walks or mindfulness hikes. This is something I try with our Santosha practices of enjoying the present moment! A meditative walk or hike is a great way to begin meditating, especially if mindfulness practices are new to you, or you have difficulty calming the mind while sitting quietly.

5. VIRASANA – HERO’S POSE – KNEELING MEDITATION

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is virasana-2-1500x1126.jpg
Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Virasana / Hero’s Pose is actually the most comfortable seat for many Yogis. However, this is my Top 5, and I find kneeling positions strenuous on my feet and knees for extended periods of time. I can only hold kneeling positions comfortably with a block under my seat! I do enjoy meditation in a kneeling position, resting my hands on my knees.

This is a kneeling Asana, and usually much more comfortable for Yogis with tight hips than the cross legged posses above. Start kneeling with knees and toes together. Then, bring the toes apart, and sit yourself down between your legs. Make sure to keep your back straight, with hips, shoulders, and head in line. This pose can be rough on my knees, and sometimes bothers my heels and tops of my feet if I’ve been wearing high heels. I find this pose much more comfortable with a block under my seat as pictured below.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is virasana-block-1-1500x1124.jpg
Virasana – Hero’s Pose with Block

CHECK OUT OUR Other Top 5 lists
TOP 5 YOGA Equipment and Yoga MATS!

I would recommend a block, couch pillows, or perhaps a folded-up blanket for support under the seat. Pick your favorite chair for a seated meditation, or comfortable shoes for a meditative hike or walk!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

There you have it, my Top 5 Meditation Positions! Please comment to share if your Top 5 would be different.. I know many Yogis enjoy seated positions other than Adept’s Pose, or prefer Shavasana to any other position. Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 2 – Sunday Seats – Comfortable Seats for Meditation

Good morning Yogis! Yoga classes often start with Tadasana or Mountain Pose, a standing grounding pose. On the other hand, some classes start with seated grounding poses. We will cover a few of these comfortable seats for meditation Asanas for today’s Sunday Seats.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try the seated centering Asanas. Firstly, please try all of them, at least briefly, and see which feels best for you! Please note different seats are comfortable for different bodies. I enjoy Padmasana / Lotus Pose which many Yogis find very uncomfortable, and I find Virasana / Hero’s Pose a bit rough on my knees and best with a block under my seat. Also, these seated poses are also the best positions for your meditation and Pranayama practice! Perhaps select your favorite as your comfortable seated position for your meditation practice going forward! Or, check out our Top 5 Meditation Poses for non-seated meditation poses!

Upper BodY

Firstly, you should keep your head, neck, and shoulders aligned over your hips in each pose. Secondly, keep your shoulders down and back, and try to keep your back from rounding. Finally, your hands can either gently rest on knees and/or in your favorite mudra / placement for meditation. We will focus just on the lower body in each of these positions. Also, if any poses are uncomfortable, try with a couch pillow or block under your seat! Lastly, I find it helps to switch my legs and do both sides for any cross legged positions to even out my posture!

Sukhasana – Easy Pose

Sukhasana – Easy Pose

Sukhasana (sook-HA-sa-nuh) is basically just a comfortable seated position! Firstly, look down at your legs – you should see a small triangle of empty space. Keep your torso straight and tall over your hips. Then take note of your rib cage. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Finally, notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. You can put your hands on the ground and gently press to lengthen your back, or rest your hands on your knees. You can pull a bit on your knees to help open your chest and help keep your back straight.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

Siddhasana (sid-DAH-sa-nuh) is basically a slightly more difficult version of Sukhasana / Easy Pose. Start in Sukhasana / Easy Pose. Then, spread your knees a bit further, and bring your feet in towards your groin. Next, look down and make sure there is no empty space between your legs. Finally, make sure you keep your back straight, not rounded! If you notice your back rounding in this pose, move your legs back out to Sukhasana / easy pose. I prefer Siddhasana over Sukhasana, especially because bringing in my feet helps me maintain a straighter back.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

This is a comfortable seat for advanced Yogis only. Please do not force yourself into this pose! Many Yogis work Ardha Padmasana (ARD-ha pahd-MA-sa-nuh), or Half Lotus and can only express the full pose after extensive Asana practice. Make sure you keep your back straight, not rounded! I ALWAYS do an Asana series in this pose, cross my legs the other way, and repeat! This leg base is used in many other advanced Asanas and variations, such as Tolasana / Scales Pose and advanced Matsyasana – Fish Pose.

First, start in Siddhasana / Adept’s Pose. Lift and pull in your right foot, and place on top of your left thigh, as close to your hip as possible. You can leave your other leg here, in Ardha Padmasana – Half Lotus. Or, you can pull your left leg up and over onto your right leg, to come into the full expression of Padmasana.

Perhaps also try Lotus Mudra with your hands, and read more about its history!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Since Virasana (veer-AH-sa-nuh) or Hero’s Pose is a kneeling Asana, it usually much more comfortable for Yogis with tight hips than the cross legged poses above. Firstly start kneeling with knees and toes together. Then, bring the toes apart, and sit yourself down between your legs. This pose can be rough on my knees, and sometimes bothers my heels and tops of my feet if I have been wearing high heels. I therefore find this pose much more comfortable with a block under my seat as pictured below.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these seated poses? Always remember, be kind!

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