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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 5 – 2021 – Meditative Mandalas

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a special Upper Limbs week of meditative practices. Today we will revisit one of my favorite Dharana Meditative Practice – Mandalas!

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

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

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

Blank Mandalas

Check out my favorite Mandala Coloring books and supplies


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

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

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Saucha – Purity – Day 2 – 2021 & Imbolc – Flame Gazing Meditation

Good morning Yogis! Happy February! We completed our round of practices of the Yamas and now we are moving on to the Niyamas!

I have mentioned my interest in mythology of all kinds, and my super Irish name (Tarryn) means I am particularly interested in Celtic mythology. Today is Imbolc, one of the four seasonal Celtic holidays, half way between the winter solstice and spring equinox. It was traditionally celebrated January 31-February 1 because Celtic days began and ended at sunset, rather than at midnight as they do today. There are many interesting ancient Imbolc traditions and rituals, the main one which has carried into modern times is Spring Cleaning! You can read more about the history here if you are interested. We will focus on two of the traditional Imbolc rituals – spring cleaning and bonfires (fires for purification).

blue and purple flames on black background

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Saucha / Purity with our surroundings. We will have a bonus review of Flame Gazing Meditation, a Dharana practice also below!

I personally do not do well when my home is cluttered or disorganized. I need everything to have its own place to go back to, or else I cannot find anything! Pick an area of your home or office to declutter and clean. Get storage bins, drawer organizers, or whatever you need to help yourself keep this area clean and organized going forward. Whether it is your closet, garage, junk drawer, basement, car, or your e-mail inbox, work on bringing Saucha to one of your spaces that you feel needs some TLC.

Want more Cleaning Ideas and hacks?
Check our cleaning Tips & Tricks on Pinterest!

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.

Flame Gazing Meditation

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

Please comment and share whether you practiced Saucha and/or our flame-gazing Dharana exercise today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Halloween – Samhain – Flame Gazing Meditation

Starting our 30 Day Challenge? Here is today’s intro post! You may also want to try our special practice for Halloween!

Good morning Yogis! Happy Halloween! We are going to close out our Meditation Month Bonus Challenge with a special type of holiday-themed meditation.

I have mentioned my interest in mythology of all kinds, and my super Irish name (Tarryn) means I am particularly interested in Celtic mythology. Today is Halloween in the West, and this holiday has some traditions that trickled down from the Celtic holiday Samhain. This is one of four seasonal Celtic holidays, half way between the fall equinox and winter solstice. It was traditionally celebrated October 31-November 1 because Celtic days began and ended at sunset, rather than at midnight as they do today. There are many interesting ancient Samhain traditions and rituals, some of which filtered down into Halloween. You can read more here if you are interested. We will focus on one traditional Samhain ritual – Bonfires, and today we will discuss Flame Gazing Meditation, a Dharana practice.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a form of Flame Gazing, a Dharana Practice. There are a few different forms of this you can try!

Flame Gazing Meditation

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

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Dharana exercise! Have you done this meditative flame-gazing before, not knowing this was a meditation practice? Always remember, be kind!

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

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

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

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

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

Blank Mandalas

Check out my favorite Mandala Coloring books and supplies


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

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

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

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October’s Emotional Wellness Month. Additionally, we are in the middle of a quick series of daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. We covered Pratyahara or withdrawal of the sense yesterday. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the lower limbs, and then sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. Today we will discuss Dharana, and then try a Dharana Guided Meditation or other Meditative Practice.

Nearly all meditation practices you think of are types of Dharana.

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dharana-focused Meditation Practice. Perhaps try our breath-focused meditation again to prepare for tomorrow’s next level of meditation. Perhaps focus on your breath or body in Shavasana / Corpse Pose after an Asana practice, another meditative practice from our list, try a guided meditation below, or any other method of your own.. whatever feels right to you. We will cover mandalas and flame gazing later!

Dharana or Intense Focus Meditative Practices

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

Morning Motivational Meditation (10 minutes)

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Full Night Sleep Meditation (8 hours)

Grounding Meditation (9 minutes)

Body Scanning Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Self-Reflective Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation (12 minutes)

Celestial Visualization Guided Meditation (7 minutes)

Manifest Meditations (Power of Attraction) (10 minutes) 

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 3 – Dharana – Intense Focus

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breath-focused Dharana Meditation

Body Scanning Guided Meditation

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation

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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Intro – Meditation

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

The 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.

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

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

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