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 Mediation 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

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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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!

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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!

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 7 – Mindfulness

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Santosha / contentment Day. Today we are going to introduce Mindfulness, a concept and practice that relates to Santosha.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is fully being present or “in the moment” without distractions, and observing your inner and/or outer world without judgment. This is a practice embraced by both Eastern Philosophy and Western Psychology as key for both contentment and stress reduction. Many enjoy Yoga because it brings Mindfulness with focus on breath, moving between poses, and being present in our bodies. Mindfulness can help reduce anxiety, remain calm in stressful situations, support positive thinking, and increase the quality of our lives.

More on Mindfulness and Benefits

Psychology Today – Understanding, Practicing, and Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindful – Getting Started with Mindfulness (and Meditation)

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For our Mindfulness-focused Santosha Day today, our meditation is a  Mindfulness Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice for Santosha Day is to try to practice Mindfulness. Like many other challenging mental practices in Yoga like Aparigraha, remember this is a journey and be patient with your progress in this difficult practice, especially if it is new for 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.

  • 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.
  • Take note of your thoughts during a stressful situation, and observe them without judgment rather than getting caught up with them.
  • Bring Mindfulness to your eating by paying attention to all five senses, chewing slowly, and truly enjoying every bite!
  • Sit quietly, and go through all of your senses one by one to appreciate your surroundings.
  • Try a body scan, especially in Shavasana after Asana practice, in a comfortable chair, or before bed.
  • Check out more Mindfulness practices from Mindful.org

Please remember Mindfulness is a difficult practice, so please be gentle with yourself!

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

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Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 7

Good Morning Yogis! It is Asteya Day! Last time we practiced the positive version of the third of the YamasAsteya / non-stealing with an act of generosity, but today we will take it a step further and examine non-stealing.

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Asteya day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Balance in Our Lives.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively practice Asteya / non-stealing in our lives. 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.

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

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 7

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

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Satya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Self-Reflective Guided Meditation that may help you uncover some truths.

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.

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

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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!

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Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 7

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Limbs of Yoga for our daily positive practices with Ahimsa or non-harming. Our last Ahimsa Day we practiced with a random act of kindness, but today we will focus on practicing non-violence.

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Ahimsa day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Non-Violence.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Ahimsa / 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!

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

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

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

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

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

Dhyana Guided Meditation

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

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

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

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

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


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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 7 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses – Guided Meditation

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

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

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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

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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

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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


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 Savasana to any other position. Always remember, be kind!

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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!

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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!

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 6

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Santosha / contentment Day… today is one of my favorite daily Sutra-inspired practices!

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Santosha Day today, my meditation for the day is a Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation. Try to remember any positive affirmations that resonate with you – perhaps add to your journal, repeat and reflect on your moment in nature today, and/or come back to them during meditation. I enjoyed “Today I look for and appreciate the good” and “I am worthy, I am enough.”

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.

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

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Saucha – Purity – Day 6

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Niyamas for our daily practices with Saucha or Purity Day.

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Saucha Day today, my meditation for the day is a Cleansing Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a deep cleaning or pampering of our bodies for Saucha Day. Need some ideas?

  • Enjoy a long shower or bubble bath.
  • Maybe give yourself a pedicure, with a warm foot soak and lotion massage after, whether you paint your toes or not.
  • Perhaps try a tooth whitening treatment.
  • Relax with a face mask and cucumber slices over your eyes.
  • If you want to try a new Ayurvedic practice, maybe try oil-pulling (I recommend 2-15 minutes, not 20-30) with coconut oil.
  • If the days of social distancing are done, maybe book a last-minute facial or salon treatment of your choice.
  • Clean your insides with a clean-eating day – no junk food, or perhaps try another clean eating diet method or cleanse of your choice.
  • Whatever practice feels right for you to integrate Saucha into your day.

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

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Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 6

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Asteya or Non-stealing Day. So, we will be practicing Asteya with the positive of non-stealing or generosity today!

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Asteya day today, my meditation for the day is a brief Generosity Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice a random act of generosity for today’s Asteya/non-stealing day. Need some ideas?

  • Today is World Animal Day – Please consider making a donation to the World Wildlife Fund to help protect endangered animals and their environments!
  • 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.
  • If you have old luggage you no longer use, please consider donating to a foster care agency, since many foster children are forced to move with garbage bags.
  • Purge toys, books, kitchen gadgets, and/or electronics you no longer use, and consider donating as appropriate to a local organization for the elderly, women and/or children.
  • Consider making a cash donation to your local food bank, hospital, or another nonprofit or charity that is meaningful to you.
  • Do a closet clean-out and donate clothes you do not wear any more… or consider starting a wardrobe tracking method to help identify what you do not wear and could donate. PS consider making the extra effort donating directly to local organizations for the homeless, women, or children rather than the easy dropboxes for Goodwill.

Please comment if you would like to share how you practiced Asteya today! Always remember, be kind!

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 6

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day. Today’s Satya practice is focused on the “benevolent truth” translation of Satya from Sanskrit.

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Satya day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation – Seeing Your True Self about loving yourself and seeing your true potential.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is sharing a kind truth with someone you care about. 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. Need some ideas?

  • 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 comment if you would like to share how your Satya practice went today! Always remember, be kind!

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October Emotional Wellness Month 2020 – Intentions and Yoga Philosophy

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

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!

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today’s practice and daily pop-up reminders!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 6 – Meditations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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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!

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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

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 – Day 2 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses

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

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

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

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

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

Calming Asana close with long Shavasana

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

Morning Motivational Meditation (10 minutes)

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Grounding Meditation (9 minutes)

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

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