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

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

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

Laughter Yoga

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

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

More on the Power of Positive Thinking

The Law of Attraction & Power of Positive Thinking Intro

11 Ways to Boost Positive Thinking

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

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Holiday – Niyamas – Personal Observances

Good Morning Yogis! We just completed our special Holiday week of Yamas practices. We typically take 5 days to practice each of the Niyamas, but today we will select one or two of our choice to practice today.

field of bare aspen trees overlooking alpine valley lake with bright blue cloudless sky - niyamas personal observances self-improvement Quote: You are essentially who you create yourself to be, and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making. - Stephen Richards
You are essentially who you create yourself to be, and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making. – Stephen Richards

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice any of the 5 Niyamas or personal observances of our choice. I am practicing Saucha with some cleaning and organizing, and Svadhyaya with a journal day! Need more ideas?

  • Practice Saucha with cleaning your surroundings or a personal deep-cleaning
  • Practice Santosha with mindfulness practices or living in the moment
  • Practice Tapas with a workout or getting something done you have been putting off
  • Practice Svadhyaya with a journal day or reading a sacred text of your choice
  • Practice Ishvara Pranidhana with acceptance and non-attachment with your actions and any difficult situations

Next INTRO CHALLENGE starts – 05/01/2021

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Please comment and share how you decided to practice one of the Niyamas today. Always remember, be kind!

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Holiday – Aparigraha – Non-Attachment

Good Morning Yogis! We just completed our special Holiday week of Brahmacharya. Today we will practice the last of the YamasAparigraha / non-attachment.

orange and blue california sunset in the hills with shadowy shower shrub - aparigraha non-attachment Quote: What we have to learn, in both meditation and in life,  is to be free of attachment to the good experiences, and free of aversion to the negative ones. - Sogyal Rinpoche
What we have to learn, in both meditation and in life, is to be free of attachment to the good experiences, and free of aversion to the negative ones. – Sogyal Rinpoche

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

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

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Holiday – Satya – Truthfulness – Day 3 – Zamenhof Day

Good Morning Yogis – Happy Tuesday! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! 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!

snow-capped brown snowy rocky cliff with small frozen waterfalls flowing icicles - satya truthfulness right speech Quote: Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret,for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true. -Robert Brault
Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret,for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true. -Robert Brault

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our eighth day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we 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.

Holiday Season – Zamenhof Day

Today is the third day of our Satya (truthfulness) practices. Today is also Zamenhof Day, honoring the creator of Esperanto.  L. L. Zamenhof created Esperanto in 1887 as an easy-to-learn universal second language. Although Esperanto did not grow into the universal second language as it was intended, it has lived on and in fact grown a bit due to online language programs like Duolingo. Although linguistic Esperanto never really caught on, financial reporting Esperanto has been implemented fairly successfully through International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). As both an accountant and linguistics nerd who attempted to learn some Esperanto years ago, I was particularly excited to learn about Zamenhof Day and pleased it ties in with today’s Satya focus of correct speech.

Okay, back to Satya practice!

We are in the middle of three days of Satya practice to cover each Satya practice recommended by the 8-Fold Path – correct thoughts, speech, and actions. So today we will practice Satya (truthfulness) with our speech. Correct speech from the 8-Fold Path means avoiding lying, idle chatter, and divisive or abusive speech. As we discussed this week, Satya means KIND truth, and is more about restraint than speaking your truth.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Satya / Truthfulness with correct speech from the 8-Fold Path! Try to apply the “Three Gates Rule” for your speech for today’s Satya / truthfulness day.

The Three Gates Rule is one of my favorite sayings about truth, and one of the easiest ways for me to remember the correct practice of Satya and correct speech with restraint and kindness.

beach under pier water cool ocean perspective - satya truthfulness sufi saying Quote: Before you speak let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate ask yourself - is it true? At the second gate ask - is it necessary? At the third gate ask - is it kind? - Sufi Saying
Before you speak let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate ask yourself – is it true? At the second gate ask – is it necessary? At the third gate ask – is it kind? – Sufi Saying

PS For another 3 Gate Rule for Actions related to Brahmacharya / moderation delivered in a quirky, amusing, and wholesome TV show, check out Joe Pera’s approach to grocery shopping. Yes, yes, yes.

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Holiday – Satya – Truthfulness – Day 2 – Halcyon Days

Good Morning Yogis – Happy Monday! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! 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!

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our seventh day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we 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.

bright blue sky wispy white clouds over nahant bay looking back at Boston with tide out over glistening beach reflecting the sky - satya truthfulness right thought Quote: If the ocean can calm itself, so can you. We are both saltwater mixed with air. - Nayyirah Waheed
If the ocean can calm itself, so can you. We are both saltwater mixed with air. – Nayyirah Waheed

Holiday Season – Halcyon Days

Today is the second day of our Satya (truthfulness) practices, and we just ended 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming) kindness practices. Today is also the start of Halcyon Days. Have you heard of this?! I had heard the name referenced by musicians, and it sounded vaguely familiar from my Classics classes especially Greek mythology, but never really knew. Well, I just learned so you will too 🙂

Halcyon Days nowadays refers to any calm period, but technically these are the 7 days before and after the winter solstice. This two week period is supposed to have particularly calm weather and seas, named after the Halcyon bird (European Kingfisher) which nests during this period. The Halcyon was thought to have the power to calm the seas, from the myth of Alcyone recorded by Ovid. I think random facts are cool…. maybe Halcyon Days will be a trivia question for you in the future!

Okay, back to Satya practice!

We will take the next three days of Satya practice to cover each Satya practice recommended by the 8-Fold Path – correct thoughts, speech, and actions. So today we will practice Satya (truthfulness) with our thoughts. Although this concept of correct thoughts from the 8-Fold Path is fairly complex, we are going to take a simple view for today’s practice – refraining from ill-will against oneself or others. If you do decide to look further into this concept of correct thoughts, you will find Ahimsa is frequently referenced in this kindness in thoughts towards oneself and others. As we discussed yesterday, Satya means KIND truth. So, today we will revisit our challenging Ahimsa of thoughts positive thinking practice for today’s Satya correct thoughts practice.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Satya / Truthfulness with correct thought from the 8-Fold Path!

Remember this can be a difficult practice, so be extra kind and patient with yourself today if today’s practice is difficult.. you have to start somewhere, check out some of the tools above for support!

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Please comment and share how your Satya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Holiday – Satya – Truthfulness – Day 1

Good Morning Yogis – happy Sunday! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! 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!

snowy alpine valley snow covered river bank and clear blue snake river fork with rocky creek and background green pine trees snow capped mountains and bright blue sky - satya kind truth truthfulness Quote: Be kind and honest, and harmful poisons will turn sweet inside you. - Rumi
Be kind and honest, and harmful poisons will turn sweet inside you. – Rumi

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our sixth day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we 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.

Holiday Season –

Today is the first day of our Satya (truthfulness) practices, and we just ended 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming) kindness practices. Today we will combine the two a bit with one of my favorite Satya (truthfulness) practices – sharing a kind truth with a loved one. Remember – Satya is translated as KIND truth, and is more about restraint than sharing your truth… please keep the three gates saying in mind with your Satya practice. We will take the next three days of Satya practice to cover each Satya practice recommended by the 8-Fold Path – correct speech, thoughts, and actions.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to share a kind truth with a loved one for our first Holiday Satya / Truthfulness Day! 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.

Geminids Meteor Shower

blue toned top half of earth from space with bright sun in background and shooting star meteor shower

I want to let everyone know tonight is the peak night of the Geminids meteor shower! I love shooting stars, and the Geminids meteor shower is considered the best of the year! We are close to the new moon, meaning a dark sky for optimal viewing conditions. Meteors will be visible throughout the sky, but primarily originating from the constellation Gemini (my sun sign). PS tonight is the peak, but if it is too cloudy you can try again for the next couple of days.

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Please comment and share how your Satya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Holiday – Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 5

Good Morning Yogis – we made it to the weekend! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! 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!

snowy alpine valley snow covered dark green pine trees and snow capped mountain with bright blue sky with pink and bright blue sunrise and pale white moon - ahimsa kindness kind thoughts Quote: Only love, and not reason, yields kind thoughts. - Thomas Mann
Only love, and not reason, yields kind thoughts. – Thomas Mann

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our fifth day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we 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.

Holiday Season – 12/12

Today is the last day of our Ahimsa (non-harming) practices, so we will practice in a way we have not yet this week – with our thoughts. Many of us suffer from negative self-talk or other negative thoughts, and they do not serve us. There is much to be said for the power of positive thinking. So, today, we will practice kindness with our thoughts today to both ourselves and others. PS it is quite difficult to have a positive thought and negative speech, so our kind thoughts should extend to our words!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice kindness with our thoughts and speech for our final Holiday Ahimsa / Non-harming Day!

Remember this can be a difficult practice, so be extra kind and patient with yourself today if today’s practice is difficult.. you have to start somewhere, check out some of the tools above for support!

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

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Holiday – Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 4 – Mountain Day

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! 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!

snowy alpine valley snow covered dark green pine trees and snow capped mountain with bright blue sky with white streaking airplane contrails and pale white moon - mountains perspective what's important Quote: I like the mountains because they make me feel small. They help me sort out what’s important in life. - Mark Obmascik
I like the mountains because they make me feel small. They help me sort out what’s important in life. – Mark Obmascik

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our fourth day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we 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.

Holiday Season – International Mountain Day

Today is International Mountain Day. This day was created by the UN to increase awareness about these fragile ecosystems. Also, I live in the mountains in Colorado, like 25% of the earth’s animals and 15% of the earth’s humans. So today we will focus on practicing Ahimsa (non-harming) with the environment today!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice kindness to the environment for Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day!

  • Consider making a donation to the World Wildlife Fund to help protect endangered animals and their environments! I am an animal lover and environmentalist, this one is near and dear to me, but I apologize for repeating over and over 🙂
  • Plant a tree!
  • Perhaps go for a hike in the mountains, and maybe bring gloves and trash bags and do some extra clean-up in honor of Mountain Day.
  • If you are not near any mountains or have other plans, keep an eye out for litter while you are out and do a little clean up when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Find and participate in an organized local clean-up.. these events are usually great for maintaining social distancing!
  • Support beach and ocean cleanup efforts by purchasing a 4Ocean sea plastic bracelet.
  • Hold for extra time in Tadasana / Mountain Pose today.
  • Or, if none of these suggestions resonate with you, find another way to practice some environmentalism!

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

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Holiday – Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 3 – Hanukkah

Happy Thursday Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! 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!

bright blue sky with sunlit clouds and faint rainbow cloud - ahimsa kindness wisdom Quote: Kindness is the highest form of wisdom. - The Talmud
Kindness is the highest form of wisdom. – The Talmud

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our third day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we 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.

Holiday Season – Hanukkah

blue white and gold hanukkah wreath with blue and gold star splatter decorated with menorahs, star of David, dreidel, gift, candle, festive chanukkah circle on dark navy background Quote: festival of lights love and light happy hanukkah
Festival of Lights – Love and Light – Happy Hanukkah

Today is Hanukkah – Happy Hanukkah to all Yogis who celebrate! This holiday is a winter festival of lights.. we will notice many cultures celebrate festivals of lights near the winter solstice Diwali was just a couple of weeks ago! I grew up outside of Boston and loved celebrating friends’ Hannukkah traditions – especially the Latkes! Hanukkah is celebrated over 8 days beginning at sunset today, commemorating the 8 days of light from the traditional story. Today’s quote on kindness is one of my favorites, and is from the Talmud – a sacred text that includes the story of Hanukkah. PS – since I am a linguistics nerd… both Hanukkah and Chanukah are correct spellings – the latter is a more traditional transliteration from Hebrew to English!

Today is also International Animal Rights Day and Human Rights Day. Hanukkah is a community holiday, with many celebrants attending religious services each day of the festival. So today we will focus on practicing Ahimsa (non-harming) with others today. Yogis can choose to help either the Human or Animal members of our community today.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice kindness to either Human or Animal members of our community for Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day!

ANIMALS

humans

  • Consider participating in a traditional holiday toy drive like Angel Tree and Toys for Toys drives.
  • Donate food or (they prefer) cash to your local food bank.
  • Donate to any charitable cause that is meaningful to you – education, children, seniors, environmental, spiritual, health, or other charitable organizations… whatever resonates to you, give your support to something you care about!
  • Consider making a donation in loved ones’ names in their honor this year if they insist they do not want a gift.
  • Help a friend or family member – reach out and ask what you can do to make things better for them during these stressful times!
  • Whatever feels like the right way for you to actively practice kindness and generosity with others, or to make someone else smile today.

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

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Holiday – Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 2

Happy Wednesday Yogis! We are in the middle of our special Holiday Yamas Practices! 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!

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our second day counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing) before we 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.

Holiday Season – Charity Drives

Today we will focus on practicing Ahimsa (non-harming) with others today, since we focused on personal practice yesterday. I think one of the most classic traditions embodying the holiday spirit of giving and kindness is participating in the food, toy, and charity drives for those in need. We will get some bonus Asteya (non-stealing) generosity practice as well!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice kindness to others for Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day!

  • Consider participating in a traditional holiday toy drive like Angel Tree and Toys for Toys drives.
  • Donate food or (they prefer) cash to your local food bank.
  • Donate to any charitable cause that is meaningful to you – education, children, seniors, environmental, spiritual, health, or other charitable organizations… whatever resonates to you, give your support to something you care about!
  • Consider making a donation in loved ones’ names in their honor this year if they insist they do not want a gift.
  • Help a friend or family member – reach out and ask what you can do to make things better for them during these stressful times!
  • Whatever feels like the right way for you to actively practice kindness and generosity with others, or to make someone else smile today.
bright blue partly cloudy sky over high plains with distant low mountains dry brown field grass and shrubs with patch of white snow - ahimsa spreading kindness Quote: Kindness is spreading sunshine into other people's lives regardless of the weather. - RAKtivist

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

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Holiday – Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 1 – Rohatsu

Happy Tuesday Yogis! We just completed our positive practicing cycling through the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Today is the first day of special Holiday Yamas Practices! 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!

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We start 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) before we 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.

yogi blue tan background

Holiday Season – rohatsu

Today is the celebration of Bodhi Day (Enlightenment) for Zen Buddhists in Japan – called Rohatsu which translates to the 8th day of the 12th month. Bodhi Day is celebrated at different times of the year for different sects of Buddhism due to switching from traditional lunar calendars to the Gregorian calendar we use today, but most Buddhists recognize this holiday in January. This is a very reflective and quiet holiday, often practiced with up to a week of intense meditation called Sesshin. Since this is a very personal holiday, we will focus on practicing Ahimsa (non-harming) with ourselves today.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice kindness to ourselves for Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day! Give yourself the kindness you need the most right now! Need some ideas?

  • Make time for a long meditation for yourself in honor of Rohatsu today.
  • Perform a random act of kindness for yourself! Get yourself your favorite food, a book you have always wanted, or give yourself a day off.
  • If you have something you have been holding on to or feel guilty about, let it go! Learn to forgive yourself and move forward from the past.
  • Make time for extra self-care today – perhaps take a long bath, give yourself a facial or pedicure, make time for your favorite hobby, or check out this huge list of self-care activities.
  • If you are practicing Asanas regularly, remember to be kind to yourself and keep Santosha (contentment) in mind and do not push yourself to injury.. I am relearning this lesson after injuring my shoulder last month and having to take things slowly!
  • Whatever feels like the right way for you to actively practice kindness and compassion with yourself, or to make yourself happy today.
blue shadowy snow on rocky mountain cliff with bright sun coming through green pine trees - ahimsa kindness self-criticism self-kindness Quote: Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. - Louise L. Hay

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Ahimsa with yourself today. How did it make you feel? 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!

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 9 – 2020

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

Happy Thursday Yogis! Also, Happy Thanksgiving to my US Yogis!

Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day! We are staying synced up with our 30 Day Challenge group. We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the second of the Yamas with a kind truth, but today we will examine and practice from a different angle.

close up purple fireweed flowers with green leaves and pine trees cool alpine flower perspective - satya truthfulness true self Quote: The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are. - Carl Jung
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are. – Carl Jung

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Satya / truthfulness with ourselves. 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.

If you are visiting or zooming family for Thanksgiving today, arguments are common around the holiday table. Rather than thinking you are projecting Satya on others (remember Satya is KIND truth), reflect on something shared with me by a wise friend – “we can either be right, or be happy” and reflect on whether engaging in conflict will make you happy.

Please remember this can be a difficult practice, so be gentle with yourself!

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

Please comment and share 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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