Tapas (Discipline) – February 2023

Happy February 1, 2023 – Tapas (Discipline)

Happy Wednesday Yogis! Today is Tapas (Discipline) Day!

Imbolc

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 typically focus on Spring Cleaning for Imbolc. Today is Tapas Day and the word Tapas is derived from a Sanskrit root meaning “to burn.” So, today we will focus on another of the traditional Imbolc rituals – spring cleaning and bonfires (fires for purification).

Daily Habit Check-in

We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Today is our second Tapas or discipline Day of 2022! Our intro Tapas Day, we made a goal that was important to us. Each Tapas Day, we checked in on our progress. It has been nearly a month since our last Tapas Day, so if you are a new Yogi and have kept up on your daily habit, you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up!! If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success! Yoga is a practice, and successfully changing our habits is about consistency, so we will keep checking in on our goals on Tapas Days.

PS I want to report back on my Duolingo Daily Habit.. I have kept up with this goal and I am currently close to 777, going for 800 🙂 I am extra motivated by my childhood friends who also have this as their daily habit, who just hit 555 days and 1000 days in a row! Feel free to add me on Duolingo @TarrynTyler.

garden water feature surrouded by purple and fuscia flowers among green trees under blue sky - tapas self-discipline daily habits Quote: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to get some exercise for Tapas Day and Work Out Wednesday. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! There are many free Apps for other 30 Day Challenge workouts. My favorite is a free app called 30 Day Butt, which allows the pop-up phone notifications I love so much.

I am also going to do a couple of our past Yoga Workouts today – Crab / Boat for Core and Glutes, and Upward Plank Holds for Glutes.

Want more Tapas practices? Check out our Tapas Guide!

Want more Yoga Workout Ideas?
Check our Yoga Workouts Board 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.

blue and purple flames on black background

Flame Gazing Meditation

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Please comment and share how you are doing. Have you kept up with your daily habit? Are you changing your systems or perhaps setting a new meaningful goal? Are you joining us with our Asana Challenge? Always remember, be kind!

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December 2022 Holidays – Brahmacharya (Moderation): Day 2 – Winter Solstice

Happy December 21, 2022 – Brahmacharya (Moderation)

Good Morning Yogis – Happy Winter! 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 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!

cool shot of alpine mountain valley with snowy pine trees under light blue sky full of snow clouds - brahmacharya moderation middle path Quote: What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. - John Steinbeck
What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. – John Steinbeck

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our fourteenth day of Holiday Yamas Practices! After counting down the first 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing), we are now having a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation!

Holiday Season – Winter Solstice Yoga

Today is the second day of a full week of Brahmacharya (moderation) practices. Today is also the Winter Solstice, the shortest and darkest day of the year. Many cultures have important holidays on the Solstice such as Dongzhi and Yalda. So, for our first focused moderation practice, we will examine our energy and resource usage, and I recommend using candles on this longest night of the year.

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to examine Brahmacharya / moderation and the middle path in our lives with energy and resource consumption. We are in the middle of a full week of holiday Brahmacharya focused moderation practices.

  • If you are wrapping gifts consider using greener options like gift bags, recycled paper, or other options.
  • Review your adherence to reduce reuse recycle – which should be practiced in that order.
  • Or, on this darkest night of the year, perhaps skip the electricity and use candles or the fireplace!
  • Practice moderation with energy consumption in a way that is meaningful to you!

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December 2022 Holidays – Asteya (Non-Stealing): Day 2 – Hanukkah

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 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!

alpine valley with darkened green pine trees in snowy epic mountain valley under cloudy blue purple sky with moon and evening star shining through the clouds - asteya non-stealing giving generosity Quote: We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers. - Seneca
We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers. – Seneca

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our eleventh 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!

Hanukkah is a community holiday, and so our practice today is to benefit the community.

Today is the second day of our Asteya (non-stealing) practices. Today we will practice the positive of non-stealing with a random act of generosity.

  • 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 your Asteya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

December 2022 Holidays – Asteya (Non-Stealing): Day 1 – Saturnalia

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 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!

alpine valley with darkened green pine trees in snowy epic mountain valley under clear purple blue twilight sky -  asteya non-stealing giving balance Quote: People who care about each other enjoy doing things for one another. They don't consider it servitude. - Ann Landers
People who care about each other enjoy doing things for one another. They don’t consider it servitude. – Ann Landers

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our tenth 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 – Saturnalia

Today is the first day of our Asteya (non-stealing) practices. Today is also the start of Saturnalia, a week-long ancient Roman agricultural festival honoring Saturn or Cronus from Greek mythology. I minored in Classics and loved Greek and Roman language and mythology, so am excited to share this random Roman holiday! PS I also am particularly interested in Celtic mythology from my own heritage, and we will cover Yule in the North in a couple of days! Saturnalia was primarily a carnival-like atmosphere about feasting, gambling, and gift-giving. The most interesting part about Saturnalia is that slaves were served a banquet by their masters for this holiday! So, inspired by Saturnalia‘s role reversal, we will do one of my favorite Asteya practices of balance and non-stealing in our relationships.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Asteya / Non-Stealing in our relationships! I am sure no Yogis nowadays treat loved ones like slaves! However, we should consider who in our life gives and cares most for us, and make sure to both show appreciation and give back. Check out this past practice if you need more ideas.

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December 2022 Holidays: Asanas (Poses): Malasana (Garland Pose) – Krampusnacht

Happy Monday Yogis! We just wrapped up practices focused on the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today is the first of the holidays we will 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 soon 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.

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 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 December 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 one 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 - yoga pose girl wearing tie dye shirt with trippy yellow holiday lights on black dark background
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.

Malasana - garland pose - yoga pose girl wearing tie dye shirt and black pants with holiday winter white bare aspen tree forest background
Malasana – Garland Pose

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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December 2022 Holidays: Yamas (Interpersonal Ethics) – Coats & Toys for Kids Day

Happy Saturday Yogis! This will be our last general Yamas day of the year, since we will soon begin our December Holidays special Yamas practices. Today we start the festive holiday season with a Yamas practice of your choice!

Today is also Coats and Toys for Kids Day, so today is a great day to make donations for holiday charitable causes like Angel Tree and Toys for Tots drives.

blue cloudy sky over rocky mountain cliff with snow-covered dark rocks bare aspens and pine trees - asteya non-stealing giving Quote: I think many of my students have followed the advice I gave years ago, to give more than you take. - B.K.S. Iyengar
I think many of my students have followed the advice I gave years ago, to give more than you take. – B.K.S. Iyengar

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice any of the 5 Yamas or interpersonal ethics of our choice. I am making donations today! Need more ideas?

  • Practice Ahimsa with a random act of kindness
  • Practice Satya by sharing a kind truth with a loved one
  • Practice Asteya by donating to a toy drive or another holiday charity
  • Practice Brahmacharta with a digital detox practice of your choice
  • Practice Aparigraha with a generosity practice, like making a list of what you a grateful for or a gratitude meditation!

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We will start soon 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.

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Please comment and share your experience today! Always remember, be kind!

October 2022: Ahimsa (Non-Harming) – International Day of Non-Violence

international day of non-violence october 10.01 blue and white world infographic

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Limbs of Yoga for our daily positive practices with Ahimsa or non-harming. Today is also the International Day of Non-Violence, created by the United Nations to honor Ghandi’s birthday.

chichen itza mexico aztec temple across green lawn under partly cloudy sky - ahimsa nonviolence kindness Quote: Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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 Loving Kindness Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a random act of kindness for today’s Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day and International Day of Non-Violence. Need ideas? Here is what we used for inspiration for our intro Ahimsa Day!

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

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

July Anti-Boredom Month – Mindfulness & Flow: 4th of July & Clean Beach Week

Good Morning Yogis! For those of you in the United States, it is Independence Day – Happy 4th of July! We are in the middle of a special Santosha and Mindfulness Summer Fun Month to align with July’s Anti-Boredom Month. I have heard if we focus on the past we will be depressed, if we focus on the future we will be anxious, and the key to joy is living in the present moment. A couple of the Yamas and Niyamas reflect this secret of happiness hidden in the “now”.

Mindfulness is central to a number of eastern religions and philosophies, and is becoming a common theme in western therapy, psychology, and self-help. We have also focused on mindfulness in some of our past daily practices, especially on past Santosha Days and with some focused meditation practices. Mindfulness and losing oneself in the current moment is my idea of “finding flow” that we most commonly experience during “getting in the zone” during particular athletic, work, and artistic activities. Zen Buddhism takes this concept further with Zen Arts such as Tea Ceremony, Archery, Painting, and Flower Arrangement. So, we will focus this month on trying different practices and activities to at minimum beat boredom for Anti-Boredom Month, and hopefully help you experience a flow state.

cool shot of green bursting firework with yellow shooting sparks - 4th of July Fireworks original work -https://unsplash.com/photos/PKJnzFlvR2w
Fireworks

I learned that plastic is not truly recyclable, and often ends up on our beaches. We are often doing better by throwing plastic in the trash than the recycle bin! Recycle IS last in “Reduce Reuse Recycle” so see if there are other ways you can reduce or reuse your plastics, since they often are not actually recycled.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Anti-Boredom / mindfulness/flow Activity: get outside and enjoy some time by the water, and do some beach cleanup to honor Clean Beach Week or another form of outdoor clean-up. You can consider this a practice of selfless Saucha. Many of us will be heading to a beach, or another outdoor location for the holiday or to enjoy this summer weekend. Make sure to pack in and pack out all your trash and belongings, and pick up any trash you see along the way for Clean Beach Week! I also find the beach is a perfect place to relax and let everything else slip away, so perhaps you can find your Zen state today by the water!

Environmentalism and Mindfulness

I find the water is a great place to help my thoughts quiet. Try to calmly take notice when your thoughts drift back to the past or forward to the future. Try to bring yourself back to and fully immerse yourself in the present moment by focusing on the sight, sounds, smells, taste, or feel of your surroundings.

Make sure to practice mindfulness and try to enjoy each day’s practice with all five senses.

  • If you are one of the many people heading to the beach this weekend, make sure to pick up after yourself!
  • Maybe bring gloves and trash bags and do some extra clean-up in honor of Clean Beach Week since you’re already there.
  • If you are not near any beaches 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.
  • If you do not have holiday plans, perhaps find and participate in an organized clean-up.. these events are usually great for maintaining social distancing!
  • Perhaps plant a tree.
  • Or, keep your holiday plans and support beach and ocean cleanup efforts by purchasing a 4Ocean sea plastic bracelet.
  • Or, if none of these suggestions resonate with you, find another way to practice some environmentalism!

We started this month with a deep dive of the Zen Tea Ceremony, but today is a more simple activity. Tea and other beverage recommendations from our intro had enough varieties to suit nearly everyone, but some of our practices this month will not be a good fit for you.. that’s okay! If today’s practice is not for you, try to get outside near another body of water of your choice, or go back and try another personal Tea Ceremony today!

waves crashing on the beach with clear blue skies
Pacific Ocean, California

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.

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Please comment and share your experience with today’s practice. Were you able to find flow or contentment in the now? Always remember, be kind!

January 2022 30 Day Challenge: Day 29 – Saucha (Purity): Imbolc & Flame Gazing Meditation

Happy January 31, 2022 – Saucha (Purity)

Good morning Yogis! We completed our round of practices of the Yamas and now we are moving on to the Niyamas! Last time we practiced the first of the Niyamas – Saucha (Purity) with our bodies, with a deep clean or pampering self-care practice. Today we will try a different form of Saucha.

30 Day Challengers

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

This may be Day 30 of your Challenge if you started with our 1/1 intro weekend- congratulations! We have Day 30 planned for tomorrow to complete 30 days if you started on Monday with the first Ahimsa Practice. Please stay with us.. we will check in with our monthly daily commitment on Tapas Day and have another Svadhyaya Journal Day this week.

Imbolc

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 (at sunset) 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).

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

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

cool shot of purple and blue sunset over darkened pine trees in epic alpine valley - saucha purity clean cleanliness cleaning Quote: Decluttering can be overwhelming, so start with that one small thing. Clean out your junk drawers. It can lead to so many more beautiful things. Start there, and you’ll find yourself cleaning the whole rest of the house. - Bobby Berk
Decluttering can be overwhelming, so start with that one small thing. Clean out your junk drawers. It can lead to so many more beautiful things. Start there, and you’ll find yourself cleaning the whole rest of the house. – Bobby Berk

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 Saucha practices? Check out our Saucha Guide!

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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.

Flame Gazing Meditation

blue and purple flames on black background

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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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December 2021 Holiday Season – Asteya (Non-Stealing): Day 1 – Saturnalia

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 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!

alpine valley with darkened green pine trees in snowy epic mountain valley under clear purple blue twilight sky -  asteya non-stealing giving balance Quote: People who care about each other enjoy doing things for one another. They don't consider it servitude. - Ann Landers
People who care about each other enjoy doing things for one another. They don’t consider it servitude. – Ann Landers

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We are on our tenth 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 – Saturnalia

Today is the first day of our Asteya (non-stealing) practices. Today is also the start of Saturnalia, a week-long ancient Roman agricultural festival honoring Saturn or Cronus from Greek mythology. I minored in Classics and loved Greek and Roman language and mythology, so am excited to share this random Roman holiday! PS I also am particularly interested in Celtic mythology from my own heritage, and we will cover Yule in the North in a couple of days! Saturnalia was primarily a carnival-like atmosphere about feasting, gambling, and gift-giving. The most interesting part about Saturnalia is that slaves were served a banquet by their masters for this holiday! So, inspired by Saturnalia‘s role reversal, we will do one of my favorite Asteya practices of balance and non-stealing in our relationships.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Asteya / Non-Stealing in our relationships! I am sure no Yogis nowadays treat loved ones like slaves! However, we should consider who in our life gives and cares most for us, and make sure to both show appreciation and give back. Check out this past practice if you need more ideas.

Follow us on Instagram – easy access to our daily positive practices
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Please comment and share how your Asteya practice went today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

Asanas (Poses): Malasana (Garland Pose) – December 2021 Holiday Season: Krampusnacht

Happy Sunday Yogis! We just wrapped up practices focused on the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today is the first of the holidays we will 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 soon 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.

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 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 December 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 one 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 - yoga pose girl wearing tie dye shirt with trippy yellow holiday lights on black dark background
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.

Malasana - garland pose - yoga pose girl wearing tie dye shirt and black pants with holiday winter white bare aspen tree forest background
Malasana – Garland Pose

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.

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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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Ahimsa (Non-Harming) – October 2021 – International Day of Non-Violence

international day of non-violence october 10.01 blue and white world infographic

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Limbs of Yoga for our daily positive practices with Ahimsa or non-harming. Today is also the International Day of Non-Violence, created by the United Nations honoring Ghandi’s birthday.

chichen itza mexico aztec temple across green lawn under partly cloudy sky - ahimsa nonviolence kindness Quote: Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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 Loving Kindness Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a random act of kindness for today’s Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day and International Day of Non-Violence. Need ideas? Here is what we used for inspiration for our intro Ahimsa Day!

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

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

July Anti-Boredom Month – Mindfulness & Flow – Day 4 – 4th of July & Clean Beach Week – 2021

Good Morning Yogis! For those of you in the United States, it is Independence Day – Happy 4th of July! We are in the middle of a special Santosha and Mindfulness Summer Fun Month to align with July’s Anti-Boredom Month. I have heard if we focus on the past we will be depressed, if we focus on the future we will be anxious, and the key to joy is living in the present moment. A couple of the Yamas and Niyamas reflect this secret of happiness hidden in the “now”.

Mindfulness is central to a number of eastern religions and philosophies, and is becoming a common theme in western therapy, psychology, and self-help. We have also focused on mindfulness in some of our past daily practices, especially on past Santosha Days and with some focused meditation practices. Mindfulness and losing oneself in the current moment is my idea of “finding flow” that we most commonly experience during “getting in the zone” during particular athletic, work, and artistic activities. Zen Buddhism takes this concept further with Zen Arts such as Tea Ceremony, Archery, Painting, and Flower Arrangement. So, we will focus this month on trying different practices and activities to at minimum beat boredom for Anti-Boredom Month, and hopefully help you experience a flow state.

cool shot of green bursting firework with yellow shooting sparks - 4th of July Fireworks original work -https://unsplash.com/photos/PKJnzFlvR2w
Fireworks

I learned that plastic is not truly recyclable, and often ends up on our beaches. We are often doing better by throwing plastic in the trash than the recycle bin! Recycle IS last in “Reduce Reuse Recycle” so see if there are other ways you can reduce or reuse your plastics, since they often are not actually recycled.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Anti-Boredom / mindfulness/flow Activity: get outside and enjoy some time by the water, and do some beach cleanup to honor Clean Beach Week or another form of outdoor clean-up. You can consider this a practice of selfless Saucha. Many of us will be heading to a beach, or another outdoor location for the holiday or to enjoy this summer weekend. Make sure to pack in and pack out all your trash and belongings, and pick up any trash you see along the way for Clean Beach Week! I also find the beach is a perfect place to relax and let everything else slip away, so perhaps you can find your Zen state today by the water!

Environmentalism and Mindfulness

I find the water is a great place to help my thoughts quiet. Try to calmly take notice when your thoughts drift back to the past or forward to the future. Try to bring yourself back to and fully immerse yourself in the present moment by focusing on the sight, sounds, smells, taste, or feel of your surroundings.

Make sure to practice mindfulness and try to enjoy each day’s practice with all five senses.

  • If you are one of the many people heading to the beach this weekend, make sure to pick up after yourself!
  • Maybe bring gloves and trash bags and do some extra clean-up in honor of Clean Beach Week since you’re already there.
  • If you are not near any beaches 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.
  • If you do not have holiday plans, perhaps find and participate in an organized clean-up.. these events are usually great for maintaining social distancing!
  • Perhaps plant a tree.
  • Or, keep your holiday plans and support beach and ocean cleanup efforts by purchasing a 4Ocean sea plastic bracelet.
  • Or, if none of these suggestions resonate with you, find another way to practice some environmentalism!

We started this month with a deep dive of the Zen Tea Ceremony, but today is a more simple activity. Tea and other beverage recommendations from our intro had enough varieties to suit nearly everyone, but some of our practices this month will not be a good fit for you.. that’s okay! If today’s practice is not for you, try to get outside near another body of water of your choice, or go back and try another personal Tea Ceremony today!

waves crashing on the beach with clear blue skies
Pacific Ocean, California

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.

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Please comment and share your experience with today’s practice. Were you able to find flow or contentment in the now? Always remember, be kind!

4th of July and Clean Beach Week – 2020

Good morning Yogis! For those of you in the United States, it is Independence Day – Happy 4th of July! In honor of the holiday, we will take a break from focusing on self-improvement, and focus on making the world a bit brighter today!

Yesterday was the start of Clean Beach Week. 4th of July is the number one day for beach attendance, but also the number one day for beach littering! I think everyone can agree that litter on beaches or anywhere in nature is quite undesirable.

I learned that plastic is not truly recyclable, and often ends up on our beaches. We are often doing better by throwing plastic in the trash than the recycle bin! Recycle IS last in “Reduce Reuse Recycle” so see if there are other ways you can reduce or reuse your plastics, since they often are not actually recycled.

We also have a special announcement to make! Our Daily Yogi App is now available for both Apple and Android devices! If reminders and notifications are helpful for you, please use the App and allow notifications, to see new daily posts and to help stay up to date with our daily practices! We also moved our morning posts to an earlier time for those across the US who prefer email notifications – check new sign-up on right sidebar or click here to subscribe.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to participate in Clean Beach Week, or another form of outdoor clean-up. You can consider this a practice of selfless Saucha.

  • If you are one of the many people heading to the beach this weekend, make sure to pick up after yourself!
  • Maybe bring gloves and trash bags and do some extra clean-up in honor of Clean Beach Week since you’re already there.
  • If you are not near any beaches 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.
  • If you do not have holiday plans, perhaps find and participate in an organized clean-up.. these events are usually great for maintaining social distancing!
  • Perhaps plant a tree.
  • Or, keep your holiday plans and support beach and ocean cleanup efforts by purchasing a 4Ocean sea plastic bracelet.
  • Or, if none of these suggestions resonate with you, find another way to practice some environmentalism!
waves crashing on the beach with clear blue skies
Pacific Ocean, California

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Please comment and share how you helped brighten up the world a bit today. How did this make you feel? Always remember, be kind!