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!

Todayโ€™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 โ€“ 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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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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November 2022 Challenge: Asanas (Poses) – Tadasana (Mountain Pose) & Finding Your Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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

Pranayama (Breathing): October 2022 – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath)

Good morning Yogis! Today is a Pranayama Day Practice!

cool perspective looking at the top of snow covered colorado mountains under partly cloudy sky during alpine twilight - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Bliss begins with the breath. We breathe in and accept all that is new. We breathe out, and release all that has passed. - Sara Wiseman
Bliss begins with the breath. We breathe in and accept all that is new. We breathe out, and release all that has passed. – Sara Wiseman

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Pranayama Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Pranayama Practice – Nadi Shodhana.

This is our last Pranayama Day for our special meditation month, so today we will cover a meditative Pranayama practice – Nadi Shodhana (NAH-dee show-DAH-nuh). This literally translates as “channel-clearing” but we frequently use a more descriptive translation of alternate-nostril breathing. This technique is meant to clear the body’s energy channels, and I find it is super cleansing for the entire respiratory system – you may want to keep some tissues handy for this technique, and do not perform if you have a stuffy nose!

orange breath graphic on yellow gold background

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Nadi Shodhana or Channel Clearing, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this alternate-nostril breath. We recommend trying this breath technique during meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start in a comfortable seat by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Channel Clearing / Alternate-Nostril Breathing

  • Get in position – you will want to come into a comfortable seat. Place your left hand on your left knee. Bring your right hand into a Vishnu Mudra, folding your first two fingers to your palm (or if this is not comfortable, bring all three center fingers to the palm, or rest your index and middle fingers on your forehead/third eye)
  • Use the right thumb to close the right nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your left nostril only, keeping your diaphragmatic breath technique, breathing into your belly.
  • Move your right ring and pinky finger to close the left nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your right nostril only.
  • Continue this alternate-nostril breathing for 3-5 minutes. Remember, exhale and inhale, then switch sides.

This technique can be quite confusing – you may want to follow along our recommended video this first time!

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Have you tried this alternate-nostril breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

October 2022: Asanas (Poses) – Top 5 Meditation Poses

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

Todayโ€™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

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

shavasana savasana - corpse pose - yoga pose girl red hair wearing black on gray yoga mat
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 - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
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

Virasana - hero hero's pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
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.

Virasana - hero hero's pose with block - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Virasana with block

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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

mountain yogi padmasana lotus tarryn vokes tarryn tyler

October 2022: Emotional Wellness Month – 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!

close-up tangled maze bush branches and green leaves growing around cast iron planter around one single central small bright red flower - intentions yoga reality power of positive thinking Quote: Your world is a living expression of how you are using and have used your mind. - Earl Nightingale
Your world is a living expression of how you are using and have used your mind. – Earl Nightingale

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

The Old School of Positive Thinking – Earl Nightengale

The Old School of Positive Thinking – Florence Scovel Schinn

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.

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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 meditation challenge for October? Always remember, be kind!

September 2022: Special Announcement – International Translation Day

Good morning Yogis! Today is a KISS day, and we are taking International Translation Day to make a special announcement! We have had a translation feature to allow readers to translate our English webpages to their native language. Today we are rolling out a new feature to fully translate our site into other languages. This is something we have been waiting for nearly two years to start, and I am very excited to share this journey with more readers! Please contact us about translations issues in your native language!

Also, I am sooo excited to share that Daily Yogi has moved up on the Top 50 Yoga Teacher Blog Feeds! We debuted at #39, but we are now in the Top 20!!

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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 recommend a gentle morning Hatha class today before we transition into our October Meditation month!

mountain yogi padmasana lotus tarryn vokes tarryn tyler

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is a practice of your choice. I am practicing one of my New Years Resolution focuses for 2022 – Aparigraha (Gratitude). Or, since we have been focused on Asanas for September and are transitioning to a focus on Meditation for October, so I recommend a Pranayama practice for today!

Want more on Positive Thinking?
Check our Positivity Board on Pinterest!

September 2022: Pranayama (Breathing) – Bikram Pranayama (Hot Yoga Breath)

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day! We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September, so we will revisit a moving Pranayama technique common in all kinds of Hot Yoga Classes, that originated in Bikram studios. This breath technique is part of the opening in the classic Bikram series.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Pranayama Day today, I recommend a Hot Yoga Style class, which will include this breath technique!

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner AM (20 Minute), which I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class. I typically practice Asana most consistently in the morning, and this is my favorite morning series! PS I keep Ocean for the background sound in my Yoga Studio App, to help remind me to use Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breath!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Bikram’s Pranayama a moving Pranayama Practice used in all kinds of Hot Yoga classes. We will start diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this breath. I am sure you will have tried this Pranayama technique if you have practiced any kind of style at a Hot Yoga studio – this breath feels particularly great in a hot and humid environment.

This is a great technique to watch and follow along – click here for video instructions!

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air.
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Bikram Pranayama / Hot Yoga Breath

  • Clasp your hands together, and bring your fists under your chin with your thumbs at your throat. Squeeze your elbows together.
  • Inhale through your nose into your belly, and allow elbows to float up, keeping your chin in place.
  • Let your your chin float up and exhale, as you squeeze your elbows together.
  • Continue the cycle – allow your chin float down and elbows to float up on your inhale.

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

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried Hot Yoga or this breath technique? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

September 2022: Asanas (Poses) โ€“ Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the third limb of Yoga – Asanas. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Shavasana (shah-VA-sa-nuh) or Corpse Pose is my choice for Asana Day today – this is possibly the most important Asana, so it is worth revisiting often!

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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 Asana Day today, I recommend a gentle 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).

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to try focus on Shavasana or Corpse Pose in your Asana practice today for Asana Day! Shavasana at the end of your Asana session is important for your body to take in the changes you made during that session. Also, the Shavasana section of an Asana class is a great time for meditation and Pranayama.

Yoga Studio App

I learned you should have 5 minutes of Shavasana for every 30 minutes of practice. However, this means only 10 minutes of Shavasana after an hour of practice, but I have read about more meditative benefits of Shavasana at 15 minutes and longer. Perhaps adjust your practice schedule to allow for a longer Shavasana today!

Shavasana – Corpse Pose

shavasana savasana - corpse pose - yoga pose girl red hair wearing black on gray yoga mat
Shavasana – Corpse Pose

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.

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.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama or Yogic / Three-Part Breath). 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.

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

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience! Do you always include Shavasana with your Asana practice? Have you taken a 15 minute or longer Shavasana before? Always remember, be kind!

September 2022: Pranayama (Breathing) – Ujjayi Pranayama – Ocean Breath

Good morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day in a special Asana-focused September! Today we will be revisiting Ujjayi (oo-JAW-yee) Pranayama. This is literally translated from Sanskrit as Victorious Breath, but is commonly referred to as Ocean Breath due to the sound of this technique. This is another great cooling and calming breathing technique, and is ideal during Asana practice. You may have learned this in Yoga class before, especially if you have attended a Hot Yoga class.

cool perspective looking down colorado highway into the mountains under a bright blue partly cloudy sky - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Breath is the link between mind and body. - Dan Brule
Breath is the link between mind and body. – Dan Brule

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breathing. I recommend trying this with the Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations practice, and trying to make this breath technique a regular habit during your Asanas.

Ujjayi Pranayama – Ocean Breath

Start with Diaphragmatic Breathing for 3 full inhales and exhales.

Open your mouth and inhale and exhale through your mouth. Contract your throat to slightly say “HA” on the exhales. Keep this light contraction in your throat so you slightly say “SA” on the inhales. You will start noticing the ocean sound from which this technique gets its name.

Now, close your mouth. Inhale and exhale through your nose, while keeping this contraction in your throat to keep the ocean sound continuing on both inhales and exhales. As you become comfortable with this breathing technique, try your Asana practice with this Ujjayi Pranayama.

light blue breath graphic on dark blue background

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Ujjayi Pranayama exercise! Have you ever tried this technique as a standalone or during your Asana practice? Always remember, be kind!

August 2022 Yoga Challenge: Intro Weekend – Resolutions and Intentions

Good Morning Yogis! Also, welcome to our 30 Day Intro Challenge new Yogis! We are starting another 30 Day Intro Challenge for August. Typically we start Saturday with Resolutions / Intention Settings. If you have been with us since January and our last Challenge, please consider revisiting your intentions and resolutions for the year, since we are at the 1/3 point of 2021.

New & Intro Challenge Yogis – Please navigate to our intro weekend posts below!

00 Birthday/New Year Resolution
Ashtanga โ€“ The 8 Limbs of Yoga (must read!)

We are also at the end of a special Santosha and Mindfulness Summer Fun Month to align with Julyโ€™s Anti-Boredom Month. To align with the start of our Yoga Challenge, our final summer fun / flow practice is Yoga and Exercise!

Check out this monthโ€™s Introduction for more on mindfulness, flow, and Tea Ceremony โ€“ my recommended substitute practice for any suggested daily Fun Practice this month you do not want to try. We will have 31 different practices and activities to at minimum beat boredom for Anti-Boredom Month, and hopefully help you experience a flow state.

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to set our Intentions or any Resolutions for August, and practice Asana or another exercise of your choice. Our daily practices will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout the month. If this is not your first month of Daily Yogi, consider setting an intention for yourself for this month, or keeping another daily Yoga practice (ie Asanas, Pranayama, or Meditation) that is meaningful to you! I am continuing to focus on my daily Asana practice from April into this month, and I have maintained night-time meditations to fall and stay asleep. I am really trying to keep my Hydration habit for the year, and am working at sticking to morning and evening self-care routines I have set for myself and modified as the year has progressed.

cool perspective decordova sculpture garden shot of triangle stone abstract sculpture fountain with background of summer new England forest with green leaves and brown ground - yoga life Quote: When we do yoga, we put controlled stress on ourselves so that we can learn how to react to stresses of life. - Leslie Kaminoff
When we do yoga, we put controlled stress on ourselves so that we can learn how to react to stresses of life. – Leslie Kaminoff

NEXT INTRO CHALLENGE January 2023

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Please comment if you would like to share your intentions or your own personal bonus daily yoga practice for this month. Stay tuned for our review of the 8 Limbs of Yoga tomorrow, and our first positive practice from the Yoga Sutras on Monday – we will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout the month of August! Always remember, be kind!

Meditation June 2022: Yin and Restorative Asana Series

purple yogi girl adho mukha svanasana downward facing dog pose yoga
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog

Good morning Yogis! We are at the end of our specialย Upper Limbsย week and special bonus daily meditation month, and will close with one final special meditation practice. Next month we will have a new special feature – stay tuned for tomorrow!

Although the moving meditation of Vinyasa style is most common for Asana classes, I find passive Yin and Restorative Yoga with Asanas held for an extended period to be meditative as well.

Yin is probably familiar to those in the west from “Yin and Yang” (PS Yang actually rhymes with pong, not pang!). Yin and Yang is a concept of complementary opposing forces. Yin represents dark, shade/shadow, feminine, and passive sides. Yang represents light, sun/light, male, and active sides. Yang Yoga Styles include Hot / Bikram Yoga and Vinyasa is also a very active style. So, we would expect a Yin class to be passive, and the opposite of an active / Vinyasa style class. Yin classes are often slow paced, with passive Asanas / poses held for a longer period of time.

Restorative Yoga is a type of Yin Yoga. This style usually utilizes props to support the body in Asanas / poses held for very long periods of time, typically 5-10 minutes. Restorative Yoga is typically extremely gentle and safest for Yogis with injuries.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a Yin or Restorative series. As I mentioned, Restorative Yoga typically requires a lot of support! I prefer lots of blankets, bolsters, and/or pillow for most restorative poses. I usually only use blocks during restorative practice for support under limbs… I usually prefer couch pillow for my head! If you do not have a bolster, you can try a large firm pillow.

Recommended Videos

Beginner Yin Yoga

Restorative Yoga (bolster or large firm pillow required)

Check out a sped-up version the Yin video above, to get a quick idea of what this style is like! You will notice passive poses held for an extended period of time, often with support from blocks, bolsters, or pillows.

Adho Mukha Svanasana - downward facing dog down dog pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing multicolor star print set doing yoga inside in cool pink and purple yoga studio
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog

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

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience with these Yin and Restorative series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

Asanas (Poses): Yin and Restorative Series – Meditation June 2022

purple yogi girl adho mukha svanasana downward facing dog pose yoga
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our journey through the Limbs of Yoga to the third limb – Asanas / poses, and we have a bonus meditation month for June. Although the moving meditation of Vinyasa style is most common, I find passive Yin and Restorative Yoga with Asanas held for an extended period to be meditative as well.

Yin is probably familiar to those in the west from “Yin and Yang” (PS Yang actually rhymes with pong, not pang!). Yin and Yang is a concept of complementary opposing forces. Yin represents dark, shade/shadow, feminine, and passive sides. Yang represents light, sun/light, male, and active sides. Yang Yoga Styles include Hot / Bikram Yoga and Vinyasa is also a very active style. So, we would expect a Yin class to be passive, and the opposite of an active / Vinyasa style class. Yin classes are often slow paced, with passive Asanas / poses held for a longer period of time.

Restorative Yoga is a type of Yin Yoga. This style usually utilizes props to support the body in Asanas / poses held for very long periods of time, typically 5-10 minutes. Restorative Yoga is typically extremely gentle and safest for Yogis with injuries.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a Yin or Restorative series. As I mentioned, Restorative Yoga typically requires a lot of support! I prefer lots of blankets, bolsters, and/or pillow for most restorative poses. I usually only use blocks during restorative practice for support under limbs… I usually prefer couch pillow for my head! If you do not have a bolster, you can try a large firm pillow.

Recommended Videos

Beginner Yin Yoga

Restorative Yoga (bolster or large firm pillow required)

Check out a sped-up version the Yin video above, to get a quick idea of what this style is like! You will notice passive poses held for an extended period of time, often with support from blocks, bolsters, or pillows.

Adho Mukha Svanasana - downward facing dog down dog pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing multicolor star print set doing yoga inside in cool pink and purple yoga studio
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog

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

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience with these Yin and Restorative series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

Meditation June 2022: Pranayama (Breathing) – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath)

Good morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day!

epic alpine cloudy blue and orange sunset in the mountains over darkened pine trees - breath breathe breathing pranayama Quote: Breathing, according to me, corresponds to taking charge of oneโ€™s own life. - Luce Irigaray
Breathing, according to me, corresponds to taking charge of oneโ€™s own life. – Luce Irigaray

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June! For Pranayama Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Pranayama Practice – Nadi Shodhana.

A Pranayama Day in our special meditation month, so today we will cover a meditative Pranayama practice – Nadi Shodhana (NAH-dee show-DAH-nuh). This literally translates as “channel-clearing” but we frequently use a more descriptive translation of alternate-nostril breathing. This technique is meant to clear the body’s energy channels, and I find it is super cleansing for the entire respiratory system – you may want to keep some tissues handy for this technique, and do not perform if you have a stuffy nose! This is an advanced Pranayama technique.. if you are a new Yogi you may want to try the Three-Part Yogic Breath or Retained Breath.

orange breath graphic on yellow gold background

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Nadi Shodhana or Channel Clearing, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this alternate-nostril breath. We recommend trying this breath technique during meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start in a comfortable seat by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Channel Clearing / Alternate-Nostril Breathing

  • Get in position – you will want to come into a comfortable seat. Place your left hand on your left knee. Bring your right hand into a Vishnu Mudra, folding your first two fingers to your palm (or if this is not comfortable, bring all three center fingers to the palm, or rest your index and middle fingers on your forehead/third eye)
  • Use the right thumb to close the right nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your left nostril only, keeping your diaphragmatic breath technique, breathing into your belly.
  • Move your right ring and pinky finger to close the left nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your right nostril only.
  • Continue this alternate-nostril breathing for 3-5 minutes. Remember, exhale and inhale, then switch sides.

This technique can be quite confusing – you may want to follow along our recommended video this first time!

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Have you tried this alternate-nostril breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

Yoga Challenge May 2022: Resolutions and Intentions – 8 Limbs of Yoga

Good morning Yogis! We are beginning another 30 Day Intro Challenge for May. today we will set focuses for our 8 Limbs Practices. New Yogis – please just learn about the 8 Limbs for now!

New & Intro Challenge Yogis – Please navigate to our intro weekend posts below!

00 Birthday/New Year Resolution
Ashtanga โ€“ The 8 Limbs of Yoga (must read!)

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to set a philosophy based focus or intention for yourself from the 8 Limbed Yoga Practices for May. In traditional Yoga this is something a Guru would recommend for his student, but this is a personal journey so please focus on prioritizing a few practices that you need in your life. Please review the 8 Limbs of Yoga and select one or two practices that you would like to focus on more often than our cycle of every 10-20 days with Daily Yogi.

Our daily practices will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout this month. If this is not your first month of Daily Yogi, consider setting coordinating your philosophical practice with a more physical daily Yoga practice (ie Asanas, Pranayama or Meditation) that is meaningful to you as we discussed yesterday! For example, if you have set Meditation as your daily practice and Ahimsa (non-violence) as your intention for the month, perhaps select Loving-Kindness Meditation for your daily meditation practice. Or, if you have selected Pranayama and Santosha (contentment), make sure to bring mindfulness to your breath work practices, focusing on the sensations throughout your body with each inhale and exahle.

If you have been with us since January, you may remember for 2022 I am prioritizing Svadhyaya (self-study) with increasing the frequency of my journaling habit, Aparigraha with a focus on gratitude, and Santosha (contentment) with mindfulness and living in the present moment. I have been very consistent with my Svadhyaya habit thanks to my 5 year daily prompt journal (see below in recommended journals) and my Santosha (contentment) mindfulness practices, but am happy to reflect and revisit my commitment to Satya (truthfulness) now mid-year.

cool picture of omia vegas nightclub with purple and yellow lights - yoga practice self-improvement Quote: Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame. - B.K.S Iyengar
Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame. – B.K.S Iyengar


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 if you would like to share your practice intentions for this challenge month. Stay tuned for our first positive practice from the Yoga Sutras on Monday – we will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout the month! Always remember, be kind!

Asana April 2022: Asanas (Poses) – Reclined Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We are completing a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Standing, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Arm Balance, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will cover Reclined Asanas. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

Matsyasana - fish pose beginner variation - yoga pose yoga girl wearing blue fish-scale dragon-scale set doing yoga inside in cool indigo blue studio
Matsyasana – Fish Pose

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

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

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. This week I am doing one of my favorites โ€“ Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose that I can do! I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Upโ€ฆ I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any Reclined Asana. Most Reclined Asanas are beginner and restorative poses, which allow passive stretching. There are also Yoga Workouts utilizing Reclined poses, such as Boat to Crab or repeated Bridge Pose for glute and core exercises!

Today I recommend trying a Yoga Workout for Glutes – Boat to Crab (I usually hold for counts of 3 and do 10 reps) or my absolute favorite Reclined Asana Supta Kapotasana / Reclined Pigeon!

Reclined Asanas

Viparita Karani – Legs up the Wall Pose

Purvottanasana โ€“ Reverse Plank

Ananda Balasana โ€“ Happy Baby Pose

Matsyasana โ€“ Fish Pose

Supta Kapotasana โ€“ Reclined Pigeon Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana โ€“ Reclined Bound Angle / Goddess Pose

Navasana โ€“ Boat Pose

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge Pose

Jathara Parivartanasana โ€“ Reclined Twist Pose

 Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

Want more Yoga Workout Ideas?
Check our Yoga Workouts Board On Pinterest!

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which is your favorite of these Reclined Asanas? Always remember, be kind!

Asana April 2022: Asanas (Poses) – Twist Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Standing, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Arm Balance, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will cover Twisting Asanas. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

Parivrrta Uttanasana - standing forward bend with twist pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
Parivrrta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our focus on Twisting Asanas today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar 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. This week I am doing one of my favorites โ€“ Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose that I can do! I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Upโ€ฆ I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any Twist Asana. Most Twist Asanas are beginner poses, or modified beginner poses. Make sure to do each twist on both sides! If you are in a seated pose such as Sukhasana or Easy Pose, I recommend flipping your feet and performing the twist on both sides a second time.

Today I recommend a few rounds of Sun Salutations with twisting on each side in either Ashta Chandrasana / High Lunge or Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge. Turn your torso towards your forward knee!

Twist Asanas

Parivrtta Sukhasana – Seated Twist Pose

Jathara Parivartanasana โ€“ Reclined Twist Pose

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge Twist

Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

Ardha Chandrasana โ€“ Half Moon Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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.

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which is your favorite of these Twist Asanas? Always remember, be kind!

Asana April 2022: Asanas (Poses) – Inversion Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Standing, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Arm Balance, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will cover Inversion Asanas. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

halasana - plow plough pose -  yoga pose yoga girl wearing blue fish-scale dragon-scale set doing yoga inside in cool indigo blue studio
Halasana – Plow Pose

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our focus on Inversions Asanas today, I recommend a Vinyasa class, which will help build the arm and core strength for these poses.

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. This week I am doing one of my favorites โ€“ Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose that I can do! I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Upโ€ฆ I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any Inversion Asana. Most Inversion Asanas are advanced poses, requiring significant upper-body and/or core strength. I do not include a large variety of Inversion poses in my practice since I am still working on strength building. If you do have the strength to practice these more advanced poses safely, please do check the recommended additional poses link below!

Today I recommend trying the most basic Inversion – Legs up the Wall Pose. Or, if you are comfortable, perhaps try Salamba Sarvangasana โ€“ Supported Shoulder Stand!

Inversion Asanas

Viparita Karani – Legs up the Wall Pose

Salamba Sarvangasana โ€“ Supported Shoulder Stand

Halasana โ€“ Plow

Vrschikasana โ€“ Scorpion Pose

Ardha Chandrasana โ€“ Half Moon Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

Want more on Inversions?
Check our inversions Board On Pinterest!

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which is your favorite of these Inversion Asanas? Always remember, be kind!

Asana April 2022: Asanas (Poses) – Arm Balancing Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Standing, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Arm Balance, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will cover Arm Balance Asanas. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

Chaturanga Dandasana - four-limbed staff pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink sprinkle print set doing yoga inside in pink and purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff Pose

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our focus on Arm Balance Asanas today, I recommend a Vinyasa class, which will use beginner and intermediate Arm Balances.

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. This week I am doing one of my favorites โ€“ Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose that I can do! I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Upโ€ฆ I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any arm balance Asana. Most Arm Balance Asanas are advanced poses, requiring significant upper-body strength. I do not include a large variety of Arm Balancing poses in my practice since I am still working on strength building. If you do have the strength to practice these more advanced poses safely, please do check the recommended additional poses link below!

Today I recommend a few rounds of Sun Salutations finding your favorite Vinyasa arm balance between Chaturanga Dandasana / Four-Limbed Staff and Ashtanga Namaskara / Knees-Chest-Chin

Arm Balancing Asanas

Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff

Ashtanga Namaskara – Knees-Chest-Chin

Phalakasana – Plank Pose 

Purvottanasana – Reverse Plank

Vrschikasana โ€“ Scorpion Pose

Tolasana – Scales Pose 

Ananda Balasana โ€“ Happy Baby Pose

Shisulasana – Dolphin Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog

Marjaryasana โ€“ Cat Pose

Bitilasana โ€“ Cow Pose

Vyaghrasana โ€“ Tiger Pose

Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana โ€“ One-Handed Tiger Pose

Ardha Chandrasana โ€“ Half Moon Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

Want more Workout Ideas?
Check our Health & Fitness Board On Pinterest!

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which is your favorite of these Arm Balance Asanas? Always remember, be kind!

Asana April 2022: Asanas (Poses) – Hip Openers / Forward Bend Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Standing, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Arm Balance, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will cover Hip Openers or Forward Bending Asanas. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

Uttanasana - standing forward bend pose  with arm lock - yoga pose yoga girl wearing purple doing yoga inside in purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend with Arm Lock

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our focus on Forward Bending Asanas today, I recommend a Vinyasa class, which will flow between Heart Opening and Hip Opening poses.

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. This week I am doing one of my favorites โ€“ Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose that I can do! I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Upโ€ฆ I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any forward bend Asana. Some Forward Bending Asanas are beginner or basic poses, but I would consider this group as a whole to be intermediate since as you progress, you will come into deeper forward bends in your practice, for example progressing from Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend into Padangusthasana and Padahastasana. I have found these Asanas to be an important lesson in coming only to where comfortable and breathing to open, rather than pushing oneself to discomfort.

Today I recommend my favorite Balasana or Child Pose Sequence – starting in Child’s Pose with arms back and palms up, then Wide Child’s pose with palms down, and back to Child’s Pose with arms back and palms down.

Hip Opener / Forward Bend Asanas

Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

Balasana โ€“ Childโ€™s Pose

Ananda Balasana โ€“ Happy Baby Pose

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Matsyasana โ€“ Fish Pose (with lotus legs)

Gomukhasana โ€“ Cow Face Pose

Agnistambhasana โ€“ Fire Log Pose

Baddha Konasana โ€“ Cobbler / Butterfly / Bound Angle Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana โ€“ Reclined Bound Angle / Goddess Pose

Marjaryasana โ€“ Cat Pose

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana โ€“ Mermaid Pose

Malasana โ€“ Garland Pose

Supta Kapotasana โ€“ Reclined Pigeon Pose

Utkata Konasana โ€“ Goddess Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which is your favorite of these Hip Opener Asanas? Always remember, be kind!

Asana April 2022: Asanas (Poses) – Heart Openers / Backbend Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Standing, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Arm Balance, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will cover Heart Openers or Backbend Asanas. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

Sarpasana - snake pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink sprinkle print set doing yoga inside in pink and purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Sarpasana – Snake Pose

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our focus on Backbend Asanas today, I recommend a Vinyasa class, which will flow between Heart Opening and Hip Opening poses..

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. This week I am doing one of my favorites โ€“ Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose that I can do! I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Upโ€ฆ I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any backbend Asana. Some Backbend Asanas are beginner or basic poses, but I would consider this group as a whole to be intermediate since as you progress, you will come into deeper backbends in your practice. Additionally, Yogis must exercise caution with backbends and not push beyond comfort to avoid injury with many of these poses. I find these Asanas to be some of the most important, especially to counter the common forward hunched back from sedentary jobs. These poses open the thighs, chest , shoulders, and/or abdomen.

Today I recommend a few rounds of Sun Salutations finding your favorite Vinyasa backbend between Bhujangasana / Cobra, Sarpasana / Snake, Urdha Svanasana / Upward Facing Dog, and Salamba Bhujangasana / Sphinx – my favorite is Sarpasana / Snake as pictured above! PS my favorite Heart Opener is Ustrasana or Camel Pose, an intermediate Asana we will cover a bit later this summer!

Heart Opener / Backbend Asanas

Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose

Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx

Sarpasana – Snake Pose

Urdha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog Pose

Anuvittasana โ€“ Standing Backbend

Parighasana โ€“ Gate Pose

Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge

Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

Matsyasana โ€“ Fish Pose

Gomukhasana โ€“ Cow Face Pose

Bitilasana โ€“ Cow Pose

Salabhasana โ€“ Locust Pose

Uttana Shishosana โ€“ Extended Puppy / Melting Heart Pose

Ustrasana – Camel Pose

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana โ€“ Mermaid Pose

Dhanurasana โ€“ Bow Pose

Purvottanasana โ€“ Reverse or Upward Plank

Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana โ€“ One-Handed Tiger Pose

Baddha & Viparita Virabhadrasana โ€“ Humble & Reverse Warrior

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which is your favorite of these Heart Opener Asanas? Always remember, be kind!

Asana April 2022: Asanas (Poses) – Standing Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Standing, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Arm Balance, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will cover Standing Asanas. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

Trikonasana - triangle pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink and black lace set doing yoga inside in cool pink and purple yoga studio
Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our focus on Standing Asanas today, I recommend an Iyengar Series.

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. This week I am doing one of my favorites โ€“ Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose that I can do! I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Upโ€ฆ I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Todayโ€™s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any standing Asana. The Sitting Asanas we started with yesterday are generally beginner or easy Asanas. Some Standing Asanas are beginner or basic poses, but I would consider this group as a whole to be intermediate since many more advanced Asanas are Standing poses. Most Yoga classes begin with a standing sequence, since these are generally more energizing and strengthening. Today I recommend a balancing Asana like Vrksasana – Tree Pose or a standing pose combining strength and flexibility such as Trikonasana โ€“ Triangle Pose.

Standing Asanas

Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Virabhadrasana – Warrior Poses 1 2 & 3 and Virabhadrasana Variations – Humble & Reversed Warrior

Trikonasana & Utthita Parsvakonasana โ€“ Triangle & Extended Side Angle

Utkatasana โ€“ Powerful / Chair Pose

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana โ€“ Standing Hand to Big Toe

Anuvittasana โ€“ Standing Backbend

Vrksasana – Tree Pose

Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge

Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Utkata Konasana – Goddess Pose

Garudasana โ€“ Eagle Pose

Ardha Chandrasana โ€“ Half Moon Pose

Utthita Tadasana โ€“ Five Pointed Star Pose

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

Asana April 2022: Asanas (Poses) – Seated Asanas

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

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

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

Upper Body

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

Sukhasana – Easy Pose

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

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

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

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Virasana – Hero’s Pose

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

More Seated Asanas

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

Dandasana – Staff Pose

Navasana – Boat Pose

Parivrtta Sukhasana โ€“ Seated Twist Pose

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Asana April 2022: Pranayama (Breathing) Bikram Pranayama / Hot Yoga Breath

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day! We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April, so we will revisit a moving Pranayama technique common in all kinds of Hot Yoga Classes, that originated in Bikram studios. This breath technique is part of the opening in the classic Bikram series.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Pranayama Day today, I recommend a Hot Yoga Style class, which will include this breath technique!

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner AM (20 Minute), which I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class. I typically practice Asana most consistently in the morning, and this is my favorite morning series! PS I keep Ocean for the background sound in my Yoga Studio App, to help remind me to use Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breath!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Bikram’s Pranayama a moving Pranayama Practice used in all kinds of Hot Yoga classes. We will start diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this breath. I am sure you will have tried this Pranayama technique if you have practiced any kind of style at a Hot Yoga studio – this breath feels particularly great in a hot and humid environment.

This is a great technique to watch and follow along – click here for video instructions!