Asanas (Poses) – September 2021 – 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, and although we have covered it once before, it is worth revisiting!

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).

Today’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!

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Asanas (Poses) – Subtle Techniques – Hasta Mudras

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Limbs of Yoga. Before we will begin a series on more advanced specific Asanas, I want to cover a couple of subtle techniques – Bandhas, often called Yoga Locks or Binds, and Mudras usually translated as seals, marks or special hand gestures. The primary benefits and reasons for Bandhas and Mudras are for altering the flow of energy during particular Asanas. This discussion behind these subtle techniques is beyond our short and sweet daily practices, but please see the links for more detailed information on the philosophy behind each practice.

Hasta Mudras – Special Hand Gestures

I have been familiar with using Mudras from Bollywood dancing since before beginning Yoga. Beginner Yogis may be familiar with the ‘prayer hands’ during Asana class, or recognize some of these gestures from images of meditation practices, and Hindu or Buddhist imagery.

There are hundreds Mudras! Each has a unique purpose, benefit, and meaning, but a handful of Mudras from the image below are most common. The power of each Mudra is tied to both elemental and reflexology.

PS there are also Mudras performed with other parts of the body such as Mana Mudras with the head, a practice particular to Kundalini. I find generally in the US that’ Mudra’ refers to hand seals only, and other special practices are referred to by their full names.

Mudras - Atmanjali, Apana, Gyan, Prithvi, Shunya, Vayu, Prana, Vajra, Apan Vayu, Varuna, Muluka, Abhaya infographic with blue background
Mudras – Atmanjali, Apana, Gyan, Prithvi, Shunya, Vayu, Prana, Vajra, Apan Vayu, Varuna, Muluka, Abhaya

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Mudra. I recommend trying both Gyan Mudra and Apana Mudra, which we will integrate with our Asanas later this week.

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

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Have you used Mudras before in your practice? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas (Poses) – Subtle Techniques – Bandhas (Yoga Locks or Binds)

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Limbs of Yoga. Before we will begin a series on more advanced specific Asanas, I want to cover a couple of subtle techniques – Bandhas, often called Yoga Locks or Binds, and Mudras meaning seals, marks or special hand gestures. The primary benefits and reasons for Bandhas and Mudras are for altering the flow of energy during particular Asanas. This discussion behind these subtle techniques is beyond our short and sweet daily practices, but please see the links for more detailed information on the philosophy behind each practice.

Bandhas – Yoga Locks or Binds

I have been familiar with using Bandhas in both dance and Pilates, which I studied before beginning Yoga. Most Yogis use three primary Bandhas from Ashtanga, and combine all three for the fourth Maha Bandha or Great Lock. Some Yogis also consider grounding Hand and Foot Bandhas in this category. We will cover the traditional Ashtanga Bandhas, but please check out more info and instructions for Hasta (Hand) and Pada (Foot) Bandhas .

Bandha activation is commonly hinted at with instructions by Yoga Teachers in beginner classes, for example lifting the pelvic floor or tightening the core. See below for more details to activate each of the primary Bandhas and how to activate all three for the Maha Bandha.

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Bandha or Bind. I recommend trying each Bandha in a comfortable seated position of your choice, but you may find this easiest standing in Tadasana.

Mula Bandha – Root Lock

This is the lock referenced with ‘lifting your pelvic floor’ and is similar to Keigel exercises and Pilates’ pelvic floor activation. You can also think of this as moving energy up from the root and into your navel. Activating this Bandha during Asana practice can help give a sense of weightlessness moving between standing poses and especially ‘floating forward’ on the ma . You can activate the Mula Bandha by inhaling and tightening the pelvic floor inward and upward towards the navel, then relaxing.

Uddiyana Bandha – Upward Abdominal Lock

This is the lock often hinted at with ‘activating your core’ but takes this a step further. This Bandha is famous for a picture of a man performing this bind in a manner his ribcage protrudes intensely. Activating this Bandha during Asana practice can help give a sense of balance moving between poses. You can activate the Uddiyana Bandha by inhaling deeply, then exhaling completely so your stomach sucks in. Then, ‘inhale’ slightly without actually breathing air, and activate the diaphragm locking downward towards the navel. Then slowly exhale to relax the lock and breathe normally.

Jalandhara Bandha – cHIN Lock

This lock is automatically performed by many beginner Yogis without realizing it is a Bandha! This Bandha is activated by bending the head forward until the chin presses into your neck or chest. This Bandha is activated during Hot Yoga Pranayama, and in certain Asanas. Jalandhara Bandha keeps energy channeled downward.

Maha Bandha – Great Lock

This Bandha is a combination of the previous three, and is an advanced energy and meditation technique. To properly perform this, you first activate the Jalandhara, then Uddiyana, then Mula Bandha and hold all three. Then release Mula, Uddiyana, and Jalandhara in that order.

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

You may want to try a 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? Have you used Bandhas before in your practice? Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama (Breathing) – September 2021 Day 1: 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!

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August 2021 Yoga Challenge – Intro Weekend – Resolutions and Intentions – 8 Limbs of Yoga

Good morning Yogis! We are beginning another 30 Day Intro Challenge for August. Yesterday we set our intentions for the month, and 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 – The 8 Limbs of Yoga (must read!)

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to set a philosophy based focus or intention for yourself from the 8 Limbed Yoga Practices for August. 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 2021 I am prioritizing Svadhyaya (self-study) with increasing the frequency of my journaling habit, Satya (truthfulness) particularly with myself and things that no longer serve me, 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 perspective decordova sculpture garden shot of ent tree person sculpture background of summer new England garden with green leaves and gray rocks - yoga life Quote: True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied. - Aadil Palkhivala
True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied. – Aadil Palkhivala


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!

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August 2021 Yoga Challenge – Intro Weekend – Resolutions and Intentions & July Anti-Boredom Month – Mindfulness & Flow – Day 31 – Yoga & Exercise

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 – 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 July’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 month’s Introduction for more on mindfulness, flow, and Tea Ceremony – 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.

Today’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 in November

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!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 15 – Yin and Restorative Series

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 a 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!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 12 – 2021 – 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 one’s own life. - Luce Irigaray
Breathing, according to me, corresponds to taking charge of one’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, breating 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!

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Yoga Challenge – May 2021 – Resolutions and Intentions – 8 Limbs of Yoga

Good morning Yogis! We are beginning another 30 Day Intro Challenge for May. Yesterday we set our intentions for May, and 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 – The 8 Limbs of Yoga (must read!)

Today’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 2021 I am prioritizing Svadhyaya (self-study) with increasing the frequency of my journaling habit, Satya (truthfulness) particularly with myself and things that no longer serve me, 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!

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May 2021 Yoga Challenge – Resolutions and Intentions

Happy May Yogis! Also, welcome to our 30 Day Intro Challenge! We are starting another 30 Day Intro Challenge for May. 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 – The 8 Limbs of Yoga (must read!)

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to set our Intentions or any Resolutions for May. 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.

bright pink purple and white flower garden in the sun - intentions yoga journey Quote: Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention. - Bryant McGill
Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention. – Bryant McGill

Next INTRO CHALLENGE in November

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 May! Always remember, be kind!

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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 – 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-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Today’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 – Reverse Plank

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Matsyasana – Fish Pose

Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclined Bound Angle / Goddess Pose

Navasana – Boat Pose

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge Pose

Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined Twist Pose

 Shavasana – Corpse Pose

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

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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 – 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-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Today’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 – Reclined Twist Pose

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge Twist

Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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I would recommend a block, couch pillows, or perhaps a folded-up blanket for support under the seat.

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

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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

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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 – 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-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Today’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 – Supported Shoulder Stand!

Inversion Asanas

Viparita Karani – Legs up the Wall Pose

Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

Halasana – Plow

Vrschikasana – Scorpion Pose

Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon 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 Inversion Asanas? Always remember, be kind!

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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

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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 – 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-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Today’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 – Scorpion Pose

Tolasana – Scales Pose 

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Shisulasana – Dolphin Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog

Marjaryasana – Cat Pose

Bitilasana – Cow Pose

Vyaghrasana – Tiger Pose

Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana – One-Handed Tiger Pose

Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon 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 Arm Balance Asanas? Always remember, be kind!

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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

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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 – 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-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Today’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 – Child’s Pose

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Matsyasana – Fish Pose (with lotus legs)

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

Agnistambhasana – Fire Log Pose

Baddha Konasana – Cobbler / Butterfly / Bound Angle Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclined Bound Angle / Goddess Pose

Marjaryasana – Cat Pose

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – Mermaid Pose

Malasana – Garland Pose

Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

Utkata Konasana – Goddess Pose

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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!

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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 – 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-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Today’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 – Standing Backbend

Parighasana – Gate Pose

Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge

Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

Matsyasana – Fish Pose

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

Bitilasana – Cow Pose

Salabhasana – Locust Pose

Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy / Melting Heart Pose

Ustrasana – Camel Pose

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – Mermaid Pose

Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

Purvottanasana – Reverse or Upward Plank

Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana – One-Handed Tiger Pose

Baddha & Viparita Virabhadrasana – 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!

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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 – 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-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Today’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 – Triangle Pose.

Standing Asanas

Tadasana – Mountain Pose

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

Trikonasana & Utthita Parsvakonasana – Triangle & Extended Side Angle

Utkatasana – Powerful / Chair Pose

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Standing Hand to Big Toe

Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

Vrksasana – Tree Pose

Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge

Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Utkata Konasana – Goddess Pose

Garudasana – Eagle Pose

Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose

Utthita Tadasana – Five Pointed Star Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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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!

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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 – 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-Up… I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Today’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 – Seated Twist Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

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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!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 11 – 2021 – 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!

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!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 13 – 2021 – 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 an April 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 I would like to revisit this today!

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! 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).

Today’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.

For a twist on Shavasana today – perhaps try a few rounds of Sun Salutations and end with a standing Shavasana in Tadasana / Mountain Pose!

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!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 10 – 2021 – Ujjayi Pranayama – Ocean Breath

Good morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day in a special Asana-focused April! 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.

waves crashing on beach cool perspective pink and orange sunset on sand with gentle tide with couple embracing watching the sunset and swimmers in the tide - sea water pranayama ocean breath Quote: We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came. - John F. Kennedy
We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came. – John F. Kennedy

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breathing. I recommend trying this with the Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations from yesterday’s practice.

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!

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

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

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

Laughter Yoga

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

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

More on the Power of Positive Thinking

The Law of Attraction & Power of Positive Thinking Intro

11 Ways to Boost Positive Thinking

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today’s practice and daily pop-up reminders!

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

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 9 – 2021 – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath

Good morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day!

sunny garden with sunlit leaves and shady leavevs and blue purple and red flowers - pranayama breath breathing Quote - Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. – Laura Ingalls Wilder

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! 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, breating 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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tag us with your Asana pics!
enable notifications for pop-up reminders!

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!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 10 – 2021 – Comfortable Seats for Meditation

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 revisit my favorite seated poses that are best for meditation. Yoga classes often start with Tadasana or Mountain Pose, a standing grounding pose. On the other hand, some classes start with seated grounding poses. We will cover a few of these comfortable seats for meditation Asanas for today’s practice. Or, check out our Top 5 Meditation Poses for non-seated meditation poses!

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! For Asana Day today, I recommend a moving meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try the seated centering Asanas. 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 since we are getting close to the start of Spring! If you are being extra festive today, perhaps also try Lotus Mudra with your hands, and read more about its history!

close up pond filled with bright green lilly pad leaves and pink and white lotus flower and blooming flower buds
Lotus Flowers

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!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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.

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

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

You may want to try a 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! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! For Asana Day today, I recommend a moving meditation.

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 7 – 2021 – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our week of special Pranayama practices! We will start a special meditation-focused week next week, today we will try a 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! You can also try a Guided Pranayama Meditation Practice – Nadi Shodhana.

epic cloudy purple pink and glowing orange smoky alpine sunrise in mountains with darkened pine trees and snow-capped mountain peaks - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Conscious breathing is the best antidote to stress, anxiety and depression. - Amit Ray
Conscious breathing is the best antidote to stress, anxiety and depression. – Amit Ray

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, breating 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!

orange breath graphic on yellow gold background

Follow us on Instagram – easy access to our daily positive practices
Plus second daily reminder photo / edit On INSTAGRAM Only

@dailyyogi.world
tag us with your Asana pics!
enable notifications for pop-up reminders!

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!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 5 – 2021 – Vilona Pranayama – Retained Breath

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day! We are in the middle of a special Pranayama week.

cool perspective looking through bare aspen trees at alpine lake with cloudless blue sky and bright sun - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Breathe in, take what life hands you; hold it, accept it; breathe out, let it go. - Susan Gable
Breathe in, take what life hands you; hold it, accept it; breathe out, let it go. – Susan Gable

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Vilona Pranayama or Retained Breath, a Pranayama Practice. We will start diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this breath. Vilona Pranayama translates as “against the wave” and is a retained breath technique. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice if poses are held for an extended period! Or, you can use this cooling breath technique to calm down after an active workout, or to help with anxiety.

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.

Vilona Pranayama / Retained Breath

  • VARIATION 1 – Retain before Inhale: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of this breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale. Then, hold your breath for a count of 6 before each inhale. Your breath pattern will be Inhale 6, Exhale 6, Hold 6, Inhale 6…
  • VARIATION 2 – Retain before Exhale: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of this breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale. Then, hold your breath for a count of 6 before each exhale. Your breath pattern will be Inhale 6, Hold 6, Exhale 6, Inhale 6…
  • VARIATION 3 – Retain before Inhale and Exhale: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of this breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale. Then, hold your breath for a count of 6 before each inhale AND exhale. Your breath pattern will be Inhale 6, Hold 6, Exhale 6, Hold 6, Inhale 6…
light blue breath graphic on dark blue background

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

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 4 – 2021 – Ujjayi Pranayama – Ocean Breath

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a special Pranayama week! 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.

bright blue alpine creek in snow-capped mountain valley with bright blue sky and white fluffy clouds - pranayama breath breathing Quote: We live in an ocean of air like fish in a body of water. By our breathing we are attuned to our atmosphere. If we inhibit our breathing we isolate ourselves from the medium in which we exist.... the breath holds the secret to the highest bliss. - Alexander Lowen
We live in an ocean of air like fish in a body of water. By our breathing we are attuned to our atmosphere. If we inhibit our breathing we isolate ourselves from the medium in which we exist…. the breath holds the secret to the highest bliss. – Alexander Lowen

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breathing.

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!

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Asanas – Poses – Asana Styles – Bikram / Hot Yoga Series

purple yogi girl dhanurasana bow pose yoga
Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our exploration of various style of Asana / poses.

Hot Yoga is probably my favorite style! I know this can be very divisive.. a few of my friends who are Yogis think I’m nuts for loving Hot Yoga so much. I kind of get it.. Hot Yoga is super intense, and many go to Yoga Classes to chill out, not sweat in a room over 100°F! I usually drink an entire large water bottle both before and during the class. However, I find the added flexibility I get from basically doing Yoga in a sauna to be well worth the extra sweat!

Bikram is basically a brand name of Hot Yoga. Bikram Studios are always 105°F (41°C) and 40% humidity. Bikram Yoga is a set 26 pose sequence, and only Bikram Studios can perform this particular series. Many other Hot Yoga studios do similar but not identical sequences, and they may also have cooler “hot” rooms to accommodate Hot Vinyasa or other blended style offerings. Whether true Bikram or another Asana style in a cooler hot room, all Hot Yoga makes you SWEATY! Bonus Saucha / Purity practice – make sure to take a quick shower very soon after all Hot Yoga! When they open, most Hot Studios have showers in case you live far from the studio.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a Hot or Bikram series. If you are able to, perhaps try to practice these in a warm room or perhaps outside if today is a warm nice day. See if you can find the increased flexibility from Asana practice in a hot area, despite all Hot Yoga and Bikram studios likely being closed for COVID! I am trying in my living room, which is about 85°F on warm sunny summer afternoons if we do not open doors or windows! Make sure you have plenty of water, and if trying the Hot Vinyasa series make sure the temperature is well below the 105°F standard Bikram room!

Recommended Videos

Beginner Bikram Series (this 26 pose sequence is traditionally performed twice)

Hot Vinyasa Series

Check out a sped-up version of the beginner series above, to get a quick idea of what this style is like! In a Bikram or a more traditional Hot Yoga class, you will notice a fixed series of 26 intermediate Asanas (traditionally performed twice) with beginning and ending special Pranayama practices.

PS If Hot Yoga is not your thing, perhaps go back to one of your favorite styles this week and try the second video! Also, Hot Yoga can be particularly dangerous or difficult for those with injuries or health conditions, so please evaluate safety with a medical professional before trying Hot Yoga.

Dhanurasana - bow pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink and black lace set doing yoga inside in cool red and yellow yoga studio
Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

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

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Asanas – Poses – Asana Styles – Vinyasa Yoga Series

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our exploration of various styles of Asana/poses.

Vinyasa is arguably the most common class at Yoga Studios in the West. This is a fast-paced Asana practice combining breath with fast transitions between Asanas / poses to “flow” almost like a dance. Although these classes are popular, they are not for beginners. You should know many poses very well and sometimes how to transition between these poses

We are on our second day covering the two different Vinyasa types. Vinyasa and Power Yoga are similar, but not exactly the same. Vinyasa refers to the connections between breath and movement and a traditional Vinyasa class will move like a dance. Power flow also has this breath/movement connection or “flow” but is primarily cardio and strength-focused.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a traditional Vinyasa Yoga series. This is a very challenging Asana practice moving quickly between each Asana.. you may want to try the beginner version if you have never tried a Vinyasa class before or are still learning the poses!

Recommended Videos

Beginner Vinyasa Series (try if you are still learning to “flow” breath with movement)

Intermediate Vinyasa Series

Check out a sped-up version of each of these videos above, to get a quick idea of what this style is like! You will notice linking breath to motion to “flow” through poses like a dance, with each Asana often held for only one breath.

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

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.

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!

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

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Asanas – Poses – Asana Styles – Vinyasa – Power Yoga Series

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our exploration of various styles of Asana/poses.

Vinyasa is arguably the most common class at Yoga Studios in the West. This is a fast-paced Asana practice combining breath with fast transitions between Asanas / poses to “flow” almost like a dance. Although these classes are popular, they are not for beginners. You should know many poses very well and sometimes how to transition between these poses

We will take two days to cover two different Vinyasa types. Vinyasa and Power Yoga are similar, but not exactly the same. Vinyasa refers to the connections between breath and movement and a traditional Vinyasa class will move like a dance. Power flow also has this breath/movement connection or “flow” but is primarily cardio and strength-focused. Since today is Wednesday, we will cover Power Yoga first for Workout Wednesday!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a Power Vinyasa Yoga series. This is a very challenging Asana practice.. you may want to try the beginner version if you have never tried a Vinyasa class before!

Recommended Videos

Beginner Vinyasa Series (try if you are still learning to “flow” breath with movement)

Power Flow Series

Check out a sped-up version of each of these videos above, to get a quick idea of what this style is like! You will notice linking breath to motion to “flow” through poses like a dance, with each Asana held for only one breath. Power Yoga is more cardio and strength focused than a traditional Vinyasa class, which we will cover tomorrow!

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

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.

Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana - downward facing dog	variation three-legged down dog pose  - yoga pose yoga girl wearing multicolor star print set doing yoga inside in cool pink and purple yoga studio
Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana – Three-legged Down Dog

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

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Asanas – Poses – Asana Styles – Yin and Restorative Series

purple yogi girl balasana child pose yoga
Balasana – Child’s Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our introduction to the variety of styles of Asana / poses. Although passive Yin and Restorative Yoga is probably a bit easier than our Iyengar style from yesterday, knowing proper alignment is extremely important since they are held for an extended period of time.

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.

Balasana - wide child's pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink and black lace set doing yoga inside in cool pink and purple yoga studio
Balasana – Wide Child’s Pose

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

You may want to try a 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!

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Asanas – Poses – Asana Styles – Iyengar Series

purple yogi girl trikonasana triangle pose yoga
Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our exploration of various styles of Asana / poses. Today we are moving on to a slightly more difficult style.

Iyengar is somewhat between Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. The creators of Iyengar and Ashtanga Vinyasa trained under the same Yoga Master, so it is no surprise there are some similarities! Iyengar, like Ashtanga, is typically a regimented series progression of Asanas/poses, with Sun Salutations in the series. However, Ashtanga is a flow style, while Iyengar instructors usually focus on proper alignment, and often hold the poses for a longer time. Iyengar also often uses props to aid with proper alignment. Because of this approach to Asanas, Iyengar classes are typically a good fit for beginners or Yogis with injuries. I really enjoy learning proper alignment with Iyengar, and trying to bring these “corrective focuses” into flow classes.

Have you used props before? If not, I strongly recommend trying today with an Iyengar series! I typically use blocks and a strap to help get proper alignment in some poses impacted by my tight hamstrings. We will talk more about different props later, but these two are probably the most helpful to Yogis at all levels!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is an Iyengar series. We have recommendations for Iyengar series both with and without props. I have demonstrated this series without props, but I am fairly flexible.. props are strongly recommended for this style to properly perform each Asana!

Beginner Iyengar Series with Props

Iyengar Series with and without Props

Check out a sped up version of the second video above, to get a quick idea of what this style is like! You will notice beginner poses held for a longer period of time, with an emphasis on alignment using props or modifications if needed.

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!

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

You may want to start with a block if you are a beginner and do not have any props.. they are helpful for proper alignment and support when holding poses for a longer period of time.

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 Iyengar series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Asana Styles – Kids and Family Yoga

purple yogi girl vrksasana tree pose yoga
Vrksasana – Tree Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing covering the various Asana styles. I have covered these in the past, and for the next week will revisit or introduce some of the variance Styles of Yoga. Hopefully you will find one or a few favorite Asana styles to integrate into your daily practice, and be more informed to select between class offerings at a Yoga studio. Today we will cover Kids and Family Yoga and try a Family Yoga Series.

Kids and Family Yoga

Many Kids’ Yoga classes use traditional Yoga Asanas (poses) with fun animal names and animal sounds. Most family and kids classes are more exciting versions of Hatha Yoga Style from yesterday. This is a great trick for busy parents – get some Yoga in your day, even if it is hard to find alone time in your day! Unfortunately the animal noises and trippy cartoons in Family or Kids’ Yoga may not be as relaxing and meditative as you are used to, and most classes for kids cannot flow, but I personally find the physical benefits of Asanas practice equally if not more beneficial than the mental benefits. You will also get a laugh.. it is hard not to smile at silly stories, animal noises, and the other fun things in kids yoga.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Vinyasa series, or perhaps a family Yoga series if you have children!

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.

Recommended Videos

Cosmic Kids Yoga – check out the Disney-themed Yoga Adventures!

Yoga with Infants

Yoga with Toddlers

Check out a sped up version of a Cosmic Kids video above (I tried Minecraft Adventure), to get a quick idea of what this style is like! You will notice beginner poses held for a longer period of time, silly names for poses, and fun motion for kids… I could not stop giggling during the Zombie section, but my dogs got a bit upset!

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Vrksasana - tree pose beginner variation - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink and green sparkle set doing yoga inside in cool pink and green yoga studio
Vrksasana – Tree Pose

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

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

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Asanas – Poses – Asana Styles – Hatha Series

purple yogi girl uttkatasana chair pose yoga
Utkatasana – Chair or Powerful Pose

Good morning Yogis! We have talked quite a bit about working various techniques into your Asana practice and discussed Surya Namaskar / Sun Salutations. However, I realize many of you may be new to Yoga, and there are many kinds of Asana styles. I have covered these in the past, so for the next week we will take a brief detour and revisit or introduce some of the variance Styles of Yoga. Hopefully you will find one or a few favorite Asana styles to integrate into your daily practice, and be more informed to select between class offerings at a Yoga studio. Today we will cover Hatha Yoga and try a Hatha Yoga Series.

Branches Vs Limbs of Yoga

We have talked about the 8 Limbs of Yoga, a number of practices that build upon each other. We will now be focusing on the Third Limb – Asanas or Poses, covering quite a few Asana styles. There are also 6 Branches of Yoga, which come to us from the Bhagavad Gita. I consider different Branches of Yoga to be different Paths of Yoga. In my understanding, different Branches of Yoga give different weights and priorities to particular practices from the 8 Limbs of Yoga. For example, I believe Ghandi’s Karma Yoga emphasizes the practice of certain Yamas – particularly Ahimsa, Satya, and Aparigraha. My particular approach with Daily Yogi focusing on practicing all 8 Limbs of Yoga is quite similar to the Raja (also called Ashtanga) Branch of Yoga. However Raja Yoga places much more emphasis and focus on the Upper Limbs and Meditation, and we are taking a more practical approach with more focus on the Lower Limbs for our daily practices. Remember, I discuss that my personal practice usually includes daily Asanas and Meditation, so please consider adding daily personal practice focuses or intentions each month with me if you would like a more traditional Raja Yoga approach!

Hatha Yoga

We will start with Hatha Yoga, which is both an Asana style and a Branch of Yoga. The Hatha Branch of Yoga actually covers all styles of Asana (from fast-paced Vinyasa to calming Restorative), since Hatha Yoga is the Branch that focuses on Asanas or poses and movement.

Hatha can be translated to English as either “Sun and Moon” (implying balance) or “Forceful”. Even though all Asana Styles and Asana Practices are technically Hatha Yoga, you can typically expect a Hatha class at a Yoga studio to be a more slow paced class than a Vinyasa class, and to have more detailed instructions. Often Hatha classes at studios are the beginner / intro Yoga classes.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a beginner Hatha Asana series. I am a huge fan of Rodney Yee. I practice at home with videos or apps far more than I do at Yoga Studios. The first Asana Yoga practice I ever tried was in college, with my roommate and a Rodney Yee DVD. So, I feel it is appropriate to start with a couple video options from Rodney Yee‘s Hatha and Beginner series.

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.

Recommended Hatha Yoga Videos

Beginner Morning Hatha Series

AM Connection Hatha Series

Check out a sped up version of the first video above, to get a quick idea of what Hatha style is like! You will notice beginner poses held for a longer period of time with more instruction.

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Utkatasana - chair powerful pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink and green sparkle set doing yoga inside in cool pink and green yoga studio
Utkatasana – Chair or Powerful Pose

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

Please comment to share your experience with this Hatha series! Which version did you try? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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New Year 2021 Resolutions and Intentions – 8 Limbs of Yoga

Good morning Yogis! We are running another 30 Day Intro Challenge for January. Typically we start on Saturdays with Resolutions / Intention Setting, but we will do 3 days of Resolutions and Intention for the New Year. We set our New Years Resolutions and examined Dharma, and 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 – The 8 Limbs of Yoga (must read!)

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to set focus for yourself from the 8 Limbed Yoga Practices for 2021. 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. Our daily practices cycle through the 8 Limbs of Yoga, and I am currently focused on daily Asana practice for the month of January. For 2021, I am prioritizing Svadhyaya (self-study) with increasing the frequency of my journaling habit, Satya (truthfulness) particularly with myself and things that no longer serve me, and Santosha (contentment) with mindfulness and living in the present moment. Last year I prioritized Ahimsa (non-harming) and Meditation. Or, consider the Karma Yoga path of Ghandi with prioritizing Ahimsa (non-harming) and Satya (truthfulness). Or, review the 8 Limbs of Yoga and select a few that you would like to practice more frequently than every 10-20 days with Daily Yogi.

ominous purple cloud alpine sunset in mountains with darkened pine trees - yoga sutras mind Quote: Yoga is the ending of disturbances of the mind. - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Yoga is the ending of disturbances of the mind. – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


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.

Our daily practices will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout January. If this is not your first month of Daily Yogi, consider setting another daily Yoga practice (ie Asanas, Pranayama or Meditation) that is meaningful to you!

Please comment if you would like to share your practice priorities for 2021 or January. 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 January! Always remember, be kind!

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