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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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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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

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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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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

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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 – 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

Like this yoga set? Click here for product links and discount code!

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

Like this yoga set? Click here for product links and discount code!

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 code!

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 code!

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 code!

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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New Year 2021 Resolutions and Intentions – Dharma

Good morning Yogis, welcome to the first weekend of 2021 Also, welcome to our 30 Day Intro Challenge if you are joining us! 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.

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 consider our Dharma or Path for 2021. Dharma is an eastern concept central to both Buddhism and Hinduism that many of us in the west are not necessarily familiar with. Linguistically, Dharma is usually translated as law, order, or duty. Basically, Dharma states that we all have a purpose and path, and our lives will be easier if we follow the path that is meant for us. I personally went through a crisis of Dharma during my 20s building a career as a tax accountant, and am so thankful I accepted (perhaps I was forced to accepted) I was on the wrong path and began to move in a different direction. Many of us experienced career and other life changes during COVID, and if you are feeling lost about your direction, some Dharma exercises may be very helpful for you!

10 Tips to Discover your Dharma

5 Quick Tips to find your Dharma

Guided meditation on finding your path (25 min)

Dharma journaling technique

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 an intention for yourself for this month, or keeping another daily Yoga practice (ie Asanas, Pranayama or Meditation) that is meaningful to you!

tree-lined apline road in snow-capped mountain valley with bright blue partly cloudly sky - dharma life purpose self-discovery journey Quote: Souls have different journeys. The best thing to know is, not what everybody else does, but what you do. Self-discovery essentially is finding your own dharma, your own rhythm. - Frederick Lenz
Souls have different journeys. The best thing to know is, not what everybody else does, but what you do. Self-discovery essentially is finding your own dharma, your own rhythm. – Frederick Lenz

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Please comment if you would like to share your thoughts on this discussion of Dharma. Stay tuned for the final day of positivity and intentions for 2021, and 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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New Year 2021 – Resolutions and Intentions

Welcome to 2021 and January Yogis! Also, welcome to our 30 Day Intro Challenge! We are starting another 30 Day Intro Challenge for January. Typically we start Saturday with Resolutions / Intention Setting, but we will do 3 days of Resolutions and Intention for the New Year.

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 New Year’s Resolutions for 2021. 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 an intention for yourself for this month, or keeping another daily Yoga practice (ie Asanas, Pranayama, or Meditation) that is meaningful to you! I have finally healed from my injury last year, so I am back to focusing on my daily Asana practice 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.

close up purple flowers with bright green leaves and fuzzy gate post in background - new year future quote Quote: New year is the glittering light to brighten the dream-lined pathway of future. - Munia Khan
New year is the glittering light to brighten the dream-lined pathway of future. – Munia Khan

Next INTRO CHALLENGE starts – 05/01/2021

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 the next couple days of positivity and intentions for 2021, and 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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Asanas – Poses – Day 9 – Garudasana – Eagle Pose

We just wrapped up practice of the Niyamas after our extended Yamas Holiday practices, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will cover one of my favorite balancing Asanas Garudasana or Eagle Pose.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Asana – Garudasana or Eagle Pose. This pose is one of my favorite balancing poses, and a great opener for the upper back.

Garudasana - eagle pose - yoga pose girl wearing tie dye shirt with trippy multicolor stripe background
Garudasana – Eagle Pose

Garudasana – Eagle Pose

Always make sure to practice this pose on both sides.
This is a challenging balance for beginners – keep your foot placed on the ground if you cannot wrap around your standing leg!

  • Start standing in Tadasana / Mountain Pose.
  • Bend your knees slightly and place all your weight in your left foot.
  • Lift your right foot, and cross your right leg on top of your left and sink a bit deeper into the squat. Hook your right foot behind your left calf, or place your toes on the ground for support as your work on your balance.
  • Inhale your arms out to the sides, then cross your arms in front of your body with your LEFT arm above your right, and bend your elbows (the top arm will always be the opposite side as the top leg). Wrap your arms further and bring your palms together, or if you are not able to bring palms to touch, press the backs of the hands together.
  • Press your shoulders down your back away from your ears, and lift your elbows to bring upper arms parallel to the floor and forearms pointing straight up to the ceiling.
  • Hold 30-60 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
    • Take note of your head and neck – keep in line with your torso. Keep ribs in line with the torso, do not allow to jut forward.
    • Try to keep hips and shoulders in line, do not allow either side to jut forward or back. This will help with opening through hips and upper back.

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

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tag us with your Asana pics!
enable notifications for pop-up reminders!

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried this Asana before? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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Asanas – Poses – Day 8 – Malasana – Garland Pose – Krampusnacht

Happy Saturday Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today is the first of the holidays I get to discuss for our special Holiday month, and we will cover a festive Asana Malasana or Garland Pose, often referred to as a “yoga squat.”

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We will start early next week by counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing). Then we will have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

PS sorry to our far eastern Yogis especially in Australia – I am changing our morning posting time to 9am Tokyo Time which is 12am universal RSS time for our app. If you would like to receive posts earlier in the day for your time zone, please contact me!

Holiday Season – Krampusnacht

Krampus!

We are celebrating a special Yamas / Interpersonal Ethics focused month. December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my nerdy research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

Today is the first holiday for this season I am going to share – Krampusnacht! I have been into world history and traditions for many years, and Krampusnacht is the most amusing holiday to me.. partly because of the name “Krampus” which makes me giggle. This holiday is seriously like the Nightmare before Christmas!

Krampusnacht is celebrated primarily in Bavarian mountain towns the evening before St. Nicholas Day. This is a different European Christmas tradition than we are familiar with in the United States. St. Nicholas Day, celebrated earlier in December, is the day for gifts from St. Nicholas or Father Christmas – for only good children. The bad children do not get coal… they were either stolen, eaten, or scared straight by the monstrous Krampus the evening before!

I am guessing with this terrifying holiday, areas celebrating Krampusnacht have the best-behaved children in the world. I tried to make my Malasana picture a bit scary today for the Krampus theme!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Asana – Malasana or Garland Pose. This pose is great to counter sitting at a desk all day!

Malasana – Garland Pose

Malasana – Garland Pose

This is a deep hip opener – make sure to practice a bit before attempting this pose! This seemingly simple pose is a journey pose, and you will begin to move your torso forward as your chest and hips open with practice!

  • Start standing in Tadasana / Mountain Pose.
  • Step your feet out a bit wider than hip-distance, and turn your toes out 45 degrees.
  • Bend your knees and slowly come into a full low squat.
  • Bring your arms forward between your knees, and bring palms together into a prayer position, pressing elbows into thighs.
  • Press gently into thighs and bring your chest forward.
    • Take note of your head and neck – keep in line with your torso
    • Take note of where your weight is in your feet, both front to back and side to side. Keep even side to side, and keep most weight in your heels.
  • Hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. Begin with holding 30-60 seconds, and work up to 3-5 minutes!

If you have tight hips and knees, or have trouble balancing here, you may want to sit on a block for support.

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

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

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 to share your experience! Have you tried this Asana before? Is this your first time learning about Krampusnacht? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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Asanas – Poses – Day 8 – 2020 – Finding Your Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

You may want to try 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!

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November 2020 Intro Yoga 30 Day Challenge & Celtic New Year

Happy November Yogis! Also, welcome to our 30 Day Intro Challenge! November 1 is the start of the New Year for the Celtic Calendar so today we are combining our Resolutions / Intention Setting & Intro to Ashtanga / 8 Limbs of Yoga for our Intro Challenge Weekend.

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 own intentions and goals for this new month. Our daily practices will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout November. Please 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 had a minor shoulder/neck injury early last month and had to let my daily Asana practice slide, so I am getting back to daily Sun Salutations first thing in the morning, and building back my daily Asana practice. In addition, to help maintain my daily meditation practice from last month, I am switching to guided meditations before bed rather than in the morning with my coffee. I also keep waking up in the middle of the night lately, so I am experimenting to see if an 8-hour sleep meditation will help me STAY asleep… I will report back 🙂 I am also keeping practice not perfection in mind – because of my healing injury, I will very likely have to skip a few days of Sun Salutations 🙁 The key here is getting back to it when I am able, not getting discouraged and throwing in the towel because I missed a couple of days!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE starts – 05/01/2021

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 tomorrow for our first positive practice from the Yoga Sutras – we will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout November! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 8 – 2020 – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath

Good morning Yogis! Or actually, perhaps ohayou gozaimasu – おはようございます is more appropriate! We are changing our daily post times to 7am Toyko Time, so Yogis in Asia and Australia can stay coordinated with US and Europe-based Yogis. PS US Yogis – did you know Japan does not use daylight savings time? We now have initial and reminder posts for Instagram – our initial posts will move up to late morning for Yogis in the east / late evening for Yogis in the US, and Instagram reminder posts will post in late morning for Yogis in the US. Daily e-mails are moving forward. For the moment, app notification reminder times will not change, but may move up next week for our intro challenge. This should be our last post time change.. we will keep our post times coordinating with the Date Line!!

Either way, let’s get started for Thursday’s Pranayama Day Practice!

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

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

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

shimmering 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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Asanas – Poses – Day 6 – Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will cover my absolute favorite hip opener and one of my favorite Asanas – Supta Kapotasana (SOUP-tuh kah-poe-TAH-sa-nuh) or Reclined Pigeon Pose.

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Asana Day today, our meditation is a Guided Meditation on Releasing and Letting Go as we will be doing physically with today’s Asana!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Asana – Supta Kapotasana or Reclined Pigeon. This pose is great for lower back pain, and especially for sciatic nerve issues.

Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

This is a deep hip opener – make sure to practice on both sides! There are many Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose variations. This is considered the easiest version, but I find it the best and most versatile. I enjoy moving my legs around a bit to find and target different tight spots in the hips.

  • Start laying on the ground face up in Shavasana – Corpse Pose. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground.
  • Begin with your right foot on top – bring your right ankle to your left knee, making your legs into a figure 4.
    • If you are a new Yogi or have very tight hips and already feel a stretch.. stay here! Breathe deeply into your hips in this pose.. I find new male Yogis may need to practice this for up to a year before being comfortable enough to move into the full expression of this pose below!
    • If you are staying here in Ardha Supta Kapotasana or Half-Reclined Pigeon Pose, hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. I usually hold 30-60 seconds per side in my regular practice.
    • Switch your legs so left leg is on top, and repeat on the other side.
Ardha Supta Kapotasana – Half Reclined Pigeon Pose
  • Reach your hands around your leg and clasp around your left knee.
  • Exhale and hug your left knee in towards your chest. Breathe deeply into your belly and hips, and let your hips and lower back release.
  • Hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. I usually hold 30-60 seconds per side in regular practice. I occasionally hold this Asana for up to 5 minutes, moving my knees closer or away from my chest, or side to side slightly to target problem areas.
  • Switch your legs so left leg is on top, and repeat on the other side.
Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

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

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

You may want a couch pillow, or perhaps a folded-up blanket for extra support under the head.

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried the half or full version of this Asana before? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 7 – 2020 – Yogic Breath – Three Part Breath

Good morning Yogis! Or actually perhaps good evening is more appropriate.. we are changing our post times to 2am Mountain Time along with our instagram posts to make it easier for Yogis overseas to stay on time with us! Daily e-mails and app notifications will not change. Other than this posting time change, today is a KISS (keep it super simple) Day! So, we are going to revisit Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice.

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Pranayama Day today, try our Breath-Focused Meditation with our Three Part Breath Below!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this three-part breath. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into 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.

Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

  • PART 1 – Belly: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of three part breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale.
  • PART 2 – Ribs: After 10 complete belly breaths, after expanding into your belly – try expanding your rib cage outwards on inhales and allowing to compress on exhales.
  • PART 3 – Chest: After 10 full inhale and exhalations with rib cage expansion – first fill your belly, then expand rib cage, then try allowing your clavicle (collar bone) to rise as you fill and empty your lungs completely for another 10 breaths.

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! Do you incorporate diaphragmatic breathing like this, or other Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried this full three-part breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 5 – Top 5 Meditation Positions / Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will cover my Top 5 Positions or Asanas for Meditation.

Please try all of these meditation poses, at least briefly and see which feels best for you! Please note there is no right or wrong here.. I am sharing MY Top 5, but many others may disagree with me. For example, I find Virasana / Hero Pose comfortable for an extended time only with a block under my seat, and occasionally find Lotus Pose enjoyable, which is too intense for many Yogis.

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a meditation in the position / Asana of your choice. We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October. Try our breath-focused meditation, or perhaps a meditative drive or hike! If you prefer guided meditations, for Asana Day today try a Restorative Asana class with Guided Meditation.

TOP 5 MEDITATION POSITIONS / ASANAS

1. SIDDHASANA – ADEPT’S POSE – CROSS-LEGGED SEATED MEDITATION

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is siddhasana-1-1500x1124.jpg
Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

I enjoy Siddhasana (sid-DAH-sa-na) or Adepts Pose for Meditation. This is basically my comfortable seated position, and that is just how I always envisioned meditating! This Asana is basically a slightly more difficult version of Sukhasana / Easy Pose.

Start in a comfortable cross legged position. Then spread your knees a bit further, and bring your feet in towards your groin – keep your leg on the mat and tuck your ankles/shins over each other. Look down and make sure there is no empty space between your legs and feet. Keep your torso straight and tall over your hips. Take note of your rib cage. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. You can put your hands on the ground and gently press to lengthen your back, or rest your hands on your knees. You can pull a bit on your knees to help open your chest and help keep your back straight. You should keep your head, neck, and shoulders aligned over your hips in any seated pose. Your hands can either gently rest on knees and/or in your favorite mudra/placement for meditation. PS if any poses are uncomfortable, try with a couch pillow or block under your seat! Try not to move your body while meditating, I find it helps to switch my legs each day of practice for any cross legged positions to even out my posture!

Make sure you keep your back straight, not rounded in any seated position! If you notice your back rounding in this pose, move your legs back out to Sukhasana / easy pose, making a small triangle of empty space between your legs. I prefer Siddhasana over Sukhasana, because bringing in my feet helps me maintain a straighter back. I also prefer Siddhasana over Padmasana / Lotus Pose for meditation, since Lotus can get a bit strenuous on my ankles for an extended time.

2. SEATED IN A CHAIR – SEATED MEDITATION

Chair Yoga is very common, and chairs are often the most comfortable seat we can find! It is important to be comfortable and maintain your posture if you will be sitting for an extended period of time, and a chair can help with both. Driving is also my favorite meditative activity, so sitting in a chair (driver’s seat also counts to me) makes this #2 for my Top 5!

3. SHAVASANA – CORPSE POSE – RECLINED / SUPINE MEDITATION

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is shavasana-1-1500x821.jpg
Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Shavasana or Corpse Pose is often considered the most important Asana, especially after Asana Class. I occasionally enjoy deep meditations if I need help to fall asleep, and it is absolutely required to be in bed in Shavasana for those guided meditations! One of my favorite things about meditation in Shavasana is that I can breathe more deeply into my belly than I am able to in a seated position.

Lay on your back, and allow your legs and feet to gently splay open. Rest your arms a few inches away from your body, with palms facing up. Close your eyes, and allow your entire body to relax and sink into the mat. You can use a couch pillow under your head and/or knees, or any modifications to make this pose more comfortable for an extended time. I occasionally take Shavasana with knees bent and feet on the floor, and/or with elbows bent and hands under my head or cactus-arms to the side.

To come out, gently roll onto your right side, then press your hand into the mat to come back up slowly into a seated position.

4. TADASANA – MOUNTAIN POSE – STANDING / WALKING MEDITATION

Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Tadasana / Mountain Pose is often thought of as neutral standing, but this a power pose for many Yogis. Yoga Retreats frequently offer meditation walks or mindfulness hikes. This is something I try with our Santosha practices of enjoying the present moment! A meditative walk or hike is a great way to begin meditating, especially if mindfulness practices are new to you, or you have difficulty calming the mind while sitting quietly.

5. VIRASANA – HERO’S POSE – KNEELING MEDITATION

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is virasana-2-1500x1126.jpg
Virasana – Hero’s Pose

Virasana / Hero’s Pose is actually the most comfortable seat for many Yogis. However, this is my Top 5, and I find kneeling positions strenuous on my feet and knees for extended periods of time. I can only hold kneeling positions comfortably with a block under my seat! I do enjoy meditation in a kneeling position, resting my hands on my knees.

This is a kneeling Asana, and usually much more comfortable for Yogis with tight hips than the cross legged posses above. Start kneeling with knees and toes together. Then, bring the toes apart, and sit yourself down between your legs. Make sure to keep your back straight, with hips, shoulders, and head in line. This pose can be rough on my knees, and sometimes bothers my heels and tops of my feet if I’ve been wearing high heels. I find this pose much more comfortable with a block under my seat as pictured below.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is virasana-block-1-1500x1124.jpg
Virasana – Hero’s Pose with Block

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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

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October Emotional Wellness Month 2020 – Intentions and Yoga Philosophy

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

close-up tangled maze bush branches with red and green leaves - intentions yoga reality Quote: Our intention creates our reality. - Wayne Dyer
Our intention creates our reality. – Wayne Dyer

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to set a positive intention for yourself for October, keeping October’s mental and emotional wellness theme in mind. This can be big or small:

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

Although I do believe in the power of positive thinking and believe this helps with emotional wellness, I will discuss my own views on this a bit later this month. Here is more info if you do not want to wait!

More on the Power of Positive Thinking

The Law of Attraction & Power of Positive Thinking Intro

11 Ways to Boost Positive Thinking

Today is the first day of our Daily Meditation Challenge for October! Some of my favorite guided meditations are Manifest Meditations, which harness the powers of positive thinking, visualization, and the law of attraction. Today my meditation practice is one of my favorite 10 Minute Manifest Meditations.

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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 meditation challenge for October? Always remember, be kind!

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

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

yogi blue tan background

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

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and must truly be attained on your own. We started a series on each of the upper limbs, and covered Pratyahara, Dharana, and Dhyana. Since this is very heavy philosophy, we spread these out, discussing each level in detail on our days dedicated to the upper limbs. The last three limbs – Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are often referred to as the “innermost quest” and studied together.

Samadhi is the 8th and final Limb of Yoga, and is literally translated as “integration”. Many consider Samadhi to be enlightenment. This is typically the final goal of meditation in some Eastern religions and philosophies – enlightenment. I consider Samadhi to be not only the final Limb of Yoga, but a synonym for Yoga. Samadhi is “integration” and yoga is “union” so I feel these are two words for the same goal. As we have discussed, this is a journey.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Meditation Practice of your choice for Upper Limbs Day. You can try our breath-focused meditation, another Dharana focused meditation, or another guided meditation of your choice.

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

Please comment and let us know which meditation you tried, and what you thought of this study of the upper limbs or yoga! If you have another favorite guided meditation, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 5 – Bikram Pranayama – Hot Yoga Breath

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day! We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September, so we will learn 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.

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.

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 3 – 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 we have not discussed it yet!

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 Ishvara Pranidhana 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 practice 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.

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 – Corpse

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!

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 4 – Vilona Pranayama – Retained Breath

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day! 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 Pranayama Day today, I recommend a Hatha or Iyengar Style class, making sure to monitor your alignment, and perhaps try today’s new breathing technique (variation 3) when poses are held for an extended time!

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 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…

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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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Asanas – Poses – Day 2 – Sunday Seats – Comfortable Seats for Meditation

Good morning Yogis! 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 Sunday Seats.

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! Or, check out our Top 5 Meditation Poses for non-seated meditation poses!

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 – 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 – 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 – 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.

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’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!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 3 – Yogic Breathing – Three Part Breath

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

Before we get into twisted and modified versions of poses in the detailed breakdown of the Sun Salutations Asana Series discussed yesterday, we will take two days to cover the remaining 8 Limbs of Yoga.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this three-part breath. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into 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.

Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

  • PART 1 – Belly: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of three part breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale.
  • PART 2 – Ribs: After 10 complete belly breaths – after expanding into your belly, try expanding your rib cage outwards on inhales and allowing to compress on exhales.
  • PART 3 – Chest: After 10 full inhale and exhalations with rib cage expansion – first fill your belly, then expand rib cage, then try allowing your clavicle (collar bone) to rise as you fill and empty your lungs completely for another 10 breaths.

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate diaphragmatic breathing like this, or other Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried this full three-part breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

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Top 5 -Yoga Mats – Daily Yogi

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is your choice of Asana from any Asana Style. Perhaps browse my Top 5 Yoga Mats list below, and see if your mat is the best fit for you! Or skip to my tips for how to clean your mat!

I LOVE High Fidelity and its Top 5s, so I am doing another Top 5 for Yoga Mats today. As I mentioned yesterday in my Yoga Equipment Top 5, a new Yogi should get a real Yoga Mat.. towels just do not cut it! There is a huge variety of Yoga Mats out there. Here are my Top 5 favorites:

Top 5 Yoga Mats

Note – I am short, 5’1. If you are a tall Yogi, make sure you pay attention to mat length.. you will definitely want an extra-long yoga mat!!

1 – Retrospec Solana Extra Thick Yoga & Pilates Mat

As I mentioned yesterday in my Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies, the main feature in a Yoga Mat to consider is thickness. I had a back injury and have concrete floors, so I need a very thick mat for comfort. A standard mat is 1/8″ thick, but the Retrospec Solana Mat is available 1/2″ or 1″ thick. As I mentioned yesterday, the main down-side to an extra-thick mat is that I cannot feel the ground through the mat, and this makes balancing poses harder. Thick mats are also not very easy to bring back and forth to the studio, even with a carrying strap. However, if you need extra cushioned mats for your everyday yoga practice like I do, try the Retrospec Solana Extra Thick Yoga & Pilates Mat.

2 – BalanceForm GoYoga Mat

This is a solid inexpensive standard yoga mat. It is standard thickness, average friction, and comes with an easy to use carrying strap. If you are a newbie Yogi who does not need an extra cushioned mat or any of the added features with the specialty mats listed below, BalanceForm’s GoYoga Mat is probably the best fit for you.

3 – SKL Travel Yoga Mat

My every day mat is extra thick, but that is the worst kind of mat for traveling, especially in luggage. I love to travel with a foldable travel yoga mat. The most important consideration with travel mats is the texture. Many travel mats are super thin, but they are frequently too slippery for me. Also, surprisingly, some travel mats are very heavy. I love the SKL Travel Mat texture – soft and leathery. It folds up well into its included travel bag, and is even machine washable!

4 – Reetual Hot Yoga Mat

I LOVE Hot Yoga. If you do not also love Hot Yoga, move on to the next on our list! But, this is my Top 5 Yoga Mats and I certainly want a mat for Hot Yoga when it is safe to be in the studio! If you also drank that kool-aid and practice Hot / Bikram Yoga, you have likely experienced Hot Yoga sweat slips. The Reetual Hot Yoga Mat helps avoid this slippage. Yes you can probably use a towel, but I prefer this mat that does the work for me.. I do not like to move a towel around or have it bunch up under me. This mat is also standard thickness, so you can feel the ground in Bikram / Hot series balancing Asanas. It’s a bit pricey, but the best sweat-absorbing mat for Hot Yoga I have found.

5 – Heathyoga Alignment Mat

Alignment Yoga Mats are all the rage right now, so I have to include one in my Top 5 Yoga Mats list! A ton of premium yoga mats are on the market like the popular (original?) Liforme Alignment Mat and Cork Alignment Mat. A lot of the high end alignment mats are fairly expensive, heavy, and cover nearly all the special features listed above in one mat. My favorite affordable every day alignment mat is the Heathyoga Alignment Mat – average thickness, not too heavy, and sufficient friction to avoid slipping.

How to Clean your Mat

Not sure how to clean your Yoga Mat? I make my own cleaner in a little spray bottle – a mix of equal parts water and white vinegar with a couple drops of tea tree oil. I use this regularly, and wipe down with a hand towel. I like this spray to clean my luggage too! I sometimes use a spray bottle with water and a little dish soap when my mat gets extra dirty outside. If you do not want to make your own mat cleaner, there are plenty of great pre-made cleaning sprays.


There you have it Yogis, my Top 5 Yoga Mats. Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this list! If you have a favorite mat that I did not mention.. let me know! Stay tuned tomorrow to sync up with our 30 Day Challenge Group! Always remember, be kind!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE starts – 05/01/2021

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

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Top 5 – Yoga Equipment

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is your choice of Asana series from any Asana Style. Perhaps try some of our Top 5 Yoga Equipment new Yogis should consider below your practice today!

I LOVE High Fidelity and its Top 5s, so I am going to do a Top 5 Yoga Equipment today. There is SO much Yoga equipment out there.. a lot of super cool pieces (like the yoga wheel or inversion bench) are better for more advanced Yogis. But I wanted to create a good Top 5 list for eager new Yogis, especially those who are new to Yoga in COVID quarantine, and maybe have not tried these at a studio!

Top 5 Yoga equipment for new yogis

1 – Yoga Mat

Sorry to be so predictable with #1, but it’s true! A few poses are fine on the ground or outside, but you really should use a Yoga Mats, which is really just a clean cushion. We will talk bit more about (my top 5) Yoga Mats tomorrow. The main feature to evaluate when purchasing a Yoga Mat is thickness. Texture, weight, and portability are other considerations. I had a back injury and need a very thick mat for comfort, but I cannot “feel” the ground through extra thick mats, making balancing poses more difficult. I have a super thin mat I love for traveling, but I would be sore in my injured lower back if I used it regularly. PS I do NOT use a towel.. towels are not thick enough and do not stay flat, plus Yoga Mats are usually slightly sticky which helps with many Asanas. I will use nothing, rather than just a towel.. If you get nothing else, get a real Yoga Mat!

2 – Foam Blocks

If you have practiced in a studio, foam blocks are usually the first prop you will try. I recommend getting two blocks, so you can use one under each limb in certain poses and Restorative Asana classes. Blocks are especially helpful for new Yogis who cannot reach the ground in in poses like Trikonasana / triangle pose, under the seat in Virasana / Hero pose… even advanced Yogis regularly use blocks for comfort or support, and to help fully express Asanas. They are fairly inexpensive, so I recommend just getting two blocks and a strap in a set for under $25.

3 – Yoga Strap

A strap basically acts as an extension of your arms. This is great for Yogis with tight shoulders who cannot reach behind their back, or Yogis with tight hamstrings who cannot easily reach their toes. This is placed behind the foam block which is used more often, but the strap is very useful, especially for new Yogis. They are fairly inexpensive, so