Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Talasana / Palm Tree Poseor Vrksasana / Tree Pose. Both of these are great balancing poses for new Yogis! I find practicing balancing Asanas brings a calming stillness after focusing on holding the pose.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Tadasana / Mountain Poseor 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. Centering Asanas are great poses for meditation.
Check out this little video for a few options for arms through Tadasana. I prefer to “swan dive” forward as in the first and second option. I find bringing hands up together above head and bringing prayer hands straight down to be most popular in the Yoga Studios I visit. You can also try bringing arms up straight in front of you… Try a few options, and pick your favorite!
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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these centering poses? Always remember, be kind!
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is any Meditation Practice for Upper Limbs Day. I recommend today’s breath focused meditation, which is challenging but a great meditation for progression through the Upper Limbs. Or, check out our meditation guide for more practice suggestions!
Happy January 13, 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Diaphragmatic Breath
Happy Friday Yogis! Before we get into our detailed review of the Sun Salutations Asana Series discussed yesterday, we will take two days to cover the remaining 8 Limbs of Yoga. We are going to review Diaphragmatic Breathing today, along with our challengers, with an introduction to basic flowing for Asana and Pranayama.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Diaphragmatic Breath, a Pranayama Practice with “flowing” between our first two Sun Salutations Series Asanas. This is an intro to linking breath and movement, if you are familiar with this already perhaps try a more advanced Asana class today and focus on your breath. Today we are going to start standing in Tadasana to prep for our Sun Salutations Asana Series rather than in a comfortable seat as we have done in the past. This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.
Start standing in Tadasana. Begin 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
Now, on an inhale, raise your arms above your head to come into Talasana (Palm Tree Pose) or a gentle Anuvittasana (Standing Backbend) as you breathe into your belly
Exhale and lower your hands back to your sides to come back into Tadasana
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. Raise your arms as your breathe in, and lower them as you breathe out, to start getting a basic flow coordinating your movement and breath. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series –Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Remember to focus on incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing or Ocean Breathing, and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose as you are moving through this Asana series. I am keeping a KISS week and not adding anything to this round of reviewing each of the Asanas in the Surya Namaskar series, but I am planning to review transitions between poses during our next Intro Challenge in May – stay tuned!
The next few days as new Yogis doing our 30 Day Challenge are learning this series, we will re-examine variations of each of the poses and modifications in the Sun Salutations Series.. stay tuned!
We first practiced the fifth of the Niyamas – Ishvara Pranidhana / surrender by working on practicing acceptance rather than upset reactions to a difficult situation. As we discussed in our intro, Ishvara Pranidhana is the most difficult of the Niyamas to understand and practice, but also one of the most rewarding. So, today we will work again on the challenging practice of acceptance in difficult times.
Today’s Positive Practice suggestion
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice acceptance when something bad or less-than-positive happens today. Try a deep breathing exercise when you encounter a problem. If you lose your temper, perhaps try to step outside yourself and see yourself reacting to a difficulty, and ask yourself if your reaction was productive. If it is possible, try seeing the silver lining for potential for growth in a bad situation. If you are practiced in religious faith, perhaps try praying for your own peace, calm, and understanding instead of a solution to a problem you are facing. Again, this is a journey and this particular practice today is one of the most difficult, so be gentle with yourself. If at first you do not succeed, evaluate what your reaction contributed, and try again next time. Treat this as an experiment, and see how you feel later after trying different approaches to problems that arise.
Advanced Yogis who incorporate Ishvara Pranidhana into their lives may begin seeing difficulties as challenges to overcome, and opportunities to practice managing our responses. This is one of the keys of long-lasting happiness, since getting upset often does nothing to help a bad situation and only makes things more difficult for ourselves. Instead, try to stay calm, and do not allow a negative encounter to draw you into negativity. Of course, this is easier said than done! Remember, it is a journey.
We have had quite a few Tapas or discipline Days. Our intro Tapas day, we made a goal that was important to us. Each Tapas day, we check in on our progress. If you joined us on our last intro challenge in November, it has been nearly two months, so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up!! If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the electronic and visual reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success!
Yoga is a practice, and successfully changing our habits is about consistency, so we will keep checking in on our goals on Tapas Days. PS I want to report I just completed 425 days in a row for my Duolingo daily habit, and completed the new Diamond League over the holidays! Follow me on Duolingo @TarrynTyler 🙂
Today’s Positive Practice suggestion
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to monitor our daily habit goals, and set a new one if needed. Evaluate the electronic and visual reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success! If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! There are many free Apps for 30 Day Challenge workouts. My favorite is a free app called 30 Day Butt, which allows the pop-up phone notifications I love so much. We are in the middle of an Intro Challenge for January, which we will do again in couple months. We had a September daily Asana challenge, and a daily meditation challenge for October – these are great Daily Yoga Practices to integrate into your morning routine! If none of these resonate with you, please pick a habit that is meaningful to you to add to your life. Today is Monday so channel some Motivation Monday energy, and select a daily habit that will really motivate and inspire you to stick with it!
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Share your Practice
Please comment and share how you are doing. Have you kept up with your new habit? Are you changing your systems or perhaps setting a new meaningful goal? Always remember, be kind!
Good Morning Yogis! Our challengers are learning to remember to incorporate Santosha / contentment with Asana practice. We have discussed that Yoga is a practice, and I find nearly all of the limbs to be challenging. I personally have a hard time with Santosha, finding it especially difficult to “turn off” to just relax and enjoy where I am. So, today you have the choice between Santosha in the present moment, or Santosha with your Asana practice today.
For those Yogis practicing finding happiness in the “now” – here are some of our best tips!
Go on a walk, and perhaps literally stop and smell the roses.
Take a run and feel the wind on your face.
Being around water is especially calming, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river.
Go for a hike and appreciate the beauty around you rather than focusing on finding a perfect selfie spot.
Since we are still in the days of social distancing, maybe pack a picnic and head to the back yard or a nearby park.
Read a book on your deck or by the window.
Sit quietly, and go through all of your senses one by one to appreciate your surroundings.
Any way that feels right for you to get out of your head, and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.
PS calmly notice when your thoughts drift back to the past or forward to the future. Try to bring yourself back to the present moment by focusing on the sight, sounds, smells, taste, or feel of your surroundings.
Do not push yourself to pain on your Yoga Journey! Many Yogis of all levels embrace all kinds of blocks and props. Do not hesitate to grab a couch pillow for extra support, a block for extra support or when you cannot reach the floor, or a strap for extra arm-reach and leverage.
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Please comment and share how your Santosha Day went on the mat or focusing on living in the now. Please share any favorite practices or tricks! Always remember, be kind!
Want more Self-Care Ideas and hacks? Check our Self Care Board On Pinterest!
Share your Practice
Please comment and share how you decided to practice Saucha today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!
Happy January 6, 2023 – Aparigraha (Non-Attachment)
Happy Friday Yogis! Today we are going to stay sync-ed up with our challengers and revisit the positive practice of Aparigraha (non-attachment) today: Gratitude. This is one of my resolutions / focuses for 2022!
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice isto make a list of 5 things you are grateful for in your life, right now. Need some ideas? They can be big or small. You may be grateful for physical things like your health or your long hair or your home or your beautiful garden. You may be grateful for your family or friends or pets. You may be proud of something you accomplished or positive personal traits like humor or loyalty. You may be grateful for past learning experiences or positive changes you see in yourself or the world. Or, these are tough times.. if you are proud for getting out of bed or taking a shower, or putting on pants for your zoom meeting, then celebrate small victories! This practice is about finding the joy and blessings in the moment. Focus your attention to positivity and abundance already in your life, rather than putting off your happiness for something in the future.
Perhaps get some bonus Svadhyaya (self-study) by making your gratitude list today in your journal!
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Share your Practice
Please comment and share how today’s practice for Aparigraha Day made you feel! Always remember, be kind!
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to exercise moderation or take the Middle Path in a way that is meaningful for you today for Brahmaharya Day. Remember – the middle path is about moderation, not denial! Need some ideas?
Look for temptations during the day, and neither deny nor fully indulge the craving, but instead make a healthy choice. Like maybe a salad or healthy sandwich instead of fast food, or fruit instead of candy, or yogurt instead of cake or ice cream. Maybe have just a couple pieces of candy instead of NOMMING the whole bag (this one is both inspired by and directed towards me!), or have one very small serving of exactly what you are craving.
Make today the first day taking steps to minimize an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Perhaps get a nicotine gum or patch to stop smoking, or plan a reasonable cut-back schedule with small goals you can reach rather than the cold-turkey approach.
If you have been super busy with work and family with our current quarantine situation, ask for help and take 15 minutes minimum to spoil yourself with a bath or workout or even a nap, whatever you need!
Take a digital break – plan today to have an evening without phone or social media.
Choose your own way to practice a more balanced lifestyle today that feels right to you.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice a random act of generosity for today’s Asteya(non-stealing) Day. Need some ideas?
Ask someone you care about who is having a tough time if you can help with household chores, or yard work, or anything else to make their lives easier and take something off their plate.
If you have old luggage you no longer use, please consider donating to a foster care agency, since many foster children are forced to move with garbage bags.
Purge toys, books, kitchen gadgets, and/or electronics you no longer use, and consider donating as appropriate to a local organization for the elderly, women and/or children.
Consider making a cash donation to your local food bank, hospital, animal shelter, or another nonprofit or charity that is meaningful to you (I usually donate to World Wildlife Fund).
Do a closet clean-out and donate clothes you do not wear any more… or consider starting a wardrobe tracking method to help identify what you do not wear and could donate. PS consider making the extra effort donating directly to local organizations for the homeless, elderly, women, or children rather than the easy dropboxes for Goodwill.
Good Morning Yogis! Today is Satya (truthfulness) Day. We are staying synced up with our 30 Day Challenge group. We will practice today focusing on the “benevolent truth” translation of Satya from Sanskrit.
Happy Monday Morning Yogis! We are beginning our cycle practicing each of the Limbs of Yoga with Ahimsa (non-harming). We also have a 30 Day Challenge Group starting positive practices today, and we will stay mostly coordinated with the Challenge group most of the month. Today we will focus on the positive opposite of non-harming, or kindness for our Ahimsa practice today.