Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 22 – 2021 – Samadhi – Enlightenment / Integration

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a daily meditation practice challenge for June, and the end of a brief series on the Upper Limbs of Yoga.

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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. 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.

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 21 – 2021 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June. Additionally, we are in the middle of a quick series of daily practices inspired by the Upper Limbs. We already covered Pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses and Dharana or Intense Focus. The last three Limbs of YogaDharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are often referred to as the “innermost quest” and studied together. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the lower limbs, and sequentially upon each other. However, these practices are all meditation focused, and must truly be practiced and understood on your own. Samadhi is basically our goal and will be discussed occasionally! Today we will discuss Dhyana and try a Meditation to reach this state. Check out our deep dive on Dhyana.

Dhyana is the 7th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as meditation. I prefer to think of Dhyana as full meditation, a bit stronger and more specific than “meditation”. This is typically the goal of meditation, to fully stop our thoughts and have a quiet mind. After withdrawing inside ourselves with Pratyahara and focusing our minds on a single subject with Dharaha, we may reach the level of meditation where our thoughts actually stop. In true Dhyana or true meditation, we typically are not aware of this clear-minded state until we come out of it.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dhyana-focused Meditation Practice. You can try our breath-focused meditation again, and then allow your mind to quiet. Or, you can try a guided meditation meant to help bring the state of Dhyana.

Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey! I am working on Dhyana.. I usually can focus on one thing with Dharana, but my mind wanders fairly quickly when I try to quiet it for full meditation.

Dhyana Guided Meditation

Our Breath-Focused Meditation – first focus on breath, then allow your mind to quiet.

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Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Dhyana exercise! If you have another favorite guided meditation, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 20 – 2021 – Dharana – Intense Focus – Guided Meditation & Meditative Practices

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June. Additionally, we are in the middle of a quick series of daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. We covered Pratyahara or withdrawal of the sense yesterday. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the lower limbs, and then sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. Today we will revisit Dharana, and then try a Dharana Guided Meditation or other Meditative Practice.

Nearly all meditation practices you think of are types of Dharana.

Dharana is the 6th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as concentration. This comes from the Sanskrit root “dhri” meaning to hold, carry, or maintain. I prefer to think of Dharana as intense focus, a bit stronger than “concentration”. This is typically the second step for meditation – after letting the outside world slip away, we then direct our focus inward. Please see our deep dive of Dharana for more. Most of the meditative practices we think of are therefore Dharana practices – see our full list!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dharana-focused Meditation Practice. Perhaps try our breath-focused meditation again to prepare for tomorrow’s next level of meditation. Perhaps focus on your breath or body in Shavasana / Corpse Pose after an Asana practice, another meditative practice from our list, try a guided meditation below, or any other method of your own.. whatever feels right to you. We will cover mandalas and flame gazing later!

Dharana or Intense Focus Meditative Practices

Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

Morning Motivational Meditation (10 minutes)

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Full Night Sleep Meditation (8 hours)

Grounding Meditation (9 minutes)

Body Scanning Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Self-Reflective Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation (12 minutes)

Celestial Visualization Guided Meditation (7 minutes)

Manifest Meditations (Power of Attraction) (10 minutes) 

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

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 and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Dharana exercise! If you have another favorite, then please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 19 – 2021 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses – Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We have completed our daily positive practices and meditations inspired by the first four Limbs of Yoga, and are back to the Upper Limbs. We are also in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for June. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, but during meditation months we will take couple days to cover each of the four upper limbs, rather than combining into one.

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 therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

Pratyahara is the 5th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as withdrawal of the senses. “Prati” means against or away, and “Ahara” means food or anything we take into ourselves. So, this literally means to stop taking things into ourselves. This is typically the first step for meditation – letting the outside world slip away, and going inside. The point is not about isolating yourself from outside distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and then allowing outside distractions to fade away. Please see our detailed discussion on Pratyahara for more.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Pratyahara-focused Meditation Practice. You can try this with Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, with a guided meditation, or on your own.. whatever feels right to you! Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We have a bonus daily meditation challenge for March. Today I recommend trying this Pratyahara Guided Meditation perfect for Shavasana after your Asana practice.

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Pratyahara Meditation! If you have another favorite, then please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 12 – 2021 – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath

Good morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day!

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

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

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

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

orange breath graphic on yellow gold background

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

Diaphragmatic Breath

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

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Channel Clearing / Alternate-Nostril Breathing

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

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

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

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Asanas – Poses – Day 14 – 2021 – Vinyasa Yoga Series

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a meditation-focused month for June, and today is Asana Day. So, today we will keep with the moving meditation theme for this weekend, and revisit Vinyasa Yoga and its meditative flowing style.

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. 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

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

Adho Mukha Svanasana - downward facing dog pose variation walking the dog - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink sprinkle print set doing yoga inside in pink and purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Walking the Dog Variation

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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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World Environment Day & National Trails Day – Moving Meditation

Good morning Yogis! Today is World Environment Day, National Trails Day, AND National Prairie Day. So, we are taking a quick break from our cycle of practices inspired by the 8 Limbs of Yoga to focus on practices for our special Meditation Month and getting outside for these environmentally focused holidays.

cool perspective midtown atlanta looking down from above with glass reflection - moving meditation mindfulness Quote: Action does not get one to the destination, action IS the destination. - Brian S. Woods
Action does not get one to the destination, action IS the destination. – Brian S. Woods

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a moving meditation. I recommend a meditative drive or hike! Check out the US National Parks Pass if you love meditative hikes – this covers US national park entrance fees for a year, and helps support public conservation.

Moving Meditations

Driving is my favorite meditative activity, I definitely have the “monkey mind” so having something big to focus on is very helpful for me, and these meditative drives often result in solutions to problems or my best ideas.

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.

Or try a Restorative Asana class with Guided Meditation for a meditative Asana session.

Next INTRO CHALLENGE starts August 2021

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Please comment to share which moving meditation you tried or prefer. Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 9 – May 2021 Yoga Challenge – Adho Mukha Svanasana & Shisulasana

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

Happy Monday 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. Today is the last day of this series!

Sun Salutations AsanaAdho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog
Twisted/Sister AsanaShisulasana / Dolphin Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana - downward facing dog pose variation walking the dog - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink sprinkle print set doing yoga inside in pink and purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Walking the Dog Variation

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Shisulasana – Dolphin Pose

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog or Shisulasana / Dolphin Pose. If you want to begin to work on inversions, Shisulasana / Dolphin Pose toe-taps is a great beginner exercise to build arm and core strength!

PS next month to start our second year of Daily Yogi, we will have another meditation month, followed by Advanced Asanas in July! I am back to working arm strength and splits during June to prep for July, so I strongly recommend working some dolphin taps if you want to prep for a more challenging July with me!

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which Asana did you choose to practice today? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 8 – May 2021 Yoga Challenge – Bhujangasana & Salamba Bhujangasana

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

Good morning 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 AsanaBhujangasana / Cobra Pose (including Snake Pose below)
Twisted/Sister AsanaSalamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx Pose

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

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Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx Pose

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Bhujangasana / Cobra Pose or Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx Pose. If you are a new Yogi, I recommend sticking with Bhujangasana / Cobra Pose rather than the full Urdhva Mukha Svanasana / Upward Facing Dog expression of the pose. Be careful working into backbends if these are new to you!

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which Asana did you choose to practice today? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 7 – May 2021 Yoga Challenge – Chaturanga Dandasana & Dandasana

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

Good morning 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 AsanaChaturanga Dandasana / Four-Limbed Staff Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaDandasana – Staff Pose

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

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Dandasana - staff pose with strap - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Dandasana – Staff Pose

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Chaturanga Dandasana / Four-Limbed Staff Pose or Dandasana – Staff Pose. Either of these Asanas are great foundations for Yoga Workouts – see Chaturanga Dandasana / Four-Limbed Staff Pose for arm workout and Dandasana – Staff Pose for glute workout!

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

You may want to try a strap, couch pillow, blanket, or bolster to help yourself ease into Dandasana of you have tight hamstrings.

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 Asana and yoga workout did you choose to practice today? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 6 – May 2021 Yoga Challenge – Phalakasana & Purvottanasana

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

Good morning 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 AsanaPhalakasana / Plank Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaPurvottanasana / Reverse Plank

Phalakasana - plank pose -yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink sprinkle print set doing yoga inside in pink and purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Phalakasana – Plank Pose Variation

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Purvottanasana - reverse plank pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Purvottanasana – Reverse Plank Pose

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Phalakasana / Plank Pose or Phalakasana / Plank Pose. Either of these Asanas are great foundations for Yoga Workouts – see Phalakasana / Plank Pose for arm workout and Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank for glute workout!

Check out our new video for some variations of Phalakasana and our yoga workouts above!

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which Asana and yoga workout did you choose to practice today? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 5 – May 2021 Yoga Challenge – Anjaneyasana & Parivrtta Anjaneyasana

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

Good morning 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 AsanaAnjaneyasana / Low Lunge
Twisted/Sister AsanaParivrtta Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge Twist

Ashta Chandrasana - high lunge pose with cactus arms - yoga pose yoga girl wearing purple doing yoga inside in purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge with Cactus Arms

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Parivrrta Ashta Chandrasana - high lunge with twist pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
Parivrtta Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge Twist

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge or Parivrtta Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge Twist. Please note that I usually choose to practice my Sun Salutations Series in the morning currently with High Lunge as this Asana is easier on my knees, and I can perform without even a mat quickly in the morning, and even outside! I also have incorporated the suggestion from one of our Yogis, and I cactus my arms on an exhale through the lunge into Phalakasana / Plank Pose.

fIND YOUR FLOW

I switch up my sun salutations in the morning… I usually do the traditional Surya Namaskar sequence with High Lunge in the morning while my dogs are outside so I can get in a couple rounds quickly without a mat. When I use my mat, I usually do a longer version using Low Lunge with the support of my mat, adding Ardha Uttanasana or Half Standing Forward Bend at each Uttanasana, and sometimes adding an extra Phalakasana or Plank since I am working on arm strength. You can check out both of my Sun Salutation flows below.. try some variations from our pose breakdown, and find your flow!

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which Asana did you choose to practice today? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 4 – May 2021 Yoga Challenge – Uttanasana & Parivrtta Uttanasana

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

Happy Tuesday 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 AsanaUttanasana / Standing Forward Bend
Twisted/Sister AsanaParivrtta Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend Twist

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

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend or Parivrtta Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend Twist. Both of these are great hip openers, and Uttanasana will always be special to me since this Asana helped me finally touch my toes!

Check out our new video for some variations of Uttanasana including an extra chest-opener!

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

You may want to try a block or bending your knees slightly if you cannot reach the floor – focus on keeping a straight back more than straight legs!

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 Asana did you choose to practice today? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 2 – May 2021 Challenge – Tadasana & Centering

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!

We recently added videos each day to our original pose breakdowns.. check out the new video with options for arms through this pose below and in our original Tadasana post!

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

Tadasana - mountain pose with prayer hands - yoga pose yoga girl wearing purple doing yoga inside in purple yoga studio
Tadasana – Mountain Pose

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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.

Since May is Correct your Posture Month if you have done this before, I strongly suggest checking and correcting your posture as we revisit this traditional series. Take note of your ankles, knees, hips, ribcage, shoulders, chin, and ears, and take note of both the location and any tilt in these areas.

What do I do with my hands?!

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!

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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Asanas – Poses – Day 1 – May 2021 Yoga Challenge – Sun Salutations

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

surya namaskar sun salutations series demonstration blue yogi around indigo dark blue sun
Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutations

Happy Thursday Yogis! We will soon break down each of the Asanas in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. May is Correct Your Posture Month, so I suggest focusing on a particular part of your body alignment through this series. This week I am focusing on neck alignment – keeping my ears over my shoulders, and ears back and up.

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.

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!

Talasana - palm-tree palm pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

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Please comment if you would like to share your experience! What did you think? If this is part of your morning practice, how many repetitions do you do? Always remember, be kind!

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have been with us since January, you may remember for 2021 I am prioritizing Svadhyaya (self-study) with increasing the frequency of my journaling habit, Satya (truthfulness) particularly with myself and things that no longer serve me, and Santosha (contentment) with mindfulness and living in the present moment. I have been very consistent with my Svadhyaya habit thanks to my 5 year daily prompt journal (see below in recommended journals) and my Santosha (contentment) mindfulness practices, but am happy to reflect and revisit my commitment to Satya (truthfulness) now mid-year.

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


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

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

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May 2021 Yoga Challenge – Resolutions and Intentions

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

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

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

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

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

Next INTRO CHALLENGE starts August 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 our review of the 8 Limbs of Yoga tomorrow, and our first positive practice from the Yoga Sutras on Monday – we will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout the month of May! Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Reclined Asanas

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

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

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

Reclined Asanas

Viparita Karani – Legs up the Wall Pose

Purvottanasana – Reverse Plank

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Matsyasana – Fish Pose

Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclined Bound Angle / Goddess Pose

Navasana – Boat Pose

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge Pose

Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined Twist Pose

 Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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

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

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Asanas – Poses – Twist Asanas

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

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

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

Twist Asanas

Parivrtta Sukhasana – Seated Twist Pose

Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined Twist Pose

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge Twist

Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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

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

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Asanas – Poses – Inversion Asanas

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

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

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

Inversion Asanas

Viparita Karani – Legs up the Wall Pose

Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

Halasana – Plow

Vrschikasana – Scorpion Pose

Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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

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

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Asanas – Poses – Arm Balancing Asanas

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

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

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

Arm Balancing Asanas

Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff

Ashtanga Namaskara – Knees-Chest-Chin

Phalakasana – Plank Pose 

Purvottanasana – Reverse Plank

Vrschikasana – Scorpion Pose

Tolasana – Scales Pose 

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Shisulasana – Dolphin Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog

Marjaryasana – Cat Pose

Bitilasana – Cow Pose

Vyaghrasana – Tiger Pose

Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana – One-Handed Tiger Pose

Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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

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

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Asanas – Poses – Hip Openers / Forward Bend Asanas

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

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

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

Hip Opener / Forward Bend Asanas

Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

Balasana – Child’s Pose

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Matsyasana – Fish Pose (with lotus legs)

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

Agnistambhasana – Fire Log Pose

Baddha Konasana – Cobbler / Butterfly / Bound Angle Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclined Bound Angle / Goddess Pose

Marjaryasana – Cat Pose

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – Mermaid Pose

Malasana – Garland Pose

Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

Utkata Konasana – Goddess Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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

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Asanas – Poses – Heart Openers / Backbend Asanas

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

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

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

Heart Opener / Backbend Asanas

Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose

Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx

Sarpasana – Snake Pose

Urdha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog Pose

Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

Parighasana – Gate Pose

Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge

Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

Matsyasana – Fish Pose

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

Bitilasana – Cow Pose

Salabhasana – Locust Pose

Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy / Melting Heart Pose

Ustrasana – Camel Pose

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – Mermaid Pose

Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

Purvottanasana – Reverse or Upward Plank

Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana – One-Handed Tiger Pose

Baddha & Viparita Virabhadrasana – Humble & Reverse Warrior

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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

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Asanas – Poses – Standing Asanas

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

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

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

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

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

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

Standing Asanas

Tadasana – Mountain Pose

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

Trikonasana & Utthita Parsvakonasana – Triangle & Extended Side Angle

Utkatasana – Powerful / Chair Pose

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Standing Hand to Big Toe

Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

Vrksasana – Tree Pose

Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge

Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Utkata Konasana – Goddess Pose

Garudasana – Eagle Pose

Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose

Utthita Tadasana – Five Pointed Star Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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

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Asanas – Poses – Seated Asanas

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

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

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

BONUS DAILY ASANA CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

Upper Body

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

Sukhasana – Easy Pose

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

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

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

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Virasana – Hero’s Pose

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

More Seated Asanas

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

Dandasana – Staff Pose

Navasana – Boat Pose

Parivrtta Sukhasana – Seated Twist Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

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 11 – 2021 – Bikram Pranayama – Hot Yoga Breath

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

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

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

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

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

Diaphragmatic Breath

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

Bikram Pranayama / Hot Yoga Breath

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

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

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

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Asanas – Poses – Day 13 – 2021 – Shavasana – Corpse Pose

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shavasana – Corpse Pose

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

Lay on your back, and allow your legs and feet to gently splay open. Rest your arms a few inches away from your body, with palms facing up. Close your eyes, and allow your entire body to relax and sink into the mat.

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

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama or Yogic / Three-Part Breath). You can use a couch pillow under your head and/or knees, or any modifications to make this pose more comfortable for an extended time. I occasionally take Shavasana with knees bent and feet on the floor, and/or with elbows bent and hands under my head or cactus-arms to the side.

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

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 5 – 2021 – Balasana – Child’s Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fifth and last of the NiyamasIshvara Pranidhana or Surrender.

Since we are in the middle of an April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Balasana (bah-LA-sa-nuh) or Child’s Pose is my choice to represent Ishvara Pranidhana. I feel this pose, folding over from kneeing, represents the surrender. There are two versions of this pose that I enjoy practicing, and we will cover both variations.

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For 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 a Forward Folds class that I feel embodies Ishvara Pranidhana

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Child’s Pose for Ishvara Pranidhana Day! Many Yoga Studios where I practiced in the past use only Wide Child’s Pose below. I prefer to use both versions of this pose in my practice. I start with regular Child’s Pose for about 30 seconds with palms up, then expand to Wide Child’s Pose for 30-45 seconds, then close legs and return to Child’s Pose again for 30 seconds before moving on.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Ishvara Pranidhana Day – try practicing acceptance in a difficult situation!

Balasana – Child’s Pose

Balasana - child child's pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Balasana – Child’s Pose

Start in a kneeling position, sitting on your feet with your knees about hip distance apart. Fold forward from your hips, resting your chest on your thighs. You can rest your chin or forehead on the mat. Bring your arms back behind you and rest your hands on the mat, and let your shoulders melt over your knees. Palms can face up for more of a stretch between your shoulders, or palms can face down for more of a lower back stretch.

Balasana – Wide Child’s Pose

Balasana - wide child's pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Balasana – Wide Child’s Pose

Start in Child’s Pose above. Bring your toes together, spread your thighs, and lay your chest between your legs on the mat. Bring your hands forward on the mat in front of you – your palms should always be down on the mat in Wide Child’s Pose.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold each pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. I start with regular Child’s Pose for about 30 seconds with palms up, then expand to Wide Child’s Pose for 30-45 seconds, and bring legs together and arms back to return to Child’s Pose again with palms down for 30 seconds before moving on. You can also use a couch pillow or block under your head or chest for extra support.

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried both variations of Child’s Pose before? Can you feel a difference in the stretch flipping your palms in the first version of Balasana? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 5 – 2021 – Trikonasana & Utthita Parsvakonasana – Triangle & Extended Side Angle

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fourth of the NiyamasSvadhyaya or Self-Study and Trikonasana and Utthita Parsvakonasana.

Since we are in the middle of an April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Trikonasana (trih-ko-NA-sa-nuh) or Triangle Pose and Utthita Parsvakonasana (OOT-hit-tah PARS-va-ko-NA-sa-nuh) or Extended Side Angle Pose are my choices to represent Svadhyaya. I feel like I am literally turning back and looking at myself in these poses, a perfect embodiment of self-reflection.

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 Svadhyaya Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my old favorites with both of today’s poses – Intermediate Combination (30 Minutes).

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Triangle and Extended Side Angle Pose for Svadhyaya Day! These poses are common in all styles and levels of Yoga. I find these poses easiest to enter from a wide legged stance, flipping my legs into position, and leaning over into the pose. If you have a hard time reaching the ground, these are great poses to modify with a block to help open your chest to the side! Always make sure to perform these poses on both sides – it is easiest to come back up to wide legged pose, flip your feet, and perform on the other side

Journal DaY

Our first Svadhyaya Day, we started journals to have a source for self-study. I am using Svadhyaya Days to keep up with this practice.. perhaps make another journal entry with me today! I personally made increased Svadhyaya one of my New Years’ Resolutions this year, and have been using both daily prompt 5-year guided journal and more artsy guided journal that I already completed! The 5-year guided journal prompt for today 4/16 is “How do you think people describe you?” or maybe use of the following days’ prompts: “What is your most attractive quality?” or “Train, car, or airplane?”

Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

Trikonasana - triangle pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

Feet – Feet should be about 3 – 4 1/2 feet apart, flat on the ground. The front foot should point straight ahead, and the back foot should point straight to the side (or pointing slightly forward if hips are tight).

Legs – Your legs should both be straight. Keep back leg straight, with knee to the side. Keep front leg straight, with knee pointing forward.

Hips – Hips are debated in Triangle! I prefer to keep open to the side, but I have heard many Yoga Teachers recommend keeping stacked ie down to the ground. Perhaps try both, and see which feels better to your body!

Torso – Make sure you are bending from the hips, not the waist. Try to keep your torso facing to the side, as close to parallel to the ground as possible.

Arms – Your arms should be open to the side at your shoulders, palms open to the side. If you can, press your bottom hand into the mat or your shin to help your chest open to the side. If you cannot reach easily, press your hand into a block. Make sure to keep your shoulders pulled down and back, away from your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your neck in line with your body. If comfortable, look up at your hand. Otherwise, you can keep your head in line with your torso and look down or straight out to the side.

Trikonasana - triangle pose with block - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Trikonasana with block

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Utthita Parsvakonasana – Extended Side Angle

Utthita Parsvakonasana - extended side angle pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Utthita Parsvakonasana – Extended Side Angle

Feet – Feet should be about 3 – 4 1/2 feet apart, flat on the ground. The front foot should point straight ahead, and the back foot should point straight to the side (or pointing slightly forward if hips are tight).

Legs and Hips – Keep back leg straight, with knee to the side. Keep front leg bent, with front knee over ankle. Keep hips open to the side. Try to expand the space between your legs as your breathe in this pose.

Torso – Make sure you are bending from the hips, not the waist. Try to keep your torso facing to the side, as close to parallel to the ground as possible. Rotate your chest up to open to the side as much as possible

Arms – Reach your top arm straight over your head near your ear, making a straight line from your back foot to your top hand. If you can, press your bottom hand into the mat or your shin to help your chest open to the side. If you cannot reach the mat easily, bend your arm and rest on your knee, or press your hand into a block. Make sure to keep your shoulders pulled down and back, away from your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your neck in line with your body. If comfortable, look up at your hand. Otherwise, you can keep your head in line with your torso and look down or straight out to the side.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee


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!

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Triangle, Extended Side Angle, or the modified variations before? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 5 – 2021 – Utkatasana – Powerful / Chair Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the third of the NiyamasTapas or Discipline and Utkatasana.

Since we are in the middle of an April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Utkatasana (oot-kah-TA-sa-nuh) or Chair pose is my choice to represent Tapas. This is a challenging pose, and a great workout when held for an extended time. The literal translation from Sanskrit is Powerful or Intense Pose. If you hold this Asana for a full minute, I am sure you will feel why this pose was named “Intense”!

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Tapas Day today, I recommend a vigorous Power Yoga 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 a new Hip Hop Vinyasa.

Each Tapas day, we check in on our progress with the daily habits we have set for ourselves. It typically takes 30 Days to set a new habit (which is why I love these 30 Day Challenges!) so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up.. perhaps it is time to add a new daily habit to your routine!! If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success! Yoga is a practice, and successfully changing our habits is about consistency, so we will keep checking in on our goals on Tapas Days.

As mentioned we are in a daily Asana Challenge, which I have kept up with by wearing workout clothes to bed and practicing first thing in the morning. I also have a daily habit of practicing French or Spanish with Duolingo… I am pretty pleased with myself recently passing a 200 Day Streak! I have missed fewer than 20 days in all of 2020, but there is just something very rewarding about the increasing number of days in a row. And, lastly, this daily Asana Challenge has helped put me on the right path to meet another goal – hitting all three rings on my Apple Watch.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Chair Pose for Tapas Day! This pose is common in all styles and levels of Yoga. It is a great alternative to backbends to stretch thighs and back, and is a fantastic workout for legs and glutes when held for 30-60 seconds!

For an off-the-mat practice for Tapas Day – set or check-in on a meaningful daily habit!

Utkatasana – Chair or Powerful Pose

Utkatasana - powerful chair pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Utkatasana – Chair Pose

Start standing in Tadasana / Mountain Pose. Separate your feet to about hip-distance apart.

Inhale and lift your arms above your head, palms facing in, and sit your hips back as if you are sitting back in a chair. Keep your shoulders down and back straight, and try to get your thighs as close to parallel to the ground as possible. It is more important to have a straight back than to “sit” lower into your chair. Look up between your hands if comfortable.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. I recommend playing with weight in your feet a bit through this pose – generally you should keep all weight in your heels. Perhaps try lifting your toes slightly from the mat! Or, shift your weight into the balls of your feet, and try lifting your heels slightly from the mat, preparing for more advanced variations of this pose like Awkward Pose (a Hot Yoga favorite) and Drinking Bird Pose. Or, try placing a block between your knees for an even more challenging lower-body workout!

To come out of Utkatasana, inhale and straighten your knees back to Tadasana / Mountain Pose, then exhale and lower your arms – you may want to come all the way forward into Uttanasana / Standing Forward Fold to counter this pose after holding for a long time.

Utkatasana - powerful chair pose variation - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Utkatasana with toes lifted

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

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.

Next INTRO CHALLENGE starts August 2021

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Utkatasana or the more advanced variations before? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 5 – 2021 – Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the second of the NiyamasSantosha or Contentment. Since we are in the middle of an April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Ananda Balasana (ah-NAN-duh buh-LA-sa-nuh) or Happy Baby pose is my choice to represent Santosha. In addition to having a synonym for contentment in the name, it is hard not to smile rocking back and forth like a happy baby in this pose!

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Santosha Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Intermediate Flexibility, and adding an extra Ananda Balasana at the end of this series.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Happy Baby Pose for Santosha Day! This pose is a favorite among all levels of Yogis, and is a great passive hip opener.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Santosha Day – try a mindfulness practice to find contentment in the present moment!

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Ananda Balasana - happy baby pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Start laying on your back in Savasana / Corpse Pose with your knees bent and feet on the mat. Exhale and hug your knees in towards your chest.. you may want to enjoy this pose for a few breaths before coming into this pose!

Inhale and reach your hands between your knees. Grab the outside of each foot, exhale and spread your legs to each side of your torso. Ideally, your thighs will be parallel to the ground on each side of your torso and your feet will be flat up to the sky, but only bring your legs down as far as is comfortable. Your arms should be gently spreading your legs to the sides rather than forcing them down to the ground.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. You can stay still, or rock slightly side to side like a happy baby this pose is named for. When you’re ready, release your feet and come back into Savasana / Corpse Pose with your knees bent and feet on the mat.

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

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

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Saucha – Purity – Day 5 – 2021 – Parivrtta Sukhasana & Jathara Parivartanasana – Seated & Reclined Twist Poses

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the first of the NiyamasSaucha or Purity. Since we are in the middle of an April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Seated Twist or Parivrtta Sukhasana (pa-ree-VRR-tah sook-HA-sana) and Reclined Twist or Jathara Parivartanasana (jah-TAH-ruh PAH-ree-var-tah-NAH-sa-nuh) are my choices to represent Saucha, since these twisting Asanas assist in detoxification according to BKS Iyengar. I have seen this twisting/detoxifying benefit debated, but most agree that twisting Asanas do help with digestion.

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Saucha Day today, I recommend a gentle Yin or Restorative class which will likely feature these twisting poses.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Twist and Align, which includes many twisting poses!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try our twisting Asanas for Saucha Day! These poses are frequently included near the end of class for all levels Yogis and all styles of Yoga. Make sure to hold these twisting poses for a few breaths, and ALWAYS practice twisting Asanas on both sides!

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Saucha Day – try a self-care deep clean!

Parivrtta Sukhasana – Seated Twist Pose

Parivrrta Sukhasana - seated twist easy pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Parivrrta Sukhasana – Seated Twist – Easy Pose

Start in a comfortable cross-legged position of your choice – I prefer Siddhasana over Sukhasana. If the cross-legged positions are not comfortable seats for you, you can try in Virasana instead. Whatever seat you choose, make sure your hips and shoulders are aligned and stacked over each other before you begin, and upon returning to center.

Inhale and sit tall, perhaps press your hands into your knees to help lengthen your spine. On an exhale, bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee, and rest your right fingers on the mat behind you to bring your shoulders around to the right.

Lengthen your spine on inhales, and twist a bit further if comfortable on exhales in twisting poses. You can gently press your fingers into your knee to help deepen the twist. Hold for several breaths, and return to center on an inhale.

Make sure to repeat on both sides! If you are seated in a cross-legged position, flip your feet the opposite way and perform again on both sides.

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Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined Twist Pose

Jathara Parivartanasana - reclined twist - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined Twist Pose

Start laying on your back in Shavasana or Corpse Pose with your knees bent and feet on the mat. Exhale and hug your knees in towards your chest.. you may want to enjoy this pose for a few breaths before starting the twist!

Inhale and bring your legs up slightly away from your chest so your knees are over your hips, and extend your arms straight out at shoulder height with palms facing down to prepare for the twist. On an exhale, lower both legs down to the right until your right knee touches the ground, making sure your knees stay parallel to or below hip level (NOT tucked up towards your arms, which can cause injury!). Try to keep both shoulders on the ground. If comfortable, you can lift your head slightly and look towards the left, or just keep looking straight up.

Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. Inhale to lift your legs and come back to center, then exhale your legs down to the left and repeat on the other side.

For a slightly deeper twist you can either hop your butt slightly to the left before twisting to the right, and repeat this little pre-twist booty hop on the other side. For a much deeper twist, you can cross your left leg over right leg before lowering legs to the right, and vice versa.

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

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried these twisting poses before? Always remember, be kind!

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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 5 – 2021 – Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Standing Hand to Big Toe

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fifth and last of the Yamas – – Aparigraha or Non-Attachment.

Standing Hand to Big Toe or Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (OOT-hit-TAH HAH-stah Pa-dahn-goose-THAH-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Aparigraha, since this is a very challenging balance and full-leg stretch. You will also likely fall over a few times, so enjoy a few laughs working on this Asana! In fact, I usually practice with a variation of this pose, and I occasionally work on the full version but cannot fully straighten my leg. Please see our wonderful featured Yogi @metalynith who is making awesome progress with flexibility and balance in her Yoga practice, and volunteered to model this challenging Asana for me <3!

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana - standing hand to big toe pose - yoga pose girl glasses wearing black trippy cool background
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose

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

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try some Standing Hand to Foot for Aparigraha Day! This is a challenging pose for all levels Yogis. Make sure to incorporate Aparigraha, and just practice without expectations, and see how you can progress with this journey pose. Remember – practice not perfection! We will talk about the variations of this pose both with and without the toe hold today! Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Aparigraha Day – try making a gratitude list!

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana Variation – Standing Hand to Big Toe Variation

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana - standing hand to big toe pose variation - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Beginner Standing Hand to Big Toe

Feet and Legs – Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose. Claw your toes into the mat slightly to keep your arches from falling into the mat. Perhaps keep a slight bend in the knee, Always make sure you avoid hyper-extending or locking your knees. We will perform with the right leg first – so shift all weight into your left leg. After placing your hands on your hips, inhale and slowly lift your right leg, trying to bring parallel to the ground.

Hips – Make sure your hips are neutral. Err on the side of tucking your tailbone under, rather than sticking your booty out.

Torso – Notice your rib cage in mountain pose. 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. Make sure you keep your back straight throughout this Asana, and do not let your shoulders or lower back round.

Head and Neck – Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. Gaze ahead at a single unmoving point to help with balance.

Arms – Place your hands on your hips to stay balanced in this pose.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Standing Hand to Big Toe

Feet and Legs – Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose. Claw your toes into the mat slightly to keep your arches from falling into the mat. Perhaps keep a slight bend in the knee, Always make sure you avoid hyper-extending or locking your knees. We will perform with the right leg first – so shift all weight into your left leg. After placing your hands on your hips, inhale and slowly bend your right leg and lift your right foot in towards your groin. Grab a hold of your right big toe with your right index and middle fingers. On an exhale, slowly extend your leg forward. It is okay if you cannot get your leg straight – it is better to keep your spine long than have a straight leg.

Hips – Make sure your hips are neutral. Err on the side of tucking your tailbone under, rather than sticking your booty out.

Torso – Notice your rib cage in mountain pose. 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. Make sure you keep your back straight throughout this Asana, and do not let your shoulders or lower back round. If you notice your back rounding, either bend your knee slightly to straighten your back, or work the beginner version of this Asana above until you can come into parallel to the ground without losing your posture.

Head and Neck – Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. Gaze ahead at a single unmoving point to help with balance.

Arms – Place your left hand on your left hip to help stay balanced in this pose. Keep a hold of your right big toe with your right index and middle fingers, and bend your elbow to deepen the stretch.

To come out of either variation of this pose, first release any toe hold and slowly lower your foot back down to the ground on an exhale. Make sure to repeat this Asana on both sides, and notice any differences in balance and flexibility between sides without judgement!

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Where are you on your journey with this challenging pose? Always remember, be kind!

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