January 2022 30 Day Challenge: Yoga Philosophy: Day 22 – Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – 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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Parivrrta Ashta Chandrasana - high lunge with twist pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
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!

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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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January 2022 30 Day Challenge: Yoga Philosophy: Day 21 – Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – 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 - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
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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January 2022 30 Day Challenge: Yoga Philosophy: Day 20 – Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – 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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January 2022 30 Day Challenge: Yoga Philosophy: Day 19 – Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – 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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January 2022 30 Day Challenge: Yoga Philosophy: Day 18 – Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – 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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January 2022 30 Day Challenge: Yoga Philosophy: Day 16 – Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – 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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January 2022 30 Day Challenge: Yoga Philosophy: Day 14 – Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – 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 added videos to our original pose breakdowns.. check out the 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 - full lotus pose - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Padmasana – Lotus Pose

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

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 centering poses? Always remember, be kind!

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January 2022 30 Day Challenge: Yoga Philosophy: Day 12 – Pranayama (Breathing): Diaphragmatic Breath – Flowing Breath with Asanas

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

looking up through purple flowers and green leaves at sky with cool perspective - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Our breathing is designed to help us release any tensions that have become so much a part of us that we no longer sense their presence. - Carla Melucci Ardito
Our breathing is designed to help us release any tensions that have become so much a part of us that we no longer sense their presence. – Carla Melucci Ardito

Happy Friday Yogis! Before we get into our detailed review of the Sun Salutations Asana Series discussed yesterday, we will take two days to cover the remaining 8 Limbs of Yoga. We are going to review Diaphragmatic Breathing today, along with our challengers, with an introduction to basic flowing for Asana and Pranayama.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Diaphragmatic Breath, a Pranayama Practice with “flowing” between our first two Sun Salutations Series Asanas. This is an intro to linking breath and movement, if you are familiar with this already perhaps try a more advanced Asana class today and focus on your breath. Today we are going to start standing in Tadasana to prep for our Sun Salutations Asana Series rather than in a comfortable seat as we have done in the past. This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start standing in Tadasana. Begin by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Now, on an inhale, raise your arms above your head to come into Talasana (Palm Tree Pose) or a gentle Anuvittasana (Standing Backbend) as you breathe into your belly
  • Exhale and lower your hands back to your sides to come back into Tadasana
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Raise your arms as your breathe in, and lower them as you breathe out, to start getting a basic flow coordinating your movement and breath. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Did you try standing in Tadasana or laying down in Shavasana today? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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January 2022 30 Day Challenge: Yoga Philosophy: Day 11 – Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations

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

surya namaskar sun salutations series demonstration beige yogi around yellow sun
Sun Salutations – Surya Namaskar

Happy Thursday Yogis! We will soon break down each of the Asanas in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Remember to focus on incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing or Ocean Breathing, and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose as you are moving through this Asana series. I am keeping a KISS week and not adding anything to this round of reviewing each of the Asanas in the Surya Namaskar series, but I am planning to review transitions between poses during our next Intro Challenge in May – stay tuned!

The next few days as new Yogis doing our 30 Day Challenge are learning this series, we will re-examine variations of each of the poses and modifications in the Sun Salutations Series.. stay tuned!

Tadasana - mountain pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Tadasana – Mountain Pose

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Please comment 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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January 2022 30 Day Challenge – Yoga Philosophy: Intro Weekend – Day 2: Resolutions and Intentions: 8 Limbs of Yoga

Good morning Yogis! We are running another 30 Day Intro Challenge for January. This year January lines up perfectly with our Saturdays intro weekend for Resolutions / Intention Setting, so we will be a couple of days off from our challenge posts which start with Day 0 Intro Weekends. We set our New Years Resolutions yesterday, and today we will set focuses for our 8 Limbs Practices. New Yogis – please just learn about the 8 Limbs for now!

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

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to set focus for yourself from the 8 Limbed Yoga Practices for 2022. In traditional Yoga this is something a Guru would recommend for his student, but this is a personal journey so please focus on prioritizing a few practices that you need in your life. Our daily practices cycle through the 8 Limbs of Yoga, and I am currently focused on continuing my daily Meditation practice and maintaining a daily Asana practice for the month of January.

For 2022, I am prioritizing Svadhyaya (self-study) with restarting my daily journaling habit which recently fell off over the holidays, Aparigraha and gratitude to maintain positivity, and Santosha (contentment) with mindfulness and living in the present moment. Last year I prioritized 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. In 2020 I prioritized Ahimsa (non-harming) and Meditation. Or, consider the Karma Yoga path of Ghandi with prioritizing Ahimsa (non-harming) and Satya (truthfulness). Or, review the 8 Limbs of Yoga and select a few that you would like to practice more frequently than every 10-20 days with our Daily Yogi practices.

cool perspective looking out airplane window at city lights in dark sky - new year resolutions setting intentions self improvement Quote: New year — a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours. - Alex Morritt
New year — a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours. – Alex Morritt


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

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

Please comment if you would like to share your practice priorities for 2022 or January. Stay tuned for our first positive practice from the Yoga Sutras on Monday – we will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout January! Always remember, be kind!

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January 2022 30 Day Challenge – Yoga Philosophy: Intro Weekend – Day 1: Resolutions and Intentions: New Year 2022

Good Morning Yogis! Welcome to January and 2022! Also, welcome to our 30 Day Intro Challenge! We are starting another 30 Day Intro Challenge for January. This year January’s start lines up perfectly with our Saturday intro weekend for Resolutions / Intention Setting, so we will be a couple of days off between the day of month vs our challenge posts which start with Day 0 Intro Weekends. We will set our New Years Resolutions today, and tomorrow 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 our New Year’s Resolutions for 2022. Our daily practices will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout January. If this is not your first month of Daily Yogi, consider setting an intention for yourself for this month, or keeping another daily Yoga practice (ie Asanas, Pranayama, or Meditation) that is meaningful to you! I have been maintaining my daily sleep meditations and increasing the frequency of my workouts, so I am back to focusing on my daily Asana practice this month. I am really trying to keep my Hydration habit for the year (and have been much more successful the past few months than ever before!) and am working at sticking to my morning and evening self-care routines.

This is a great time to journal, so you can review your intentions throughout the year!

cool perspective looking at bright moon in cloudy sky through dark room - new year resolutions setting intentions self improvement Quote: What the new years brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year. - Vern McLellan
What the new years brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year. – Vern McLellan

INTRO CHALLENGE On Now!
Next challenge May 2022

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Please comment if you would like to share your intentions or your own personal bonus daily yoga practice for this month. Stay tuned for the next day of setting intentions for 2022, and our first positive practice from the Yoga Sutras on Monday – we will stay synced up with our 30 Day Challenge Group throughout January! Always remember, be kind!

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December 2021 Holiday Season – Asanas (Poses) – Asana Styles – Hatha Series

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

We just wrapped up practice of the Niyamas after our extended Yamas Holiday practices, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will cover Hatha Yoga and try a Hatha Yoga Series. I have been trying to keep Asanas as a daily practice lately, and I practice Hatha style most frequently as part of my morning routine.

Branches Vs Limbs of Yoga

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

Hatha Yoga

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

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

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

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

Recommended Hatha Yoga Videos

Beginner Morning Hatha Series

AM Connection Hatha Series

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

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

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

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Pranayama (Breathing): Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath – December 2021 Holiday Season

Happy Monday Yogis! We are celebrating a special Yamas / Interpersonal Ethics focused month starting a bit later this week for the Holiday Season! So, before we get started today is a KISS (keep it super simple) Day for Pranayama Day today! We are going to revisit Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. This is one of my favorite Pranayama techniques!

cool perspective looking at the top of snow covered colorado mountains and alpine landscape under partly cloudy bright blue sky - pranayama breath breathing Quote: If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. - Amit Ray
If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. – Amit Ray

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this three-part breath. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety – keep this practice in mind to use throughout this month if needed, since the holiday season can be stressful!

Diaphragmatic Breath

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

Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

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

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

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Asanas (Poses): Malasana (Garland Pose) – December 2021 Holiday Season: Krampusnacht

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

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

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

Holiday Season – Krampusnacht

Krampus!

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

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

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

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

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

Malasana - garland pose - yoga pose girl wearing tie dye shirt with trippy yellow holiday lights on black dark background
Malasana – Garland Pose

Malasana – Garland Pose

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

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

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

Malasana - garland pose - yoga pose girl wearing tie dye shirt and black pants with holiday winter white bare aspen tree forest background
Malasana – Garland Pose

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

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

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

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Asanas (Poses) – November 2021 Challenge: Day 22 – 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

Ajaneyasana - low lunge pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose
Parivrrta Ashta Chandrasana - high lunge with twist pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
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!

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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) – November 2021 Challenge: Day 20 – Bhujangasana & Salamba Bhujangasana

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

Happy Wednesday 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
Twisted/Sister AsanaSalamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx Pose

Bhujangasana - cobra pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
Salamba Bhujangasana - sphinx pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
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 heart opening 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) – November 2021 Challenge: Day 19 – Chaturanga Dandasana & Dandasana

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

Happy Friday 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 black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff Pose
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) – November 2021 Challenge: Day 18 – Phalakasana & Purvottanasana

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

Happy Thursday 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 black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Phalakasana – Plank Pose
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!

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

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

Please comment to share your experience! 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) – November 2021 Challenge: Day 17 – Anjaneyasana & Parivrtta Anjaneyasana

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

Happy Wednesday 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

Ajaneyasana - low lunge pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge
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.

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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) – November 2021 Challenge: Day 16 – 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 - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend
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 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) – November 2021 Challenge: Day 14 – Tadasana (Mountain Pose) & Finding Your Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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

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Pranayama (Breathing) – November 2021 Challenge: Day 12 – Diaphragmatic Breath

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

snowy alpine valley snow covered dark green pine trees and snow capped mountain with bright blue sky and wispy white clouds - breath breathing pranayama Quote: Breathing well means breathing more slowly and deeply. Relax, feel your breathing, and breathe comfortably. Once aware, it naturally becomes deeper and slower. - Iichii Lee
Breathing well means breathing more slowly and deeply. Relax, feel your breathing, and breathe comfortably. Once aware, it naturally becomes deeper and slower. – Iichii Lee

Happy Friday Yogis! Before we get into our detailed review of the Sun Salutations Asana Series discussed yesterday, we will take two days to cover the remaining 8 Limbs of Yoga. We are going to review Diaphragmatic Breathing today, along with our challengers, with a slightly different approach.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Diaphragmatic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Today we are going to try either standing in Tadasana, or laying down, rather than in a comfortable seat as we have done in the past. I love practicing Pranayama laying down in Shavasana, as I feel I can breathe deeper into my belly. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start either standing in Tadasana or laying down in Shavasana. Begin by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • 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.

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Did you try standing in Tadasana or laying down in Shavasana today? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas (Poses) – November 2021 Challenge: Day 11 – 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 are going to stay with our Challenge Group and have a KISS (keep it super simple) Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Also, 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 in the Sun Salutations Series.. stay tuned!

Ajaneyasana - low lunge pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

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Please comment 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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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – October 2021 – Meditative Practices – Mandalas

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October’s Emotional Wellness Month. Additionally, today is Upper Limbs Day. Today we will try a new Dharana Meditative Practice – Mandalas!

Also, welcome to our 30 Day Intro Challenge! We are starting another 30 Day Intro Challenge for November. Typically we start our intro weekends 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 3/4 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!)

Dharana is the 6th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as concentration. 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 info. 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 Mandala Meditative Practice! Please see blank Mandalas below, or consider one of my recommended Mandala coloring books… I am excited now years later I have the opportunity to share some of my favorite Mandala colorings! I prefer colored pencils or crayons for Mandala coloring books, because unfortunately my coloring sharpies bleed through the pages.

Or, if coloring is not your thing, try out a Mandala Kaleidoscope Meditation! I am not a huge fan of the new-agey music (unless using a special HZ), and prefer muting and listening to a meaningful song or album. You may also want to look into Tibetan Sand Mandalas!

Blank Mandalas

Check out my favorite Mandala Coloring books and supplies


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 Meditative Mandala exercise! If you have another favorite Mandala practice or coloring book, then please share! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama (Breathing) – October 2021: Day 2 – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath)

Good morning Yogis! Today is a Pranayama Day Practice!

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

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

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

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

orange breath graphic on yellow gold background

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

Diaphragmatic Breath

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

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Channel Clearing / Alternate-Nostril Breathing

  • Get in position – you will want to come into a comfortable seat. Place your left hand on your left knee. Bring your right hand into a Vishnu Mudra, folding your first two fingers to your palm (or if this is not comfortable, bring all three center fingers to the palm, or rest your index and middle fingers on your forehead/third eye)
  • Use the right thumb to close the right nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your left nostril only, keeping your diaphragmatic breath technique, 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) – October 2021: Day 2 – Vinyasa Yoga Series

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a meditation-focused month for October, and today is Asana Day. So, today we will revisit Vinyasa Yoga and its meditative flowing style, before we cover some new Asanas.

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.

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

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

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Santosha (Contentment) – October 2021: Day 2 – Mindfulness

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Santosha / contentment Day. Today we are going to introduce Mindfulness, a concept and practice that relates to Santosha.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is fully being present or “in the moment” without distractions, and observing your inner and/or outer world without judgment. This is a practice embraced by both Eastern Philosophy and Western Psychology as key for both contentment and stress reduction. Many enjoy Yoga because it brings Mindfulness with focus on breath, moving between poses, and being present in our bodies. Mindfulness can help reduce anxiety, remain calm in stressful situations, support positive thinking, and increase the quality of our lives.

More on Mindfulness and Benefits

Psychology Today – Understanding, Practicing, and Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindful – Getting Started with Mindfulness (and Meditation)

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For our Mindfulness-focused Santosha Day today, our meditation is a  Mindfulness Guided Meditation.

cool shot of cloudy sky above snow-capped mountains - santosha contentment happiness mindfulness mindful Quote: Mindfulness isn't difficult. We just need to remember to do it. - Sharon Salzberg
Mindfulness isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it. – Sharon Salzberg

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice for Santosha Day is to try to practice Mindfulness. Like many other challenging mental practices in Yoga like Aparigraha, remember this is a journey and be patient with your progress in this difficult practice, especially if it is new for you!

PS calmly notice when your thoughts drift back to the past or forward to the future. Try to bring yourself back to the present moment by focusing on the sight, sounds, smells, taste, or feel of your surroundings.

  • Go on a walk, and perhaps literally stop and smell the roses.
  • Take a run and feel the wind on your face.
  • Being around water is especially calming, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river.
  • Go for a hike and appreciate the beauty around you, rather than focusing on finding a perfect selfie spot.
  • Take note of your thoughts during a stressful situation, and observe them without judgment rather than getting caught up with them.
  • Bring Mindfulness to your eating by paying attention to all five senses, chewing slowly, and truly enjoying every bite!
  • Sit quietly, and go through all of your senses one by one to appreciate your surroundings.
  • Try a body scan, especially in Shavasana after Asana practice, in a comfortable chair, or before bed.
  • Check out more Mindfulness practices from Mindful.org

Please remember Mindfulness is a difficult practice, so please be gentle with yourself!

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Please comment and share how your Santosha Day went focusing on Mindfulness. Please share any favorite practices or tricks! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – October 2021 – Dhyana (Full Meditation)

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a month focused on meditation for October. 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.

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 only occasionally… we are skipping Samadhi this round of through the 8 limbs of Yoga, and jumping right into our meditation month tomorrow. Today we will discuss Dhyana and try a Meditation to reach this state. Check out our deep dive on Dhyana.

cool shot decordova sculpture garden outdoor artwork blue and black twisted modern art under bright blue partly cloudy sky - upper limbs of yoga Dhyana full meditation Quote: To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still. - Jiddu Krishnamurti
To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

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 – October 2021 – Dharana (Intense Focus) – Guided Meditation & Meditative Practices

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a month focused on meditation for October. 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. 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.

cool shot of alpine town in mountain valley under partly cloudy sky with snow on mountain tops - upper limbs of yoga dharana meditation intense focus Quote: We are not born focusing. It’s an acquired skill that requires initial effort and constant upgrading. - Robert Genn
We are not born focusing. It’s an acquired skill that requires initial effort and constant upgrading. – Robert Genn

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.

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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.

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 – October 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 month focused on meditation for October. 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 meditation day.

cool shot of alpine dirt road with fresh snowfall in the mountains with darkened green pine trees and sunlit clouds under the moon - upper limbs of yoga pratyahara withdrawal of senses go within peace within Quote: Peace is a sacred space within, it is the temple of our internal landscape. We are free to visit it, whenever we seek sanctuary. Underneath the chaos of everyday living, peace is patiently awaiting our discovery... go within. - Jaeda DeWalt
Peace is a sacred space within, it is the temple of our internal landscape. We are free to visit it, whenever we seek sanctuary. Underneath the chaos of everyday living, peace is patiently awaiting our discovery… go within. – Jaeda DeWalt

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!

Pratyahara Guided Meditation