Halloween – Samhain – Flame Gazing Meditation

Starting our 30 Day Challenge? Here is today’s intro post! You may also want to try our special practice for Halloween!

Good morning Yogis! Happy Halloween! We are going to close out our Mediation Month Bonus Challenge with a special type of holiday-themed meditation.

I have mentioned my interest in mythology of all kinds, and my super Irish name (Tarryn) means I am particularly interested in Celtic mythology. Today is Halloween in the West, and this holiday has some traditions that trickled down from the Celtic holiday Samhain. This is one of four seasonal Celtic holidays, half way between the fall equinox and winter solstice. It was traditionally celebrated October 31-November 1 because Celtic days began and ended at sunset, rather than at midnight as they do today. There are many interesting ancient Samhain traditions and rituals, some of which filtered down into Halloween. You can read more here if you are interested. We will focus on one traditional Samhain ritual – Bonfires, and today we will discuss Flame Gazing Meditation, a Dharana practice.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a form of Flame Gazing, a Dharana Practice. There are a few different forms of this you can try!

Flame Gazing Meditation

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Dharana exercise! Have you done this meditative flame-gazing before, not knowing this was a meditation practice? Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 10 – Meditative Practices – Mandalas

Happy Friday 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!

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


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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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 7

Good Morning Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of daily positive practices from the Niyamas. We first practiced the fifth of the NiyamasIshvara Pranidhana / surrender by working on practicing acceptance rather than upset reactions to a difficult situation. As we discussed in our intro, Ishvara Pranidhana is the most difficult of the Niyamas to understand and practice, but also one of the most rewarding. So, today we will work again on the challenging practice of acceptance in difficult times.

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Surrender.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice acceptance when something bad or less-than-positive happens today. Try a deep breathing exercise when you encounter a problem. If you lose your temper, perhaps try to step outside yourself and see yourself reacting to a difficulty, and ask yourself if your reaction was productive. If it is possible, try seeing the silver lining for potential for growth in a bad situation. If you are practiced in religious faith, perhaps try praying for your own peace, calm, and understanding instead of a solution to a problem you are facing. Again, this is a journey and this particular practice today is one of the most difficult, so be gentle with yourself. If at first you do not succeed, evaluate what your reaction contributed, and try again next time. Treat this as an experiment, and see how you feel later after trying different approaches to problems that arise.

Advanced Yogis who incorporate Ishvara Pranidhana into their lives may begin seeing difficulties as challenges to overcome, and opportunities to practice managing our responses. This is one of the keys of long-lasting happiness, since getting upset often does nothing to help a bad situation and only makes things more difficult for ourselves. Instead, try to stay calm, and do not allow a negative encounter to draw you into negativity. Of course, this is easier said than done! Remember, it is a journey.

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Please comment to share how this exercise impacted you. Feel free to share your successes or your struggles with this challenging practice. Always remember, be kind!

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 7

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the fourth of the NiyamasSvadhyaya / self-study by beginning a journal if we had not kept one. Today we will focus on the other Svadhyaya practice of studying sacred texts. Last time we practiced with studying sacred texts, we studied three passages from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where I draw inspiration for the Daily Yogi practices. My favorite was “Negative thoughts can be neutralized by positive thoughts”. Today we will examine three more thoughts on the power of our thoughts and positive thinking. Or, if you practice a religion, perhaps read a meaningful section of your traditional sacred texts.

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Svadhyaya Day today, our meditation is a Guided Meditation on Positivity.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to reflect on the quotes on positivity. Or, feel free to reflect on quotes from your own religion’s sacred texts.

Today’s Quotes on the power of our thoughts

Journal DaY

Also, this is a good time to make another journal entry if you have not kept up with this new practice! I do not typically make a personal reflective journal entry every day, but I am pleased to be reminded to keep up with this on Svadhyaya days. If you are not sure what to write about, perhaps journal about your thoughts on any quotes from any sacred texts, or your Yogi journey so far.


Please comment and share your thoughts on the above quotes, or your own readings if you would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya Day? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 7

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Tapas or Discipline Day! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. This is our third Tapas or Discipline Day. On our first/intro Tapas Day, we made a goal that was important to us, and we have checked on our progress and/or made new goals each Tapas Day. 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! If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge!

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Tapas day today, try a Morning Motivation Guided Meditation.

Now, we are going to have a bit of tough love here. This is now our eighth Tapas Day.. if you have not kept up with your habit from our first day, we really need to be honest with ourselves. If you have always wanted to speak French but it just is not happening for you.. you need to put in the time and effort to learn French! You will never just magically wake up one day with your dream at your feet, you need to put in the work. You can sign up for classes at a local community college or adult education center, get a free language app, get an audio-course to learn on your commute, maybe all three, whatever works for you! Thomas Edison said “Success is 10% Inspiration and 90% Perspiration” and I also enjoy articles on Discipline over Motivation. I do best with sticking to my goals by planning them for first thing in the morning. If you cannot make mornings work, plan it into your day like a doctors appointment or other meeting you cannot miss – put it on your calendar, set alarms and reminders, etc. DO IT!
PS building discipline is hard at first, but if you keep at it, it WILL get easier!

Yoga is a practice, and successfully changing our habits is about consistency, so we will keep checking in on our goals on Tapas Days.

close-up bright green ivy leaves on vine - tapas self-discipline motivation discipline Quote: Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps going growing. - John C. Maxwell

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to monitor our daily habit goals, and set a new one if needed. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! There are many free Apps for 30 Day Challenge workouts. My favorite is a free app called 30 Day Butt, which allows the pop-up phone notifications I love so much. We are also starting our intro Challenge 11/01 – 30 Day Yoga Challenge of Intro Philosophy, Poses & Positivity. Register and find our Current Challenge Group if you would like to join!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE STARTS 11/01/2020

Days
Hours
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Please comment and share how you are doing. Have you kept up with your new habit? Are you changing your systems or perhaps setting a new meaningful goal? Always remember, be kind!

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 7 – 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.

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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Saucha – Purity – Day 7 – Scorpio Season – Vrschikasana – Scorpion Pose

Good Morning Yogis! We completed our round of practices of the Yamas and now we are moving on to the Niyamas! Last time we practiced the first of the Niyamas, Saucha / purity with our bodies, with a deep clean or pampering self-care practice.

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Saucha Day today, since we will be cleaning our homes my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Organizing our Thoughts.

Vrschikasana – Scorpion Pose

Today is the start of Scorpio Season – Happy Birthday Scorpio Yogis! We will also dedicate today to an Asana today inspired by Scorpio – Scorpion Pose or Vrschikasana (Vrr-schih-KA-sa-nuh)! This is an advanced pose for advanced Yogis comfortable with inversions, requiring both strength and balance. I am SO happy I was able to practice this Asana a bit at my friends’ house – she has a perfect little spot on the side of her bed near the wall, so I could be supported on both sides! This is not a pose I regularly practice, so instead of our typical breakdowns, please see this great guide from my Pinterest Community about working into this pose!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Saucha / Purity with our surroundings. Scorpions live in burrows, and today we will focus on cleaning our own homes!

I personally do not do well when my home is cluttered or disorganized. I need everything to have its own place to go back to, or else I cannot find anything! Pick an area of your home or office to declutter and clean. Get storage bins, drawer organizers, or whatever you need to help yourself keep this area clean and organized going forward. Whether it is your closet, garage, junk drawer, basement, car, or your e-mail inbox, work on bringing Saucha to one of your spaces that you feel needs some TLC.

Want more Cleaning Ideas and hacks?
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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Saucha today. I always feel my mind is less cluttered when my space is less cluttered. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 7

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Aparigraha or Non-Attachment Day. Last time we practiced the positive of the last of the YamasAparigraha / non-attachment directly by practicing non-attachment with our actions. Today we will practice the positive meaning of non-attachment, or gratitude.

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Aparigraha Day today, my meditation for the day is a Morning Gratitude Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to make a list of five things (I just love Top 5 Lists!) you are grateful for in your life, right now. Need some ideas? They can be big or small.

You may be grateful for physical things like your health or your long hair or your home or your beautiful garden. You may be grateful for your family or friends or pets. You may be proud of something you accomplished or positive personal traits like humor or loyalty. You may be grateful for past learning experiences or positive changes you see in yourself or the world. Or, these are tough times.. if you are proud for getting out of bed and taking a shower, or putting on pants for your zoom meeting, then celebrate small victories!

This practice is about finding the joy and blessings in the moment. Focus your attention to positivity and abundance already in your life, rather than putting off your happiness for something in the future.

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Please comment to share how this Aparigraha gratitude exercise made you feel, or feel free to share your list! Always remember, be kind!

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Brahmacharya – Moderation – Day 7

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Brahmacharya or Moderation Day. I personally need more work-life balance in my life right now, so we are having another KISS (keep it super simple) Day!

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Brahmacharya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Balance.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to exercise moderation or take the Middle Path in a way is meaningful for you today for Brahmacharya Day. Need some ideas?

  • Look for temptations during the day, and neither indulge nor ignore the craving, but instead make a healthy choice. Like maybe a salad instead of fast food, or fruit instead of candy, or yogurt instead of cake or ice cream. Maybe have just a couple pieces of candy instead of NOMMING the whole bag (this one is both inspired by and directed towards me!)
  • Make today the first day taking steps to minimize an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Perhaps get a nicotine gum or patch to stop smoking, or plan a reasonable cut-back schedule with small goals you can reach rather than the cold-turkey approach.
  • If you have been super busy with work and family with our current quarantine situation, ask for help and take 15 minutes minimum to spoil yourself with a bath or workout or even a nap, whatever you need!
  • Take a digital break – plan today to have an evening without phone or social media.
  • Choose your own way to practice a more balanced lifestyle today that feels right to you.

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Please comment and share how you chose to practice Brahmacharya today! Always remember, be kind!

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Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 7

Good Morning Yogis! It is Asteya Day! Last time we practiced the positive version of the third of the YamasAsteya / non-stealing with an act of generosity, but today we will take it a step further and examine non-stealing.

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Asteya day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Balance in Our Lives.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively practice Asteya / non-stealing in our lives. Need ideas? This is going to be similar to our Satya practice from yesterday, and we should reflect on areas of our life where we may be acting a bit selfishly or taking advantage of a situation. If you are taking a lot of assistance or time from a particular person but not giving much in return, reflect on that and consider how you can make the situation more fair. Or, examine a situation where you have been taking more than giving, express gratitude, and see how you can make things more balanced and take better care of those who take care of you. Examine areas where you can focus a bit more Asteya, and express that however it feels right to you.

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Asteya today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 7

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day. Last time we practiced the second of the Yamaswith a kind truth, but today we will examine and practice from a different angle.

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Satya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Self-Reflective Guided Meditation that may help you uncover some truths.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Satya / truthfulness with ourselves today. Need ideas? It can be big or small.

This usually means examining mindsets, practices, or people in our life that may not be serving us. For example, maybe you are like me and should really examine eating less candy and more veggies. Or maybe you have other unhealthy practices like smoking, or a medical issue you have been putting off getting examined. Perhaps you have “friends” who cut you down to bring themselves up or consistently take but never offer support.

We usually know deep down what truths we need to accept… perhaps meditate to allow these thoughts to come up. Accepting difficult truths is a big step, and do not push yourself to do anything until you are ready. But, if you decide you are up for it, plan a course of action to resolve what you had been avoiding.

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Satya with yourself today. This can be difficult, but honestly is always the best policy. Always remember, be kind!

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Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 7

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Limbs of Yoga for our daily positive practices with Ahimsa or non-harming. Our last Ahimsa Day we practiced with a random act of kindness, but today we will focus on practicing non-violence.

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Ahimsa day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Non-Violence.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Ahimsa / non-harming today. Need ideas? It can be big or small. We should strive to exercise non-harming with our thoughts, words and/or actions.

For actions, you can avoid killing a bug you find in the house, and instead use a cup and paper or cardboard to carry outside. Perhaps drive compassionately if you have to drive today. Maybe refrain from letting your temper get the best of you and stay kind throughout a difficult interaction.. this will probably be non-harming in both words and actions. Keep in your mind and try to follow “if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.” Or, to practice Ahimsa with our thoughts, try to stay positive today with yourself, and notice and stop yourself from any negative self-talk.

Please comment and share how you decided to practice Ahimsa today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 9 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October’s Emotional Wellness Month. Additionally, we are in the middle of a quick series of daily practices inspired by the first three 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 our goal and will be discussed occasionally, but unfortunately beyond at least my daily practices! 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 8 – Dharana – Intense Focus`- Guided Meditation & Meditative Practices

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October’s Emotional Wellness Month. 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 discuss Dharana, and then try a Dharana Guided Meditation or other Meditative Practice.

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)

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) 

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!

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

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


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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 7 – 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 October’s Emotional Wellness Month. 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 discuss 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 October. Today I recommend trying this Pratyahara Guided Meditation perfect for Shavasana after your Asana practice.

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 6 – OM

Good Morning Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Today we will practice Ishvara Pranidhana / Surrender focusing on the literal translation from Sanskrit – surrender to all-pervading consciousness and its vibration/sound/representation OM. We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October. For Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, we will get our OMs on! I am going to practice a Guided Meditation with some OMs!

OM – Sanskrit

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice some OMs for Ishvara Pranidhana Day. OM is pronounced as a very long A-U-M or OOOM, not like “on” with an m. OM is familiar in the East, but often the only exposure for those in the West is at Yoga class. Please see my intro to OM for more info and links for in-depth research. You can do this on your own if you are practiced, or check out this video to learn how to properly OM on your own, or perhaps try this video as a guided meditation.

Please comment and share your experience if you got your OM on with us today! Have you tried this before, or is OM new to you? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 6 – Self-Reflective Guided Meditation

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Svadhyaya / Self-Study Day. We started practicing this Niyama by beginning a journal as a tool for self-reflection – if this is your first Svadhyaya Day, please consider starting a paper or electronic journal today and joining us with this practice!

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October. For Svadhyaya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Self-Reflective Guided Meditation. You will want to take notes from this guided meditation in your journal!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try this self-reflective guided meditation for Svadhyaya Day This is one of the most interesting guided meditations I have tried, so today’s practice is this self-reflective guided meditation that utilizes the very challenges we face with meditation.

Journal DaY

Also, this is a good time to make a full journal entry if you have not kept up with this new practice! I do not typically make a personal reflective journal entry every day, but I am pleased to be reminded to keep up with this on Svadhyaya days. If you are not sure what to write about, the Self-Reflective Guided Meditation may give some prompts from yourself to explore. Or, you can journal on your reflections on today’s quote from The Bhagavad Gita (available in our free Daily Yogi App). The Bhagavad Gita or God’s Song is a section from the Indian Sacred Epic the Mahabharata. It is the most widely known of these Sacred Texts, and is widely read among modern-day thinkers.

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self – Bhagavad Gita

Want more Ideas for journal day?
Check our Journal prompts board on Pinterest!

Please comment and share your thoughts on today’s guided meditation or quote if you would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya day? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 6 – World Mental Health Day

Good Morning Yogis! Today is World Mental Health Day and we are in the middle of October National Emotional Wellness Month. I created Daily Yogi as a Tapas tool, to help with reminding and motivating myself to practice the Yoga Sutras. These positive practices from the Sutras support mental health, positive mindset, and Yoga’s path to enlightenment!

We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day, and today is Tapas (self-discipline) Day. Each Tapas Day, we are making and/or checking a goal that was important to us. It has been a little more than four months since our first Tapas Day, and I would say I have successfully formed my new habit of (almost) daily Duolingo language practice, and have moved on testing daily Asana and Meditation habits. If you have not kept up with your daily habit goals, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the electronic and visual reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success!

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Tapas day today, try a Morning Motivation Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to monitor our daily habit goals, and set a new one if needed. Also, let’s practice some of the recommended activities to support mental health for Mental Health Day today! We have covered many of these practices on the graphic on past days, but I can see get plenty of sunlight and get enough sleep have been missed – perhaps evaluate your sleep and sunlight intake, and take steps to make time for more sleep and sunlight each day! If you want to get an extra Yoga Workout for Tapas Day, I recommend Tiger Crunches – a great Ab and Glute workout!

Yoga is a practice, and successfully changing our habits is about consistency, so we will keep checking in on our goals on Tapas Days.

Please comment and share how you are doing. Have you kept up with your new habit? Are you changing your systems or perhaps setting a new meaningful goal? Is there another 30 Day Challenge theme you would like us to try? Always remember, be kind!

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 6

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Santosha / contentment Day… today is one of my favorite daily Sutra-inspired practices!

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Santosha Day today, my meditation for the day is a Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation. Try to remember any positive affirmations that resonate with you – perhaps add to your journal, repeat and reflect on your moment in nature today, and/or come back to them during meditation. I enjoyed “Today I look for and appreciate the good” and “I am worthy, I am enough.”

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice for Santosha Day is focusing on the present moment, ideally in nature. We are practicing the finding the happiness in the “now”. Here are some of our best tips!

  • Go on a walk, and perhaps literally stop and smell the roses.
  • Take a run and feel the wind on your face.
  • Being around water is especially calming, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river.
  • Go for a hike and appreciate the beauty around you rather than focusing on finding a perfect selfie spot.
  • Since we are still in the days of social distancing, maybe pack a picnic and head to the back yard or a nearby park.
  • Read a book on your deck or by the window.
  • Sit quietly, and go through all of your senses one by one to appreciate your surroundings.
  • Any way that feels right for you to get out of your head, and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.

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

Want to See more like this?

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

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Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 6

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Asteya or Non-stealing Day. So, we will be practicing Asteya with the positive of non-stealing or generosity today!

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Asteya day today, my meditation for the day is a brief Generosity Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice a random act of generosity for today’s Asteya/non-stealing day. Need some ideas?

  • Today is World Animal Day – Please consider making a donation to the World Wildlife Fund to help protect endangered animals and their environments!
  • Ask someone you care about who is having a tough time if you can help with household chores, or yard work, or anything else to make their lives easier and take something off their plate.
  • If you have old luggage you no longer use, please consider donating to a foster care agency, since many foster children are forced to move with garbage bags.
  • Purge toys, books, kitchen gadgets, and/or electronics you no longer use, and consider donating as appropriate to a local organization for the elderly, women and/or children.
  • Consider making a cash donation to your local food bank, hospital, or another nonprofit or charity that is meaningful to you.
  • Do a closet clean-out and donate clothes you do not wear any more… or consider starting a wardrobe tracking method to help identify what you do not wear and could donate. PS consider making the extra effort donating directly to local organizations for the homeless, women, or children rather than the easy dropboxes for Goodwill.

Please comment if you would like to share how you practiced Asteya today! Always remember, be kind!

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 6

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day. Today’s Satya practice is focused on the “benevolent truth” translation of Satya from Sanskrit.

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Satya day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation – Seeing Your True Self about loving yourself and seeing your true potential.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is sharing a kind truth with someone you care about. Let’s make it big today… these are hard times and we could all use a big pick me up! Do not compliment someone about something that changes every day, like their hair or outfit. Need some ideas?

  • Contact your best friend just to say how much you admire their drive, or loyalty or the ability to always make you laugh.
  • Tell your significant other how much you appreciate the thing you love most about them.
  • Call a friend or family member who had a significant positive impact on your life, and let them know how thankful you are.
  • Message an old colleague or boss who helped you on your path, and thank them for their mentoring.
  • Reach out to someone you love and/or someone you know could use a pick-me-up.

Please comment if you would like to share how your Satya practice went today! Always remember, be kind!

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Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 6 – International Day of Non-Violence

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Limbs of Yoga for our daily positive practices with Ahimsa or non-harming. Today is also the International Day of Non-Violence, created by the United Nations honoring Ghandi’s birthday.

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Ahimsa day today, my meditation for the day is a Loving Kindness Guided Meditation.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a random act of kindness for today’s Ahimsa / Non-Harming Day and International Day of Non-Violence. Need ideas? Here is what we used for inspiration for our intro Ahimsa Day!

  • Bring home a favorite meal or treat for a loved one.
  • Be extra friendly driving in the car, giving someone the right of way.
  • If you can, pay for the order for the person behind you in a drive through. Has that ever happened to you? It happened to my sister, it made her day!
  • If we are no longer in the days of social distancing or you are in your household, hold the door open for the person behind you, or help someone who is struggling to reach or carry something.
  • Volunteer.
  • Give to charity.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Whatever feels like the right way for you to actively practice kindness and compassion, or to do your small part to make someone else smile, or make the world better today than it was yesterday.

Please comment and share how you decided to practice Ahimsa today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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October Emotional Wellness Month 2020 – Intentions and Yoga Philosophy

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

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

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

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

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

More on the Power of Positive Thinking

The Law of Attraction & Power of Positive Thinking Intro

11 Ways to Boost Positive Thinking

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

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

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September Self-Improvement Month 2020 – Reflections and Yoga Philosophy

Good Morning Yogis! Today is the last day of September and our Daily Asana Challenge for September. September is National Self-Improvement Month. I find challenge-focused months super helpful for my own motivation, so as we complete our daily Asana practice challenge for September I am announcing another challenge for October – Daily Meditation! You do not have to participate in this or any of our particular monthly challenge themes, we will be continuing our daily Positive Practices drawn from the 8 Limbs of Yoga throughout next month.

As September Self Improvement Month and our Daily Asana Challenge are drawing to a close, I want to discuss an important common concept from Yoga Philosophy – Practice not Perfection! If you participated in the 30 Day Asana Challenge, how did you do? I will say, I was not perfect! I had a couple of travel days in September, and I missed a couple of my scheduled full-length Asana classes and only did a couple rounds of Sun Salutations. But, you know what… that’s okay! I still had about 28 of 30 days I hit my goal… that is probably 20 more days of full-length Asana classes than I would have done without setting this goal, and I hit my Apple Watch activity rings for the month! Our Tapas daily habits should be viewed the same way! It is great if you adhere perfectly to your goals. But you know what, sometimes life gets in the way.. if you miss a day or even a few days, just get back to it. One slip up does not mean defeat or failure. I have heard success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. So, keep practice not perfection in mind on your Yoga and/or self-improvement Journeys. This is a concept we will revisit – click here for more quotes about not focusing on or being demotivated by perfection. I am adding a few more of my favorites at the bottom of today’s post!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to reflect on your progress, keeping “Practice not perfection” in mind. This can be with your progress with Asanas or our challenge during September, your daily habits, or whatever you wish!

Today is the last day of our Daily Asana Challenge for September. Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our reflective day today, I recommend a Hatha 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 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 typically practice Asana most consistently in the morning, and this is my favorite morning series!

I have been building strength and doing this series quite a bit throughout September, so I am excited to finally move up to Intermediate AM (20 Minute) next month! Please note I have been occasionally working this beginner series for multiple years, but my focus on daily Asana has helped me finally take the step to the next level… progress, not perfection!

Remember, it usually takes 30 days to create a new habit! I am going to do my best to keep up with at least 15-20 minute AM Asana sessions. Either way, we will revisit daily Asanas in 2021 to reinforce this habit.

Please comment and share how you did with your progress, and celebrate your victories! Did you participate in our daily Asana challenge or keep up with your daily habit? Are you planning to participate in the meditation challenge or set another new goal? Always remember, be kind!

I prefer today’s picture quote and the ones below over the shooting for the moon and landing among the stars, which is beautiful imagery, but scientifically not very accurate.

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali
“Change happens outside of your comfort zone.” – Robbie Kramer
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” – Henry Ford
“Fail early, fail often, in order to succeed sooner.” – Tom Kelley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Asanas – Poses – Day 3 – Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the third limb of Yoga – Asanas. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Shavasana (shah-VA-sa-nuh) or Corpse Pose is my choice for Asana Day today – this is possibly the most important Asana, and we have not discussed it yet!

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

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

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

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

Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Shavasana – Corpse

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

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

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

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

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

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 5 – Parighasana – Gate Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the second of the YamasSatya or truthfulness. Since we are in the middle of a September Daily Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Parighasana (Pah-ree-GAH-sa-nuh) or Gate pose is my choice to represent Satya, since one of my favorite quotes about truth is the Sufi Three Gate Saying below!

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 Satya 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 – Beginner Flexibility (30 Minute), which includes a gate series!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Parighasana / Gate Pose for Satya Day! This is one of the few Asanas / poses that intentionally works a turned – out leg. We will talk about how to get into this pose from a kneeling position today! Start in a comfortable kneeling position.

Parighasana – Gate Pose

Parighasana – Gate

Feet & Legs – Start by kneeling, sitting on your feet. Lift your seat and come up onto your knees, keeping your legs about hip-distance apart. We will start on the right – extend your right leg to the right, turning your leg out, and laying your right foot flat on the ground. Try to keep your standing knee and foot in a line

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. 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. On the exhale, you will move your torso right towards your right leg, as far as is comfortable. If you are a new Yogi, you may want to just keep your torso fairly upright, rather than allowing your shoulders or hips to come out of alignment.

Arms – Put your right hand on your right hip. Inhale your left arm straight up next to your ear. Exhale and extend your left arm to the right as you lean your torso to the right. Allow your right hand to slide down your right thigh.

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. If it’s comfortable, as you lean to the right, turn your head and gaze down at your right leg.

To come out of this pose, inhale your left arm and torso back up, and sit back down on your feet in a kneeling position. Make sure to repeat this Asana on both sides!

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

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Parighasana / Gate Pose before? Always remember, be kind!

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

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September. Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles.

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

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

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 and focusing our minds on a single subject with Dharaha, we may reach the level of Dhyana 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.

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 Dhyana.

Dhyana Guided Meditation

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.

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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National Read a Book Day

Good Morning Yogis! We are pausing our journey through the Yoga Sutras for Labor Day Holiday Weekend for another holiday – National Read a Book Day.

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September. Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles.

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 Flexibility (30 Minute)!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to participate in National Read a Book Day. If you have not read a book in a long time, perhaps grab one off the shelf you have been meaning to read, or try something new and inspiring! I read mostly fantasy novels or self-improvement books, so my suggestions are the addicting Game of Thrones Series (books have much more than the show!!!) or Tony Robbins’s Awaken the Giant Within. PS I most enjoy fantasy novels on an e-reader so I can immediately link dictionary to words like medieval weaponry I may not be familiar with.

If you already read regularly, perhaps try something different today! Get some bonus Svadhyaya / self-study by reading one of Yoga’s Sacred Texts – the Bhagavad Gita or God’s Song. The Gita is a section from the Indian Sacred Epic the Mahabharata. It is the most widely known of these Sacred Texts, and is widely read among modern day thinkers. Oppenheimer quoted the Gita after creating the nuclear bomb, and it is highly regarded by Henry David Thoreau, Carl Jung, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and other great minds.

The Bhagavad Gita is available in our free app!

Also, this is a good time to make another journal entry if you have not kept up with this new practice! I do not typically make a personal reflective journal entry every day, but I am pleased to be reminded to keep up with this on all Svadhyaya days. If you are not sure what to write about, perhaps journal about your thoughts on today’s reading.

Please comment and share your thoughts on the Gita if would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for bonus Svadhyaya day? Always remember, be kind!

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International Day of Charity – Asteya – Non-Stealing

Good Morning Yogis! We pausing our journey through the Sutras for Labor Day Holiday Weekend. Today we are having a bonus Asteya or Non-stealing Day to participate in International Day of Charity, which began in honor of Mother Theresa. So, we will be practicing Asteya with the positive of non-stealing or generosity today!

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.

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!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to participate in International Charity Day for today’s Asteya/non-stealing day. Need some ideas?

  • Consider making a cash donation to your local food bank, hospital, or another nonprofit or charity that is meaningful to you.
  • Ask someone you care about who is having a tough time if you can help with household chores, or yard work, or anything else to make their lives easier and take something off their plate.
  • Purge toys, books, kitchen gadgets, and/or electronics you no longer use, and consider donating as appropriate to a local organization for the elderly, women and/or children.
  • If you have old luggage you no longer use, please consider donating to a foster care agency, since many foster children are forced to move with garbage bags.
  • Double up on some Saucha with a closet clean-out and donate clothes you do not wear any more… or consider starting a wardrobe tracking method to help identify what you do not wear and could donate. PS consider making the extra effort donating directly to local organizations for the homeless, women, or children rather than the easy dropboxes for Goodwill.

Please comment and share how you practiced Asteya and/or participated in International Charity Day today! Always remember, be kind!

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 4

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September.

Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, I recommend a Yin or Restorative Yoga class, letting go and enjoying some passive stretching.

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 class, Forward Bends (20 minutes). There is just something about forward fold Asanas that embodies Ishvara Pranidhana for me!

We are on the last day of this round of daily positive practices from the Niyamas. We first practiced the fifth of the NiyamasIshvara Pranidhana / surrender by working on practicing acceptance rather than upset reactions to a difficult situation. As we discussed in our intro, Ishvara Pranidhana is the most difficult of the Niyamas to understand and practice, but also one of the most rewarding. So, today we will work again on the challenging practice of acceptance in difficult times.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice acceptance when something bad or less-than-positive happens today. Try a deep breathing exercise when you encounter a problem. If you lose your temper, perhaps try to step outside yourself and see yourself reacting to a difficulty, and ask yourself if your reaction was productive. If it is possible, try seeing the silver lining for potential for growth in a bad situation. If you are practiced in religious faith, perhaps try praying for your own peace, calm, and understanding instead of a solution to a problem you are facing. Again, this is a journey and this particular practice today is one of the most difficult, so be gentle with yourself. If at first you do not succeed, evaluate what your reaction contributed, and try again next time. Treat this as an experiment, and see how you feel later after trying different approaches to problems that arise.

Advanced Yogis who incorporate Ishvara Pranidhana into their lives may begin seeing difficulties as challenges to overcome, and opportunities to practice managing our responses. This is one of the keys of long-lasting happiness, since getting upset often does nothing to help a bad situation and only makes things more difficult for ourselves. Instead, try to stay calm, and do not allow a negative encounter to draw you into negativity. Of course, this is easier said than done! Remember, it is a journey.

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Please comment to share how this exercise impacted you. Feel free to share your successes or your struggles with this challenging practice. Always remember, be kind!

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study Day 4 – Meyers-Briggs / MBTI

Good Morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September.

Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Svadhyaya Day today, I recommend an Iyengar Style class, making sure to monitor your alignment.

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!

We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Today we will continue our fun self-study method series covering the next few Svadhyaya Days. I got very interested in personality typing a few years ago. My two favorite methodologies are called Meyers-Briggs and the Enneagram. I have had some friends get annoyed by my interest in these personality analysis methods, and say they’re like horoscopes… My answer is I think astrology is another fun method to learn about ourselves! I find it much easier to have something to compare to than trying to analyze myself from scratch. Last time we practiced Svadhyaya/self-study by learning about the Enneagram. Today we will learn about Meyers-Briggs Personality Typing, or MBTI. This personality typing method is based on the order of the ways we prefer to process information. There are many websites that go into deep dives of the MBTI system and the types, but for today we will just learn our primary type.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to determine and read up on your MBTI type. Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection!

Free MBTI test (basic test should be fine for today)

Type In Mind – one of my favorite sites for deep-dive MBTI research

Review your MBTI test results, and note whether you agree or disagree with your personality typing and resulting personality traits.

If you disagree with your MBTI test results, check the strengths and weakness pages for some similar personality types – you can find a full list of personality types here. When you find YOUR type, it will ‘click’ with you! Also, our past experiences may cause us to “test” as another type. I am definitely a classic ENFJ. However, my test results often come out as ESTJ because of my business background and my constant efforts to be more rational and observant.

We are just scratching the surface of MBTI today. However, you should be aware MBTI typing is not 16 boxes, but generalizations based on combined results from four different personality aspects ie introversion / extroversion.. I view these personality aspects as gradients 0-100, split around the half way point. In other words, an ENFJ who is near 100% extroversion will have many similarities with, but still be quite different from another ENFJ who is at close to 51% extroversion, just barely over the line from introversion.

This is a good time to make another journal entry! Perhaps review the strengths and weaknesses page for your personality type and analyze how they may or may not apply to you. Maybe check out the additional sections for relationships and recommended careers for your type. Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection!

Please comment and share your thoughts on your MBTI results if would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya day? Always remember, be kind!

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Saucha – Purity – Day 4

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!
Congrats on completing our August Challenge! Please stay with us.. we will check in with our monthly daily commitment on Tapas Day and have another Svadhyaya Journal Day this week.

Good Morning Yogis! We completed our round of practices of the Yamas and now we are moving on to the Niyamas! Last time we practiced the first of the Niyamas, Saucha / purity with our bodies, with a deep clean or pampering self-care practice.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Saucha / Purity with our surroundings. I personally do not do well when my home is cluttered or disorganized. I need everything to have its own place to go back to, or else I cannot find anything! Pick an area of your home or office to declutter and clean. Get storage bins, drawer organizers, or whatever you need to help yourself keep this area clean and organized going forward. Whether it is your closet, garage, junk drawer, basement, car, or your e-mail inbox, work on bringing Saucha to one of your spaces that you feel needs some TLC.

Want more Cleaning Ideas and hacks?
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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Saucha today. I always feel my mind is less cluttered when my space is less cluttered. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 4

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!
PS technically this is Day 30 of your Challenge, congratulations! We have Day 31 planned for tomorrow to complete August. Please stay with us.. we will check in with our monthly daily commitment on Tapas Day and have another Svadhyaya Journal Day this week.

Good Morning Yogis! We are staying sync-ed up with our 30 Day Challenge group, and today is Aparigraha or Non-Attachment Day. Last time we practiced the positive of the last of the YamasAparigraha / non-attachment by practicing gratitude, but today we will take it a step further.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Aparigraha / non-grasping with our actions. Today we will take action without making expectations of a particular outcome. Need some ideas? Sometimes we do nice things for others, hoping for a particular result and we then end up disappointed if the other person does not react how we planned. Try today to not hold expectations for another person’s behavior. Or perhaps set aside a few hours to relax, or enjoy time with loved ones, or just go for a drive without a pre-set agenda, and see where life takes you!

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Aparigraha today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Brahmacharya – Moderation – Day 4

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

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the fourth of the YamasBrahmacharya / Moderation with choosing the middle path in any area of our lives. Today we will be more specific with our moderation .. this is one of my favorite Brahmacharya practices, and I am super thrilled this one lands on a weekend for our intro challenges 🙂

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Brahmacharya / Moderation with our electronics and social media. Perhaps try an Unplugged Weekend with no electronics! Social media may be a useful tool to keep in touch with friends and family, especially in this isolating time. However, social media does not make us happy, and it can also distance us from the people we are spending time with. Many of us spend WAY too much time on our phones. It is the weekend, so many of us are off of work today. If you can, practice Brahmacharya with your phone and especially with social media, and enjoy your time with your loved ones this weekend. Perhaps encourage the entire household to spend a few hours “off the grid.”

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Please comment if you decided to practice Brahmacharya / Moderation today with your phones and social media, how did it go? How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 4

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

Good Morning Yogis! We are staying sync-ed up with our 30 Day Challenge group, and today is Asteya or Non-Stealing Day. Last time we practiced the positive version of the third of the YamasAsteya / non-stealing with an act of generosity, but today we will take it a step further and examine non-stealing.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively practice Asteya / non-stealing. Need ideas? This is going to be similar to our Satya practice from yesterday, and we should reflect on areas of our life where we may be acting a bit selfishly or taking advantage of a situation. If you are taking a lot of assistance or time from a particular person but not giving much in return, reflect on that and consider how you can make the situation more fair. Or, examine a situation where you have been taking more than giving, express gratitude, and see how you can make things more balanced and take better care of those who take care of you. Examine areas where you can focus a bit more Asteya, and express that however it feels right to you.

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Asteya today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 4

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

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day! We are staying synced up with our 30 Day Challenge group. We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Yamas into our day. Last time we practiced the second of the Yamas with a kind truth, but today we will examine and practice from a different angle.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Satya / truthfulness with ourselves today. Need ideas? It can be big or small.

This usually means examining mindsets, practices, or people in our life that may not be serving us. For example, maybe you are like me and should really examine eating less candy and more veggies. Or maybe you have other unhealthy practices like smoking, or a medical issue you have been putting off getting examined. Perhaps you have “friends” who cut you down to bring themselves up or consistently take but never offer support.

We usually know deep down what truths we need to accept… perhaps meditate to allow these thoughts to come up. Accepting difficult truths is a big step, and do not push yourself to do anything until you are ready. But, if you decide you are up for it, plan a course of action to resolve what you had been avoiding.

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Satya with yourself today. This can be difficult, but honestly is always the best policy. Always remember, be kind!

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Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 4

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

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Limbs of Yoga for our daily positive practices with the first of the YamasAhimsa or non-harming. We also have a 30 Day Challenge continuing, so we will stay linked up with the challenge group. Our last Ahimsa Day we practiced with a random act of kindness, but today we will focus on practicing non-harming.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Ahimsa / non-harming today. Need ideas? It can be big or small. We should strive to exercise non-harming with our thoughts, words and/or actions.

For actions, you can avoid killing a bug you find in the house, and instead use a cup and paper or cardboard to carry outside. Perhaps drive compassionately if you have to drive today. Maybe refrain from letting your temper get the best of you and stay kind throughout a difficult interaction.. this will probably be non-harming in both words and actions. Keep in your mind and try to follow “if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.” Or, to practice Ahimsa with our thoughts, try to stay positive today with yourself, and notice and stop yourself from any negative self-talk.

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Please comment and share how you decided to practice Ahimsa today. How did it make you feel? Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 3 – Dharana – Intense Focus

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

Good Morning Yogis! 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. Since this is very heavy philosophy, we will spread these out and discuss each level in detail on our days dedicated to the upper limbs.

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 direct our focus inward.

Our first breath-focused meditation was actually a Dharana meditation – with intense focus on our breath. Other Dharana meditations can include meditations with a focus on sounds like a Mantra or special word, focusing our sight on one set object such as a flower, color, hands, etc, or doing a scan and focusing our attention to our bodies. Some guided meditations are Dharana based, such as manifestation meditations or loving kindness meditations. Also, special practices like creating mandalas or flame gazing are Dharana exercises.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dharana-focused Meditation Practice. You can try our breath-focused meditation again along with our Challengers. Perhaps focus on your breath or body in Shavasana / corpse pose after an Asana practice, 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!

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

Breath-focused Dharana Meditation

Body Scanning Guided Meditation

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation

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

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 3

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

Good Morning Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of daily positive practices from the Niyamas. As we discussed in our intro, Ishvara Pranidhana is the most difficult of the Niyamas to understand and practice, but also one of the most rewarding. So, today we will work again on the challenging practice of acceptance in difficult times.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice acceptance when something bad or less-than-positive happens today. Try a deep breathing exercise when you encounter a problem. If you lose your temper, perhaps try to step outside yourself and see yourself reacting to a difficulty, and ask yourself if your reaction was productive. If it is possible, try seeing the silver lining for potential for growth in a bad situation. If you are practiced in religious faith, perhaps try praying for your own peace, calm, and understanding instead of a solution to a problem you are facing. Again, this is a journey and this particular practice today is one of the most difficult, so be gentle with yourself. If at first you do not succeed, evaluate what your reaction contributed, and try again next time. Treat this as an experiment, and see how you feel later after trying different approaches to problems that arise.

Advanced Yogis who incorporate Ishvara Pranidhana into their lives may begin seeing difficulties as challenges to overcome, and opportunities to practice managing our responses. This is one of the keys of long-lasting happiness, since getting upset often does nothing to help a bad situation and only makes things more difficult for ourselves. Instead, try to stay calm, and do not allow a negative encounter to draw you into negativity. Of course, this is easier said than done! Remember, it is a journey.

Please comment to share how this exercise impacted you. Feel free to share your successes or your struggles with this challenging practice. Always remember, be kind!

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 3 – Enneagram

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

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Today we will continue our fun self-study method series covering the next few Svadhyaya Days. I got very interested in personality typing a few years ago. My two favorite methodologies are called Meyers-Briggs and the Enneagram. I have had some friends get annoyed by my interest in these personality analysis methods, and say they’re like horoscopes… My answer is I think astrology is another fun method to learn about ourselves! I find it much easier to have something to compare to than trying to analyze myself from scratch. Last time we practiced Svadhyaya/self-study by pulling our star charts. Today we will learn about the Enneagram. This personality typing method is based on what drives us and our deepest fears. There are many websites that go into deep dives of the Enneagram system and the types, but for today we will just learn our primary type.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to determine and read up on your Enneagram type. Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection.

Free Enneagram test (basic test should be fine for today)

Enneagram Institute – one of my favorite sites for deep-dive Enneagram research

Review your Enneagram test results, and note whether you agree or disagree with your Enneagram typing and resulting personality traits.

We are just scratching the surface of the Enneagram today, but you should know some basics about how the Enneagram works. Each person exhibits the traits of their primary type, plus three others. You typically have some traits of one type next to your own, called a wing. Also, each type acts like other specific types across from their own type (see graphic below) when pushed in positive or negative situations. I am a type 6 (with a very strong 7 wing!), and act like a 3 when I am stressed, and like a 9 when I am growing in a positive way. If you disagree with your Enneagram test results, check the descriptions for the related types, and see if you are testing as one of your related types!

This is a good time to make another journal entry! Perhaps evaluate not only your type, but whether you see yourself “mirroring” your related types when moving in positive and negative situations.

Please comment and share your thoughts on your Enneagram results if would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya day? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 3

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

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. This is our fourth Tapas or discipline Day. Our intro Tapas day, we made a goal that was important to us. Our second day, we checked in on our progress. It has been nearly two months, so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up!! If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the electronic and visual reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success!

Yoga is a practice, and successfully changing our habits is about consistency, so we will keep checking in on our goals on Tapas Days.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to monitor our daily habit goals, and set a new one if needed. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! There are many free Apps for 30 Day Challenge workouts. My favorite is a free app called 30 Day Butt, which allows the pop-up phone notifications I love so much. We are in the middle of an Intro Challenge for August, which we will do again in November. In September we will have a daily Asana challenge, and a daily meditation challenge for October. If none of these resonate with you, please pick a habit that is meaningful to you to add to your life.

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Please comment and share how you are doing. Have you kept up with your new habit? Are you changing your systems or perhaps setting a new meaningful goal? Always remember, be kind!

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Aparigraha – Non-Attachment – Day 3

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

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Aparigraha or non-attachment Day. We will continue our series from last time, and both learn and try out an Aparigraha mind trick to help practice mental non-attachment. I call this method “removing should-ing” and I learned it years ago in a life-changing book: The Myth of Stress. I know reading an entire book is too much for a single day practice, but thankfully the author put the “meat and potatoes” of his method online!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice non-attachment by trying the ActivInsight method today to flip your mind about a stressful situation for Aparigraha day.

You can read about the active insight method here. Please note this entry is the fourth in his intro series, so you may want to start with the first entry here. If this method works for you, I strongly suggest reading the book for guidelines to use this method effectively for different types of stressful situations.

Please comment and share your experience with the ActivInsight method for Aparigraha Day! Always remember, be kind!

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Brahmacharya – Moderation – Day 3

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

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Brahmacharya or Moderation Day. I personally need more work-life balance in my life right now, so we are having another KISS (keep it super simple) Day!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to exercise moderation or take the Middle Path in a way that is meaningful for you today for Brahmaharya Day. Need some ideas?

  • Look for temptations during the day, and neither indulge nor ignore the craving, but instead make a healthy choice. Like maybe a salad instead of fast food, or fruit instead of candy, or yogurt instead of cake or ice cream. Maybe have just a couple pieces of candy instead of NOMMING the whole bag (this one is both inspired by and directed towards me!)
  • Make today the first day taking steps to minimize an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Perhaps get a nicotine gum or patch to stop smoking, or plan a reasonable cut-back schedule with small goals you can reach rather than the cold-turkey approach.
  • If you have been super busy with work and family with our current quarantine situation, ask for help and take 15 minutes minimum to spoil yourself with a bath or workout or even a nap, whatever you need!
  • Take a digital break – plan today to have an evening without phone or social media.
  • Choose your own way to practice a more balanced lifestyle today that feels right to you.

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Please comment and share how you chose to practice Brahmacharya today! Always remember, be kind!

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 3

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

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Satya or Truthfulness Day. We are staying synced up with our 30 day Challenge group. We will have a KISS Day today, focusing on the “benevolent truth” translation of Satya from Sanskrit.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is sharing a kind truth with someone you care about. Let’s make it big today… these are hard times and we could all use a big pick me up! Do not compliment someone about something that changes every day, like their hair or outfit. Need some ideas?

  • Contact your best friend just to say how much you admire their drive, or loyalty or the ability to always make you laugh.
  • Tell your significant other how much you appreciate the thing you love most about them.
  • Call a friend or family member who had a significant positive impact on your life, and let them know how thankful you are.
  • Message an old colleague or boss who helped you on your path, and thank them for their mentoring.
  • Reach out to someone you love and/or someone you know could use a pick-me-up.

Please comment if you would like to share how your Satya practice went today! Always remember, be kind!

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International Day of Friendship

Good morning Yogis! We are going to wait to start our cycle though the Limbs of Yoga for the next couple days, to sync up with our 30 Day Challenge 8/1 start group.

Today is the International Day of Friendship, so we will honor that day. PS extra thanks to my best friends who are in the middle of completing my Daily Yogi 30 Day Challenge <3

Today we will have a KISS (keep it super simple day) Yamas Practice Day!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to choose one of the Yamas to celebrate today’s International Day of Friendship. Perhaps choose Ahimsa and celebrate a friend with a random act of kindness. Maybe go for Satya and share a kind truth. Or find a particularly gracious friend and exercise Asteya, and take care of someone who takes care of you.

Please comment if you would like to share your Yamas practice for today! Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 2 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses

Good Morning Yogis! 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. I had a question about differences in these levels of meditation. Since this is very heavy philosophy, we will spread these out and discuss each level in detail on our days dedicated to the upper limbs.

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.

Please keep in mind that Pratyahara is not about finding a perfectly quiet area to meditate… I live in a remote area in the mountains of Colorado, where the silence was at first deafening after moving from Peachtree Street in Atlanta. However, it is never truly quiet here! Whether the wind is blowing, birds or marmots are chirping, dirt bikes and ATVs are zipping around, or the nearby creek is raging, there is ALWAYS some kind of distraction. Again, the point is not about isolating yourself from these distractions, it is about withdrawing into yourself, and allowing outside distractions to fade away.

Shavasana, or corpse pose, is one of the first ways many new Yogis (including myself!) experience Pratyahara. Yoga Instructors allow a quiet space at the end of class to encourage us to allow our bodies and minds to fade away. There are also guided meditations to encourage this. Or, if you are practiced with meditation, this is typically your first step before moving into a deep meditation.

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

Calming Asana close with long Shavasana

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of daily positive practices from the Niyamas. We first practiced the fifth of the Niyamas Ishvara Pranidhana/surrender by working on practicing acceptance rather than upset reactions to a difficult situation, and last time we learned about OM. As we discussed in our intro, Ishvara Pranidhana is the most difficult of the Niyamas to understand and practice, but also one of the most rewarding. So, today we will work again on the challenging practice of acceptance in difficult times.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice acceptance when something bad or less-than-positive happens today. Try a deep breathing exercise when you encounter a problem. If you lose your temper, perhaps try to step outside yourself and see yourself reacting to a difficulty, and ask yourself if your reaction was productive. If it is possible, try seeing the silver lining for potential for growth in a bad situation. If you are practiced in religious faith, perhaps try praying for your own peace, calm, and understanding instead of a solution to a problem you are facing. Again, this is a journey and this particular practice today is one of the most difficult, so be gentle with yourself. If at first you do not succeed, evaluate what your reaction contributed, and try again next time. Treat this as an experiment, and see how you feel later after trying different approaches to problems that arise.

Advanced Yogis who incorporate Ishvara Pranidhana into their lives may begin seeing difficulties as challenges to overcome, and opportunities to practice managing our responses. This is one of the keys of long-lasting happiness, since getting upset often does nothing to help a bad situation and only makes things more difficult for ourselves. Instead, try to stay calm, and do not allow a negative encounter to draw you into negativity. Of course, this is easier said than done! Remember, it is a journey.

Please comment to share how this exercise impacted you. Feel free to share your successes or your struggles with this challenging practice. Always remember, be kind!

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Svadhyaya – Self-Study – Day 2 – Star Charts

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced Svadhyaya / self-study by focusing on the practice of studying sacred texts, and keeping up with our journals to have research materials to aid our self-study.

Today we will start a fun self-study method series for the next few Svadhyaya Days. I got very interested in personality typing a few years ago. My two favorite methodologies are called Meyers-Briggs and the Enneagram. I have had some friends get annoyed by my interest in these personality analysis methods, and say they’re like horoscopes… My answer is I think astrology is another fun method to learn about ourselves! I do not hold myself or others to any strict interpretations of astrology or personality typing, but I do think having something to compare to for self-analysis is helpful, and much easier than starting self-analysis from scratch! So, let’s start with a deeper dive into astrology, because horoscopes are familiar to most of us. This is just for fun and to have a tool for comparison.. but if you do not like astrology, feel free to skip today and meet us back tomorrow 🙂

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to pull a star chart for yourself. Most people know their primary sun sign, but there is a lot more astrologers interpret from the stars at your time of birth! Generate your free star chart here (you will need your birth time and place for full chart with rising signs). Remember to approach with the open mind of a scholar, and use as a tool for self-reflection.

There is a LOT to read, and it is worth reading the entire analysis. Your main astrological signs are:
Sun Sign – true self, identity and personality. This is the zodiac sign you are most familiar with
Moon Sign – inner self, emotional self and approach to relationships
Ascendant or Rising Sign – outer self, social self and impression you give off

Review your star chart reading, and note what you agree or disagree with from your reading. This is a good time to make another journal entry!

Please comment and share your thoughts on your star chart if would like. Have you kept up with your journal, or are you making another entry with me for Svadhyaya day? Always remember, be kind!

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Tapas – Discipline – Day 2

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. This is our third Tapas or discipline Day. On our first/intro Tapas Day, we made a goal that was important to us, and on the second we checked on our progress.. It has been nearly a month and a half, so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up!! If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the 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.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to get some exercise for Tapas Day and Work Out Wednesday. If you are having a hard time keeping up with the daily habits you have set for yourself, consider trying and sticking with a 30 Day Challenge! There are many free Apps for 30 Day Challenge workouts. My favorite is a free app called 30 Day Butt, which allows the pop-up phone notifications I love so much. We are also starting a Challenge on 8/1 for our first 30 Days of Daily Yogi.. a 30 Day Yoga Challenge of Intro Philosophy, Poses & Positivity. Register and find our Current Challenge Group if you would like to join!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE STARTS 11/01/2020

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Please comment and share how you are doing. Have you kept up with your new habit? Are you changing your systems or perhaps setting a new meaningful goal? Always remember, be kind!

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