Asanas – Poses – Chaturanga Dandasana & Dandasana

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

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

Sun Salutations AsanaChaturanga Dandasana / Four-Limbed Staff Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaDandasana – Staff Pose

Chaturanga Dandasana - four-limbed staff pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff Pose
Dandasana - staff pose with strap - yoga pose forest yogi girl wearing black, outdoors yoga in the woods
Dandasana – Staff Pose

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

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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

  • 2
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    5
    Shares

Asanas – Poses – Phalakasana & Purvottanasana

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

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

Sun Salutations AsanaPhalakasana / Plank Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaPurvottanasana / Reverse Plank

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    2
    Shares

Asanas – Poses – Day 7 – Sun Salutations

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

Click to open in new window

Happy Thursday Yogis! During our last intro challenge, we covered a twisted/sister version of each Asanas, and during our January challenge we will take a closer look at transitions between each pose. Since I am still recovering from an injury, we are going to stay with our Challenge Group and have a KISS (keep it super simple) Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Also, focus on incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing or Ocean Breathing, and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose as you are moving through this Asana series.

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

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

Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

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

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

  • 2
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    3
    Shares

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

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

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

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing a new Hip Hop Vinyasa.

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

As mentioned we are in a daily Asana Challenge, which I have kept up with by wearing workout clothes to bed and practicing first thing in the morning. I also have a daily habit of practicing French or Spanish with Duolingo… I am pretty pleased with myself to have a 29 Day Streak, about to hit 30 tomorrow! I have missed fewer than 20 days in all of 2020, but there is just something very rewarding about the increasing number of days in a row. And, lastly, this daily Asana Challenge has helped put me on the right path to meet another goal – hitting all three rings on my Apple Watch.

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

Utkatasana – Chair or Powerful Pose

Utkatasana – Chair

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

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

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

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

Utkatasana – Chair (lifted heels)

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

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

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Dandasana – Staff Pose

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

Good morning Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is continuing a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we are covering similar, sister, or switched around versions of each pose!

Our Challenge Group is covering Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff or Yoga Push-Up. Today we will cover Dandasana, or Staff Pose. This is probably the only altered pose this week that is easier than what our Challengers are covering!

Basically, this pose is sitting on the ground with your feet straight in front of you. However, as with many of the “basic” poses, there is a lot of alignment to consider for the proper expression of this pose!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a modified and more challenging version of our Glutes Yoga Workout. Today, we will start in Dandasana / Staff, lift into Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank, and HOLD. I like to work up my hold times… I start with 10 reps of holding in Purvottanasana for 3 breaths, 10 reps of 5 breath holds, and then 5 reps of 10 breath holds. If you’re up for a challenge, perhaps try 10 reps of the 10 breath holds. Either way, you’ll certainly feel the burn by the end!

Dandasana – Staff Pose

Dandasana – Staff Pose

Feet – You should keep heels on the mat, and feet flexed straight up, with toes pointing to the sky. I have to admit, this was a bit weird for me coming from a dance background! This is yet another yoga pose where your toes should be straight ahead and flexed, NOT turned out and pointed.

Legs – This pose can be very tricky for Yogis with tight hamstrings! It is more important to have a straight back here than straight legs. Try your best to keep legs on the ground. Activating the quads can help release tight hamstrings. If you feel your back rounding, allow your knees to bend slightly, and/or put a couch pillow under your seat!

Hips and Torso – Your sit bones should stay grounded to the mat. To help hamstrings release and keep a straight back, err on the side of sticking your booty out a bit rather than tucking it under. Your torso should stay aligned over your hips – check your hips, ribs, and shoulders are stacked right over your hips. Perhaps try a few cat/cow motions with your torso, and settle in a neutral middle spot.

Arms – Keep you shoulders pulled down you back to help open your chest and keep a straight back. If you are comfortable, you can rest your hands on your thighs. I like to press my hands into the mat, fingers pointing straight to the side, to help both straighten and stretch out my back a bit.

Head and Neck – Keep your head in line with the rest of your body, looking straight ahead. Note 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.

This pose is tricky for Yogis with tight hamstrings. Try a couch pillow under your seat and/or use a strap to help posture and work chest towards thighs.

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

I recommend getting a strap, and perhaps a couch pillow or blanket for Dandasana!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


Please comment to share your experience with this exercise! How many reps were you able to do of the 10 second holds? Do you prefer this lift and hold, or the standard lifts we did yesterday? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Purvottanasana – Reverse or Upward Plank

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

Good morning Yogis! Our challengers are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, so we will learn about similar poses. Our challengers are learning about Phalakasana or Plank Pose. So, we will cover its reverse, Purvottanasana / Reverse or Upward Plank today. This an arm balance and foundation for a great Yoga Workout for the core and buns!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank Yoga Workout! If this is a new pose for you, then perhaps try just 5-10 repetitions of your reverse plank, holding for a full breath at the top. If this is familiar to you, then see how many you can do and share!

Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank Pose

Start sitting on your mat in Dandasana / Staff Pose, with your legs straight in front of you.

Feet – You will be balancing with a majority of weight on hands, but make sure to put a decent amount of weight in the heels of your feet for stability. I try to keep my feet slightly apart for more stability. Try to place the bottom of your feet flat on the floor

Legs – It is more important to keep your body in a straight line from the top of your head to your knees, than to have straight legs. Try to keep your feet flat on the mat as you lift your booty up for an added challenge. If you are unable to support yourself with straight legs, then bend your knees and plant your feet to come into Catuspadapithamasana or Crab Pose (aka reverse table top) instead – see picture below.

Hips – Your hips and glutes are the key to keeping your body straight from head to feet or knees. Therefore, tighten and lift your glutes to keep your hips in line with the rest of your body!

Arms – This pose is great for building arm strength. I have heard directions for fingers pointing either straight back or straight forward – perhaps try both! Starting from Staff / Seated, make sure your hands/wrists are directly below your shoulders, and arms are straight. Spread your fingers wide to help support your weight, while keeping middle fingers pointing straight forward or back. Press into your palms as you tighten your glutes and core to lift your body from the floor into a straight line. Make sure you are keeping shoulders down and back, not shrugging up to your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your head and neck neutral, try not to let head drop down or get out of line with your sine. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press up/sideways, then bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders.

Catuspadapithmanasana – Crab Pose

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

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

Please comment to share your experience or any questions! What did you think of this exercise? Which way did you point your fingers? Do you think you will add these arm strength exercises to your routine? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee – Purvottanasana
YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee – Crab Pose

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Asanas – Poses – Day 1 – Sun Salutations

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

Click to open in new window

Good morning Yogis! I have to admit the last few weeks I have been not practicing Asanas much other than my morning Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. I did a bit of research, and most recommendations I found were to perform 12 Rounds of Sun Salutations. I had been doing three on each side, so I am going to work on getting my morning practice up to six per side!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Also, focus on incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing or Ocean Breathing, and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose as you are moving through this Asana series. Perhaps join me in doing sets of 12 each morning!

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

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

Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

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

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

  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Top 5 – Yoga Equipment

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

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

Top 5 Yoga equipment for new yogis

1 – Yoga Mat

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

2 – Foam Blocks

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

3 – Yoga Strap

A strap basically acts as an extension of your arms. This is great for Yogis with tight shoulders who cannot reach behind their back, or Yogis with tight hamstrings who cannot easily reach their toes. This is placed behind the foam block which is used more often, but the strap is very useful, especially for new Yogis. They are fairly inexpensive, so I recommend just getting two blocks and a strap in a set for under $25.

4 – Couch Pillows

If you practice at a Yoga Studio, you will often see large bolsters and blankets. These are awesome props, and especially great for Restorative Yoga classes where you need a lot of support. But often, I miss having a couch throw pillow at Yoga Studios more than I miss bolsters and blankets when I practice at home! I have fairly tight hamstrings so I like a couch pillow under my seat in Dandasana / Staff Pose, or under my head for Shavasana / Corpse Pose. I also like a couch pillow under my knees if I am on them for a long time, such as doing Ab work in Vyaghasana / Tiger Pose. PS If you love Restorative Yoga, I do recommend getting the blankets and bolsters for home.. you’ll want the extra support if you regularly practice this style!

5 – Wii Fit with Balance Board

This is probably one you will not find on any other lists, but this is my Top 5 Yoga Equipment list 🙂 I still have the original Wii with balance board, and Nintendo makes the balance board for the Wii U. I am an old school (slightly reformed) gamer, but I still regularly use my over 15 year old original Wii, especially for fitness! MAKE SURE YOU PURCHASE THE BALANCE BOARD AND GAMES FOR THE CORRECT WII SYSTEM!

The Wii fit Plus game (get plus version, which has more Asanas than standard version) requires the balance board, and there is a Yoga section in the Wii Fit game. There is also a Wii Yoga game, but I have been more than entertained with Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sports and Wii Zumba for years. Using Wii balance board for Yoga tests your balance, and lets you see exactly where you place or shift your weight in various Asanas. I got SO much insight from the Wii balance board for my normal standing posture, my uneven weight distribution in arm-balance poses, and where my weight wobbles in Vrksasana / Tree Pose and balancing poses before I fall over. This is by far the most expensive thing on this list without the Wii or Wii U console even included, but I think it’s worth every penny! It gives you valuable information and immediate feedback you cannot get from anything else. That said, the balance board is definitely not necessary for your daily practice.. though it is a source of super useful info as you take your Asanas to the next level.

Mirrors

PS I am giving Mirrors a bonus #6 spot even though this is a Top 5 Yoga Equipment list – sometimes our bodies are not placed how they feel, and using a mirror at home, at the gym, or in a Yoga (or Dance) Studio makes a huge difference!


There you have it Yogis, my Top 5 Yoga Equipment for New Yogis. Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this list! Stay tuned for my Top 5 Yoga Mats tomorrow, and our 30 Day Challenge Group catching up with us on Monday! Always remember, be kind!

Next INTRO CHALLENGE starts – 01/01/2021

Days
Hours
Minutes
Second

  • 18
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    21
    Shares

Vyaghrasana – Tiger Pose & Yoga Abs Workout

Good morning Yogis! Today is International Tiger Day to raise awareness about this endangered species. Please consider supporting conservation efforts through WWF’s Tx2 Initiative.

We will talk about Vyaghrasana (Vyah-GRAH-sa-na) or Tiger Pose today. This Asana is a great foundation for an awesome Abs and Glutes Yoga Workout!

Since it is Tiger Day and we are still in COVID quarantine in the US, I could not resist wearing my Las Vegas tiger dress! PS Yes I am wearing shorts underneath. Who knows when it will be safe enough to prowl the Vegas Strip again?! Hopefully the attention will raise donations to help save the tigers 🙏

That said, I really do not want to be an Instagram Yoga model.. I want to partner with them! Please contact me if you would like to be featured on upcoming Asana Days!!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Vyaghrasana / Tiger Pose Ab Workout! Details for Vyaghrasana and instructions for Ab and Glutes Workout below!

We will start in Bharmanasana – Table Top. Keep your hands grounded, and lift one leg straight up and back into Vyaghrasana / Tiger Pose, then perform a “crunch” before repeating! Check for pics of this sequence below.

Feet – Starting in Bharmanasana – Table Top, with tops of feet laying on mat. You will keep one knee and foot grounded here on the mat, and lift the other foot straight back and up – start with lifting the right foot!

Legs – Your legs should start hip distance apart in table top. Your right leg should be lifted straight back and up. I recommend keeping a bend in the back leg.

Hips – Try to keep your hips parallel to the floor from Bharmanasana (Table Top), through Vyaghrasana, into the crunch, and back. If you are a more advanced Yogi, you may want to move your hips slightly to add a bit of a Cat/Cow motion with your torso.

Torso – You will start with torso parallel to the floor. Keep straight for your first try. As you become comfortable with Vyaghrasana, you may allow a bit of a backbend, and curve back slightly to get a bit of a Cat/Cow motion through this Ab Workout.

Arms – You will start with your hands directly under shoulders, pointing straight ahead in Bharmanasana (Table Top). New Yogis can stay here. More advanced Yogis may want to lift the opposite arm as their lifted leg straight ahead for an added balance challenge, and curl in to touch knee to elbow on the crunch.

Head and Neck – Keep the neck neutral. New Yogis may want to keep the gaze down on the mat. More advanced Yogis who are adding back bend motions should lift the head up and gaze straight ahead as they lift their leg into Vyaghrasana, and drop gaze to the ground (perhaps even touch nose to knee) as they come into their crunch.

Try to do this in sets of 10 on the right, and then repeat 10 on the left. I usually do 20-30 on each side.

Bharmanasana – Table Top
Vyaghrasana – Tiger Pose
Marjaryasana – Cat Pose Variation – Yoga Crunch

PS If you want to try an intermediate level chest-opening variation of this pose, tighten you core for strength as you reach back and grab your extended foot with the opposite hand. This is Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana or One-Handed Tiger Pose. You can also try this pose reaching the left hand back directly back to the left foot for an even more difficult balance! Hold Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana for 3-5 breaths on each side.

Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana – One-Handed Tiger Pose

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Have you tried this Yoga Ab Workout? Always remember, be kind!

Get the Daily Yogi App – Get quick access to
today’s practice and daily pop-up reminders!

PS please remember to consider supporting Tiger conservation efforts through WWF’s Tx2 Initiative.

  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    2
    Shares

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are completing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today we are covering Adho Mukha Svanasana, possibly the most popular and famous traditional Asana, that comes to mind when we think of Yoga.

The final Asana to introduce in this series is Adho Mukha Svanasana (AHD-ho MOOK-ha Sva-NA-sa-NA) / Downward Facing Dog. Today we will be performing our Sun Salutations series first with two ways to come into the traditional expression of this pose, and then try a more challenging version.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side, working on the correct alignment for this pose. Since this pose can be difficult for those with tight hamstrings and heels often do not reach the floor for new Yogis, our focus will be Santosha / Contentment again, and accepting and being gentle with where we are on our journeys. Jump to today’s variations!

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog

Feet – Your feet should still be about hip distance apart. However, your feet will flip and you will end with the balls of both feet on the mat, reaching your heels towards the mat. You can bring your feet a bit closer in to help your heels start reaching the mat. It is very difficult for heels to reach the mat when hamstrings are very tight, so be gentle with yourself in this pose, and perhaps walk your feet in or walk the dog into this pose as described below.

Legs – Keep your legs straight and make sure you do not hyperextend your knees. It may be helpful to bend one knee then the other a few times to “walk the dog” and work work into the pose.

Hips – On the EXHALE you lift your hips up to the ceiling/sky to come into this Asana. Try to keep you hips pointing up and back, as you lightly press your chest back towards your thighs to deepen this stretch.

Arms – Keep your hands spread, middle fingers pointing forward, shoulder distance apart. Press into the mat and keep your arms straight, and keep your shoulders pressed down away from your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your head and neck neutral, and either close your eyes or gaze gently down at your mat.

Adho Mukha Svanasana Variations

The first round, from Bhujangasana / Cobra, come up into Table Top with knees bent and shins flat on the mat hip distance apart, and hands directly below shoulders and middle fingers pointing ahead. On an EXHALE, press your hands into the mat and lift your hips back to come into Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog. Perhaps “walk the dog” into the pose by bending one knee and then the other, to help loosen each leg and work into the pose. Take a couple of full inhales and exhales here, before bringing your LEFT foot forward to come back into your lunge and complete the Sun Salutation on both sides.

“Walking the dog” into Adho Mukha Svanasana

The second round, from Bhujangasana / Cobra, flip your toes, press into the mat, and lift your hips to come straight into Adho Mukha Svanasana without coming through Table Top. Take a full inhale and exhale here, and complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

The last round, we will try a more challenging expression of Adho Mukha Svanasana. Come back directly into Adho Mukha Svanasana as in the last round. Now, lift your LEFT leg straight back to come into three-legged down dog. HOLD your leg up here for 10 seconds, pressing both hands and your standing foot into the ground. On an INHALE, bend your LEFT leg and bring your LEFT knee straight under to your chest. Come all the way through and plant your LEFT foot on the mat in front of you, getting your balance as you come directly into your lunge. Continue on to complete the Sun Salutation Series on both sides, making sure to raise your RIGHT leg next time.

Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana – Three-Legged Down Dog

Get the Daily Yogi App – Get quick access to
today’s practice and daily pop-up reminders!

Please comment to share your experience with this exercise or any questions! Do you prefer coming through Table Top or straight into Adho Mukha Svanasana? Have you tried “walking the dog” before? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee – Adho Mukha Svanasana

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Chaturanga Dandasana – 4 Limbed Staff or Yoga Push-Up

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series.

Chaturanga Dandasana (CHA-too-RAHN-guh Dan-DAH-sa-na) or 4 Limbed Staff is the most difficult pose for those with weak arms in this series. I have also heard this sometimes called “Yoga Push-Up” a fitting name and good way to think about this Asana. It took me almost 5 years to be able to slowly lower and hold into the Chaturanga Dandasana from Plank! And I am still working on pushing back up into an Urdhva Mukha Svanasana / Upward Facing Dog (like Emily Blunt ideally). Today we will be performing our Sun Salutations series first with Ashtanga Namaskara (ahsh-TAHN-guh NA-mahs-CAR-uh) or knees-chest-chin, and work into the full expression of the traditional Asana in the series.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side. We will progress from Ashtanga Namaskara to Chaturanga Dandasana with our three repetitions. Since this pose is a challenge for me as well as other new Yogis who are working on building up arm strength, our focus will be Santosha / Contentment again, and honoring and accepting where we are on our Asana journey. Jump to today’s variations!

Chaturanga Dandasana – 4 Limbed Staff

Chaturanga Dandasana – 4 Limbed Staff Pose

Feet – You should keep feet in place after lowering from Phalakasana / Plank, about hip distance apart and supported on toes and top of balls of feet.

Legs – Try to keep your body in a straight line as you lower down from Phalakasana / Plank. However, it is more important to keep your body in a straight line from head to knees than to have your legs straight, so feel free to drop knees to the mat to enable you to lower your chest to the mat slowly with control.

Hips – Keep your hips in line with the rest of your body when lowering from Phalakasana/Plank. After lowering to the ground, if coming into Ashtanga Namaskara / knees-chest-chin, you will raise your hips to come into the pose.

Arms – This pose is great for building arm strength, but requires a lot of strength for the traditional pose. As you lower from plank, bend your elbows to slowly lower yourself, keeping your elbow tucked tight next to your ribs. As you are working into the pose, your hands will likely be directly below your shoulders. As you build strength, you should try to work your hands down, closer to your ribs than shoulders.

Head and Neck – Keep your head in line with the rest of your body, looking down. Note where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. Gaze straight down at your mat.

Variations

Ashtanga Namaskara – Knees-Chest-Chin

The first round, from Phalakasana / Plank we will lower down to the mat gradually. Many new Yogis basically drop the entire way to the mat in this series, which does not help build the arm strength needed to lower with more control or work into Chaturanga Dandasana. First drop the knees to the mat, keeping your arms straight, maintaining the straight line in your body straight from head to knees. Keep your feet supported by your toes and the tops of your balls of your feet as they were in Phalakasana / Plank. Then slowly bend your elbows, keeping your hands under your shoulders, arms close to your ribs, and elbows pointing straight back/up while keeping your hips lifted. Lower your chest slowly until it meets the mat, and look ahead and rest your chin on the mat. Ashtanga Namaskara is a pose of its own and literally translates to 8 Limbed Salute, and this Asana / pose has eight points of contact with the mat at chin, chest, hands, knees, and feet. Take a full inhale and exhale here before pressing into your hands into the mat on an exhale and moving on to complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

The second round, from Phalakasana / Plank we will lower down slowly, with control, keeping our bodies straight all the way to the floor. Keep your arms tucked close to your ribs and elbows pointing straight up/back, all the way down flat to the mat. Make sure your hands stay just below your shoulders, and Keep your feet supported by your toes and the tops of your balls of your feet as they were in Phalakasana / Plank. As your body hits the mat, look ahead and place your chin on the mat. Now lightly press your hands and toes into the mat as you raise your hips to come into the full expression of the pose again. Take a full inhale and exhale here before moving on an exhale to complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

The last round, we will try a full expression of Chaturanga Dandasana. Come into Phalakasana / Plank and exhale and lower down slowly, with control, keeping arms close to the body again. However, this time we will stop just above the floor, maintaining the straight line from head to heels and active core we held lowering from Phalakasana / Plank. It is easiest to keep hands under shoulders, but work towards having your hands a bit lower than your shoulders as you gain arm strength. Hold here in Chaturanga Dandasana, pressing hands and feet into the mat and keeping a straight line, for as long as you can! Count how many breaths you are able to take in this challenging pose and share with the group! I can personally only hold for about 2-3 breaths at this point.. arm strength is one area Asana/Yoga has helped me improve, but I am still working on it.

For your own practice, I would recommend evaluating where you are with both honesty and compassion. If you are falling to the ground quickly, I would recommend dropping to your knees and coming into Ashtanga Namaskara as in our first exercise. Chaturanga Dandasana helps build arm strength for more challenging arm balances, so I recommend working on the progression to Chaturanga Dandasana if you want to further your Asana practice.

Please comment to share your experience with this exercise! Were you able to come into Chaturanga Dandasana? How long were you able to hold this Asana? Did you prefer Chaturanga Dandasana or Ashtanga Namaskara? Always remember, be kind!

Get today’s Daily Yogi Positive Practice in your inbox – Register for our email list!

Get easy access to the rest of the breakdown of the poses in this series in your inbox

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Phalakasana – Plank

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today we are finally to one of the most popular Yoga Asanas – Phalakasana

Phalakasana (PA-la-KA-sa-na) or Plank is familiar from the viral social media craze a few years ago. This Asana / pose is important to perform correctly and frequently to help develop arm strength. Today we will be performing our Sun Salutations with challenging Phalakasana / Plank modifications that I use myself, so that I will hopefully look like Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow one day (#goals).

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today, we will do the full series three times on each side. We will try three different challenging variations of Plank with our three full repetitions. Since this pose is a challenge for me as well as other new Yogis who are working on building up arm strength, our focus will be back on Santosha / Contentment, and honoring and accepting where we are on our Asana journey. Jump to today’s variations!

Phalakasana – Plank Pose

Phalakasana – Plank Pose

Feet – You will be balancing with a majority of weight on hands, but make sure to put a decent amount of weight in the balls of your feet for stability. I try to keep my feet about hip distance apart for more stability.

Legs – It is more important to keep your body in a straight line from the top of your head to your knees, than to have straight legs. If possible, keep your entire body straight. If not possible or if you feel unstable, bend your knees to the mat and reduce the body weight you are holding up.

Hips – Your hips are the key to keeping your body straight from head to feet or knees. Perhaps lightly tighten your abdominal muscles to help keep your pelvis from drooping.

Arms – This pose is great for building arm strength. Make sure your hands/wrists are directly below your shoulders, and arms are straight. Spread your fingers wide to help support your weight, keeping middle fingers pointing face forward. Make sure you are keeping shoulders down and back, away from your ears.

Head and Neck – Look straight down or perhaps a bit ahead of you on your mat. 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.

Phalakasana Variaions

The first round, come into Phalakasana / Plank with knees bent and resting on the mat, in the modified version. Now the hard part – hold your Phalakasana / Plank for 10 SECONDS. I know, this is a challenge! You may want to activate your abs to help support your weight. Lower yourself to the mat SLOWLY with, control keeping your elbows close to your torso, to continue on to Chaturanga Dandasana / 4 Limbed Staff or Ashtanga Namaskara / knees-chest-chin, and complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

Phalakasana – Modified Plank

The second round, either do another modified plank or if you are feeling strong, come into a full Plank for your 10 second holds. Make sure you keep your body in a straight line, and do not allow your hips to droop or raise up and break your straight line. If this is too challenging, allow your knees to drop to the mat and perform your 10 second holds in the modified Plank, and complete the Sun Salutation series on each side.

The last round, we will try a side Plank on each side, rather than a 10 second hold. Come into Plank with your hands a bit in front of rather than directly under your shoulders. We will open to the right first. Drop your left knee to the ground, and INHALE and open your body towards the right while raising your right arm to the sky/ceiling. You should be facing to the right side, supported on your left knee, left hand/arm, and right foot. If you are comfortable here and want a challenge, straighten your left leg so you are supported on just the outside of your foot and left hand/arm. I typically hold my side plank for a breath or two, not a full 10 seconds. EXHALE down and back to plank or table top, and do another side plank opening to your left. Come back to your standard Plank, inhale, and then exhale down with control to Chaturanga Dandasana or knees-chest-chin, and complete the Sun Salutation series with side planks on each side.

Get the Daily Yogi App – Get quick access to
today’s practice and daily pop-up reminders!

Please comment to share your experience or ask any questions! What did you think of this exercise? Which versions of Plank hold and Side Plank did you perform? Do you think you will add these arm strength exercises to your routine? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Asanas – Poses – Intro – Sun Salutation Series

Welcome to the Third Limb of Yoga, Asanas. Today we are learning Sun Salutations! Asana (AH-sa-nuh), or “pose” in Sanskrit, is what most new Yogis think of when they hear the word “Yoga” 

Whether Asana and Yoga are truly synonymous is up to interpretation. As we have learned, Asana is just one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Some deeply philosophical Yogis consider Asana practice as only one part of Yoga, and its main purpose is to increase flexibility and stability and minimize pain, in order to prepare the body for meditation and then the Upper Limbs of Yoga. Many other Yogis only enjoy the physical Asana practice, and do not care to pursue learning more about the other practices. Whether Asana is your entire practice or just a part, depends on what works for you and your journey!

Asana/Yoga classes come in many styles. These range from more active styles like Vinyasa which combines breath and movement into a rigorous workout that seems like a dance, to Restorative Yoga where relaxing poses can be held for up to 10 minutes. 

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. We recommend adding to your morning routine as recommended by the traditional Yogic texts – try three on each side. We are covering a modified Sun Salutations C that adds extra chest opening. This Asana sequence is extremely common in most Vinyasa and “flow” classes.

Today I will introduce the full traditional Surya Namaskar sequence, and then over the next few days, we will cover each of these Asanas or poses in detail. Click the photos or links for a detailed breakdown of the pose. Whether you are new to Yoga or an advanced Yogi, please feel free to add your own experience with making these poses more accessible

Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutations

Begin standing with feet grounded, toes together, standing up straight
Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Continue reading “Asanas – Poses – Intro – Sun Salutation Series”
  • 62
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    63
    Shares