Brahmacharya – Moderation – Day 5 – 2021 – Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fourth of the YamasBrahmacharya or Moderation and Anuvittasana.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

Since we are in the middle of an April Daily Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Standing Backbend or Anuvittasana (Ah-NUH-vee-TAH-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Brahmacharya, since this pose requires moderation – you must gently lean back and avoid straining to avoid injury! This is a great pose for monitoring your yoga journey with Asanas, because you will come further and further into backbends as you increase your flexibility. Moreover, this pose literally translates from Sanskrit as “found” or “obtained” pose. I think further emphasizes the journey aspect of this Asana.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. So, for Brahmacharya Day today, I recommend a Vinyasa class, which will include this pose as part of Sun Salutations.

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 plenty of Standing Backbends!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try some Standing Backbends for Brahmacharya Day! This is a common opening pose series for all levels Yogis and all styles of Yoga. We will now talk about the standing and supported variations of this pose today! Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Brahmacharya Day – try a ditgital detox!

Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

Anuvittasana - standing backbend pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend

Feet – Think of your feet as three primary contact points with the ground. These are the heels, pinky toes, and big toes. Make sure your big toes are touching. If possible, make sure the back of your heels are touching. If you have a lower back injury like I do, you may also find it easier to keep the heels slightly apart. Claw your toes into the mat slightly to keep your arches from falling into the mat.

Legs – Make sure your legs are comfortably straight. Perhaps keep a slight bend in the knee. Always make sure you avoid hyper-extending or locking your knees.

Hips – Make sure your hips are neutral to start. Then on the exhale, tuck your tailbone under and press your hips slightly forward to come into the backbend. As you get more comfortable with this pose, you can press your hips further forward to come into a deeper backbend.

Torso – Notice your rib cage in Tadasana / Mountain Pose. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open. First inhale your hands into position, and then exhale as you gently press your hips forward and lean your torso back into a comfortable backbend.

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. Either close your eyes, or gaze softly ahead.

Arms – On an inhale before exhaling back into this pose, bring your arms over your head next to your ears, keeping your shoulders down and back. You can press your palms together, or keep them slightly separated.

Beginner Yogis may want to come into Salamba Anuvittasana – Supported Standing Backbend as pictured below. Point your fingers down towards the mat and press your palms into your hips or lower back, and make sure your elbows stay pointed straight back to help your chest open.

Finally, to come out of this pose, lead forward and lift with your chest on an inhale to come back into Tadasana / Mountain Pose.

Salamba Anuvittasana - standing supported backbend pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Salamba Anuvittasana – Standing Supported Backbend

Come into Anuvittasana / Standing Backbend on inhales, and back to Tadasana / Mountain. or all the way forward to Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend on exhales. Then, repeat a few times. I recommend this series to stretch and warm up the spine and torso at the beginning of Asana practice!

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried both versions of Standing Backbend before? Always remember, be kind!

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Asteya – Non-Stealing – Day 5 – 2021 – Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the third of the YamasAsteya or Non-Stealing. Since we are in the middle of an April Daily Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Salamba Sarvangasana (Sah-LAHM-ba Sar-vahn-GAH-sa-nuh) or Supported Shoulder Stand is my choice to represent Asteya since this is a supported balancing pose, and one way to practice Asteya is examining and maintaining balance in our relationships, making sure to support those who support us.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Asteya 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 one of my favorites – Intermediate Balance (30 Minute), which includes series moving between Salamba Sarvangasana / Supported Shoulder Stand and Halasana / Plow Pose!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Salamba Sarvangasana / Supported Shoulder Stand for Asteya Day! This is a challenging inversion. If you are a new yogi, only come up as high as you are comfortable! We will start from corpse, and use the core to lift into this Asana.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Asteya Day – perform a random act of generosity!

Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

Salamba Sarvangasana - supported shoulder stand pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

Feet and Legs – Start laying on your back in Shavasana / Corpse pose, with knees bent. As you press palms into the mat, use your core to lift your legs as close to perpendicular to the floor as you are comfortable. Try to use your core and bring your entire body into a straight line if possible. This is one of the few Asanas where it is best to keep your toes pointed, for balance. Keep your legs supported with your arms, perhaps just stay in Ardha Sarvangasana / Half Shoulder Stand (image below) until you build balance and core strength to bring your legs and torso closer to a straight line.

Torso and Head – You will lift your torso from the floor to come into this inversion. Allow your chin to come to your chest. Make sure you do not turn your head or neck to either side in this or any inversion to avoid injury.

Arms – Start in Shavasana / Corpse pose, with knees bent and palms resting on the floor next to your hips. To come into the pose, press your hands firmly into the mat for leverage to lift your legs and torso off the floor. Once you are able, turn your fingers in and grab your hips, using your hands and arms to support your lower body in this inversion.

To come out of this pose, lower your hips and legs over your head into Ardha Sarvangasana as pictured below, release your hands to the mat, and slowly unroll your body down to the mat into Shavasana / Corpse.

Ardha Sarvangasana - half shoulder stand pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Ardha Salamba Sarvangasana – Half Supported Shoulder Stand

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried either version of Sarvangasana / Shoulder Stand before? Always remember, be kind!

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Satya – Truthfulness – Day 5 – 2021 – 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 an April 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!

beach under pier water cool ocean perspective - satya truthfulness sufi saying Quote: Before you speak let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate ask yourself - is it true? At the second gate ask - is it necessary? At the third gate ask - is it kind? - Sufi Saying
Before you speak let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate ask yourself – is it true? At the second gate ask – is it necessary? At the third gate ask – is it kind? – Sufi Saying

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Satya Day – share a kind truth with someone you care about!

Parighasana – Gate Pose

Parighasana - gate pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Parighasana – Gate Pose

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!

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

You may want to try a couch pillow or blanket under the knees for extra support.

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! Have you tried Parighasana / Gate Pose before? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 5 – 2021 – Marjaryasana / Bitilasana – Cat / Cow

Good morning Yogis! We are beginning our cycle through the Yoga Sutras, and starting with the first of the YamasAhimsa or Non-Harming. Since we are in the middle of an April bonus daily Asana Challenge, we will revisit Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Cat / Cow or Marjaryasana (Mahr-jar-ee-AH-sa-nuh) / Bitilasana (Bih-Ti-LA-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Ahimsa, since this series is a great opening series to help avoid injury, by gently opening and warming up the back at the beginning Asana practice!

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Ahimsa 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 one of my favorites – Beginner Combination (30 Minute), which includes a cat/cow opening!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try some Cat/Cows for Ahimsa Day! This is a common opening pose series for all levels Yogis and all styles of Yoga. We will talk about how to get into both variations from Table Top or Bharmanasana today! Start in Table Top – with hands directly under shoulders, and knees directly under hips.

If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Ahimsa Day – perform a random act of kindness!

Bharmanasana - tabletop pose - yoga pose girl wearing platform black high heels and tiger dress, yoga in the forest, sexy yoga girl
Table Top – Bharmanasana
Click image above for our Yoga Ab Workout!

Marjaryasana – Cat Pose

Marjaryasana - cat pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Marjaryasana – Cat Pose

Feet & Legs – Start in Bharmanasana / Table Top or Bitilasana / Cow, with tops of feet laying on the mat. Your legs should stay hip-distance apart in table top. You will keep both knees and feet grounded on the mat in table top through both Asana / poses!

Hips – Turn your tailbone under and bring your hips forward on an exhale to come into Marjaryasana / Cat from Bharmanasana / Table Top or Bitilasana / Cow.

Torso – On the exhale, you will curl your spine and get as much of a rounding in your back as possible in this pose.

Arms – On the exhale, press your palms into the mat as you curve your back, pressing the mat away from you.

Head and Neck – Curl your head and neck under in line with the rest of your spine, and gaze back at your thighs.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Bitilasana – Cow Pose

Bitilasana - cow pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Bitilasana – Cow Pose

Feet and Legs – Start in Bharmanasana / Table Top or Marjaryasana / Cat, with tops of feet laying on the mat. Your legs should stay hip distance apart in table top. You will keep both knees and feet grounded on the mat in table top through both Asanas / poses!

Hips – Turn your tailbone up and stick your booty out on the inhale to come into Bitilasana / Cow from Bharmanasana / Table Top or Marjaryasana / Cat.

Torso – On the inhale, you will drop your belly and get as much of a chest opener and curve in the back as comfortable.

Arms – On the inhale, pull back on the mat with your hands to pull your torso forward for more of a chest opening.

Head and Neck – Pull head and neck up and forward from Bharmanasana / Table Top or Marjaryasana / Cat, gazing straight ahead.

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Come into Bitilasana / Cow on inhales, and Marjaryasana / Cat on exhales. Repeat a few times. I recommend this series to stretch and warm up the spine and torso at the beginning of Asana practice!

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

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Cat / Cow before? Always remember, be kind!

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World Health Day & National Walking Day 2021

Good morning Yogis! Today is both World Health Day and National Walking Day USA. So, before we begin practices inspired by the 8 Limbs of Yoga, we will align today’s positive practice with these holidays.

PS did you know World Health Day has a different theme each year? This year’s theme is “Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone” to combat health inequities exacerbated by the COVID crisis.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For World Heath Day today, I recommend a dynamic Vinyasa series to focus on physical health, or a Yin and Restorative Series

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am trying a new mental health focused class, one of the specialty focuses I have not yet tried.

california coastline looking over steep brown beach cliff with white flowers and green vegetation looking over sunlit blue water - wellness health Quote: Wellness encompasses a healthy body, a sound mind and a tranquil spirit. Enjoy the journey as you strive for wellness. - Laurette Gagnon Beaulieu
Wellness encompasses a healthy body, a sound mind and a tranquil spirit. Enjoy the journey as you strive for wellness. – Laurette Gagnon Beaulieu

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a self-care practice of your choice focused on your physical or mental health for today’s World Health Day. April is Stress Awareness Month and today is also National Walking Day USA, so perhaps consider a meditative walk or hike. I consider Asana practice both self-care and exercise, so perhaps try one of our suggested Asana classes above. Or, check the info graphic below for a variety of self-care practices for mental health and stress relief, and add or increase a couple of these practices to your day.

If you are interested in nutrition and diet, I strongly recommend doing research on MacroNutrients which is widely accepted by the scientific and fitness communities. Or, perhaps do some more digging on ancient Ayurveda if I piqued your interest and you enjoyed our star chart exercise. I’m just a nerd and like all the learning 🙂

mental health practices infographic: eating well, get enough sleep, manage stress, be sociable, having fun, activity and exercise, avoid alcohol smoking and drugs, get plenty of sunlight, practicing healthy thinking, taking care of your body, digital detox, helping others, slowing down, solving problems, ask for help
eating well, get enough sleep, manage stress, be sociable, having fun, activity and exercise, avoid alcohol smoking and drugs, get plenty of sunlight, practicing healthy thinking, taking care of your body, digital detox, helping others, slowing down, solving problems, ask for help

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Please comment to share your experience! Which physical or mental self-care practice did you choose for today? Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 17 – 2021 – Meditation

Good morning Yogis! Today we are having a KISS (keep it super simple) Day for Upper Limbs Day today with a Meditation Practice of your choice!

ominous gray storm clouds over rocky mountain lowlands with light snow  covering brown and grey rocky peaks and green succulent in foreground - upper limbs of yoga meditation mindfulness Quote: The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness. - Sakyong Mipham
The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness. – Sakyong Mipham

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April. Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. I recommend a Vinyasa series today for a meditative flow.

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)!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is any Meditation Practice of your choice for Upper Limbs Day. You can scan through all of our recent meditation practices or check our Dharana Day Post for a variety of focused meditative practices. Or, if you prefer a moving meditation for our Asana Month, try a Vinyasa series for a meditative flow.

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

Please comment and share what meditation you chose for today! If you have another favorite meditation, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 10 – 2021 – Ujjayi Pranayama – Ocean Breath

Good morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day in a special Asana-focused April! Today we will be revisiting Ujjayi (oo-JAW-yee) Pranayama. This is literally translated from Sanskrit as Victorious Breath, but is commonly referred to as Ocean Breath due to the sound of this technique. This is another great cooling and calming breathing technique, and is ideal during Asana practice. You may have learned this in Yoga class before, especially if you have attended a Hot Yoga class.

waves crashing on beach cool perspective pink and orange sunset on sand with gentle tide with couple embracing watching the sunset and swimmers in the tide - sea water pranayama ocean breath Quote: We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came. - John F. Kennedy
We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came. – John F. Kennedy

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breathing. I recommend trying this with the Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations from yesterday’s practice.

Ujjayi Pranayama – Ocean Breath

Start with Diaphragmatic Breathing for 3 full inhales and exhales.

Open your mouth and inhale and exhale through your mouth. Contract your throat to slightly say “HA” on the exhales. Keep this light contraction in your throat so you slightly say “SA” on the inhales. You will start noticing the ocean sound from which this technique gets its name.

Now, close your mouth. Inhale and exhale through your nose, while keeping this contraction in your throat to keep the ocean sound continuing on both inhales and exhales. As you become comfortable with this breathing technique, try your Asana practice with this Ujjayi Pranayama.

light blue breath graphic on dark blue background

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Ujjayi Pranayama exercise! Have you ever tried this technique as a standalone or during your Asana practice? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 12 – 2021 – Sun Salutations

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Asana Day in our special Asana-focused April. Today we are going to have a KISS (keep it super simple) Day and revisit Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series.

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

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

If you struggle to make Asana practice a daily habit, I STRONGLY suggest doing 1-3 rounds of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations first thing in the morning. This is recommended for a standard Ayurvedic morning routine and is my own personal secret to getting some Yoga in every day.. I cannot always make time for an hour, but I find I have a much better day if I find 5 minutes in the morning.

Also, focus on incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing ie breathing into your belly rather than your chest, and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose as you are moving through this Asana series.. we will be revisiting Ocean Breathing tomorrow, which is my preferred Pranayama style during Asana practice.

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

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

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Niyamas – Personal Observances – Day 1 – 2021 – Agnistambhasana – Fire Log Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras. We usually take one day for all five of each of the Yamas and Niyamas, but this time we will take one day for these Limbs of Yoga. Since we are starting our April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Agnistambhasana (AHG-nis-tam-BAH-sa-nuh) or Fire Log Pose is my choice to represent the Niyamas, or Personal Observances – this Limb of Yoga covers how we should manage ourselves, and in Fire Log we are opening into and gazing at ourselves.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

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

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

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Fire Log Pose for Niyamas Day! I also recommend practicing your choice of Niyamas today – I will be practicing Santosha – Contentment with a mindfulness practice. Today’s Asana is a deep hip opener – make sure to switch your legs and practice on both sides! I consider this a slightly more targeted and intense version of Baddha Konasana / Cobbler Pose.

Agnistambhasana – Fire Log Pose

  • Start in a cross legged position. You hips should stay neutral. Take note of your booty – it should be almost tucked under rather than sticking out. You may want to sit on a block or couch pillow if you notice rounding in your back or shoulders. Keep your back, neck, and head in a straight line – notice any rounding in lower back or shoulders, and adjust your tail bone. Look straight ahead.
  • Begin with your right foot on top – bring your right ankle on top of your left knee. Make sure your knees and feet are stacked, and feet are flexed. Bring shins parallel to front if possible.
  • Inhale and press your hands into the mat next to your hips to lengthen your spine.
  • Exhale and walk your hands forward as far as possible, lowering your torso over your legs. You may want to put a block or couch pillow under your head to help relax into the pose. Breathe deeply into your belly and hips, and let your hips and lower back release.
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths. Walk your hands back to sit up on an inhale.
  • Switch your legs so left leg is on top, and repeat on the other side.

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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Yamas – Interpersonal Ethics – Day 1 – 2021 – Salabhasana – Locust Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are restarting our cycle through the Yoga Sutras. Our last few cycles we took one day for all five of each of the Yamas and Niyamas, but this time we will take one day for these Limbs of Yoga. Since we are starting an Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Salabhasana (sa-la-BAH-sa-nuh) or Locust Pose is my choice to represent the Yamas, or Interpersonal Ethics – this Limb of Yoga covers how we should interact with the world, and in Locust we are opening our bodies outwards. There are two versions of this pose that I enjoy practicing, and we will cover both variations.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are beginning a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Yamas Day today, I recommend a Hatha series.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorite longer classes – Beginner Combination (60 Minutes).

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Locust Pose for Yamas Day! I also recommend practicing your choice of Yamas today – I will be practicing Ahimsa or Non-Harming with a random act of kindness. There are many variations of today’s Asana, ranging from beginner to very advanced. Today we will cover the beginner and intermediate versions of this pose that I commonly practice. Please do not push yourself in these back bends – although these Asanas are great for mitigating lower back pain and strengthening, you can cause injury by pushing beyond your limits. For all variations of Salabhasana / Locust Pose, you will start laying face down on your mat in reverse corpse pose.

Ardha Salabhasana – Half Locust Pose

Ardha Salabhasana - half locust pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Ardha Salabhasana – Half Locust Pose
  • Start laying face down on your mat.
  • Work both arms under your body and either interlace your fingers, leave palms down, or make fists. Bring your chin to the mat.
  • Inhale and lift your right leg up as high as possible, keeping both hips even and on the mat. Try to point your foot back as far as possible.
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths, and slowly lower your leg on an exhale. Repeat with left foot.

Salabhasana – Locust Pose

Salabhasana - locust pose - yoga pose girl sunny day yoga on the beach
Salabhasana – Locust Pose
  • Start laying face down on your mat. Bring your chin to the mat and arms next to your body.
  • Inhale and lift your head, chest, arms, and legs off the mat as high as possible.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back, away from your ears. Your arms can be straight back, with palms facing in or out (perhaps try both!). Or, perhaps bring your arms straight in front of you for a “Superman” Salabhasana Variation (see below)
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths, and slowly lower your entire body back to the mat.

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

salabhasana variation yoga superman - locust pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink shirt and black pants doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Salabhasana – Locust Pose – Superman

Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried both variations of Salabhasana / Locust Pose before? Have you tried a more advanced version? Which is your favorite? Always remember, be kind!

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April Fools Day – Stress Awareness Month, Humor Month & Laughter Yoga

Good Morning Yogis! Happy April and April Fools’ Day! April is Stress Awareness Month and also National Humor Month.

I find challenge-focused months super helpful for my own motivation, so today we are starting another bonus challenge for April – Daily Asanas! 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!

Laughter Yoga

Okay, this is NOT a joke for April Fools’ Day! There is a Yoga Style called Laughter Yoga. This is not an Asana class, but a special practice that incorporates laughing, breathing, clapping, and chanting. I recommend checking out this short video for a quick info and intro session.. her longer videos are even better! I love the quote “Negative thoughts can be neutralized by positive thoughts” from the Yoga Sutras, and Laughter Yoga is a great positivity technique! See more on positivity below.

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are beginning a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For today’s start of Stress Awareness Month, I recommend a relaxing 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).

close-up bright orange bird of paradise flower with green leaves and brown mulch background - laughter santosha happiness positivity Quote: No matter what your heartache may be, laughing helps you forget it for a few seconds. - Red Skelton
No matter what your heartache may be, laughing helps you forget it for a few seconds. – Red Skelton

As we begin our bonus daily Asana 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. I also set Ocean as the background music in the Yoga Studio App for 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 April, keeping April’s stress reduction 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.

More on the Power of Positive Thinking

The Law of Attraction & Power of Positive Thinking Intro

11 Ways to Boost Positive Thinking

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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 Asana challenge for April? Always remember, be kind!

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 16 – 2021 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

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

close-up light and dark green striped plant leaves - upper limbs of yoga Dhyana full meditation Quote: Dhyana is the continuous flow of thought toward that object. - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Dhyana is the continuous flow of thought toward that object. – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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 15 – 2021 – Dharana – Intense Focus – Guided Meditation & Meditative Practices

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

close-up bright green succulents in bright sunlight - upper limbs of yoga dharana meditation intense focus Quote: Dharana locks consciousness on a single place, object, or idea. - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Dharana locks consciousness on a single place, object, or idea. – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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

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

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

Dharana or Intense Focus Meditative Practices

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

Morning Motivational Meditation (10 minutes)

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Full Night Sleep Meditation (8 hours)

Grounding Meditation (9 minutes)

Body Scanning Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Self-Reflective Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation (12 minutes)

Celestial Visualization Guided Meditation (7 minutes)

Manifest Meditations (Power of Attraction) (10 minutes) 

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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


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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 14 – 2021 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses – Guided Meditation

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

close-up bright green succulents with grass-shoots and small potted plant - upper limbs of yoga pratyahara withdrawal of senses Quote: When the consciousness goes within by uncoupling from external objects, the senses also do so - this is Pratyahara. This results in the ultimate mastery over the senses. - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
When the consciousness goes within by uncoupling from external objects, the senses also do so – this is Pratyahara. This results in the ultimate mastery over the senses. – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

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

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 9 – 2021 – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath

Good morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day!

sunny garden with sunlit leaves and shady leavevs and blue purple and red flowers - pranayama breath breathing Quote - Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. – Laura Ingalls Wilder

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

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

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

orange breath graphic on yellow gold background

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

Diaphragmatic Breath

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

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Channel Clearing / Alternate-Nostril Breathing

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

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

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

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Asanas – Poses – Day 11 – 2021 – Vinyasa Yoga Series

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a meditation-focused March, and today is Asana Day. So, today we will revisit Vinyasa Yoga and its meditative flowing style.

Vinyasa is arguably the most common class at Yoga Studios in the West. This is a fast-paced Asana practice combining breath with fast transitions between Asanas / poses to “flow” almost like a dance. Although these classes are popular, they are not for beginners. You should know many poses very well and sometimes how to transition between these poses. Vinyasa refers to the connections between breath and movement and a traditional Vinyasa class will move like a dance. Power flow also has this breath/movement connection or “flow” but is primarily cardio and strength-focused.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a traditional Vinyasa Yoga series. This is a very challenging Asana practice moving quickly between each Asana.. you may want to try the beginner version if you have never tried a Vinyasa class before or are still learning the poses!

Recommended Videos

Beginner Vinyasa Series (try if you are still learning to “flow” breath with movement)

Intermediate Vinyasa Series

Check out a sped-up version of each of these videos above, to get a quick idea of what this style is like! You will notice linking breath to motion to “flow” through poses like a dance, with each Asana often held for only one breath.

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Equipment and Yoga Mats!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

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.

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

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

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

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 4 – 2021 – 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 March. For Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, we will get our OMs on! I am going to practice a Guided Meditation with some OMs!

gold om symbol on dark green background
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.

Cymatics

I recently learned about Chladni plates, cymatics, and visual representation of OM. If you are a science nerd like me, PLEASE go check this out.. it is mind-blowing.

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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 4 – 2021

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. One of my favorite quotes from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where I draw inspiration for the Daily Yogi practices, is “Negative thoughts can be neutralized by positive thoughts”. Today we will revisit the power of positive thinking with a meditation on positive thinking, and a quote from Buddha

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 Positive Energy Guided Meditation.

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

Today’s Quote on the power of our thoughts

water fountain in sunny garden surrounded by green grass and beautifully manicured flowers and bushes - svadhyaya self-study positive thinking power of thoughts Quote: We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. - Buddha
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. – Buddha

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.


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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 4 – 2021

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 March! 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 (this is my daily practice – I am on a streak of nearly 200 days!), 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.

buchard gardens victoria beautifully manicured garden with bright green leaves grass and colorful flowers with tourists walking along garden paths - tapas discipline self-disipline motivation Quote: With self-discipline, most anything is possible. - Theodore Roosevelt
With self-discipline, most anything is possible. – Theodore Roosevelt

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 again soon – 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 – 05/01/2021

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

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 4 – 2021 – Mindfulness

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Santosha / contentment Day. Today we are going to revisit 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 March! For our Mindfulness-focused Santosha Day today, our meditation is a  Mindfulness Guided Meditation.

close-up bright green succulent plants in the sun with shadowy leaves - santosha contentment happiness mindfulness mindful Quote: Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing. - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing. – Jon Kabat-Zinn

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 4 – 2021 – Aries Season

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 March! For Saucha Day today, since we will be cleaning our homes my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Organizing our Thoughts.

close-up garden with bright green grass and ferns and tiny yellow buttercup flowers saucha purity spring cleaning Quote: Spring cleaning doesn't have to be a dreaded list of chores. It can be a rewarding experience that helps provide some structure and organization in your life. - Peter Walsh
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a dreaded list of chores. It can be a rewarding experience that helps provide some structure and organization in your life. – Peter Walsh

Astrological New Year – Aries Season

I am sorry to be a day late to tie in with our daily practices, but yesterday was the start of Aries Season – Happy Birthday Aries Yogis! This is the start of the year for the Zodiac Calendar, and we are also at the start of Spring! So, with Saucha Day and the start of spring, it is a perfect day for some spring cleaning! For an Aries themed Yoga Practice today, I recommend Nadi Shodhana or Channel-Clearing Breath, which reminds me of the symbol for Aries below!

red and white aries zodiac astrology symbol

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to practice Saucha / Purity with our surroundings. The Spring Equinox was this past weekend depending on your time zone, so we will focus on spring cleaning for our own homes! Perhaps pick one or two rooms that can use some TLC, and go through the spring cleaning deep-cleaning suggestions for that room!

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.

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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 – 2021

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 March! For Aparigraha Day today, my meditation for the day is a Morning Gratitude Guided Meditation.

close-up bright green leaves and white dandelion - aparigraha non-attachment gratitude Quote: Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. - Robert Brault
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. – Robert Brault

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 4 – 2021

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 March! For Brahmacharya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Balance.

hartsfield-jackson atlanta airport terminal cool blue and green backlit modern art on ceiling with passengers walking on people movers and through airport walkway - brachmacharya moderation work-life balance Quote: You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do. - Katie Thurmes
You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do. – Katie Thurmes

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 4 – 2021

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 March! For Asteya day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Balance in Our Lives.

close-up of bright green leaves with background of dark green leaves - asteya non-stealing balance Quote: Work, love and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being. - Orison Swett Marden
Work, love and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being. – Orison Swett Marden

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 4 – 2021

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 March! For Satya Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on uncovering your True Self.

green algae covered pond surrounded by green leafy trees under cloudless blue sky - satya truth honesty truthfulness Quote: Just give yourself permission to tell the truth to yourself. - Iyanla Vanzant
Just give yourself permission to tell the truth to yourself. – Iyanla Vanzant

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.

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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 – 2021

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 March! For Ahimsa day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Non-Violence.

summer earth goddess atlanta botanical gardens impressive large garden topiary of woman with plant hair gazing at palm of her hand - ahimsa non-violence non-harming Quote: Without a direct action expression of it, nonviolence, to my mind, is meaningless. - Mahatma Gandhi
Without a direct action expression of it, nonviolence, to my mind, is meaningless. – Mahatma Gandhi

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 13 – 2021 – Samadhi – Enlightenment / Integration

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

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As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and must truly be attained on your own. We started a series on each of the upper limbs, and covered Pratyahara, Dharana, and Dhyana. The last three limbs – Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are often referred to as the “innermost quest” and studied together.

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

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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 12 – 2021 – Dhyana – Full Meditation

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

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

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

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

Dhyana Guided Meditation

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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 11 – 2021 – Dharana – Intense Focus – Guided Meditation & Meditative Practices

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

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

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

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

Dharana or Intense Focus Meditative Practices

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

Morning Motivational Meditation (10 minutes)

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Full Night Sleep Meditation (8 hours)

Grounding Meditation (9 minutes)

Body Scanning Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Self-Reflective Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation (12 minutes)

Celestial Visualization Guided Meditation (7 minutes)

Manifest Meditations (Power of Attraction) (10 minutes) 

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

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

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Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Day 10 – 2021 – Pratyahara – Withdrawal of Senses – Guided Meditation

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

As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the previous limbs, and sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. We will take the next few days in our Meditation-focused month for daily practices inspired by the first three Upper Limbs. Today we will revisit the 5th Limb of Yoga – Pratyahara and try a Pratyahara Guided Meditation.

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

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

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

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

Pratyahara Guided Meditation

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

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Pranayama – Breathing – Day 8 – 2021 – Yogic Breath – Three Part Breath

Good morning Yogis! Today is a KISS (keep it super simple) Day! So, we are going to revisit Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice.

twisting forest path boardwalk - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. - Thich Nhat Hanh
Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. – Thich Nhat Hanh

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! For Pranayama Day today, try our Breath-Focused Meditation with our Three Part Breath Below! If you prefer guided meditations, perhaps check out this talk on breath, mindfulness, and spirituality from the author of today’s quote.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this three-part breath. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

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

Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

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

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

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Asanas – Poses – Day 10 – 2021 – Comfortable Seats for Meditation

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will revisit my favorite seated poses that are best for meditation. Yoga classes often start with Tadasana or Mountain Pose, a standing grounding pose. On the other hand, some classes start with seated grounding poses. We will cover a few of these comfortable seats for meditation Asanas for today’s practice. Or, check out our Top 5 Meditation Poses for non-seated meditation poses!

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! For Asana Day today, I recommend a moving meditation.

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

If you are able, I recommend Padmasana / Lotus Pose since we are getting close to the start of Spring! If you are being extra festive today, perhaps also try Lotus Mudra with your hands, and read more about its history!

close up pond filled with bright green lilly pad leaves and pink and white lotus flower and blooming flower buds
Lotus Flowers

Upper BodY

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

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Sukhasana – Easy Pose

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

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

Siddhasana – Adept’s Pose

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

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

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Padmasana – Lotus Pose

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

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

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

Virasana – Hero’s Pose

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

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

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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

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

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats


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

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which was your favorite of these seated poses? Always remember, be kind! We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! For Asana Day today, I recommend a moving meditation.

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Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender – Day 3 – 2021

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 March! For Ishvara Pranidhana Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Meditation on Surrender.

You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway. – Steve Maraboli

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 3 – 2021 – 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 March. 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!

mirror trippy green blue and purple swirl stellar galaxy star background - svadhyaya yoga journey self-study self-reflection Quote: Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. - The Bhagavad Gita
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. – The Bhagavad Gita

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.

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 3 – 2021

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 of 2021! Our intro Tapas Day, we made a goal that was important to us. Each Tapas Day, we checked in on our progress. It has been nearly a month and a half since our last Tapas Day, so if you are a new Yogi and 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.

PS I want to report back on my Duolingo Daily Habit.. I have kept up with this goal and I just reached and passed my 180 Day goal! I am extra motivated by my two friends who also have this as their daily habit, and coming up on 1 year and 500 days in a row!

clear blue sky over rocky beach at low tide on california coastline with yellow flowers and green leaves in foreground buildings along coast and boardwalk leading down to rocky beach and blue water - tapas discipline self-discipline Quote: Discipline equals freedom. - Jocko Willink
Discipline equals freedom. – Jocko Willink

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 March! 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. 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.

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.

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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? Is there another 30 Day Challenge theme you would like us to try? Always remember, be kind!

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Saucha – Purity – Day 3 – 2021

Good Morning Yogis! We are restarting the Niyamas for our daily practices with Saucha or Purity Day.

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! For Saucha Day today, my meditation for the day is a Cleansing Guided Meditation.

cool perspective alpine lake in the mountains bright blue water with wind rippling surface and brown rocky shoreline covered with light snow - saucha purity cleanliness clean Quote: Saucha, or living purely, involves maintaining a cleanliness in body, mind, and environment so that we can experience ourselves at a higher resolution. - Donna Farhi
Saucha, or living purely, involves maintaining a cleanliness in body, mind, and environment so that we can experience ourselves at a higher resolution. – Donna Farhi

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is a deep cleaning or pampering of our bodies for Saucha Day. Need some ideas?

  • Enjoy a long shower or bubble bath.
  • Maybe give yourself a pedicure, with a warm foot soak and lotion massage after, whether you paint your toes or not.
  • Perhaps try a tooth whitening treatment.
  • Relax with a face mask and cucumber slices over your eyes.
  • If you want to try a new Ayurvedic practice, maybe try oil-pulling (I recommend 2-15 minutes, not 20-30) with coconut oil.
  • If the days of social distancing are done, maybe book a last-minute facial or salon treatment of your choice.
  • Clean your insides with a clean-eating day – no junk food, or perhaps try another clean eating diet method or cleanse of your choice.
  • Whatever practice feels right for you to integrate Saucha into your day.

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

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Santosha – Contentment – Day 3 – 2021

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 March! 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.”

cool perspective looking through green leafy mangrove trees sand to bright blue ocean Caribbean water with wind rippling surface along coastal beach shoreline - santosha contentment happy happiness Quote: Someone is happy with less than what you have. - Anonymous
Someone is happy with less than what you have. – Anonymous

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.

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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!