Yogini Challenges

Big Thank You to everyone who donated and especially to those who participated in this year’s RISE Yogathon! I had a blast practicing 108 sun salutations with this yogini’s team!

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If you’re all about teen yoga but didn’t get a chance to show your appreciation there’s still time to donate here! 

Yoga is 24 Hours Challenge 

August 1st – 10th 2015 For ten days I followed hosts@bibi.lorenzeti and @danysayoga on instagram through 10 different asana as well as all 5 Yamas and 5 Niyamas. It was neat to have the support and encouragement of the online community to motivate me to try some challenging poses and reflect on the Yogi guide lines. You can see the results here or on instagram!

Day 1  Uttinasana with Ahimsa, kindness, the very beginning of yoga practice wether as a teacher or a student. My teachers have mentioned just “always be sweet.” Although not always easy, I aspire to live up to this request in every moment of every day. Image shot by Cinda

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Day 2 (actually posted this photo on the 3rd as I didn’t manage to get a photo on the 2nd!) Ustrasana with Satya, truth. Speak honest words, make honest actions, and hold honest thoughts. If we seek the truth in earnest it will come to us. Image shot by Christian

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Day  3 Vatayasana with Asteya, non stealing in words, thoughts, and deeds. Asteya is part of Ahimsa, kindness in everything. Chandraji says that if we only take, then we will not receive the benefits of whatever it is we have taken. For example… if we take an asana class but do not pay in any way (money, loving spirit, or karma yoga for example) we will not receive the benefits of the poses and the lessons. It will be as if nothing has happened. Image shot by Christian

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Day 4 my attempt at Ekepadisirsasana with Bramacharia, celibacy or moderation in all things. Imagine one of yoru worldly pleasures, perhaps an indulgence, and then imagine letting it go. What would it be like living without it? Or living with less of it? Of the things I have been able to eliminate or reduce in my life meat, refined sugar, caffeine… with everyone it has been true that the less I have the less I crave. Images shot by Bre

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Day 5 Visvamitrasana with Aparigrahah. Aparigraha refers to non-hoarding of material items as well as the mind stuff. Imagine the thoughts are like the clutter in your garage or storage room. Every now and then it’s nice to go through the clutter and clean out what is no longer needed. Image shot by Mom

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Day 6 ardhamatsyendrasana with shaucha, purity or cleanliness in mind, body, and actions. Just as your kitchen blender will work at its best if it is cleaned after each use so will your mind and body. When we practice the asana we are cleaning the internal organs by pusing out old blood and making room for fresh healing blood. When we practice focus or meditation we are cleaning out the mind of old thoughts. When we practice kindness in our actions we are taking the first step towards cleaning the whole universe. Image shot by John Henry

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Day 7 Parigasana with Santosha or contentment. If you can figure this one out, complete peace and satisfaction in every moment with freedom from desire, then congratulations your studies are complete!

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Day 8 Mayurasana with Tapas. What a great pose to go with the Niyama of discipline! I am and have been struggling with mayurasana for a long time (years!!) You can see it is still not perfect and this was only held for less than a second before I fell out. But the poses take time and only through tapas, slow and steady disciplined practice, do we start to see a change in our bodies and minds. Image shot by John Henry

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Day 9 Gomukhasana with Svadhiyaya or study of the sacred texts. One of the books I read early on in my sduties was “radha diary of a woman’s search” by swami sivananda radha. While Radha’s journey began in an Ashram in Incia far from my own beginnings at a studio in NC, many of her questions and struggles within the mind were similar to my own. Reading her words helped me to reflect on some of my own thoughts and even fears and get through the training. Not to mention how grateful I was not to have to worry about bugs in my bedroom as she did! Image shot by John Henry

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Day 10 Kasciapasana with Isvara Pranidhara or surrender to the supreme soul. This final Niyama is kind of related to Karma yoga or the act of doing something kind for someone or something else without expectation for benefits in return i.e. selfless service. In the case of Isvara Prankdhara we are surrendering every action and thought to the ‘supreme soul’. One way to think about the supreme soul is to remember that all living beings are made up of energy and something in there is common among all of us. Offering yourself to the supreme sould could mean offering every moment to that common energy. If you’d rather, you can think about offering your practice to one of the Gods, your Guru, someone who might benefit a little from your actions, or someone/something else that makes sense to you. Image shot by John Henry

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Devoted Yogi 7 Day Challenge with Sri Dharma Mittra

Sri Dharma Mittra has challenged devoted Yogi’s (and yoginis!) to practice and share a different pose each day for the first seven days of December 2014. So here I go…

Day 1 Kapyasana Crescent Moon Pose

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Day 2 Sirsasana King of the Poses

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Day 3 Yajnasana Lizard Pose

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Day 4 Ustrasana Camel Pose

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Day 5 Urdhva Dhanurasana Upward Facing Bow Pose

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Day 6 Pincha Mayurasana Peacock Feather Pose

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Day 7 Dhanurasana Bow Pose

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