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Yoga, health, wellness, and recipes from YogaDownload.com


Amy Cavill
Amy Cavill
Amy Cavill's Blog

Why You Don't Need To Be Flexible to Start Doing Yoga
Why You Don't Need To Be Flexible to Start Doing Yoga
If you’re thinking about starting yoga, but a lack of flexibility is holding you back - don’t let it stop you! The idea that you need to be flexible to do yoga is a huge myth, and flexibility isn’t essential to get on the mat. In fact - yoga practice can actually improve your flexibility, and you can see this improve over time the more yoga you practice. Every yogi started somewhere, and even the most flexible people didn’t start out being able to bend their bodies into difficult poses. Yoga can improve your flexibility if you’re not very bendy - as well as improve your posture, balance and strength, if being flexible isn’t one of your goals. Even bodybuilders didn’t start off being able to carry the heaviest of weights - they trained and started from the bottom, and the same is true for yoga and flexibility. Progress comes with effort and hard work, and starting from scratch.

Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Body Confidence
Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Body Confidence
Yoga has a lot of benefits, from the physical to the mental. But did you know it can also boost your self confidence? Body confidence is something everyone should have. It helps you to be happy in life and with yourself, and be proud of yourself and the body you inhabit. Body confidence is believing in yourself, and not having self-doubt about your image. Yoga is one of the best ways to boost your body confidence. Here’s the ways in which it can improve how confident you feel in your body: Yoga boosts your focus

How to Move from Beginner to Intermediate & Advanced in Yoga
How to Move from Beginner to Intermediate & Advanced in Yoga
If you can do every pose in a yoga class effortlessly, you're in the wrong class. While it's important to be content with where you're at, it's just as important to keep growing, evolving, and pushing your boundaries. It can be easy to get complacent even in yoga, doing the same poses with the same teachers. However, you may be scared to take the plunge, and are wondering how to move from beginner to an intermediate yoga class. Here’s our top tips on how to move up in your yoga practice. Be Consistent

7 Easy Ways to Make This the Year You Develop a Regular Yoga Routine
7 Easy Ways to Make This the Year You Develop a Regular Yoga Routine
The start of the year is a time for resolutions - and many people’s resolutions will be to work out and exercise more - perhaps even get into a yoga routine! However, it can sometimes be hard to find the motivation to keep going, especially towards the end of January when it’s cold and dark, and the motivation you had on the 1st of the month is starting to wane. However, the best way to keep going with your yoga practice is to start a routine. Thinking about giving up? Let us remind you of some of the benefits of yoga, and give you some tips to get into a regular routine for 2020. Need some inspiration to get into your yoga routine for 2020? There’s a wealth of benefits that practicing yoga can supply. As well as the expected, such as physical health and fitness, there are also some more unknown benefits.

10 Ways to Find Inspiration When You're Feeling Down
10 Ways to Find Inspiration When You're Feeling Down
When you’re suffering from a low mood, anxiety or depression, you can get stuck in a rut and you just can’t get out of it. You might have a to-do list that’s really long, but you’re struggling to even get out of bed. Things can pile up and can add to your low mood, when you’re finding it hard to get inspired about life. Your brain may feel overwhelmed and it’s hard to get excited about anything at all. But it’s not impossible to feel inspired again after being stuck in a rut. Here’s a few ways to get yourself back on track 1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

How To Start Meditating
How To Start Meditating
Meditation is a practice that’s open to anyone, and there are huge health benefits to be had from a simple and daily meditation practice - both physically and mentally. There are so many studies out there that have proven that mindfulness and meditation can have a positive impact to your mental and physical health. For example, meditation can reduce stress to the extent that it can help to reprogram your brain to increase your capacity to manage stress, and also reduce the stress hormone cortisol in your body and even strengthen your immune system. Meditation can also help to improve your concentration and focus. This is because meditation creates a mindful awareness in the brain, allowing it to be calm and in harmony with itself. Regular practitioners of meditation have shown a heightened attention and concentration span.

5 Secrets to Living a Balanced Life
5 Secrets to Living a Balanced Life
Having a balanced life can be a key for success. Keeping things in balance can lead to a stress free life, peace of mind and having a good life. We all have a manner of responsibility, and keeping these in balance with things that we enjoy doing can be hard. However, if things get off balance, stress can occur, as well as emotional or even physical health issues. Here’s our top secrets to maintaining a balanced life. Take care of yourself If you’re not healthy and living an unhealthy lifestyle, you’ll find it hard to get everything done. The first step to living a balanced life is to get enough sleep, eat nutritious food and exercise. You can’t function as an adult while not getting enough of these things. As well as taking care of your physical health, take some time to look after yourself mentally too - try to find time for activities you love, and help yourself unwind after a stressful day by doing something relaxing. This will put you in a great state of mind to lead a balanced lifestyle.

11 Tips for Making New Year's Resolutions that Actually Stick
11 Tips for Making New Year's Resolutions that Actually Stick
It’s nearing the end of 2019 and it’s the time of year where everyone is thinking about the year ahead. Making New Year’s resolutions are an old tradition, however many of us struggle to keep them for 365 days! Here are our top tips for making New Year's resolutions that turn out to be successful, and how to make them stick. Make specific goals If you set big goals that are vague, they won’t last because they’re just too big! To achieve your goals, they have to be specific, and measurable. Break your big goals down to something more specific, which will be easier to stick to and track.

Simple Solstice Ritual Ideas
Simple Solstice Ritual Ideas
Depending where you are in the world, you’re either in the midst of cold weather or gearing up for a hot summer. If you’re wrapping up warm and finding the days growing darker, the winter solstice is arriving, whereas if you’re in warmer climates, the opposite is true, and the summer solstice is growing near. The shortest and longest days of the year retrospectively, the solstice is a time to think inwards, reflect, and set intentions for the season ahead. Symbolically this is a turning point in the seasons and a powerful time to stop, reflect, and give thanks for what we each have in our lives. It's also a momentary step back from our day to day successes and trials, and remember and feel our place in the bigger picture and the cosmos. It is a powerful time to honor the sun, which gives all things on our planet life.

15 Ways to Relax During the Holidays
15 Ways to Relax During the Holidays
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and for some, that also means the most stressful. You know that feeling when you have holiday parties to plan for, gifts to purchase, dinner to host and it feels like you’re never ever going to stop? During the holiday season, it’s so important to find a way to relax and recharge. So here are a few quick ways to do just that, just in time for the holidays! Don’t strive for perfection Sometimes ‘good enough’, is just that! Don’t always strive to be best, or perfect, especially when you’re juggling a lot of tasks. When planning your holiday season, give yourself a break and let ‘good enough’ be good enough for you. After all, is anyone really going to notice the ‘perfect’ Christmas tree, when you’re having fun with your loved ones?

11 Easy and Simple Ways to Relax
11 Easy and Simple Ways to Relax
When you’re feeling stressed - and it happens so easily- it can be hard to relax. Getting rid of your day to day stress often seems really hard. However, there are a few simple ways to relax, which are especially useful if you can’t get away from the thing that's stressing you out! Relax Your Body A relaxed body equals a relaxed mind, according to Harvard Medical School. A relaxed body actually sends calming signals to the brain that can help to reduce mental tension. Working out can help to relax the body, as it releases endorphins, which can boost your mood. Exercise can also reduce stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. You can also relax your body by taking a warm bath.

Benefits of Going Back to the Basics in Yoga & Best Poses to Revisit
Benefits of Going Back to the Basics in Yoga & Best Poses to Revisit
When you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, you might have built up a bit of an ego. You might be seeking out the most advanced poses and classes, with the toughest teachers, and you might be pushing yourself as far as you can. Sound familiar? Pushing yourself too far in yoga can get you into sticky situations, especially if you try poses that are too advanced before you are ready for them. This is why going back to yoga basics every once in a while can be immensely beneficial to you, even if you’re not a beginner to the yoga mat. A basics yoga class can be so much better than pushing yourself into advanced practices, and perhaps injuring yourself. Here’s a few simple reasons why going back to basics can actually help you on the way to becoming more advanced at yoga, and a few basic poses to go back and master.

Ways Stress Can Impact Your Health and How to Fight It
Ways Stress Can Impact Your Health and How to Fight It
We’ve all experienced stress once or twice (or more) in our lives. It’s a natural physical and mental reaction to life's experiences. Anything can trigger stress, from work responsibilities to serious life events or external factors. For in the moment, short term experiences, stress can actually be beneficial to your health, by helping you cope with some potentially serious situations. Your body responds to feeling stressed by releasing stress hormones, which increase your heart rate, your breathing rate and gets your muscles ready to respond. However, as healthy as a good dose of stress can be - good things come in small packages. Feeling stressed for long periods of time - more than is necessary for survival - can take its toll on your health. Chronic stress and stress conditions can cause a number of physical symptoms, and affect your overall health. Here are just some of the ways stress can impact you and your health negatively. Central Nervous System

Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Those who practice yoga often know the importance of balance on the mat, be it balance in the body, balance in tree pose, or balance between the breath and the movements. But not many of us transfer this balance into our day to day lives, especially our work-life balance. Yoga can help us practice so much more than the physical movements and poses. It helps us practice things like our breath, calming our minds, pushes us outside our comfort zone and allows us to grow and self reflect. This self-reflection will ultimately help in maintaining a strong work-life balance, as understanding patterns, strengths and weaknesses are essential in setting the boundaries we need to balance our lives. In layman's terms, a work-life balance is how you maintain the time you dedicate to working vs having fun and living your life. Finding a balance that works for you requires work and self-reflection. There are many ways yoga can help you improve your work-life balance.

10 Reasons Why Fear Can Be Good for You
10 Reasons Why Fear Can Be Good for You
Many people shy away from fear and see it as a negative, a danger and something to be avoided. However, fear can sometimes be good for you! Fear can keep you on your toes and help you experience new things. Here’s our top 10 reasons why a dose of fear every now and again can be good for you. Fear keeps you safe The fear instinct is the bodies’ internal danger alarm. The feelings of fear compel you to take action against danger. Without the fear instinct, you wouldn’t have an awareness of threats around you - so you wouldn’t be around very long! Fear gives you the flight or fight reaction to make decisions when you may be unsafe - such as if a car drives towards you when you’re crossing the road. Without fear - you wouldn’t be able to make a decision to help you stay safe.

Simple Ways to Show Love to Yourself & Others Regularly
Simple Ways to Show Love to Yourself & Others Regularly
Love, it makes the world go round. All you need is love. It’s so simple right? Actually, maintaining and nurturing loving relationships in our lives can take effort and practice. However, showing your love to others, as well as yourself, can make a huge positive impact in our lives. Love comes in many forms, from our significant others to family, to friends and even pets. Feeling loved can harbor a sense of caring, and inspires you to make others in your life feel good. It’s really quite contagious, so here’s our top ways to help you show love to others (and a few to show some love to yourself too). Listen to others

Power Yoga: Everything You Need To Know
Power Yoga: Everything You Need To Know
If you’ve never tried this invigorating and fast-paced practice of power yoga, you might be wondering what it’s all about. Here’s our rundown on what power yoga is, where it came from, and how it might improve your health! What is Power Yoga Power Yoga - it sounds daunting, but what actually is it? Power yoga is a sequence of postures that are specially designed to build on strength, stamina and flexibility, all while being fast moving. Power Yoga is derived from the Ashtanga yoga tradition, which can be equally as physically demanding, but works through building heath in your body, and moving through the vinyasa sequences in a fast paced way. Unlike Ashtanga, power yoga practice doesn’t have a set sequence of postures, and any class can be different from the next. However, it will usually start with Sun Salutation poses, to build heat within your body, and will often feature a strong focus on yoga poses that will build up strength and get your heart pounding and body sweating - power yoga can be a full on cardio workout!

If You Love Yoga, Here's Why You Should Try Pilates
If You Love Yoga, Here's Why You Should Try Pilates
If you practice yoga, Pilates can help to complement your yoga practice. Yogis who practice pilates as well, can create greater stability, better alignment and have stronger cores. This deeper strength can give greater control over your movements, allowing you to move between poses and hold them for longer. Pilates is an 85 year old system of body conditioning, which can complement asana practice. It’s focus is on building and engaging a strong core - essential for advanced yoga poses. It was developed by Joseph Pilates, who studied a number of forms of exercise including yoga to come up with the practice. Similarly to yoga, the focus is on connecting the mind and body to create the movement, but the movements themselves are very different. How Pilates and yoga are different is that while yoga holds each pose for a while, or flows through in vinyasas, Pilates is a practice which one repeats precise movements up to ten times in a rhythmic flow. The method to pilates is an emphasis on the controlled flow of movement.

Top 10 Ways to Avoid Procrastination
Top 10 Ways to Avoid Procrastination
We’ve all probably experienced procrastination whether its at school, at work or in our home lives. Some tasks and chores just seem impossible to keep focused on, and procrastination can seriously hinder our productivity levels. Here’s 10 ways to help avoid procrastination. 1. Get Organized You won’t be able to get anything done if you don’t know what actually needs doing! Buy a planner, use apps, or set up your own personal organisational system to keep track of all tasks and assignments that need doing, and by when. This will make it easier to stay on track and know what needs doing, and when. 2. Set achievable goals

6 Easy Life Hacks to Fit Yoga into Your Busy Schedule
6 Easy Life Hacks to Fit Yoga into Your Busy Schedule
Life is pretty busy, and although we might love the idea of slowing down, taking some time for ourselves, and reaping the benefits yoga practice promises, sometimes in practice, it can be hard to simply just find the time. Yoga urges you to slow down, but sometimes, work, housework, responsibility and family duties don’t give you an opportunity for some time off to roll out your mat. If you’re finding it hard to juggle a busy schedule, you might have brushed off yoga as something you just don’t have time for, and start denying yourself those minutes in the day that are just for you. Taking time for yourself is important, and yoga can massively benefit both your physical and mental health - so don’t be so quick to write it off as something not important. Even the busiest of people can benefit from all yoga has to offer - here’s some tips on how to fit yoga into your busy schedule. Keep Your Yoga Mat in Eyesight

11 Quick Ways to Manage Stress and Feel More Relaxed
11 Quick Ways to Manage Stress and Feel More Relaxed
Stress and anxiety are all to common in the modern world. In fact, up to 70% of adults say they feel stressed or anxious on a daily basis. There are many ways to combat stress of anxiety, but if you’re having a bad day and need a quick fix, here are some quick ways to manage stress and feel more relaxed. Work out Exercise is one of the simplest ways you can relieve stress. It may make you scratch your head, but actually, the physical stress that you put your body through during exercise can actually help to relieve mental stress. Try to work out regularly to reap the most benefits. This is because of stress hormones. Working out and moving your body can reduce the stress hormones in your body, and can also release endorphins, which improve your mood. Working out can also improve sleep quality, which can be a major cause of stress. Think about your mood the last time you didn’t get enough sleep - the two are very intricately connected! Exercise can also boost your confidence, and introduce a new fun hobby into your life!

8 Easy Ways to Feel Happy Everyday
8 Easy Ways to Feel Happy Everyday
Happiness can sometimes evade us. Reading bad news, a rainy day, or just feeling generally grumpy can lead to us feeling unhappy and negative. However, there are some small steps you can take to help you on your way to happiness everyday. If you’re feeling down in the dumps lately, here’s some quick wins to help you on your way to happiness. Get Enough Sleep Seven to nine hours, to be exact. A healthy sleep schedule is the first step to being happy. Have you ever had a bad night’s sleep and the following day almost everything frustrates or annoys you? This is because a lack of sleep can make you less alert, less logical and can also contribute to health issues such as obesity and can exacerbate mental health issues. All these things can lead to a breakdown of your good relationships, make you struggle at work, and make it harder to feel happy and productive. Struggling to sleep? Try to have a warm shower or bath before getting in bed, and put your phone away from your reach. Wake Up a Little Earlier

Best Yoga Poses to Open your Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
Best Yoga Poses to Open your Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
The 7th Chakra is the crown chakra, and it can teach about unity and transcendence. It encompases the top of your head, where the other 6 chakras integrate. It’s important to try and keep your Crown Chakra balanced, as it can help you to understand the world and your existence in it. When your 7th Chakra is activated, it can unify your mind with your higher self. This Chakra is associated with wisdom and enlightenment, and awakening this Chakra can help to shake off confusion, self-doubt and hesitation. The name for the Crown Chakra in Sanskrit is Sahasrana, which is translated as ‘the thousand petal lotus’. The energy collected in this Chakra helps you to be connected to everything in the world, and when it is unbalanced you can start to feel disconnected and attached to certain aspects in your life. This imbalance can also feel like you’re ‘stuck in your head’. If you want to activate your 7th Chakra, here are the best poses to help you: Headstand

The History and Philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga
The History and Philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga
Yoga has come a long way, and in these modern times, the average yogi has a wealth of options when it comes to classes and styles of yoga. Each style of yoga can be vastly different from the next, all linked with a focus on physical and mental strength, flexibility and mindfulness. Ashtanga yoga is a style that can be the most intensive, and requires a lot of disciple and determination. Ashtanga yoga is a standard set of asanas, focusing on breath, and internal mental space. Ashtanga yoga is a rigorous workout, and it’s known for its fast pace and difficult postures. Ashtanga typically features more traditional transitions and poses are held for a longer time than in some faster modern styles of yoga. Ashtanga is a great style of yoga for those who want to get a good workout and also clear their mind. It’s most similar to Vinyasa, however, it differs as Ashtanga series stays the same every time, whilst a Vinyasa flow can differ from class to class. Ashtanga also incorporates many aspects such as chanting and breathing that are parts of traditional yoga, and vinyasa flows can sometimes leave out.

7 Epic Outdoor Yoga Destinations
7 Epic Outdoor Yoga Destinations
Yoga is a practice that can be done anywhere, as long as you have a mat and a quiet space. It’s super easy to take your yoga practice outside, but have you considered taking your yoga practice overseas and somewhere international? There are plenty of beautiful outdoor spots all around the world for you to roll your mat out, where the nature and scenery is part of the yoga experience. Yoga is deeply symbolic of nature, from the names of many postures (Tree, Mountain, and poses named after animals), to the corresponding elements of certain poses (Earth, Air, Water, and Fire). The yoga community is widespread around the globe, so there are special places for you to treat yourself to a purposeful and beneficial yoga travel adventure, and also bring your yoga practice into the open air.