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


Amy Cavill
Amy Cavill
Amy Cavill's Blog

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.

8 Tips to Get Started with Yoga
8 Tips to Get Started with Yoga
Getting into a yoga routine can be hard, especially if you’re not 100% sure it’s right for you. Perhaps you’re finding yourself feeling a little stiff, or you’ve read up on the benefits of yoga, and want to experience them for yourself, but you’re finding it hard to get on the yoga mat. Putting yoga into practice and starting a new activity can be hard, especially if you need a little extra motivation to get you there. Before you say it’s not for you, and give up the idea, here’s some tricks to get started in yoga, even if you think it’s not your vibe, and make a routine stick. Some of the benefits you can gain from a regular yoga practice include less anxiety, improved concentration, relief from pain and aches, and will also release endorphins, putting you in a better mood for the day. So if you’re umming and ahhing about starting yoga, those are some pretty great reasons to get started. Start Short

How Long Does it Take to Get Out of Shape?
How Long Does it Take to Get Out of Shape?
We’re all human, and everyone skips a workout every once in a while. And while it’s important to take some time off to rest and enjoy other aspects of your life, it can be very easy to let one skipped workout turn into two, or three, until time on your yoga mat or at the gym is a distant memory. If you’re having a break from staying active, you may wonder, how long does it take to get out of shape? Before we go on, it’s key to remember that taking breaks from your fitness routine every now and again isn’t a bad thing! When you exercise, especially with high impact workouts, there is a high degree of stress on the body, and all good regimes include rest days and days without workouts. There’s also the mental aspect to consider, taking breaks and focusing on other areas of your life will ensure you don’t get too single minded in your fitness goals.

Simple Tips to Become More Minimalist
Simple Tips to Become More Minimalist
Decluttering and adopting a minimalist lifestyle is a great way to bring calm into your life. However, deciding to become more minimalist is a lot easier than actually doing it! It’s not as easy as simply decluttering - minimalism is a lifestyle change that can affect all aspects of your life. Here’s our top tips to start on the minimalism trend. Have fun with exploring these. Remember, there is no correct way to be a minimalist. It will look different for everyone, so be open in finding the lifestyle adjustments that work best for you. Get clear on why you want to be a minimalist Make a list of all the reasons why you want to become minimalist.

How Yoga Helps Cleanse Your Body & the Best Poses for Detoxing
How Yoga Helps Cleanse Your Body & the Best Poses for Detoxing
Yoga has been said to have a wealth of health benefits, one of which is it’s detoxifying ability. But can yoga really help you to detox your body, through twisting poses and deep breathing? The answer is yes - but not alone. Your body already has its own detoxification system running and in place, and practicing yoga can only help this along. However there are some myths the come along with talking about yoga and detoxing, but here’s how yoga practice actually aid detoxification. As with all physical exercise, yoga will help the body’s natural detoxing systems function the way they’re supposed to. These natural detoxing systems consist of the body’s lymphatic system and blood flow, and digestive organs.

Benefits of Advanced Yoga Twists & How to Get There
Benefits of Advanced Yoga Twists & How to Get There
Yoga twists can have a wealth of benefits for your core, posture, and organs. These yoga poses can vary from the simple to the advanced variations, and although advanced twists can be difficult to work up to, they’re worth it for the health benefits alone. Twists are yoga postures that move the shoulders to face the opposite direction of the hips. Different twists target different areas, such as the upper, middle or lower sections of your torso, and each advanced twist has their own benefits. Here’s a low down on the benefits of advanced twists, and some tips on how to get there. Improves digestion

The Scientific Benefits of Sweating
The Scientific Benefits of Sweating
Many people aren’t aware that sweating is actually good for you. Working up a sweat can release built up tension, refresh your skin, boost your endorphins, and release toxins from the body! There’s also other more unknown benefits such as health benefits and decreased recovery times. We’ve put together some of the scientific benefits of sweating to encourage you to build up a sweat this week! What is Sweat? The human body contains around 4 million sweat glands! These excrete a mix of water, salt, proteins, amino acids - aka sweat. The composition of this can change based on a number of things, such as hormones, bacteria and viruses in the body. Sweat can tell us a lot about our health, and how our sweat glands function. We sweat mainly to regulate temperature, to cool the body in heat and in stressful situations. This can be triggered by anxiety, elevated body temperature and working out. Sweat also detoxes the body. The Benefits of Sweating

6 Reasons to Add Yoga to Your Strength Training
6 Reasons to Add Yoga to Your Strength Training
Yoga is well known as a calming and relaxing practice, so if your fitness goals are more performance and aesthetically based, you might have dismissed yoga as not being useful to you. There is a common misconception that yoga is purely for those looking for spiritual or relaxing exercise practice. However, more and more gyms, studios and trainers are incorporating yoga into their everyday fitness practice, as it’s a great exercise to add to your regime to see results. Yoga is a very important part of strength training. When used in combination with other more high impact exercises, yoga can help you to increase your endurance, increase your strength, improve your posture and technique, and improve your balance as well as your flexibility. Adding yoga to your strength training will help you achieve your peak performance, as well as calm your mind and improve your mental balance. Still need convincing? Here’s our top reasons why you should add yoga to your strength training. 1. Increased Flexibility

10 Reasons Why Strength is Important for Your Health
10 Reasons Why Strength is Important for Your Health
When you’re looking to build muscles, strength training is the first thing on the list. When you’re looking for a six pack or bigger arms, you’ll go straight to the weights. But even if you’re not looking to bulk up, strength training can still massively benefit your health. Many people avoid strength training because they don’t want the bodybuilder look. However, if the only exercise you do is aerobic, you might be missing out on huge health improvements. 1. Reduces belly fat In 2014, a study published found that strength training was far more effective at reducing and preventing abdominal fat than aerobic exercise. Strength training not only burns your calories, but it also increases the amount of lean muscles, which then stimulates your metabolism.

Practicing Yoga at Night or Morning - Which is Right for You?
Practicing Yoga at Night or Morning - Which is Right for You?
Practicing yoga at night or morning- which is right for you? Yoga, like any exercise, gives you the greatest benefits when you regularly incorporate it into your routine. However you might be wondering which is better, yoga in the morning or the evening. With yoga and getting into a regular practice, it’s important to practice at the time that is best to you. There’s no perfect time that suits absolutely everyone the same, but there’s one golden rule - find a time where there’s no distractions between you and your yoga mat. Whatever time of day is the time that you’ll be the least distracted is the best time of day for you to practice - regardless of whether it’s in the morning or in the evening. Try to practice when you are still feeling awake however!

9 Quick Steps to Feel More Empowered Right Now!
9 Quick Steps to Feel More Empowered Right Now!
Feeling empowered and positive doesn’t come easy to everyone. It’s especially hard if we’ve had a challenging day, full of stressful moments like running late, being stuck in traffic, making small mistakes at work. It’s easy to let moments and days like this get you down, however, you can become more positive and practice by making small changes in your day. These small changes can help you gain from negative experiences, and become more empowered by them. Here’s 9 quick tips to help you on your way to feeling empowered, even on the most stressful day: 1. Don’t do anything

7 Mental Benefits of Yoga
7 Mental Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has a great many physical benefits, and mental too, but an aspect of yoga that can be overlooked in our modern day is the spiritual benefits. Yoga helps with happy living by giving us a way to unite our bodies, minds and breath, letting us connect to our inner selves. This is the spiritual aspect of yoga. There are many spiritual benefits of yoga, but here are a few that you can take into your life off the mat, and help you connect with your spiritual side. 1. Mindfulness

7 Mind Body Techniques to Alleviate Chronic Pain
7 Mind Body Techniques to Alleviate Chronic Pain
Pain can be an awful thing, that can take over our lives sometimes. When we experience pain, the go-to remedy is usually drugs or painkillers. However when experiencing pain often, or suffering from chronic pain, drugs can have some serious long term side effects. If you suffer from chronic long term conditions such as arthritis, backache, or other pain you might be looking for alternative ways to alleviate some of the aches that go along with your condition. A lot of pain is rooted in brain processes, which can be affected by your mind and emotions. The science behind the mind-body link is still being researched, but we know now that your brain does play a role in how you experience pain. You can take advantage of the mind-body connection to help alleviate your pain. AS pain involves both body and mind, you can use mind-body techniques to change the way you experience and perceive pain - and therefore alleviate it. If you suffer from chronic pain, you may have rewired your brain to perceive the pain - even when it isn’t there. There are a range of mind-body techniques that can help to alleviate pain, as well as stress and anxiety. You may want to try a few before you find a technique that's right for you and your pain - everyone is different! You can also combine techniques to come up with your own personal mind-body pain relief. 1. Deep Breaths

8 Reasons Why Flexibility is Important for Your Body
8 Reasons Why Flexibility is Important for Your Body
Flexibility is the capability of your body to achieve its full range of motion. It’s needed in most day-to-day activities, even the simplest ones such as bending and walking. If you’re flexible, your muscles remain mobile. We take flexibility for granted when we’re we’re younger, but as we age, our muscles will naturally lose strength, and we might notice ourselves become less supple and more stiff. This can affect our range of movement, especially around the joints. This can have the effect of stiffness in the muscles and joints. This loss of tissue elasticity causes our bodies to tighten and we lose that flexibility. The key reason that we lose flexibility, and we become more at risk of aches and pains is from not being active. This can lead to more permanent issues such as bad posture and lack of muscle function. Keeping flexible is important to avoid this and to keep us in good health and fitness.

Benefits of Hip Openers in Yoga
Benefits of Hip Openers in Yoga
Hip-opener poses and asanas are some of the most popular and requested types. They bring release to areas of tightness that many people suffer from. As there are over 20 muscles that work across the hips, such as adductors in the inner thighs, abductors in the outer thighs, hip flexors and lateral rotators, it’s important to give these a good stretch. Any movement that stretches these muscles is a hip opener, but there are certain poses that give these a deeper release. If you have tight hips, it not only can affect your ability to get into certain yoga poses but can also affect your day to day life.

10 Tips to Master Hard Yoga Poses at Home
10 Tips to Master Hard Yoga Poses at Home
Practicing yoga at home is a great way to get some exercise in if you can’t make it to a class. All you need is a mat! However, if you’re trying to master some tricky yoga poses and you just can’t get over that hurdle, being on your own can be a hindrance. Here’s our top 8 tips for practicing and mastering hard yoga poses at home. 1. Create the right space Having a dedicated space for yoga will make practicing at home so much easier. Try to find a space to unroll your matt that’s quiet and peaceful, with plenty of space around to move your body freely. Remove any obstacles if needed. Try to find an empty wall that you can use as a prop for poses that require a bit of extra support. Maybe you’d like to light a candle to make the atmosphere even more relaxing and inviting.

8 Easy and Powerful Self-Care Tips
8 Easy and Powerful Self-Care Tips
With our modern busy lives, it’s easy to let even the simplest self-care go out the window. It can be tough to find the time to look after ourselves when we’re juggling lots of different priorities. This can leave our own needs at the bottom of the list, and we all know it's hard to get around to those items last on the to-do list. And we’re talking about the regular, day to day self-care, not the lavish ‘treat-yourself’ social outings, appointments and pamper days that come to mind when you think self-care. If you don’t take the time to look after yourself, you can start to feel very stressed and unfulfilled as well as overwhelmed. But to improve ourselves we must take care of our minds and bodies. Here’s our tips to create a self-care routine, and ways you can stick to it! 1. Do self-care that works for you

Common Causes of Bad Posture (& Easy Ways to Fix Them)
Common Causes of Bad Posture (& Easy Ways to Fix Them)
We all know that a good posture gives us a taller and more elegant look, but standing straight can also do wonders for your health. Did you know your posture affects your digestion, breathing and how well we move? That’s not to mention the ways it can boost your confidence. However many of us lack a good posture. It can be easy to slip into bad posture habits, through weakness, pain, and routine. There’s many ways you can be adding to bad posture without knowing it. Here’s some of the common causes of bad posture, as well as some tips to counter them. 1. Slouching While you may be comfortable slouching in a chair, over time this can strain your muscles and lead to bad posture. This can also increase tension and cause pain. Try to get in the habit of not slouching and sitting up correctly. Sitting on the edge of your chair will help to fix this, as it will cause your core muscles to activate, keeping you straight. While this might be uncomfy at first, this is because your muscles need to be conditioned to support you. Exercises like planks and bridges that strengthen your core and your glutes will help you to stop slouching.

8 Tips to Form New Habits (& How Long it Takes)
8 Tips to Form New Habits (& How Long it Takes)
If you look at the lifestyles of highly successful people, you’ll realise that they’re not that way by accident, or by luck. They’ve learnt to make all those successful, proactive and useful behaviours a habit. Whether it’s waking up early to have more hours in the day, getting a work out in each day, taking the time to focus on self improvement, reading more, drinking less… the list can go on, but the one thing all these healthy habits have in common, is that it takes time for them to become a daily aspect in your life. If you’re thinking of making a small change to take on a healthy habit, or you’re thinking of something a little more life changing, hard work, effort and dedication are the things you need to achieve your goal. But just how long does it take to form a new habit - or stop a bad one? A quick internet search, will tell you it takes 21 days to form a habit. This is a popular myth that still rings in people’s brains today.

8 Best Places to Visit to Watch the Season's Change
8 Best Places to Visit to Watch the Season's Change
Both the Spring and Autumn equinox signify great change. Our clocks change, the weather changes, and we’re getting prepared for summer or winter. While the equinox signifies the start of hot weather, or cold winters, don’t forget to take in the beauty of the season, rather than looking further ahead. There’s plenty of beautiful sights to take in around spring and autumn, especially in nature. We’ve put together a list of the best places to take in the seasonal changes this year, wherever you are in the world. Tokyo, Japan

12 Tips for an Instant Confidence Boost
12 Tips for an Instant Confidence Boost
Feeling low in confidence is a feeling many of us have experienced before. During work, amongst peers, maybe even with a loved one - there are many situations that can challenge our confidence and leave us feeling doubtful. But no one is naturally self-confident. Self confidence is a skill that builds up over time, and is something that you can use against the daily grind. To get you started in building up your self confidence, here’s our top quick tips for an instant boost of confidence - perfect for that next big presentation at work, mustering up the courage to ask your crush out, or just to feel more powerful in your day to day life. 1. Prune yourself If you look your best, you’re likely to feel your best too. It’s incredible how a shower, a haircut or a shave can make you feel absolutely amazing, and do wonders for your self-image. This will boost your self confidence by miles, and can be achieved by just waking up a little earlier to give your image a little more TLC than usual.