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


How To Improve Your Practice
How To Improve Your Practice
Are you wondering how to improve your yoga practice? It’s one of the most common questions I get from my students and clients. It’s also one of the hardest questions to answer because there is no one answer. Improving your yoga practice is not about learning how to do the postures the “right way” or learning how to hold a handstand and master arm balances. Improving your yoga practice starts with shifting your perspective, keeping an open mind, and committing to stepping on your mat, literally or figuratively, as often as possible.

What I Learned from My First Year of Yoga
What I Learned from My First Year of Yoga
As I reflect on my humble beginnings this Spring, I give thanks for my inspirational teacher-trainer, Trevor Tice who passed away suddenly in December 2016.

4 Great Places to Go Off on a Rendezvous with Your Yoga Mat
4 Great Places to Go Off on a Rendezvous with Your Yoga Mat
In the mood to travel but lost for the companion of your heart? Sling on your yoga mat and get going. Once you do, you'll find your practice is achieved through connection with the earth beneath your feet and the sun shining in a bright blue sky above. Go deeper into this rewarding experience of harmonizing with your core and the universe that has shelters you. Your strife to reach and feel the presence of the divine will deepen as you come to know the changing terrains, people, and colors of the lands you travel.

Bejeweled Forbidden Rice Salad
Bejeweled Forbidden Rice Salad
This is certainly a case for visuals drawing you to the plate. Served with salmon, this rice—an indigo delight—pops like a painting, beckoning you to come closer, closer . . . and that first bite seals the deal. The rice and bell pepper play delightfully against the creaminess of the avocado, while the mint and cilantro roll all around your mouth like pinballs, blasting taste here, there, and everywhere. This salad enchants all the senses—and the rice is a whole grain as well, feeding the mind in more ways than one.

My 5 Favorite Yoga Postures (And Why I Love Them)
My 5 Favorite Yoga Postures (And Why I Love Them)
Common wisdom tells you to work on the postures that bring up resistance and challenge you. Personally, I’m okay with this sentiment—after all, there’s plenty of value in exploring the edges of your comfort zone. As a practitioner and teacher, though, I tend to emphasize the opposite—I choose to indulge the postures that I love with egregious frequency. I encourage the teachers that I train to do the exact same thing. We love the poses that we love for good reasons: they awaken us, they ground us, they soothe us, they challenge us, and they nurture our mind’s ability to focus and settle down.

Staying Svelte in a Studio: Working Out While Staying In
For many people, moving into a studio apartment is about more than just lowering their monthly rent: It’s a lifestyle choice. Downsizing forces you to examine your life and your possessions with an eye toward utility and meaning. Are you a bibliophile? You’ll have to choose which books deserve shelf space and which are headed for the storage unit. Are you an aspiring Julia Child? You might have to make some tough choices around your Le Creuset casseroles.

Release Expectations
Release Expectations
For a long time it was a running joke in my family that no matter your ailment yoga could help with that. Over time everyone understood so it was no longer necessary to say it out loud. Unfortunately yoga doesn’t help with everything. In fact, practicing asana doesn’t in and of itself make anything go away. And, the point isn’t to make things go away. The point is to be with whatever is.

I Am Content
I Am Content
What is it about being ambitious by nature? I am always playing with the prospect of somewhere else, or something else, something new. Seeking it has always been my mindset, for as long as I can remember. Until now. Finding balance between my self-determination and so much my brain space can handle? I have to work on getting my life sorted, get a health check, or my goal of drinking more water in this moment, and I can write a list of 20-something things I want to do, or I can try to schedule (more like squeeze in) back-to-back yoga classes into my daily schedule, and I can try to become a better photographer or writer or whatever it is yet all I’d like to do is sit still.

Practicing Yoga During Pregnancy
Practicing Yoga During Pregnancy
Yoga postures that can be practiced during pregnancy depend on the mother's physical condition and pregnancy stage. To determine whether it is appropriate for pregnant women to yoga, it is recommended that you first consult your obstetrician. During pregnancy, it is advisable to practice private prenatal yoga in the second trimester (from the fourth month to the eighth month) and consult your doctor in advance. Under the guidance of professional teachers, pregnancy yoga is safe. It enhances the overall flexibility of the body and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which are all vital in the delivery process. What’s more is that practicing these poses increases the body's blood circulation, stimulates the various organs and glands, and improves blood flow.

50 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
50 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation can be used as a healthcare tool for healthy living. You have heard that yoga meditation is helpful or good for health. But how it is good for health or it works really? There are also many controversial stories about yoga. So, you should know scientifically about yoga meditation. There are a lot of studies shows you the proof behind the every benefits of yoga meditation. These are the 100 benefits based on the available researches.

Letʼs Be Braver In the Stories We Share
Letʼs Be Braver In the Stories We Share
When I bumped into a friend at my favorite local coffee shop a few weeks ago, I was excited. I hadn’t seen this friend all summer long. What’s been new in his world, I wondered? What has he been solving, moving toward, creating? How are his kids? Yet what unfolded between us was humdrum, socially-polite, and altogether boring.

Shrimp-Stuffed Avocados 2.0
Shrimp-Stuffed Avocados 2.0
As a kid, I remember the Ladies Who Lunch coming over to the house regularly to play canasta or mah-jongg. On these occasions, my mom showed me how you could use a fruit as a bowl for salad: she’d serve the pearled grand dames tomatoes stuffed with chicken salad, and that was the inspiration for this dish. I’ve gone for a different mode of transport—an avocado boat—and jazzed up the salad as well. No mayo here, but lime juice, cumin, coriander, jalapeño (za-zing!), olive oil, and avocado provide the diving pond for the shrimp. I think the Ladies Who Lunch would’ve approved.

Quick Ways to Incorporate Yoga Into Your Daily Life
Quick Ways to Incorporate Yoga Into Your Daily Life
It is widely known that yoga helps us conquer a long list of health benefits. Yoga eases anxiety and relieves symptoms of depression. It helps with back and neck pain and it reduces stress levels; it helps us be more in the moment and so much more. Despite knowing that yoga is good for us, it can still be hard for us to do yoga, especially when we have an already overpacked schedule. You don’t need a full hour to incorporate this exercise into your daily routine, however, and the following tips will show how you can do yoga every day, no matter how busy you are.

A Detox Guide to Get You Through Winter
A Detox Guide to Get You Through Winter
A growing hyperbole around the visible and miraculous benefits of detoxification has many of us reaching for cooling juices even in the dead of winter's cold, resulting in ailments and plummeting energy levels. Each season has unique impacts on the human body, which in many ways resembles their distinct impacts on the overall environment. For example, the blooming spring season replenishes our vitality; summer fires up our energy levels, fall gently subdues our bodily functions and winter cascades them to a near halt to ensure survival.

Top 5 Tips for Choosing (and Offering) the Best Yoga Teacher Training
 Top 5 Tips for Choosing (and Offering) the Best Yoga Teacher Training
Since I sold my Yoga One studios in California back in 2015, I've been focusing more on my personal studies, especially in Dharma, meditation and Ayurveda. In fact, I have not offered a single Tantravaya 200 Hour training in all of 2016, after directing at least a couple each year for nearly a decade. So during this time I have been asked the same question from students around the world: which training should I pick?

Remedies For Cold Weather
Remedies For Cold Weather
By now, winter has long been settled into many parts of the world bringing colder temperatures. Winter can be hard on the body as it works overtime to keep your body warm and you may find yourself craving hibernation. Do you ever find your energy levels lower during the winter? Or do you always catch a dreaded cold every winter? You may be wondering how you can stay healthy to promote more energy, boost your immune system to fight sluggish energy and beat the winter blues so that you're ready to fling into spring.

Take Care of Yourself
Take Care of Yourself
Some people have told me not to talk about it. That it’s my place as a yoga instructor to spread peace and harmony. That my message must be about love and fairies. That I must ignore reality. That’s not yoga at all. That’s a continuation of the mess that got us here in the first place. Yeah, I get it. We’re all sick of it. There’s a lot of anger and resentment and fear. Encouraging people to escape to yoga is a disservice to students.

Prison Yoga from San Quentin:
Free Your Mind, Body and Spirit
Prison Yoga from San Quentin: <br> Free Your Mind, Body and Spirit
Eric Paskel teaches yoga to inmates at San Quentin, creating a “prison break” without ever leaving the prison. It was not a hard sell when my teacher, Swami Parthasarathy, told me during one of our first meetings, “The whole world is a prison, and your only job in life is to get the hell out.”

Anxiety Taught Me These Life Lessons
Anxiety Taught Me These Life Lessons
I’ve had anxiety since college and have been lucky enough to use therapy as a tool for managing it. As such, I’ve learned a lot about how anxiety manifests in my life and how to recognize as well as soothe it.

Intentional Practice: A Guide to Discovering What You Really Want from Yoga
Intentional Practice: A Guide to Discovering What You Really Want from Yoga
In our day-to-day lives, it’s all too easy to get caught up in what others want for us. Well-meaning or not, these “other voices” can stick in your head, and if you’re not careful, you won’t be able to recognize your own, at least not as readily. By now you probably know that yoga is about the process of listening to your wisest self. It starts by hearing our bodies— hearing the knee that is out of alignment, stopping yourself from forcing a joint that just won’t bend that way. But eventually, that act gives way to a deeper listening, one where you can hear your own, deepest wants.

Essential Sequence: Quick Hip Openers
Essential Sequence: Quick Hip Openers
This sequence focuses on stretching the muscles around the whole circumference of the hip joint. It’s great for relieving tension that can accumulate from long periods of sitting or standing and it’s also incredibly grounding. I like to do it after traveling or just at the end of a long, intense day. Spend 5-10 breaths in each pose (or longer if you’d like) and do both sides before moving to the next pose.

5 Ways to a Drama-Free Life
5 Ways to a Drama-Free Life
Do you know that peaceful feeling you get from being around someone who is calm and isn’t bothered by a thing? Who doesn’t sweat the small stuff? I love me some drama-free people. People who don’t take themselves too seriously, stay calm, don’t freak out, who speak less, reflect more, and use some good ol’ common sense. If you know what I’m taking about, You have experienced the drama free-zone.

The New Discipline of Yoga
The New Discipline of Yoga
What is discipline, really? Discipline is a tricky little devil. Ideally, it can be the fire that gets us on the mat so that we can strip away the illusions and misidentifications that cause us to suffer. As Iyengar explains, “wood must be heated to ignite it and bring out the hidden fire within.” Not so ideally, it can also be a confusing agent of self-hatred and punishment. When we commit ourselves to a disciplined daily practice (and since there is no need to preach to the converted, we know this has benefits) we can also be mistakenly committing ourselves to a desire to achieve aesthetically based fitness goals and an addiction to the ability to perform complicated party-trick asana. When I miss a practice or feel that I’ve just sort of lazily stretched for an hour, a niggle in the back of my mind warns that perhaps I’ll soon slip back into adolescent pudginess and its maelstrom of related emotional entanglements if I don’t step up and get myself back into shape. I have to remember that there is a balance of health to be maintained between body, mind, and heart – which of course are fundamentally intertwined – while on the sometimes difficult and circuitous path of yoga. A path that we hope leads us through a life liberated from cycles of suffering.

Curb Your Anxiety and Get Off that Couch
Curb Your Anxiety and Get Off that Couch
A sedentary person also termed a couch potato, is someone that leads a lifestyle with irregular or no physical activity. Couch potato's spend most of their day sitting watching TV, working on a computer, reading or playing video games. Excessive sitting contributes to many chronic health issues including anxiety and preventable causes of death.

Roasted Butternut Squash Mash
Roasted Butternut Squash Mash
So this recipe is freaking awesome. I totally don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but I was rather ambivalent when constructing it, and thus my mind was blown when I actually tasted it. Granted, I realize that I could be setting myself up for failure here, as you now have extremely high expectations, and when juxtaposed to my low expectations, who knows where your reaction will end up landing. It doesn’t matter though, because this recipe is yummy no matter your expectations, AND it’s the perfect intro to fall dish, AND it’s super easy, AND it can be sweet or savory. I’m calling this a win.