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


10 Ways Yoga Can Help Productivity
10 Ways Yoga Can Help Productivity
While we hear a lot about how yoga is great for winding down and relaxation, you may not know that yoga can help productivity. Yes, yoga is a great escape from our busy working lives, but there are many ways that practicing yoga can help us get more work done, increase concentration and send your productivity levels soaring. Here’s 10 ways yoga can help productivity at work. Yoga Relieves Stress Stress is one of the major factors that can affect your health and work productivity. When we’re feeling stressed we sleep less, any illnesses or physical conditions can be exacerbated, and our mental health suffers too.

Balancing Kitchari. Vata Ayurvedic Recipe
Balancing Kitchari. Vata Ayurvedic Recipe
Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga, and it includes three "doshas": vata, pitta, and kapha. Doshas are energies believed to circulate in the body and govern physiological activity. Fall is typically considered "vata season" in Ayurvedic medicine because its characteristics most embody the attributes that make up vata: dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, and clear (or empty). This Kitchari recipe adapted from Chef Lynda is one of my favorites as it balances vata by supplying warmth, nourishment, oiliness, comfort, and grounding during harsh vata season. It also includes adaptations if you are more pitta or kapha. Learn more about Ayurveda and Vata season here and enjoy!

7 Meditation Benefits for Students You Can't Ignore
7 Meditation Benefits for Students You Can't Ignore
When someone mentions meditation to a very active student, this is the usual reaction: “I could never sit still and do nothing.” If that’s how you feel about meditation, then that’s exactly why you need it! Throughout your studies, you can be subjected to more stress than you ever anticipated. You get one class to take after another and one paper to write after another. In between studying and friendships, it could feel like you can’t get time for yourself. Meditation will give you that time. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes per day, meditation helps you calm down and learn more about yourself. There are tremendous benefits of meditation for students. Still not sure? Check out this list of 7 real benefits you’ll get from meditation, especially for students!

Overcoming Fear
Overcoming Fear
Halloween is approaching and many of us will dress up like vampires and ghouls, work to scare people, celebrate the horror genre and watch scary movies. What are you afraid of? Well, besides that scary clown who may or may not be hiding underneath your bed? On a more serious note, have you examined the concept of fear and how it impacts you? Fear is a necessary part of life. If we didn’t have healthy fear of dangerous activities like jumping off cliffs or walking down dark alleys in sketchy neighborhoods, we might get injured or worse. One of the biggest human drives is to protect ourselves from pain and loss, but sometimes we hold ourselves back because we are afraid of being hurt. According to Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutras, the biggest fear we face is the fear of death, referred to as abhinivesha. In theory, all our fears stem from this all-encompassing one.

The 7 Scariest Yoga Poses for Halloween
The 7 Scariest Yoga Poses for Halloween
It’s the season to be spooky, even in your yoga practice! The good news is, you can get the heebie jeebies right from the mat. Some of your favorite asanas are inspired by some rather haunting ideas. Don’t be surprised - yoga is about the balance of opposites: solar and lunar, hold and release, and of course, light and darkness. So we’ve put together a sequence of the creepiest, crawliest postures to get you exploring your spooky side. Here are the 7 scariest yoga poses to get you in the mood for Halloween! 1. Cat Pose: arch, hiss and strike fear into the heart of the superstitiously inclined.

Weeknight Turkey Broccoli Stir Fry
Weeknight Turkey Broccoli Stir Fry
Happy Autumn (and happy Spring for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere)! With the school year well under way here in Colorado, we wanted to share a recipe that is a great go-to when you don’t have much time. As working moms with little ones, we know how hard it can be to make sure your family gets a nutritious dinner while trying to juggle all your other responsibilities. That’s where this recipe comes in! This stir fry is healthy, delicious, and best of all, can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. This recipe is also super versatile – it can be easily modified to use whatever veggies or protein you have on hand. You could even make it vegetarian or vegan by substituting the turkey with quinoa or cauliflower rice and omitting the fish sauce. So many possibilities!

Are You Exhausted But Can't Sleep?
Are You Exhausted But Can't Sleep?
“Also, I could finally sleep. And this was the real gift, because when you cannot sleep, you cannot get yourself out of the ditch–there’s not a chance.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love One of the most agonizing states I know is the purgatory of insomnia, when I am desperate to sleep but still my mind and body hold me captive in the waking world. If the Centers for Disease Control statistic that one in three adult Americans are not getting enough deep sleep on regular basis is right, you may well know this particular agony also. Sleep, so seemingly simple, continues to allude many of us. Why does sleep matter anyway? As Liz Gilbert says, we must sleep well enough and long enough in order to stay out of the “ditch.” Here are some of my favorite practices and tips to set myself up for good sleep.

Yin Yoga: The Power of Patience
Yin Yoga: The Power of Patience
Do you know anyone who couldn’t benefit from cultivating more patience? We’ve become so accustomed to moving at a breakneck speed in life, from speeding down busy highways to accessing any type of information on our phones in nano-seconds that we rarely hit the pause button. Often we translate that hectic pace into our yoga practice. While a juicy Vinyasa flow class is wonderful for many reasons, if you are out of balance, this type of Yang or active practice can actually exacerbate feelings of impatience, anxiety, and anger. Sometimes when life is moving too fast, the best thing you can do is slow down to equalize out your energy. Enter Yin Yoga. What is Yin Yoga?

Everything You Need To Know About Yin Yoga
Everything You Need To Know About Yin Yoga
If you haven’t tried Yin Yoga the classic “what are you waiting for?!” question comes to mind. Yin Yoga can be described as a treat to the body, a slowly moving meditation, a way to connect with what’s really going on internally. When I do a lot of cardio and strength training workouts, Yin Yoga is my sanctuary. If I am not that active, Yin Yoga is a relaxing time where I can check in with how my body is feeling. So, what exactly is Yin Yoga? Let's take a look at this unique and healing practice! Yin Yoga is influenced by the philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yin poses are created with the intent to improve the flow of chi, the subtle and invisibly energy that some believe run through the meridian pathways in the body. Whenever there is an excess or lack of chi, the body is said to become unbalanced. Yin poses are working with meridian lines to help circulate chi throughout the body and release stagnant energy to help the body function optimally.

Pumpkin Facial Scrub DIY Recipe
Pumpkin Facial Scrub DIY Recipe
Fall is finally here and pumpkin season is upon us! This time of year, it seems like EVERYTHING is pumpkin-spiced! So why not take advantage of the flavor for your skincare routine? We’ve developed a non-toxic Pumpkin Facial Scrub that is not only great for your skin, but will leave you smelling like sugar and spice and everything nice. Besides being the flavor of fall, pumpkin has many hidden benefits for your skin! When used topically, pumpkin can help brighten dull complexions, is full of antioxidants, and has anti-aging properties. Sugar gently exfoliates dead skin away, while avocado oil and coconut oil help to moisturize and cleanse your skin. Honey is antibacterial, which can help acne-prone complexions, and cinnamon can help increase blood flow and plump skin. (Note: If you have sensitive skin, make sure to spot test this scrub on your arm before using on your face.)

5 Tips How to Do a Handstand & the Benefits
5 Tips How to Do a Handstand & the Benefits
Handstand is a pose that might seem unattainable or impossible at first sight. However, with persistence, technique, and patience, anyone can learn how to do a handstand with time. Learning to engage the shoulders, core, and arms properly, will increase and build steadiness over time. From there, handstand becomes easier to refine. They key, in practicing and integrating these simple tips, is patience. Anyone who takes the time and is patient, can learn how to do a handstand, regardless of how hard it may seem in the beginning. Here are 5 simple and concise tips for learning how to do a handstand:

5 Benefits of Inversions: Flip Your Perspective
5 Benefits of Inversions: Flip Your Perspective
​In yoga, students are often sharply divided about inversions. Some people can’t wait and approach headstands or handstands with joyous anticipation. Other practitioners choose that moment to take a sip of water, rest in child’s pose, or otherwise avoid getting their heads below their hearts. We believe as long as inversions are practiced with safe alignment and modifications if needed, there’s a pose appropriate for almost everyone. What is an inversion? It’s any asana where the head is below the heart. So, Downward Dog, Legs up the Wall, and standing forward folds count. More dynamic inversions include Headstand, Handstand, Shoulder stand and Forearm Stand. Of course, if injuries or other physical limitations exist, some of these postures may not be appropriate. People who have suffered a stroke, have neck injuries, heart conditions, high blood pressure that isn’t regulated, or glaucoma may need to modify or skip some asanas. Why inversions?

12 Tips to Fight Signs of Aging
12 Tips to Fight Signs of Aging
Time comes for us all, and while getting older is a natural process that’s fully embracing, you may want to fight certain signs of aging. Whether it’s physiological changes such as slower movements and decreased mobility, or something more superficial, like those wrinkles around the eyes, everyone has a different concern about getting older. You might be wondering what the best way to fight signs of aging are, or just want some advice on how to stay healthy and active in older age. We’ve put together some key tips to fight signs of aging, from what you use on your skin, to what you do to stay active, and even how to keep your brain sharp. Here are 12 essential tips to fight signs of aging, broken down into 4 important categories!

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Delicata and Arugula
Roasted Vegetable Salad with Delicata and Arugula
It’s finally starting to feel like fall here in Colorado and we could not be more excited to share this autumnal recipe with you! When the weather starts to get cooler, it can be hard to find salads and veggie-based dishes that feel warming and filling. That’s where this recipe comes in! Full of roasted root veggies, it’s hearty enough to keep you going all day long. However, the real star of this dish is the delicata squash! Delicata squash is high in fiber, which can help normalize bowel movements and lower bad cholesterol. It’s also high in vitamin A, which helps eye health, and immunity-boosting vitamin C.

7 Qualities of the Best Yoga Teachers
7 Qualities of the Best Yoga Teachers
While there are many ways to be a powerful yoga teacher, here are some common traits of the truly excellent yoga teachers. A teacher loses their power when they become self-absorbed and the solid teachers know this. As teachers we must get over our selves and show up to serve others. We must truly embody and practice yoga to teach yoga authentically. Here are 7 key traits of the best yoga teachers: 1. Presence To be a powerful yoga teacher, we must be focused and present while teaching. How can we inspire our students to show up to the moment if we are distracted? As teachers of yoga we must breathe for and with our students, we must set the rhythm, the energetic tone, and hold strong in presence. 2. Adaptability

Yoga to Strengthen, Protect, & Heal
Yoga to Strengthen, Protect, & Heal
Are you curious about how yoga can protect and heal your body? Why strength is just as important as flexibility and how understanding the way physical postures impact your muscles, joints, and bones can help you develop a practice that lasts a lifetime? We are and we’re thrilled to present internationally acclaimed expert yoga teacher, Desiree Rumbaugh’s new five class all-levels yoga series for you this week, Strengthen, Protect & Heal. Take the time to gain a deeper knowledge of your yoga foundation and learn to appreciate your practice on a new level. Strengthening your muscles through practicing weight-bearing yoga asanas like Warrior series, Triangle and Tree Pose will help support healthy joints. Creating strength will protect your knees and shoulders from injury that could occur if you are stressing the joints too much because of weak quadriceps or deltoids. Stable joints are happy joints.

3 Powerful Ways Yoga is Healing for You
3 Powerful Ways Yoga is Healing for You
I was first introduced to yoga 15 years ago in high school by a gym teacher who was a true believer in yoga’s healing ability. She offered yoga class as an alternative to more mainstream physical activities and I’ll try anything once so I decided to see what it was all about. At the time I was more into competitive sports and this was...different. I’m saying different in a sarcastic tone because it felt odd, uncomfortable and a bit “woo-woo”. Every class the teacher would praise yoga for all of its physical, mental and spiritual benefits. I didn’t necessarily doubt her but I wasn’t connecting to anything but the clock to signal class was over. After that semester was done, I didn’t think I would ever try yoga again. But a few years later curiosity led me to another yoga class. If at first you don’t succeed try again, right? Well, nothing had changed and I was sure this was my final attempt. Fast forward to a few more years later and I found myself at a yoga studio yet again. Third time is a charm? Yes...third time is a charm! It was like a light from above shined down on me and something finally clicked and I felt the healing power of yoga. I began to practice yoga regularly and I got it. I got the appeal, I got why people swear by it and really, I just got how yoga is holistically healing on so many levels. Yoga is one of those things that it may take awhile to “get” but once you do, you really do. Although it’s not always easy to articulate what yoga does for me personally, I know it’s an integral piece of the puzzle needed to stay healthy, strong and happy.

6 Delicious Smoothie Recipes for Healthier Hair, Skin & Nails
6 Delicious Smoothie Recipes for Healthier Hair, Skin & Nails
“Love yourself. It is important to stay positive because beauty comes from the inside out” - Jenn Proske Smoothies made of vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products are packed with vitamins and minerals and they offer a healthy, refreshing drink option. You can also experiment with adding matcha powder to any of the recipes below for an added twist! A variety of smoothies can be made by using a few key ingredients rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals, ranging from vitamin C to calcium. They are ideal for the warm summer months since they’re easy to digest and can keep your hair, skin and nails healthy. Adding smoothies to your diet is the best way to make sure that you consume enough fruits and vegetables. Let’s take a look at some energizing fruit and veggie smoothies today.

One Year Without Alcohol: Month 6
One Year Without Alcohol: Month 6
Ok world, I’ve done it! No drinking for a month. It actually wasn’t very hard. I still went out and just had soda water. I wasn’t a hermit. I still had fun with friends. I also realize that I prefer a balance of this yogic lifestyle and also living and enjoying this physical and by nature material world. I’m right in the middle of Dharma Mittra’s 500Hr Teacher Training. If I thought not drinking would be a challange...well, let’s just say I didn’t really know what I signed up for. No coffee, no caffeine, no eating before noon, no eating after 6pm, 45 minutes of breathwork and meditation daily, 1 hr of practice daily, no salt, no tree nuts, no coconut, basically no fun. Kidding! Kind of.

Yoga on the Go
Yoga on the Go
If you ever say you just can’t squeeze in time for yoga because you’ve got too many other things to do like work, family, or Netflix, we say yes you can! If you ever think, if I can’t practice yoga for at least an hour, it’s not worth my time. We say, yes it is! If you believe committing only thirty minutes a day to yoga wouldn’t really make a difference. We say, yes it does! We all have the same twenty-four hours in our day so, why do we make time for certain activities and not for others? It all comes down to priorities. What matters the most? We make time for what is important and we’re here to tell you that if you can’t commit an hour or more to yoga each day, it’s okay. You can reap all the awesome benefits of a regular practice in small chunks of time.

7 Ways of Finding Time for Self-Care
7 Ways of Finding Time for Self-Care
A side effect of modern life seems to be that we’re always on the go. From balancing your career and personal life, to spending time with your family, it can be hard to find time in your schedule to dedicate to yourself and self-care. Finding time for self-care can often take a backseat to our other responsibilities and obligations, but it’s important to take the time to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Here’s our top 7 tips for finding time for self-care, even if you’re living an ‘on the go’ lifestyle! 1. Master a go-to meal

Easy Weeknight Salad Recipe
Easy Weeknight Salad Recipe
Hey there, Jo here! As a working mom and with the beginning of the school year already upon us, I’m always looking for ways to streamline weeknight dinner prep. That’s why I’ve developed an easy basic salad recipe that is a great go-to for those nights you have less than 30 minutes to put dinner on the table. These are the veggies I usually make sure I always have in my house, but you can adapt it to use whatever you have in your fridge. You can use it as a side or add some grilled chicken, roasted chickpeas, quinoa, or any other protein to make it your meal. This recipe can really be an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of salad!

5 Evening Journaling Ritual Ideas
5 Evening Journaling Ritual Ideas
“To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle.” -Walt Whitman In the last article, we discussed how to jumpstart your morning routine with a journal and utilize yoga philosophy off the mat. In order to balance the jumpstart, we also need the wind down night time routine to balance. Instead of preparing for an active day, we can now prepare for a restful and calm night, perhaps even right before sleep. Like yoga, journaling is a powerful tool for self-discovery and impetus for positive change in your life. A night time journaling ritual can be a powerful All you need is a writing utensil and a journal. A basic notebook is fine, but there are also journals specialized for yoga practitioners. Here are 5 ideas for an evening or night time journaling ritual. 1. Give yourself space to find flow.

Slow Down
Slow Down
Transitions are the perfect moment to pause and observe how you are feeling in the present moment. This week, we mark the transition from summer to fall or winter to spring, depending upon where you’re located on the globe. Why not slow down, check in, and use this natural transition to appreciate your life? Savor your experiences instead of anticipating what’s next. Have you been to a concert lately? Noticed all the people with their phones up in front of their faces, videotaping a song instead of actually watching the show? They could be fully immersed in what’s happening on stage, but instead choose to create a barrier with a camera screen in order to save the moment for later. So, they never actually fully experience the gift of the live performance. Now consider in how many other areas of your life you are focused on the past or anticipating the future? It’s easy to be pulled into the “doing” pattern of life.

The Change of Seasons is Time to Reflect & Slow Down
The Change of Seasons is Time to Reflect & Slow Down
Whether you're in the northern or southern hemisphere, the seasons are beginning to change. There’s no way around it, when the seasons begin to change, we simultaneously feel a shift internally. Our moods, daily routines, what we eat and our overall energy changes with each season. What satisfies you in the summer is not going to be the same as what makes you happy during the fall. Seasons help us examine different parts of ourselves and they bring balance to our lives. One of the best ways to take advantage of the changing seasons is to check in with yourself. Think of it as a clean slate. Nature’s cue to slow down and press the pause button. So much can happen in such a short period of time and each season has its magical moments and lessons. We can get lost in the day to day and busy moving on to the next thing that we don’t take the time to reflect.