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


Discover Your Inner Warrior
Discover Your Inner Warrior
Within us all, rests a powerful warrior. An ally, full of belief, support and courage. A passionate protector, ready to go into battle when there is risk. When harm comes your way, your inner warrior rises into full defense. The reaction of your inner warrior is usually not to external threats, but to the struggles which we create ourselves. Called to action by ego, doubt, fear, ignorance, self-sabotage and neglect. The battle of your inner warrior, is to restore and reveal your best self. Fueled by passion, the inner warrior is strengthened by being open, raw and real. Life experience cultivates wisdom and calling on our inner warrior inspires resilience. Intelligent and articulate, our warrior is fine tuned to rise when needed, acting in support of our highest self. Think of your warrior as your biggest cheerleader.

Heal Your Back Pain Program
Heal Your Back Pain Program
If you’ve ever suffered from back pain, be it a fleeting twinge or a long-term debilitating condition, you know how much it can impact your life. A healthy spine and strong core are essential for feeling your best physically, emotionally, and mentally. Luckily, yoga can help. This week we’re excited to bring you four classes specifically designed to alleviate back pain and techniques to prevent it in the future. Often we think of back pain as a purely physical issue, but it’s not so simple. Back pain often doesn’t have a physical cause, but instead is caused by the manifestation of mental or emotional stress. Yes, injuries to your spinal discs, spraining or straining muscles and ligaments, or suffering a specific injury to your back or neck is physical. In yoga, we address not just the physical body, but also the subtle body, which is a blueprint of the physical one.

Downward Facing Dog: The Incredible Benefits (& How to Do the Pose)
Downward Facing Dog: The Incredible Benefits (& How to Do the Pose)
Adho Mukha Svanasana, as the name suggests is a cumulative of three Sanskrit words, ‘downward, face and dog’. Hence, it is also known as the ‘downward dog pose’ due to its resemblance with the downward facing position of a dog. The pose is one of the most traditional postures, and is practiced in both Hatha and Ashtanga yoga styles. With that being said, Adho Mukha Svanasana pose is one of the most widely acclaimed poses in yoga due to its multiple benefits. It can an accessible pose for most, regardless of their yogic expertise and skills, or age. While most people experience benefits in downward facing dog, there are certain contraindications and precautions that need to be kept in mind before performing this wonderful pose and some of them are mentioned at the end of this blog post. Here are some amazing Adho Mukha Svanasana benefits:

Ginger Spice Cookies
Ginger Spice Cookies
Last week at our Zeal dinner we were talking to several cleansers about cleansing with a family or significant others. Inevitability the topic of “vices” came up and we encouraged these cleansers to slowly start to uplevel some of their family member’s favorite foods. Learning to prepare and bake healthy sweet treats has definitely been one of the keys to our own 80:20 success. Our 80:20 Plan is centered around the idea that you can live the Conscious Cleanse as a lifestyle – and that includes indulging in pie, cookies, ice cream, and candy from time to time. Today we have a new, delicious 80:20 cookie recipe that you must try! These Ginger Spice Cookies are chewy and super simple to whip together.

Yoga for Healthy Lungs & Happy Breathing
Yoga for Healthy Lungs & Happy Breathing
If you aren’t breathing fully, you aren’t living fully. One of the best ways to maximize your oxygen intake and breathe to your maximum capacity is to practice yoga. We all have our reasons for stepping onto the yoga mat: flexibility, strength, balance, stress-relief, and even enlightenment. One major benefit of yoga you may not have considered is improved lung power. Yes, practicing yoga regularly results in healthier lungs and a stronger respiratory system. Because respiratory health is what keeps us alive, we’d say garnering this benefit from a regular yoga practice is essential. Your lungs are muscles and benefit from practices to promote healthy breathing and overall well being. Yoga is associated with overall improved lung function and can help reduce effects of respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.

The Joy of Drinking Coffee
The Joy of Drinking Coffee
What if the answer is simple and is hidden in your daily cup of coffee or tea? Datamonitor states that in Australia alone, the “hot drinks market had total revenues of $1.4 billion”, so there is plenty of opportunity to practice the art of being mindful when you indulge in your favorite cup. It is weird to think that I grew up hating coffee. The smell made me feel sick and up until my mid twenties I was disgusted by the idea that anyone would want to drink the stuff. Fast forward a decade and I enjoy a barista made cup each day. It’s not the caffeine, as I am someone who can consume the last sip and take a nap a few moments later. I like the taste but I’m not addicted or obsessed by it. I have given up and can easily do so again, with no side effects. For me, it is the ritual, an indulgence, a romantic gift to myself celebrating how amazing my day and therefore my life is.

Born to Breathe
Born to Breathe
Did you know babies can instinctively swim from their first second out of the womb? It’s true, and I highly recommend dipping your toe into the hundreds of adorable online videos demonstrating it. When underwater, they naturally know to hold their breath, and on the surface, they breathe deeply and fully, utilizing their bodies to the fullest capacity. When you notice a baby’s breath, it is obvious to see their relaxed, expansive, and unrestrained nature. It’s the way we are all meant to breathe. Yet, for many of us slightly larger humans, that skill of deep breathing disappears, overshadowed by stress and worries. The perfection of the present moment is easily lost amongst a sea of distractions. As it turns out, babies are the masters of the key to wellness. The quickest and easiest path to health is through returning to our baby bliss is through deep breathing and complete surrender to the present moment. This is the ultimate stress antidote.

Dosha What? A Modern Yogi’s Guide to Ayurveda
Dosha What? A Modern Yogi’s Guide to Ayurveda
“It is not that the person needs to accommodate him or herself to yoga, but rather the yoga practice must be tailored to fit each person.” - Krishnamacharya Ayurveda and yoga are inseparable - yet the ancient health-science of Ayurveda is still so mysterious to us in the west. Here’s what you should know about Ayurveda, why it matters, and how you can use its principles to better understand your body type and better enhance your practice.

Turmeric Tonic Latte
Turmeric Tonic Latte
We have a guest blogger for you today and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Maria Uspenski is the founder of The Tea Spot, a leading producer of craft teas, based in Boulder, CO. The first time we met with Maria to co-create a line of detox teas, we quickly realized what a special human being we were with. MIT graduate, inventor, former ballet dancer, athlete, and author of Cancer Hates Tea, Maria’s passion for tea is infectious. Maria is the The Tea Spot’s innovative force, having realized the powerful healing benefits of tea through her own personal journey with cancer. Her message is simple and powerful – tea in its freshest form is not only sustainable and delicious, it’s a powerful elixir with unmatched health benefits. Maria is a social entrepreneur, cancer fighter and certified tea and fitness nutrition expert, and we couldn’t be more excited to share her story with you today!

How Not to be S.A.D. this Winter
How Not to be S.A.D. this Winter
I spent most of my youth in rainy Oregon. When I moved away it was to even gloomier England. Throughout my childhood I was known as grumpy, bratty, and moody (i.e. a “difficult kid”). I’ve done a lot of work on myself since then, arriving finally at a place of happiness, health and ease. One of the best gifts I’ve ever given myself was to move to a sunnier locale. I was 20 when I transferred colleges and ended up in sunny Arizona. Although the drama of the early 20s continued, I was able to see that with enough sunshine I was not an inherently gloomy young woman, but rather susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that corresponds with the changing of the seasons, usually provoking symptoms to start in late fall or early winter. Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

Surya Namaskar: Connect with the Sun
Surya Namaskar: Connect with the Sun
Even if you’re brand new to yoga, you’ve probably heard about Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskars. Why do yogis honor the sun with physical postures and often accompanying mantras? This sequence of physical postures or asanas is a way of expressing gratitude to the sun for the energy and life it bestows upon us. It emphasizes our connection to the Universe and our profound need for the warmth and light the sun provides. The Gayatri Mantra, a beautiful ancient Vedic prayer often chanted before or after practice, calls the sun, “the one who illuminates our minds.” Honoring the sun has profound power and infuses the body with solar energy. Our inner vitality is composed of fire and we need to nourish ourselves in order to brighten our Shakti to it’s fullest potential. The practice of sun salutations transform darkness and stagnation to fire and light. We want to burn as bright as we can and Surya Namaskar is a great place to begin.

Yoga & Fitness: Bringing Different Worlds Together
Yoga & Fitness: Bringing Different Worlds Together
Yoga in itself is a very unique discipline and contrasts what fitness and exercise represent in ways. It is called a discipline simply because it is one; a very complex discipline that has existed on earth for centuries at least. Yoga is a sacred journey. It is a spiritual practice, not solely focused on health and physicality. Today, it is a positive part of the lives of a growing number of people worldwide, as it continues to gain in popularity and people practicing. Then, there’s fitness, which is growing in popularity as well. For many, the fitness lifestyle is sought-after and is more than just a hobby or practice. Most people want to look and feel fit. For some, going to the gym has even become a social event, with a sense of community. These are just a few reasons the number of gyms and fitness centers in the world have increased tenfold in a very short period of time. Although different from yoga, the fitness industry is a lucrative industry that is also doing good for people’s well-being.

Recipe: Amazeballs
Recipe: Amazeballs
If you’re an SNL fan, you probably can’t talk about one of our cleanser’s all-time favorite bite-size snacks without busting up laughing. To get the inside joke, be sure to check out SNL’s Sweddy Balls skit. Our beloved Joy Balls (recipe in our book, page 260) have been known not only as a life-saving snack during the cleanse, but also a source of ongoing office humor, banter, and silly text messages between cleansers. Is it us or do the words “nut balls” just make you smile? Our ball obsession has led us to make several incarnations of the original Joy Balls. Protein-Packed Almond Butter Balls (in our book page 261) Nut Free Joy Balls (get the recipe here) And new today…Amazeballs!

Why I Meditate
Why I Meditate
I was listening to a podcast the other night and the woman speaking said that meditation makes life a little “LSD-y.” I burst out laughing and nodded my head with understanding. Every day I feel like my senses are becoming sharper as I choose to show up more presently in life. Maintaining a meditation practice has been a priority of mine and I seem to be getting a lot of feedback that I should continue doing it. I’ve come to believe that life will give us feedback if we’re being present or not. We know when we’re taking care of our minds, our bodies, our relationships, our responsibilities… We know because life begins to flow more smoothly, we feel more confident and connected to what’s going on. Things feel lighter. Life also gives us feedback if we’re not taking care of those things, things begin to feel sloppy and awkward. Life feels a little heavy. Meditation trickles into every area of my life. Since I spend so much time teaching, that’s where I get the most information about the state of my mind. If I’m off my game, I know that it’s time to start re-prioritizing things so that I can get back on. I love teaching more than ever right now and I’m totally certain that I’m on the right path. The more present I become, the more I know what’s going on. It feels good to know what’s going on because that’s when we can begin to shape our reality and our life.

Be Vigorous : Strong, Healthy, & Full of Energy
Be Vigorous : Strong, Healthy, & Full of Energy
How is 2018 treating you so far? Are you brimming with energy and excitement and making the most of each day? If you need a boost so you can feel like the strongest, most vigorous version of yourself, we’re thrilled to offer four new classes and five tips to motivate you. We step onto the yoga mat for different reasons at different times in our lives. Sometimes our needs center on a spiritual practice, sometimes we need to release mental stress and tension, and sometimes we simply seek the physical benefits of strength, flexibility, and balance. The beautiful thing about yoga is with all the various styles; you can find classes suitable for whatever you need. This week, our focus is on practicing yoga to cultivate a sense of vigor, which is defined as being strong, healthy, and full of energy. When you feel strong physically, there’s a direct correlation to how you feel emotionally and mentally as well. It’s all connected. Building strength takes tapas or discipline, dedication, and inner fire. Here are the top five reasons focusing on your asana practice pays off for your overall health and well-being:

A Desire to be Inspired
A Desire to be Inspired
Aim to live in a perpetual whirl of inspiration. The source of inspiration is different for each individual but produces the same result- a feeling of peace, acceptance, surrender, and excitement for the flow of life. Ahhh, how great does it feel to pop out of bed, ready to kick the days booty?! If only we could infuse our lives with a constant feeling of inspiration… maybe it’s not as hard as we think. Often, you’ll find inspiration within your own heart- guiding you fearlessly and motivating your actions. Acknowledge this- inspiration will naturally arise depending on your day, your activities, and your life situation. Some periods of your life will flow abundantly with creative energy while other times, you might feel as if you’re sleepwalking through existence. Of course circumstances occur which you cannot control. You’re not alone if you find yourself on a constant rollercoaster of inspirational ups and downs. However, you do have a choice to make habit and consistency of bathing in inspiration every morning.

Crockpot Bison Stew
Crockpot Bison Stew
This time of year can be busy, making it easy to push aside our health! Simple self-care requires that we take the time to make a green smoothie, exercise, and cook good meals at home every day! Life can feel overwhelming at times, but here’s the thing – time and health are two of the most valuable resources we have. If you’ve been struck down by the flu or other health crisis, you know this to be true! And time, much like our health, is in our control. We just have to make a plan and put health on our to-do list. During our Healthy Challenge (get the details here) we’ve found many of your responses have had to do with remembering to eat or cooking food at home. Today’s recipe is made in a crockpot (or Instant Pot) so you can set it and forget it. Come home to a warm home-cooked meal without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen! Crockpot Bison Stew

What to Expect When you Get Sober and Into Spirituality
What to Expect When you Get Sober and Into Spirituality
We all face a point in our life where things need to change. We can be directly inspired or have a traumatic life event shake things up. Either way many millennials are trading in the booze for green juice. For those suffering from a far greater issues of substance abuse, while challenging, it can be a simple, solvable and affordable choice. That is the good news. I love yoga but when I was drinking and doing these practices, I didn’t get the full benefits, because I wasn’t really doing the work. As a woman, society has always programed me to never feel like I was ever good enough. I didn’t look by normal standards to what people would consider “beautiful” and I struggled my whole life with the skewed perception of me as a person. So I drank. As most do to feel accepted in social settings. However, I learned some things along the way about being sober and spiritual and where these paths cross and where they don’t. So I am here to impart my humble experience about getting sober and becoming a yoga teacher and a spiritual person.

New Beginnings and Fit & Fearless 21-Day New Year's Challenge
New Beginnings and Fit & Fearless 21-Day New Year's Challenge
Welcome to 2018! The New Year offers an excellent opportunity to start anew. Sometimes we need a nudge or reminder that every day we have a chance to create a fresh start. Use this New Year milestone to release what’s holding you in the past and open up to the next step on your journey through this beautiful crazy life. Whether you like to create resolutions or not, you can benefit from treating each moment as an opportunity to begin again. Harness the energy from the Full Wolf Moon on January 1, 2018, to leave your unhealthy patterns and habits in the past. Take the time to write down your true desires and dreams for a vibrant today and a richer tomorrow. Consider your top intentions for your health, your personal life, and your career, then commit.

Cancer Full Moon: Bringing the Feminine to Life
Cancer Full Moon: Bringing the Feminine to Life
An auspicious full moon graces us on New Year’s Day with encouragement to start 2018 in alignment with your highest ideals. The Cancer full moon’s energy increases our unconscious and emotional activity, putting our hearts in touch with our minds. The past year (2017) as been rife with imbalances between masculine and feminine. Whether it be global imbalances of women’s rights and equality, national imbalances of the increased awareness around sexual assault, or earthly imbalances of natural disasters and global warming, or any other personal imbalances you encountered…it is clear that a shift and a focus on the feminine is necessary now. The zodiac sign of cancer is ruled by the moon, so to find our New Year’s moon in the sign it rules bodes well for the feminine, especially as Cancer is the “mother” symbol of the zodiac. The moon itself finds close alignment with the great goddess of the sky, Venus, improving our odds of a close alignment with feminine forces inside and outside of us. There is also a powerful relationship with Pluto, suggesting a powerful transformation in our perceptions of balance between masculine and feminine.

Stress or Peace? Our Role In Health
Stress or Peace? Our Role In Health
Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is a field of research that deals with the interaction of the central nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system, and how these systems can be altered through behavior and stress. The immune, nervous, and endocrine systems communicate to maintain health. All of the systems are interconnected. The interest in PNI is the effects of thought and emotion on our health. Stress affects the entire Be-ing, nerves, cells, tissues, and systems of the body (individual and global). Stress if held, can disrupt nervous, endocrine, and immune system functioning resulting in “dis-ease." What is our body communicating to us? Controlling stress begins with taking control of the feelings we hold in our mind, because our feelings determine our thoughts we hold in the mind. Thoughts are profound. Scientific research is showing that thought actually travels faster than light. The challenge is bringing the thoughts/feelings from the subconscious into the conscious mind. Once conscious we can cognitively work in shifting perception and behavior. Are the thoughts/feelings true? Feelings, conscious or not, are causing your thoughts and beliefs, influencing your behaviors, and the effects you are now living. It is possible, to live what you truly desire in your life. This is good news. When we venture into the journey of healing we create the space for others to heal as well. We have the capacity to heal all relationships, all contacts just through mindfulness and single pointed focus.

How to Create a Personalized Diet Plan
How to Create a Personalized Diet Plan
If you're looking at losing weight, then creating a personalized diet plan can be the way to go. It's easy, free, and puts you in control of your own diet journey. This guide has everything you need to know about creating a plan, and helping you stick with it. Why use a personalized diet plan? There's several different reasons why you might want to create a diet plan. Everyone's weight loss journey is different, and everyone has different needs. For example, you may be very active so need more calories than most dieters. You could have dietary restrictions that regular diet plans don't address. Whatever the reason, a personalized diet plan can fit you just right. They're easy to put together, and you can see exactly what you should be eating every day. Unlike regular diet programs, you can ensure that you're eating enough to feel satisfied, and you won't miss out on everything that you love. As you can see, it's the best way to diet.

Decompress from the Holidays
Decompress from the Holidays
Happy Holidays from YogaDownload.com! We hope you’re enjoying the last days of 2017, and are filled with positive energy and peaceful light. Sometimes, however, the holidays can feel more stressful than joyful. On one end of the spectrum, you can take the celebrations too far and overindulge with cookies and pie, wine and cocktails, and too many family obligations. On the flip side, the holidays could stir up mixed emotions and even sadness. Whether you love the holidays or hate them, we’re here to help you navigate the last week of the year with four new classes designed to make you sweat, smile, and shed lingering stress. Sometimes you simply need to take some time for yourself to maintain your equilibrium. A vigorous asana practice can snap you right out of your thoughts and launch you into a place where you’re tuned into your physical body. By stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself physically, you can quiet your mind and refill your emotional well.

Nearly Raw Coco Nutty Pumpkin Pie
Nearly Raw Coco Nutty Pumpkin Pie
It’s time to start planning holiday meals! While pumpkin pie is usually a Thanksgiving thing, people love it for celebrations any time of year, so I decided to do a healthy twist on this classic favorite. I must admit, I’m not much of a pumpkin pie girl, I much prefer chocolate, but this nearly raw variation is heavenly. It’s an amazing 80:20 dessert. It’s silky, creamy, rich and decadent, free from sugar, dairy, eggs and gluten. And best of all, it tastes just like the real thing! Enjoy and be sure to whip up some homemade vegan coconut whipped cream to go on top.

The Power of Gemstones & Mala Beads
The Power of Gemstones & Mala Beads
You’ve probably seen mala beads being worn by your meditation friends—they are beaded necklaces or bracelets with a tassel at the end. While mala beads are worn as beautiful spiritual jewelry, they can also be used as a powerful aid in meditation. Most places and companies that supply mala beads, have a wide selection of gemstone, wood and seed malas to choose from. We’ve come up with three ways why mala beads benefit those who wear them and the significance of different gemstones on malas.