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


Get Your Yoga Out of My Asana
Get Your Yoga Out of My Asana
For many, it is has become important to distinguish between “asana,” or the performing of postures, and yoga. Both those who are inclined towards yoga as a fitness regimen, and those who embrace it as more than just exercise, find it necessary to clarify the intent and purpose behind their practice. This compartmentalisation, while convenient and often useful, brings with it a dilemma, the resolution to which determines what is actually possible with yoga.

What is Karma?
What is Karma?
Ancient yogis came to construct a worldview where they appreciated the world as viewed through the lens of karma – as actions that were meaningful because they could be accounted for. One might say that one of the primary goals of these ancient yogis was to know what could and what would happen next.

The Best (and Worst) Modifications and Alternatives for Chaturanga
The Best (and Worst) Modifications and Alternatives for Chaturanga
Yoga is for everybody. But, not every yoga posture is for everybody—including Chaturanga Dandasana. For many practitioners, the pose is simply too demanding to be done with safe, stable alignment.

Yogic Tools for Transitions
Yogic Tools for Transitions
A few weeks ago I was at a networking event for executive women when I heard a phrase that I haven’t heard for a while (it wasn’t a yoga term…!).

Productivity Tips
Productivity Tips
Hey Guys, I hope you’re doing amazing wherever you are right now and focusing on crushing it before the Summer Holidays (or Winter for my Southern hemisphere peeps). Today I decided to give you guys some very cool Productivity Tips as this is another thing people always ask me about…”Hayley, how do you get so much done when you’re so busy?”

Yoga You Can Do at Work
Yoga You Can Do at Work
Last week I got the amazing opportunity to help assist a workshop at a corporate event, where my fellow teacher and I were tasked with teaching people yoga you can do at work.

Practice What Doesn't Come Easy
Practice What Doesn't Come Easy
The Yoga Sutras say that our movements should be steady and sweet – and they’re right. But that doesn’t make it easy.

The Difference Between & Crow and Crane
The Difference Between & Crow and Crane
A few weeks ago, I learned that I had been doing a yoga pose wrong for the entirety of my time practicing yoga. It took about 7 years for anyone to tell me otherwise, so I want to share the knowledge with you here today so that you can be an informed yoga practitioner.

Service
Service
I picked this topic because honestly I stood in awe after the event we did on Mother’s Day for my non-profit, Girls Elevate. It came to me before the event … for days leading up to it actually. But I was preparing a thank you note to all the people who were there after the event, and I was in awe of the support that came so easily. And then when I looked at that list, I realized that all those people were there in service with their gift, their passion, their purpose, their love of …whatever it was they were offering up.

Practicing Kindness
Practicing Kindness
Befriend yourself If we are concerned with self-improvement or cultivating physical disciplines, we can be quite hard on ourselves, especially when things aren’t going as well as we’ve hoped or planned. Off the mat, there are sure to be times we disappoint ourselves, failing to live up to some ideal expectations. Instead of chastising or punishing yourself, or suppressing behaviours that you think are beneath you, can you instead be kind to whatever it is inside of you that is calling out for help? Can your kindness be unconditional? When your thoughts dive into dark places, instead of wishing you were feeling something else, can you listen, befriend yourself, and see what you may need to feel better?

To Strengthen, Stretch or Rest
To Strengthen, Stretch or Rest
Sometime within the last year, a friend of mind asked about a nagging ankle injury. He had just recently gotten into yoga but wasn’t sure if yoga was helping or hurting his ankle recovery. Specifically, he wanted to know how you know when you need to strengthen, stretch, or rest.

When Doves Cry
When Doves Cry
I haven’t even begun to try and process Prince’s death. I can’t seem to find the middle ground between dancing and crying. The day he passed, I listened to his music until I fell asleep. Before sleep came, I scrolled video after video, article after article … I couldn’t get enough. My eyes were bloodshot I was so tired.

A Yin Yoga Experience
A Yin Yoga Experience
Ever wondered what the difference is between a yin class and a restorative class? Or maybe you even wonder what this yin yoga is in the first place! Yin yoga is a relatively new “form” of yoga that has become popular in the past decade or so. While the practice itself has always existed, the practice as it’s offered today in studios across the world has evolved. Today I’d like to offer you my perspective on the yin practice and give you a little experience.

Prepare for Bigger Backbends
Prepare for Bigger Backbends
Backbends are demanding and invigorating. They require a combination of flexibility and strength that can vary from person to person. They require patience and preparation. Often our ability to backbend in big and deep ways can be limited by muscular and soft tissue tightness across the front of the hips, around the numerous connections of the spine itself, and across the front and back of the shoulders. Here are three warm ups focused on stretch and release of these regions to help you deepen your backbends.

A Practice for Recognizing & Developing Inner Strength
A Practice for Recognizing & Developing Inner Strength
“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” ~ Dalai Lama

The Simplicity of the Sutras
The Simplicity of the Sutras
As the world becomes more complex, the universe is sending subtle signals to simplify. It seems a lot of the world is starting to question the complexity we’ve built into our ways of doing things.

Eating Clean
Eating Clean
Hey Guys, So I have seen so many of my friends over the years trying to get healthy, detoxify and lose weight…which is cool. But then they tell me what they’re eating and I freak out!

A Smart Flow for Hamstrings
A Smart Flow for Hamstrings
I am a vinyasa flow girl through and through. I believe that spending time studying alignment is vital to a lifelong yoga practice — whether in the form of Iyengar classes/workshops or with a flow teacher like Jason who occasionally slows things down. When you learn to understand and tune into the details of alignment you not only stave off potential injuries, you truly learn the skill of connecting your body and mind.

Why I Love Sun Salutations
Why I Love Sun Salutations
Am I full of it? I love Sun Salutations. I love doing them exactly the same way every day. I don’t need to be creative with them. But why is this? When asked about keeping up a yoga practice, I often say “consistency is what really matters. don’t worry about duration or intensity, just do something every day.” When asked about sequencing one’s practice for home or a classroom environment, I’ll defend the power of simple movements repeated several times with breath taught over many classes over complicated choreography that’s shifting and changing from one moment to the next and never repeated again from one class to another. If asked why, I’ll say “repetition of simple movements with breath is what will help the nervous system and mind relax, too much new and complicated will just stimulate and potentially lead to new stress.” I say these things, know them intuitively to be true, but beyond tradition (yoga sutras definitely emphasize repetition and consistency, and the movements of sun salutes are very much present in Eastern prayer tradition) really haven’t had much to back it up. But I think I’m beginning to get a clearer picture.

How to Deal with Toxic Relationships
How to Deal with Toxic Relationships
Do you have emotional vampires in your life? Do you have friends or family that suck your life energy and leave you feeling depleted, depressed, irritable and antsy?

Empowerment Loss
Empowerment Loss
When circumstances, ruled by forces beyond the will of one individual, overshadow our personal experience of life, unconscious resentment and fear run deep. The coercive fuel of capitalism has conditioned and resigned us to manipulation that both obfuscates truth and reveals the inhumanity of entrenched power. Despite hopelessness, perhaps a kernel of our sacrificed fortitude and imagination can be redeemed.

4 Propped Poses to Build Your Hanumansana
4 Propped Poses to Build Your Hanumansana
Hanumanasana feels different each time I do it. There are days when I can get my pelvis to the floor with my hips square. But these days I focus more on getting the benefits of the pose instead of going all the way into the pose.

Undoing the Pretensions of Yoga
Undoing the Pretensions of Yoga
Recently I was listening to an NPR piece on boutique fitness when I was struck, though not surprised, by a comment from a Shape‘s fitness editor, Jaclyn Emerick.

4 Ways To Advance Your Yoga Asana Practice
4 Ways To Advance Your Yoga Asana Practice
Nothing makes me crazier than hearing people tell me I’m naturally flexible. Because I’m not. In 1999, when I started practicing yoga. I couldn’t touch my toes. I couldn’t do a wheel or stand on my head. I wore braces on my legs as an infant and toddler because my legs and hips were twisted. I had failed all four years of high school gym. I never played a sport, and I never worked out.

Recipe: Essential Oils Citrus Water For Daily Hydration
Recipe: Essential Oils Citrus Water For Daily Hydration
Looking for a way to kick up the flavor in your water everyday? I suggest adding citrus essential oils to your glass every morning! While everyone’s taste buds are different, I love adding a drop each of the different citrus essential oils – lemon, wild orange, grapefruit or lime. Fill up a glass (or water bottle) with water and ice and load in those oils! I highly recommend starting with one or two of the citrus oils, then start mixing and matching until you find the mix that’s perfect for you!