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


5 Reasons Why It's Time For a Digital Detox
5 Reasons Why It's Time For a Digital Detox
“Ditch social media and my T.V. for a week... What?” Depending on who you are, and how much you use technology in your daily routine, a digital detox might seem either insane or too easy. It’s not until you begin to experience the highs and lows of a digital detox rollercoaster that you realize just how addicting social media and television really are. No matter who you are, if you’re living in this developed, 21st-century country, chances are you probably need a digital detox.

Bring Magic Into Your Home Practice
Bring Magic Into Your Home Practice
The recent Harry Potter yoga class took the Internet by storm, with participants pictured holding a wand as they practiced different yoga poses. They also had a sorting hat and listened to passages from the Deathly Hallows! While we might find it hard to find or attend a Harry Potter class, we can certainly bring some magic into our own home yoga practice. The Griffyndor wizards at BooKYogaTeacherTraining.com have just the right tips for you to work your magic into your own practice!

Poses to Help You Energize
Poses to Help You Energize
How do you energize? There isn’t a shortage of energizing yoga classes or sequences, but I often wonder what we are actually asking of our students and ourselves when we practice with this goal. Often an energizing yoga class is just fast and hard. When done a bit more mindfully, it can focus on poses or breath patterns that stimulate and excite the nervous system into a more focused, instead of frantic state. My essential energizing poses, which find their way into my energizing classes, tell the chest to expand and invite an empowered inhalation. They connect me to the ground but suggest a rise of vital energy or prana upwards.

Ways To Teach Yourself Yoga
Ways To Teach Yourself Yoga
Fitness trends come and go all the time. Crossfit had its time in the spotlight, as did rail running and P90X. However, as studies are published across the fitness and medical industries, telling us which exercises will really get us into the best shape of our lives, there is one form of fitness that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Which one is it? You guessed it: yoga.

8 Mindful Ways to Curb Sugar Cravings
8 Mindful Ways to Curb Sugar Cravings
I was recently hanging out with some old friends and mentioned that I’m living a nearly refined-sugar free life. (I say nearly because I believe in balance and, on occasion, sharing a chocolate croissant with my family is worth it.) They gasped. While I’ve always attempted a clean diet, it was shocking for them to imagine their former fro-yo lovin’ friend off of sugar. I chalk it up to one of the things that a breast cancer diagnosis did for me – scared me straight off the sugar crack.

Abundance Mentality: A Career in Yoga
Abundance Mentality: A Career in Yoga
Continuing education for yoga teachers is in high demand since the proliferation of yoga teacher training certification has reached epic proportions. No one expects someone to be seasoned after merely two hundred hours, and technological advancements have enabled newfound access and resources to anyone with an internet connection. More than just a knowledge of yoga, or adjunct skills for teaching, these offerings often purport to give practical career advice that will help graduates succeed financially. Unfortunately, business advice for “yogapreneurs” is often grossly misguided.

How To Find Thanks
How To Find Thanks
Gratitude. We say it. We know it. But how deep does it run? We all know that gratitude is a great thing to practice. And we might even acknowledge our gratitude from time to time. However, it seems like such a hype word and/or "cool" thing to "do" these days. I want to take this a step further. Instead of being grateful, can we live grateful? It's an exceptional difference and for those who live in gratitude, instead of paying it a weekly visit, know exactly what I am talking about.

7 Affirmations For Success
7 Affirmations For Success
Affirmations are phrases you repeat to yourself over and over again. Repeating these words reminds you of their meaning and the importance of the words. You can use these positive phrases to stay motivated and inspired. Affirmations can be repeated silently inside your head, said out loud, or written down and hung somewhere visible.

The Practice of Gratitude Meditation
The Practice of Gratitude Meditation
Gratitude is an essential part of mindful living. The practice of gratitude is something that can be cultivated all year round, although there are times of the year that especially call for it more. We can use these times of cultural observance and family gatherings as a reminder to fill our cups with gratitude ALL the time, not just during the holidays.

The Story Behind HoneyColony's Founder: How Superfoods Changed My Life
The Story Behind HoneyColony's Founder: How Superfoods Changed My Life
My foray with superfoods really started while I was living in Venice, California with a house full of raw foodists back in 2008. I was editing my film Vanishing of the Bees, (narrated by Ellen Page), and decided to move to the west side from Hollywood to be near our editor and avoid a crazy Los Angeles commute.

7 Reasons You Should Consider Yoga Retreats Over Regular Vacations
7 Reasons You Should Consider Yoga Retreats Over Regular Vacations
Every year, we use our hard-earned money to jet off to a spellbinding location where we hope to break away, relax, recoup, learn new cultures and meet new people. We choose to go on vacations to get away from the hustle of everyday life, spend quality time with our family or friends, be surrounded by nature, get quiet time to put things in perspective and resolve long-standing mental as well as emotional issues.

What is GPS Consciousness?
What is GPS Consciousness?
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde. I love this spot-on observation by one of the most outlandish “livers” of all time. It seems to perfectly express the epidemic anxiety felt by most yogis, artists and seekers, i.e. those wired for more than the status quo. For us that have the taste buds for exhilaration and real life, nothing less will do. And when that fullness of living feels in any way out of reach, angst and frustration are the natural resultants.

The Three Things You Need To Be Free
 The Three Things You Need To Be Free
Last week, for the third year in a row, I spent a week mostly offline in the woods in Georgia teaching at this magical event called Camp Nerd Fitness. And every year, I am more blown away than the last by how special this group of people is, and how honored and appreciative I feel to be able to teach and share and learn and grow with each of them. Photo by Will Byington PhotographySharing moments with so many people choosing to face their fears, lending a helping hand, laughing so hard it hurts, hugging and crying… my heart is overflowing with love.

Lemon Lavender Beeswax Hand Creme
Lemon Lavender Beeswax Hand Creme
Do you feel like it's time to reboot? Create a new beginning and a fresh start today. Begin from the inside out. A mental spring cleaning means that you take some time to sit and observe what is no longer serving you in life. Relationships, thought patterns, eating habits, living situations, posture, what ever it may be, make a commitment today to clean house!

Benefits of Yoga- What You Didn't Know
Benefits of Yoga- What You Didn't Know
As a formally vocal sceptic that recently “found” yoga during a month long stay at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa, I was keen to do a little digging into the benefits that yoga could provide. The results were staggering!

Yoga As a Way of Life
Yoga As a Way of Life
Here’s why I chose yoga as a way of life. I want you to know my story, not because it has any particular significance to your own trajectory on this path called yoga, but because I want you to know that you’re not alone in feeling like you’re not really sure why you’re practicing yoga. I’ve already shared a lot of my story on this blog, in my about section, and sometimes in my classes, but what I’m about to share with you here is a little more personal. My own personal reasons for why I continue to choose yoga as a way of life.

10 Tips for a Home Practice
10 Tips for a Home Practice
At some point, it's necessary to develop a personal yoga practice to maintain your strength, flexibility and sanity. A personal routine will keep you in the game, no matter where you are or how your circumstances change. While yoga classes are a wonderful way to have fun, learn good alignment and build community, realistically, you won’t always have the luxury and time to attend class. A home practice will keep you feeling healthy, grounded and pain-free. It's simple to start, and if you make it fun and effective, it's sustainable.

This Granola Smells Like Fall
This Granola Smells Like Fall
It's a dreary day here in the Rocky Mountains, which usually begs me to bake and cook. I usually like to bake or cook things that aren't too tedious and don't require a huge recipe. I'm not sure if that's just plain lazy or just savvy. I decided to cook up some long over-due granola with an Autumn twist.

Find Yourself in a Bind? 5 Poses to Help
Find Yourself in a Bind? 5 Poses to Help
There are lots of benefits to exercise—improved muscle mass, better balance, higher metabolism. And certain specific kinds of exercises bring their own specific benefits. Take yoga: For people interested in a low-impact yet intense way to build strength and flexibility, yoga may be key. But there’s a subset of specific actions in yoga that offer even more benefits.

#GirlBoss
#GirlBoss
I’ve recently enjoyed reading #GIRLBOSS, a book by NastyGal founder Sophia Amoruso. Her story sounds all too familiar: she spent her youth as a total rebel, hating school, quitting jobs, broke, directionless, and angry at the world. Then she started selling vintage clothes on eBay. Eight years later, she is the founder, CEO, and creative director of Nasty Gal, a $100 million plus online fashion retailer.

Midlife Yoga Crisis
Midlife Yoga Crisis
Coming of age in the yoga profession means facing changing realities and shifting priorities. The majority of yoga teachers start out in the profession at an early time in their lives. But as the viability of old models wanes and independent players have less impact in the face of up-scaled operations, long-term prospects for careers in yoga are less apparent. For those whose passion cannot be deterred by the odds, their faith and trust in practice will likely be tested. This year marks the twentieth that I have made my living solely from teaching yoga. It’s hard to believe that the desperate stumble I took into yoga in my early twenties has morphed a life, replete with a family, a yoga center, and a multi-media platform. There was truly no plan. I’ve just been diligent in practice, showed up consistently, taught the best class I knew how, and it has panned out well enough so far.

Yoga Breathing: The Three Part Breath
Yoga Breathing: The Three Part Breath
Yama Niyama Asana Pranayama Pratyahara Dharana Dhyana Samadhi. In English (my translation): Be a good person, take care of your Self, be aware of your posture, control your energy, withdraw from your external senses, concentrate, meditate, allow total integration. These are the steps on the path, outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, to enlightenment. I have talked about the Yamas and Niyamas a little bit, the whole world is obsessed with posture, albeit not always healthy posture, meditation is gaining popularity, and the other steps are pretty much forgotten. There are many reasons for this. It’s hard to teach the Yamas and Niyamas unless you’re ready for a self-help course with a philosophy book as a reading requirement. Sense withdrawal is the nicer way of saying sensory deprivation and that is being sold the same way tanning is sold these days. Concentration sounds boring, even though we all know it’s necessary and we could probably use it more then ever what with all the distractions of the internet. Total integration is admittedly optimistic, unrealistic, and metaphysical sounding all at the same time, so I get why people stay away.

Essential Sequence: Neck, Shoulders, and Upper Back
Essential Sequence: Neck, Shoulders, and Upper Back
Your shoulders have a lot of moving parts. Each shoulder has 4 joints (GH, AC, SC, ST), plus layers and layers of soft tissues that include muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When you add the physical demands that the shoulders undergo on a daily basis to the complexity of the region, you wind up with an unavoidable truth: Your shoulders need regular—if not daily maintenance—if you want your upper-body to be functional and comfortable. We frequently take our body for granted. Even as yoga practitioners, we often forget the intricate subtlety and profound majesty of the body. When we take our body for granted, we forget that it needs our attention and care. We forget that our body needs regular—if not daily maintenance—especially as our body ages. I’ve watched my body through my yoga practice for 20 years and it’s finally become clear that my shoulders, neck, and upper-back need a simple, quick, daily practice if I want them to work optimally. I created the following sequence for myself a few months ago and I’ve been extremely consistent with it. It’s usually not the entirety of my practice or training on any given day. Rather, it’s a supplement. It’s simple, basic, and hugely effective. Think about it as the equivalent of brushing your teeth or taking a shower. It’s just basic hygiene that helps you feel better.

How to #GoYourOmWay with Claire Petretti-Marti
How to #GoYourOmWay with Claire Petretti-Marti
What does it mean to "Go Your OM Way? Where to begin? To me, this hashtag directly translates to follow your passion or trust your heart. We receive so many conflicting messages from the world, be it from our parents, our friends, our workplace, or our community in general. Often, our true passion or dharma in life becomes subjugated to the expectations of others and we find ourselves living a life that doesn’t feel authentic.

Essential Reads
Essential Reads
A confession: I’m a book worm. I was recently asked by a teacher during a guided meditation, “Where do you find refuge?”. In other words, where do I go for support, reassurance, and inspiration? Where is my safe harbour? I immediately thought of my books! My library of spiritual guides and how-tos of yoga practice and meditation shout pretty loud and clear to me “You are not alone. Many have walked this path.” I take refuge in this great tradition of teaching and go to it when my spirits are low or if I need a good kick in the bum. Whenever I am lost in this big world of yoga, I recall Joan Didion’s directive from The Year of Magical Thinking: “Read, learn, work it up, go to the literature.” Here are my essentials.