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


The Benefits of Hot & Cold Contrast Showers (Hydrotherapy)
The Benefits of Hot & Cold Contrast Showers (Hydrotherapy)
Want to know my new secret to success and well-being? Hot and cold contrast showers! Yep! Contrast showers, or hydrotherapy, are actually not a new trend, but rather have been used around the world for centuries as a healing modality. This technique, generally used by athletes to improve recovery between training sessions or post-competition, involves alternating between hot and cold water multiple times. I always start my shower with warm water for a couple minutes, then switch to icy cold for a couple more minutes. I do about three intervals of switching back and forth between hot and cold, always ending with water as cold as I can stand. (And learning about what I can “stand” is a meditation in itself. Hint, it helps to breathe!)

12 Ways to Recharge & Reset
12 Ways to Recharge & Reset
For many of us, taking time and doing things that help to clear out the stress and tension is essential to feeling vibrant. Most of us carry a lot in our minds every day, more than we might realize or give ourselves credit for. Every single human is balancing some combination of work, relationships, finances, emotions, in their minds. It can be a lot of keep track of or feel relaxed about. It can be easy to forget that things can be simple, life can feel good and there is so much wonder and beauty in this temporary human experience. It's vital to have experiences and practices that help you embrace life more fully. If we don't give ourselves time to go inwards to recharge, reset, and clear things out, we can accumulate tension, burn out or not feel so excited about life.

5-Day Quick Energy Flow Challenge
5-Day Quick Energy Flow Challenge
Welcome Summer! Anybody else savoring the sense of freedom in the air these days? Now that most of the world is opening and travel is a possibility again, you aren’t alone if all you are ready to shake up your regular routine. Whether that means going on vacation or simply enjoying visits with friends and family, your dance card may be so full, you have less time for your yoga practice. Nobody wants to sacrifice all the benefits of a consistent yoga practice, right? Sometimes when life shifts into high gear, it can feel we’re too busy to fit in our yoga and end up skipping it altogether. Then, all the hard-won benefits like physical flexibility, strength, and balance can diminish. The clear calm mind and softer heart that comes from mindful breath and movement can devolve into stress and anxiety. Don’t stress––we’ve got the perfect solution to keep you in the flow.

Strawberry Dream Smoothie Bowl
Strawberry Dream Smoothie Bowl
Summer is finally here in Estonia, and this means that my main meals are smoothie bowls. Strawberry season is still a few weeks away here and while my own strawberry bushes are still flowering, the frozen strawberries from the store are delicious in this recipe too and in fact, I recommend using frozen berries here as they give thicker, ice-cream like consistency that I really enjoy. Avocado brings the creaminess to the next level and the healthy fats there help to keep us feeling full for longer and as an extra bonus help to moisten our skin from the inside – always a good thing when spending a lot of time outside with the sun! To top the bowl I always use fresh fruit and berries – whatever I have waiting to be used up, nice plump blueberries this time, and of course something crunchy works well too! Both banana and strawberries can be frozen, but do not need to be. As it is quite warm outside where I am now, I always like to keep chopped-up bananas in my freezer for smoothies or ice-creams, so I always use frozen bananas, but sometimes I add fresh strawberries. Vice versa works well too. And if you only use fresh ingredients, just add in a few ice cubes to keep it cool!

Full Moon Astrology Forecast: June 24, 2021
Full Moon Astrology Forecast: June 24, 2021
This Full Moon is the subsequent embodiment of a Hermetic principle. This lunation will structure the tendrils of the subconscious mind and it’s connection to the material world. An important aspect of this Full Moon is the ability to reveal and release the majority mindset that has created certain aspects within the material world. This moon will move the lesser aspects of the ego to be subdued and reveal the intelligence/mindset in operation. Higher wisdom within and collective rises to new heights to aid in perception manifestation. This is a 4D elevation of the thinking mind.

Why We Practice Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Why We Practice Savasana (Corpse Pose)
“For a star to be born: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.” – Zoe Skylar Recently, I wrote about the importance of play. Today, through my sugar hangover, my attention turns to decay, decomposition, and death. I wrote this around The Day Of The Dead, All Souls Day, or Dia De Los Muertos, when we honor not only those who have passed on from this lifetime, but also the natural passage at the end of all lives. Here in Denver, the once juicy green leaves have dried, withered, and fallen, now are starting to emit the rotten Autumn scent, reminding me that everything must come to an end. Unpleasant though it may be, the fact is that death can come at any time, at any age; after a long or short illness, due to violent crime or an inexplicably tragic accident.

Yoga To Release Tension In Your Shoulders & Back
Yoga To Release Tension In Your Shoulders & Back
Who else spent months sprawled on the couch bingeing television and hours perched in front of the computer zooming with friends and family? During quarantine, most of us found ourselves more sedentary than usual. Prolonged sitting does a number on our posture, and our shoulders round forward, our necks grow stiff, and our posture begins to slump. Not only does our body fall out of alignment, but we can become more closed off emotionally. The inner reflects the outer. This week, we’re focusing on asanas (postures) that loosen up the shoulders, relax the throat and neck, and create more spaciousness in our spines. When we focus on relieving stress and tension that lurks around the neck and shoulders, we can alleviate pain. Practices focused on the upper body create strength and mobility and encourage proper posture. They also go deeper within and benefit the subtle body, where our chakras reside.

Energy Boosting Green Smoothie
Energy Boosting Green Smoothie
These days, I typically will start my day with a low sugar green juice like this Fresh Start Green Juice OR I make this Energy Boosting Green Smoothie. It includes all the goodness of green juice, but it’s more filling because of all the fiber. I’ve been loving golden flax seeds as my boost lately too. They are great for healthy elimination (bye bye constipation), glowing skin, and balanced hormones. Flax seeds are also anti-inflammatory, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, and an amazing plant-based protein. Give this a whirl in your blender and let me know what you think! With love and green goodness,

5 Unusual Places in North & Central America for a Yoga Retreat
5 Unusual Places in North & Central America for a Yoga Retreat
Are you a yoga teacher, coach, or leader in your field? If so, you might be interested in taking your clients and students into more intimate containers -- such as a retreat. Retreats are amazing because you get the opportunity to really dive deep with your students. They can look like whatever you want to create -- from super intense, workshop heavy, 8 hour day session retreats, to relaxed, go with the flow, do whatever you want style of retreats. The cool thing about hosting retreats -- is you get to be the creator.

The Effects of Technology on Posture
The Effects of Technology on Posture
A lot of us suffer from bad posture, but having good posture is extremely beneficial to our health and general wellbeing. A good posture can help do a number of things such as prevent back and neck pain, decrease wear and tear on your joints, increase your energy levels, and increase your spine’s durability. So quite a lot of benefits from having a good posture! Our posture is so important as our other bodily organs, tissues, nerves and bones rely on it as our spine absorbs shock, leverages movements and protects the spinal cord - an extension of your brain and the way your brain sends messages to the rest of your body. Having a slumped posture curves the spine, and puts a lot of stress onto the spines supporting body parts, which can degrade the strength of the spinal cord.

June 21st is International Yoga Day
June 21st is International Yoga Day
Mark your calendars for the sixth annual International Yoga Day! This relatively new holiday, established in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly in 177 member countries, celebrates the value of yoga for physical, emotional, and mental health. June 21st is the solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere and the shortest in the Southern hemisphere. This day is a turning point for the entire planet and a sacred day in many cultures. Perfect to celebrate yoga! Each International Yoga Day features a different theme. As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, the chosen theme for 2021 is Yoga for Wellbeing, stressing the benefits of yoga for stress relief and overall mental health. The emphasis on mindful movement and deliberate breathing patterns in yoga benefits not just your physical body, but enhances mood, relieves stress, alleviates insomnia, and aids in managing situational depression. Even if your intention is centered on increasing physical strength, mobility, and balance, you garner the mental benefits too. Our lives are forever changed after this past year. It’s a simple fact. Many of us experienced enormous levels of anxiety, stress, fear, loss, and anger. When we react from these emotions, our breathing becomes shallow, our heart works overtime, and the stress hormone cortisol skyrockets. When our physiological system is out of control, it’s tough to remain grounded, clear, and balanced. Yoga helps positively impact our nervous systems, which in turn helps us step out of the fight or flight response. We can stop simply reacting and start operating from a more stable place.

Quinoa & Cauliflower Patties
Quinoa & Cauliflower Patties
Reusing the food from last night's dinner is a regular thing for me, but often I don’t feel like having exactly the same thing several days in a row. So sometimes I get a little creative and many of my recipes are developed this way. Today's featured leftover – quinoa. I used black quinoa, but whether you have a white, red, or mixed one – they all work well, and I am sure the recipe would also work with leftover barley, bulgur, or any other grains. I always use onion and celery in all sorts of patties, and these are not an exception. In case you don’t like them, just omit and feel free to add some garlic, for example. I am not a garlic lover and this is why it is almost never used in my recipes, but since we all cook for ourselves, it makes sense to trust our own tastebuds.

5 Yoga Poses to Make Your Heart Happy
5 Yoga Poses to Make Your Heart Happy
"The more you open your heart to others, the more your life becomes joyful." One who is open and balanced in their chest area and heart space is more open to freely give and receive love to others and have a more loving relationship with yourself. When we are depressed or closed off, our posture reflects it with a more hunched over and closed off posture. More of us are increasingly spending hours upon hours every day staring at our mobile phones, with our heads bent, eyes down and our posture like a croissant. This is a similar stance we adopt when we are sad, depressed, or disappointed. We make ourselves appear small because we are sad – yet it’s also true we can feel sad because we’re making ourselves appear small. Social psychologists call it embodied cognition. This basically means our mind influences our body, but our body – especially our stance – greatly influences our mind too.

Open Your Hearts: Yoga for Anahata Chakra
Open Your Hearts: Yoga for Anahata Chakra
“Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point,” which translates to: the heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." - Blaise Pascal This quote by famous mathematician Blaise Pascal is from 1669––talk about ancient wisdom! Even a genius steeped in reason and mathematics recognized that often the answer lies in listening to the heart and emotions, as opposed to relying solely on the brain. This week we’re focused on balancing your heart energy. In yoga, we emphasize opening and balancing the Anahata (Heart) chakra as being vital to feeling our best. The seven main chakras are energy systems running along our Sushumna Nadi, in our subtle body, the blueprint of our physical body. The fourth chakra, Anahata, is the recognized seat of love and compassion and translates to “Unstruck.” Its essence is selflessness, expanding beyond your ego, and learning to release fear and forgive those who have harmed you.

Zero Waste Smoothie Recipes with Conscious Cleanse & Abeego
Zero Waste Smoothie Recipes with Conscious Cleanse & Abeego
If you know us here at the Conscious Cleanse, you know we love our green smoothies! We believe that there’s no snack more versatile and nutritious than a freshly blended smoothie. Ranging from the protein-packed peanut butter and banana smoothie to the light and fruity blueberry & lemon smoothie to the palette-awakening cilantro & lime smoothie, these blended beauties are a simple, delicious, and customizable way to chug nutritious foods. Above all, however, is the smoothie’s unmatched ability to help reduce food waste in your kitchen. While you may not delight in munching on strawberry tops or lemon peels on their own, tossed in a blender, they keep your smoothie healthy and your compost empty.

How A Daily Walk Can Benefit Your Health & Creative Inspiration
How A Daily Walk Can Benefit Your Health & Creative Inspiration
People in many professions in today's world typically spend the majority of the day at their desks in front of the computer. We can quickly slip into the pit of the monitor screen and look at it for days on end if we don't keep track of time. This is harmful not only to our well-being but also to imagination and creativity. In regards to staying healthy to stay inspired, writer Orson Scott Card once said about inspiration for writing, "Take care of your body. Writing is a sedentary activity, so it's easy to become fat and inert. And since the brain is dependent on the rest of the body, it is impossible to get work done when you are weak or sick."

8 Common Yoga Myths Debunked
8 Common Yoga Myths Debunked
While yoga originated from India with suggested regions, including the Indus Valley Civilization around the 3300-1900 BCE, it has expanded and grown all over the world. Today, you will find yoga practitioners worldwide, and as a group of mental, physical, and spiritual disciplines, yoga has incredible diversity to offer to all those interested in having a healthy lifestyle. For some, yoga goes even deeper, and avid practitioners would tell you that yoga is not just exercise but also a way of life. According to a recent study, over 55 million people around the world started practicing yoga for the first time in 2020. Furthermore, around 44% of all yoga practitioners spend time doing yoga at least 2-3 times per week and spend an average of $90 per month on yoga. Moreover, 37% of yoga enthusiasts have children that also enjoy practicing yoga with their caretakers.

Two-Week Bridal Bootcamp
Two-Week Bridal Bootcamp
Who is ready for an excellent fitness bootcamp program with all the guess work and decision making handled for you? Wedding season is upon us and if you’re getting married, you want to feel and look your best for your special day. Whether you’re a bride-to-be or simply someone who is ready for a challenge for your body, mind, and spirit, this week we’re here to deliver. We all want to feel our best, but sometimes it can be overwhelming deciding what workout to do when and what is the most impactful way to get stronger, more flexible, and emotionally balanced. It’s easy to start off with the best of intentions and then other commitments and responsibilities knock you off your path. This fitness bootcamp is specially crafted to give you excellent results in an efficient manner, while also making it easy to stay on track. Here’s how:

Easy Coconut Flatbreads
Easy Coconut Flatbreads
My secret to inventing new recipes – being lazy and not having certain food groups at home. I realize that for most people baking bread does not qualify under being lazy, but if you ask from me, then spending 20 minutes on bread baking requires less energy compared to running out to the store to get bread. So this recipe was invented on one of those Saturday mornings when I was all out of baked goods, fancied bread, and simultaneously I needed to use up some coconut milk in my fridge. Two main ingredients here are coconut milk and plain flour. The recipe is also extremely easy to remember because flour and coconut milk are required in equal amounts. Add in a dash of baking powder for extra fluff and some seasonings and you are almost done!

Yoga Anatomy: Trade in Your Buns of Steel for Fluffy Butt
Yoga Anatomy: Trade in Your Buns of Steel for Fluffy Butt
Besides being the “butt” of many jokes, the gluteus maximus is the largest and most superficial of the three gluteal muscles. It makes up a large portion of the shape and appearance of the hips. Its size is unique to humans; no other mammal has such expansive rear area, as pointed out in the classic Trail Guide to the Body. Perhaps this is why we are apt to laugh about it? All jokes aside, it’s important for us to give attention to this major muscle in order to maintain healthy posture and an happy lower back. When the gluteus maximus is unhealthy, adhered or possessing swarms of trigger points, it can start a game of tug-of-war with the lower back muscles, especially quadratus lumborum(QL).

Full Moon & Eclipse Astrology Forecast: May 26, 2021
Full Moon & Eclipse Astrology Forecast: May 26, 2021
Listen to the Full Audio Reading. This moon and lunar eclipse will be a spark of lightning from the depths of the unknown. It is both the Tower and the World card in Tarot. Sudden shifts to bring completion and awakened fulfillment. Intuition will be lit, and the energy is ripe to find divine within current realities. This moon will illuminate how we can create our own liberation from within the moment and what is in existence. This eclipse will reflect the eclipse from December 14, 2020. It will bring into light the depths of the worries, concerns, and aspects of desire from that period. This is a very revealing lunar eclipse occurring in Scorpio. The very nature will show secrets revealed and will call upon greater opening within the collective consciousness as it pertains to materialization of the self from the self. The moon will eclipse in Saturn's Nakshatra of Anuradha, with Saturn in retrograde in it’s own sign; this marks a heavy unveiling of illusion. There is a strong mercurial energy occurring on the back end and the aim is to create harmony, peace, and stabilize from the depths of being.

Yoga Sculpt: When You Want It All!
Yoga Sculpt: When You Want It All!
We’ve all faced the dilemma: you have a limited amount of time to move your body and relieve stress. Do you practice yoga or do strength training? Problem solved: Yoga sculpt. If you’ve never tried a yoga fusion class, here’s your chance to garner all the benefits of a strength workout blended with the mindfulness of yoga. These hybrid workouts can combine yoga with weights, barre, Pilates, HIIT, cardio––the variety is part of the fun! In these special classes, the emphasis is on getting stronger and sculpted, but also staying mindful and maintaining mobility. It’s one of the most efficient and effective ways to ensure that you prevent injury and enhance your strength, balance, and flexibility. Here are a few reasons we love these yoga fitness fusion classes:

Greenest Smoothie Ever with Edible Weeds
Greenest Smoothie Ever with Edible Weeds
Spring is cool and in my case, it is literally cool, because the temperatures here are still mostly chilly. Still, we already seeing some green outside, and of course, the first things that start to grow are all kinds of weeds. We usually want to get rid of weeds, but did you know that many plants we consider weeds are actually edible and good for you? That is if you live somewhere far away from the big roads and pollution, of course. I happen to live in the city center, but Tallinn, our Estonian, capital is small enough to go to the nearest forest by bicycle, and still be able to pick fresh greens from the forest! In my smoothie today, I used goutweed and stinging nettles. Both are extremely unpleasant friends in your flower garden, as they easily take over everything, but both are healthy and good for you if you pick them while they are still young.

The Inspiration Download: Interview with Estonia-Based Recipe Blogger & Yoga Teacher Kadri Raig
The Inspiration Download: Interview with Estonia-Based Recipe Blogger & Yoga Teacher Kadri Raig
Kadri is a marketing expert, food blogger, and yoga teacher from Estonia. She has been contributing recipes to YogaDownload for over a year and most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. The time spent outside of the kitchen is often spent right next to the kitchen as she has turned her living room to an online yoga studio for the time being and teaches most of her classes online.

9 Ways Meditation Can Change Your Brain
9 Ways Meditation Can Change Your Brain
We’ve all heard meditation is good for your brain, and with the rollout of meditation apps and courses over the past few years, it’s becoming more and more well known that meditation can benefit us vastly. With this increase in popularity, also comes scientific research into the positive effects of meditation. Now, we can actually see the various neurological benefits that meditation has on the brain, including actual changes in gray matter - or increased activity in certain areas of the brain. Looking at these benefits alongside the psychological effects of meditation on our well-being, it’s easy to see exactly how meditation can change your mind and brain. Meditation Can Help Preserve Aging Brains