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


Mid-Morning, Pick-Me-Up Smoothie
Mid-Morning, Pick-Me-Up Smoothie
Coffee seems to be one of those foods that’s either vilified or celebrated in the media. Since having my daughter, I am on Team Celebrate Coffee, but it seems most important to determine what works for your personal constitution. You can certainly make this smoothie without the coffee component. Between the coffee, the raw cacao, and the cinnamon, this is a smoothie that’s packed with antioxidants.

Get the Most Out of Your Practice
Get the Most Out of Your Practice
Yoga is an invitation to grow—to wake up and to experience your life in the most fulfilling way. The true transformation is more than just a physical change in your appearance—it’s an awakening of your inner strength, freedom and perception. There are no guarantees to this awakening though. You have to be willing to do the work, stay the course when you hit a wall or plateau, and allow your yoga practice to be about more than just your body.

Be Unapologetically You
Be Unapologetically You
At the end of every yoga class I teach, I conclude with a prayer. It sounds a little different every time. But I usually say: “Begin to slowly awaken here, noting the symbolic journey from death into new life: from the pose of the corpse, savasana, into this shape of new life, the fetal position; how we all entered this world. This is symbolic of the journey, of the death of ignorance — feeling fractured, unwhole, anything less than divine — thanks to the journey of yoga. And here now, we emerge into new life: the new you, the true you, the whole and yoked you. That is yoga. Remember that today is not yet over. That you always have an opportunity to begin again, to start anew, to be you, to choose your Self and be unapologetically you.”

Let's Get Intimate: Going All the Way With Food
Let's Get Intimate: Going All the Way With Food
Life is one beautiful mess of relationships. We can classify them. We can put them in quotes. We can add that extra long, extra inquisitive inflection at the end, but are we in a relationship? Some are transitory. Some are so interwoven into our fabric we can forget that we are separate from them. We can forget that they each deserve reflection and intention. We can forget that they are, no matter what, intimate.

Unity Not Uniformity
Unity Not Uniformity
One of the most influential people in my life was John Magill, a Presbyterian minister and my grandfather. I remember his warm, soft hand holding mine when I was a little girl squeezing it as we sang, “let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” At a young age, I developed a deep conviction that I would do something about spreading peace. It was this same conviction that led me to get on a bus when I was 11 years old and travel 5 hours across the state of Pennsylvania and joined the 6.5 million people in the Hands Across America human chain.

Fall Equinox Seasonal Check In
Fall Equinox Seasonal Check In
Roughly every three months, the season changes. In some places in the world seasonal changes are quite evident. It others, it feels the same for most of the year. I’ve always been a fan of seasons because I like variety. With each new season brings a change in perspective, whether we consciously think about it or not. New fresh fruits and vegetables, new available activities, new temperatures, new clothing to meet those temperatures and associated forms of precipitation, new colors.

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.

Vegan Kabocha Cake
Vegan Kabocha Cake
It’s always best to eat foods that are in-season, and I recently got some pure kabocha flour and simply had to put it to good use. :) It’s 100% kabocha that has been dried and turned into a fine powder. I think I actually prefer this to cans of pumpkin puree because it’s very easy to measure, you don’t have to worry about what to do with any awkward leftovers, and it gives an intense pumpkin flavor and bright orange color to baked goods.

What Chakras Can Teach Us
What Chakras Can Teach Us
What are the chakras? According to yoga, our inner bodies are full of subtle energy. This energy moves along a central channel called the sushumna nadi. These centers are thought to be doorways into the depths of awareness – awareness that is within the body, outside the body and also can expand in such depth that we come to realize the innate vastness of our true nature.

Ayurveda Life: How Ayurveda Changed My Life
Ayurveda Life: How Ayurveda Changed My Life
“Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences that developed together and repeatedly influenced each other throughout history. Yoga and Ayurveda work together to enhance their great benefits on all levels”.

Mahamantra: Meditation Made Easy
Mahamantra: Meditation Made Easy
Have you tried and failed at meditating? You are not alone! We all lead busy lives and the whole idea of meditating, for the peace that it is reputed to bring, sounds great. But when we sit down, the mind noise can be frustrating, distracting and downright irritating. Some friends have reported that they have stopped meditating because increasing their upset rather than reducing it!

Energetic Heart for Yoga Teachers – Our Collective Power
Energetic Heart for Yoga Teachers – Our Collective Power
Every teacher can feel the shift that happens in the midst of teaching when the collective energy in the class begins to synch. It is a palpable sense of connectedness - a heightened quality of flow as movement, breath, and embodied awareness come into flow. As you may know and feel, our heart has a tremendous role in such shifts of consciousness that we feel at the heart of yoga.

Smoothie Bowls
Smoothie Bowls
The smoothie bowl is a trend that I’ve been loving. They’re hydrating and cooling, making them perfect for summer breakfast or an afternoon snack. They don’t require sugar or sugar substitutes and you still feel like you’re eating a treat. Jason calls them “ice cream.”

What If You're Not Lost?
What If You're Not Lost?
If you’re reading this, you’re a seeker. A warrior of love and quester for experiences and purpose. You’ve been on the journey, maybe for a day, maybe for years. This journey of becoming who you are. And, it occurs to me that, at times (maybe at this time) you might feel lost. Your path may feel far away, and the road ahead may seem very murky and uncertain.

Mindful Eating Practices
Mindful Eating Practices
Mindful eating is a powerful tool that can be used to control weight gain, assist weight loss, fight binge eating, and deal with several other eating disorders. There are currently a lot of unhealthy solutions regarding weight loss, ranging from unhealthy fad diets to questionable, chemical supplements. Mindful eating, on the other hand, is a simple attitude that results in being aware of your appetite and thus allows you to control portions and make healthy meal choices. By practicing mindfulness while eating, you engage all of your senses, particularly when choosing foods. This way you are able to choose foods that are nourishing as well as satisfying. You will remain well aware of your level of hunger and be able to choose foods without relying entirely on emotional cues or stimuli, which drive many people to impulse eating. Eventually, you will be able to decide the ideal time to start and stop eating and the ideal foods to eat.

Paleo Peach Jam & Why Seasonal Eating is Glorious
Paleo Peach Jam & Why Seasonal Eating is Glorious
I have what you could call a peach problem. That is if you consider consuming massive amounts of the cuddliest fruit ever over the months of July and August, then yes I have a problem. I know Georgia is known for their peaches. But my friends, Colorado is the sneaky underdog of peach production. We make a damn good peach. Like shenanigans good. But those Colorado beauties aren’t around all year round. And it sucks. And it’s painful. And at least a dozen times I want to rock a grocery store peach that has traveled miles upon miles to be meticulously piled up in ze Whole Foods. But I don’t. (At least not usually.) Because they are always a disappointment. And because they beg to ask the question: do I really need to eat peaches 12 glorious months out of the year?

Be Here Now
Be Here Now
Why do I feel this sense of urgency? I feel it all the time. I feel it the morning when I first wake up. I feel it while I am doing my work. I feel it while I am driving, walking and riding my bike. I feel it when I am on my yoga mat. I feel it in meditation. I feel it now as I write these words: write faster, finish writing sooner, move on to the next thing you have to do today. 

To Lengthen and Strengthen in Yoga
To Lengthen and Strengthen in Yoga
My journey in yoga lately has been leading me to throughly analyze the way postures work. In other words, alignment. Lately I’ve been asking myself: what is the balance between strength and flexibility? Does a body party or muscle group need to be strong in order to be flexible?

Minty Green Tea Cooler
Minty Green Tea Cooler
It’s safe to say I’m green-tea obsessed. It hold promise for many different types of health benefits (including cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease prevention) and there are so many varieties and delicious blends that I never grow tired of it. Since reading David Servan-Schreiber’s book Anti-Cancer, I try to drink it regularly, so I’m often experimenting with different recipes. This one is my current favorite summer iced tea. It requires some prep, but you can make a big batch and drink it over the course of a few days.

Yoga Moves With Your Partner
Yoga Moves With Your Partner
There may be no better foreplay than partner yoga. Your girlfriend is in spandex, you're touching each other, and you're both getting bendy. It's hot—and research agrees. The ancient Indian practice has long been shown to ease joint pain, lower blood pressure, and relieve anxiety, but researchers say it's great for the sexual health of both women and men, too.

Step Forward
Step Forward
When I was little, my sister and I came up with this game that we would play whenever we would go to the ocean (once a year). We would be so excited to get our feet in the sand and our toes wet that we couldn’t wait to put on a bathing suit. Fresh from a 12-hour car ride, we’d run down to the beach, still in our clothes, roll up our shorts even shorter and feel the waves crashing on our feet. Then, we would challenge each other by declaring in delight “Step farther!” and each of us would have to take a giant step forward into the ocean. Whoever chickened out first because they were afraid to get waved on lost. We would giggle and scream and then start all over again to see how far we could get into the ocean without getting scared.

Setting Sankalpa
Setting Sankalpa
I was first introduced to the sankalpa during my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program during a Yoga Nidra practice. This practice forever changed the trajectory of my life. By listening to my teacher guide me into a state between consciousness and unconsciousness, I was able to create my sankalpa by crystallizing what my heart’s true desire was and begin to allow it to manifest and unfold in my life.

Essential Sequence: Evening Wind Down
Essential Sequence: Evening Wind Down
I’ve spent many an evening, after a long, hard day doing these poses in our living room while family life happens around me. That might mean that my daughter is jumping on me, or that there’s an occasional sports newscast on in the background. My evening wind down practice isn’t pristine (and yours doesn’t have to be either), but I still find it incredibly helpful to spend a few minutes on self-care in the evening. It provides a buffer zone that helps me relax so that when it’s time for sleep, my mind isn’t buzzing and my body isn’t calling out for more attention.

The Foundation of Yoga Sutras
The Foundation of Yoga Sutras
I recently graduated from my 500-hour advanced teacher training. The experience was an intense and deep study not just of yoga but also of myself and my relationship with yoga. As I’ve shared with some of you in my classes, it seems that we are always just beginning our journey – the moment we identify an end-goal is the moment we stray from the very path that will help us achieve it. Some of you have encouraged me to share some of what I wrote in my lengthy 7,600+ word final exam essays. As I went back and reviewed what I wrote, I found the perfect piece to share with you today. There are so many times I reference the Yoga Sutras in my blog posts, but I’ve never really talked through them in a full dedicated post, so now is the time!

Gluten Free Chewy Millet & Molasses Granola
Gluten Free Chewy Millet & Molasses Granola
Sometimes life is about a collection of details. Flecks of gorgeous sprinkled throughout the day. We can get lost in the macro of things, and we miss it. It being the details. It being the smell of cinnamon and honey that lingers on your skin after making granola. It being that surprising crunch of millet between your teeth even though you know it’s there, even though you know it’ll be crunchy. It being the magic of creation. The magic of watching ingredients meld together into something unique, something yours. It being the connection with your food, the connection with your body, the connection with the world.