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


Establishment Politics in Yoga
Establishment Politics in Yoga
Last month, the Yoga Alliance announced a new policy regarding “yoga therapy terminology” that creates a significant new precedent. A lack of any public debate and transparency in the process has made it difficult to discern why exactly this was needed and what purpose it serves. Perhaps this explains why there has been almost no response from yoga teachers thus far. Or, more likely, people are just too turned off by the politics involved to care.

Strong Abs, Healthy Back
Strong Abs, Healthy Back
As a yoga therapist, one of the most common questions that people ask me is how to get great, strong abs. Even some of the elite, world-class athletes that I have trained have asked me how to get especially the lower abs strong and toned.

7 Survival Tips For Beginner Yogis
7 Survival Tips For Beginner Yogis
I love teaching beginners. Here are seven easy tips to help you survive your first yoga classes.

How to Choose the Perfect Yoga Mat
How to Choose the Perfect Yoga Mat
People often ask me which yoga mat is the best, and while I can answer that question with absolute certainty for me, I think you have to consider all the variables.

Almond Butter Cups
Almond Butter Cups
This delicious recipe combines Jason’s love for chocolate with everyone’s love for the peanut butter cups of our youth. Instead of peanut butter, they’re made with almond butter. Instead of sugar, they’re sweetened with agave. Boom! You’ve got a recipe makeover you never knew you needed, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

How Yoga Can Help Relieve Anxiety
How Yoga Can Help Relieve Anxiety
Living with anxiety on a daily basis can be very difficult. If you’re suffering from anxiety after experiencing a traumatic event or you’ve lived with it your entire life, finding the best ways to cope or relieve anxiety isn’t always easy.

How to Manage Your Energy
How to Manage Your Energy
In the past 2 months I have: Taught 63 yoga classes Taught 31 private yoga sessions Led 6 workshops Traveled to Ohio 3 times, twice unexpectedly and at the last minute Spent 35+ hours learning in yoga training Attended a funeral of a family member Decided to give away our puppy Learned that the foundation of our house needs to be replaced…now Learned that the people who renovated our house quite possibly took down a load-bearing wall, leading to the imminent collapse of our kitchen ceiling Cried Laughed Gave myself secret pep rallies in my mind to show up when I didn’t want to or felt like I couldn’t Surrendered to the universe Reminded myself I am human Practiced yoga Slept Meditated Indulged in a Nora Roberts book, a guilty pleasure Enjoyed Ben & Jerry’s ice cream because I needed to soothe my soul (see Amanda, we’re not so different) And much more If you’re tired just from reading all that, you’ll understand that I’m tired too.

Love
Love
I love love... I mean I really love LOVE! I’ve been accused of overusing the word in some of my circles. Regardless of that, I continue to use it because it rolls off my tongue and feels good when I say it.

Essential Sequence: Stretch into Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
Essential Sequence: Stretch into Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
WHY THIS SEQUENCE WORKS Nothing beats a good side-bending practice. And, truthfully, the recipe for the classic posture Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana is simple: the practice needs to focus on stretching the hamstrings, adductors, and the sides of the torso (which are largely comprised of the lats, obliques, and the quadratus lumborum). The sequence above sticks to these three basic focal points. Let’s break it down a little further:

A Yogic Perspective on Death
A Yogic Perspective on Death
It’s a heavy subject and one most Americans don’t feel comfortable contemplating. And yet, it’s the only ultimate truth in the world. And one we have very little control over. So it’s funny that we spend most of our lives trying to control everything around us. For peace. For happiness. For health. These are the reasons we often cite for why we do what we do. Why we believe what we believe.

Why Yoga's One of the Best Workouts You Can Do
Why Yoga's One of the Best Workouts You Can Do
So, what was your New Year’s resolution for 2016? If you’ve yet to break it (good on you, by the way!), let us help you smash it – and the rest of your fitness goals – this month and beyond.

Combat Work Stress with These Simple Yoga Poses
Combat Work Stress with These Simple Yoga Poses
In this post, yoga teacher Adam Hocke shares his coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and gives advice on simple tricks you can do to chill out when work gets on top of you, either at home or on the go.

A Pose for Your Woes: Relieve Lower Back Pain
A Pose for Your Woes: Relieve Lower Back Pain
If you’ve ever experienced low back pain before, you know that it ranges in severity from mildly annoying to so severe you have to take off work because you can’t get out of bed.

Transmutation
Transmutation
This week I looked up the word transmute again – just to see if that theme actually vibrated with what I have been feeling into. Because you see, when I “pick” a theme, I actually allow it to come to me. I look to see what’s happening in the planets and I feel into what’s “hot” out there. And then I see how and if it relates, so things make sense.

Leaping Forward
Leaping Forward
A grasshopper leaps only forward…it never leaps backward! When you think about it, that really makes so much sense.

Riddle Me Some Reality
Riddle Me Some Reality
Expanding the definition of reality beyond the usual time, money and politics is generally considered naive or delusional. Aspects of life that are immeasurable or defy explanation are relegated to the realm of hearsay and mysticism. But from a purely pragmatic standpoint, magic is undeniable.

On the Close of Practice
On the Close of Practice
How I close my yoga practice I don’t ‘om.’ It’s not that I have anything against it; it’s just not part of my secular world view or self-practice. I also don’t say ‘namaste’ – I’m from Florida and grew up saying “hi,” “bye,” and “thank you”, and for me it just doesn’t seem genuine (to me! for other teachers of course it can come from their heart and soul) to adopt someone else’s greeting. But I do treat the close of practice pretty seriously and over the years have refined how I close the practice for myself and for my students in class. This is where it stands lately.

Intuition - Dana Damara
Intuition - Dana Damara
All week I have been playing in the realm of intuitive guidance. In fact, one of my phrases for the year is intuitive guidance. Being open to it, as always, but more than that, actually following it. Really dropping in and listening … intently. Not questioning, not wondering, but actually following through.

How Meditation Improved My ADD
How Meditation Improved My ADD
Although I have never been tested for Attention Deficit Disorder, I’m confident I would have fallen into that category.

Superfood Probiotic Vegetarian Protein Salad
Superfood Probiotic Vegetarian Protein Salad
It’s sort of totally amazing and fabulous. Loads of FLAVOR – FIBER – PROTEIN – PROBIOTICS – NUTRIENTS – HEALTHY FATS.

Yoga and Your Hips, Part III
Yoga and Your Hips, Part III
These are, hands down, my favorite 15 poses for opening the hips. Creating a balanced, effective hip-opening sequence is simple if you know how the hip muscles are laid out. When you don’t have for a map for their hips, you’re at a higher risk for overstretching your hamstrings and external rotators compared to your hip flexors and adductors. Teachers make this mistake in their sequencing regularly and, as a result, hamstring insertion injuries are one of the most prevalent injuries in modern yoga

Yoga and Your Hips, Part II
Yoga and Your Hips, Part II
For more than a decade, I’ve quivered at the thought of attending a hip-opening workshop. Having played ice hockey and been a skateboarder for more 15 years, my hips were molten lead that no amount of Pigeon Pose could crack open. Now, 20 years in, I’ve chipped away and breathed steadily enough to be halfway comfortable and mobile in these joints.

Improve Your Chaturanga
Improve Your Chaturanga
Chaturanga Dandasana is hugely common in vinyasa flow classes and often vilified or blamed for all sorts of injuries. Some of that may be true, especially if done quickly, forcefully, and without any concern for alignment. I prefer to think positively about what chaturanga delivers, although extolling its virtues may fall on deaf ears and tired arms. With sincerity, I believe it is an efficient and effective transition from plank into upward-facing dog, priming the strength of the arms and shoulders to deliver the backbend energetically as well as giving an opportunity for rhythmic breath and movement.

Discernment
Discernment
How can we possibly discern what is true for us and beneficial for the evolution of our soul when we are bombarded by life? And by bombarded I don’t mean that we’ve lost control some how. I just mean, sometimes life moves at the speed of light and honestly, we start to move at that speed without knowing it and that’s not always the best thing.

Polish Your Gem: Samskara
Polish Your Gem: Samskara
Samskaras are impressions imprinted in the mind, created by our life experiences. They form together and create habitual patterns that can be experienced physically, mentally, or emotionally.