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


Benefits of Hip Openers in Yoga
Benefits of Hip Openers in Yoga
Hip-opener poses and asanas are some of the most popular and requested types. They bring release to areas of tightness that many people suffer from. As there are over 20 muscles that work across the hips, such as adductors in the inner thighs, abductors in the outer thighs, hip flexors and lateral rotators, it’s important to give these a good stretch. Any movement that stretches these muscles is a hip opener, but there are certain poses that give these a deeper release. If you have tight hips, it not only can affect your ability to get into certain yoga poses but can also affect your day to day life.

10 Tips to Master Hard Yoga Poses at Home
10 Tips to Master Hard Yoga Poses at Home
Practicing yoga at home is a great way to get some exercise in if you can’t make it to a class. All you need is a mat! However, if you’re trying to master some tricky yoga poses and you just can’t get over that hurdle, being on your own can be a hindrance. Here’s our top 8 tips for practicing and mastering hard yoga poses at home. 1. Create the right space Having a dedicated space for yoga will make practicing at home so much easier. Try to find a space to unroll your matt that’s quiet and peaceful, with plenty of space around to move your body freely. Remove any obstacles if needed. Try to find an empty wall that you can use as a prop for poses that require a bit of extra support. Maybe you’d like to light a candle to make the atmosphere even more relaxing and inviting.

8 Easy and Powerful Self-Care Tips
8 Easy and Powerful Self-Care Tips
With our modern busy lives, it’s easy to let even the simplest self-care go out the window. It can be tough to find the time to look after ourselves when we’re juggling lots of different priorities. This can leave our own needs at the bottom of the list, and we all know it's hard to get around to those items last on the to-do list. And we’re talking about the regular, day to day self-care, not the lavish ‘treat-yourself’ social outings, appointments and pamper days that come to mind when you think self-care. If you don’t take the time to look after yourself, you can start to feel very stressed and unfulfilled as well as overwhelmed. But to improve ourselves we must take care of our minds and bodies. Here’s our tips to create a self-care routine, and ways you can stick to it! 1. Do self-care that works for you

Common Causes of Bad Posture (& Easy Ways to Fix Them)
Common Causes of Bad Posture (& Easy Ways to Fix Them)
We all know that a good posture gives us a taller and more elegant look, but standing straight can also do wonders for your health. Did you know your posture affects your digestion, breathing and how well we move? That’s not to mention the ways it can boost your confidence. However many of us lack a good posture. It can be easy to slip into bad posture habits, through weakness, pain, and routine. There’s many ways you can be adding to bad posture without knowing it. Here’s some of the common causes of bad posture, as well as some tips to counter them. 1. Slouching While you may be comfortable slouching in a chair, over time this can strain your muscles and lead to bad posture. This can also increase tension and cause pain. Try to get in the habit of not slouching and sitting up correctly. Sitting on the edge of your chair will help to fix this, as it will cause your core muscles to activate, keeping you straight. While this might be uncomfy at first, this is because your muscles need to be conditioned to support you. Exercises like planks and bridges that strengthen your core and your glutes will help you to stop slouching.

8 Tips to Form New Habits (& How Long it Takes)
8 Tips to Form New Habits (& How Long it Takes)
If you look at the lifestyles of highly successful people, you’ll realise that they’re not that way by accident, or by luck. They’ve learnt to make all those successful, proactive and useful behaviours a habit. Whether it’s waking up early to have more hours in the day, getting a work out in each day, taking the time to focus on self improvement, reading more, drinking less… the list can go on, but the one thing all these healthy habits have in common, is that it takes time for them to become a daily aspect in your life. If you’re thinking of making a small change to take on a healthy habit, or you’re thinking of something a little more life changing, hard work, effort and dedication are the things you need to achieve your goal. But just how long does it take to form a new habit - or stop a bad one? A quick internet search, will tell you it takes 21 days to form a habit. This is a popular myth that still rings in people’s brains today.

12 Tips for an Instant Confidence Boost
12 Tips for an Instant Confidence Boost
Feeling low in confidence is a feeling many of us have experienced before. During work, amongst peers, maybe even with a loved one - there are many situations that can challenge our confidence and leave us feeling doubtful. But no one is naturally self-confident. Self confidence is a skill that builds up over time, and is something that you can use against the daily grind. To get you started in building up your self confidence, here’s our top quick tips for an instant boost of confidence - perfect for that next big presentation at work, mustering up the courage to ask your crush out, or just to feel more powerful in your day to day life. 1. Prune yourself If you look your best, you’re likely to feel your best too. It’s incredible how a shower, a haircut or a shave can make you feel absolutely amazing, and do wonders for your self-image. This will boost your self confidence by miles, and can be achieved by just waking up a little earlier to give your image a little more TLC than usual.

8 Fun and Healthy Activities for Couples to Deepen Bonding
8 Fun and Healthy Activities for Couples to Deepen Bonding
Being loved up and part of a couple is a great thing, especially when you start to share parts of your life together. However, after a few years - you might find yourself grabbing the remote and binge-watching Netflix instead of getting out and doing new and exciting activities as a couple. It’s important to give the time to come up with fun and exciting date ideas, and do things together to strengthen your bond and keep your romance exciting. Here’s our top 8 ideas of activities to do as a couple, to deepen your bond, instill healthy habits together, and keep things fresh! Yoga We may be biased, but we think yoga is a great activity to share with your loved one to deepen your bond.

10 Tips to Be More Productive
10 Tips to Be More Productive
With today’s technology and modern life, there are more distractions than ever getting in the way of having a productive work day. From the moment you sit down at your desk, there can be 101 things that steer your attention away from your to-do list. If you’re finding that you tasks just aren’t getting done, here’s some tips to make your day more productive. 1. Start the morning right for you A healthy breakfast, an early workout, time spent getting yourself looking professional… Sometimes there’s just not enough time before sitting down at your desk at 9am to get absolutely everything done - especially if you want your eight hours of sleep too! Starting your day on a high note can set the tone for the rest of the day, so think about what your priority is.

5 Powerful Fusion Yoga Hybrid Workouts to Try
5 Powerful Fusion Yoga Hybrid Workouts to Try
You can get into your best shape by combining yoga with other fitness workouts and routines. Yoga hybrid workouts have become all the range as of late, as an active lifestyle is becoming more and more popular. As it’s becoming more apparent the benefits a regular yoga practice can give you, there’s more ways to incorporate it into your regular workout. Here are some ways you can combine yoga poses with other fitness methods, to get into the best shape you can and move in more ways! If you’re adding a few moves to your regular workout, or adding some weights or dance moves into your yoga practice, there’s a yoga hybrid out there for you. Mixing it up can increase your endurance, strength, and most of all make your practice fun. Here are five unique fusion yoga forms, that are worth giving a try! Anti Gravity Yoga If you’ve ever fancied yourself a bit of an acrobat, aerial yoga is the hybrid for you.

A Beginner's Guide to Ashtanga Yoga
A Beginner's Guide to Ashtanga Yoga
This week we highlight the incredible practice of Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga yoga is a modern rigorous, disciplined, and traditional style of yoga. It is comprised of 8 limbs, with asana (the physical yoga pose limb), being a set sequence of standing and seated postures, that create inner heat, refine your focus, and challenge you physically, while keeping a single pointed focus. Basic Ashtanga sequences are well-rounded, and also feature many forward bends, the most inward facing family of yoga poses, where we meet ourselves. If you're feeling stagnant in your practice and want to take it to the next level, or feel you're craving some consistency in your yoga practice (and maybe life), give Ashtanga a try. You might find these practices are ones you can return to over and over again, as no matter how many times you practice the Ashtanga sequence, there is benefit, power, and progress. Enjoy the challenge and power of Ashtanga yoga this week, with four unique takes and versions of this transformative and powerfully simple style of yoga.

9 Benefits of Yoga for Athletes
9 Benefits of Yoga for Athletes
Yoga is a key practice not just on it’s own, but to compliment other activities and sports. Many professional sporting teams and athletes use yoga practice to compliment their training, or include it as a key part of it. If you play sports regularly, trying yoga can boost your performance in a wide range of ways. Yoga will improve your physical and mental state, letting you push yourself to your limit in your training. Yoga can also balance out strength and development that can become imbalanced if you just practice one type of sport. This can also help reduce injury. Push away any thoughts of yoga just being about flexibility and contorting your body - yoga helps your muscles grow and works parts of your body that are underused in most people’s daily life. It also helps you stretch out any areas of tightness or pain. Here’s some of the benefits practicing yoga can have for athletes.

The Benefits of Warrior Poses
The Benefits of Warrior Poses
The series of warrior poses are the foundations of a strong and solid practice of asana. Warrior poses are among the most common poses in yoga practice, and help with balance, stance and hip opening. Warrior poses are great for nearly every type of body and skill level, are easy for beginners to get to grips with, while still being a great pose for building up strength, confidence, and feeling like, well a warrior! As we do warrior poses more and more often, it’s easy to forget the benefits they can give our minds and bodies. We’ve taken a look at some of the common variants of warrior pose, and the benefits these can give you. Warrior 1 Warrior 1 is a pose that will give you more flexibility in your hips, strengthen and tone your legs when practiced often.

The Psychological Benefits of Yoga
The Psychological Benefits of Yoga
We all know that practicing yoga can have great physical health benefits, but it can also benefit your psychological and mental health state. There’s no denying the high that you get after a successful yoga class or practice, and that zen-like state of feeling calm, grounded and centered. Yoga is a great practice if you’ve been feeling down, negative, or scattered with your thoughts. Practicing yoga has a way of subsiding those negative emotions, bringing you into a state of calm and peace. Yoga also helps you feel a connection to your body, and helps you become more aware of any thoughts, emotions and physical feelings around your mind and body. This sensation of mindfulness can help improve our emotional health, and lead into a calm state. The psychological benefits of yoga have lead to the practice being regarded as a great practice for those suffering from stress, anxiety, and other mental health problems. Yoga changes your brain.

A Complete Guide to the Lower Chakras
A Complete Guide to the Lower Chakras
The lower Chakras consist of the Root Chakra, the Sacral Chakra and the Power Center. These three chakras look after your physical and emotional identity, as well as your self image and your relationship to the physical world. The lower chakras are the chakras that keep you grounded, and connected to the world. They connect to the feet, legs, hips, lower back and core. Here’s a guide to the three lower chakras, and how you can balance them for a more productive life. The root chakra is the first chakra, and is your foundation. This Chakra connects your body to the earth, and draws energy to give you strength. If you’re looking for stability in life, a strong root chakra is key.

10 Habits to Help You Sleep Better
10 Habits to Help You Sleep Better
Keeping to healthy sleep habits can be one of the best goals to give yourself for the new year. A good night’s sleep can improve your physical and mental health, reduce stress, improve weight loss and much more! It’s one of the basic human needs that a lot of us don’t get enough of. If you’re finding yourself perma-tired, here’s a few habits to help you sleep to pick up in 2019, so that you can start to get a good night’s sleep. Here are 10 effective habits to help you sleep better! 1. Keep a consistent sleep schedule Your body’s circadian rhythm is it’s 24hr cycle, and it functions on a set loop based on when the sun rises and sets. If you keep a consistent schedule with your sleeping and waking times, your sleep quality will improve. An irregular sleeping pattern can cause long-term sleep problems, and can also affect your body’s natural circadian rhythm. This helps signal your brain to sleep too. If you’re struggling to drop off at night, or waking up throughout your sleep, an easy habit to help you sleep better is to start waking and sleeping at the same times.

6 Steps to Setting & Achieving Your Goals
6 Steps to Setting & Achieving Your Goals
It’s the time of year when many of us will be thinking about the year ahead, and setting some goals and resolutions to achieve in the next twelve months. It can be easy to just think “I want to achieve…”, but if you want to actually succeed in your resolutions, you need to set achievable goals. If you don’t have a goal to work towards, you can lose focus and direction, and be further from achieving the challenges you set yourself. Goals also help you set a benchmark for determining your success! There are steps you can take to help you set and achieve your goals. It takes some careful thought into what it is you want to do, and how you’re going to go about achieving it. Here’s our top tips for setting and achieving your goals. 1. Set yourself a motivational goal It’s very important that your goals are motivational to you.

16 Little Ways to Celebrate Life Everyday
16 Little Ways to Celebrate Life Everyday
Life is here to be celebrated. It’s full of both small and big joyful moments, which should be appreciated and acknowledged. Celebrating life, in however small a way, can help us have a more positive outlook, feel happier and feel healthier. It’s really important to take time each day to celebrate life in all its intricacies, especially when life is busy with work and responsibilities. Here’s 20 little ways to celebrate life every day. 1. Start the day by giving thanks When you wake up each morning, try to take a couple of minutes to celebrate your life. Perhaps when you have your morning coffee or tea, just take a moment to thank the universe for the day ahead of you. Starting your day with a sense of gratitude can open your mind up in a positive way. 2. Acknowledge the small achievements

Easy Ways to Get Started with Manifestation
Easy Ways to Get Started with Manifestation
Manifestation works on the principle that the thoughts we have can attract desires we have. The idea is each thought we have then creates an energy flow around our bodies. The energy flowing around us attracts similar energies. So, for example, if you’re thinking negative thoughts, your energy will be negative and you’ll attract negative experience. However, we can harness this principle to bring positive vibes into our lives. When we realise we’re in control of the experiences we manifest, we can in turn, think positive thoughts and attract positive experiences. Each thought we have influences the energy we exude, and this energy manifests into our life experiences. Here’s some easy ways to get started with manifestation. 1. Stay General

6 Ways Yoga Can Make you Better at Skiing
6 Ways Yoga Can Make you Better at Skiing
Yoga has lots of benefits for those who love to hit the snow. It can increase strength, flexibility and even balance - as well as helping prevent injury. Our classes this week focus on poses for skiers and snowboarders, and here’s some ways practicing yoga can make you better on the slopes. 1. Yoga will give you a strong core You’ll need a strong core for a good skiing or snowboarding posture. Keeping your core engaged, especially while skiing is important, as otherwise you will fold your upper body and put pressure on your back, making it harder to move and turn. The stronger your core, the easier you will find this. Yoga poses all require core strength, and you can practice poses such as plank and chair to give your core some extra strength before your skiing trip. 2. Yoga will help your focus

6 Benefits Practicing Gratitude Can Bring to Your Life
6 Benefits Practicing Gratitude Can Bring to Your Life
Practicing gratitude is not just saying ‘thank you’ when someone opens a door for you. Feeling gratitude for all positive aspects in your life is a great way to shift your perspective from any problems and imperfections, and help you appreciate the little things. Taking some time to be thankful for your health, friends, family, or job can all help you change your perspective, especially in challenging times. Practicing gratitude can bring a wealth of benefits to your day to day life. Here are 6 of the best benefits practicing gratitude can have on your life: 1. Practicing gratitude relieves stress Anything that relieves stress is going to be beneficial not only to your mental health, but also your physical health too.

8 Advanced Yoga Poses to Work Towards
8 Advanced Yoga Poses to Work Towards
Feeling a little unchallenged by your yoga practice? Perhaps you’re finding that you can do each pose without struggle, and you’re finding it all a little tedious. It’s time to shake up your practice! With yoga there’s always more advanced variations, or different ways to change up your routine. While you might have seen some advanced yoga poses and instantly thought you’d never achieve them, if you’re finding yourself in a yoga rut, giving yourself a more difficult pose to aim for is a great way to bring some purpose back into your practice. Here’s our run down of some trickier poses to aim for, whether you’re a master yogi, or a relative beginner. 1. Eka Hasta Vrksasana - One Handed Tree Pose

12 Tips to Fight Signs of Aging
12 Tips to Fight Signs of Aging
Time comes for us all, and while getting older is a natural process that’s fully embracing, you may want to fight certain signs of aging. Whether it’s physiological changes such as slower movements and decreased mobility, or something more superficial, like those wrinkles around the eyes, everyone has a different concern about getting older. You might be wondering what the best way to fight signs of aging are, or just want some advice on how to stay healthy and active in older age. We’ve put together some key tips to fight signs of aging, from what you use on your skin, to what you do to stay active, and even how to keep your brain sharp. Here are 12 essential tips to fight signs of aging, broken down into 4 important categories!

7 Ways of Finding Time for Self-Care
7 Ways of Finding Time for Self-Care
A side effect of modern life seems to be that we’re always on the go. From balancing your career and personal life, to spending time with your family, it can be hard to find time in your schedule to dedicate to yourself and self-care. Finding time for self-care can often take a backseat to our other responsibilities and obligations, but it’s important to take the time to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Here’s our top 7 tips for finding time for self-care, even if you’re living an ‘on the go’ lifestyle! 1. Master a go-to meal

4 Reasons to Branch Out in Your Yoga Practice
4 Reasons to Branch Out in Your Yoga Practice
Sun Salutations, Warrior Poses, Downward Dog – every yogi has their favourite tried and tested poses and flows that they may be able to do with their eyes closed. As you move through your daily routine on the matt, you might notice your mind drifting. The flows that once took concentration and took your mind away from the humdrum day to day thoughts are now second nature, and you’ve lost your sense of zen. It’s easy to get into a rut if you stick to your comfort zones in life – and your yoga practice is no different. This week we’re challenging you to try a new class every day for two weeks. Here are four key benefits that branching out in your yoga practice can bring you. 1. Keep your brain active Did you know that learning a new skill, such as a different language or something creative like a musical instrument can help your brain form new connections? The same applies when you learn a new yoga flow or try a challenging pose. Stimulating your brain in this way can increase your memory skills, concentration and even your creativity levels. Learning something new, like figuring out a new yoga challenge can create neural pathways in the brain, increasing brain power.

How Yoga Can Strengthen the Joints
How Yoga Can Strengthen the Joints
If you’re struggling with painful or weak joints, you may be avoiding exercise, to reduce the inflammation and sensitivity. But did you know that practicing yoga can help strengthen the joints and certain poses can actually reduce joint pain? Here’s our top reasons why yoga can strengthen the joints, as well as some poses to practice if weak joints are affecting you. A joint is the place where two bones meet, and are made up of bones, tendons to connect your muscles to your bones, ligaments, cartilage for cushioning and synovial fluid for lubrication and to reduce friction. Most joint injuries occur from working out too hard, lifting weights that are too heavy, repetitive movement or falling. Common injuries are sprains and strains that inflame the joints and cause pain. Yoga is a great way to ease back into exercise while also helping to strengthen joints. Yoga works to increase your range of motion, which reduces future injury.