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


10 Free Ways to Chill Out Right Now
10 Free Ways to Chill Out Right Now
It's too easy to be on edge all the time these days. Technology addiction, political tension, being busy all of the time. Many of us are plagued with some or all of these things on a daily basis. More and more of us are reporting feelings of anxiety regularly. It's important we do things regularly to counteract feelings of tension, and let our minds and bodies unwind, chill out, and relax. We're all unique, so it's important we search around for things that work for us. However, it doesn't always have to cost a therapy session, or big trip to allow yourself to relax. There are things you can do, right now, that are completely free, that can help you relax and chill out. Here are 10 free ways to relax, right now:

How to Incorporate Self-Care into Your Daily Life
How to Incorporate Self-Care into Your Daily Life
Self-care is an all-encompassing term that we tend to hear a lot, but what actually is self care, and why is it important? Self-care means taking care of your body, mind and soul - every day, not just when you’re feeling run down. This can include eating healthy, doing positive activities, and taking some time out for yourself, in order to stay happy and healthy. Sounds easy enough right? However, it’s not always as straightforward as it seems.

The Inspiration Download: Interview with Iana Velez, Publisher of NY Yoga Life Magazine
The Inspiration Download: Interview with Iana Velez, Publisher of NY Yoga Life Magazine
The Insight & Inspire interview series feature different people who are bringing ideas to life and sharing something with the world that they are passionate about, whether it's through teaching yoga, creating a business, doing work in their community, creating art, hosting events, bringing to life new wellness products, or more. These interviews highlight real people who have brought ideas to life and give real-life insight and inspiration on their processes and journey. This session is with the Publish & Editor-in-Cief of NY Yoga Life magazine, Iana Velez. What are you passionate about sharing with the world? Why does this motivate you?

Perfectionism On & Off the Yoga Mat
Perfectionism On & Off the Yoga Mat
Do you long to perform better on your yoga mat? Maybe you’ve seen an impressive peacock pose on Instagram and feel shameful that your pose doesn’t look nearly that graceful? Well, I know the feeling; I’ve been there, too. But listen up, y’all. Contrary to popular belief, yoga is NOT about how flexible you are, your cute leggings, or your ability to stand on one hand. Everybody is built differently, and in an ideal world, each pose would be specifically instructed to fit each body. For example, the shape of my particular hip sockets will never ever – not even after twenty MORE years of practicing yoga – allow me to come into a safe lotus pose. And currently, my massage practice takes all I’ve got out from my wrists and leaves nothing else for arm balances.

Surround Yourself with People Who Fill You Up with Happiness
Surround Yourself with People Who Fill You Up with Happiness
Surround yourself you people who top you up. Fill your friendship bag with the people who are there in an instant when you need them. The people who you laugh the loudest with and those that you laugh along, with even when they are laughing at you! The friends who make you realise and feel just how special you are.

15 Things to Do to Get Out of a Funk
15 Things to Do to Get Out of a Funk
If you're feeling like you're stuck in a rut do not worry. We all have our moments, you're never stuck, and there are things you can do, on any given day, to turn the momentum around. This is not a post to disregard or invalidate whatever you may be feeling, but rather to encourage you not to get stuck there and keep doing your best to stay bright and optimistic. Ready to turn things around?

Inspiration to Live a Beautiful Life
Inspiration to Live a Beautiful Life
ife begins and ends with you. It is all too easy to use time to rattle off numerous reasons why life is harder, tougher, sadder or more challenging for you. Why waste the time though! We each have the same 24 hours in our days to make use of. You and you alone get to choose how you will spend them.

Healthy Roots: Heal Your 1st Chakra with Yoga
Healthy Roots: Heal Your 1st Chakra with Yoga
The first chakra is the chakra that most reflects the physical body; also known as the root chakra, or Muladhara. Energetically speaking, the root chakra contains the information that codes how we take care of our physical bodies, what set of experiences have created assistance and resistance to being in our bodies, survival information, safety information, fight, or flight information, and our connection to our mother. Whenever we feel that things are no longer in alignment with us, or could use some mending or transformation, the first chakra tends to be the best place to go within and get curious.

Transform Your Life Through Ritual and Journaling
Transform Your Life Through Ritual and Journaling
A few weeks ago, I hit a real low point. It happens to all of us, no matter how spiritually advanced we are. Despite the number of Downward Dogs I may have done that morning, I was still not immune to having a bad day. I felt overwhelmed. Anxious. I felt I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other and complete the tasks of the day, because my mind was reeling. The pandemic. The Black Lives Matter movement. The uncertainty of all of it got to me. The tears came with such force I had no choice but to hunker down and let them flow. My attention moved from overwhelm to intense feeling and all I could do was feel my emotions with every inch of me. I didn’t have words to describe these emotions, and I didn’t need that, I just needed to feel it all.

Want Happiness? Focus on Solutions, More than Your Problems
Want Happiness? Focus on Solutions, More than Your Problems
Want to feel like life is easy and good? Then focus on that desire, more than anything else that might seem in the way of it. While it is easy to focus on one's shortcomings, like anxiety, depression, and things that feel real and impossible to overcome, the truth is we will never overcome them by focusing on them. Where the attention goes, the energy flows. Sure, it might be easy for someone not experiencing any specific issue to say, 'just ignore it', but on some level, we all have the power to choose what we focus on.

Yummy Yoga Flow Challenge with Claire
Yummy Yoga Flow Challenge with Claire
You can find santosha and cultivate contentment through yoga. Does your happiness depend upon what is occurring around you or does your sense of joy and serenity arise from within? According to Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of yoga, we can learn to cultivate contentment from the inside out. Santosha, the second Niyama or moral observance, means contentment. Like everything in yoga, the concept sounds simple, but the implementation takes discipline, desire, and focus. With a dedicated practice, we can shift our perspective and learn not to be constantly derailed by what’s happening around us. When we are living in the midst of a global crisis, you might wonder how in the heck to feel content or happy. You aren’t alone. We’re all in this together.

A Yogi's Guide to Surviving Anger
A Yogi's Guide to Surviving Anger
Alongside insecurity, anxiety and self-centeredness, one of my greatest emotional challenges in life has been anger. And while it was much worse in my teens and twenties, it still tests me. Even just a couple of years ago, when I was living in Hawaii, there were days when I just woke up with an unshakable and debilitating irritability and animosity towards everyone and everything, for no immediately obvious reason. And this was particularly disheartening because, at the time, I felt that I had everything for which I could ever wish; I was living where I had always dreamed of living and had a wonderful partner, all the time I desired for investing in my practices, meaningful and successful work that generated more than enough income to support our modest but very comfortable life – not to mention surfboards, paddle boards, hiking shoes, climbing gear, and the perfect environment in which to use them all, every single day. And here I was, waking up exasperated and resentful of a life that was failing to fulfill me, compounded by all the guilt and shame that resulted from judging myself for feeling this way. It was a horribly difficult time, but it did teach me at least one important lesson: anger won’t disappear at some point in the future, when external conditions are perfect.

Finding Santosha: How to be Content Right Now!
Finding Santosha: How to be Content Right Now!
As I sit here and think about this blog post, I can hear in the back of my head, "I will finally be happy when this post is written." Here I am placing conditions on my happiness and I know that I am not just doing it here, but I am guilty of it in many other area of my life. Thinking about this thought, I ask myself, “am I really going to be happy and content long term when this blog post is written? Or will I be seeking the next goal to place my conditions of contentment on?” Conditions on contentment was never something that I ever gave much thought to, I just assumed that they came with the process of being content, however, fleeting it may have been. However, true contentment does not lie in reaching the destination, but rather in enjoying the process. Something that I would come to learn through my personal yoga practice and the trials and errors of seeking lasting contentment.

Energetic Maintenance Techniques During COVID-19
Energetic Maintenance Techniques During COVID-19
I am 100% on board with respecting and adhering to the CDC, WHO, and NIAID’s suggestions for staying home, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks in public, and washing hands. I am choosing to abide by the suggestions made by my governor as well as all of the medical professionals offering guidance, but as a psychic and energy worker, I will admit that I even take it a step further. I have found there are ways I can actually work the energy of my body and its energetic field to improve my feelings of safety, security, and well being during a time like this, and I wanted to share those methods with you. Everything is energy, everything.

8 Healthy Habits for Life During Quarantine
8 Healthy Habits for Life During Quarantine
To start living the life that you want, you need to work on healthy habits every day. This requires patience because you have to learn new things. The younger you are, the easier it is to do, but the truth is, we are all able to change our habits and ways of living. Now, in a life of quarantine, you have to make a decision between falling into a habit of having a bag of chips and unhealthy food, or doing things that are more beneficial for your body. Sometimes it is difficult to change daily routines, and this is being forced upon all of us right now, so it's important we all decide what our ideal routine will be. If you're unexpectedly stuck at home, here are some simple healthy habits you can implement. These eight inspiring ideas will keep the body and mind healthier during quarantine. Yoga This practice can be the beginning of a new way of living for you. Yoga brings relaxation not only to the body but to the mind as well. You'll learn breathing techniques and meditate.

Asking for Help: Lessons Learned from Playtime with a Child 
Asking for Help: Lessons Learned from Playtime with a Child 
Have you ever watched a small child learn to do something for the first time? I was watching a little boy put a brand new puzzle together, and this was the largest puzzle he had ever built. As he was arranging the pieces, I noticed some of them were backwards or upside down, and he was trying to put pieces together that wouldn’t fit. I just sat there silently, internally laughing at the dialogue my ego was having that instantly saw this scenario was just another playfully packaged, yet somehow intrinsically deep life lesson.

A Yogi’s Guide to Surviving Lockdown
A Yogi’s Guide to Surviving Lockdown
So, I won’t be the first to suggest that some good might come of the lockdown and social distancing enforced upon many of us by government action over the spread of Covid-19. Social media is not only full of political rants and tyrades of fear, but also of heartfelt encouragements, expressions of kindness and solidarity, and even beautiful poetry about us members of the great human family who are stepping up to take care of each other in difficult times, about the benefits to the environment and ecosystem of the planet from the forced cessation of destructive human production and transportation activities, and even about the psychological and spiritual benefits of just withdrawing from the world a while and spending time with ourselves.

Connecting with the Water Element
Connecting with the Water Element
Of all the five elements, the element of water most represents coolness, being in a flow state, and adaptability. When water meets an obstacle, it doesn’t break, burn, or become stuck. When water meets an obstacle, it goes around that obstacle. It always finds another way. When we connect with the energy of water, we also connect with the receptive, yin-energy, and the sacred feminine within. Someone with a water-state-of-mind has less of a “go-getter vibe” and more of a natural attitude of acceptance. A person with a water-state-of-mind may not seem to be striving in the traditional sense, but in the end, they get the desired result. In a way, this mindset allows one to more easily “go with the flow” and allow the outcome to come without chasing or striving.

Simple Things to Do to Believe In Yourself More
Simple Things to Do to Believe In Yourself More
Sometimes in life we get knocked off center. We CAN begin to doubt ourselves and struggle to find ways to trust ourselves, our strengths, beliefs, our knowledge, and our power. We can get knocked off center because of things that came up unexpectedly, or something we tried that didn’t go according to plan. Maybe a harsh word from another or ourselves that allowed self-doubt to creep in. The causes can be endless, but regardless of any cause, any cause of imbalance always rests at home in our mind and our thoughts. It is in the mind where we can hide out in the past or false truths, instead facing the untainted present with clarity and confidence. We can know all of this and yet still feel challenged to find the confidence to give things another try, or step out of our protective barriers. An easy way to restore confidence is to do something you know you do really well.

Yes, What Goes Up, Must Come Down, But...
Yes, What Goes Up, Must Come Down, But...
Often times we hear the saying, “what goes up, must come down.” As someone who’s had their fair share of traumas, this phrase has been real throughout my healing journey. I call it, doom and gloom energy. It is a fear around things being good, and then not enjoying them when they are good, because you’re too busy waiting for what is going to go wrong and screw it all up! As I have explored this and still explore this within myself and clients, I have come to realize that yes, Newton was on to something when he said "what goes up, must come down", but no, what goes up doesn’t always need to come down with a crash landing. Transitions from one chapter or experience to the next, can be relatively smoothe and peaceful. Rather than a Newtonian approach, what if we looked at this concept in terms of airplanes.

Fear of Failure vs. Fear of Success
Fear of Failure vs. Fear of Success
Fear of failure vs. fear of success. In writing it looks clear, sure plenty of people understandably have a fear of failure, but looks ridiculous why anyone would have fear of success. And yet it is common. I for one can put both hands up to say success terrifies me way more than failure. In fact, I sit quite easily with failure. Perhaps it’s because my self doubt convinced me a long time again that I would fail, so then if and when it happens I am prepared and I can say “I knew this would happen!” The saying whether you “believe you can or you can’t, you are absolutely right” rings true.

5 Ways to Stay Inspired On and Off the Mat
5 Ways to Stay Inspired On and Off the Mat
It’s easy to fall into the habit of always taking the same yoga classes and teachers, walking or running the same routes. Suddenly, you find yourself uninspired and unmotivated in not just your practice, but also your life. Remember, your yoga practice mirrors your life off the mat. The key is to stay open-minded and curious and always keep learning. We’re here with some tips to help! 1. Venture Out of Your Comfortable Routine Try a new teacher, new class, or new style of yoga this week. We all know consistency in your yoga practice is crucial, but sometimes we fall into a rut. If you find yourself dragging your feet to get to class, try something outside of your comfort zone. If your go to practice is Vinyasa or Ashtanga, try a Yin or Iyengar class or vice-versa. Even if the class you choose isn’t one that you’ll return to, it will give you a renewed appreciation for your usual choices. And you may learn something new by slowing down or stepping it up.

To Force, or To Flow?
To Force, or To Flow?
“Don’t write a book unless you just can not NOT write it.” – Maya Angelou I haven’t been writing much lately, in my blog, or anywhere, truly. My yoga dharma talks, which were once the effusive ideologues of youth, have been reserved and quiet. My energy has been taken up by personal relationships and by growing my coaching business, which takes me being more extroverted than is in my true nature. And now, at the end of the day, I find that there’s not a lot left over to give to writing or inspiring. You understand, right? Even if you’re not growing a business or doing the dance of an on-again-off-again relationship, you pour your energy out in so many different directions. In busy times like these, we can learn to prioritize consciously, rather than succumb to a haphazard whirlwind of to-do lists. We can sort by which activities have the most impact, which takes the shortest amount of time, and which brings us the most joy.

Powerful Benefits Of Yoga and Meditation In Addiction Recovery
Powerful Benefits Of Yoga and Meditation In Addiction Recovery
There are many things you can do to enrich your spiritual life while in recovery from an addiction. And I’ve found that without doing so, the stress of learning to live without drugs and alcohol can be so intense that I can’t stay sober unless I find some suitable resources to cope. I wasn’t a big fan of the idea of holistic therapy at first. However, over time I’ve really developed an appreciation for meditation and yoga. They’ve both really contributed to the quality of my recovery. I’m going to explore the benefits of both in detail below. Yoga In the context of addiction recovery, yoga is best utilized alongside traditional treatment options that emphasize professional therapy and participation in a support group like AA.

5 Secrets to Living a Balanced Life
5 Secrets to Living a Balanced Life
Having a balanced life can be a key for success. Keeping things in balance can lead to a stress free life, peace of mind and having a good life. We all have a manner of responsibility, and keeping these in balance with things that we enjoy doing can be hard. However, if things get off balance, stress can occur, as well as emotional or even physical health issues. Here’s our top secrets to maintaining a balanced life. Take care of yourself If you’re not healthy and living an unhealthy lifestyle, you’ll find it hard to get everything done. The first step to living a balanced life is to get enough sleep, eat nutritious food and exercise. You can’t function as an adult while not getting enough of these things. As well as taking care of your physical health, take some time to look after yourself mentally too - try to find time for activities you love, and help yourself unwind after a stressful day by doing something relaxing. This will put you in a great state of mind to lead a balanced lifestyle.