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


Are you Getting in Your Own Way?
Are you Getting in Your Own Way?
Can I tell you a secret about my work as a health coach? There’s a misconception that health coaches prescribe a diet plan or exercise regime to their clients. In fact, that’s not what I’m up to at all. The reality is that most (not all) people come to me knowing exactly what they should be doing to have a healthy, vibrant, powerful life. And yet they just aren’t doing the things they know would propel them towards their goals. They are getting in their own way. So then my job becomes to help my clients not with a meal plan but with motivation, not with diet but with discipline, not with exercise ideas but with overcoming self-sabotage. Have you ever been all hell-bent and determined to change something in your life and initially attack it with passion then somewhere along the way drop it to the side, perhaps looking back at it every so often with regret or shame? Think New Year’s Resolutions. The honest truth is that improving one’s life and health takes work and often that work can be uncomfortable and unfamiliar. It can be easier to get in your own way, and not move forward towards the goals you're apsiring to. When faced with discomfort it’s absolutely normal for we silly humans to interfere with their own progress.

Travel Inspiration: Magic Island
Travel Inspiration: Magic Island
We all have that one place we dream about and long to go back to, whether it is home, for those of us that live life away from home, or maybe just be an unexpected place that stole your heart. For me it is definitely the latter, a tiny little island called Koh Phangan in Thailand known for its crazy full moon parties (which I still have not attended), vast jungle, beautiful water, warm people, great food, and all things yoga. It's been the most inspirational travel destination I've been fortunate enough to experience. The island place stole my heart when I first unexpectedly ended up there in 2016 before my big move to Singapore. I stayed there for a month and quickly fell in love with the community and the infinite love and ability that existed in this retreat to have whatever you desire.

How to Overcome Disappointment
How to Overcome Disappointment
There is such excitement in imagining opportunities manifest themselves. When opportunities arise and we truly believe we deserve them and our ability to create them, we can even start to see and feel ourselves experiencing them. We have the ability to imagine the things we want unfolding. We may even start to communicate to our friends that it is “happening!” Often, this approach works. However, sometimes things don't turn out exactly or even close to how we wanted them to. It feels disappointing. To move through disappointment without allowing an undesired circumstance to cause us low self esteem or despair is challenging. How did this happen when we believed in what we wanted to happen. When we were already planning our future around this! WTF?! How to overcome disappointment is possible, even when it's challenging. With a focused perspective we can accept whatever challenges life throws at us, as important, and valuable in the long run. Challenge teaches us our capacity, our boundaries, our resilience, our passion. There are many possible disappointments life can provide us; job loss, feeling rejected in a relationship, failing a test, losing our ground, death, participating in an unhealthy behavior, etc.

7 Ways to Turn a Bad Mood into a Good Mood
7 Ways to Turn a Bad Mood into a Good Mood
Some days life feels undeniably easier than other days. It’s part of being human. Ever wake up on the “wrong side of the bed”, where one thing after another seems to keep going wrong and your mood is bad and everyone is bothering you? Life can feel like a struggle on these days, instead of something we’re meant to enjoy and savor. Do you appreciate the opposite days? The days where you are in the flow and one amazing thing after another unfolds and you’re in a good mood, are happy, content, and enjoying life. These are the days we live for. Luckily, we have the power to put ourselves into a good mood and create more of these days, even on those days when we wake up in a bad mood. It’s not always by chance whether we're in a good mood or a bad mood. We have the power to create the days and moods we want. While some days feel more challenging than others, we have the power to turn any day around.

Dream BIG!
Dream BIG!
I am a dreamer. Head in the clouds, anything is possible, never settle kinda' girl. I believe that the bigger your dreams, the bigger your possibilities. Why would you want to place limitations on this short and fleeting life we have been granted? A life without dreams is like a garden without flowers. Where is the beauty? Plant seeds, create awareness and then focus on finding potential. Voicing your dream whether in words or writing, is like fertilizer, so be prepared to watch the dreams blossom into fruition. They say when the student in ready the teacher appears. I say when the seed is planted the sun will shine. If you aim for the stars even if you fall short, you will land in the clouds. From experience I know there is a much better view from the clouds than there is from the ground always looking up and wondering what if. I grew up conservative in my approach. A planner. I saved money and believed in hard work and long term effort to reach goals over time. Then I realized I was frustrated and impatient. My meticulous planning and attention to detail was preventing action.

7 Tips to Stay Hydrated
7 Tips to Stay Hydrated
"Is there one thing that you know you could be doing that would have a big impact on your health and your life that you just don’t do consistently?” This is one of the questions I ask in my initial Health Coaching Discovery Session. when I was once asked this question a clear and simple answer almost screamed in my head: DRINK MORE WATER. Hydration is something I know the benefits of, and talk to clients about on the daily. So why is it so hard for me to make it a habit? Especially in the midst of cold winter days, my tendency is year for a hot cup of coffee (and later a smooth glass of wine) rather than a glass of water. These tips to stay hydrated make it easier to have to remember to drink water and make it more second nature. Lately I’ve been nothing less than obsessed with habit change (loving this book), and the why and how of creating new habits to support overall life goals. I’m leaning that in order to introduce new habits – like drinking more water – one must keep in mind the overall benefits as motivation, and also to set up cues and rewards to make that habit stick.

The Head & The Heart: Your Inner Romeo & Juliet
The Head & The Heart: Your Inner Romeo & Juliet
Have you ever felt like you are living a Shakespearean play within, conflict and drama a plenty? Romeo and Juliet taking duel inside, the battle of head and the heart? Where courage challenges consideration to a duel and thought stabs thrill in the back? At heart, I am all Romeo, full of passion, love and extremes. Loyal to a detriment, I’m often tempted to act foolishly in defense of those I do love dear. This is an example of the heart winning over the head. Oh, the angst and drama that overtakes my life, where it would be all too easy for my heart to throw away any logical order that exists in my life, and insteads leads me on spontaneous adventures and lust inspired indulgences. Life would be fun and fabulous. My heart sometimes guides me to just ignore the dose of danger waiting in the wings. Many times however, I do give thanks to the dear Juliet who lives in my head, which keeps me level and sane. As independent and loyal as Romeo, she is thankfully more capable and self assured.

5 Mood Boosting Foods
5 Mood Boosting Foods
We all need an occasional boost in mood and energy! Try these 5 foods for an almost instant energizer to your mind, body, and soul!

How to Take Action Toward Your Goals (and Why You Haven't Yet)
How to Take Action Toward Your Goals (and Why You Haven't Yet)
This is where meditation can be a great asset. Just taking time to pause and separate yourself from your own mind. Observe your thoughts as they come and go without attachment or judgement. Get curious, watch yourself think. It can also be extremely helpful to have a coach to help tease from your the deep, dank thoughts and beliefs that haven’t shone themselves to you in some time. When you start to clearly see your thoughts that drive your feelings that create your actions, you empower yourself to make the decision whether or not you actually want to change. Maybe, when push comes to shove, you actually don’t? But trying to change from the action level alone without this behind-the-scenes sleuthing will be most likely frustrating, and perhaps even futile. Instead, look into the big WHY you’re doing or not doing something. It may take a bit of reverse engineering.

Love Yourself & Choose You
Love Yourself & Choose You
Give some thought to the relationships in your life. Is there one that stands out? Is there a partnership you can pinpoint as the most important? Who has made an imprint on your heart and soul? Is it a partner? A parent? A best friend? A spiritual guide? It’s normal to forget about the relationship which you didn’t technically sign up for but the one that will last an entire lifetime. It is your relationship with yourself. It’s arguably the most important relationship to stay aware of, and put love into. You make a choice to stay committed to yourself, by getting out of bed each morning. But sometimes we are neglectful of this relationship to ourself, and can simply sleep walk or auto-pilot through our waking hours. But, you have an ability to go above and beyond the most basic commitments to yourself and merely going through the motions. You have the ability to put love, attention, nurture, and care, into how you treat and show up for yourself. Emphasis on this relationship with yourself, and cultivating healthy self-love, has the ability to change your life for the better.

Yoga to Improve Self Confidence
Yoga to Improve Self Confidence
We all have that friend who seems naturally confident and fearless about being exactly who they are, regardless of the situation. Or, perhaps you are the confident one and have learned to tap into your true self and exhibit your personal power. A healthy amount of ego can be a good thing—a strong sense of self-confidence drives success and helps us live an authentic life. True confidence comes from within and self-assurance is a quality that can be cultivated, practiced, and strengthened. It's not just something that comes naturally to some people, and not to others, with nothing we can do to improve our sense of self-confidence. Utilizing yogic techniques of asana, pranayama, and meditation, we can uncover and address the layers of insecurity obscuring our inner strength and practice improving our own self-confidence. Sound good? How can yoga work to help you feel more self-assured in public or be able to speak your truth in a difficult relationship? Yoga can help balance your Manipura chakra, which is associated with the ego, self-confidence, willpower, self-discipline, and fire.

What is Karma? It's Importance in our Self-Realization
What is Karma? It's Importance in our Self-Realization
Yoga tells us that karma is certain. Every thought, word, and action has a vibrational energy that consciously, or unconsciously, creates our reality and experience. In simplest terms, this is karma. Einstein told us that the Universe is curved, supporting Newton’s Law and the Law of Karma, that everything will eventually, and inevitably come back to us. You don't have to believe in past lives or anything esoteric to understand karma. It's the idea that everything we do, or think, has a reaction and a result. It's a simple law of cause and effect. The lessons of karma have an important role for our evolution. It guides us like a treasure map to journey into the mysteries of who we are and what we desire. However, not all experiences of our karma feel good. The challenges we’ve faced like a “bad” relationship, job, illness, addiction, etc. are a result of our karma, and are actually guiding us. The guidance leads us to know with certainty what kind of relationship, job, lifestyle, or behavior we want. Karma can remind us that we deserve the best that we can imagine for ourselves, and if things aren’t going so good, it’s time to change.

The Bright Side of Anger
The Bright Side of Anger
Do you label your feelings as good vs bad? Do you push away the painful and only welcome the pleasant? Do you offer each of your emotions and experiences the same amount of energy? Do you ever feel grateful for your anger? Most of us, the answer is a simple no. We prefer the feel good over the fear based. It can be said it's better to be in a state of positive emotional health, more than in despair and suffering. Still, a full range of feelings is an inevitable part of the human experience and each unique emotion has the potential to teach us something worthwhile. For many, we welcome positive emotions with open arms, and kick and scream when negative emotions such as anger, disappointment, and sadness, are felt. If the end goal is one of acceptance and self-love, shouldn’t we have as much acceptance for our perceived weaknesses and uncomfortable emotions, as we do in our celebrated emotional triumphs and perceived strengths? We can only truly be at peace with ourselves, when we are able to experience peace even in the midst of uncomfortable emotions.

Reality versus Expectation
Reality versus Expectation
The last year has been full of doubt and uncertainty in my own craft. I’ve been teaching yoga and barre full-time for nine years and I’ve felt far less sure and confident of myself today than I did in the beginning. In a world where our worth as a yoga or fitness teacher seems dependent on class numbers, high amounts of followers and likes, and publicly-available Classpass and Google reviews, I have felt like I can’t compete. I’m not a competitive person and I never have been. I feel the pressure to be something extraordinary, to become a celebrity, to get people’s attention and have them care about me and praise me. I see the efforts that others in my community put into their social media and a sense of failure immediately fills my being. Everyone seems to have a professional photographer with them at all times, has unsurmountable inspiration and motivation while sporting the newest gear, the most perfect hair and a perfectly toned body to match.

10 Steps to Heal Heartbreak
10 Steps to Heal Heartbreak
If falling in love is the best thing in the world, heartbreak has to be the worst. Heartbreaks are tough and understandably so; what you just believed to be true is no longer the case. While it may seem like your life is over, please know its not and you will get through this. Having gone through a recent heartbreak myself, I feel you. After I realized another romantic relationship had come to an end, I experienced many peaks and valleys of emotions. Luckily, my yoga practice has taught me many things like patience, non-attachment and compassion so I was able process the breakup in a healthy way. If you’re going through a heartbreak right now, please know you are loved by many. Then read on and test out my 10 steps to break away and return to you. STEP 1: Breathe. Take a deep breath. Inhale through the nose. Exhale out the mouth. Repeat as many times as you need to calm your nerves. Your breath is your strength, your energy, your life force. Even in times you find yourself in complete disbelief, just breathe. When you heart is broken and you can’t imagine another day without him, just breathe.

Discover Your Inner Warrior
Discover Your Inner Warrior
Within us all, rests a powerful warrior. An ally, full of belief, support and courage. A passionate protector, ready to go into battle when there is risk. When harm comes your way, your inner warrior rises into full defense. The reaction of your inner warrior is usually not to external threats, but to the struggles which we create ourselves. Called to action by ego, doubt, fear, ignorance, self-sabotage and neglect. The battle of your inner warrior, is to restore and reveal your best self. Fueled by passion, the inner warrior is strengthened by being open, raw and real. Life experience cultivates wisdom and calling on our inner warrior inspires resilience. Intelligent and articulate, our warrior is fine tuned to rise when needed, acting in support of our highest self. Think of your warrior as your biggest cheerleader.

A Desire to be Inspired
A Desire to be Inspired
Aim to live in a perpetual whirl of inspiration. The source of inspiration is different for each individual but produces the same result- a feeling of peace, acceptance, surrender, and excitement for the flow of life. Ahhh, how great does it feel to pop out of bed, ready to kick the days booty?! If only we could infuse our lives with a constant feeling of inspiration… maybe it’s not as hard as we think. Often, you’ll find inspiration within your own heart- guiding you fearlessly and motivating your actions. Acknowledge this- inspiration will naturally arise depending on your day, your activities, and your life situation. Some periods of your life will flow abundantly with creative energy while other times, you might feel as if you’re sleepwalking through existence. Of course circumstances occur which you cannot control. You’re not alone if you find yourself on a constant rollercoaster of inspirational ups and downs. However, you do have a choice to make habit and consistency of bathing in inspiration every morning.

What is Power?
What is Power?
When we think of power, we tend to think of domination or control. A few years ago, though, I heard of a healthier and more yogic definition of power which resonated with me: power can be measured by how quickly you can make your desire into a reality. When we are in our personal power, we get what we want so easily, as if in the blink of an eye. To access the kind of personal power that allows us to quickly transform what we want into what we have, we must have a clear vision of which possibilities we actually desire. Visualization and goal setting can be a helpful practice to turn the gaze inward and initiate this kind of alchemy.

Live Your Dream, Be the Change
Live Your Dream, Be the Change
This week we celebrate freedom and the right to live the lives of our dreams. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an incredible inspiration for all of us, as exemplified in his iconic “I have a dream” speech. His courage and bravery to fight for the rights of all people resonates today and for all time.

DIY Holiday Gift Cards
DIY Holiday Gift Cards
With not only holidays, but particularly Christmas very much upon on, the whole dash to find the perfect gift has surely begun. And while I can't actually help you find the present (despite the fact that I would love to), I am here to help you with make the present look beautiful.

Essential Reads
Essential Reads
A confession: I’m a book worm. I was recently asked by a teacher during a guided meditation, “Where do you find refuge?”. In other words, where do I go for support, reassurance, and inspiration? Where is my safe harbour? I immediately thought of my books! My library of spiritual guides and how-tos of yoga practice and meditation shout pretty loud and clear to me “You are not alone. Many have walked this path.” I take refuge in this great tradition of teaching and go to it when my spirits are low or if I need a good kick in the bum. Whenever I am lost in this big world of yoga, I recall Joan Didion’s directive from The Year of Magical Thinking: “Read, learn, work it up, go to the literature.” Here are my essentials.

Full Moon in Aries (10/16/16) - It’s Time to Shine, You Crazy Diamond
 Full Moon in Aries (10/16/16) - It’s Time to Shine, You Crazy Diamond
The Full moon in Aries invites us to take charge of our lives and think outside the box. You know you have it in you: the will to do what inspires you most. Take advantage of this sacred energy and put this power to use. Aries carries the energy and passion of our drives and urges into the world. When used wisely, this energy is unstoppable and a force for positive change and growth. If you’ve been playing small up until now…stop. It doesn’t serve you or your gifts. Those who would benefit from what you have to share are waiting for you to make your move.

Creating Yoga Space in Your Bedroom
Creating Yoga Space in Your Bedroom
Like eating a healthy breakfast, doing yoga before you start your day can raise your energy levels and boost your metabolism. It also reduces anxiety by letting you start off each day with a clean slate, free of distractions and in touch with yourself.