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


What Do You Practice Every Day?
What Do You Practice Every Day?
Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice just makes practice, which inevitably leads to a habit, good or bad.

Living Your Svadharma
Living Your Svadharma
I was talking with a girlfriend the other day. Actually it seems like I have been talking to a lot of women lately with a similar unanswered question pestering their mind, “what am I suppose to be doing?” And the question posed is not always directed towards the same thing. Some are inquiring about love, others about work, others about where they should settle down and grow roots. Yet in this particular instance we were talking about the whole picture: love, work, location … all of it. And as we all do from time to time my girlfriend got caught in the inevitable and detrimental cycle of listing all the things she felt she SHOULD be doing.

Overcoming What Holds You Back
Overcoming What Holds You Back
There is a saying: “It is not who you are that holds you back, it is who you think you are not.”

Hopelessness Can Be a Good Thing
Hopelessness Can Be a Good Thing
When you meditate, I want you to be hopeless. It may sound strange, but I simply want you to lose that need to drive forward that we all have. Instead of focusing on expectations and outcomes, I want you to witness what’s going on in your mind at this moment.

Why It's Easy to Be Happy
Why It's Easy to Be Happy
I was driving to the airport the other day and my three year old, Madeline, starting howling in the back seat. Cracking up. Her laughter was uncontrollable. I turned around and asked her what was so funny. “Mommy,” she said, “Big Bird is wearing a tutu! Oh my gosh! EVERYONE is wearing a tutu!.” And just like that, she was filled with delight. It was that simple.

Ten Rewards of Meditation
Ten Rewards of Meditation
When I am speaking to a large group and introduce the idea of meditation, I can see the immediate look of disdain in the audience. They are not just surprised, but visibly uncomfortable and sometimes even borderline angry. But after they spend five minutes in stillness (as I often call it), I see their look of discomfort replaced with relief, relaxation, and even gratitude. They have discovered a new practice that brings them an immediate peace and calm most of them have not known before.

Ahimsa - The Foundation of Yoga
Ahimsa - The Foundation of Yoga
Before there were yoga asanas, before there were yoga mats, before there were even yoga teachers, there was ahimsa, the very first sutra in the original philosophy of yoga, and this is the core of anyone’s yoga practice, whether they realize it or not.

Going Beyond Asana
Going Beyond Asana
In Western yoga, asana has become a practice of yoga poses for physical fitness. However, in ancient Indian traditions asana was practiced as a primer for meditation. Working your body encourages your mind to be still. Maintaining balance and using brute strength in moving from pose to pose will tire your muscles, making it easier for you to sit peacefully.

Post-Yoga Smoothie Recipe
Post-Yoga Smoothie Recipe
I came home from teaching a hot yoga class today and knew I didn’t want to be weighed down with something heavy to eat, but I needed to nourish my body. My favorite way to make a smoothie is to check out my kitchen and see what is available. This was my most random blend, and it turns out I LOVED it.

10.5 Tips for Beginner Yogis
10.5 Tips for Beginner Yogis
Starting out with yoga (or even thinking about trying it) can be overwhelming. I know, we've all been there! I remember trying to navigate my very first yoga class, so different than the aerobics class I took earlier that week. I could tell that I was supposed to be relaxing, but was I really breathing right? Was I doing the poses perfectly? Could other people tell it was my first class? I felt like it was glaringly obvious that I was a newbie. I had so much to learn and unlearn.

5 Innovative Ways to Feel Happier
5 Innovative Ways to Feel Happier
Sometimes feeling happier is easier than you think. But what is difficult is knowing where to invest your energy so that your happiness blossoms and becomes sustainable. Here are five easy and practical ideas that anyone can implement to take steps towards a more positive state of mind:

What Mindfulness Can Do for You
What Mindfulness Can Do for You
Mindfulness, being awake and aware in the present moment, is so powerful because it is the only place we can decide, create, listen, act, and live.

Awaken Your Prana
Awaken Your Prana
Sometimes, my energy feels zapped. I know it’s in there, but I just can’t seem to find it. Sometimes it occurs as a foggy head. Other times I feel tired. And sometimes I just want to sit and watch a marathon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (love it). But I know that deep down, my energy is waiting, stuck somewhere, looking to be released.

5 Ways to Practice Self-Love
5 Ways to Practice Self-Love
We can all agree love makes the world go round, but we may forget that it all begins with each one of us. Whatever your current relationship status is, if you seek love from another, fall in love with yourself first.

How to Realize Your Own Perfection
How to Realize Your Own Perfection
We’ve been conditioned to believe that we are not good enough. Industries make millions from our insecurities. There is no money in people who already think they are beautiful, attractive and clever. Along my journey through personal development, it was highlighted to me that 98% of the world around us is always trying to break us down, make us think that we can’t achieve our dreams, and that we don’t know enough. A mere 2% of the people in the world around us are the unique individuals who can see our incredible potential and give us the boost we need to see that in ourselves. The trick is to learn how to surround ourselves with that 2% and rewire our brains to see the truth - that we TOTALLY ROCK!

14 Ways to Celebrate and Save our Planet
14 Ways to Celebrate and Save our Planet
In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would put out some reminders/ideas on how to love, nurture, and appreciate our planet more. Please feel free to share your own ideas of ways you celebrate and save our Earth in the comment box below!

The Impact of Yoga for Peace
The Impact of Yoga for Peace
From an orphanage in Moracco, to a ship on the China seas, to a military base in Iraq, to an elementary school in Thailand, Peace Corps volunteers and U.S military personnel are practicing and teaching yoga thanks to YogaDownload’s Yoga for Peace program. Through this program, active U.S military and Peace Corps volunteers receive a free unlimited membership to YogaDownload, which gives them access to hundreds of downloadable yoga classes and meditations. The founder of YogaDownload, Jamie Kent, created Yoga for Peace in 2006 as a way to give back to those who devote their lives to the service of others. With over hundreds of Peace Corps and Military members, this program has helped each person involved thrive, and also given each member tools to transform the lives of others all over the world.

What Makes You Come Alive?
What Makes You Come Alive?
“Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman

Homage to Yoga
Homage to Yoga
Yoga saved me. Through the practice of Yoga, I found peace where there had been inner violence, silence where there had been chaos, balance where there had been insecurity, self acceptance where there had been self hatred, and presence where there had been an unknowing absence. Some might call it God, some might call it inner wisdom, but to me it was yoga, and yoga saved me from myself.

The Yoga Train You Don't Want to Miss
The Yoga Train You Don't Want to Miss
When something as beautiful and life-changing as yoga gets misunderstood, it's like watching a person miss a train that could have taken them right to the destination of their dreams ... I know that train will take them there, but they pass up on the chance for a free ride to a life-altering vacation; the train revs up its engine and moves away from them, and there's nothing I can do to prove to them that a beautiful vacation destination had awaited them. As a yoga instructor and an avid yoga practitioner for all of my adult life, I think I've heard most of the excuses, reasons, myths, and confusions surrounding yoga.

Balance your Energy & Your bank Account
Balance your Energy & Your bank Account
Yoga is the ultimate way to bring your mind and body into balance. The structured movements strengthen your core muscles, reduce your heart rate and leave you feeling rested yet energetic. So what on Earth does the downward dog have to do with your portfolio? That's easy, well sort of.

Samadhi: Why I work to teach you "Nothing"
Samadhi: Why I work to teach you
The main goal of what we do in yoga is to reach a state called Samadhi. Samadhi is the very state of yoga, and it is a very difficult thing to describe. The only description is “nothing.” That’s a very hard thing to explain – how this nothing can be so good for you. In our lives we’re born with five senses and our five senses are given to us to explore and to survive, all as part of evolution. But the senses aren’t really designed at all for us to look inside; they are designed for us to be in the world, to survive and do stuff out there, and to be busy with life. And that’s the problem.

The masks we Wear & Who we truly are
The masks we Wear & Who we truly are
We all have different personalities. All day we put on the various masks we’ve learned to develop since when we were babies. The more we put on these masks, the more they become who we think we are. So, how do we integrate these different personalities? One of the most amazing experiences in yoga that helps us achieve this is Pratyahara, or drawing the senses inward. We want to bring ourselves to a neutral place so we can focus our senses in, but this is one of the hardest lessons in yoga. The difficulty is most evident when we look at our emotions, our personalities. Heightened emotions happen in life, and it’s hard to say, “Oh, I’m just being silly. Let it go.” Instead, the ego wants to come out.

Cold and Flu Fighters for Yogis
Cold and Flu Fighters for Yogis
Growing up, I would get the flu/cold/bronchitis/upper respiratory infection/etc, every year and be out of commission for a week or two. As an adult, it wasn’t as bad, but I would usually catch a nasty cold at least once a year, and it would linger for awhile. Until last year. In 2012, I was sick for exactly 2 days and then I was right back to my healthy self, with no lingering side-effects. I contribute this to boost in immunity to juicing every day and eating a plant-based diet, and also some herbal remedies that seem to keep the symptoms mild and the progression low.

Be my Healthy Valentine
Be my Healthy Valentine
In my opinion, one of the hardest things about eating healthy is chocolate. There is just something about that sweet, melt in your mouth deliciousness that I just can’t pass up. So when chocolatey holidays like Valentine’s Day come around, it can be quite a challenge to ignore those shiny wrapped, heart shaped goodies.