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


Sitting in Joy
Sitting in Joy
People ask me all the time, “How do you do it? How do you manifest every single thing you say you are going to do?” And I laugh because although I’ve gotten really skilled at manifesting the ‘good’ things, I’ve also been witness to patterns that create less than desirable outcomes time and time again.

Reconsidering Savasana
Reconsidering Savasana
On the topic of Savasana, I've heard some variation of this for years: "Savasana means dead man's pose." That's because when you're in Savasana, you're supposed to be as still as a dead man." Then there's something about how stillness is elusive in modern Western society and how we deserve a few minutes of peace and quiet in a chaotic world.

Connection
Connection
I am inspired to write about connection again at this time of the year for those of you who adore the holidays as much as I do. And for those of you who don’t – you may get something out of this as well so read on.

The Disease of Doing
The Disease of Doing
There is an epidemic in the industrial world that is accepted, embraced, and nearly revered by most of us. Do you suffer from this vastly-spreading, oddly coveted disease? It remains nameless, but you know of it, for sure. If you don’t have it, then you most certainly know a person — or ten — who has caught it and talks about it with a hint of self-importance.

Feel BIG
Feel BIG
Have you ever had an encounter with someone who tries to make you feel small? Someone who belittles you? Or do you ever find that you are in fact the person who does this to yourself? I had an encounter with this a while back. Someone made me feel small, and tried to get in my head. I felt small. I felt caved in. And THEN it transferred over into my yoga practice. I tried to do a headstand and BOOM, hit a wall (literally). Couldn't stick the pose. And then I thought - what if instead, I focus on being BIG? And I lifted up with a little more ease.

Spiritual Warrior
Spiritual Warrior
I have been sitting here… for literally… THREE DAYS trying to blog. About what? I’m not sure! I must have started 10 blogs and not ONE was resonating with me! It all felt so ‘canned’. Last night I fell asleep on my computer! Apparently I thought that if I laid my face on the keyboard some magical inspiration would arise. The only thing that did happen was I woke up laughing and said out loud… “Damn, I am one helluva spiritual warrior!” So I decided to stop fighting and struggling to come up with something new this month. That will come later… I pulled this from my book, Oms from the Mat. Here’s an amazing reminder of what we ALL are inside and out.

Homemade Pumpkin Face Mask
Homemade Pumpkin Face Mask
Treat yourself to a pumpkin facial this Fall! Every year I save the fresh pumpkin after carving our Jack O' Lantern and make myself this special treat. It's so fresh and fabulous! Whether it's fresh or canned pumpkin that you use, you will feel renewed as your skin soaks up all the many nutrients of this seasonal squash.

Falling into Your Truth
Falling into Your Truth
Do you believe that people change? I do. In fact, the reality is that we are always evolving. To be clear, we are given daily opportunities to evolve. Whether or not we choose to take those opportunities and use them for the evolution of our soul is another matter.

Sure Footing
Sure Footing
Stability and security… what does it mean to you?

Yoga Selfies: To Share, or Not to Share?
Yoga Selfies: To Share, or Not to Share?
Back in July, you may have seen the New York Times article called, "Yoga Practitioners Gaze at Their Inner Selfies." Author Kayleen Shaffer examined the juxtaposition of vanity and yoga and created quite a stir among supporters and haters alike. Though nobody wants to admit it, most selfies are about vanity; but with yoga, there's another dynamic: yoga isn't supposed to be about the shape of the poses. (If it were, it would be a competition that pre-teen gymnasts would win.) If it's so much about controlling the mind, breath and ego, are we trivializing the practice by snapping photos of ourselves in awesome poses? Or are we just celebrating this beautiful practice? In a world where many yogis also enjoy photography and iPhone apps, how do we strike a balance?

Yoga Success
Yoga Success
Get motivated and inspired for your yoga practice with a story that invites you to shift your perspective!





Yoga Bliss - Owning Your Actions
Yoga Bliss - Owning Your Actions
Blame no one. Turn the arrow around on yourself in ALL situations. This is one lesson that I am slowly beginning to not only know, but understand and embrace. In the last year, I have been faced with countless opportunities, as most of us are, where pointing the finger at someone else is the obvious and logical choice. And what I ended up with is more angst, contraction and stress in my body as a result of the blame I created. The person I was pointing at usually does not change, and the only person who ends up feeling horrible is me.

Life - Keep it a Discovery
Life - Keep it a Discovery
Life as a child carries with it so much wonder and magic. Everything is new and exciting, and in an attempt to understand unfathomable concepts our imaginations run wild. For these reasons life as a child is always a discovery and seldom boring. During these years our spirits soar and our creativity remains high. We are able to sing spontaneously and jump into puddles. We play with anyone who is willing, and forget about things like fashion and looks. We build sand castles and dance even when no music is playing. Life is rich.

Unfolding the Path
Unfolding the Path
There are moments in life when, out of nowhere, you are thrown for a loop. You lose your job unexpectedly. You significant other leaves. You lose a family member or friend. Your world can be turned upside down in an instant and you may not know what to do next. Suddenly, the whole world seems to be crumbling at your feet.

Pause. Listen.
Pause. Listen.
My favorite moment in a yoga class is after the final OM. I look around the room and relish in the still space where for a brief moment, no one is in a rush.

Ishvara Pranidhana - Surrendering to the Divine
Ishvara Pranidhana - Surrendering to the Divine
Pranidhana means "surrendering," while Ishvara means "to a higher source." Shiva Rae says, “Ishvara Pranidhana initiates a sacred shift of perspective that helps us to remember, align with, and receive the grace of being alive.” Ishvara Pranidhana takes us away from our constant obsession with the self and ego, and connects us to Source, to the Divine, to that which is in all things, to the TRUE SELF.

How a Few Breaths a Day Can Change You
How a Few Breaths a Day Can Change You
“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

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.