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


Easy Chocolate Avocado Truffles
Easy Chocolate Avocado Truffles
Truffles are usually heavy on cream, butter and maybe even some extra sugar in addition to chocolate that is already sweet on its own. But not these truffles! My truffles are as delicious and creamy as their unhealthy brothers are, but at the same time, completely vegan and I would even go as far as calling them healthy! Of course, they are only healthy if consumed in reasonable amounts and not all 20 of them in one sitting ☺. For me, they are just rich enough that 1 or 2 after a meal with a nice cup of tea are just sufficient to satisfy my sweet cravings. A bonus is that they only require two ingredients + whatever you choose to coat them with. Can you guess what the components are? The first one is a no-brainer – dark chocolate just has to be involved when talking about truffles. The darker, the better, I always prefer 80%, but you can test with different ones to find your favorite. The other ingredient is my old favorite – avocado! Avocado is just such a versatile fruit – it is good both in savory and sweet dishes and gives everything a luscious creaminess. Just try to find the one that is just ripe – soft enough, but not overly ripe yet. A small trick on how to find the best avocado – choose the one that is soft to the touch, but if you remove the stem, you can still see the bright green color. Chocolate Avocado Truffles

Can Meditation Help Your Weight Loss?
Can Meditation Help Your Weight Loss?
Losing those extra pounds and having a toned and fit body is something many people desire. Weight loss is usually associated with two things - regular exercise and a healthy diet plan. However, if your focus is only on these two factors, then your weight loss strategy is incomplete. A fit body is a combination of a healthy mind and a healthy body, so some component of mindfulness and also creating healthy thinking, is essential for a successful weight loss strategy. Meditation helps not only in keeping brain healthy but also helps in enhancing self-image, managing cravings, promoting regular exercise, and more. Today with an increase in the awareness about meditation, people are using it as a tool to understand their body and adopt healthy eating habits, which further helps in losing weight. What is Meditation?

8 Easy Ways to Feel Happy Everyday
8 Easy Ways to Feel Happy Everyday
Happiness can sometimes evade us. Reading bad news, a rainy day, or just feeling generally grumpy can lead to us feeling unhappy and negative. However, there are some small steps you can take to help you on your way to happiness everyday. If you’re feeling down in the dumps lately, here’s some quick wins to help you on your way to happiness. Get Enough Sleep Seven to nine hours, to be exact. A healthy sleep schedule is the first step to being happy. Have you ever had a bad night’s sleep and the following day almost everything frustrates or annoys you? This is because a lack of sleep can make you less alert, less logical and can also contribute to health issues such as obesity and can exacerbate mental health issues. All these things can lead to a breakdown of your good relationships, make you struggle at work, and make it harder to feel happy and productive. Struggling to sleep? Try to have a warm shower or bath before getting in bed, and put your phone away from your reach. Wake Up a Little Earlier

21-Day Yoga Challenge: Time to Shine!
21-Day Yoga Challenge: Time to Shine!
Commit to 21 days and learn to live for today. Often when we create intentions, we focus on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. When we focus primarily on the prize instead of the steps to achieve it, we are living for the future. One of the most important principles in yoga is learning to be in the now. Committing to our 21-day yoga challenge can help you embody living in the present moment. If you overthink how you’re going to squeeze in 21 consecutive days of yoga, you might quit before you begin. You’ve got family and work and workouts and commitments, right? Why add something else to your overflowing plate? Simple: By choosing to practice yoga every single day for three weeks, you are opening yourself to being fully present in your body, your mind, and your heart.

Crispy Barley
Crispy Barley
There are recipes in the world you have never ever heard about, but as soon as you try them, you are hooked and can’t imagine your life without it. I have to warn you – this one here might be one of those recipes. It is for me, anyway. These little pearls came to my life a few months back as serendipity. I had cooked barley for salad and had some of it leftover, even a little dried already. The thing is that I really don’t like throwing away food BUT I also didn’t want to eat dried out barley. So I figured why not make it extra crispy if it is too dry to eat anyway. Luckily, it worked very well. For a while, I would say I was addicted to sprinkling those on everything. Like really everything - from salads to soups, and for those I consider using savory toppings normal. But I would also use it on natural yogurt and fruits, smoothie bowls, ice cream…. Not so normal anymore, but so, so delicious. By now the first excitement has faded, but I still occasionally make a batch and finish it too quickly.

Best Yoga Poses to Open your Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
Best Yoga Poses to Open your Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
The 7th Chakra is the crown chakra, and it can teach about unity and transcendence. It encompases the top of your head, where the other 6 chakras integrate. It’s important to try and keep your Crown Chakra balanced, as it can help you to understand the world and your existence in it. When your 7th Chakra is activated, it can unify your mind with your higher self. This Chakra is associated with wisdom and enlightenment, and awakening this Chakra can help to shake off confusion, self-doubt and hesitation. The name for the Crown Chakra in Sanskrit is Sahasrana, which is translated as ‘the thousand petal lotus’. The energy collected in this Chakra helps you to be connected to everything in the world, and when it is unbalanced you can start to feel disconnected and attached to certain aspects in your life. This imbalance can also feel like you’re ‘stuck in your head’. If you want to activate your 7th Chakra, here are the best poses to help you: Headstand

Live Like Royalty: Yoga for The Crown Chakra
Live Like Royalty: Yoga for The Crown Chakra
Ever need a reminder that life isn’t just our individual experience and we are all part of something bigger? In yoga philosophy, the Sahasrara or Crown Chakra is the seat of pure consciousness and where we connect with the Universe. In order to stimulate and maximize your personal connection with the world around you, learn more about how to tune into your subtle body and chakras. The chakras, including the Crown Chakra, are part of our subtle body. All of us are made up of three bodies: the gross or physical body called the Stula Sharira, the subtle body or the Sukshma Sharira, and the causal body or the Karana Sharira. The physical body is our muscles and skeleton––what we can see with the naked eye. It forms the Annamaya Kosha, the coarsest of the five sheaths. What concerns us most in yoga is our subtle body, which is a blueprint of the physical body and contains the chakra system. A simple analogy to conceptualize the subtle body is that what electricity is to a machine, the subtle body is to the physical body.

Delicious Roasted Asparagus with Lemon-Basil Crisp
Delicious Roasted Asparagus with Lemon-Basil Crisp
I love all the fresh summer food and the feeling of picking fresh herbs straight from my balcony. I live in the middle of the city, in Estonia, but I am fortunate to have a huge balcony, so I grow all kinds of edible plants myself - fresh lettuce, parsley, peas, dill, basil, and even courgettes and tomatoes. I promise you – it is worth your time because they taste so much better than store-bought veggies and are always extra fresh. This year my basil is going strong, and I have already made several patches of pesto and used the leaves in at least 30 spring rolls. Today I a sharing a recipe that features asparagus with lemon-basil crumb, but the same crumb would also work very well with cauliflower.

Inspiration for Life as a Yoga Instructor
Inspiration for Life as a Yoga Instructor
I chose to have my career as a yoga instructor. There is a lot that goes into it and it constantly develops an array of skills and parts of myself, such as public speaking, my creativity, and courage. It continually motivates me to show up in the present moment too. There is so much to this beautiful job, but what really qualifies us to teach yoga is simply that we continue to practice yoga. We must practice what we teach. We also must really love people. Like any other mission, or purpose in life, it can present challenges, but as yoga teachers if we are humbly willing to show up to the moment, focus on growing and healing ourselves, and do all that we can to be of service to our community, this is such a rich profession. It is a great honor to be of service and inspire people back to their true nature and back to joy. One goal of teaching yoga is to assist others in the experience of yoga, guide them towards enlightenment, a more liberated consciousness, and freedom from attachment and separation.

The History and Philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga
The History and Philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga
Yoga has come a long way, and in these modern times, the average yogi has a wealth of options when it comes to classes and styles of yoga. Each style of yoga can be vastly different from the next, all linked with a focus on physical and mental strength, flexibility and mindfulness. Ashtanga yoga is a style that can be the most intensive, and requires a lot of disciple and determination. Ashtanga yoga is a standard set of asanas, focusing on breath, and internal mental space. Ashtanga yoga is a rigorous workout, and it’s known for its fast pace and difficult postures. Ashtanga typically features more traditional transitions and poses are held for a longer time than in some faster modern styles of yoga. Ashtanga is a great style of yoga for those who want to get a good workout and also clear their mind. It’s most similar to Vinyasa, however, it differs as Ashtanga series stays the same every time, whilst a Vinyasa flow can differ from class to class. Ashtanga also incorporates many aspects such as chanting and breathing that are parts of traditional yoga, and vinyasa flows can sometimes leave out.

9-Day Ashtanga Yoga Immersion
9-Day Ashtanga Yoga Immersion
“Do your Practice and All is Coming”- Sri K Pattabhi Jois. If you love Vinyasa yoga and have wondered how it evolved, spend some time with us this week on an Ashtanga immersion and learn the foundation from which Vinyasa in the West is derived. Tap into the ancient wisdom and traditional practice of Ashtanga yoga, brought to the West by K. Pattabhi Jois, who is considered the Father of Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga is a sweaty, vigorous yoga system based on the eight-limbed yoga path outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Jois developed the Ashtanga yoga system when he was a student of T. Krishnamacharya at the College of Maharaja in Mysore, India in the early twentieth century. Traditionally, Ashtanga is taught in the Mysore style, which means students practice in the same room, at their own pace, with individual guidance from the instructor. Kind of like you, practicing yoga at home with YogaDownload.com.

Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookie Bites
Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookie Bites
Ah, summertime here in Colorado – the weather is beautiful, the kids are out of school, and fun in the sun is the name of the game. But with all the fun, free time, summer can also be hard for us moms trying to keep our kids eating healthy. Sometimes the break from school just turns into one long holiday of eating less healthy options – hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, soda – until your kiddos are left jacked up on sugar, experiencing frequent bellyaches, having meltdowns from sugar crashes, and more. What’s a healthy mom to do? As working moms in the wellness industry, we know how important it is to keep your kids eating healthy without depriving them of all the fun they see their friends having. So we go for a happy medium: healthy sweet treats! And this recipe is one of our all-time favorites. Our Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookie Bites are the perfect balance between sweet treat and healthy snack.

9 Tips to Show Up On Your Yoga Mat Consistently
9 Tips to Show Up On Your Yoga Mat Consistently
Several years ago I read something that said something along the lines of 'mastery' simply being the result of doing things you've committed to or decided you would master, even in the moments when you really don't feel like it. I resonate with this, and have often returned to the lightbulb moment this perspective gave me, on days when I do not feel like showing up on my yoga mat. When I manage to overcome the obstacles of getting onto my mat (which are usually made up excuses), almost always, I'm happy I practiced. Very seldom, if ever, do I regret taking the time to do yoga. Can you also relate to this? The benefits of yoga are too numerous to list, and so rich for those that feel the effects of a regular practice on their well-being. Life can feel challenging sometimes, and having something to return to that brings a greater sense of peace, is priceless. I've learned that for whatever reason, the yogic combination of focusing on the breath while putting the body into these powerful shapes, has the ability to transform our thinking, and has left me feeling more relaxed, happy, and content, time and time again.

7 Epic Outdoor Yoga Destinations
7 Epic Outdoor Yoga Destinations
Yoga is a practice that can be done anywhere, as long as you have a mat and a quiet space. It’s super easy to take your yoga practice outside, but have you considered taking your yoga practice overseas and somewhere international? There are plenty of beautiful outdoor spots all around the world for you to roll your mat out, where the nature and scenery is part of the yoga experience. Yoga is deeply symbolic of nature, from the names of many postures (Tree, Mountain, and poses named after animals), to the corresponding elements of certain poses (Earth, Air, Water, and Fire). The yoga community is widespread around the globe, so there are special places for you to treat yourself to a purposeful and beneficial yoga travel adventure, and also bring your yoga practice into the open air.

Feel the Connection Between Nature and Yoga
Feel the Connection Between Nature and Yoga
One of the greatest ways to feel connected to the world inside of you and the world around you is to step into nature. When you spend too much time indoors or with your nose buried in your phone or computer screen, it’s easy to lose touch with how you’re feeling. Where yoga teaches us to use mindful breath and movement to tune out distractions and to tune into the present moment, stepping out into nature allows us to feel connected simply by being. Taking your yoga outdoors to a park or the beach, where you can breathe in clean air and enjoy beautiful scenery, enhances yoga’s myriad benefits. Being in nature reminds us that we are connected to something greater than ourselves.

Vegan Mango Lassi
Vegan Mango Lassi
Here in Colorado we’re rapidly entering the dog days of summer – and it’s hot, hot, HOT outside. And when the weather gets this warm, we love to cool off with a refreshing chilled beverage. That’s where this recipe comes in! Our Vegan Mango Lassi is a dairy-free spin on the traditional drink you know from your local Indian restaurant. This recipe is a great alternative for those who are sensitive to dairy or vegan, since yogurt is the main ingredient in a traditional mango lassi. We like to use homemade coconut or cashew milk in ours, but you can use any non-dairy milk (think hemp, almond, or even macadamia nut).

6 Hilarious Types of Yoga Students that Yoga Teachers Can Relate to
 6 Hilarious Types of Yoga Students that Yoga Teachers Can Relate to
Yoga continues to grow in popularity. The practice is no longer for one type of person and a new modern culture has developed around yogis and yoga studios. Understanding of simple studio etiquette is one good example. With any subculture comes stereotypes too. While exaggerated, as they always are, they're also good reminders not to take ourselves, our image, and the hobby of practicing yoga, too seriously. Yoga Instructor Marissa Anniston has shared 6 hilarious stereotypes of yoga students that yoga teachers might be all too familiar with. Yoga is all about love and understanding in the end, so do your best not to judge anyone you might come across in the yoga studio. Remember, we are all just doing the best we can. 1. The Frequent Texter

8 Tips to Get Started with Yoga
8 Tips to Get Started with Yoga
Getting into a yoga routine can be hard, especially if you’re not 100% sure it’s right for you. Perhaps you’re finding yourself feeling a little stiff, or you’ve read up on the benefits of yoga, and want to experience them for yourself, but you’re finding it hard to get on the yoga mat. Putting yoga into practice and starting a new activity can be hard, especially if you need a little extra motivation to get you there. Before you say it’s not for you, and give up the idea, here’s some tricks to get started in yoga, even if you think it’s not your vibe, and make a routine stick. Some of the benefits you can gain from a regular yoga practice include less anxiety, improved concentration, relief from pain and aches, and will also release endorphins, putting you in a better mood for the day. So if you’re umming and ahhing about starting yoga, those are some pretty great reasons to get started. Start Short

Yoga for Seniors: 10 Gentle Classes for Everyday Wellness
Yoga for Seniors: 10 Gentle Classes for Everyday Wellness
Whether you began practicing yoga yesterday or thirty years ago, your practice will evolve and change, just like your daily life transforms. You probably don’t enjoy coloring books and the jungle gym like you did in first grade, right? In our teens and twenties, it’s common for many people to practice sweaty yoga with a variety of physically intense asanas. As you move toward the middle and later years, it’s natural to shift to gentler, quieter types of practices. This week, we’re excited to share a program designed for the more mature yogi. In order to age as gracefully as possible, making shifts to how we show up on our yoga mat ideally would mirror the transitions in our professional and personal lives. Different concerns arise with each stage of life and yoga can play a major role. If you’re already a yogi, you know how eating well, moving your body mindfully, and breathing purposefully enables you to feel your best. Even if you’ve always been active and taken care of yourself, aging happens. Diseases, injuries, and degeneration of the mind are realities.

Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks” (with 2 Sauces!)
Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks” (with 2 Sauces!)
We L-O-V-E summer here at the Conscious Cleanse – the weather is beautiful, the best fruits and veggies are in season, and our local farmers market always has a great selection to choose from. It’s also a great time to gather in the backyard with friends or family and enjoy some food fresh off the grill. Unfortunately, most of the go-to grilling options are highly processed (lookin’ at you, hot dogs) or served up in a gluten-bomb bun. And if you’re a veggie eater like Jules, the options get even worse: imitation meat is frequently packed with artificial additives and preservatives, allergens like gluten or soy, and highly processed – not exactly a “health” food. So we wanted to share one of our favorite grilled veggie recipes: Cauliflower Steak!

10 Easy Ways to Overcome First Signs of Depression
10 Easy Ways to Overcome First Signs of Depression
Everyone feels sad from time to time. Sadness is a difficult emotion to overcome because of it's discomfort. When sadness becomes too intense and continuous, then you might be dealing with depression. While sadness is a common human emotion, it can shift into more long-term depression without even noticing it. But, how can you know that sadness has become deeper and you are on the edge of falling in depression? Here are ten of the most efficient tricks to help you identify and overcome the first signs of depression, so you can enjoy life more and feel happier and lighter, instead of heavy and stagnant. If you're not sure if you're depressed or not, these tips can help you get clear on whether you're just feeling low temporarily, or in a long-term cycle of unhappiness you'd like to change.

How Long Does it Take to Get Out of Shape?
How Long Does it Take to Get Out of Shape?
We’re all human, and everyone skips a workout every once in a while. And while it’s important to take some time off to rest and enjoy other aspects of your life, it can be very easy to let one skipped workout turn into two, or three, until time on your yoga mat or at the gym is a distant memory. If you’re having a break from staying active, you may wonder, how long does it take to get out of shape? Before we go on, it’s key to remember that taking breaks from your fitness routine every now and again isn’t a bad thing! When you exercise, especially with high impact workouts, there is a high degree of stress on the body, and all good regimes include rest days and days without workouts. There’s also the mental aspect to consider, taking breaks and focusing on other areas of your life will ensure you don’t get too single minded in your fitness goals.

Keep On Moving!
Keep On Moving!
Here’s a mini-quiz for you: In one to three words, how do you feel after sitting for six hours either in an office, plane, car or even after an extended Netflix binge? Now, how do you feel after a long walk in nature, a sweaty juicy yoga class, or your movement of choice? If you responded to the sedentary day with words like stiff, cranky, negative, or anxious, you’re not alone. And if you responded invigorated, happy, positive, or calm to activity, you’ve described how much lifestyle impacts your well-being. Your level of physical activity profoundly impacts your emotions and thoughts. We all experience periods where we aren’t exercising or practicing yoga as frequently as we would like. Sometimes it’s because of injury or illness, but sometimes we fall into a rut and stop moving our bodies enough. And when that’s the case, we often feel heavy, lethargic, fuzzy, and unhappy. According to numerous academic and psychological studies, a sedentary lifestyle negatively impacts your ability to maintain optimal health.

Simple Beetroot Hummus
Simple Beetroot Hummus
It is so simple to pick up a jar of hummus from a store. But it is almost as simple to prepare hummus yourself and know exactly what has been added. You can do everything from scratch, including soaking and boiling the chickpeas, but I usually don’t feel this is necessary. The chickpeas from a jar, especially if I choose an organic brand, do it for me, but in case you do have extra time you can soak the chickpeas overnight and then boil until tender. It makes sense for me to cook your own chickpeas if you need a lot of them, so I sometimes do this for bigger parties, but if I am just hungry for a quick beet hummus I prefer having it in 5 minutes instead of the next day! However, I do prefer to roast the beetroots at home. I do this quite often anyway, so I usually have leftovers for hummus too.

10 Foods that Prevent & Lower Your Risk of Cancer
10 Foods that Prevent & Lower Your Risk of Cancer
You are what you eat! Food is the fuel on which our body works. It is the source of various nutrients that are needed to ensure proper bodily functions. Poor eating habits and diet can be closely associated with various lifestyle diseases and even cancer. Eating more healthy and nutritious food is one of the most simple, yet powerful things we can do to keep ourselves healthy. It is important to eat foods rich in fibre and vitamins. By making healthier choice we can reduce the risks of cancer. Along with eating good food, other healthy lifestyle choices can help keep diseases at bay. A balanced diet is an execllent starting place and so is adding some more physical activity. Even strengthening the core of the body further empowers the immune system. One simple first step towards a healthier life is to simply look at and assess your diet. Identify whether the foods that you are eating are fulfilling the needs of your body or not. Do your best to stay away from foods containing saturated fats and high sugar content.