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Yoga, Health, and Wellness Articles + Recipes

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


Asparagus with Lemon and Golden Almonds
Asparagus with Lemon and Golden Almonds
Asparagus season is a short one, but oh boy how enjoyable it is. I love fresh asparagus and to be completely honest – I often end up just snacking on raw asparagus before I get to cooking them. Sometimes I don’t even have anything left to cook… But some other times I am patient enough to start cooking and today were one of those days. Asparagus only needs gentle cooking and overcooking them does not make them any favors, but rather turns the gentle crunchy sprigs to stringy and tough. Less is more also applies to seasoning them. No need to overcrowd it with flavors – a simple buttery sauce is enough.

The Importance of Your Lower Chakras
The Importance of Your Lower Chakras
Working with your chakras can be highly healing. If you are interested in holistic healing, you’ve probably heard of the concept of chakras and know a little bit about chakra healing. The chakra system has origins in India, over four thousand years ago. Knowledge of chakras came to the western world through the practice of yoga. Chakra literally translates as ‘wheel’ or ‘disk’ and refers to the sphere of bioenergetic activity emanating from the nerves branching from the spine. There are seven of these wheels or chakras, and they are stacked in a column of energy that spans up from the base of the spine to the top of the head.

Yoga for Manipura Chakra
Yoga for Manipura Chakra
Does anybody need a confidence boost? This week’s classes are centered on improving your confidence and enhancing your willpower. By turning your attention and focus on your navel or Manipura Chakra, you’ll stoke your inner fire or “tapas” and step into your personal power. According to yoga philosophy, we are made of three bodies, the physical, subtle, and the causal. The subtle body mirrors the physical body and consists of energy channels called nadis. The seven primary chakras flow along the Sushumna Nadi, which runs along your spine. In Sanskrit, chakras mean wheels of light and each one relates to different emotions and states of being. The Manipura chakra is the third chakra, located at your solar plexus. Yes, that means plenty of core work will do the trick!

Simple Confit Tomatoes
Simple Confit Tomatoes
Confit means baking something in fat. In this recipe, the tomatoes are not fully submerged in the oil, because I just find it unnecessary. I think it is enough to make sure the bottom of the tray is covered in oil and then just move the tomatoes around halfway through the cooking. Of course, if you feel like splurging, you can always add more olive oil – the oil will be infused with tomato flavor and herbs if you are using them, so you can use it to season salads, pasta, and simple sourdough bread…. So feel free to do this. Here in Estonia, the summer is slowly arriving, but our tomato season is still a few months away. But even the imported tomatoes already taste better compared to the mid-winter ones that taste like nothing.

The Three Gunas: Tamas, Rajas, & Sattva
The Three Gunas: Tamas, Rajas, & Sattva
The main vedic-yogic system of understanding, assessing and addressing the needs of the mind and the emotions is the triguna system. This system is like a lens through which we may view everything in existence as the division into and interactions between 3 basic qualities called gunas. Tamas is metaphorically described as pertaining to darkness and heaviness, oriented towards the past and arising from it as karmic consequences of past actions.

Lower Body Love: Balance Your Lower Chakras
Lower Body Love: Balance Your Lower Chakras
One of the beautiful things about practicing yoga is that often we start out viewing it as a physical practice but we quickly learn how much deeper yoga goes. Yoga links the body, mind, and spirit and whether you’re focused on all three or not, you reap all the benefits. This week, we’re focusing on the lower body, which is comprised of your legs, hips, and core as well as your Muladhara (Root), Svadhistana (Sacral), and Manipura (Navel) chakras. If you’re interested in stoking your senses of stability, security, creativity, and passion, these classes offer external and internal benefits you’ll feel right away. The subtle body is a blueprint of the physical body––although you cannot see your nadis (energy channels) or chakras (energy centers), they exist within you.

Totally Turmeric Green Smoothie
Totally Turmeric Green Smoothie
I’m often asked how I can continue to drink green smoothies when the weather gets cold. This smoothie is my answer. It’s warming, earthy, and packs a gamut of immune defense – exactly what we need this time of year. Between the lemon, ginger and turmeric, this smoothie is good for digestion and is very cleansing for the liver. It’s also chock full of antioxidants. To boot, it delivers a high dose of kale, which is a great way to fill up on vitamins, minerals and other immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.

Why Short Bursts Of Exercise Are Good For You
Why Short Bursts Of Exercise Are Good For You
The latest guidelines by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services say that physically able adults should aim for 150 minutes of exercise every week - a combination of both cardio and strength training spread throughout the week. This could translate into 30-minute workouts 5 days a week, but there are other ways to get your exercise that don’t take up quite as much time every day. Research has shown that actually taking shorter periods of activity can be spread out throughout your day to meet the recommended total. Actually, sometimes quicker workouts can be better for you than one longer workout.

Short, Sweet, and Sweaty!
Short, Sweet, and Sweaty!
Quality over quantity wins every time, on the yoga mat and off. We’ve all got busy schedules and some days it can be a challenge to fit in the satisfying yoga practice your body, mind, and heart craves. The great news is that with the proper focus, intensity, and desire you can garner all the benefits of a full-length yoga class in half the time. Squeeze in a twenty-minute practice by setting your alarm earlier or staying up later! Consistency is the most important component of maintaining a life-long yoga practice. And by consistency we mean practicing several times a week or daily if your schedule allows. Some days, you may have time for a full-length practice with pranayama and meditation and other days, you’ve only got twenty minutes to spare. As long as you are stepping onto your mat and committing to be fully present in your body and your breath, you’re doing great. If you can up the intensity for the shorter practices, even better.

Raw Buckwheat Muesli Bowl
Raw Buckwheat Muesli Bowl
I just got back from a holiday in Jamaica (a fabulous place, definitely go!), and brought a few ripe mangoes with me. So today's breakfast was again my buckwheat muesli, served with fresh ripe mango, Greek yogurt, and some pomegranate seeds. So, so good! Muesli is usually made with oats, but my favorite version does not contain any oats. And buckwheat, at least in Estonia, where I live, is usually considered a savory food. But still, this mildly sweet and crunchy raw buckwheat muesli has been a favorite of mine for a long time now.

Why Yoga is Even Better At Home!
Why Yoga is Even Better At Home!
Home workouts grew in popularity during the pandemic and continue to be a great alternative to going to a gym or class at a studio. While not everyone has the resources to build a home gym, yoga is a highly accessible form of exercise that anyone can implement — no matter your age, gender, or body type. In fact, doing yoga at home can be just as effective as going to a studio for your practice and in some ways even better than going to a public class! Here are five reasons why yoga is the perfect at-home workout and some tips to help you reap these benefits as you practice yoga at home. Practice with little to no financial investment

Yoga for Expansion & Evolution
Yoga for Expansion & Evolution
“If you want to change you have to be willing to be uncomfortable.” Are you ready to push through your personal boundaries and use your yoga practice to expand and evolve physically, emotionally, and mentally? On the yoga mat and off, we tend to slip into comfortable patterns. Consistency is something to strive for, but it can be a slippery slope and if we aren’t paying attention we can end up in a rut. Here’s how yoga can help you continue to evolve: Yoga for Physical Growth: On the most obvious level, a well-rounded yoga practice will help you develop stronger muscles, a more supple spine, and improve joint mobility. Yoga improves your posture so you’re literally standing taller.

Simple Seafood Paella
Simple Seafood Paella
Truth to be told - this is not an authentic Spanish paella but as I saw somebody cooking paella in a movie, I felt I needed to give it a go myself and sooner rather than later, so there was no time for shopping. I needed it right this moment. I somehow always manage to have at least 3 different types of rice, so this was covered. I used risotto rice as this seemed the closest to Spanish rice, but feel free to use Spanish rice as this is used in the original. I also happened to have a classic risotto spice saffron available (even two jars, both unopened) and some frozen seafood too, so an hour after I was done with the movie I, already had a plate full of this delicious treat in front of me. And delicious it is! Classically paella is cooked on a paella pan, which I didn’t have, so I just used a normal frying pan, so no need to panic if you don’t have the right pan – if you don’t plan on becoming a professional paella chef, the normal pan will do just fine.

Benefits of Dirga Pranayama: Three-Part Breath
Benefits of Dirga Pranayama: Three-Part Breath
Dirga pranayama is a technique that increases focus and calms your mind. It's simple to do, and even those without any prior yoga experience can enjoy this rejuvenating practice. Here is how to do a three-part breath and the benefits of this practice. Even a few minutes can make a difference in your day. How to do Dirga pranayama: Take the first third of your inhalation into your lower lungs and upper belly, and pause briefly. Then breathe the second third of your inhale into your middle lungs and back, and pause again briefly. Then breathe the final part of your inhale, into the upper portion of your lungs and collarbones, and pause again.

Silence is Golden. Classes to Quiet Your Mind
Silence is Golden. Classes to Quiet Your Mind
Distraction and activity are easy. Focus and stillness are a challenge but calming your mind and tapping into your inner silence is worth the work. Yoga is one of the most powerful tools to quiet your mind––the ultimate achievement of a dedicated practice. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, considered the seminal text in yoga, provides a practical path to attain a calm, quiet mind. It all begins with Yoga Sutra 1.2: Chitta Vritti Nirodaha: Yoga is the ability to direct the mind without distraction or interruption. When you can achieve sustained attention, you are fully present and truly at the height of your personal power and light. Sounds fantastic, right?

Cilantro Lime Cauli “Rice” Collard Wraps
Cilantro Lime Cauli “Rice” Collard Wraps
We’ve been obsessed with collard wraps lately! If you’re new to eating the Conscious Cleanse way, figuring out what to eat instead of a sandwich, hamburger bun or tortilla might have you stumped, not to mention tired of eating plain old salads. Say hello to your new friend, the collard green. If you’ve spent any time in the South, you know collard greens well. But unlike the bacon- and butter-slathered Southern classic, these collards are a fresher take: straight from the garden and bursting with good for you minerals like calcium and vitamins A, K and folate. Collard greens are an excellent source of fiber and plant protein. And they’re part of the cruciferous family of veggies (same as kale) which are notorious for their anticancer powers.

Hydration Tips for Hot Yoga Enthusiasts
Hydration Tips for Hot Yoga Enthusiasts
Hot yoga isn’t necessarily new, but it’s increased in popularity over the last few years for a variety of reasons. It increases the intensity of traditional yoga by using a heated room that can range from 90-108 degrees. Some of the biggest benefits of hot yoga include reduced stress, greater calorie burn, and improved flexibility. People try out these classes for different reasons and can experience various perks. However, one thing almost everyone experiences is sweat. A lot of it.

Nothing but Core! 6-Day Bootcamp with Claire Petretti Marti
Nothing but Core! 6-Day Bootcamp with Claire Petretti Marti
Who is ready to release their personal power and feel stronger physically and more self-assured? By focusing on our power center, by building a strong core and spine, we naturally increase our confidence levels and live our lives from a positive perspective, no matter external circumstances. This week, we’ve got the popular Nothing But Core series with instructor Claire Petretti Marti, which will give you six quick and varied programs to have you feeling your best.

Paleo Turkey, Kale, & Veggie Lasagna
Paleo Turkey, Kale, & Veggie Lasagna
Do you love lasagna, but can’t stomach grains? Or maybe you’re just trying to avoid the heavy, tired crash that comes with heavy comfort foods? Then our paleo Turkey and Kale Veggie Lasagna is perfect for you!

6 Ways to Connect with the Earth this Earth Day
6 Ways to Connect with the Earth this Earth Day
Humans are designed to be connected with nature. And even in our modern world we are still synced to the natural world. If you’re feeling burnt out, tired, or unhappy, reconnecting with nature can help to bring you a sense of calm and refresh yourself. There are a few things that we can do to feel connected with nature, and pause, refresh and notice the world around us. Bring the Outdoors Inside

Earth Day: Yoga to Ground & Connect with the Earth Element
Earth Day: Yoga to Ground & Connect with the Earth Element
Happy Earth Day 2022! On April 22nd, the fifty-second Earth Day, join us to commemorate this year’s Earth Day theme of Invest in Our Planet. Yoga practice, comprised of the earth’s elements of earth, air, fire, water, and ether, naturally honors our planet and is embodied in the yogic concept of Ahimsa or non-harming. To celebrate, YogaDownload is offering our biggest sale of the year so you can maintain a consistent yoga practice and feel connected to the earth beneath us. Sometimes we can get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to express gratitude for the planet that sustains us with air, water, food and all that nourishes us. We’ve got a few suggestions for you to try this Earth Day to honor this universal worldwide celebration.

Tabbouleh with Zaatar Roasted Eggplant
Tabbouleh with Zaatar Roasted Eggplant
Here is a simple recipe for you that so far everybody who has tried it loves. The middle eastern recipe called tabbouleh is based on a load of fresh herbs (really, make sure you use a lot of herbs) and bulgur. Bulgur is wheat that is crushed and pre-cooked, then dried again, so there is no need to boil the bulgur before adding this to the salad – the moisture from tomatoes, oil, and lemon juice soaks right into the grains making them softer and even more flavorful. Of course, if you don’t have 40 minutes to wait until the bulgur slowly absorbs the liquid you can also quickly boil it for 5 minutes, but I really do not recommend this. The salad itself is already quite filling in my opinion, but I recently hosted a dinner party where a vegan main was needed, and so I felt the need to add another element.

Top 15 YogaDownload Classes for Better Sleep
Top 15 YogaDownload Classes for Better Sleep
Sleep problems are all too common for many adults. While there is not one universal cause or fix for everyone, yoga and meditation can certainly help calm your mind and nervous system to help you better prepare for a night of sound sleep. Amongst YogaDownload's vast collection of 2400+ online yoga classes, are many practices that are specially designed to help you you doze off to sleep more easily. Here are 10 of the top-rated yoga classes for more sound sleep.

9 Ways to Improve Your Mental Strength
9 Ways to Improve Your Mental Strength
If you want to lift heavy things physically, you need to increase your physical strength. Strong, big muscles go a long way in helping you to be able to carry more. Well, the same can be said for your mental muscles. If you struggle with tackling big challenges and overcoming more obstacles, you need to increase your mental strength. Just like going to the gym to work out your body - your mind needs a good workout too. Here are some exercises to help you to develop your mental strength and help you achieve anything. Reframe Negative Thoughts

Yoga for Stability & Strength
Yoga for Stability & Strength
Who could use a dose of stable, grounded strength to boost your body, mind, and heart? Often in yoga, we emphasize the flexibility aspect and many people who haven’t tried yoga assume yoga is a stretch class. While flexibility is one of the important components of a well-rounded yoga practice, building external and internal stability is equally essential. This week we turn the spotlight on ways to amp up stability and strength when you step onto your yoga mat. Yoga Sutra 2.46 Sthira Sukham Asanam is one of the best known tenets from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. What does it mean? The posture should be steady and comfortable or the intersection of effort and ease.