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


6 Ways Yoga Can Make you Better at Skiing
6 Ways Yoga Can Make you Better at Skiing
Yoga has lots of benefits for those who love to hit the snow. It can increase strength, flexibility and even balance - as well as helping prevent injury. Our classes this week focus on poses for skiers and snowboarders, and here’s some ways practicing yoga can make you better on the slopes. 1. Yoga will give you a strong core You’ll need a strong core for a good skiing or snowboarding posture. Keeping your core engaged, especially while skiing is important, as otherwise you will fold your upper body and put pressure on your back, making it harder to move and turn. The stronger your core, the easier you will find this. Yoga poses all require core strength, and you can practice poses such as plank and chair to give your core some extra strength before your skiing trip. 2. Yoga will help your focus

5 Ways to Practice Body Positivity on the Yoga Mat
5 Ways to Practice Body Positivity on the Yoga Mat
We all have our own body hang ups, that can be hard to get past. The great thing about yoga is how it relaxes you, and lets you focus on your breath, and how your body is moving. This makes it a great practice to boost your body positivity. Yoga is a practice that all body shapes and sizes can take part in, however it can be hard sometimes to focus when we’re thinking about our body hang ups. Here’s our top tips for practicing body positivity when you’re on the yoga mat. 1. Channel Your Strength Feeling strong is a great way to instantly reap the benefits of body positivity.

6 Benefits Practicing Gratitude Can Bring to Your Life
6 Benefits Practicing Gratitude Can Bring to Your Life
Practicing gratitude is not just saying ‘thank you’ when someone opens a door for you. Feeling gratitude for all positive aspects in your life is a great way to shift your perspective from any problems and imperfections, and help you appreciate the little things. Taking some time to be thankful for your health, friends, family, or job can all help you change your perspective, especially in challenging times. Practicing gratitude can bring a wealth of benefits to your day to day life. Here are 6 of the best benefits practicing gratitude can have on your life: 1. Practicing gratitude relieves stress Anything that relieves stress is going to be beneficial not only to your mental health, but also your physical health too.

How Meditation Cultivated My Recovery from Addiction
How Meditation Cultivated My Recovery from Addiction
Chaos. For as long as I can remember, my life was fundamentally altered and eventually comforted by chaos. If chaos did not physically surround me, it was ever present within my thinking. Experiencing trauma at a young age, I survived by internalizing my pain. I had no tools nor advocate to validate my experience. This shifted my thinking into total victimization. I was engulfed with symptoms of complex PTSD and I was a tourist in a foreign city with no map. Through my adolescent years, up into my early 20’s, I had no coping skills and avoided all discomfort. My mother passed away unexpectedly January 10, 2010 and my life was forever changed. Crippled by grief and overwhelmed by the inability to face the permanence of the situation, eventually lead to my full blown addiction. After years of self medicating, unfathomable consequences, and self sabotaging I finally accepted help and chased after recovery.

Como estos 5 principios yóguicos te llevarán a una vida más feliz: Yamas
Como estos 5 principios yóguicos te llevarán a una vida más feliz: Yamas
Si estás leyendo este texto seguramente te interesa o hayas practicado alguna vez yoga. Pero probablemente sólo conozcas una parte muy pequeña de lo que esta práctica milenaria implica. Imagina que estamos en India, hace unos dos mil años, y quieres aprender sobre la práctica del yoga. Los maestros de aquella era te hubiera enseñado primero los Yamas y Niyamas, antes de las asanas y Pranayama (posturas de yoga y control de la respiración). El maestro Patanjali (No está muy claro en que año. Algunos libros lo citan en el 400 ac, otros en la era común, otros en los 300 d.c.) escribió los Yoga Sutras, una recopilación de 196 aforismos o enseñanzas. En estas enseñanzas describe lo que él llamó “8 ramas del yoga”, o guía o pautas para la práctica del yoga como forma de vida:

5 Ways to Fight Depression
5 Ways to Fight Depression
Depression can be enfeebling, and it is not in any way the same thing as being unhappy. Being unhappy can often be connected to a reason that we can trace, but depression is not the same. Many times we cannot determine it back to its cause; it is like swimming in dark water. A feeling of hopelessness sinks in and all the things that we used to enjoy no longer interest us. Depression can cause severe impairment in our daily life. It affects not only our mood but also various other aspects of our life like low energy levels, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, lack of concentration, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes and so on. A chronic case of depression may require someone to see a therapist. However, if detected at an early stage, there are several ways by which one can come out of it on their own and fight depression before it becomes overbearing. Here are 5 powerful ways you can fight depression!

7 Meditation Benefits for Students You Can't Ignore
7 Meditation Benefits for Students You Can't Ignore
When someone mentions meditation to a very active student, this is the usual reaction: “I could never sit still and do nothing.” If that’s how you feel about meditation, then that’s exactly why you need it! Throughout your studies, you can be subjected to more stress than you ever anticipated. You get one class to take after another and one paper to write after another. In between studying and friendships, it could feel like you can’t get time for yourself. Meditation will give you that time. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes per day, meditation helps you calm down and learn more about yourself. There are tremendous benefits of meditation for students. Still not sure? Check out this list of 7 real benefits you’ll get from meditation, especially for students!

Are You Exhausted But Can't Sleep?
Are You Exhausted But Can't Sleep?
“Also, I could finally sleep. And this was the real gift, because when you cannot sleep, you cannot get yourself out of the ditch–there’s not a chance.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love One of the most agonizing states I know is the purgatory of insomnia, when I am desperate to sleep but still my mind and body hold me captive in the waking world. If the Centers for Disease Control statistic that one in three adult Americans are not getting enough deep sleep on regular basis is right, you may well know this particular agony also. Sleep, so seemingly simple, continues to allude many of us. Why does sleep matter anyway? As Liz Gilbert says, we must sleep well enough and long enough in order to stay out of the “ditch.” Here are some of my favorite practices and tips to set myself up for good sleep.

Pumpkin Facial Scrub DIY Recipe
Pumpkin Facial Scrub DIY Recipe
Fall is finally here and pumpkin season is upon us! This time of year, it seems like EVERYTHING is pumpkin-spiced! So why not take advantage of the flavor for your skincare routine? We’ve developed a non-toxic Pumpkin Facial Scrub that is not only great for your skin, but will leave you smelling like sugar and spice and everything nice. Besides being the flavor of fall, pumpkin has many hidden benefits for your skin! When used topically, pumpkin can help brighten dull complexions, is full of antioxidants, and has anti-aging properties. Sugar gently exfoliates dead skin away, while avocado oil and coconut oil help to moisturize and cleanse your skin. Honey is antibacterial, which can help acne-prone complexions, and cinnamon can help increase blood flow and plump skin. (Note: If you have sensitive skin, make sure to spot test this scrub on your arm before using on your face.)

12 Tips to Fight Signs of Aging
12 Tips to Fight Signs of Aging
Time comes for us all, and while getting older is a natural process that’s fully embracing, you may want to fight certain signs of aging. Whether it’s physiological changes such as slower movements and decreased mobility, or something more superficial, like those wrinkles around the eyes, everyone has a different concern about getting older. You might be wondering what the best way to fight signs of aging are, or just want some advice on how to stay healthy and active in older age. We’ve put together some key tips to fight signs of aging, from what you use on your skin, to what you do to stay active, and even how to keep your brain sharp. Here are 12 essential tips to fight signs of aging, broken down into 4 important categories!

7 Qualities of the Best Yoga Teachers
7 Qualities of the Best Yoga Teachers
While there are many ways to be a powerful yoga teacher, here are some common traits of the truly excellent yoga teachers. A teacher loses their power when they become self-absorbed and the solid teachers know this. As teachers we must get over our selves and show up to serve others. We must truly embody and practice yoga to teach yoga authentically. Here are 7 key traits of the best yoga teachers: 1. Presence To be a powerful yoga teacher, we must be focused and present while teaching. How can we inspire our students to show up to the moment if we are distracted? As teachers of yoga we must breathe for and with our students, we must set the rhythm, the energetic tone, and hold strong in presence. 2. Adaptability

3 Powerful Ways Yoga is Healing for You
3 Powerful Ways Yoga is Healing for You
I was first introduced to yoga 15 years ago in high school by a gym teacher who was a true believer in yoga’s healing ability. She offered yoga class as an alternative to more mainstream physical activities and I’ll try anything once so I decided to see what it was all about. At the time I was more into competitive sports and this was...different. I’m saying different in a sarcastic tone because it felt odd, uncomfortable and a bit “woo-woo”. Every class the teacher would praise yoga for all of its physical, mental and spiritual benefits. I didn’t necessarily doubt her but I wasn’t connecting to anything but the clock to signal class was over. After that semester was done, I didn’t think I would ever try yoga again. But a few years later curiosity led me to another yoga class. If at first you don’t succeed try again, right? Well, nothing had changed and I was sure this was my final attempt. Fast forward to a few more years later and I found myself at a yoga studio yet again. Third time is a charm? Yes...third time is a charm! It was like a light from above shined down on me and something finally clicked and I felt the healing power of yoga. I began to practice yoga regularly and I got it. I got the appeal, I got why people swear by it and really, I just got how yoga is holistically healing on so many levels. Yoga is one of those things that it may take awhile to “get” but once you do, you really do. Although it’s not always easy to articulate what yoga does for me personally, I know it’s an integral piece of the puzzle needed to stay healthy, strong and happy.

One Year Without Alcohol: Month 6
One Year Without Alcohol: Month 6
Ok world, I’ve done it! No drinking for a month. It actually wasn’t very hard. I still went out and just had soda water. I wasn’t a hermit. I still had fun with friends. I also realize that I prefer a balance of this yogic lifestyle and also living and enjoying this physical and by nature material world. I’m right in the middle of Dharma Mittra’s 500Hr Teacher Training. If I thought not drinking would be a challange...well, let’s just say I didn’t really know what I signed up for. No coffee, no caffeine, no eating before noon, no eating after 6pm, 45 minutes of breathwork and meditation daily, 1 hr of practice daily, no salt, no tree nuts, no coconut, basically no fun. Kidding! Kind of.

7 Ways of Finding Time for Self-Care
7 Ways of Finding Time for Self-Care
A side effect of modern life seems to be that we’re always on the go. From balancing your career and personal life, to spending time with your family, it can be hard to find time in your schedule to dedicate to yourself and self-care. Finding time for self-care can often take a backseat to our other responsibilities and obligations, but it’s important to take the time to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Here’s our top 7 tips for finding time for self-care, even if you’re living an ‘on the go’ lifestyle! 1. Master a go-to meal

5 Evening Journaling Ritual Ideas
5 Evening Journaling Ritual Ideas
“To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle.” -Walt Whitman In the last article, we discussed how to jumpstart your morning routine with a journal and utilize yoga philosophy off the mat. In order to balance the jumpstart, we also need the wind down night time routine to balance. Instead of preparing for an active day, we can now prepare for a restful and calm night, perhaps even right before sleep. Like yoga, journaling is a powerful tool for self-discovery and impetus for positive change in your life. A night time journaling ritual can be a powerful All you need is a writing utensil and a journal. A basic notebook is fine, but there are also journals specialized for yoga practitioners. Here are 5 ideas for an evening or night time journaling ritual. 1. Give yourself space to find flow.

Slow Down
Slow Down
Transitions are the perfect moment to pause and observe how you are feeling in the present moment. This week, we mark the transition from summer to fall or winter to spring, depending upon where you’re located on the globe. Why not slow down, check in, and use this natural transition to appreciate your life? Savor your experiences instead of anticipating what’s next. Have you been to a concert lately? Noticed all the people with their phones up in front of their faces, videotaping a song instead of actually watching the show? They could be fully immersed in what’s happening on stage, but instead choose to create a barrier with a camera screen in order to save the moment for later. So, they never actually fully experience the gift of the live performance. Now consider in how many other areas of your life you are focused on the past or anticipating the future? It’s easy to be pulled into the “doing” pattern of life.

The Change of Seasons is Time to Reflect & Slow Down
The Change of Seasons is Time to Reflect & Slow Down
Whether you're in the northern or southern hemisphere, the seasons are beginning to change. There’s no way around it, when the seasons begin to change, we simultaneously feel a shift internally. Our moods, daily routines, what we eat and our overall energy changes with each season. What satisfies you in the summer is not going to be the same as what makes you happy during the fall. Seasons help us examine different parts of ourselves and they bring balance to our lives. One of the best ways to take advantage of the changing seasons is to check in with yourself. Think of it as a clean slate. Nature’s cue to slow down and press the pause button. So much can happen in such a short period of time and each season has its magical moments and lessons. We can get lost in the day to day and busy moving on to the next thing that we don’t take the time to reflect.

5 Meditations for Kids' School Stress Management
5 Meditations for Kids' School Stress Management
Many of us reminisce to those simple days of being a kid.....there were no worries of bills, traffic, and work. A kid's biggest worries are compromised of lunch, friends, and whether the class stays inside or out for recess. Big deal right? But if you really, really think back to childhood, it was a big deal and still is for kids! Childhood can be overwhelming and stressful as kids are growing, changing, and learning about the world around them. Going back to school with new teachers, new faces, and new rules can seem daunting and stressful for kids as well. So, just like us, kids need a way to decompress and release this tension. Fortunately meditation and breathwork, works for kids in similar ways that it works for adults. Here are five breathing techniques and meditations for kids, they can use for stress management from returning to school: 1. Color Breath:

5 Powerful Morning Journaling Ideas
5 Powerful Morning Journaling Ideas
“The more free time we devote to shaping our minds, the better off we will be. I recommend waking up early to use the morning to meditate “. -Dalai Lama Journaling daily has surprising benefits, many of which intersect with and complement a yoga practice. Journaling, like anything, takes dedication, consistency and practice, but the benefits are well worth the work. Use these tips and ideas below to explore and support your life, mornings, and yoga practice! Journaling is an amazing ally, as you can do it anywhere and all you need is a writing utensil and a book with paper. Basic notebooks do the trick, however there are also more specialized journals for everything from goal setting to journal's for yoga practitioners. Here are 5 morning journaling ideas that can jumpstart you towards amazing days. Have fun with them and explore which work best for you. 1. Get Grateful

8 Morning Ritual Ideas to Start Your Day Happy and Relaxed
8 Morning Ritual Ideas to Start Your Day Happy and Relaxed
“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep! You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep! People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep!” -Rumi The snooze button being pressed repeatedly, breakfast on the go, and a general feeling of racing against time to get to where you need to be. Does this sound like your morning everyday? Many people associate the morning with an anxiety ridden mad dash. A mad dash to the finish line that’s ironically the beginning of the day. As easy as it can be to fall into a habit of doing everything on auto-pilot to make it out the door on time, could this be negatively impacting you more then you realize? If you think about it, isn’t the way you start your day going to set the tone for everything that follows? If you begin with chaos and disorder, can you expect to be as connected, productive and happy as you want to be? If you feel like you need to start off the day in a more peaceful and relaxed way, adding morning rituals can be the answer. The sunrise symbolizes new beginnings and beneath all the busyness, the morning holds a special kind of magic that’s always there to connect with. Begin to test out morning rituals and see which ones feel right. Choose morning rituals that make you want to get out of bed in the morning. Make sure you decide on ones that you can make into a habit without dreading. Maybe you can’t dedicate 30 minutes or more of your morning time to rituals, but even 5-10 minutes can make a world of difference. Here are 8 Morning Ritual Ideas for you to Start Your Day with a Clear Mind and Open Heart:

Do You Need a Pattern Interrupt?
Do You Need a Pattern Interrupt?
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal.” ~ Paulo Coelho While nestled in the mountains near Granby, Colorado on the YogaDownload.com retreat this August, a student called her week away a “pattern interrupt.” (That’s us in the picture, having a coaching session “al fresco”). And indeed, unless one’s regular life consisted of camping in teepees, being served three colorful vegetarian meals per day, receiving Thai massage in a tent in the meadow, hiking to waterfalls, outside yoga twice daily, sipping fine whiskey at the state’s smallest bar, and throwing an impromptu dance party with new friends, then the experience surely interrupted the daily routine. We all need such breaks in the routine.

How Yoga Improves Upper Body Posture
How Yoga Improves Upper Body Posture
Do you know where you hold your stress? Chances are the majority of people reading this hold stress in their upper body or have at one point. And if you don’t hold stress in your upper body, are you aware of all the pressure put on it from the modern day society we live in? Think about what slouching over in a desk all day or sitting at home on the computer can do to your upper body, specifically your posture. Not only do these things wreak havoc on your posture, they also can contribute to overall tightness and pain. Eventually down the road, muscular imbalances in the upper body may even start to occur. Our bodies are made for physical activity and being stationery for a long period of time with unnatural movements can take a real toll. Even spending lots of time in the texting pose (which is definitely not a yoga pose!) can cause problems to the upper body. How To Tell If You Have Good Posture When it comes to having a strong and healthy upper body, good posture is key.

One Year without Alcohol: Month 5
One Year without Alcohol: Month 5
I’m in Spain, north of Barcelona on the Costa Brava, the rugged coast. The drink here, not to excess but as a daily, mealtime accompaniment. I’ve been observing this casualness and decided to partake in this celebratory, nonchalant part of the culture. A glass of wine (or two) at dinner seems to be part of the culture here which I don’t mind as I explore the coast solo. This while Dry 2018, is about being honest, getting clear, cleaning up the murky and messy. It’s not about perfectionism. It’s about intention. So I’m having a glass of Tempranillo, a local varietal. Not to numb, but because I’m on a solo vacation and it will help me sleep. My sister, who is basically my spirit guide and on what’s app whenever I need her, is basically saying yes to everything. Should I buy this dress that’s a little expensive? Yes. Should I indulge in this decadent meal? Yes. Should I have a glass of wine? Yes.

The Benefits of Fasting (& Why Yoga Makes it More Effective)
The Benefits of Fasting (& Why Yoga Makes it More Effective)
Fasting. It’s one word that can ignite a lot of emotions and thoughts in people, and one of them is usually fear. Simply hearing the term “fasting” might make you head out to the grocery store ASAP to stock up or call your favorite pizza place and order an entire pizza...for one. With that said, some people may feel a rush of excitement at the thought of fasting. People who are familiar with fasting usually look forward to the mental challenge, inner peace, and health benefits that fasting brings. Fasting is an ancient concept in yoga culture, a self-cleansing and self-healing practice that can help strengthen your mind, body and soul connection while improving your overall health, digestion and well-being. If you’ve never fasted before, it is inevitable you may feel scared and apprehensive about doing it. Your mind may be consumed with repeated thoughts of how am I going to do it and the feeling of lack. Lack of food, lack of food and well yeah, lack of food! It’s common to think that fasting may cause too much mental anguish and even potentially be harmful. It is important to know that for most people, fasting is safe and has a lot of health benefits. Yoga and fasting in combination enhance these health benefits. Make sure to drink ample amounts of water during your fast. Water allows the body to handle what’s going on during fasting and also reduces cravings. People who shouldn’t fast include children, diabetics, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and people who suffer from hypoglycemia.

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.