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


The Art of Aging Gracefully
The Art of Aging Gracefully
After working in the emergency room for 23 years, the health and fitness field for 25 years, and life coaching for 15 years, I have had plenty of opportunity to work with people who were not aging so gracefully. Today, 60,000 baby boomers turn 60 every day! We are the largest percentage of the population, and continue to live longer. I just want us to continue to live stronger as well. With that in mind, here are my top 10 ways to age gracefully from the inside out:

Becoming a Warrior of Love
Becoming a Warrior of Love
I have been preaching the gospel of learning to stay in relationships for close to a decade, but only recently have learned for myself how the lessons of staying with the hard places in relationship are most deeply integrated through the work of the body. Learning how to hold ourselves in Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana) pose provides a powerful metaphor for the complex commitment necessary for our most intimate relationships to thrive.

My Manifesto
My Manifesto
I believe the best views are from up close. They’re from treetops, mountaintops, hilltops, behind and below, where you can go unnoticed or plant yourself right in the middle of a world unfolding in and around YOU!

10 Great Intentions for Life
10 Great Intentions for Life
Creating your intention is so powerful because what we focus on expands. According to the law of attraction, when you focus on what you want in your life, you get more of it. Or, simply stated by the Buddha, “What we think, we become.”

The Power of Release
The Power of Release
Do you ever find yourself holding on to things tightly, not wanting to let go, either an idea or thought or feeling, even if it’s not serving you? I also hold on to relationships that no longer work—to projects or hobbies I am no longer excited about, and commitments I actually dread keeping. Then there is my anger or disappointment about someone or something, even though it keeps me resentful and irritable. When I am holding on tightly, the best thing I can do is release something, so it releases me.

Top 10 Reasons to Retreat
Top 10 Reasons to Retreat
What exactly is a retreat? The definition from Webster is an act or process of withdrawing; a place of privacy or safety; a period for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director. I would add, a period of time you completely unplug and disconnect from your normal routine, responsibilities, and distractions, to focus completely on yourself and your needs.

Why Yoga is Awesome
Why Yoga is Awesome
Yoga will change your body, and it will also change your life. This could seem like a bold statement for those who have never experienced yoga beyond the physical element. So often when I mention that I teach yoga, people respond, "Oh I'm terrible at yoga! I can't touch my toes!" I smile and let them know that yoga is so much more than stretching, but I usually get a confused look in return. I laugh at the thought that I would have based my whole life and career as a yoga teacher around just getting people to touch their toes. Yoga is not that boring. Like many others, I began yoga for physical reasons, but quickly learned that the true practice could transform me from the inside out. Regardless of what initially brings us to yoga, the reasons that we keep returning to our mats are far more awesome.

The Magical Act of Discernment
The Magical Act of Discernment
Discernment has a few different definitions, each of them run through with a common thread – a process or activity of determining the value and quality of something. In a busy world where we are called in multiple directions on a daily basis, how do we step back and begin to see where our energy is effective, and where we’re filling a space that could be better served in another way?

Yoga for Runners
Yoga for Runners
The other day I was having lunch with my parents when the subject of yoga and marathon running came up. My dad asked me if a marathon running yogi was in danger of becoming so detached and tuned into the meditative transcendental powers of breath, that he or she would disconnect from the body to the point of pushing to total collapse. My mother, a 79 year old yoga practitioner of 5 years, made the point that in a yoga asana class we are, in fact, deeply aware of what is happening in our body. But my dad’s question got me thinking about the various different ways yoga can work for runners, and how we can use these different approaches harmoniously in any sport.

The Fearless Heart
The Fearless Heart
“Yoga not easy.” That was a favorite saying of Sri K. Patabahi Jois, the founder of Ashtanga yoga. Neither is love, or life. That is what I’ve figured out.

Where My Wild Things Are
Where My Wild Things Are
Like many children of the mid-70s, Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak, has been one of my all-time favorite picture books. As a kid I really identified with the main character, Max, who "makes mischief of one sort and another" and gets sent to bed without his dinner only to journey off into imaginary lands of monstrous wild things. Of course this got me thinking about my own wild things, my own shadow sides. While navigating the course of a new relationship these undesirable sides of myself have been "roaring their terrible roars and gnashing their terrible teeth" a little more than usual. My personal wild thing has been becoming easily offended and overly imaginative in a dooms-day sort of way. Needless to say, this childish, primitive, and undeveloped side of myself is nothing I am proud of.

What kind of a birth do you want for your child? How to Set an Intention For Your Birth:
What kind of a birth do you want for your child? How to Set an Intention For Your Birth:
This article is about how to create and set an intention for the birth of your child. Most people don’t even think about this. The majority of American women are fearful of labor, feel the need to be spared expected suffering, assume the doctor knows best, and assume that medication in labor is safe with little or no risks. “ I’ll just do whatever the doctor says. The doctor will know exactly what is best for me and my baby.” Or they may be told, “ Get the epidural as soon as possible. There is no need to be a martyr.”

It's Not That You Love, It's How
It's Not That You Love, It's How
Love is like breathing. Breath comes in and breath goes out. Love enters the heart and love leaves. The shadow left behind is like the wisdom of time and space itself. Once we sense love, we cannot easily forget and we are changed forever, in fact, love informs the very fabric of our existence.

8 Essential Exercises to Avoid Backache in Pregnancy
8 Essential Exercises to Avoid Backache in Pregnancy
Does a backache always have to come with a pregnancy? Happily, the answer is NO! But you’ll have to do a little bit of work to avoid or alleviate that age-old pregnancy complaint. Back ache is the most common complaint I hear from my pregnant students. There are some essential exercises that you can do every day that will really make a difference in how you feel.

Start Yoga Young - How Kids Can Benefit From Yoga
Start Yoga Young - How Kids Can Benefit From Yoga
We were all born with flexibility. It is life experience and stress that tightens up our bodies, rounds our shoulders, and gives us neck and back pain. Imagine if you would have learned yoga postures and deep breathing techniques when you were a kid. How might your body and mind be different today? While we cannot go back in time to change our own lives, we can offer the opportunity of learning yoga to our children. These days children live a fast paced life of school, homework, sports, music lessons, and other activities that combined together can cause stress. Kids yoga can provide an opportunity for children to slow down, stretch, and connect to their inner joy so that they can learn to cope with stress, and stay flexible. Here are more ways that children can benefit from yoga:

The Union of Mom and Mat: Staying Connected to Your Postnatal Yoga Practice
The Union of Mom and Mat: Staying Connected to Your Postnatal Yoga Practice
I am blessed to work with a population going through arguably the most radical transition of their lives as they navigate and understand the extraordinary changes that occur during pregnancy and childbirth. While most of the woman I support are committed to their yoga practice during pregnancy as a way to build strength and power that will serve them in labor, the real challenge is in helping them stay connected to their mats postpartum, with the strain of a new baby, a new role as mother, and the cascade of changes that this inevitably creates in relationship, career, and in priorities related to nearly every facet of life.

Learn to Love Hanumanasana
Learn to Love Hanumanasana
If there is one yoga posture that tests our patience, flexibility, and dedication, it is Hanumanasana, or the forward splits. Unless you are a dancer or gymnast, it can seem ridiculous to even attempt such a huge stretch that can take years to achieve, but therein lies the magic of the pose. While I doubt Hanumanasana is anyone’s favorite pose, we cannot ignore the physical, mental, and spiritual power that this posture can evoke.