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


Awaken Your Prana
Awaken Your Prana
Sometimes, my energy feels zapped. I know it’s in there, but I just can’t seem to find it. Sometimes it occurs as a foggy head. Other times I feel tired. And sometimes I just want to sit and watch a marathon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (love it). But I know that deep down, my energy is waiting, stuck somewhere, looking to be released.

5 Ways to Practice Self-Love
5 Ways to Practice Self-Love
We can all agree love makes the world go round, but we may forget that it all begins with each one of us. Whatever your current relationship status is, if you seek love from another, fall in love with yourself first.

How to Realize Your Own Perfection
How to Realize Your Own Perfection
We’ve been conditioned to believe that we are not good enough. Industries make millions from our insecurities. There is no money in people who already think they are beautiful, attractive and clever. Along my journey through personal development, it was highlighted to me that 98% of the world around us is always trying to break us down, make us think that we can’t achieve our dreams, and that we don’t know enough. A mere 2% of the people in the world around us are the unique individuals who can see our incredible potential and give us the boost we need to see that in ourselves. The trick is to learn how to surround ourselves with that 2% and rewire our brains to see the truth - that we TOTALLY ROCK!

14 Ways to Celebrate and Save our Planet
14 Ways to Celebrate and Save our Planet
In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would put out some reminders/ideas on how to love, nurture, and appreciate our planet more. Please feel free to share your own ideas of ways you celebrate and save our Earth in the comment box below!

The Impact of Yoga for Peace
The Impact of Yoga for Peace
From an orphanage in Moracco, to a ship on the China seas, to a military base in Iraq, to an elementary school in Thailand, Peace Corps volunteers and U.S military personnel are practicing and teaching yoga thanks to YogaDownload’s Yoga for Peace program. Through this program, active U.S military and Peace Corps volunteers receive a free unlimited membership to YogaDownload, which gives them access to hundreds of downloadable yoga classes and meditations. The founder of YogaDownload, Jamie Kent, created Yoga for Peace in 2006 as a way to give back to those who devote their lives to the service of others. With over hundreds of Peace Corps and Military members, this program has helped each person involved thrive, and also given each member tools to transform the lives of others all over the world.

What Makes You Come Alive?
What Makes You Come Alive?
“Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman

Homage to Yoga
Homage to Yoga
Yoga saved me. Through the practice of Yoga, I found peace where there had been inner violence, silence where there had been chaos, balance where there had been insecurity, self acceptance where there had been self hatred, and presence where there had been an unknowing absence. Some might call it God, some might call it inner wisdom, but to me it was yoga, and yoga saved me from myself.

The Yoga Train You Don't Want to Miss
The Yoga Train You Don't Want to Miss
When something as beautiful and life-changing as yoga gets misunderstood, it's like watching a person miss a train that could have taken them right to the destination of their dreams ... I know that train will take them there, but they pass up on the chance for a free ride to a life-altering vacation; the train revs up its engine and moves away from them, and there's nothing I can do to prove to them that a beautiful vacation destination had awaited them. As a yoga instructor and an avid yoga practitioner for all of my adult life, I think I've heard most of the excuses, reasons, myths, and confusions surrounding yoga.

Balance your Energy & Your bank Account
Balance your Energy & Your bank Account
Yoga is the ultimate way to bring your mind and body into balance. The structured movements strengthen your core muscles, reduce your heart rate and leave you feeling rested yet energetic. So what on Earth does the downward dog have to do with your portfolio? That's easy, well sort of.

Samadhi: Why I work to teach you "Nothing"
Samadhi: Why I work to teach you
The main goal of what we do in yoga is to reach a state called Samadhi. Samadhi is the very state of yoga, and it is a very difficult thing to describe. The only description is “nothing.” That’s a very hard thing to explain – how this nothing can be so good for you. In our lives we’re born with five senses and our five senses are given to us to explore and to survive, all as part of evolution. But the senses aren’t really designed at all for us to look inside; they are designed for us to be in the world, to survive and do stuff out there, and to be busy with life. And that’s the problem.

The masks we Wear & Who we truly are
The masks we Wear & Who we truly are
We all have different personalities. All day we put on the various masks we’ve learned to develop since when we were babies. The more we put on these masks, the more they become who we think we are. So, how do we integrate these different personalities? One of the most amazing experiences in yoga that helps us achieve this is Pratyahara, or drawing the senses inward. We want to bring ourselves to a neutral place so we can focus our senses in, but this is one of the hardest lessons in yoga. The difficulty is most evident when we look at our emotions, our personalities. Heightened emotions happen in life, and it’s hard to say, “Oh, I’m just being silly. Let it go.” Instead, the ego wants to come out.

Cold and Flu Fighters for Yogis
Cold and Flu Fighters for Yogis
Growing up, I would get the flu/cold/bronchitis/upper respiratory infection/etc, every year and be out of commission for a week or two. As an adult, it wasn’t as bad, but I would usually catch a nasty cold at least once a year, and it would linger for awhile. Until last year. In 2012, I was sick for exactly 2 days and then I was right back to my healthy self, with no lingering side-effects. I contribute this to boost in immunity to juicing every day and eating a plant-based diet, and also some herbal remedies that seem to keep the symptoms mild and the progression low.

Be my Healthy Valentine
Be my Healthy Valentine
In my opinion, one of the hardest things about eating healthy is chocolate. There is just something about that sweet, melt in your mouth deliciousness that I just can’t pass up. So when chocolatey holidays like Valentine’s Day come around, it can be quite a challenge to ignore those shiny wrapped, heart shaped goodies.

Yogi Superfood Bites
Yogi Superfood Bites
I just might say this with every recipe, but this is my favorite recipe lately. I am going completely sugar free for 90 days and really wanted something to satisfy my sweet tooth. This sure did, and was so wonderful. I can’t wait for you to try it!

Themes to Create Your Mindful Year
Themes to Create Your Mindful Year
A client of mine had some serious financial issues that were affecting virtually every area of her life, with a job she felt stuck in, the stressed relationships with her husband and children, and most important, her feelings of lack of self-worth. Every time she even thought about taking a positive step forward, she became paralyzed with shame and overwhelm.

From the Bottom up: Yoga for Your Feet
From the Bottom up: Yoga for Your Feet
You know that your yoga practice is good for your whole body—head to toe. That’s especially true for areas of the body that are easy to neglect off your mat. Even though you stand on them every day, your feet are probably underappreciated. Even if you take care of them on the outside with comfortable shoes and adorn them with pedicures, your feet need more work than you might think. They affect the alignment of every part of your body above them—bigger, vital joints like knees and hips—and are one of the most complex bony structures you have.

The Roots of Hunger
The Roots of Hunger
It is easy to get caught in the trap of perfecting ourselves through food. We search for the perfect diet, the one super food, the best antioxidant and the combination of supplements that we hope will make us better, healthier, happier, and more‘perfect’.

Yoga Magic - Falling into Place
Yoga Magic - Falling into Place
The magical stories you have heard about yoga are true. Yoga can be a magnet for the things you dream of. Unfortunately, it is not a fairy dust you can sprinkle on your mat. The shifts do not come overnight. And, you cannot simply mutter a Sanskrit mantra for your hopes to manifest. It is a journey of work, of love, and of intense self-reflection. It takes "tapas" - the yogic ethical concept of discipline and austerity. For many people yoga is nothing more than a fancy workout, or maybe a few calm moments of de-stressing or elaborate stretching. However, yoga is much more. It is a science, a wellness system, a lifestyle, a philosophy, and more than anything a path to clarity and joy. The beauty of yoga is that it is flexible to your life and needs. There is as infinite number of ways to practice as there are ways to interpret the meaning of the word.

Yoga for Detoxifying and Renewing
Yoga for Detoxifying and Renewing
Though I try to remain positive in my yoga classes and in my writing, there are times when, honestly, I just feel out of whack and a bit grumpy or down in the dumps. Sometimes it's stress, sometimes it's current events, and sometimes it’s the energy of the people I encounter during the day. When I get sad, I like to curl up and throw myself a pity party or stew about it for awhile. But this is not beneficial, not for more than about two minutes, and then it just becomes a bad or stuck habit. For me, one of the very best things I can do to change my perspective or sort through a difficult situation is come to yoga with an intention to detox (aka - work through the crap), and send it out (figuratively and literally). At the beginning, I can often feel very uninspired. In the middle, I start to feel myself opening up. And by the end, I feel that I have renewed myself and become a bit more authentic again.

What are you committed to?
What are you committed to?
Recently I attended a commitment seminar (Landmark Forum), and we were asked to make a list of what we are committed to in our lives. "Easy enough," I thought, so I wrote down things like, health, yoga, teaching, being a good wife, love, contentment, learning, saving money, and a few others.

Sharing Abundance this Holiday Season
Sharing Abundance this Holiday Season
I sat down yesterday to write my shopping list of what to buy my loved-ones for the holidays, and to think about what to tell my mom that I needed this year. But I got sidetracked by a welcome epiphany. I was awakened to the true abundance that I live in. I have a Mac computer, an iPhone, a closet overflowing with clothes, and plenty of snacks in the fridge. “What might it be like not to have all this,” I thought. Some families might spend their holiday in a hospital or shelter. Most likely, they won't have the luxury of choosing whether to eat turkey or ham or both for their holiday dinner. Many kids won’t experience the joy of a pile of wrapped presents to wake up to Christmas morning, or a chewy bite of iced sugar cookie to nibble on as I have every year since I was a kid.

Ease into the Holidays with Meditation
Ease into the Holidays with Meditation
As we start the holiday season, it’s easy to start to feel bogged down and affected by all that life throws at your – even more so than before. There are parties, shopping, spending, cooking, on top of your everyday busy lives. It can leave us stressed out and more than a little grumpy, rather than blissful and full of holiday cheer. Because of this, I have decided to partake in a 21-day meditation challenge (along with several members and teachers at a local studio), held by Deepak Chopra and the Chopra Center for Meditation. The theme for this challenge is “Creating Abundance”. Abundance means whatever you need it to – anything positive you wish to bring to your life.

Saving Lives: A Story of Love for My Dog
Saving Lives: A Story of Love for My Dog
As humans, we often talk about how we rescue animals. I certainly do. I spend every December rallying people for my Downloads for Doggies drive (previously Podcasts for Puppies) in order to try and raise money for the ASPCA. I’ve seen that commercial with Sarah McLachlan one too many times. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved animals. I grew up with dogs and so that is where my loyalties lie. Even in college, when I was penniless, I would donate money to the Denver Dumb Friend’s League because I couldn’t stand the thought of pets spending the holidays in a shelter. I was also active in the Colorado Horse Rescue and the Colorado Reptile Rescue for some time. I know how important it is as human beings for us to do what we can for those four-legged friends that need our help.

12 Ways to Live a Healthier Life
12 Ways to Live a Healthier Life
Living a healthy life is very simple, inexpensive, and accessible. While you may have heard all 12 of these ways before, you may or may not be actually practicing them. Allow the following list to serve as a call to action to carve time out of your day or week for your own health and wellness:

Looking for the Good
Looking for the Good
In Anusara yoga, the yoga I practice and teach, we say “Look for the Good first.” This translates beautifully into looking at your own, or a student’s posture before making any physical adjustments.