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


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.

Three Reasons Why Yogis Need to LOVE Technology
Three Reasons Why Yogis Need to LOVE Technology
For some reason, spiritual practitioners can have a reputation of being tech-illiterate. While I know this not true in many circumstances, here’s a short list of reasons that technology can help enlighten you to more of the amazing wonders of yoga just in case some of you are on the fence, or haven’t dived in completely.

5 Tips for Your Home Yoga Practice
5 Tips for Your Home Yoga Practice
While going to a yoga studio to practice is an enlightening experience, it can often be a challenge to get there. The truth is that we can practice yoga (postures) anywhere. We don't have to be by the ocean, a mountain stream, or in front of a mirror at a studio. All we need is enough space for a yoga mat. Practicing yoga at home is a convenient way to maintain a committed yoga practice in the comfort of your own space. Here are five tips to make your home practice effective:

Don't Forget to Breathe
Don't Forget to Breathe
When I worked as an emergency room nurse, where tension was often high and patience short, I learned the power of taking a deep breath. It’s unrealistic to ask someone to “relax” when they are in pain, anxious about what might be wrong with them, and in absolutely no control over their environment. However, whether a patient was in hard labor or having chest pain or a panic attack, focusing on deep breathing always decreased their anxiety and de-escalated the situation.

Contentment and Enoughness
Contentment and Enoughness
“Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, it is the realization of how much you already have.” - Unknown

Five Ways to Expand Your Practice with Partner Yoga
Five Ways to Expand Your Practice with Partner Yoga
For most of us, our yoga practice is a very personal thing. We come to our mat to get out of our heads and into our body, to ignite that inner fire and cultivate inner peace. Some days we can go to a class and leave without saying much more than “hello, namaste, and goodbye”.

26 Ways to Bring More Balance Into Your Life
26 Ways to Bring More Balance Into Your Life
I always think as the summer’s sun begins to wane and the cooler autumn’s air begins to descend upon us, it means that things are going to slow down, that life is going to calm down and with that, so too will my list of things to do. But year after year, this has not been the case, at least with my life. This year, more so than most, I find myself needing to seek balance more than ever. So, inspired by my teacher‘s invitation, different however from my own, as the heat of the summer moves into the ‘desired’ introspection and cooler air of Fall, my invitation for you is to seek balance between all that is still calling you outward and your body’s need now to begin its’ journeying within; to do not what you feel you have to but to do begin now to do that which truly nourishes and rejuvenates your soul. Not sure how to do this? Feeling a little all over the place? Spread too thin? Not sure where to even begin?

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.”