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


Break These 10 Habits to Maintain Good Hair
Break These 10 Habits to Maintain Good Hair
Who doesn’t love the sight of beautiful, lustrous hair? Don’t you want it to shine like those in the commercials? I bet you do. It might be possible to relate to some bad hair habits we have inculcated in our routined life. Getting rid of these can help you maintain your hair’s beauty and glow. Improper hair care habits such as over usage of chemical products and careless handling of wet hair can negatively impact your hair. Many people often fail to realize the importance of maintaining hair until the moment they start to realize it’s beginning to fall off. Here is a list of 10 different things you’ve been doing wrong the whole time, that you can prevent to maintain good hair!

3 Reasons Why Yoga Can Make your Relationship Work Better
3 Reasons Why Yoga Can Make your Relationship Work Better
The ancient time-tested practice of yoga can assist one in sustaining healthy and dynamic intimate relationships. Developed and fine-tuned centuries past, yoga can help us to achieve the highest forms of intimacy with ourselves, which will make us more ripe to experience this in a relationship with another. Relationships sometimes take work, and sometimes working on ourselves is the most effective way to make your relationship work better. The yogic path advocates integrity and a kinder approach to life, both on and off the mat. These qualities are allies in having harmonious partnerships and meaningful friendships in life. Yoga increases one's consciousness, which can transform one into a better person in certain respects. Yoga encourages us to turn to our inner self and assume responsibility for who we are, the way we feel, and how we show up in the world. For many people, this translates into a lesser sense of entitlement and lesser need for drama in their lives. Our attitudes and mindset about conflict and handling disagreement, also have an opportunity to evolve as a result of yoga and meditation. When disagreements arise, which they always will in intimate relationships, the residue of one's yoga practice, can assist them in not succumbing to anger, or dwelling on what's not perfect about their partner.

How to Take Action Toward Your Goals (and Why You Haven't Yet)
How to Take Action Toward Your Goals (and Why You Haven't Yet)
This is where meditation can be a great asset. Just taking time to pause and separate yourself from your own mind. Observe your thoughts as they come and go without attachment or judgement. Get curious, watch yourself think. It can also be extremely helpful to have a coach to help tease from your the deep, dank thoughts and beliefs that haven’t shone themselves to you in some time. When you start to clearly see your thoughts that drive your feelings that create your actions, you empower yourself to make the decision whether or not you actually want to change. Maybe, when push comes to shove, you actually don’t? But trying to change from the action level alone without this behind-the-scenes sleuthing will be most likely frustrating, and perhaps even futile. Instead, look into the big WHY you’re doing or not doing something. It may take a bit of reverse engineering.

Love Yourself & Choose You
Love Yourself & Choose You
Give some thought to the relationships in your life. Is there one that stands out? Is there a partnership you can pinpoint as the most important? Who has made an imprint on your heart and soul? Is it a partner? A parent? A best friend? A spiritual guide? It’s normal to forget about the relationship which you didn’t technically sign up for but the one that will last an entire lifetime. It is your relationship with yourself. It’s arguably the most important relationship to stay aware of, and put love into. You make a choice to stay committed to yourself, by getting out of bed each morning. But sometimes we are neglectful of this relationship to ourself, and can simply sleep walk or auto-pilot through our waking hours. But, you have an ability to go above and beyond the most basic commitments to yourself and merely going through the motions. You have the ability to put love, attention, nurture, and care, into how you treat and show up for yourself. Emphasis on this relationship with yourself, and cultivating healthy self-love, has the ability to change your life for the better.

What is Karma? It's Importance in our Self-Realization
What is Karma? It's Importance in our Self-Realization
Yoga tells us that karma is certain. Every thought, word, and action has a vibrational energy that consciously, or unconsciously, creates our reality and experience. In simplest terms, this is karma. Einstein told us that the Universe is curved, supporting Newton’s Law and the Law of Karma, that everything will eventually, and inevitably come back to us. You don't have to believe in past lives or anything esoteric to understand karma. It's the idea that everything we do, or think, has a reaction and a result. It's a simple law of cause and effect. The lessons of karma have an important role for our evolution. It guides us like a treasure map to journey into the mysteries of who we are and what we desire. However, not all experiences of our karma feel good. The challenges we’ve faced like a “bad” relationship, job, illness, addiction, etc. are a result of our karma, and are actually guiding us. The guidance leads us to know with certainty what kind of relationship, job, lifestyle, or behavior we want. Karma can remind us that we deserve the best that we can imagine for ourselves, and if things aren’t going so good, it’s time to change.

6 Ways To Practice Native American Spirituality Everyday
6 Ways To Practice Native American Spirituality Everyday
Lately I’ve seen a growing trend in wearing feathers, headdresses, tribal prints and tattoos. However, as these things become more chic, I hope no one loses sight of the true heritage behind them. Although it may be nonsensical to compare ourselves here and now to how we were as a species hundreds or thousands of years ago in some places, there is an important essence of acknowledging where we have been, and those who came before us, to understand where we are going, especially for those living on lands previously by an ancient culture. We have the power to admire, implement, and benefit from the traditions and spirituality of Native Americans (and other indigenous cultures from around the world). For many tribes, their deep and spiritual connection with the land in which they lived, is profound, and can teach us a great deal about our own connection with the earth.

Quick Morning Yoga Poses for an Energized & Productive Day
Quick Morning Yoga Poses for an Energized & Productive Day
Trying to jump-start your day with a vigor and energy? You must be thinking of coffee or tea, right? If not caffeine, you may be wondering then what else could work! An energizing morning yoga practice can work as a natural stimulant, and set you up for a whole productive day. Yoga, especially some backbending sequences and the strong breathing practices in the morning, will help refresh your body and give you energy. It is a common for people to sleep with their spine and hips rounded in a position similar to the fetal position. This can feel calming while they rest and contemplate, but can also leave lingering tightness upon awaking. Sun salutations, backbends, and even forward bends, stretch and extend the hips and spine, nicely, and provide a counterpose of sorts to this sleeping position. Simply put, yoga can take you from a posture of sleepiness, to one of openness, energy and alertness, by waking up your body. This will also bring clarity and focus to your mind to prepare for a productive day. You can take just 10, 20 or 30 minutes, (whichever time span you like and have time for) and start preparing for the day full of vigor with yoga to start your morning.

Stretch Yourself to Sleep: 5 Yoga Poses for Better Sleep
Stretch Yourself to Sleep: 5 Yoga Poses for Better Sleep
We all know how the next day feels when we don’t sleep well. Missing out on the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep nightly does more than just make you grouchy, it can affect your physical and mental health. During sleep, your body heals itself and restores its chemical balance. Practicing Yoga before bed to wind down is a better option than stimulating the mind with your computer, television or smartphone. There are different types of yoga for different goals. The best option to promote sleep is a sequence of gentle, basic postures at a slow pace. Bedtime is not the time for an energizing practice, save that for morning, afternoon, or early evening. *It is not unusual to fall asleep in the final pose, Savasna, so you might want to set your alarm before you start the sequence! Try these 5 Yoga Poses tonight for better sleep (they can all be done in bed):

One Year without Alcohol: Month 3
One Year without Alcohol: Month 3
Month three of sobriety and I find myself back in NYC, in the last hurrah of winter. The bitter cold hasn’t broken yet and my warm blooded skin is so ready for spring. My relationship to alcohol is tepid. I go out with friends and feel comfortable not drinking, but I do notice this desire to give to myself not only alcohol, but other indulgences that don’t necessarily serve my best self, not to mention my waistline. So this month I decided to explore what my alternatives are for treats, self care, and ways to give to myself. This month it was in the form of a fairly expensive facial, which I haven’t given to myself in 8 years.

5 Ways Yoga & Creative Writing Go Together
5 Ways Yoga & Creative Writing Go Together
I have been an avid yoga enthusiast for several years now. I started when I saw an insane post on Instagram of a guy pouring a cup of tea with his leg behind his head while standing reading a magazine. I couldn’t even touch my toes. I’ve also loved writing for as long as I can remember, so much so, that I’ve made a career out of it. I used to write stories, create fantasy worlds or make up imaginary characters. Creative writing brought my imagination to life. Creative writing and yoga can both take your mind to a state of presence and fuel the imagination. Here are five ways that yoga and creative writing, two seemingly different activities, can complement each other.

5 Ways Yoga Benefits Your Brain
5 Ways Yoga Benefits Your Brain
It’s no secret that yoga is great for your body. It helps build strength, flexibility and overall body awareness. However, did you know yoga is also great for your brain and has an array of benefits to arguably your most important organ? Here are 5 ways doing yoga can bring benefits to your brain and why! 1. Stay in the Present The practice of yoga, is really the practice of being present on the mat. Yoga has the power the bring back into the present, a mind that is off in the future trying to plan dinner for the rest of the week or worrying about an important phone call with your boss. By learning to be present during your yoga practice, you’re actually retraining your brain. You’re teaching it to stop worrying about the future and to concentrate instead on the present more in life. This results in less stress and an increased ability to think things through logically instead of defaulting to your typical stress reactions. Presence is powerful, can help our minds recognize the present moment.

5 Tips for Cleansing on a Budget
5 Tips for Cleansing on a Budget
If you happen to be new to cleansing, it’s easy to find yourself spending extra time in the kitchen as well as the grocery store filling your cart with all the new ingredients and healthy alternatives. At first glance, eating healthy may seem to be more costly, but today we’re gonna show you how to cleanse on a budget and save yourself some cash. For years, I ate almost every meal out. I bought prepackaged convenience snacks, indulged in specialty coffee and tea drinks and only shopped at “Whole Paycheck.” The Thai food takeout driver and I were on a first name basis. My thinking was, “since I’m just one person, it’s cheaper for me to eat out and not waste money and/or food by cooking for just myself.” Turns out, just the opposite was true, not to mention not as healthy. Over the last five years, I’ve learned that in order to make a quantum leap in my health I would have focus on fresh whole foods and prepare most, if not all of my meals at home. These practices not only make me feel good, but they’ve also made my bank account much happier too.

Rethinking Clean: 5 Ways to Detox your Household Cleaners
Rethinking Clean: 5 Ways to Detox your Household Cleaners
The inevitable urge to clean up their home, car or closet will soon emerge for people doing a food and/or yoga cleanse.. We call this the natural spillover effect. When you cleanse yourself on the inside and your mind isn’t running wild on caffeine and sugar, you start to think more clearly. When you’re thinking more clearly, you start to connect more deeply with your surroundings, oftentimes producing a spontaneous desire to clean out the junk drawer, reorganize your closet or donate the growing pile of stuff in the basement. [lemon rosemary cleaner] Tackling some of these big projects can feel quite liberating, especially if they’ve been energetically weighing you down (in come cases for years!). I had one cleanser tell me this week that she cleaned out her basement and now she keeps going back downstairs just to look at it because it makes her feel so happy and light. Sounds good, doesn’t? How would you like to feel this way about your entire life? While this might sound like a grand idea in theory, the reality is oftentimes much different. It can feel daunting and even downright overwhelming to think about all the ways in which you want to detox or change your space. For many of us, we can’t even keep up with the mail and the recycling, let alone all the other “should dos.”

The Bright Side of Anger
The Bright Side of Anger
Do you label your feelings as good vs bad? Do you push away the painful and only welcome the pleasant? Do you offer each of your emotions and experiences the same amount of energy? Do you ever feel grateful for your anger? Most of us, the answer is a simple no. We prefer the feel good over the fear based. It can be said it's better to be in a state of positive emotional health, more than in despair and suffering. Still, a full range of feelings is an inevitable part of the human experience and each unique emotion has the potential to teach us something worthwhile. For many, we welcome positive emotions with open arms, and kick and scream when negative emotions such as anger, disappointment, and sadness, are felt. If the end goal is one of acceptance and self-love, shouldn’t we have as much acceptance for our perceived weaknesses and uncomfortable emotions, as we do in our celebrated emotional triumphs and perceived strengths? We can only truly be at peace with ourselves, when we are able to experience peace even in the midst of uncomfortable emotions.

The Joys of Doing: Fitness, Yoga, & Meditation
The Joys of Doing: Fitness, Yoga, & Meditation
Most modern yogis agree it is a huge relief to focus on the simple “be”-ing of life, and that keeps us coming back to our mats every day. It really is easy to understand, considering how busy most everyone is in the Western world. However, the westernization of yoga through hatha yoga doesn’t change what yoga is except in that it evolves the practice. The word “hatha” in Sanskrit means “force”, and hatha yoga was established in hopes of “forcing” the benefits of the practice, as well as the practice itself, upon the individual. This branch of yoga is where we see a driven focus on the asanas. A contemporary twist to yoga offered by the western world are more fitness and sculpt based styles of yoga. As this trend continues to sweep North America, it has evolved quickly over the past five years alone. Many classes teach it as “yoga with weights” while others incorporate less yoga and more body-weight exercises, modeled as “fitness-style yoga”.

7 Yoga Benefits for Students
7 Yoga Benefits for Students
Are you stressed out and sleep-deprived? If you’re a student, you probably answered yes. You’re constantly looking for a way to relax. You’re trying to be more focused on the lectures, but you’re too tired to understand what the professors say. It’s okay. You shouldn’t feel guilty about facing challenges that all other students are dealing with. The only question is: what can you do to reduce your stress? Have you been thinking about trying yoga, but haven’t found the trigger yet? You’ve been admiring those popular Instagram yogis, but you were probably thinking: “I could never do this.” Guess what: you can. Plus, yoga is much more than just the poses. Under the surface you see on Instagram, there’s peace, focus, and success.

One Year Without Alcohol: Month 2
One Year Without Alcohol: Month 2
So my Dry 2018 has met the big Kahuna: a break-up! As I mentioned in Month 1, I’m not a huge drinker, but when this time of life comes around, your girlfriends (and sisters or guy friends, etc.) will no doubt hit you with “You need a drink” or “You can let that not drinking thing go now, right”? Well, not exactly. The advantage to being 36 and a yogi is that I don’t actually want to drown my sorrows. I actually want to feel them. I want to fully experience them and learn from them. I want to sit with them and see how I’ve helped create my current situation and how I can create something different next time. Mild drinking or smoking a joint or shopping or staying busy are all relatively acceptable forms of escapism in some yogi circles, but you reach a point in your life where you realize you either deal with it now, or deal with it later.

5 Reasons to Make a Yoga & Meditation Retreat in India your Next Vacation
5 Reasons to Make a Yoga & Meditation Retreat in India your Next Vacation
Vacation on your mind, but yearning for something different? Let’s retreat with a cause in the yoga haven of India, where the ancient science of the Vedas has proliferated into a compelling alternative lifestyle which is sustainable, self-empowering, and enriched with deeply seated wisdom. The legacy of yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda ricochets in this birth land of ancient yogis and world peace leaders. In the far North, the Himalayas stand in all its majestic glory where yoga has been a way of life since long ago. And in the deep South, in the tropical stretches of Kerala, Ayurveda, the priceless medicine of the Vedic civilization is still maintained in lived practices. Where else can you spend your days off to get rejuvenated and feel the power surging within at a cellular level, but here in India! Here are reasons why you must experience this awesomeness as your next vacation.

Reality versus Expectation
Reality versus Expectation
The last year has been full of doubt and uncertainty in my own craft. I’ve been teaching yoga and barre full-time for nine years and I’ve felt far less sure and confident of myself today than I did in the beginning. In a world where our worth as a yoga or fitness teacher seems dependent on class numbers, high amounts of followers and likes, and publicly-available Classpass and Google reviews, I have felt like I can’t compete. I’m not a competitive person and I never have been. I feel the pressure to be something extraordinary, to become a celebrity, to get people’s attention and have them care about me and praise me. I see the efforts that others in my community put into their social media and a sense of failure immediately fills my being. Everyone seems to have a professional photographer with them at all times, has unsurmountable inspiration and motivation while sporting the newest gear, the most perfect hair and a perfectly toned body to match.

5 Ways to Eat Like an Olympian
5 Ways to Eat Like an Olympian
Nutrition affects the health and performance of athletes, bodybuilders or anyone simply exercising to improve their health. Good nutrition plays a key role in optimizing the beneficial effects of physical activity. Learning to eat healthily can help you implement a healthy relationship with food and enjoy special treats and food that makes you feel better. Nutrition should be a priority for any athlete. Watching the best athletes in the world performing at such high levels, it is obvious there have been countless numbers of hours put into training at their respective sports. What may seem less obvious, is importance of the food these athletes eat, in helping them get into proper shape and maintain peak performance. Importance of Good Nutrition for Athletes Without proper nutrition, you will not attain your full athletic potential, and you are more susceptible to fatigue and injury. To achieve the full benefits of a well-designed performance enhancement program, you must include a balanced and nutrient dense diet.

7 Yoga Poses You Can Do At Your Desk
7 Yoga Poses You Can Do At Your Desk
Let’s face it: When you spend a lot of time at a desk, it’s all too easy for your mind and muscles to get fatigued, bogged down by the ongoing stress stemming from your job. You’re hunching over your computer, straining over documents and tightening your shoulders, even as you sit and type. Plus, there’s the mental pressure of deadlines and workplace conflict looming over you, making your body tense as well. Yoga is a great solution for this. It’s known for strengthening your body and easing muscle tension, while calming your mind and improving stress levels. But can you practice yoga in the workplace? The good news is, the answer is yes. Even when you’re stuck in a desk, there are several simple moves that you can practice that will provide the benefits of yoga right where you are. Through basic moves such as a chair cat/cow stretch or a short spinal twist, you can take steps to relieve back pain, clear your mind, improve your posture and more. Interested in regaining some of the clarity and energy you’d like to have on the job? Check out the accompanying infographic to get inspired with ways to practice yoga in the workplace, even during a busy, stressful day.

One Year Without Alcohol: Month 1
One Year Without Alcohol: Month 1
I’ve decided to stay “Dry” for all of 2018, and more importantly to share this journey with you all! It may not seem like a stretch to do a whole year without alcohol but for me it’s represents more than just staying sober. It represents being comfortable in my own skin. Alcohol has never been a super strong pull or vice, well ok, maybe in college when I’d be sober and diligently working towards a dance degree all week and when the weekends came we’d start things off with 5 shots of straight Absolut Vodka. Reality check! At 36 my relationship to alcohol is far from that youthful folly. A craft cocktail after a long week (or day) of work feels luxurious.

10 Steps to Heal Heartbreak
10 Steps to Heal Heartbreak
If falling in love is the best thing in the world, heartbreak has to be the worst. Heartbreaks are tough and understandably so; what you just believed to be true is no longer the case. While it may seem like your life is over, please know its not and you will get through this. Having gone through a recent heartbreak myself, I feel you. After I realized another romantic relationship had come to an end, I experienced many peaks and valleys of emotions. Luckily, my yoga practice has taught me many things like patience, non-attachment and compassion so I was able process the breakup in a healthy way. If you’re going through a heartbreak right now, please know you are loved by many. Then read on and test out my 10 steps to break away and return to you. STEP 1: Breathe. Take a deep breath. Inhale through the nose. Exhale out the mouth. Repeat as many times as you need to calm your nerves. Your breath is your strength, your energy, your life force. Even in times you find yourself in complete disbelief, just breathe. When you heart is broken and you can’t imagine another day without him, just breathe.

Discover Your Inner Warrior
Discover Your Inner Warrior
Within us all, rests a powerful warrior. An ally, full of belief, support and courage. A passionate protector, ready to go into battle when there is risk. When harm comes your way, your inner warrior rises into full defense. The reaction of your inner warrior is usually not to external threats, but to the struggles which we create ourselves. Called to action by ego, doubt, fear, ignorance, self-sabotage and neglect. The battle of your inner warrior, is to restore and reveal your best self. Fueled by passion, the inner warrior is strengthened by being open, raw and real. Life experience cultivates wisdom and calling on our inner warrior inspires resilience. Intelligent and articulate, our warrior is fine tuned to rise when needed, acting in support of our highest self. Think of your warrior as your biggest cheerleader.

The Joy of Drinking Coffee
The Joy of Drinking Coffee
What if the answer is simple and is hidden in your daily cup of coffee or tea? Datamonitor states that in Australia alone, the “hot drinks market had total revenues of $1.4 billion”, so there is plenty of opportunity to practice the art of being mindful when you indulge in your favorite cup. It is weird to think that I grew up hating coffee. The smell made me feel sick and up until my mid twenties I was disgusted by the idea that anyone would want to drink the stuff. Fast forward a decade and I enjoy a barista made cup each day. It’s not the caffeine, as I am someone who can consume the last sip and take a nap a few moments later. I like the taste but I’m not addicted or obsessed by it. I have given up and can easily do so again, with no side effects. For me, it is the ritual, an indulgence, a romantic gift to myself celebrating how amazing my day and therefore my life is.