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


Service
Service
I picked this topic because honestly I stood in awe after the event we did on Mother’s Day for my non-profit, Girls Elevate. It came to me before the event … for days leading up to it actually. But I was preparing a thank you note to all the people who were there after the event, and I was in awe of the support that came so easily. And then when I looked at that list, I realized that all those people were there in service with their gift, their passion, their purpose, their love of …whatever it was they were offering up.

Practicing Kindness
Practicing Kindness
Befriend yourself If we are concerned with self-improvement or cultivating physical disciplines, we can be quite hard on ourselves, especially when things aren’t going as well as we’ve hoped or planned. Off the mat, there are sure to be times we disappoint ourselves, failing to live up to some ideal expectations. Instead of chastising or punishing yourself, or suppressing behaviours that you think are beneath you, can you instead be kind to whatever it is inside of you that is calling out for help? Can your kindness be unconditional? When your thoughts dive into dark places, instead of wishing you were feeling something else, can you listen, befriend yourself, and see what you may need to feel better?

Dairy Free Coconut "Yogurt" and Vanilla Chia Jam
Dairy Free Coconut
For the longest time, I ate yogurt for breakfast thinking that I was doing the “right thing.” What I didn’t realize, was that most of the “healthy yogurt” I was eating was not only filled with sugar, it was also causing me some unwanted side effects.

To Strengthen, Stretch or Rest
To Strengthen, Stretch or Rest
Sometime within the last year, a friend of mind asked about a nagging ankle injury. He had just recently gotten into yoga but wasn’t sure if yoga was helping or hurting his ankle recovery. Specifically, he wanted to know how you know when you need to strengthen, stretch, or rest.

What You Really Learn in Yoga Teacher Training
What You Really Learn in Yoga Teacher Training
Making the decision to sign up for a teacher training for most people is a big deal. Many register for programs in order to become a yoga instructor, but people also register in order to simply learn more about yoga. What most people don’t count on is how much you learn about yourself through the teacher training process. While learning alignment for Down Dog and how to cue people into a Warrior One is great, gaining tools to thrive and uncovering a new way of looking at life are even better.

Taurus New Moon: Earthly Connections and Spiritual Explorations (May 6, 2016)
Taurus New Moon: Earthly Connections and Spiritual Explorations (May 6, 2016)
Taurus’ stellar ability to manifest earthly beauty and abundance are brilliantly enhanced during the New Moon. A thrilling combination in the sky create an opportunity to expand on your transformative powers and throw out any rigid beliefs that are getting in your way. This New Moon brings richness and offers supremely powerful energy to enhance your finances. If there is a money-making endeavor that has presented itself, go for it! And, if you have been waiting on your payday, it is just around the corner, provided you clear whatever energy may be blocking your inherent success.

When Doves Cry
When Doves Cry
I haven’t even begun to try and process Prince’s death. I can’t seem to find the middle ground between dancing and crying. The day he passed, I listened to his music until I fell asleep. Before sleep came, I scrolled video after video, article after article … I couldn’t get enough. My eyes were bloodshot I was so tired.

A Yin Yoga Experience
A Yin Yoga Experience
Ever wondered what the difference is between a yin class and a restorative class? Or maybe you even wonder what this yin yoga is in the first place! Yin yoga is a relatively new “form” of yoga that has become popular in the past decade or so. While the practice itself has always existed, the practice as it’s offered today in studios across the world has evolved. Today I’d like to offer you my perspective on the yin practice and give you a little experience.

Lemon Ginger Switchel
Lemon Ginger Switchel
We’re in celebration mode (find out why here) and that means it’s Conscious Cocktail time! Who’s thirsty?

Prepare for Bigger Backbends
Prepare for Bigger Backbends
Backbends are demanding and invigorating. They require a combination of flexibility and strength that can vary from person to person. They require patience and preparation. Often our ability to backbend in big and deep ways can be limited by muscular and soft tissue tightness across the front of the hips, around the numerous connections of the spine itself, and across the front and back of the shoulders. Here are three warm ups focused on stretch and release of these regions to help you deepen your backbends.

A Practice for Recognizing & Developing Inner Strength
A Practice for Recognizing & Developing Inner Strength
“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” ~ Dalai Lama

The Simplicity of the Sutras
The Simplicity of the Sutras
As the world becomes more complex, the universe is sending subtle signals to simplify. It seems a lot of the world is starting to question the complexity we’ve built into our ways of doing things.

Simple Asparagus Mint Soup
Simple Asparagus Mint Soup
With our spring cleansers in mind, we whipped up this delicious, oh-so-springy, cleansing soup featuring asparagus.

Scorpio Full Moon: The Sorcerer, the Source and the Strength of the Shadow (April 22, 2016)
Scorpio Full Moon: The Sorcerer, the Source and the Strength of the Shadow (April 22, 2016)
A full moon in Scorpio shines light on all our darkest depths: the secrets we carry beneath the outer facade, hidden in the shadow, waiting for the light. At its worst, Scorpio energy forces these secrets to the surface at the worst possible moments, often wounding others (and ourself!) in the process. However, when we consciously bring acceptance and awareness to our shadow, the hidden depths reveal not darkness, but long buried treasure that is the source of our greatest healing, wisdom and truth. In this way, the deep processing required by this illuminated Scorpio energy brings things to light that ultimately reveal our power.

Eating Clean
Eating Clean
Hey Guys, So I have seen so many of my friends over the years trying to get healthy, detoxify and lose weight…which is cool. But then they tell me what they’re eating and I freak out!

A Smart Flow for Hamstrings
A Smart Flow for Hamstrings
I am a vinyasa flow girl through and through. I believe that spending time studying alignment is vital to a lifelong yoga practice — whether in the form of Iyengar classes/workshops or with a flow teacher like Jason who occasionally slows things down. When you learn to understand and tune into the details of alignment you not only stave off potential injuries, you truly learn the skill of connecting your body and mind.

Allergy Boosting Green Juice
Allergy Boosting Green Juice
Ahhhh the blooms and trees beginning to bud, and the grass popping up through the snow….it can all be such a thing of beauty. It can also be a time for allergy sufferers to struggle!

Why I Love Sun Salutations
Why I Love Sun Salutations
Am I full of it? I love Sun Salutations. I love doing them exactly the same way every day. I don’t need to be creative with them. But why is this? When asked about keeping up a yoga practice, I often say “consistency is what really matters. don’t worry about duration or intensity, just do something every day.” When asked about sequencing one’s practice for home or a classroom environment, I’ll defend the power of simple movements repeated several times with breath taught over many classes over complicated choreography that’s shifting and changing from one moment to the next and never repeated again from one class to another. If asked why, I’ll say “repetition of simple movements with breath is what will help the nervous system and mind relax, too much new and complicated will just stimulate and potentially lead to new stress.” I say these things, know them intuitively to be true, but beyond tradition (yoga sutras definitely emphasize repetition and consistency, and the movements of sun salutes are very much present in Eastern prayer tradition) really haven’t had much to back it up. But I think I’m beginning to get a clearer picture.

How to Deal with Toxic Relationships
How to Deal with Toxic Relationships
Do you have emotional vampires in your life? Do you have friends or family that suck your life energy and leave you feeling depleted, depressed, irritable and antsy?

Breakfast Nicoise Salad
Breakfast Nicoise Salad
It’s spring cleanse time and that means cleansers across the globe are dusting off their blenders and loading up their grocery carts with veggies, veggies, and more veggies! If you’ve been with us awhile, you know we’re BIG green smoothie fans. That said, we’re also an adventurous bunch and like to go a little wild and crazy at times.

Empowerment Loss
Empowerment Loss
When circumstances, ruled by forces beyond the will of one individual, overshadow our personal experience of life, unconscious resentment and fear run deep. The coercive fuel of capitalism has conditioned and resigned us to manipulation that both obfuscates truth and reveals the inhumanity of entrenched power. Despite hopelessness, perhaps a kernel of our sacrificed fortitude and imagination can be redeemed.

4 Propped Poses to Build Your Hanumansana
4 Propped Poses to Build Your Hanumansana
Hanumanasana feels different each time I do it. There are days when I can get my pelvis to the floor with my hips square. But these days I focus more on getting the benefits of the pose instead of going all the way into the pose.

Recipe: Spring Smoothie Trio
Recipe: Spring Smoothie Trio
We’re gearing up for the next online Conscious Cleanse and that means it’s time to ramp up our repertoire of green smoothies! This trio of smoothie recipes came about one morning while we sat dreaming of spring. Just look at the color of these beauties! So inspiring! And so springy! Don’t ya think?

Fearless and Radical New Beginnings: Aries New Moon (April 7, 2016)
Fearless and Radical New Beginnings: Aries New Moon (April 7, 2016)
This Aries New Moon is a prime time to charge forth into action and move ahead in life with courage and fearlessness. As the first sign of the zodiacal year, Aries kicks things off and starts things up. The cardinal force of this sign is powerful and there is no time like a new moon in Aries to start something new. The tenacity and focus of Aries is perfect for new endeavors, but you must beware of a “ready, fire, aim” mentality and make sure to plot your course with care. As you do this, be sure to support yourself well with a self-care routine to manage any feelings of being overwhelmed and keep stressed adrenals in check. Aries energy is very fierce at times, so you must work to counterbalance it with some gentle consideration for yourself.

Undoing the Pretensions of Yoga
Undoing the Pretensions of Yoga
Recently I was listening to an NPR piece on boutique fitness when I was struck, though not surprised, by a comment from a Shape‘s fitness editor, Jaclyn Emerick.