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


Yoga Poses Scientifically Proven to Ease Depression
Yoga Poses Scientifically Proven to Ease Depression
A study titled 'Treating Major Depression With Yoga: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Pilot Trial' published in PLOS ONE Journal earlier this year. It was completed by a group of scientists from the University of California, Johns Hopkins University, and Cornell University. The main purpose of the study was to examine how an 8-week hatha yoga intervention impacted people with mild to major depression. To achieve this purpose, the researchers recruited 38 adults who were diagnosed with depression. According to the results, the group who practiced yoga during the study period exhibited a considerable decline in depression scores than the group who did not. The decline was statistically and clinically significant, so the study concluded that the yoga intervention can serve as a tool for reducing depression severity.

Free Your Mind From Stress & Worry
Free Your Mind From Stress & Worry
So, I bet you have some person in your life who has a blessed, abundant life but still runs around like a worry-wort victim, right? You also have inspiring examples of people in the worst situations who maintain grace and love and gratitude despite their circumstances. What’s the difference between the two types of people? The second type of person – let’s use Nelson Mandela as an example – gets that our stress and suffering levels correspond to our attitudes around our external circumstances, rather than the circumstances themselves. They take responsibility for their peace of mind, knowing that it can never be controlled by other people or external situations. Stress and suffering come from the stories we create from our circumstances. We dwell on the past with regret and shame. We project into the future with anxiety and worry. We are disconnected from the present moment, which, in reality, most likely holds much to be grateful and joyful about.

Yoga for Transition & Transformation
Yoga for Transition & Transformation
Transitions are part of life and the change of seasons is a perfect time to focus on transitions and transform your life. When we tap into the essence of the season and align ourselves with nature, we can create lasting change. Now that you’re in week two of the YogaDownload.com Pre-Holiday Challenge, we hope you’re feeling stronger and determined to stay the course.

Simple Ideas to Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle
Simple Ideas to Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle
I'm intrigued by people who've been able to reduce their yearly waste to just a bag or two of trash. Even though our circumstances have had us without a garden for a couple of years, I've composted for more than two decades. But the idea of being so completely aware of every single thing I touch in a day and determining how much to reduce, reuse, recycle is astounding to me. The three Rs of environmentalism have become a mantra of sorts for me. I figure if I can keep it on repeat in my brain the actions will become second nature. Where to start? Let's take them in reverse order...

Organic vs. Non-GMO labels
Organic vs. Non-GMO labels
Whether it’s from concern for the environment, their health, or both, shoppers are choosing organic foods and foods made without using genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The upsurge in popularity of these two categories has helped organic foods become one of the quickest-growing sectors of food production in the United States. For anyone who has an interest in what goes into the food they eat, walking up and down the aisles of the grocery store today reveals a rising number of options. Not only do foods carry the familiar nutritional facts labels mandated by the FDA, but they also bear the symbols of organizations that certify organic food products as well as non-GMO food products. Even if these foods are distinctively labeled, there still may be some misconception about what those labels mean.

Types of Yoga: Which Style Fits You Best
Types of Yoga: Which Style Fits You Best
When someone completely new to yoga looks at Instagram photos, they might get confused. Is yoga all about handstands and backbends? There should be something more to it. When they do a brief research, they get even more confused. There are too many types of yoga, and all of them are quite different from one another. According to the Eastern approach to understanding human nature, each one of us has a unique personality and temperament. It’s no wonder why yoga has taken so many forms. It constantly evolves, and that’s a good thing. Since there are so many types of yoga, everyone can find a method that suits them. We’ll list few important types of yoga, so you’ll distinguish them and decide: which one suits you best?

When Fear Has You In Its Grip
When Fear Has You In Its Grip
Let’s get real about fear. Fear has been on my mind and in my heart. All the ways in which we experience fear, are taught to deal with (or avoid) fear, false expectations around fearlessness, and so much more. I’ve been holding hands with fear a lot lately. Sometimes it’s a firm, solid hand hold, and sometimes it feels like fear is trying to break my fingers and crush my hand. It’s so interesting being a human. I’ve tried so many different things to get rid of fear- avoiding it, seeking it out, making choices based on it or in spite of it, saying a lot of positive affirmations, focusing on love and light, pretending it doesn’t exist- you name it, I’ve tried it.

Align the Mind
Align the Mind
Alignment is a buzz word these days in the yoga world. Since more and more people are practicing yoga, and more people are speaking out about how yoga has injured them in the past, instructors and practitioners alike are concerned about safety. And that’s a good thing. But for all the talk about alignment as it refers to the body, what about the alignment of our thoughts, decisions, and actions?

9 Simple Ways to Live Authentically (Even When Life is Messy)
9 Simple Ways to Live Authentically (Even When Life is Messy)
As I’m approaching 30, I often find myself pondering on living authentically. What does being authentic mean? How do I know if the life I’m leading is authentic? Am I happy with the person I’ve become? Finally, is authenticity overrated? And if you’re anything like me, your train of thought may be similar.

Yoga Tips For a Healthy Back
Yoga Tips For a Healthy Back
Over 50% of all working Americans report having back pain each year. That's 5 out of 10 of you will have back pain this year! As a yoga therapist and a teacher of thousands of public yoga classes over the last 16 years I see many people with poor alignment, and the inability to flex, extend and twist their spine normally.

Plantain Pancakes
Plantain Pancakes
I have sort of a love affair with pancakes. Or rather, it’s more like a Nicholas Sparks style recollection of that one summer when I was eating gluten.

The Art of a Well-Paced Class
The Art of a Well-Paced Class
Every day during my teacher trainings I give my students time to practice on their own—at their own pace. The practice period is only 15 to 20 minutes, but it gives everyone a little quiet time to integrate the work we’ve been doing as a group. And, it gives everyone the opportunity to work on whatever it is they need at the time. I’ve watched hundreds of students practice in this environment and one thing that stands out: No one goes fast. No one. I’ve never seen one person choose to move at a pace that outstrips their breath. I’ve never seen someone go so fast that they get winded. I’ve seen people choose to practice quiet, restorative poses. I’ve seen people choose ridiculously demanding poses. I’ve seen people choose everything in between. But, I’ve never seen someone move so fast that they can’t breathe deeply.

Why We Should Retreat and Do Yoga
Why We Should Retreat and Do Yoga
Vacations are a good chance for you to try something new. It allows you the opportunity to be braver being in a new place and seeing new sites. Brave, relaxed, and in a mood for fun, yoga is one thing you could consider trying out. It’s new but offers the same type of relaxation that a vacation provides.

Love Hate Yoga
Love Hate Yoga
Pop culture continues to enjoy a glossy-eyed love affair with yoga. But many long-time practitioners and professionals are discovering that, somewhere along their journey over the last decade or so, either yoga or they have changed. As once die-hard yogis attempt to discern what, if anything, of their practice has stood up against the test of time, their relationship to yoga needs to be allowed to evolve or they’ll likely feel compelled to part ways.

Get Clear on Meditation
Get Clear on Meditation
One of the reasons why the Yoga Sutras are somewhat hard to understand for a first-time reader is because of the presentation and organization of the sutras themselves. Rather than presenting a chronological order of yoga with clear instructions, the very first chapter sets out to explain the unexplainable – the end goal of yoga, or samadhi. In fact, it takes an entire chapter and 51 sutras to really define and deconstruct what yoga is. Keep in mind, asana isn’t mentioned once!

5 Reason to Start Your Workday
with Morning Meditation
5 Reason to Start Your Workday <br> with Morning Meditation
Greatness can be achieved through dedication and daily meditation. Highly successful people are doing it so why won’t you? Each of us has different reasons for meditating. Don’t worry though, as all possible outcomes are always positive. Practicing meditation in the morning might be much more beneficial for you than in any other time of the day.

Curried Chicken Salad
Curried Chicken Salad
This salad was inspired by those gorgeous, colorful Bollywood flicks that offer a feast of singing, dancing, and romance. I love Indian food, as it was my first real introduction to all things curry. Only much later did I learn that turmeric, a typical curry spice that gives curries a yellow tint, has tremendous antitumor and anti-inflammatory properties. And to think, I loved it just for its taste! Here, I was hankering for a swirl of flavors with an Indian feel. The chicken makes a great starting point because it’s full of protein and amenable to all sorts of accessorizing. In this case, the apple and raisins play delightfully off the curry spices.

Essential Sequence: Winning in Warrior III
Essential Sequence: Winning in Warrior III
I spent my first two years of yoga avoiding Warrior III. Then, I spent another year avoiding it. Finally, after avoiding it for an additional 15 years, I’ve made it a mainstay of my practice. What can I say? I guess it takes me a while to warm up to things that expose my weaknesses, knock me off balance, and frustrate my ego. I have to admit, I actually like it now.

5 Promising Aqua Yoga Poses You Need To Know About
5 Promising Aqua Yoga Poses You Need To Know About
Harry Potter yoga, goat yoga and now-- aqua yoga? The latest trend in yoga, Aqua Yoga adapts the principles and movements of yoga to a water environment. The water provides buoyancy and will let you concentrate more on strengthening and stretching your body rather than struggling to balance yourself. Practicing yoga in water also relieves joint and bone stress. If you have ever experienced difficulty in holding a yoga pose correctly, you will be surprised by how you can just float into that position under water with grace and ease.

Mindful Meditation Therapy
Mindful Meditation Therapy
Mindfulness refers to a state of consciousness characterized by acute awareness of the present moment. The state of mindfulness can help individuals become more aware of their emotions, thoughts and health. Mindfulness originated in Buddhist tradition, but the principles of mindfulness and meditation have been incorporated into modern psychiatric treatment since the 1970s. The state of mindfulness is primarily learned through time spent in meditation. By focusing on breathing and posture, individuals can learn the ability to enter a state of calm observation. This process allows them to gain improved awareness of external stimuli, as well deeper insights into their own feelings. Furthermore, research shows that mindful meditation can help heal damage to the brain caused by substance abuse. Learning more about the benefits of mindful meditation therapy is a huge advantage for those considering addiction treatment.

5 Ways To (Re)Inspire Your Yoga Practice
5 Ways To (Re)Inspire Your Yoga Practice
We all get stuck in a rut from time to time—even yoga teachers. In fact, the question that comes up most frequently in the group of teachers that I mentor is, “How do I keep my practice and teaching fresh?” After all, it’s hard to inspire and connect with your students when you’re feeling stale. The first thing to remember is this: All relationships, vocations, and passions go through different phases. If things feel a little lackluster from time to time it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or your relationship to yoga. Try not to go crazy if your practice and teaching feel stagnant. Acknowledge and allow the feelings. And when you feel ready try these simple tips for getting back to what matters most.

Teaching Yoga Redefined
Teaching Yoga Redefined
A number of long-time yoga teachers are deciding to stop referring to what they teach as yoga. In the past, the term yoga represented a freedom to explore and discover truths outside western cultural norms. Now that yoga has largely become a western cultural norm, fueled by the advertising prowess of a multi-billion dollar industry and challenged by scholars questioning appropriation, public perception has been shaped in ways that have made the word yoga seem limiting. However, the teachers are the only ones who hold the power to define what they do, not scholars or the industry.

10 Creative Ways to Inspire Your Yoga Practice This Summer
10 Creative Ways to Inspire Your Yoga Practice This Summer
When summer rolls around, yoga practice can fall by the wayside — the longer days mean we spend more time outdoors, we travel, those of us who have kids deal with changing schedules. So, to keep you inspired, Jason and I are doing a six-episode summer podcast series!

15 Reasons Why You Should Add Yoga to Your Exercise Routine
15 Reasons Why You Should Add Yoga to Your Exercise Routine
You might be thinking, you already go to the gym, so why should you include yoga into your exercise routine, isn’t that just for relaxing? Although it is a fantastic way of finding some headspace and letting go of any stress in your body, yoga can dramatically improve your gym workouts. The perfect partner to any type of exercise, whether it’s cardio or weight training, it can boost your performance in the gym and enhance your overall fitness. The word itself actually means ‘union’, so think of yoga as the perfect union between health and fitness.

Essential Sequence: Learn to Love Camel Pose
Essential Sequence: Learn to Love Camel Pose
Students who love Ustrasana praise the pose for the way it opens the shoulders, chest and upper-back. And, they’re right. Ustrasana is hard to beat when it comes to extending the thoracic spine. Students who loathe Ustrasana invariably complain about discomfort in the neck and lower back. They’re also right. It can be tough to do Ustrasana without creating excessive compression in your lower back and neck.