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Yoga, Health, and Wellness Articles + Recipes

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


Yoga Classes of the Yama Aparigraha: Non-greed
Yoga Classes of the Yama Aparigraha: Non-greed
Aparigraha is about non-attachment. This is not a vow to live in poverty, but more of an invitation to be satisfied with what you have and avoid excess and perpetual dissatisfaction. There is abundance in the spirit of Aparigraha. A person with a lot of money who steals from others and is constantly worried about not having enough is not really rich in the truest sense of the word. Yoga teaches us that our greatest satisfaction comes from within. In many modern societies, there is tremendous emphasis on acquiring more and more trappings of excess materialism. Having nice things and living comfortably is wonderful, and Aparigraha isn’t about denying ourselves the nice things in life - but about not becoming greedy.

YogaDownload's 16th Birthday!
YogaDownload's 16th Birthday!
Do you love celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones? Marking important occasions with rituals and celebrations is a great way to express gratitude for what’s meaningful in your life. This week, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating 16 years of YogaDownload! We appreciate our global community of yogis, that would be you by the way, and wouldn’t be here today without your consistency and dedication to yoga. One of the ways we’ve distinguished ourselves over the years is by consistently bringing you fresh content every week. As part of our celebration, we are featuring throw-back classes from some long-time YogaDownload teachers who have been with us from the beginning and are still creating new practices for you. The teachers you love and appreciate return to the studio over and over because of you.

Hot Tropical Rooibos Tea Cocktail
Hot Tropical Rooibos Tea Cocktail
All cocktails don't need to be served cold and all tea does not need to be just tea. So you are free to decide if you wish to call this drink a warm cocktail or next-level tea, it is delicious either way. Truth be told, I usually don't like adding anything that contains calories to my drinks. Alcoholic beverages are an exception, but I never drink milk, juice, or lemonade if I am thirsty, and I never add any sweeteners to my hot beverages. But I needed to create a hot cocktail for an event and just serving tea did not cut it, so I experimented a little and am super happy with the result. Rooibos has a nice warmness to its taste, and mango with passionfruit complements it well. At the same time, Aperol, which is a super nice summer drink with sparkling wine, gives it slightly bitter notes and it all balances out to my liking. It is not going to be my go-to drink while reading a book late in the evening, but I am definitely serving it as an aperitif at my next autumn dinner party!

Spicy Thai Salad
Spicy Thai Salad
I’ve had Thai food on my mind lately since the weather is cooling off and Thai food adds some extra heat when it’s cold outside. I find the deep flavors in Thai dishes to be so comforting and grounding. I spent time several years ago playing around with Thai-inspired recipes in anticipation of my honeymoon adventures in Thailand. I wanted to create some healthy crave-worthy recipes full of those refreshing, sweet, and zesty flavors.

Benefits of Yoga for Different Athletes
Benefits of Yoga for Different Athletes
The art of doing yoga provides many benefits for the human body, from improving our flexibility and strength to how we relax and breathe. While yoga may not always be easy, it is a good idea to implement yoga into your exercise routine every week. Doing so is especially important if you are an athlete because you will learn the skills necessary to be stronger and perform better so you can master your craft. Let’s talk about the importance of yoga for various types of athletes and how it can improve your performance. Yoga For Equestrians

Daily Devotion: Showing Up For Yourself
Daily Devotion: Showing Up For Yourself
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” - Oscar Wilde It’s time to hit the pause button and contemplate how much time you take out of your day to refill your well. How often do you make yourself a priority––your wants, your needs, your desires? And consider whether you feel guilty if you choose yourself first?

Healthy Morning Habits to Start Your Day
Healthy Morning Habits to Start Your Day
Your routine in the morning can set the tone for the rest of your day. It’s important to set good habits that you can use to help create a morning routine that will eventually set you up for success. If you start your day off stressed, and do things like snooze your alarm, skip breakfast and rush yourself to start your day, the rest of your day can seem chaotic and stressful as well. Your morning sets off your day, so when you form healthy morning habits, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Good Morning! Yoga for a Great Day Ahead!
Good Morning! Yoga for a Great Day Ahead!
If you want to experience your best day possible each and every day, choose to begin your morning with yoga. Unrolling your yoga mat in the morning empowers you to create and maintain a positive mindset regardless of what your schedule entails. Root canal at the dentist? No problem. Annual review with your evil boss? Those “helpful” comments will roll right off your back. One of the greatest benefits from a regular yoga practice is that it helps us pause before reacting to external stimulus. We don’t have control over many external events, but we can learn control over how we handle challenging situations. You’ll have a powerful foundation for the day to be your strongest, most positive self and avoid being drawn into drama caused by snap reactions. Practicing yoga in the morning clears your mind, soothes your emotions, and warms and opens your body.

21-Day Yoga Challenge: Nurture & Nourish
21-Day Yoga Challenge: Nurture & Nourish
21-Day Yoga Challenge: Nurture & Nourish: Challenge starts October 17th We’ve heard the term “self-care” bandied about a lot lately. Have you ever wondered what that means, exactly? We’re often so busy taking care of others in our lives from partners, pets, co-workers, and everyone we encounter, we don’t leave enough fuel in the tank to take care of ourselves. Are you as kind to yourself as you are to the person you love most?

Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Let me introduce you to the easiest and most flavorful salad ever. This Asian-inspired salad comes together super quick and smacks you in the face with the flavor. I love the funkiness of fish sauce and probably you already know that I do love spicy food. Sadly for my vegan and vegetarian friends, I haven’t figured out a perfect substitute for fish sauce in this recipe, so my best bet is for you to just omit fish sauce and season with salt instead, but it will miss out on some flavor. Sorry! But for the rest of you – make this salad right now! Especially if you are in the middle of zucchini season. It is super light but bursting with flavor. For me, a big bowl of this on a hot summer day is a perfect light lunch. The peanuts give it a nice crunch and some plant protein. If you need more protein, it works well with fried tofu, prawns, or simply steamed white fish too.

10 Ways to Nourish Your Mind and Body
10 Ways to Nourish Your Mind and Body
Sometimes in life we can feel a little lost and misguided, and it can seem like nothing good is ever happening. It can be easy to feel very overwhelmed and powerless when times like these come around, and we can get stuck in bad moods and bad habits. This is why it's so important to take on healthy habits to nourish your mind and body, to help you get out of bad situations and overall make your life a lot easier in the day-to-day. Here are some of the best ways to nourish your mind and body:

Beetroot Pasta
Beetroot Pasta
As you already know I absolutely adore seasonal food, but the season in Estonia is extremely short. Luckily we still have super nice autumn and I can even still pick fresh tomatoes from my balcony garden, but I know that the niceness is going to be over soon. The recipe I share with you today utilizes the best Estonian beetroots, but the even better news is that you can make the pasta with the same beetroot powder that I used as it is available on Amazon. I rarely advertise anything even in Estonia, but this beetroot flour is the next level, so if you get a chance – check it out. Enough with the promo and back to the recipe.

10 Reasons Why "Me Time" is Important
10 Reasons Why
There sometimes can be a stigma to doing things alone. Going out for dinner or catching a movie, you can sometimes feel like people are watching you or judging you for being anti-social or lonely. But that is totally wrong! Spending time by yourself is really important - after all, the relationship you have with yourself is the most important and long lasting one you’ll have in your life. Having more me time has benefits like increased productivity, happiness, empathy and gratitude. It doesn't matter how you do it, but here’s some of the benefits of me-time.

Stretch, Flow & Let Go!
Stretch, Flow & Let Go!
Who is in the mood to mix things up? If you feel like you’ve fallen into the same-old, same-old mindset, it’s time to shake off your usual routine before you fall into a yoga rut. Our bodies and minds and hearts thrive on stimulation. Challenging yourself to do something different is the best way to maintain a fresh perspective on life. Physically, we can injure ourselves if we are repeating the same activities day after day. By trying different classes, you can avoid injuries caused by repetitive stress. Your mind can shift into auto-pilot with the same practices too and that’s a recipe for becoming stagnant.

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup
Chilled Cantaloupe Soup
One of our most talked about recipes of all time is our Curried Carrot Soup. It’s a big hit especially during Purification weekends when we recommend consuming only veggies and fruits with a small amount of oil for added flavor and healthy fat. Purification is all about allowing your digestive system to rest so that the other organs and systems in your body can also heal and be rejuvenated. It’s also a way to fill your body with living enzymes, which we like to call the spark plugs of the body. Enzymes are the catalysts for just about every action the body does. Needless to say, they’re pretty important to our health! The good news is you don’t need to be on a cleanse or a purifying weekend in order to get these benefits – you can start right now by trying our new Chilled Cantaloupe Soup!

Best Poses to Balance Your Throat (Visshuda) Chakra
Best Poses to Balance Your Throat (Visshuda) Chakra
Your throat chakra is the center of communication, where you express yourself and truth. It is associated with ether. Physically, it is connected with your throat region. It is related to being honest and expressing yourself. When your throat chakra is out of balance, it can physically result in any issues with the throat or thyroid, and motionally with dishonesty, an inability to speak up - or to stop talking.

Mark Morford's Yoga Alchemy - The Collection
Mark Morford's Yoga Alchemy - The Collection
Yoga is a path of self-improvement and self-discovery, where through practice and discipline, we can transform ourselves. Renowned ParaYoga founder and Tantra Yoga scholar Rod Stryker teaches, “We’re not transforming into something we aspire to,” he says. “We’re transforming into the very thing that we are innately: our best Self.” We are all in different stages in our lives and our personal development is an individual process. Yoga gives us tools to shed the habits and patterns which may be holding us back from being our best selves. This week’s Yoga Alchemy Program with Mark Morford is a deep dive into your own personal physical, mental, and emotional metamorphosis.

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Let me introduce the most common way I am cooking. I have an idea or too much of something at home waiting to be used up. So, I browse the web for a perfect recipe. I find several and then decide on one. Almost every time I decide that “this time I will be following the recipe to a t”. And almost every time I end up replacing half the ingredients, and changing the cooking time and ratios. This is what happened this time too. The base recipe is here, and I am sure it is delicious, but I have no way of telling for sure.

How Mindful Mornings Can Change Your Day
How Mindful Mornings Can Change Your Day
“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.” - Buddha The way that you start your day can determine how the rest of it unfolds. Getting up in the morning can be challenging, and finding ways to get motivated and excited for the hours ahead isn’t always easy. If this resonates with you, know that it’s completely normal and you're not alone. But there are ways to change the way you feel for the better. One of the most effective ways to bring the right energy into your morning routine for a calm, happy, and flowing day is through mindfulness.

Evening Yoga for Better Sleep
Evening Yoga for Better Sleep
Never forget that rest is just as important as work! Seasons are changing and the shifting hours of sunset and sunrise impacts the quality of our sleep. And if like many of us, you’re busy juggling career and a personal life, sometimes it is tough to wind down from your adrenaline filled days. If you’re having a tougher time getting an excellent night’s sleep, you aren’t alone. By making some simple changes to your bedtime routine, you’ll be catching all your zzz’s in no time!

Blueberry Kombucha Pops
Blueberry Kombucha Pops
Rowdy Mermaid is a Colorado kombucha brand that’s sustainably sourced, herb-infused, and palatable for everyone (including toddlers!). Their beverages are all delicious, caffeine-free, and low-sugar, with added nutritional benefits from herbs and adaptogens. We’ve been huge fans of Rowdy Mermaid for years! In fact, Jo used to teach Jamba in her first yoga classes over a decade ago. If you’ve been a part of the Conscious Cleanse community for a couple of years, you’ll probably recognize them from our Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha Sangria (which also pairs well with summer vibes).

Sanskrit 101
Sanskrit 101
Sanskrit is an ancient Indian language. It is similar to Latin in the sense that many modern languages have roots in Sanskrit, but it is not really spoken as a first language in modern times. While many people are intimidated by yoga in general, they are more so because of words in a language with which they are not familiar. Sanskrit is an ancient language of India that today is spoken mostly by Hindu priests in religious ceremonies. Yoga studios are the other place where Sanskrit is most commonly used around the world in modern times.

Yoga for Resiliency
Yoga for Resiliency
Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong, and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason. - John Mayer Whether you’re in a phase of life where everything feels joyous or traumatic or somewhere in between, remind yourself that everything is temporary. The only universal constant is change. If we can learn to release attachments to feeling or being a certain way, we can find more peace when navigating times of loss and grief. We can also accept that “good times” don’t last forever.

Honey Paloma
Honey Paloma
As with most of my recipes during summertime, even my cocktail is inspired by fresh local produce. Not grapefruit or tequila, obviously, but the super fresh honey that I got from my aunt. I don’t usually drink tequila, but I recently went to a restaurant where the bartender mixed a cocktail that matched all my desires perfectly and it was tequila-based, so figured I try my hand mixing a cocktail at home myself. And oh boy it was a success! I’m not sure how I had never had Paloma before, somehow I never even thought about having a tequila-based cocktail instead of my usual favorite, gin.

Health Detriments of Stress & How to Combat Them
Health Detriments of Stress & How to Combat Them
We’ve all experienced stress in our lives, when the unexpected happens and we can’t control it! That’s when our brains decide to send out stress hormones - the hormones which trigger our ‘fight or flight’ response. This can cause heart racing, quicker breathing and tense muscles. Our stress responses are designed to protect you in an emergency by getting your body ready to react quickly. But, when our stress responses are triggered too often, it can cause some serious health problems.