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


Body Positive Yoga | Radically Inclusive Yoga Program
Body Positive Yoga | Radically Inclusive Yoga Program
News alert: If a yoga instructor reprimands you because you don’t look a certain way in an asana or physical pose, that teacher may be in the wrong profession. A good teacher will emphasize that how you feel in a pose is what’s important, not what shape you are creating on the mat. If you are finding sensation and breathing fully, then you are in the right place. Despite the barrage of Instagram filtered images crafted by tall thin yogis in advanced yoga poses, you do NOT need to be a skinny pretzel to be a “real yogi.” We’re here to tell you there is no such thing as a yoga body. With the explosion of yoga’s popularity in the Western world over the last few decades, a huge focus on appearance has overshadowed what yoga is truly about. Yoga is for every body and there’s a style and type of practice that works for each individual. It’s adaptable. Accessible. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t. No matter who you are, whether you are thin or heavy, tall or short, in a wheelchair or an Olympic athlete, yoga is for you.

5 Ways to Practice Body Positivity on the Yoga Mat
5 Ways to Practice Body Positivity on the Yoga Mat
We all have our own body hang ups, that can be hard to get past. The great thing about yoga is how it relaxes you, and lets you focus on your breath, and how your body is moving. This makes it a great practice to boost your body positivity. Yoga is a practice that all body shapes and sizes can take part in, however it can be hard sometimes to focus when we’re thinking about our body hang ups. Here’s our top tips for practicing body positivity when you’re on the yoga mat. 1. Channel Your Strength Feeling strong is a great way to instantly reap the benefits of body positivity.

Low Sugar Cranberry Sauce
Low Sugar Cranberry Sauce
Happy Thanksgiving from our families to yours! This is a wonderful time of year filled with gatherings of loved ones around the dinner table. Why not pick the healthiest options for your holiday spread? Jo, prefers to stay on a low-sugar eating track. So her family has developed a lower-sugar spin on the Thanksgiving classic — cranberry sauce! This tart and delicious recipe will win over even your pickiest family members. Looking for more healthy and delicious Thanksgiving options? Check out our Conscious Thanksgiving spread. What’s YOUR go-to Thanksgiving dish and does it need a Conscious Cleanse makeover? Let us know in the comments below! With love and holiday gratitude,

Practice Makes Perfect: Giving Thanks
Practice Makes Perfect: Giving Thanks
Everything in life can be considered a practice, whether it’s working out, practicing yoga, honing your hobby of choice, and even learning to operate from a place of gratitude each day. Just as you need to work your biceps and quadriceps to keep them strong, toned, and supple, you need to train your brain and your heart to move from a place of appreciation. Sometimes, it’s tough to be positive and grateful. As the Buddhists teach, life is hard. We don’t have much control over external events, but we do have control over our own reaction to them. One of the greatest benefits of a consistent yoga practice is that it allows you to create more space in your reaction time. It isn’t always easy, but being content is worth it.

6 Benefits Practicing Gratitude Can Bring to Your Life
6 Benefits Practicing Gratitude Can Bring to Your Life
Practicing gratitude is not just saying ‘thank you’ when someone opens a door for you. Feeling gratitude for all positive aspects in your life is a great way to shift your perspective from any problems and imperfections, and help you appreciate the little things. Taking some time to be thankful for your health, friends, family, or job can all help you change your perspective, especially in challenging times. Practicing gratitude can bring a wealth of benefits to your day to day life. Here are 6 of the best benefits practicing gratitude can have on your life: 1. Practicing gratitude relieves stress Anything that relieves stress is going to be beneficial not only to your mental health, but also your physical health too.

Roasted Beets and Arugula
Roasted Beets and Arugula
Happy Thanksgiving from our families to yours! This is a wonderful time of year filled with gatherings of loved ones around the dinner table. Why not pick the healthiest options for your holiday spread? We wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our family favorite recipes that we love to make for Thanksgiving. These dishes are healthy, delicious, and are sure to delight the whole family. Jules, as a vegetarian, finds holiday meals frustrating since they are so frequently centered around a meat dish. So she’s come up with a hearty salad featuring roasted beets. It works well as both a main dish or side dish, perfect for the veggie lovers in your life! Looking for more healthy and delicious Thanksgiving options? Check out our Conscious Thanksgiving spread.

How Meditation Cultivated My Recovery from Addiction
How Meditation Cultivated My Recovery from Addiction
Chaos. For as long as I can remember, my life was fundamentally altered and eventually comforted by chaos. If chaos did not physically surround me, it was ever present within my thinking. Experiencing trauma at a young age, I survived by internalizing my pain. I had no tools nor advocate to validate my experience. This shifted my thinking into total victimization. I was engulfed with symptoms of complex PTSD and I was a tourist in a foreign city with no map. Through my adolescent years, up into my early 20’s, I had no coping skills and avoided all discomfort. My mother passed away unexpectedly January 10, 2010 and my life was forever changed. Crippled by grief and overwhelmed by the inability to face the permanence of the situation, eventually lead to my full blown addiction. After years of self medicating, unfathomable consequences, and self sabotaging I finally accepted help and chased after recovery.

Yoga en Español
Yoga en Español
Here at YogaDownload.com, we love to help make yoga available to as many people as we can, all over the globe. This week, we are thrilled to introduce our first dedicated Spanish Language Yoga Program: Yoga en Español. According to the World Economic Forum, the world’s most spoken languages are Chinese, Spanish, and English. As of 2018, that means Spanish is the second most spoken language, by roughly 437 million people, primarily in Spain, Latin America, and parts of the United States. Currently, most yoga classes are offered in English, Sanskrit, or some combination of the two. Many students find learning the Sanskrit names for the yoga asanas or postures to be a daunting challenge. Sanskrit isn’t a spoken language, only existing in written form, so it takes a great deal of memorization to learn the pose names. If English isn’t your first language, practicing yoga can be even more challenging due to language barriers.

Como estos 5 principios yóguicos te llevarán a una vida más feliz: Yamas
Como estos 5 principios yóguicos te llevarán a una vida más feliz: Yamas
Si estás leyendo este texto seguramente te interesa o hayas practicado alguna vez yoga. Pero probablemente sólo conozcas una parte muy pequeña de lo que esta práctica milenaria implica. Imagina que estamos en India, hace unos dos mil años, y quieres aprender sobre la práctica del yoga. Los maestros de aquella era te hubiera enseñado primero los Yamas y Niyamas, antes de las asanas y Pranayama (posturas de yoga y control de la respiración). El maestro Patanjali (No está muy claro en que año. Algunos libros lo citan en el 400 ac, otros en la era común, otros en los 300 d.c.) escribió los Yoga Sutras, una recopilación de 196 aforismos o enseñanzas. En estas enseñanzas describe lo que él llamó “8 ramas del yoga”, o guía o pautas para la práctica del yoga como forma de vida:

Thai Stir Fry with Three Herb Sauce
Thai Stir Fry with Three Herb Sauce
This warm and comforting stir fry recipe tastes delicious any time of the year, and reminds me of balmy summer nights in Bali. It’s worth the extra effort to find fresh lemongrass, which can usually be found at your local Asian market (I once drove an hour to find it). The three-herb sauce is bursting with nutrients and flavor and after the prep is done, this dish can be thrown together rather quickly which makes it perfect for dinner parties. If you don’t have a wok, you can still make this recipe in a regular frying pan with a little extra oil :) Enjoy!

Let's Get Uncomfortable
Let's Get Uncomfortable
Stop and take a moment to consider the current state of your yoga practice. Have you fallen into a rut or are you in the process of growth? When is the last time you tried a new class or teacher––maybe one you’ve heard is challenging or different? Have you attempted a new asana lately, perhaps the one that scares you a little bit? If you’ve been practicing for a while, maybe it is time to step out of your comfort zone. The best way to become a more advanced practitioner is to continue to learn about yourself and understand your strengths and your limitations. Remember we are all different: physically, mentally, and emotionally. According to the Yoga Sutras, in the eight-limbed path of yoga, self-study is called Svadyaya and it encompasses seeking within as well as learning from texts and books. Awareness is the sign of an advanced practitioner and one of the greatest indicators of it is your breath.

8 Advanced Yoga Poses to Work Towards
8 Advanced Yoga Poses to Work Towards
Feeling a little unchallenged by your yoga practice? Perhaps you’re finding that you can do each pose without struggle, and you’re finding it all a little tedious. It’s time to shake up your practice! With yoga there’s always more advanced variations, or different ways to change up your routine. While you might have seen some advanced yoga poses and instantly thought you’d never achieve them, if you’re finding yourself in a yoga rut, giving yourself a more difficult pose to aim for is a great way to bring some purpose back into your practice. Here’s our run down of some trickier poses to aim for, whether you’re a master yogi, or a relative beginner. 1. Eka Hasta Vrksasana - One Handed Tree Pose

Raw Cookie Dough Balls
Raw Cookie Dough Balls
It’s that time of year – sweet treat time! Over the next few months, it’s likely that you’ll be attending holiday parties, cookie exchange, or just have a hankering to do some baking. And, as you know, we’re on a mission to enjoy life while making it healthier. So our cookie recipe today is low sugar, but also nut, seed, grain, dairy, egg, and gluten free. My 2-year-old daughter is allergic to all of the above, so I’m continually looking for ways to make something that she’ll love, as well as any of her friends. That’s a tall list of no-no foods, so finding a flour that checks all of those boxes has made my life so much easier. The secret ingredient in our Raw Cookie Dough Balls is tigernut flour, which is not a nut but a small root vegetable. This little tuber is chock-full of fiber, protein, magnesium and zinc and has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor.

5 Ways to Fight Depression
5 Ways to Fight Depression
Depression can be enfeebling, and it is not in any way the same thing as being unhappy. Being unhappy can often be connected to a reason that we can trace, but depression is not the same. Many times we cannot determine it back to its cause; it is like swimming in dark water. A feeling of hopelessness sinks in and all the things that we used to enjoy no longer interest us. Depression can cause severe impairment in our daily life. It affects not only our mood but also various other aspects of our life like low energy levels, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, lack of concentration, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes and so on. A chronic case of depression may require someone to see a therapist. However, if detected at an early stage, there are several ways by which one can come out of it on their own and fight depression before it becomes overbearing. Here are 5 powerful ways you can fight depression!

Why Practicing Yoga on your Lunch Break is a Great Idea
 Why Practicing Yoga on your Lunch Break is a Great Idea
We don’t know about you, but sometimes if we don’t have time for a full yoga practice, we find it is easy to skip it altogether. Often life becomes hectic and you simply can’t make it onto the mat as frequently as you’d like. Don’t throw in the proverbial towel, instead shift your perspective to seeing how a quickie practice is better than none. We’ve got some great classes to help you squeeze in some yoga on your lunch or workday break. Even a few minutes a day will help you maintain your flexibility, strength, and mental focus. Depending upon the type of work you do, you may need to counteract the effects of sitting at a desk for hours or standing on your feet. Here’s what a quick break can do if you’ve been sitting too long: open up your spine from tailbone to crown, loosen your shoulders, and release your hip flexors. Sitting for long periods can compress your spine and leave you vulnerable to back pain. If you’ve re-read the last sentence on the document you’re working on five times and it still doesn’t make sense that means you need a break. In as little as five minutes, you can change how you are feeling and find clarity.

10 Ways Yoga Can Help Productivity
10 Ways Yoga Can Help Productivity
While we hear a lot about how yoga is great for winding down and relaxation, you may not know that yoga can help productivity. Yes, yoga is a great escape from our busy working lives, but there are many ways that practicing yoga can help us get more work done, increase concentration and send your productivity levels soaring. Here’s 10 ways yoga can help productivity at work. Yoga Relieves Stress Stress is one of the major factors that can affect your health and work productivity. When we’re feeling stressed we sleep less, any illnesses or physical conditions can be exacerbated, and our mental health suffers too.

Balancing Kitchari. Vata Ayurvedic Recipe
Balancing Kitchari. Vata Ayurvedic Recipe
Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga, and it includes three "doshas": vata, pitta, and kapha. Doshas are energies believed to circulate in the body and govern physiological activity. Fall is typically considered "vata season" in Ayurvedic medicine because its characteristics most embody the attributes that make up vata: dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, and clear (or empty). This Kitchari recipe adapted from Chef Lynda is one of my favorites as it balances vata by supplying warmth, nourishment, oiliness, comfort, and grounding during harsh vata season. It also includes adaptations if you are more pitta or kapha. Learn more about Ayurveda and Vata season here and enjoy!

7 Meditation Benefits for Students You Can't Ignore
7 Meditation Benefits for Students You Can't Ignore
When someone mentions meditation to a very active student, this is the usual reaction: “I could never sit still and do nothing.” If that’s how you feel about meditation, then that’s exactly why you need it! Throughout your studies, you can be subjected to more stress than you ever anticipated. You get one class to take after another and one paper to write after another. In between studying and friendships, it could feel like you can’t get time for yourself. Meditation will give you that time. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes per day, meditation helps you calm down and learn more about yourself. There are tremendous benefits of meditation for students. Still not sure? Check out this list of 7 real benefits you’ll get from meditation, especially for students!

Overcoming Fear
Overcoming Fear
Halloween is approaching and many of us will dress up like vampires and ghouls, work to scare people, celebrate the horror genre and watch scary movies. What are you afraid of? Well, besides that scary clown who may or may not be hiding underneath your bed? On a more serious note, have you examined the concept of fear and how it impacts you? Fear is a necessary part of life. If we didn’t have healthy fear of dangerous activities like jumping off cliffs or walking down dark alleys in sketchy neighborhoods, we might get injured or worse. One of the biggest human drives is to protect ourselves from pain and loss, but sometimes we hold ourselves back because we are afraid of being hurt. According to Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutras, the biggest fear we face is the fear of death, referred to as abhinivesha. In theory, all our fears stem from this all-encompassing one.

The 7 Scariest Yoga Poses for Halloween
The 7 Scariest Yoga Poses for Halloween
It’s the season to be spooky, even in your yoga practice! The good news is, you can get the heebie jeebies right from the mat. Some of your favorite asanas are inspired by some rather haunting ideas. Don’t be surprised - yoga is about the balance of opposites: solar and lunar, hold and release, and of course, light and darkness. So we’ve put together a sequence of the creepiest, crawliest postures to get you exploring your spooky side. Here are the 7 scariest yoga poses to get you in the mood for Halloween! 1. Cat Pose: arch, hiss and strike fear into the heart of the superstitiously inclined.

Weeknight Turkey Broccoli Stir Fry
Weeknight Turkey Broccoli Stir Fry
Happy Autumn (and happy Spring for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere)! With the school year well under way here in Colorado, we wanted to share a recipe that is a great go-to when you don’t have much time. As working moms with little ones, we know how hard it can be to make sure your family gets a nutritious dinner while trying to juggle all your other responsibilities. That’s where this recipe comes in! This stir fry is healthy, delicious, and best of all, can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. This recipe is also super versatile – it can be easily modified to use whatever veggies or protein you have on hand. You could even make it vegetarian or vegan by substituting the turkey with quinoa or cauliflower rice and omitting the fish sauce. So many possibilities!

Are You Exhausted But Can't Sleep?
Are You Exhausted But Can't Sleep?
“Also, I could finally sleep. And this was the real gift, because when you cannot sleep, you cannot get yourself out of the ditch–there’s not a chance.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love One of the most agonizing states I know is the purgatory of insomnia, when I am desperate to sleep but still my mind and body hold me captive in the waking world. If the Centers for Disease Control statistic that one in three adult Americans are not getting enough deep sleep on regular basis is right, you may well know this particular agony also. Sleep, so seemingly simple, continues to allude many of us. Why does sleep matter anyway? As Liz Gilbert says, we must sleep well enough and long enough in order to stay out of the “ditch.” Here are some of my favorite practices and tips to set myself up for good sleep.

Yin Yoga: The Power of Patience
Yin Yoga: The Power of Patience
Do you know anyone who couldn’t benefit from cultivating more patience? We’ve become so accustomed to moving at a breakneck speed in life, from speeding down busy highways to accessing any type of information on our phones in nano-seconds that we rarely hit the pause button. Often we translate that hectic pace into our yoga practice. While a juicy Vinyasa flow class is wonderful for many reasons, if you are out of balance, this type of Yang or active practice can actually exacerbate feelings of impatience, anxiety, and anger. Sometimes when life is moving too fast, the best thing you can do is slow down to equalize out your energy. Enter Yin Yoga. What is Yin Yoga?

Everything You Need To Know About Yin Yoga
Everything You Need To Know About Yin Yoga
If you haven’t tried Yin Yoga the classic “what are you waiting for?!” question comes to mind. Yin Yoga can be described as a treat to the body, a slowly moving meditation, a way to connect with what’s really going on internally. When I do a lot of cardio and strength training workouts, Yin Yoga is my sanctuary. If I am not that active, Yin Yoga is a relaxing time where I can check in with how my body is feeling. So, what exactly is Yin Yoga? Let's take a look at this unique and healing practice! Yin Yoga is influenced by the philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yin poses are created with the intent to improve the flow of chi, the subtle and invisibly energy that some believe run through the meridian pathways in the body. Whenever there is an excess or lack of chi, the body is said to become unbalanced. Yin poses are working with meridian lines to help circulate chi throughout the body and release stagnant energy to help the body function optimally.

Pumpkin Facial Scrub DIY Recipe
Pumpkin Facial Scrub DIY Recipe
Fall is finally here and pumpkin season is upon us! This time of year, it seems like EVERYTHING is pumpkin-spiced! So why not take advantage of the flavor for your skincare routine? We’ve developed a non-toxic Pumpkin Facial Scrub that is not only great for your skin, but will leave you smelling like sugar and spice and everything nice. Besides being the flavor of fall, pumpkin has many hidden benefits for your skin! When used topically, pumpkin can help brighten dull complexions, is full of antioxidants, and has anti-aging properties. Sugar gently exfoliates dead skin away, while avocado oil and coconut oil help to moisturize and cleanse your skin. Honey is antibacterial, which can help acne-prone complexions, and cinnamon can help increase blood flow and plump skin. (Note: If you have sensitive skin, make sure to spot test this scrub on your arm before using on your face.)