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


Sweet Potato Toast (3 Ways)!
Sweet Potato Toast (3 Ways)!
‘Tis the season…for brunch! Chances are, you may be planning a Mother’s Day brunch gathering this weekend or next, and we have the perfect healthy entree that will look amazing on any brunch spread. The best part? It’s super easy to make! Presenting…Sweet Potato Toast (3 Ways)! Everyone is going nuts for avocado toast these days, so we’ve given it a healthy makeover by serving it on toasted slices of sweet potato! For those who are sensitive to avocado or aren’t as fond of it as we are, we’ve also topped our sweet potato slices with our fan-favorite Beet Hummus. And for those who are craving a sweeter snack, we’ve made a version topped with almond butter, banana, and cinnamon. Is your mouth watering yet?

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!

A Tribute to Yoga Mamas
A Tribute to Yoga Mamas
Ever noticed how the word Mom has OM in it? It’s no surprise then that moms across the globe consider yoga to be an antidote to the sacrifices that come with being a mom. Whether you are going through the thrills of your first pregnancy, finding your footing as a new mom, living in the grey zone of your child’s teen years or readjusting to an empty nest - doesn’t everything seem better with yoga? On Mother’s Day we thank you for showing us how yoga can double the joys of motherhood, no matter where you are in the process. To The New-Mom Yogi From guilt-free naps during Savasana to chanting a low “Ommmmmmmmmm” to pacify a crying baby, the New-Mom Yogi finds ways in which she can extend the lessons on the mat to her new life. New moms often don’t have time for a shower, let alone for a 75 minute yoga and meditation session. There’s no shame in spit-up stains or greasy hair, and whoever set the expectation that you can “snap back” to your old body in a couple months (or ever) has obviously never tried it themselves.

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.

Salad of Abundance with Sunflower Vinaigrette
Salad of Abundance with Sunflower Vinaigrette
Spring is here for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means the start of fresh veggie season! Yay! We love going to our local farmer’s market and seeing all the delicious fresh produce available. And what better way to use that fresh bounty of seasonal vegetables than to make a big, beautiful, meal-sized salad? Here at the Conscious Cleanse, meal-sized salads are not your average skimpy side salad, but a salad big and bountiful enough to leave you feeling full and satisfied. This salad is filled with fresh greens, colorful veggies, sprouts, a creamy salad dressing, and your favorite plant or animal protein. It truly looks and tastes like the definition of abundance! What’s your favorite spring salad ingredient? If you try this recipe, tag us on Facebook or Instagram, we LOVE seeing how our readers make our recipes their own.

6 Amazing Benefits of Yoga Backbends
6 Amazing Benefits of Yoga Backbends
Backbends are exceptionally and uniquely beneficial yoga postures. This family of poses have impactful physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Understanding and practicing these poses can allow one to access these benefits and experience real-life breakthroughs and improvements to their well-being. Here are the 6 best benefits of yoga backbends! 1. Get Happy. Backbends bring strong emotional benefits. Iyengar and other yoga teachers recommend backbends as to cure for depression. These shapes have the potential to relieve heavy sadness, and you can see it in their form. When one is sad, their posture and body language is often hunched forwards, with their head hanging down. Backbends are the opposite, and reverse this pattern, giving an uplifting improvement to one's posture and a boost to their mood.

Body & Mind Connection
Body & Mind Connection
Why did you start practicing yoga? Many of us come to the mat for the physical benefits of flexibility, strength, balance, and equanimity. Some people start a yoga journey for the promised benefits of relieving stress and quieting the mind. Others seek spiritual enlightenment. No matter what path you travel, you’ll receive the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga. Yoga’s benefits are interconnected. According to T.K.V. Desikachar, the author of the Heart of Yoga, it all stems from Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of yoga and his seminal text, the Yoga Sutras: “…the essence of Yoga, was formulated by the great Indian sage, Patanjali, more than two thousand years ago in this succinct definition: Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distractions.” -Yoga Sutra 1.2 Citta Vritti Nirodhah We live in a busy world governed by multi-tasking, speed, and technology. Choosing to turn off your phone, and to leave work, relationships, and daily stress behind is the first step to creating a clear, peaceful mind.

Not Your Grandma's Three Bean Salad
Not Your Grandma's Three Bean Salad
Three. Bean. Salad. These three words can evoke childhood memories of a sweet and sour side salad often served at family cookouts. It seems as though you were either a big fan or completely disgusted by it. (Note: we were both the latter, but today’s recipes has changed everything!) ​Today we’ve taken a traditional recipe and turn it on its head, modernizing it with fresh flavors that will have you scratching your head saying, “I can’t believe this is a Three Bean Salad!” Welcome to the new millennium Three Bean Salad! Although we may not describe ourselves as regular bean eaters, they no doubt are a staple in many vegetarian and vegan diets. Filled with protein, fiber, and B vitamins, beans can be an important part of a healthy diet. Not Your Grandma’s Three Bean Salad makes a colorful, tasty, and healthy choice to bring to your next BBQ, summer potluck, or even camping! Plus, this recipe will take you less than 30 minutes to toss together. Bonus!

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.

Yoga to Improve Self Confidence
Yoga to Improve Self Confidence
We all have that friend who seems naturally confident and fearless about being exactly who they are, regardless of the situation. Or, perhaps you are the confident one and have learned to tap into your true self and exhibit your personal power. A healthy amount of ego can be a good thing—a strong sense of self-confidence drives success and helps us live an authentic life. True confidence comes from within and self-assurance is a quality that can be cultivated, practiced, and strengthened. It's not just something that comes naturally to some people, and not to others, with nothing we can do to improve our sense of self-confidence. Utilizing yogic techniques of asana, pranayama, and meditation, we can uncover and address the layers of insecurity obscuring our inner strength and practice improving our own self-confidence. Sound good? How can yoga work to help you feel more self-assured in public or be able to speak your truth in a difficult relationship? Yoga can help balance your Manipura chakra, which is associated with the ego, self-confidence, willpower, self-discipline, and fire.

Frozen Avocado Margarita
Frozen Avocado Margarita
For many, spring is in the air and the weather is getting warmer. To celebrate, we’ve blended up a new Conscious Cocktail just for you! Our Frozen Avocado Margarita is the perfect detox-retox drink combining fresh avocado and cilantro with the tangy-lime tequila we love in a good margarita! Looking for more refreshing cocktails (or mocktails)? Check out some of our favorites here. Enjoy your margaritas and 80:20!

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.

5 Celebration Ideas for Earth Day
5 Celebration Ideas for Earth Day
Get Grounded. Celebrating Earth Day with 5 Rituals and 4 New Yoga Classes How will you thank Mother Earth and celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd? 193 countries around the globe hold events to celebrate Earth Day. To honor the planet that provides our home and sustains us with air, water, food and all our necessities, take the time to attend a local event or create your own ritual. This week, we’ve got five celebratory suggestions for you, in addition to four new classes that embody the qualities of our planet. Grounded, strong, reliable, and generous. Here are 5 celebration ideas to make give thanks to the Earth and make your Earth Day meaningful!

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.

Vegan "Kimchi"
Vegan
By now you’ve probably heard that gut health is an important part of the overall picture of what it means to live in a healthy, disease-free body. With more research coming out every day, we’re just scratching the surface in terms of what we know about the depth and complexity of the gut biome. What we do know is that it’s important to build up the healthy bacteria in your gut. And today’s recipe will help you do just that! Most people see the word ‘bacteria’ and run. We’ve been taught that bacteria is bad and that we should kill it, sanitize it, and get rid of it at all cost. But, hold onto your horses – healthy bacteria is a completely different story! And having a healthy gut biome is key to vibrant health. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, “Optimal gut health has become a prominent focus in 21st century health. Having too many bad critters hanging out in the gut has been linked to numerous problems – including autism, obesity, diabetes, allergies, autoimmunity, depression, cancer, heart disease, fibromyalgia, eczema, and asthma. The links between chronic illness and an imbalanced microbiome (or gut bacteria) keep growing every day.” There are many ways you can improve your gut health, which will also promote a stronger immune system since so much of the immune system is actually found in the gut.

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):

4 Ways to a Good Night's Sleep: Yoga for Better Sleep
4 Ways to a Good Night's Sleep: Yoga for Better Sleep
“Yo-yo”ing between little to no sleep can be frustrating, unproductive and draining both physically and mentally. We’ve all been there at some point, making it worse with the anxiety of knowing we’re supposed to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Whether your sleep is hit by insomnia, children or pressure at work, here are sure shot ways to take back your night and sleep soundly. 1. No Really, Cut Your Caffeine This is not new, but maybe you thought you were immune from this rule because you don’t feel jittery before bed. Well, the caffeine from your afternoon cup of coffee or tea is staying with you longer than you might think. Everyone’s cut off time is different, so say no to caffeine after noon and when hit by the urge for something warm try herbal tea. What’s even better at helping you stay awake and focused is meditation. Try Keith Allen’s 15-minute Meditate and Cultivate Calm. The happy hormones released during meditation will set you up for a goodnight's sleep later.

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.

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
We’re excited to share a new 80:20 recipe with you! One of Jules’ family's all-time favorite candy is the special chocolate peanut butter eggs that Reese’s makes. So good. So addicting. So full of sugar and other crap. To help us all avoid the candy, and subsequent sugar hangover, we whipped up these delicious Chocolate Almond Butter Cups. They’re as decadent (without being too sweet) as they are cute. Be sure to Amazon Prime this little silicone baking mold if you don’t already have one.

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.

Get in the Flow
Get in the Flow
When is the last time you were “in the flow?” You know, when you were doing something you love, like surfing with the sun warming your face and the water glistening around you? Or, when you were dancing to your favorite band and responsibilities disappeared or when you were running with the breeze kissing your skin? When you’re so immersed in the activity, you aren’t conscious of the doing; you are simply doing. We’ve all slipped into involuntary Dhyana and often believe we need a certain activity to find that beautiful sense of being in the moment, free from external distractions. What if you could achieve that state voluntarily without the ocean, concert hall, or running shoes? You can. Yoga can help you discover this place. Roll out your yoga mat because you can get into your zone right now. We bring you four new flow classes this week, all focusing on different aspects of finding your flow state through breath and movement. "Flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity."

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.

Yoga for Detox, Cleansing, & Vitality
Yoga for Detox, Cleansing, & Vitality
Our bodies are incredible. In our natural state, we are designed to function perfectly, and our systems are formulated to eliminate toxins. When we eat whole, natural foods, stay active, and practice yoga, we shouldn’t need help to maintain digestion, circulation, and lymphatic flow. Environmental factors such as the air we breathe, the soil where our food is grown, and the water we drink, however, are often out of our control. Even if we are doing our best to take care of ourselves, external influences accumulate and can leave us feeling heavy inside and out.