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


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YogaDownload.com
YogaDownload.com's Blog

Surya Namaskar: Connect with the Sun
Surya Namaskar: Connect with the Sun
Even if you’re brand new to yoga, you’ve probably heard about Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskars. Why do yogis honor the sun with physical postures and often accompanying mantras? This sequence of physical postures or asanas is a way of expressing gratitude to the sun for the energy and life it bestows upon us. It emphasizes our connection to the Universe and our profound need for the warmth and light the sun provides. The Gayatri Mantra, a beautiful ancient Vedic prayer often chanted before or after practice, calls the sun, “the one who illuminates our minds.” Honoring the sun has profound power and infuses the body with solar energy. Our inner vitality is composed of fire and we need to nourish ourselves in order to brighten our Shakti to it’s fullest potential. The practice of sun salutations transform darkness and stagnation to fire and light. We want to burn as bright as we can and Surya Namaskar is a great place to begin.

Yoga & Fitness: Bringing Different Worlds Together
Yoga & Fitness: Bringing Different Worlds Together
Yoga in itself is a very unique discipline and contrasts what fitness and exercise represent in ways. It is called a discipline simply because it is one; a very complex discipline that has existed on earth for centuries at least. Yoga is a sacred journey. It is a spiritual practice, not solely focused on health and physicality. Today, it is a positive part of the lives of a growing number of people worldwide, as it continues to gain in popularity and people practicing. Then, there’s fitness, which is growing in popularity as well. For many, the fitness lifestyle is sought-after and is more than just a hobby or practice. Most people want to look and feel fit. For some, going to the gym has even become a social event, with a sense of community. These are just a few reasons the number of gyms and fitness centers in the world have increased tenfold in a very short period of time. Although different from yoga, the fitness industry is a lucrative industry that is also doing good for people’s well-being.

Be Vigorous : Strong, Healthy, & Full of Energy
Be Vigorous : Strong, Healthy, & Full of Energy
How is 2018 treating you so far? Are you brimming with energy and excitement and making the most of each day? If you need a boost so you can feel like the strongest, most vigorous version of yourself, we’re thrilled to offer four new classes and five tips to motivate you. We step onto the yoga mat for different reasons at different times in our lives. Sometimes our needs center on a spiritual practice, sometimes we need to release mental stress and tension, and sometimes we simply seek the physical benefits of strength, flexibility, and balance. The beautiful thing about yoga is with all the various styles; you can find classes suitable for whatever you need. This week, our focus is on practicing yoga to cultivate a sense of vigor, which is defined as being strong, healthy, and full of energy. When you feel strong physically, there’s a direct correlation to how you feel emotionally and mentally as well. It’s all connected. Building strength takes tapas or discipline, dedication, and inner fire. Here are the top five reasons focusing on your asana practice pays off for your overall health and well-being:

New Beginnings and Fit & Fearless 21-Day New Year's Challenge
New Beginnings and Fit & Fearless 21-Day New Year's Challenge
Welcome to 2018! The New Year offers an excellent opportunity to start anew. Sometimes we need a nudge or reminder that every day we have a chance to create a fresh start. Use this New Year milestone to release what’s holding you in the past and open up to the next step on your journey through this beautiful crazy life. Whether you like to create resolutions or not, you can benefit from treating each moment as an opportunity to begin again. Harness the energy from the Full Wolf Moon on January 1, 2018, to leave your unhealthy patterns and habits in the past. Take the time to write down your true desires and dreams for a vibrant today and a richer tomorrow. Consider your top intentions for your health, your personal life, and your career, then commit.

Decompress from the Holidays
Decompress from the Holidays
Happy Holidays from YogaDownload.com! We hope you’re enjoying the last days of 2017, and are filled with positive energy and peaceful light. Sometimes, however, the holidays can feel more stressful than joyful. On one end of the spectrum, you can take the celebrations too far and overindulge with cookies and pie, wine and cocktails, and too many family obligations. On the flip side, the holidays could stir up mixed emotions and even sadness. Whether you love the holidays or hate them, we’re here to help you navigate the last week of the year with four new classes designed to make you sweat, smile, and shed lingering stress. Sometimes you simply need to take some time for yourself to maintain your equilibrium. A vigorous asana practice can snap you right out of your thoughts and launch you into a place where you’re tuned into your physical body. By stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself physically, you can quiet your mind and refill your emotional well.

The Sun, Moon, & Stars: Yoga & Astrology
The Sun, Moon, & Stars: Yoga & Astrology
Let’s put on our party hats and howl at the moon because it’s time to celebrate the solstice. Whether you’re in the southern hemisphere and enjoying the longest day of summer or in the northern hemisphere savoring the longest night of winter, now is an opportune time to align yourself with the natural cycles of the universe. On December 21, 2017, the Sun reaches its southern-most position as seen from the Earth and appears to be motionless before reversing its path. In Latin, solstice literally means “sun” sol “stands still” sistere. Celebrating the change of seasons on the solstice reminds us we are anchored to the earth, and are merely a tiny speck floating in a vast, mysterious universe filled with other suns, moons, planets, and galaxies. Yoga is our time to connect not only with ourselves, but also with the world around us. We can capitalize on this universal pivot point in our solar system and adjust our perspective to the subtle changes and cycles both outside of and within us. Ancient yogis recognized our bodies’ connection with the Sun and Moon. Hatha yoga’s name derives from Ha-tha, which means Sun and Moon in Sanskrit. Ha = Sun. Tha = Moon. Astrology is the study of how we are influenced by the stars, sun, and moon. By aligning the practice of yoga with astrology, we are empowered to become more attuned to the universe and achieve a deeper state of wellness and fulfillment.

Yoga for Solid Sleep & Happy Mornings
Yoga for Solid Sleep & Happy Mornings
This week we bring you four new classes to help fall asleep, have wonderful dreams, and awake recharged and clear for lovely days. When you were a little kid, you probably battled your parents to stay up as late as possible and avoid an early bedtime. As you transitioned into adulthood, sleep still seemed optional: there can always be so much to do! And, once upon a time, when you were ready to go to sleep, you could lay your head on the pillow and drift off to dreamland. If you are lucky, falling asleep still comes naturally. For many of us, insomnia is an occasional or chronic issue. Our world is zooming at warp-speed and keeping up can launch our nervous systems into overdrive or the “fight or flight response.” Despite physical and mental exhaustion, the minute we try to go to sleep, an endless reel begins playing through our brains. We’re unable to shut off the movie documenting every detail of our day or the issues we’re contending with at any given moment. Sleep is essential for us to rejuvenate and heal our physical, mental, and emotional health. Yoga to the rescue! With the appropriate yoga practice, you can learn to not only tire out your body, but also quiet your mind and calm your heart for a solid night’s sleep.

A 2-Step Guide to Holiday Bliss: Yin Yoga & Meditation
A 2-Step Guide to Holiday Bliss: Yin Yoga & Meditation
You’re probably multitasking right now while you read this. Our lives today are so much about getting things done and going through the never ending to-do list that we forget to pause, reset and rejuvenate. Plus, with the holidays near, we may find ourselves being pulled in a hundred different directions. There has to be a Yin to all the Yang created by travel planning, gift shopping, meals, celebrations (and recovery). ‘Tis the season to be merry and nothing should dampen that spirit. Spare a little time to journey inward and focus on just being. This will surely multiply the joy of your celebrations and help in getting things done faster and more efficiently. Wondering how to put this in motion? We have a simple recipe for it - Follow our 2-step guide of Yin Yoga and Meditation, to Holiday Bliss and witness heaps of love coming your way:

Yoga for Detox: Overindulgence + Unleash Your Inner Power
 Yoga for Detox: Overindulgence + Unleash Your Inner Power
As 2017 comes to a close, ask yourself how are you feeling? Do you feel strong? Powerful? Are you shining your inner light to the world at one hundred percent or do you feel weighed down physically, emotionally, or mentally? We’re thrilled to offer a brand new package: Yoga for Detox from Overindulgence to help you release any extra baggage AND four new classes designed to fuel your inner power. The end of the year is an excellent time to check in and connect to your center. In order to find clarity and truly see yourself, it’s necessary to shed whatever excess may be concealing your true sense of self. First, burn off the layers that are hindering you with our new program designed for detoxification, just in time to balance out the holiday season.

Focus on Gratitude!
Focus on Gratitude!
Quick exercise: Name three things you’re grateful for right now. Can you do it? Were you able to list three? Ten? Or, did you have a tough time feeling thankful because you’re in a challenging phase of life and your focus is simply on surviving whatever is difficult right now? We’re here to remind you that if you shift your attention, you’ll change your perspective. Two of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras provide direction and wisdom.

Shift Your Perspective: The Benefits of Inversions
Shift Your Perspective: The Benefits of Inversions
Do you need a change of pace? Are you ready to tap into your inner child and become more playful in your yoga practice, yet desire to shift your physical, mental, and emotional viewpoint too? This week, we’re thrilled to offer four new classes focused on how inversions and going upside down benefits you. Technically, an inversion in yoga is anything that brings your hips above your heart and your heart above your head. Downward-facing dog and standing forward bends can be considered inversions. Some inversions build heat and energy, like handstands and forearm stands. Others like headstands and shoulder stand act to calm the nervous system. Assuming you are physically healthy and aren’t dealing with injuries to your neck or shoulders, low blood pressure, or glaucoma, there’s an inversion to benefit you.

3 Yoga Tips for New Moms
3 Yoga Tips for New Moms
You just had a baby - congratulations! Does your body feel like a total stranger? Your amazing body spent nearly a year growing a new human, and longer for nourishing and nurturing this new life. For new moms, sometimes your body doesn’t feel like yours anymore. We can help. Whether you’re looking to reconnect with your sense of self, rebuild your core or just start moving and toning your muscles again (with your doctor’s blessing), we put together a special 10-class Yoga For New Moms package with exactly you in mind. We also have 3 key tips to practice any time:

Finish Strong!
Finish Strong!
Week 3: Finish Strong! You’re almost to the finish line, challengers! We hope you’re feeling stronger, lighter, and more radiant. We know it isn’t easy to create a new habit, especially when it means committing to practice every single day. Whether you are fired up and roaring to the finish line or if you’re stumbling a bit in your resolve, we’re here to help you finish strong. YogaDownload offers these four tips to blast you to the stars and accomplish your Pre-Holiday Challenge (and life) goals.

Six Benefits of Sun Salutations
Six Benefits of Sun Salutations
Sun Salutations are about worshipping the sun and activating the solar energy in the body. Consisting of 12 yoga poses (Hatha Yoga) requiring the practitioner to move from one pose to another in a rhythmic fashion in order to reap the benefits. Although this series can be practiced at any time of the day, the benefits of Sun Salutations increase when practiced in the morning in front of the sun.

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.

Willpower & Commitment
Willpower & Commitment
Do you love the holidays? The extra time to spend with family and friends? The opportunity to relax and spend a little extra time on the couch in your pajamas? Or, the time when you travel the world and explore? If you know you won’t be following your usual routine, we’ve got the perfect no-guilt solution. Welcome to our Pre-Holiday 21-Day Feel Good Challenge. Just before the holidays is the perfect time to implement changes, to align with nature and adjust to different schedules. Beginning a new program requires discipline, commitment and willpower, all key elements to a strong personal practice. Cultivate the principle of Tapas and jump in with us.

Understand Your Knees and 4 Poses to Keep them Healthy
Understand Your Knees and 4 Poses to Keep them Healthy
The mechanics of the knee is imposing! Its hinge structure and the performance it delivers will forever be difficult replicating. The knee joint is a typical synovial joint with the accompanying fluid for improved lubrication and protection of the adjoining parts. Here are 4 poses to also help strengthen your knees.

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?

The Importance of Alignment & Technique
The Importance of Alignment & Technique
“Stack your spine”, “Square your hips”, “Rotate your shoulder blades”, “Engage your core” - Do these sounds familiar but hard to comprehend? You are definitely not alone. Go deeper into this article to demystify and decode alignment cues used during your practice.

Stuck in your head? Work on your hips.
Stuck in your head? Work on your hips.
One of the greatest lessons of yoga is discovering the profound connection between your physical and emotional bodies. The physical benefits like looser hamstrings and stronger shoulders appear more quickly, but the benefits to your subtle body and emotional health are more profound. Shift your focus inside to attain the full benefits of yoga.

Variety is the Spice of Yoga
Variety is the Spice of Yoga
We have a confession. Sometimes we get into a monotonous rut with our yoga practice. Sometimes, with our daily habits. Heck, sometimes we eat the same breakfast every day for, well, forever. That’s all well and good to establish healthy habits, but sometimes repeating the same routines day after day can become rote, automatic, and even a little boring. Do you gravitate to the same classes day after day? Avoid postures you don’t like?

Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life: Everyday Yamas
Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life: Everyday Yamas
This week, we’re thrilled to introduce a new series of classes + program from YogaDownload superstar teacher, Kristin Gibowicz, that marry ancient wisdom with your daily life. Everyday Yamas will guide you through the five Yamas in an accessible way.

Keep Calm and Carry On
Keep Calm and Carry On
"Your strength is in your calmness, in the clarity for your mind. Strength comes from putting the negative aside without reacting. Win in calmness, in consciousness, in balance."

9 Ridiculous Reasons You “Can’t” Do Yoga
9 Ridiculous Reasons You “Can’t” Do Yoga
September is National Yoga Month, and if you’ve been curious about how this ancient practice can benefit your modern life, it’s the perfect time to put away excuses. There are a lot of reasons people think they can’t do yoga - and every single one is ridiculous. So we’re debunking the most popular excuses, and offering a special beginner’s bundle that proves yoga is really for every body.

Choose Joy
Choose Joy
"Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."