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


5 Tips for Cleansing on a Budget
5 Tips for Cleansing on a Budget
If you happen to be new to cleansing, it’s easy to find yourself spending extra time in the kitchen as well as the grocery store filling your cart with all the new ingredients and healthy alternatives. At first glance, eating healthy may seem to be more costly, but today we’re gonna show you how to cleanse on a budget and save yourself some cash. For years, I ate almost every meal out. I bought prepackaged convenience snacks, indulged in specialty coffee and tea drinks and only shopped at “Whole Paycheck.” The Thai food takeout driver and I were on a first name basis. My thinking was, “since I’m just one person, it’s cheaper for me to eat out and not waste money and/or food by cooking for just myself.” Turns out, just the opposite was true, not to mention not as healthy. Over the last five years, I’ve learned that in order to make a quantum leap in my health I would have focus on fresh whole foods and prepare most, if not all of my meals at home. These practices not only make me feel good, but they’ve also made my bank account much happier too.

Rethinking Clean: 5 Ways to Detox your Household Cleaners
Rethinking Clean: 5 Ways to Detox your Household Cleaners
The inevitable urge to clean up their home, car or closet will soon emerge for people doing a food and/or yoga cleanse.. We call this the natural spillover effect. When you cleanse yourself on the inside and your mind isn’t running wild on caffeine and sugar, you start to think more clearly. When you’re thinking more clearly, you start to connect more deeply with your surroundings, oftentimes producing a spontaneous desire to clean out the junk drawer, reorganize your closet or donate the growing pile of stuff in the basement. [lemon rosemary cleaner] Tackling some of these big projects can feel quite liberating, especially if they’ve been energetically weighing you down (in come cases for years!). I had one cleanser tell me this week that she cleaned out her basement and now she keeps going back downstairs just to look at it because it makes her feel so happy and light. Sounds good, doesn’t? How would you like to feel this way about your entire life? While this might sound like a grand idea in theory, the reality is oftentimes much different. It can feel daunting and even downright overwhelming to think about all the ways in which you want to detox or change your space. For many of us, we can’t even keep up with the mail and the recycling, let alone all the other “should dos.”

Dandelion Root Coffee
Dandelion Root Coffee
In a recent recipe and blog post, I dropped the “caffeine bomb”. Many of you reading are saying, “Ugh, I’d rather not talk about that anymore.” But just in case you missed it, here are some reasons to consider giving up your beloved coffee drink! This week we’re here to offer an alternative, to soften the blow of going sans coffee with a “too good to be true” coffee alternative. Enter, Dandelion Root Coffee. Dandelion root, often associated with the pesky dandelion weed, has been used for centuries to treat depression, scurvy and even diabetes. It’s difficult to find dandelion root in most health food stores, so you’re best bet is to buy it online. We bought our dandelion root and chicory from Frontier Natural Products and Starwest Botanicals. A great liver detoxifier, dandelion root, it is also known for aiding in digestion and weight loss. The other magic ingredient in this nutty warm elixir is chicory, which gives this drink its rich coffee flavor. Chicory is full of antioxidants and helps to reduce inflammation in the body to boot.

The Bright Side of Anger
The Bright Side of Anger
Do you label your feelings as good vs bad? Do you push away the painful and only welcome the pleasant? Do you offer each of your emotions and experiences the same amount of energy? Do you ever feel grateful for your anger? Most of us, the answer is a simple no. We prefer the feel good over the fear based. It can be said it's better to be in a state of positive emotional health, more than in despair and suffering. Still, a full range of feelings is an inevitable part of the human experience and each unique emotion has the potential to teach us something worthwhile. For many, we welcome positive emotions with open arms, and kick and scream when negative emotions such as anger, disappointment, and sadness, are felt. If the end goal is one of acceptance and self-love, shouldn’t we have as much acceptance for our perceived weaknesses and uncomfortable emotions, as we do in our celebrated emotional triumphs and perceived strengths? We can only truly be at peace with ourselves, when we are able to experience peace even in the midst of uncomfortable emotions.

Strong to the Core
Strong to the Core
What if we told you that by strengthening your core, you could not only reap physical benefits like improved posture, a healthy back, toned abdominals, better digestion and organ health, but also fire up your self-confidence and inner radiance? This week we’ve got four new classes to power up every aspect of your center from the outside in and the inside out. Your core houses the Manipura or navel chakra, which is considered the source of your identity and the center of your ego and personal power. Self-confidence, willpower, self-discipline, and fire are all qualities associated with the third of seven main chakras or energy centers. By employing asana, pranayama, mantras and guided meditation to stoke the fire in your belly you can burn through any layers of self-doubt and trust in your self. Look at it this way: You aren’t simply working to create toned abdominals.

The Joys of Doing: Fitness, Yoga, & Meditation
The Joys of Doing: Fitness, Yoga, & Meditation
Most modern yogis agree it is a huge relief to focus on the simple “be”-ing of life, and that keeps us coming back to our mats every day. It really is easy to understand, considering how busy most everyone is in the Western world. However, the westernization of yoga through hatha yoga doesn’t change what yoga is except in that it evolves the practice. The word “hatha” in Sanskrit means “force”, and hatha yoga was established in hopes of “forcing” the benefits of the practice, as well as the practice itself, upon the individual. This branch of yoga is where we see a driven focus on the asanas. A contemporary twist to yoga offered by the western world are more fitness and sculpt based styles of yoga. As this trend continues to sweep North America, it has evolved quickly over the past five years alone. Many classes teach it as “yoga with weights” while others incorporate less yoga and more body-weight exercises, modeled as “fitness-style yoga”.

Green Goddess Soup
Green Goddess Soup
Purification is all about slowing down and tuning in. Take a brisk walk to soak up the elusive sunshine with your favorite pup, go to the yin yoga class you’ve been thinking about all week, or spend some quality downtime with friends and family. We have come up with a bright, tasty, and creative soup. It’s full of phytonutrients, minerals, and fiber. All of these contribute to overall nervous system health while being comforting and a little classy too! The gremolata puts to use the zest of the lemon and reminds us that spring is just around the corner. Use your creativity to swirl and twirl the Coconut Crema on top of the soup. Like a mini art class! Enjoy! And Happy Purification!

5 Hacks for Busy Yogis
5 Hacks for Busy Yogis
Does seeing #yogaeverydamnday make you wonder how do people do it? Because you for one, are struggling to find the time to do yoga ANY damn day? We know why we should practice, sometimes we just need help with the when, and how. The old adage ‘you don’t have time, you make time,’ is not very helpful. We know you’re busy, we’re all (insanely) busy. And if by some miracle we do find the much needed ‘me time,’ it’s hard not to sink into the familiar urge to relax into Netflix. But the truth is, the busier you are, the more you need a daily practice (which is way healthier than binging Black Mirror). Practice takes practice, so we’ve put together our 5 favorite tips to get busy yogis on the mat every day, for both, a quick and instant pick-me-up, and the long term benefits of yoga.

7 Yoga Benefits for Students
7 Yoga Benefits for Students
Are you stressed out and sleep-deprived? If you’re a student, you probably answered yes. You’re constantly looking for a way to relax. You’re trying to be more focused on the lectures, but you’re too tired to understand what the professors say. It’s okay. You shouldn’t feel guilty about facing challenges that all other students are dealing with. The only question is: what can you do to reduce your stress? Have you been thinking about trying yoga, but haven’t found the trigger yet? You’ve been admiring those popular Instagram yogis, but you were probably thinking: “I could never do this.” Guess what: you can. Plus, yoga is much more than just the poses. Under the surface you see on Instagram, there’s peace, focus, and success.

One Year Without Alcohol: Month 2
One Year Without Alcohol: Month 2
So my Dry 2018 has met the big Kahuna: a break-up! As I mentioned in Month 1, I’m not a huge drinker, but when this time of life comes around, your girlfriends (and sisters or guy friends, etc.) will no doubt hit you with “You need a drink” or “You can let that not drinking thing go now, right”? Well, not exactly. The advantage to being 36 and a yogi is that I don’t actually want to drown my sorrows. I actually want to feel them. I want to fully experience them and learn from them. I want to sit with them and see how I’ve helped create my current situation and how I can create something different next time. Mild drinking or smoking a joint or shopping or staying busy are all relatively acceptable forms of escapism in some yogi circles, but you reach a point in your life where you realize you either deal with it now, or deal with it later.

Raw Cacao Bites
Raw Cacao Bites
The other night we had our cleanse-friendly community dinner at Zeal and we met a young woman who had severe eczema. Allergy tests confirmed several food intolerances, chocolate being one of them. As diehard chocolate lovers, of course, we gasped. Allergic to chocolate? What could be worse? True to form, we started to dig deeper. This young woman, all of 13 years of age, wasn’t allergic to chocolate, she was allergic to dairy! So we asked her if she had ever tried cacao. Not to be confused with cocoa (or cocoa powder), cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can eat.

Back to the Basics
Back to the Basics
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few. -Shunryu Suzuki Do you remember your first yoga class? Or maybe you’ve never stepped onto a mat and something intangible is holding you back from beginning a yoga practice. Wherever you are on your yoga journey, pause and take a moment to let go of all you think you know about yoga, whether you’ve been practicing for a decade or a day. It’s great to go back to the beginning and remind yourself of how far you've come and that there isn’t only one way. A certain freedom exists when you come from a place of curiosity and openness. If you’ve been practicing for a while, you might have your favorite teachers, classes, and regular practice schedule. While that’s great, there’s a thin line between continuing to grow and sinking into a rut. This week, return to that place where you are open to hearing, processing, and accepting new information. You know, before you knew it all? Be open and step outside your comfort zone.

5 Reasons to Make a Yoga & Meditation Retreat in India your Next Vacation
5 Reasons to Make a Yoga & Meditation Retreat in India your Next Vacation
Vacation on your mind, but yearning for something different? Let’s retreat with a cause in the yoga haven of India, where the ancient science of the Vedas has proliferated into a compelling alternative lifestyle which is sustainable, self-empowering, and enriched with deeply seated wisdom. The legacy of yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda ricochets in this birth land of ancient yogis and world peace leaders. In the far North, the Himalayas stand in all its majestic glory where yoga has been a way of life since long ago. And in the deep South, in the tropical stretches of Kerala, Ayurveda, the priceless medicine of the Vedic civilization is still maintained in lived practices. Where else can you spend your days off to get rejuvenated and feel the power surging within at a cellular level, but here in India! Here are reasons why you must experience this awesomeness as your next vacation.

How the Moon Influences Your Mind
How the Moon Influences Your Mind
"Moon is two, the duality that is the basis for the workings of the mind and emotion. It is relationship, balance, and interchange." -Dr. David Frawley We're all luna(r)tics. Isn't it wonderful to know the fluctuations of the mind are more cyclical than radical. You can better understand the aspects of the mind and subconscious by connecting to the energetic shifts within the lunar cycle. The right + left hemispheres of the mind are activated by specific lunar days. Each side alternating like a perfectly balanced symphony. Naturally conducted by the phases of the moon to bring balance between active/receptive, masculine/feminine. Actions and life force (Prana) are improved when aligned with the energetic phases of the moon. One is able to draw down the cosmic nourishing powers of the moon to strengthen the mind/body/spirit. A harmonic expansion of consciousness + vital energy (Prana) begins to unfold to evolve beyond conditioned karma.

It's All About Balance
It's All About Balance
One of the primary benefits of yoga and main reasons to practice is to achieve balance in your body, your mind, and your heart. Yoga Sutra 2.46, Sthira Sukham asanam, is commonly translated to mean the posture should be steady and comfortable. By finding a balance between effort and ease on your yoga mat, you can create a sense of wholeness in your life. Hatha yoga is the broad umbrella under which most physical forms of yoga are housed. ‘Ha’ means sun and ‘tha’ means moon. Hatha yoga seeks to balance the masculine solar energy and the feminine lunar energy that exists within all of us. Because at any given time, each of us is experiencing some level of imbalance, right? Your career is on fire, but your personal life is in shambles or vice-versa. Playing with the concepts of effort and ease through asana and pranayama helps bring the energy within you into a sustained state of balance.

Reality versus Expectation
Reality versus Expectation
The last year has been full of doubt and uncertainty in my own craft. I’ve been teaching yoga and barre full-time for nine years and I’ve felt far less sure and confident of myself today than I did in the beginning. In a world where our worth as a yoga or fitness teacher seems dependent on class numbers, high amounts of followers and likes, and publicly-available Classpass and Google reviews, I have felt like I can’t compete. I’m not a competitive person and I never have been. I feel the pressure to be something extraordinary, to become a celebrity, to get people’s attention and have them care about me and praise me. I see the efforts that others in my community put into their social media and a sense of failure immediately fills my being. Everyone seems to have a professional photographer with them at all times, has unsurmountable inspiration and motivation while sporting the newest gear, the most perfect hair and a perfectly toned body to match.

3 Amazing Vegan Recipes with a Matcha Touch
3 Amazing Vegan Recipes with a Matcha Touch
Matcha tea lends itself to some very healthy and tasty vegan recipes. A single cup of matcha reportedly has antioxidants equivalent to what you’ll find in 10 cups of green tea. The antioxidant EGCG brings about a sense of calm alertness, and there have been studies that show that show its ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Greens like matcha are also recommended as a natural ingredient in hair fall remedies. Here are some very vegan but delicious recipes you can prepare with matcha: Recipe 1 – Matcha Vegan Yogurt Breakfast Bowl ​ Probiotic vegan yogurt is a really healthy and tasty proposition. Probiotics in yogurt strengthen the immune system and are great for maintaining healthy intestines. Probiotic vegan yogurt is high in protein content too. Add matcha, some blood orange slices, maple syrup and walnuts and the health and taste quotients shoot up.

5 Ways to Eat Like an Olympian
5 Ways to Eat Like an Olympian
Nutrition affects the health and performance of athletes, bodybuilders or anyone simply exercising to improve their health. Good nutrition plays a key role in optimizing the beneficial effects of physical activity. Learning to eat healthily can help you implement a healthy relationship with food and enjoy special treats and food that makes you feel better. Nutrition should be a priority for any athlete. Watching the best athletes in the world performing at such high levels, it is obvious there have been countless numbers of hours put into training at their respective sports. What may seem less obvious, is importance of the food these athletes eat, in helping them get into proper shape and maintain peak performance. Importance of Good Nutrition for Athletes Without proper nutrition, you will not attain your full athletic potential, and you are more susceptible to fatigue and injury. To achieve the full benefits of a well-designed performance enhancement program, you must include a balanced and nutrient dense diet.

Yoga for Desk Jockeys
Yoga for Desk Jockeys
This week, we’re excited to share a collection of classes specifically designed to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting and stressful work environments. Even if you don’t work at a desk for long hours, this package of classes can benefit you. No matter why you practice yoga, you’ll reap the physical, emotional, and mental benefits. Major physical issues arise from spending long hours sitting at a desk including a stiff neck, sore shoulders, a painful compressed lower back, tight hips, and sluggish digestion. When you’re rounding forward focused on a computer, your shoulders tend to hunch the remainder of the day too. Luckily, we’ve got the perfect antidote. Yoga is the perfect remedy to open your chest and the front of your shoulders, stretch out and strengthen your entire spine and release tight hips.

7 Yoga Poses You Can Do At Your Desk
7 Yoga Poses You Can Do At Your Desk
Let’s face it: When you spend a lot of time at a desk, it’s all too easy for your mind and muscles to get fatigued, bogged down by the ongoing stress stemming from your job. You’re hunching over your computer, straining over documents and tightening your shoulders, even as you sit and type. Plus, there’s the mental pressure of deadlines and workplace conflict looming over you, making your body tense as well. Yoga is a great solution for this. It’s known for strengthening your body and easing muscle tension, while calming your mind and improving stress levels. But can you practice yoga in the workplace? The good news is, the answer is yes. Even when you’re stuck in a desk, there are several simple moves that you can practice that will provide the benefits of yoga right where you are. Through basic moves such as a chair cat/cow stretch or a short spinal twist, you can take steps to relieve back pain, clear your mind, improve your posture and more. Interested in regaining some of the clarity and energy you’d like to have on the job? Check out the accompanying infographic to get inspired with ways to practice yoga in the workplace, even during a busy, stressful day.

Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”
Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”
Did you know that the average distance your food travels to get to your plate in the United States is 1500 miles? Often times, it’s much more when you get your fruit from other continents. Admittedly, I can’t live without my lemons, but I try to really stock up on the freshest foods when they're in season. I like to buy extra blueberries, peaches, and raspberries so that I can freeze them and use these delicious, out-of-season fruits during the winter months for my smoothies. Although, I’m not complaining about the abundance of local food, sometimes I find myself saying, “what do I do with that zucchini blossom?” I also like to have a variety of recipes up my sleeve for simple foods like cauliflower, which to be honest I don’t love raw because it’s too harsh on my stomach. My favorite recipe for this sometimes gas producing food is Cauliflower Mashers! Maybe I shouldn’t be using the word gas and cauliflower in the same sentence to make this recipe look enticing. But, it’s delicious and almost reminds me of mashed potatoes, I swear!

One Year Without Alcohol: Month 1
One Year Without Alcohol: Month 1
I’ve decided to stay “Dry” for all of 2018, and more importantly to share this journey with you all! It may not seem like a stretch to do a whole year without alcohol but for me it’s represents more than just staying sober. It represents being comfortable in my own skin. Alcohol has never been a super strong pull or vice, well ok, maybe in college when I’d be sober and diligently working towards a dance degree all week and when the weekends came we’d start things off with 5 shots of straight Absolut Vodka. Reality check! At 36 my relationship to alcohol is far from that youthful folly. A craft cocktail after a long week (or day) of work feels luxurious.

Yoga For Your Heart
Yoga For Your Heart
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. ~ John Lennon Imagine filling your heart so full of love for yourself and others that no space for fear exists! One of the most powerful aspects of yoga is the ability to create openings in your physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies. The heart chakra is the seat of compassion, love, joy, and happiness. This week, our focus is all about opening and nourishing your heart. February 14th is known around the world as the day of love and it’s not just limited to romance. Documented celebrations as long ago as Roman times emphasize that the power of the heart justifies rejoicing. Our heart is the connection point where we are magnetically drawn to others. Love stems from our powerful fourth Chakra, the heart chakra.

10 Steps to Heal Heartbreak
10 Steps to Heal Heartbreak
If falling in love is the best thing in the world, heartbreak has to be the worst. Heartbreaks are tough and understandably so; what you just believed to be true is no longer the case. While it may seem like your life is over, please know its not and you will get through this. Having gone through a recent heartbreak myself, I feel you. After I realized another romantic relationship had come to an end, I experienced many peaks and valleys of emotions. Luckily, my yoga practice has taught me many things like patience, non-attachment and compassion so I was able process the breakup in a healthy way. If you’re going through a heartbreak right now, please know you are loved by many. Then read on and test out my 10 steps to break away and return to you. STEP 1: Breathe. Take a deep breath. Inhale through the nose. Exhale out the mouth. Repeat as many times as you need to calm your nerves. Your breath is your strength, your energy, your life force. Even in times you find yourself in complete disbelief, just breathe. When you heart is broken and you can’t imagine another day without him, just breathe.

Lemon Balls
Lemon Balls
We’re big chocolate lovers and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better time to indulge in some dark chocolate. If it’s chocolate you’re looking for be sure to try our favorite sugar-free chocolate from The Good Chocolate. They are offering our community 15% off your order when you use coupon code #victoryissweet. You can also check out many of the chocolate-filled sweet treats we’ve made here. Today’s 80:20 recipe is as decadent as it is nostalgic of the oh-so-sweet-and-tart lemon bars we all grew up with. Lemon Balls