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


Top 15 Rated and Reviewed YogaDownload Classes of All Time
Top 15 Rated and Reviewed YogaDownload Classes of All Time
This week, we are thrilled to celebrate the 15th year of YogaDownload! This site and community would not be continuing to grow if it wasn't for all of you showing up regularly on your mats, from all over the world for the past 15 years! Thank for you logging in to take care of yourself, while also supporting this global community and resource of online yoga in the process.

10 Ways to Complement Your Yoga Practice for Toning
10 Ways to Complement Your Yoga Practice for Toning
Working out every day to get toned can be hard, and not everyone's first priority in life. However, doing yoga can be a great, low-impact way to tone your body and look fitter. And there are a few ways that you can complement your yoga practice to help you get toned up. Mixing it up Most fitness trainers agree that you should add variety to your workout routine. Doing the same things day after day won’t help you to get toned any quicker. Listen to what your body needs and mix up yoga and stretching with more intense workouts and lifting to create a good balance between your workout. This will help you develop a more well-rounded fitness base, and prevent injuries from overuse, as well as keeping things fun and less boring!

What are the Nadis? A Beginner's Guide
What are the Nadis? A Beginner's Guide
According to eastern health sciences going back decades, every living being is alive and functions because of the life force (or pranic) energy that is circulating throughout their bodies - through channels known as Nadi channels. Nadi channels follow the same path around the body as our sympathetic nervous systems. There are so many energy channels that are flowing around our body, connecting every part of our bodies to each other.

10 Esoteric Tips, Benefits, & Secrets of Yoga
10 Esoteric Tips, Benefits, & Secrets of Yoga
The graceful gifts of yoga include the attainment of higher consciousness, health, abundance, love, and harmony. Yoga naturally yields all attributes of yogam - which means in Tamil- good luck. Yoga, in the Western sense, spearheads this awakening, even if it is considered a simple exercise for health benefits and fashion, instead of a spiritual discipline; the taste of a drop of honey will eventually lead to the honey pot of higher consciousness. The body is an effective tool to lead the mind towards the inner core of realization. By yoga, we refer to various styles of “Hatha” yoga as practiced in the West – the sequences of physical postures and the inner journey created through this practice. If you're newer to yoga, we recommend utilizing simple practices like traditional Sun Salutation sequences to experience the teachings below. Ideally, the Sun Salutation by itself is sufficient to attain core consciousness, which is the objective of our yogic practice.

7 Yoga Poses That Help With Diabetes
7 Yoga Poses That Help With Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most common health disorders among people irrespective of age, gender, and ethnicity. Also, it is increasing exponentially over time and has been a never-ending challenge for medical experts throughout the world. In medical terms, diabetes mellitus is a type of metabolic disorder. It involves an increase in sugar or glucose levels in the blood due to insufficient secretion or failed usage of insulin in the pancreas. While there are many factors that cause diabetes, your improper diet and a sedentary lifestyle can make it a chronic condition. If left untreated, diabetes can become a serious threat to life as it results in the damage of vital organs of the body such as the heart, pancreas, kidneys, nervous system, blood vessels, etc. Also in many cases of alopecia areata, there is a definitive connection between diabetes and hair loss.

Simple Yoga Poses for Better Sleep
Simple Yoga Poses for Better Sleep
Our world can be so full of rushing bustle and high energy that it leaves many of us perpetually exhausted and suffering from many fatigue-related issues in our home and work lives. When we lack adequate sleep, we suffer from more than a case of Monday yawns. Sleeplessness and chronic fatigue contribute to a variety of problems. Extended sleep deprivation can lead to even more severe mental and physical health concerns. Burning the candle at both ends isn’t a pleasant or safe way to move through life. Yoga is proven to reduce your body’s production of the stress hormone, Cortisol. It also helps you relax into your body and release much of the tension you carry through your day. Stretching your muscles and certain styles of yoga before bed can help your body sleep more soundly and reduce insomnia.

9 Reasons Yoga Really Is For Everyone
9 Reasons Yoga Really Is For Everyone
Yoga is an extremely popular practice around the globe, and that’s because it was made to be accessible to everyone, to heal, strengthen, calm and empower whoever wants to try it, regardless of age, gender, race, size, shape, background and fitness level! Everyone should try yoga at least once in their life, and here are just a few reasons why this practice is for everyone. Stress Relief Yoga relieves stress for everyone from any walk of life. Yoga helps to bring attention to our breath, which is the quickest and easiest way to change our mindsets and emotional states. Deeper, fuller breaths help to relax our parasympathetic nervous systems, which in turn helps to alleviate anxiety and tension. Whoever you are, once you try connecting and controlling your breath through yoga, you will notice your stress levels reducing. The mind-body practice of yoga allows for meditation and relaxation and gaining some knowledge of how your mind works is a great long-term stress management technique.

What is Iyengar Yoga?
What is Iyengar Yoga?
Iyengar Yoga is a style of yoga that was developed and named after someone called B.K.S Iyengar, in the 1960s. This style of yoga is very meticulous and places importance on precision and alignment. Iyengar yoga is about breath control and posture and is great to build strength and flexibility, as well as teaching the correct alignment of the body. B.K.S Iyengar was born in 1918 in Bellur, India. He studied and practiced yoga for over 85 years. He studied under T. Krishnamacharya - who is often referred to as ‘The Father of Modern Yoga’. He brought his style of yoga to the west in the 1970’s and wrote his book: Light on Yoga, which has been a source for yoga students all over the world. B.K.S Iyengar taught for over 75 years in the 5 continents, bringing yoga to many people around the world. He even invented a lot of the yoga props we still use today and helped explore how yoga can treat medical conditions.

An Overview of The Niyamas: Yoga Philosophy 101
An Overview of The Niyamas: Yoga Philosophy 101
The second limb of Patanjali’s eight-limbed yoga system are the Niyamas, which are five internal practices. These practices extend the ethical codes of conduct provided in his first limb, the Yamas and look more within. The practice of Niyama helps us maintain a positive environment in which to grow, and gives us the self-discipline and inner-strength necessary to progress along the path of yoga. Similar to the Yamas, the five Niyamas, while ancient in their origins, are very applicable to everyday modern life. These concepts can help you self-reflect and live a more peaceful life.

An Overview of The Yamas: Yoga Philosophy 101
An Overview of The Yamas: Yoga Philosophy 101
The first of Patanjali’s eight-fold path of yoga are the Yamas. They are moral, ethical and societal guidelines. These guidelines are all expressed in the positive and can be interpreted as descriptions of how a yogi behaves and relates to their world. The Yamas are applicable to modern life, and a good guidance system on how to lead an honest, ethical, and conscious life. Patanjali teaches that Yamas are meant to be practiced in our actions, thoughts, and words. The Yamas are applicable to everyone regardless of socioeconomic class, gender, or ethnicity. The Yamas are something that can make life more peaceful for people who observe them. It’s possible that observing the Yamas will lead to a life of less conflict, deceit, and even stress. Here is brief overview of each Yama, followed by a journaling activity to give you time to reflect on how these Yamas show up in your life and how you can live them more.

Yoga is Not Immune to Consumer Culture
Yoga is Not Immune to Consumer Culture
Yes, yogis can be susceptible to materialism too! I subscribe to numerous yoga mailing lists and it’s nice to have at least one email every day that I know will engage and excite me in a way that all that lovely spam just can’t seem to do. Lately, though, I’ve started to realize a trend about my beloved yoga newsletters and publications: I’m enticed to buy a product every time I open an email. Maybe I’m especially susceptible to marketing ploys, as, after all, I’ll freely admit how much I love to shop. I realize this isn’t exactly a yogic quality and I have a long way to go to really be able to observe Santosha (the yoga Niyama of contentment), but at least I can recognize it.

How Yoga Can Help Things Fall into Place
How Yoga Can Help Things Fall into Place
Yoga can be a magnet for you to attract the things you dream of. Unfortunately, it is not a fairy dust you can sprinkle on your mat. The shifts do not come overnight. And, you cannot simply mutter a Sanskrit mantra for your hopes to manifest. It is a journey of work, of love, and of intense self-reflection. It takes tapas - the yogic ethical concept of discipline and austerity. For many people yoga is nothing more than a fancy workout, or maybe a few calm moments of de-stressing or elaborate stretching. However, yoga is much more. It is a science, a wellness system, a lifestyle, a philosophy, and more than anything a path to clarity and joy. The beauty of yoga is that is flexible to your life and needs. There is an infinite number of ways to practice as there is to interpret the meaning of the word. The word yoga is derived from a word meaning to yoke or to unite. One encompassing way to conceptualize this is to think of uniting the self with all - to connect with the source of all possibilities. The true magic of yoga can happen with the sincere realization of the concept "Namaste" - the light in me recognizes and honors the light within you."

The Joy of Practicing Yoga for Longevity
The Joy of Practicing Yoga for Longevity
With curiosity, I applied a new lens to my Yoga practice — is it good for my longevity? It’s a wonderful puzzle to consider the arcs of Now, the Future and the possibility of an Elder Future and how every moment I am planting seeds, or making choices, that impact all three of these stages of life. What does a yoga practice look like that is an offering to all three of these versions of me? Before I share what I’ve found to be true for me, let me share a bit about my existing framework.

Easy Guide to Balancing Your Root Chakra (Muladhara)
Easy Guide to Balancing Your Root Chakra (Muladhara)
We can feel at home, anywhere. By nature, I am not the most settled person. I travel constantly and I haven't really had a home base that I would confidently call my own. Over the last few years, I’ve changed locations dozens of times across multiple countries. I’ve lived in places for no more than 6 weeks at a time. It’s been an exciting adventure and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Through my experience, I have learned to bring my sense of “home” with me wherever I go. A master nester, if you will. I have become accustomed to picking my life up, putting it on my shoulders, and moving to the next destination. Kind of like a turtle, my home is always with me. Lately, the idea of continuing to travel drains me more than it inspires me. It’s clear that I’m craving stability. I’m craving security. I’m craving a home base. I recognize all of these as Root Chakra needs. We all have them.

Your Creative Force: Reflections on the Sacral (Svadhishthana) Chakra
Your Creative Force: Reflections on the Sacral (Svadhishthana) Chakra
A friend asked me what my most unusual job has been. After running down a few odd positions I’ve held in my past, (did you know I spent a year as a Glitter Fairy?) I landed on the rewarding work of being a doula, or birth assistant. This doula work was a natural culmination of my life-long gravitation to all things baby. I had spent the previous decade working as a nanny, mostly of newborns and infants, and had also started teaching Prenatal Yoga and practicing Prenatal Massage. Many of my girlfriends were on a journey of pregnancy and childbirth for the first time, and a few had asked for my help. Over the span of a few years I witnessed (and hopefully helped in some small way) twenty-six new, fresh baby beings enter into this world. Although every birth was its own messy, joyous and arduous event, after each I felt so extremely honored, to the point of tears, to have been there. Through the years of teaching pregnant women safe yoga techniques, holding hands and wiping brows during labor contractions, and changing poopy diapers of many little babes, I never once doubted that I would experience mamahood for myself. Being a mother was all I ever wanted since I was a little girl, my biological clock was all I could hear.

Why We Practice Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Why We Practice Savasana (Corpse Pose)
“For a star to be born: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.” – Zoe Skylar Recently, I wrote about the importance of play. Today, through my sugar hangover, my attention turns to decay, decomposition, and death. I wrote this around The Day Of The Dead, All Souls Day, or Dia De Los Muertos, when we honor not only those who have passed on from this lifetime, but also the natural passage at the end of all lives. Here in Denver, the once juicy green leaves have dried, withered, and fallen, now are starting to emit the rotten Autumn scent, reminding me that everything must come to an end. Unpleasant though it may be, the fact is that death can come at any time, at any age; after a long or short illness, due to violent crime or an inexplicably tragic accident.

5 Unusual Places in North & Central America for a Yoga Retreat
5 Unusual Places in North & Central America for a Yoga Retreat
Are you a yoga teacher, coach, or leader in your field? If so, you might be interested in taking your clients and students into more intimate containers -- such as a retreat. Retreats are amazing because you get the opportunity to really dive deep with your students. They can look like whatever you want to create -- from super intense, workshop heavy, 8 hour day session retreats, to relaxed, go with the flow, do whatever you want style of retreats. The cool thing about hosting retreats -- is you get to be the creator.

5 Yoga Poses to Make Your Heart Happy
5 Yoga Poses to Make Your Heart Happy
"The more you open your heart to others, the more your life becomes joyful." One who is open and balanced in their chest area and heart space is more open to freely give and receive love to others and have a more loving relationship with yourself. When we are depressed or closed off, our posture reflects it with a more hunched over and closed off posture. More of us are increasingly spending hours upon hours every day staring at our mobile phones, with our heads bent, eyes down and our posture like a croissant. This is a similar stance we adopt when we are sad, depressed, or disappointed. We make ourselves appear small because we are sad – yet it’s also true we can feel sad because we’re making ourselves appear small. Social psychologists call it embodied cognition. This basically means our mind influences our body, but our body – especially our stance – greatly influences our mind too.

8 Common Yoga Myths Debunked
8 Common Yoga Myths Debunked
While yoga originated from India with suggested regions, including the Indus Valley Civilization around the 3300-1900 BCE, it has expanded and grown all over the world. Today, you will find yoga practitioners worldwide, and as a group of mental, physical, and spiritual disciplines, yoga has incredible diversity to offer to all those interested in having a healthy lifestyle. For some, yoga goes even deeper, and avid practitioners would tell you that yoga is not just exercise but also a way of life. According to a recent study, over 55 million people around the world started practicing yoga for the first time in 2020. Furthermore, around 44% of all yoga practitioners spend time doing yoga at least 2-3 times per week and spend an average of $90 per month on yoga. Moreover, 37% of yoga enthusiasts have children that also enjoy practicing yoga with their caretakers.

Yoga Anatomy: Trade in Your Buns of Steel for Fluffy Butt
Yoga Anatomy: Trade in Your Buns of Steel for Fluffy Butt
Besides being the “butt” of many jokes, the gluteus maximus is the largest and most superficial of the three gluteal muscles. It makes up a large portion of the shape and appearance of the hips. Its size is unique to humans; no other mammal has such expansive rear area, as pointed out in the classic Trail Guide to the Body. Perhaps this is why we are apt to laugh about it? All jokes aside, it’s important for us to give attention to this major muscle in order to maintain healthy posture and an happy lower back. When the gluteus maximus is unhealthy, adhered or possessing swarms of trigger points, it can start a game of tug-of-war with the lower back muscles, especially quadratus lumborum(QL).

Everything About Yoga Twists
Everything About Yoga Twists
If you’ve done even one yoga class, you’ve probably already done at least one twisting pose in your practice, probably more. Twisting has a large number of benefits to the body, however, it’s important to do them safely for the best yoga experience. Here’s some of the benefits of yoga twists, and how to master them. Back Health When we do twists in yoga we rotate the spine and stretch the back muscles, which in turn helps to restore and keep the spine’s range of motion. Not having a strong range of motion can run the risk of our joints becoming hard and inflexible, and the supportive muscles surrounding the spine can shrink. Stretching the muscles regularly with twists can prevent this. Boosting Energy

Why to Practice Yoga Off The Mat
Why to Practice Yoga Off The Mat
We all know what yoga is on the mat – it’s the yoga asanas (poses) we throw ourselves into, creating shapes and movement on the mat, giving our body a physical workout. What, what is yoga off the mat? For me, it’s not quite as simple as the 8 limbs of yoga, which is what we are taught. Yoga is a very personal thing. It’s a different practice for everyone – some might like Ashtanga or Power yoga, some might prefer Kundalini or Yin. The 8 limbs of yoga philosophy, stemmed from Ashtanga (ashta = eight, anga = limb), are guidelines on how to live a life of more meaning and purpose, and act as a moral compass as we guide through this cray thing called life. The 8 limbs are as follows:

What is Yoga Anyway?
What is Yoga Anyway?
I'm reflecting on my very first yoga class. As a college freshman, I somewhat arbitrarily signed up for yoga as a “physical education” elective. My beloved grandma had been practicing yoga for years, so I had a vague knowledge of what it was all about, but I had no idea how much that that one course would end up influencing my life. Since first walking into that college gym, I have gone on to study various styles of yoga with many wonderful teachers, taught yoga in different capacities for over ten years, and owned two yoga studios on opposite corners of Colorado. Twenty years after that first class, I embarked on another in-depth yoga teacher’s training; RootEd is a 230-hour “apprenticeship” with the inspiring Jessica Patterson out of Colorado Springs. For the RootEd application, I was asked to answer the question “What is Yoga?”

10 Benefits of a Longer Yoga Practice
10 Benefits of a Longer Yoga Practice
In today’s busy modern world, yoga has evolved over the years to fit into our jam-packed schedules, the most notable of these being - practices are shorter. The traditional yoga class and used to last 90 minutes, which was a standard practice. Nowadays, we see 60, 30, even 5 minutes yoga practices, which while they still have their uses, sometimes can’t compare to the benefits of a longer practice. The main benefit of a longer practice is more time to focus on mindfulness, breathing techniques, and to generally help you relax. Here are 10 ways these benefits can positively impact your life.

8 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Sex Life (And 3 Poses That Help)
8 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Sex Life (And 3 Poses That Help)
We all know that working out can improve our sex lives, as exercise can boost both your energy levels and your self-esteem, but did you know that yoga not only gives those benefits, but lots more? If you’re looking to yoga as your new form of working out, read on to discover how it can also give a boost to your sex life. Yoga Improves Pelvic Floor Muscles When you practice yoga, you can use up all of your muscles in one pose or another, including your pelvic floor. When doing standing poses and supporting your own body weight, you’re also working out your pelvic floor muscles. In an average yoga class, this can add up to half an hour of pelvic floor exercises. If you didn’t know, strengthening these muscles can help to improve your orgasms - a great incentive to get on the yoga mat!