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


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!

How Yoga Makes You Strong
How Yoga Makes You Strong
Yoga practice may not necessarily make you think of the word ‘strong’ - but it’s a common misconception that the practice is all about getting bendy and flexible. Yoga can actually be a great addition to strength training, and can make you more powerful and strong both in the gym and your day-to-day life. Combining yoga with strength training can not only make you stronger - it can actually help reduce your risk of pain and injury. Read on to find out how. Yoga is a form of bodyweight training If you’re working on a specific set of muscles, perhaps to increase strength in these areas, or for aesthetic reasons, it can be easy to neglect the other muscles in your body - which can hinder your progress. Yoga as bodyweight training can help to even things out in your body.

4 Reasons Why Yoga Improves Your Snowboarding
4 Reasons Why Yoga Improves Your Snowboarding
Yoga is one of the most helpful and healthy ways to directly benefit your riding. From stretching, to strength, to balance, yoga has you covered to be a better snowboarder. Here is why! Stretching: Staying limber is one of the most important things you can do to keep your body healthy for snowboarding. Basic yoga done before and after will help prevent injury due to falls, and keep your body less sore after a day of shredding. It’s like performing preventative maintenance on your car. Flexibility will help you when learning, and help your body perform at its best when you are engaging in such a physically demanding sport. It will also help your body move without restriction. There are so many directions and movements your body must go through while riding, that keeping yourself as flexible as possible is of utmost importance.

6 Prep Poses and Exercises to Help You Nail a Handstand
6 Prep Poses and Exercises to Help You Nail a Handstand
Handstands are one of the more impressive poses that you can have in your arsenal, however they can be difficult to pull off. This is a pose that you need to work up to, building the muscles needed and mastering variations of the pose before tackling an unaided handstand. There are lots of ways you can prepare to master the handstand, but they mostly come down to strengthening your core and arm muscles, as well as improving your general strength and flexibility with regular yoga practice. We’ve listed some of the key poses and exercises you can do to help you ace your handstands.

8 Yoga Poses That Improve Digestion
8 Yoga Poses That Improve Digestion
Some of the consequences of unhealthy habits and lifestyles are low energy, weak digestion, and depression. To prevent these challenges from developing in your body, it is better to take care of yourself and do things every day to restore your body in simple, yet effective ways. In yoga, there are specific poses that help your digestive system work optimally. Certain of asanas are aimed at improving the functioning of the digestive organs: the liver, pancreas, stomach, and intestines, to eliminate excess tension that interferes with proper blood circulation. Regular practice of these exercises will improve digestion and eliminate intestinal dysfunctions and have your digestive system operating in harmony.

The Inspiration Download: Interview with German Yoga Teacher Sandra Bracy-Toscani
The Inspiration Download: Interview with German Yoga Teacher Sandra Bracy-Toscani
The Inspiration Download interview series features different people who are bringing ideas to life and sharing something with the world that they are passionate about, whether it's through teaching yoga, creating a business, doing work in their community, creating art, hosting events, bringing to life new wellness products, or more. These interviews highlight real people who have brought ideas to life and give real-life insight and inspiration on their processes and journey. This session is with Sandra Bracy-Toscani, a Berlin, Germany based yoga teacher. Sandra's Bio: My journey began in chaos. I was insecure with talking in front of people, I oftentimes had panic attacks & not to mention, an issue with self-love and self-esteem. Better to say I never experienced high self-esteem and self-love. I, always being attached to men, subconsciously put them in front of me. A position I should have held for myself. Until one day I decided I wanted more from my life, and so my story began. I began to stand up for ME. I began to connect with ME.

Best 9 Yoga Poses To Do At Your Desk
Best 9 Yoga Poses To Do At Your Desk
Getting up and on the yoga mat regularly is great for your health and mind, but if you work at a busy desk job, your regular practice still might not be enough to combat the stress and pressure you are putting on your body - and your posture! However, there are many ways to alleviate this pressure, but the easiest ones don’t even involve getting up from your chair - perfect for those days when you’ve just got too much work to do. There are many yoga poses you can practice at your desk, and we’ve put together some of the best to help the areas that get the most strain sitting down, to reduce back pain, posture issues and stress. Seated Crescent Moon

7 Amazing Yoga Poses to Detox Your Body
7 Amazing Yoga Poses to Detox Your Body
After a indulgent Christmas, you might be thinking about rolling out your yoga mat and getting back into your fitness routine for 2021. Some of us, however, might be finding it daunting after taking time off. A detoxing yoga routine can be just what you need to feel refreshed and ready to take on a new year. Here’s our top poses to detox after indulging. Twisted Chair This pose is great for detoxing the digestive system, ‘twisting’ the body to wring out toxins and negative energy. It also helps to increase flexibility and tones your internal organs - perfect for if you’ve overdone it over the festive season.

How to Create The Perfect Yoga Room for All of Your Senses
How to Create The Perfect Yoga Room for All of Your Senses
What sets yoga apart from other forms of fitness, is the uniquely holistic approach it takes to strengthen your body, mind, and soul. For many, yoga serves as an essential retreat from a chaotic or busy life, a time to regroup, unwind, and build mindfulness. In the process, it will help you improve muscle tone and flexibility, everything you want from a standard workout at the gym. Yoga provides a myriad of both physical and mental health benefits. In addition to engaging muscle-groups in poses — or Asanas — that promote strength, flexibility, and balance, yoga also incorporates deep breathing, meditation, and body awareness. This helps decrease stress, relieve anxiety, and promote deep relaxation. Yoga is accessible for beginners and a great way to build a more healthy lifestyle. You don’t need much in the way of specialized equipment to start practicing in your own home yoga room today.

Understand the 7 Chakras: Overview, Reading List, & Yoga Classes
Understand the 7 Chakras: Overview, Reading List, & Yoga Classes
Many of us are familiar with at least one of the seven chakra. The third eye, our intuition center, tends to be the most spoken about chakra; however, all of the other chakras need our time, attention, and TLC, too! If you have attended yoga or meditation classes, you have perhaps heard the teacher speaking about the chakras. Below, you will briefly discover what the chakras are, where they are located, and each of their main characteristics. If you're curious about learning more about the chakra system, there are 3 must-read recommended books about the chakrasfor you to continue on your path of chakra discovery. There are also yoga classes for each of the seven chakras, if you'd like to learn more about them through movement, and experience.

Best Beginner Yoga Poses for Back Pain Relief
Best Beginner Yoga Poses for Back Pain Relief
If you deal with back pain, yoga might be exactly what you need. Yoga is a mind-body remedy that helps efficiently treat back pain and stress that accompanies it. Here, we’ll discuss yoga poses that can reduce pain, relax, and strengthen your body. There can be tens of different causes of back pain; poor posture, a weak core, and sedentary work are among them. It’s always essential to find out contributing factors and reasons for pain so that you can treat it the right way and prevent it from happening again. However, in most situations, practicing even basic yoga poses will relieve the strain and pain in your back. In 2017 a study was conducted and it proved that yoga is really beneficial for back pain. A group of 320 adults was assessed to see whether yoga was efficient as physical therapy for reducing chronic back pain. Participants in both physical therapy and yoga classes showed analogous improvements in pain levels.

Exploring Common Sanskrit: Om, Spanda, Sutra, Dharma… WHAT?
Exploring Common Sanskrit: Om, Spanda, Sutra, Dharma… WHAT?
This month I have the pleasure of taking part in a writing experiment. Susanna Harwood Rubin, a yoga teacher and writer on the East Coast, is prompting students every day with a new Sanskrit word to explore with a few of their own words. I’m less than a week into this experience, and am already surprised how it has enabled me to look inward and apply the words and concepts to my life personally. Following are a few of my word explorations, with more to come. OM