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


Branch Out: New Styles of Yoga to Try
Branch Out: New Styles of Yoga to Try
When is the last time you tried something different on your yoga mat? We all have our favorite styles of yoga and it’s easy to find your routine has morphed into a rut. This week, we’re here to offer some variety to help you avoid a practice plateau. There isn’t an identical path for any of us. We’re all unique. Why not branch out and experience something new? Some people claim that their yoga is the “true” yoga and everything else is not yoga. Whose path is the right one? Is there a right one? If the end result is that you uncover your best self, you shed the layers weighing you down and shine bright, isn’t that actually the “right” path for you? What really matters is how you feel during and after your yoga practice.

3-Week Absolute Beginner Yoga Program for Inflexible People
3-Week Absolute Beginner Yoga Program for Inflexible People
"Don´t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try." - Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time. In order to grow, we must continue to take chances and try things outside of our comfort zones. Now we’re not suggesting you need to go bungee jumping or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro tomorrow! Well, unless it’s on your bucket list. Until you attempt something new, you’ll never know how it could turn out. Yoga can appear intimidating if you’ve never tried it, but with appropriate instruction, it is actually much more accessible than you think. Maybe in the past, you’ve tried some different classes and the teacher didn’t resonate with you or you suffered an injury or illness and are hesitating to return to the mat. Or maybe you are a true newbie and are finally ready to try yoga.

Find Your Flow
Find Your Flow
Depending upon in which hemisphere you live, you’ve either just celebrated the Summer or Winter Solstice. Long summer days characterized by sunshine and short nights or long dark nights to rest and recuperate. Wherever you are, take a moment to check-in and ask yourself if you are living your life in the flow right now. When we are in the flow or the zone, we are aligned with ourselves, with our community, and with nature. If you’re feeling in alignment, great! If you need some encouragement and support to find your optimal rhythm, we’re here to help. We’ll work together to find our flow on the yoga mat so we can take our renewed sense of connection off the mat for the rest of the day. Vinyasa flow yoga is an excellent way to create strength, balance, flexibility, and connection.

A Strong Core is the Secret to Personal Power
A Strong Core is the Secret to Personal Power
Are you ready to tap into your superpowers and dedicate time and energy to creating a strong center? Sure, a toned belly, healthy spine, and looking good without a shirt are tangible physical benefits of intelligent core training. But the true benefits of strengthening your center run much deeper than mere aesthetics. Learning to cultivate your personal power located in your Manipura (Navel) Chakra will aid you in burning through layers of insecurity and help you build a true sense of your authentic self. Yoga is an excellent path to access your “inner fire,” and step into your greatest sense of self. Through asana, pranayama, and mantra meditation, you can ignite your self-confidence, self-discipline, and willpower. Kind of like firing up your superpowers! Sound good?

3 Reasons to Focus on Your Neck, Back, & Shoulders in Yoga
3 Reasons to Focus on Your Neck, Back, & Shoulders in Yoga
Have you ever received upsetting news and immediately your jaw, shoulders, and neck grow rigid? Were you aware that yogis and psychologists agree that unprocessed emotions become trapped in your physical body? In our current time, many of us are having to navigate an intense collective experience, as well as how everything occurring is impacting every aspect of our own personal lives. Our yoga practice is a tool to alleviate stress and tension and fortify us emotionally, mentally, and physically. This week, join us as we explore some yoga classes designed to not just make you strong enough to handstand like a master but to soften the knots in your neck and the pain in your back.

Yoga to Make You Braver
Yoga to Make You Braver
What does courage mean to you? The root of the word courage comes from the French word coeur, which means heart. In yogic circles, it is often stated that courage comes from the heart, which contains two dual emotions: love and fear. Being brave doesn’t mean an absence of fear, it means choosing to do what feels right despite feeling afraid. Bravery stems from understanding your truths and trusting yourself to do the right thing. When we are in harmonious times, it’s easy to express our beliefs and our truth. Many of us yogis surround ourselves with like-minded people seeking to live life on a higher vibration. We choose to focus on the positive and live from a place of compassion and love. Practicing these principles on the yoga mat strengthens our resolve to practice them off the mat.

Ways Yoga Helps Your Mental Health
Ways Yoga Helps Your Mental Health
Yoga has been proven to have benefits to your mental health, and a wealth of research has gone into how practicing yoga can improve the lives of those with mental health conditions. The results are staggeringly positive, proving that yoga can help with many common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as others. There is now one in every four people affected by mental health disorders, so more and more people are looking for effective ways to help protect and restore mental health. Yoga is becoming more and more accepted as a way to manage mental health conditions. It’s already used to reduce stress, improve flexibility and promote a more ‘zen’ state of mind. However, more people are digging deep to understand the therapeutic benefits of yoga on mental health. These findings are also backed up by studies which show that yoga practice can change the structure and function of your brain, proving that yoga can improve your emotional health in a neurological way. Here are some of the ways yoga can support your mental health.

Yoga for Mental Health Wellness
Yoga for Mental Health Wellness
Yoga is an incredible tool for our health––physical, emotional, and mental. Yoga can help manage anger, anxiety, depression, and other common psychological conditions many of us experience. This week, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the tangible ways yoga can not just open up your hips, but also positively impact your mental health. Let’s start with exploring that intangible feeling you experience after yoga––calm, clear, energized, and happy. How does mindful breath and purposeful movement translate into a major adjustment in your mind? One of the primary reasons is because deliberate movement and breathing patterns affect your nervous system in a positive manner. Yoga helps us shift from fight or flight or a reactive state to rest and digest, a receptive state of being. When we are reacting from a place of fear, anger, or anxiety, we are operating from our fight or flight response––shallow breathing, accelerated heart rate, and stress. When our autonomic nervous system is out of balance, we have a difficult time managing our emotions. Ever over-reacted and lashed out at a loved one or a stranger for no apparent reason? Ever noticed that response doesn’t happen after a satisfying yoga practice?

Anxious? 6 Real Ways Meditation Helps Calm Anxiety
Anxious? 6 Real Ways Meditation Helps Calm Anxiety
If anxiety gets the best of you, you are not alone. Last year, there were nearly 300 million people reported worldwide that suffer from anxiety, making it the top mental health disorder in the world. Here are 6 reasons why you can help yourself become a more calm and confident through meditation, and let go of anxiety's grip on you.

Power & Perseverance 2-Week Yoga Challenge
Power & Perseverance 2-Week Yoga Challenge
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."— Mahatma Gandhi One of the best ways to recognize an advanced yogi is by observing their behavior. We’re not referring to gasping in awe when someone wraps her leg around her head or effortlessly floats up into a sustained handstand. Instead, you can judge a yogi by the consistency of their practice on the mat and their actions throughout the rest of the day off the mat. Practice and perseverance are two vital qualities needed to sustain your yoga practice over time. Especially in these uncertain times, when the external world feels different for all of us, we need to dig deep into our own inner strength and willpower. We’re here to support you in your yoga practice, no matter what stage of your practice you’re in today. Perseverance equals power!

Yummy Yoga Flow Challenge with Claire
Yummy Yoga Flow Challenge with Claire
You can find santosha and cultivate contentment through yoga. Does your happiness depend upon what is occurring around you or does your sense of joy and serenity arise from within? According to Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of yoga, we can learn to cultivate contentment from the inside out. Santosha, the second Niyama or moral observance, means contentment. Like everything in yoga, the concept sounds simple, but the implementation takes discipline, desire, and focus. With a dedicated practice, we can shift our perspective and learn not to be constantly derailed by what’s happening around us. When we are living in the midst of a global crisis, you might wonder how in the heck to feel content or happy. You aren’t alone. We’re all in this together.

Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day Apart
Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day Apart
We all want to celebrate Mother’s Day with our mothers, grandmothers and children. But this year, it’s not the case for many families due to the COVID-19 and social distancing measures. This might be the first time you’ll have to celebrate Mother’s Day from afar, and not spend it with your loved ones. However, there are many ways to feel close to your loved one’s this Mother’s Day, without being physically with them. This can also apply to any motherly figure in your life, even if they’re not your biological mother. There are so many ways to celebrate and show your mother appreciation without being in the same place. From planning a virtual party or surprise for your mother, to sending a thoughtful gift to show your love, there are so many easy ways to do these things. Now we live in an online era, you can be miles away and still be able to show your love to your mother. Host A Video Call Lunch

Yoga to Practice with Family & Friends
Yoga to Practice with Family & Friends
“Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others.” - Harriet Goldhor Lerner Every day is a perfect one to foster your connections with the world around you. Many places in the world, including the United States, Australia, Canada, China, and Germany, celebrate Mother's Day on May 10th––we know our community of yogis in the UK celebrate in March, but why not celebrate again? It’s a great way to show appreciation and love for your mother or anyone that is a source of support in your life. Practicing yoga together is a wonderful way to spend time with loved ones, whether it is in honor of Mother’s Day or just any given Sunday. Yoga is centered on creating connection or union––with yourself, with others, and with the universe around us.

Yoga for a Healthy Back
Yoga for a Healthy Back
The question isn’t whether you’ve experienced back pain, but whether you are one of the lucky ones who haven’t. Millions of people around the world suffer from aches and injuries to their backs on a regular basis. The good news is that yoga helps with more than the muscles and ligaments, which may be strained, sprained, or simply unbalanced. Often, the root of the pain is grounded in emotional or mental issues and yoga addresses the physical, emotional, and mental causes When you are hurting, ranging from a mild inconvenience to complete incapacitation, it is important to distinguish between acute pain and chronic pain. Acute back pain is intense and lasts from a few days to several weeks. It’s generally due to a fall, lifting a heavy object improperly, a car accident, and resolves within six to eight weeks. During this stage, rest and apply heat and ice to ease inflammation until you are ready to perform gentle exercise. Walking is an excellent option. Chronic pain lasts longer than three months and is more complicated. Yoga can provide temporary and potentially permanent relief. Our mind and body work together and cannot be separated. Only yoga restores harmony on every level. Physically, in addition to stretching and strengthening the spine, yoga helps you:

Earth Day: Connect with the Earth
Earth Day: Connect with the Earth
On April 22, 2020, the world unites together to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. This celebration of a universal commitment to protecting the earth can be embodied in the yogic concept of Ahimsa or Non-harming. Yoga practice, comprised of the earth’s elements of earth, air, fire, water, and ether, naturally honors our planet. Use Earth Day to remind yourself of your connection to it. Fifty years ago, Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator, was shocked at the damage from an oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. The event ignited a fire in him for action to protect our environment. Once people saw how smog, oil spills, rivers so polluted they burst into flames, and damage from corporate waste were destroying the earth, they joined the cause. On April 22, 1970, 10% percent of the U.S. population took to the streets in hundreds of cities to protest environmental and demand change for our planet. Earth Day is the result.

Benefits of a 15-Minute Yoga Class
Benefits of a 15-Minute Yoga Class
If you’re getting stuck in a rut these days, and need something to boost your spirits, it’s tempting to lean into back habits and pick up fast food or a pint of beer. But before you head for the bad vices, try yoga for just 15 minutes. 15 minutes of yoga practice a day can help to improve your mood and your health. Whatever space or time you have, it can be easy to fit in 15 minutes of yoga a day and help to boost your health and make you feel better. Here’s some of the benefits of just 15 minutes of yoga a day. Better Fitness Levels

Quality over Quantity: Short and Sweet Yoga Practices Can Change Your Life
Quality over Quantity: Short and Sweet Yoga Practices Can Change Your Life
We all want to enjoy the benefits from a regular yoga practice, like a better mood, vibrant energy, and a stronger more supple body. And a consistent daily practice, however brief, can change your life in profound ways you may not have contemplated. According to the Yoga Sutras, practicing yoga is also considered the path to avoiding future suffering. Yoga Sutra 2.16- heyam duhkham anagatam, in the second chapter of the sutras on Sadhana or practice, loosely translated means, “pain yet to come is to be avoided.” What exactly does Patanjali mean in this thread of yogic wisdom? Essentially, we do have the ability to avoid or minimize future pain and suffering through our routine yoga practice. In other words, what we do today can help alleviate our future suffering. Our human experience includes pain, but through yoga you can shift your perspective and what you may have perceived as pain changes.

Yoga for Lightness
Yoga for Lightness
The world is a delicate balance between light and dark. Yin and yang. At this moment in time, most of us are experiencing a weight we’ve never shouldered before. Feeling overwhelmed with the constant bombardment of news, the new reality we’re living in, and the sense our world is forever changed doesn’t exactly encourage a feeling of well-being. Although many events are outside of our personal control, we do have the ability to manage our personal reactions and find balance. Yoga is an excellent tool to help us lighten the emotional and mental impact of all these changes and shift our perception. We all see the world through a unique lens shaped by our life and personal experiences. Sometimes we need a little polishing of the lens when it appears cloudy or dark. When we move energy through our bodies with certain asanas and breathing techniques, we can release stuck energy and alleviate patterns that aren’t serving us. This week, we’re here to offer some classes to help you lift your spirits.

Why You Don't Need To Be Flexible to Start Doing Yoga
Why You Don't Need To Be Flexible to Start Doing Yoga
If you’re thinking about starting yoga, but a lack of flexibility is holding you back - don’t let it stop you! The idea that you need to be flexible to do yoga is a huge myth, and flexibility isn’t essential to get on the mat. In fact - yoga practice can actually improve your flexibility, and you can see this improve over time the more yoga you practice. Every yogi started somewhere, and even the most flexible people didn’t start out being able to bend their bodies into difficult poses. Yoga can improve your flexibility if you’re not very bendy - as well as improve your posture, balance and strength, if being flexible isn’t one of your goals. Even bodybuilders didn’t start off being able to carry the heaviest of weights - they trained and started from the bottom, and the same is true for yoga and flexibility. Progress comes with effort and hard work, and starting from scratch.

How to Stay Healthy, Calm & Courageous During COVID-19
How to Stay Healthy, Calm & Courageous During COVID-19
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life." -Prince Life as we know it is different in ways you may never have imagined. At this moment in time, it feels like Mother Earth has hit the pause button for all of us. Nobody is immune to this unprecedented challenge we are facing. Just like Prince sang––we are all here to navigate through this together! And we will make it through to the other side. Yoga teaches us that everything is temporary. Everything. We are facing a choice now: choose to see this moment in time as an opportunity for reflection and growth or as a time to be frustrated and defeated. It’s all a matter of perspective. We’re in it, so why not make the most of this enforced seclusion, which is basically a virtual cocoon? Chose to emerge as a butterfly.

3-Week Evening Wind Down Yoga Program
3-Week Evening Wind Down Yoga Program
In these unprecedented times, you might be hearing the term “self-care” more frequently. These days, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself and get adequate sleep. Rest and sleep are vital elements in staying healthy. We’ve got a three-week evening wind down yoga program designed to help lower your stress levels and quiet your mind so you can slip off into dreamland to rejuvenate. According to yogic philosophy, the world is comprised of three universal elements: the gunas. An excellent way to relax is through balancing the three gunas, which exist within each one of us as well as all around us in nature. The three gunas are: Sattva (balance, luminosity, harmony), Rajas (the state of energy, action, change, and movement), Tamas (the state of heaviness, darkness, inertia, inactivity, and materiality). Usually, we seek to find balance in a sattvic state, but if you need help winding down at the end of the day, it’s important to encourage more tamas through yoga, pranayama, and meditation.

Yoga in the Comfort of Your Own Home
Yoga in the Comfort of Your Own Home
Whether you’ve been practicing regularly with us for years or you’re dipping your toe into a home practice for the first time, rolling out your mat at home offers a myriad of benefits. Being able to click play whenever you want allows you to choose when and where you do yoga. We have more than 1,700 classes, so even if you’re stuck inside, you won’t run out of yoga. In this current global pandemic, it’s more important than ever we focus on mindfulness. You might be young and healthy, but many people in our communities are vulnerable, especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Many of the external events swirling around us are beyond our control, but we can control our reactions to this temporary new normal of “social distancing.” Yoga studios are closed or limiting classes, but you can continue to practice with us. Here are a few of our favorite reasons to take advantage of your home practice right now:

Yoga for Every Body
Yoga for Every Body
What do a person who just recovered from back surgery, a woman just cleared to return to exercise after giving birth, a triathlete, and a dancer have in common? They are all people who can do yoga. Yoga is inclusive and accessible, no matter who you are. There is no such thing as a “yoga body.” If you have a body, you can do yoga. It’s as simple as that. The Father of Modern Yoga, T. Krishnamacharya is credited with creating what we know as Vinyasa yoga. One of his guiding principles was "Teach what is good for an individual." Initially, he taught Hatha yoga to young boys in his school in Mysore, India. For many years, women weren’t allowed to practice or teach yoga. In 1937 this all changed when T. Krishnamacharya, admitted Indra Devi into his school. She was the first woman student and the first Western woman in an Indian ashram.

Fierce Medicine: Ana Forrest 4-Part Live Workshop
Fierce Medicine: Ana Forrest 4-Part Live Workshop
Freedom with Forrest Yoga. The practice of yoga is an individual experience, whether you practice alone, with YogaDownload.com, or in public classes. Always remember there is not one path––there are many. It’s key to find the style and teacher that resonates with you. We’re all different and that’s the beauty of yoga: there is a style that is perfect for everyone. This week, we are thrilled to highlight and share Forrest Yoga with you. We’re offering nearly ten hours of yoga in four two-hour live workshops so you can immerse yourself into this powerful, vigorous healing practice. The program description will explain the four pillars of Forrest Yoga, but we’d like to share more about the creation and evolution of this system.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life.” - John Lennon Each and every one of us has the capacity for true joy and happiness, despite prevailing circumstances surrounding us. We each deserve happiness! Sometimes, when life events challenge us, we can become weighed down with worry and anxiety and dis-ease. If you’re too focused on the past, which cannot be altered, you can sink into depression. If you’re too focused on the future, you can become anxious. Learning to ground yourself in the present moment is key to happiness.