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


Ahimsa: Practice Kindness
Ahimsa: Practice Kindness
Kindness is the reason! A universal thread in all yoga practices is learning to embody loving kindness. How you treat yourself has an effect on you and how you treat others has an effect on you. When you are kind, your behavior impacts others around you in a positive manner and helps them feel more content. Learning to be compassionate and kind regardless of circumstances is one of the key principles of the eight-limbed yoga path, as expressed in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Ahimsa, the first of five Yamas contained in the first limb of yoga is at its root is all about kindness. Ahimsa translates to the absence of, or the freedom from violence, killing, judging, or harming. Ahimsa is avoiding all forms of violence to yourself or to others. It is less about physical violence and more about thoughts and feelings.

Yoga for Longevity: 7-Class Program with Caitlin Rose Kenney
Yoga for Longevity: 7-Class Program with Caitlin Rose Kenney
If we asked you to share your number one reason to practice yoga, what would your response be? Answers run the gamut from spiritual enlightenment (Samadhi) to physical mastery of asanas like handstand or Hanumanasana, to mental health benefits like stress relief. Whether you step onto the mat for the spiritual, physical, or mental aspects of yoga, you are receiving all the benefits. What if we suggested you regard yoga as life insurance? Consider your yoga practice through the lens of preventative healthcare, a tool to ensure you’ll continue enjoying a long life to the fullest. Yoga helps keep our bodies strong and supple, our minds alert and open, and our hearts softer and more compassionate. To sustain a lifelong yoga practice, check in with yourself. Are you doing the same things out of habit, but it no longer gives you the same joy or energy?

Yoga For A Happy & Healthy Mind
Yoga For A Happy & Healthy Mind
One of yoga’s greatest benefits is the process of tuning into your thoughts and emotions and understanding your own personal truth. When we utilize the tools of a consistent yoga practice, we learn to tune out distractions and external influences and listen to our internal voice. Avidya or mistaken perception is ignorance––the fundamental inability to see things as they are. The practice of yoga is moving away from these misperceptions toward Viveka, the ability to discern and see clearly. The physical practice aids us in relaxing our muscles and begins the process of delving deeper into our psyche. Yoga teaches us that all we need is within us, we simply need to pay attention. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras include the eight-limbed path of yoga. The Niyamas, or moral observances, are tangible steps to achieve a calm and peaceful mind.

Yoga for Stress Relief & Unwinding
Yoga for Stress Relief & Unwinding
Have you noticed that every time you step onto your yoga mat it’s a different experience? Sometimes we choose a fast-paced sweaty class and others we seek a more chilled out type of practice. While all yoga will help you relieve stress, taking the time to slow down and unwind can nourish your system on a deeper level. This week we’re bringing you slower classes designed specifically to help you shift your system back into balance. One of the most profound ways a slower yoga practice impacts us is by soothing our parasympathetic nervous system. Holding poses for longer periods of time, like in Yin Yoga, encourages our “fight or flight” adrenaline responses to quiet. When you’re in Sleeping Swan (half-pigeon) for several minutes on each side, not only do the tight muscles and connective tissue begin to relax, but the mind quiets and the heartrate slows. When you can slow down and leave the rest of the day behind for even a little while, you’re refilling your well and soothing your nervous system.

5-Day Quick Energy Flow Challenge
5-Day Quick Energy Flow Challenge
Welcome Summer! Anybody else savoring the sense of freedom in the air these days? Now that most of the world is opening and travel is a possibility again, you aren’t alone if all you are ready to shake up your regular routine. Whether that means going on vacation or simply enjoying visits with friends and family, your dance card may be so full, you have less time for your yoga practice. Nobody wants to sacrifice all the benefits of a consistent yoga practice, right? Sometimes when life shifts into high gear, it can feel we’re too busy to fit in our yoga and end up skipping it altogether. Then, all the hard-won benefits like physical flexibility, strength, and balance can diminish. The clear calm mind and softer heart that comes from mindful breath and movement can devolve into stress and anxiety. Don’t stress––we’ve got the perfect solution to keep you in the flow.

Yoga To Release Tension In Your Shoulders & Back
Yoga To Release Tension In Your Shoulders & Back
Who else spent months sprawled on the couch bingeing television and hours perched in front of the computer zooming with friends and family? During quarantine, most of us found ourselves more sedentary than usual. Prolonged sitting does a number on our posture, and our shoulders round forward, our necks grow stiff, and our posture begins to slump. Not only does our body fall out of alignment, but we can become more closed off emotionally. The inner reflects the outer. This week, we’re focusing on asanas (postures) that loosen up the shoulders, relax the throat and neck, and create more spaciousness in our spines. When we focus on relieving stress and tension that lurks around the neck and shoulders, we can alleviate pain. Practices focused on the upper body create strength and mobility and encourage proper posture. They also go deeper within and benefit the subtle body, where our chakras reside.

June 21st is International Yoga Day
June 21st is International Yoga Day
Mark your calendars for the sixth annual International Yoga Day! This relatively new holiday, established in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly in 177 member countries, celebrates the value of yoga for physical, emotional, and mental health. June 21st is the solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere and the shortest in the Southern hemisphere. This day is a turning point for the entire planet and a sacred day in many cultures. Perfect to celebrate yoga! Each International Yoga Day features a different theme. As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, the chosen theme for 2021 is Yoga for Wellbeing, stressing the benefits of yoga for stress relief and overall mental health. The emphasis on mindful movement and deliberate breathing patterns in yoga benefits not just your physical body, but enhances mood, relieves stress, alleviates insomnia, and aids in managing situational depression. Even if your intention is centered on increasing physical strength, mobility, and balance, you garner the mental benefits too. Our lives are forever changed after this past year. It’s a simple fact. Many of us experienced enormous levels of anxiety, stress, fear, loss, and anger. When we react from these emotions, our breathing becomes shallow, our heart works overtime, and the stress hormone cortisol skyrockets. When our physiological system is out of control, it’s tough to remain grounded, clear, and balanced. Yoga helps positively impact our nervous systems, which in turn helps us step out of the fight or flight response. We can stop simply reacting and start operating from a more stable place.

Open Your Hearts: Yoga for Anahata Chakra
Open Your Hearts: Yoga for Anahata Chakra
“Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point,” which translates to: the heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." - Blaise Pascal This quote by famous mathematician Blaise Pascal is from 1669––talk about ancient wisdom! Even a genius steeped in reason and mathematics recognized that often the answer lies in listening to the heart and emotions, as opposed to relying solely on the brain. This week we’re focused on balancing your heart energy. In yoga, we emphasize opening and balancing the Anahata (Heart) chakra as being vital to feeling our best. The seven main chakras are energy systems running along our Sushumna Nadi, in our subtle body, the blueprint of our physical body. The fourth chakra, Anahata, is the recognized seat of love and compassion and translates to “Unstruck.” Its essence is selflessness, expanding beyond your ego, and learning to release fear and forgive those who have harmed you.

Two-Week Bridal Bootcamp
Two-Week Bridal Bootcamp
Who is ready for an excellent fitness bootcamp program with all the guess work and decision making handled for you? Wedding season is upon us and if you’re getting married, you want to feel and look your best for your special day. Whether you’re a bride-to-be or simply someone who is ready for a challenge for your body, mind, and spirit, this week we’re here to deliver. We all want to feel our best, but sometimes it can be overwhelming deciding what workout to do when and what is the most impactful way to get stronger, more flexible, and emotionally balanced. It’s easy to start off with the best of intentions and then other commitments and responsibilities knock you off your path. This fitness bootcamp is specially crafted to give you excellent results in an efficient manner, while also making it easy to stay on track. Here’s how:

Yoga Sculpt: When You Want It All!
Yoga Sculpt: When You Want It All!
We’ve all faced the dilemma: you have a limited amount of time to move your body and relieve stress. Do you practice yoga or do strength training? Problem solved: Yoga sculpt. If you’ve never tried a yoga fusion class, here’s your chance to garner all the benefits of a strength workout blended with the mindfulness of yoga. These hybrid workouts can combine yoga with weights, barre, Pilates, HIIT, cardio––the variety is part of the fun! In these special classes, the emphasis is on getting stronger and sculpted, but also staying mindful and maintaining mobility. It’s one of the most efficient and effective ways to ensure that you prevent injury and enhance your strength, balance, and flexibility. Here are a few reasons we love these yoga fitness fusion classes:

9 Ways Meditation Can Change Your Brain
9 Ways Meditation Can Change Your Brain
We’ve all heard meditation is good for your brain, and with the rollout of meditation apps and courses over the past few years, it’s becoming more and more well known that meditation can benefit us vastly. With this increase in popularity, also comes scientific research into the positive effects of meditation. Now, we can actually see the various neurological benefits that meditation has on the brain, including actual changes in gray matter - or increased activity in certain areas of the brain. Looking at these benefits alongside the psychological effects of meditation on our well-being, it’s easy to see exactly how meditation can change your mind and brain. Meditation Can Help Preserve Aging Brains

Meditation to Get Your Mind Right
Meditation to Get Your Mind Right
Quick check in: does your mind feel laser-focused and steady? Ready to handle any challenges in a reasonable, calm manner? If your answer, like ours, was to throw your head back and roar with laughter because you’ve got countless distractions bouncing around your brain, we’re here to help. This week, we’ve got four meditation classes to help you feel clearer and more grounded. If you are new to meditation or it has been a while since you meditated, read on for some insight into why it can have such a profound impact on your life. Meditation is the practice of learning to quiet the monkey mind or as Patanjali delineated in Yoga Sutra 1.2: citta vritti nirodhah: Yoga is learning to direct the attention of your mind where you wish it to go. Meditation encourages you to quiet the distractions in order to create space for clarity. It is the art of letting go and bringing the mind to the present moment. Meditation is a practice that takes time and effort, but it is worth every minute.

9 Ways to Increase Your Confidence During Your Weight Loss Journey
9 Ways to Increase Your Confidence During Your Weight Loss Journey
If you’re trying to get healthier and improve your body image by losing weight, you might know that the struggle of weight loss needs you to stay motivated and confident across a long period of time. But if you’re trying to lose weight, it can be hard to keep confident and feel happy about yourself if you’re not happy with your body image. It’s really important to give yourself confidence boosts along the way of your weight loss journey. We all know that you’ll feel better about yourself when you meet your weight goals, but if you feel more confident while you’re losing weight, you might find yourself more motivated to stick to it, and finally reach those goals. Here’s some ways to boost your self confidence when you’re losing weight.

Celebrate the Skin You’re In: Yoga for Weight Loss & Confidence
Celebrate the Skin You’re In: Yoga for Weight Loss & Confidence
If you have a consistent yoga practice, you’re aware of the myriad of internal and external benefits you receive, like balance, strength, flexibility, and equanimity. But did you know yoga can also help you feel more confident and lose weight? We’re not talking treating yoga like an exercise regimen to burn calories. Instead, yoga can help you cultivate a powerful mind-body connection that supports weight loss or any other physical goals you might have. When you move through a physical yoga practice, whether it is a vigorous Vinyasa flow or a mellow restorative practice, you focus on how you are feeling. Is your breath deep and steady or shallow and erratic? Are you angry, depressed, or at peace? Do you feel stagnant and heavy or light and vibrant? By taking the time to become more aware of your feelings, you can begin to process them fully instead of burying them. Emotional eating is common and many of us have made unhealthy choices like consuming fast food or too much sugar, which only masks the underlying issues for a short time.

Why Morning Rituals are a Powerful Start to your Day
Why Morning Rituals are a Powerful Start to your Day
Depending on your schedule and your natural rhythm, practicing yoga first thing in the morning might already be part of your routine. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and the idea of pairing your yoga practice with the rising of the sun makes you roll over and hit the snooze button, please hear us out and consider trying something new. We promise everyone will love this five-part series of quick Vinyasa classes from expert yoga teacher Jackie Casal Mahrou. Here’s why a morning ritual is a powerful way to start your day! Set a Positive Intention for Your Day

4 Excellent Reasons to Renew Yourself with Twists!
4 Excellent Reasons to Renew Yourself with Twists!
Are you ready to refresh and rejuvenate physically, emotionally, and mentally? A well-rounded yoga practice emphasizing twists will leave you feeling your best on every level. Here are 4 ways twists help clear out your system and create the space to welcome in fresh energy and light. Keeps Spine Healthy: Twists help restore and maintain your spine’s range of motion, improve flexibility and mobility, and encourage proper posture. Most of us aren’t consistently moving our spines through the three ranges of motion necessary to keep the spine in ultimate condition.

Earth Day
Earth Day
On Earth Day 2021, let’s pause to appreciate this world that provides the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and serves as our home. In yoga, we naturally align ourselves with the rhythm of the seasons, the tides of the ocean, and the rising and setting of the sun. This week, we're celebrating Earth Day with four yoga classes designed to uplift, enliven, and support you, just like the planet does for us each and every day. When you show up to your yoga mat or your meditation cushion this week, close your eyes and focus on your connection to our planet. Offer gratitude for the support of the ground beneath you and the sky above you. Earth Day is an excellent time to center your practice around your relationship to the planet, connect with the global community, and commit to protecting our world. One of the primary tenets in yoga comes from Patanjali’s Eight-Limb yoga path, in particular, the first Yama, Ahimsa. The Yamas are moral attitudes or behaviors important to follow on your yogic journey and in life. Ahimsa means freedom from harm or violence. Ahimsa's practice is one of compassion, love, understanding, and patience in our interactions with ourselves, with others, and with the earth around us.

5-Part Metamorphosis Series: Transform & Evolve
5-Part Metamorphosis Series: Transform & Evolve
When we hear the word metamorphosis, often it conjures an image of the caterpillar pausing and withdrawing from the world for a period of time and emerging as a beautiful butterfly. One way to visualize it is an incubation period, where you focus on rest and renewal in order to become your best self. Metamorphosis doesn’t necessarily mean you are changing into someone different; rather it means you are transforming into the highest version of yourself. In other words, the butterfly was always inside you, but it may take time and effort to fly free. Renowned ParaYoga founder and Tantra Yoga scholar Rod Stryker teaches, “We’re not transforming into something we aspire to,” he says. “We’re transforming into the very thing that we are innately: our best self.”

Yin Yoga to Relax More
Yin Yoga to Relax More
If you’re feeling the impact of more than a year of managing extreme stress levels, you aren’t alone. These days, we’re all working to establish a sense of equanimity. Life is about finding the balance between opposing forces which exist outside and inside of us. Yoga is a fluid dance between strength and softness, and yin and yang. Yin and Yang are opposites and they complement each other perfectly. This week, shift your focus to Yin yoga and give your mind the quiet time it needs and recharge your batteries. When we take the time to nourish ourselves, we renew our energy and become the strongest versions of ourselves. If you’re new to Yin yoga, you may not be familiar with all its wonderful benefits. A Yin practice targets the deeper layers in the body, specifically the connective tissue––fascia, tendons, and ligaments and the internal organs. Yin is based upon three main principles:

Take Your Time with Longer Yoga Classes
Take Your Time with Longer Yoga Classes
Today is a perfect day to expand your horizons. Consider mixing up your routine by spending more time on your yoga mat this week. We’re here to help with four longer yoga classes that will give you the space and time to deepen your practice. “Do Your Practice and all is coming." K. Pattabhi Jois, the Indian scholar and credited founder of Ashtanga yoga famously said. According to his teachings, there is no substitute for time spent on the mat. Traditional Ashtanga classes were usually at least ninety minutes long. Each moment of practice is a moment exploring your heart, your body, and your mind. Here are three reasons to try one of this week’s longer 45-90 minute classes.

Why Yoga is the Perfect Pre & Post Sport Workout
Why Yoga is the Perfect Pre & Post Sport Workout
Staying active is vital to a healthy lifestyle and a positive outlook. Here at YogaDownload.com, we’re all about mixing it up. Some days full-length well-rounded yoga classes are the ticket and other days you might prefer to run, cycle, golf, or play in the snow. Using yoga as a workout warm-up or cooldown is the ideal way to enhance your performance and prevent injury. Even when you stretch pre-or post-workout, you often just stretch the muscles in the same direction and plane of motion in which you are exercising. Many sports, like cycling and running, consist of repetitive movements, in one direction and in one plane of motion. Other sports like golf and tennis that rely on using one side of the body more than the other can develop certain muscle groups while ignoring others. Over time, these processes cause imbalances in the muscles and joints leading to overuse injuries.

2-Week Yoga Challenge: Find Your Flow
2-Week Yoga Challenge: Find Your Flow
Aligning yourself with nature to create a deep sense of flow is a common theme in yoga. The power inherent in the change of seasons makes the recent Equinox an auspicious time to challenge yourself to grow and transform. Whether you’re celebrating the blossoming of Spring or marking the releasing associated with Autumn, the world is shifting and so can you. We are constantly and growing as individuals, but sometimes we can slip into patterns of stagnation. As a global community, we’ve all been required to stay closer to home and for many of us jobs disappeared or dramatically changed, our social life quieted, and our physical, emotional, and mental health was tested. It has been a tough year! If you feel like you’re in a rut, you’re not alone.

You are a Powerful Force
You are a Powerful Force
The Force is within you! Each and every one of us has a well of inner strength and courage, our source of personal power. Through our yoga and meditation practices, we can cultivate our inner light and empower ourselves to meet life’s challenges with courage and confidence. There are many paths to build personal power, strength, and compassion. A few of our favorite classes have empowering themes and/or solid Power Vinyasa flows, which are excellent ways to tap into your inner strength. If you need a reminder of just how courageous you are, these classes will give you a major boost. Yoga teaches us that all we need is inside of us and practice is to reveal and honor our inner light. Learning to dig deep and operate from our courageous hearts can be uncomfortable.

Music is Medicine! Yoga with Music
Music is Medicine! Yoga with Music
“Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life.” -B.K.S. Iyengar. We here at YogaDownload.com believe music enhances the yoga experience. Both music and yoga touch on the physical, mental, and emotional levels of our beings. Sound is integral in many schools of yoga, like Ashtanga, where classes begin and end with chanting and mantras woven into the practice. The power of sound is vital in yoga, whether you are focusing on mantra, chanting, instruments like the harmonium, or a well-curated playlist.

Fitness 'n' Yoga 7 Day Bootcamp with Ben Davis
Fitness 'n' Yoga 7 Day Bootcamp with Ben Davis
Are you ready to kick off March with a 7 day fitness and yoga bootcamp designed to have you feeling at the top of your game? If you struggle to fit in workouts and yoga, but don’t want to miss any of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits from both, this week’s program is for you. And if you’re simply feeling bored with your current routine, try this package as an adrenaline boost to spark your motivation. Here are 3 reasons not to miss this bootcamp: