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


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.

Beetroot Raspberry Smoothie
Beetroot Raspberry Smoothie
I usually don’t share smoothie recipes because smoothie is a very creative and simple food and what goes in my blender mostly depends on what I have waiting in my fridge or fruit bowl. I don’t remember a bad smoothie, so as long as your ingredients are fresh, I would say go for what you have. But since I have been adding raw beetroot to my smoothies for a few months now, and before I did it for the first time I did not even think about it, I figured it might be worth sharing. Raw beetroot in smoothies is fantastic! Like truly amazing. Especially with red berries in a supporting role. At least with my nutribullet, the smoothie is worth its name – smooth and velvety, so no reason to worry that raw beetroot will be grainy – it is not.

A Yogi’s Guide to Surviving Lockdown
A Yogi’s Guide to Surviving Lockdown
So, I won’t be the first to suggest that some good might come of the lockdown and social distancing enforced upon many of us by government action over the spread of Covid-19. Social media is not only full of political rants and tyrades of fear, but also of heartfelt encouragements, expressions of kindness and solidarity, and even beautiful poetry about us members of the great human family who are stepping up to take care of each other in difficult times, about the benefits to the environment and ecosystem of the planet from the forced cessation of destructive human production and transportation activities, and even about the psychological and spiritual benefits of just withdrawing from the world a while and spending time with ourselves.

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.

Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chickpeas
Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chickpeas
I sometimes have food ideas that pop into my mind and refuse to leave until I have tried out the recipe. That was the case with this soup. Chickpeas and cauliflower are such a beautiful combination that I often use in different curries and salads, but I've never made a soup of these ingredients. But now I just could not resist the appetite for a soup that is creamy and luscious, mildly spiced, but not spicy, and that warms up my body in cold and rainy Estonian spring. Not that I would be going outside much these days anyway – I don’t want to take the slightest risk that because of me, the virus will get a chance to spread, so I figure that it is better to stay home as much as possible. At least I have time to cook and practice yoga. and Yogadownload.com classes have been an excellent inspiration. Before the crisis I rarely had time for home practice, and if I did, I practiced myself.

Why What You Wear to Yoga Matters
Why What You Wear to Yoga Matters
If you have done yoga before, you know it is about getting to a place of important to be physical, mental, and spiritual peace, more than it is about how anything looks. At least to a certain extent. To induce those feelings that help you clear up your head it is essentially important to be in an environment where the distractions are minimal and your mind can focus. Moreover, to be physically at peace, you need to be in yoga clothes that feel comfortable and relaxed. If you're clothes don't fit right, aren't ideal or mobile enough from yoga, or you simply don't feel good in them, it can be a distraction from finding your sense of peace on your mat.

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:

5 Clean Eating Essentials from the Conscious Cleanse
5 Clean Eating Essentials from the Conscious Cleanse
Clean eating is a super hot topic in the world of health and wellness – but what exactly does “eating clean” mean? Here at the Conscious Cleanse, when we talk about eating clean, we mean eating whole foods in their natural form, while avoiding highly processed, packaged foods. Focus on foods that are minimally processed, chemical-free, and very close to the way they appear in nature. Basically, if there’s an ingredient you can’t pronounce, don’t eat it. We’re talking dark leafy greens, herbs, sprouts, non-gluten grains like brown rice and quinoa, legumes, nuts, seeds, organic lean meats and wild fish.

5 Easy Tips to Stay Healthy
5 Easy Tips to Stay Healthy
Lifestyle and daily habits are determining factors for a longer, quality life and keeping a strong and healthy immune system. Simple things that you do, or don't do, can help keep your body strong and maintain well-being in your mind. Here are 5 simple tips to stay healthy: Exercise and Practice Yoga Physically, exercising makes your immune system stronger. Even light exercise and yoga, will make you less susceptible to illness. It is known that physical activity is related to the production of brain chemicals, such as endorphins and serotonin, which increase the feeling of well-being, but for that, it is necessary to exercise regularly, not just occasionally. Studies reveal that a even few minutes of exercise, performed at a moderate pace, produce brain chemicals that stimulate a sense of well-being for up to 12 hours later. The recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the practice of a physical activity is to perform 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week.

Connecting with the Water Element
Connecting with the Water Element
Of all the five elements, the element of water most represents coolness, being in a flow state, and adaptability. When water meets an obstacle, it doesn’t break, burn, or become stuck. When water meets an obstacle, it goes around that obstacle. It always finds another way. When we connect with the energy of water, we also connect with the receptive, yin-energy, and the sacred feminine within. Someone with a water-state-of-mind has less of a “go-getter vibe” and more of a natural attitude of acceptance. A person with a water-state-of-mind may not seem to be striving in the traditional sense, but in the end, they get the desired result. In a way, this mindset allows one to more easily “go with the flow” and allow the outcome to come without chasing or striving.

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.

Vegan Peppermint Meringues
Vegan Peppermint Meringues
I am happy to announce that making vegan meringue is possible! After three failed attempts, I was slowly losing hope already, but this recipe here has been working for me already several times, so I am ready to share this with you. The secret, of course, lays in sugar. I always try to reduce white sugar in my baking, and this is why my first attempts failed. But now, to think about it – regular meringues contain a ton of sugar too, so I am afraid that there is no good way to cut sugar from meringues anyway. So these are with white sugar too. But they are treats anyway and not meant to be eaten too often. What I like about this recipe is that it is pretty much created out of nothing. The liquid from a jar of chickpeas is usually just thrown out anyway, and I don’t like throwing away food. Of course, most of the time, I still do not use the liquid (eating so many meringues would definitely not be good for me), so should you have more recipes for aquafaba, please share!

5 Inspiring Reasons to Practice Yoga Everyday for Better Mental Health
5 Inspiring Reasons to Practice Yoga Everyday for Better Mental Health
Have you ever heard someone say “I can’t practice yoga because I’m not flexible enough?” Maybe you’ve said it yourself! Truth is yoga encompasses so much more than the pretzel postures plastered all over Instagram. The physical practice of postures is just one aspect of yoga and the benefits of the other parts of yoga practice are just as transformative, if not more, than the workout. Here are 5 ways you can practice yoga right now, no mat, physical coordination, money, yoga pants, or muscle flexibility required. Try Something New The practice of yoga is unique in that it asks us to get outside our comfort zone. But you don’t have to have a mat to do that. Try a new food or a new route to work. Start a conversation with a stranger. Do a different workout. Try a new hobby or activity. If you’re intimidated by yoga because you’re afraid you’re not going to be able to do it right or you won’t be good at it, know that this is part of the process of the practice. Yoga asks us to intentionally show up to our discomfort.

Simple Things to Do to Believe In Yourself More
Simple Things to Do to Believe In Yourself More
Sometimes in life we get knocked off center. We CAN begin to doubt ourselves and struggle to find ways to trust ourselves, our strengths, beliefs, our knowledge, and our power. We can get knocked off center because of things that came up unexpectedly, or something we tried that didn’t go according to plan. Maybe a harsh word from another or ourselves that allowed self-doubt to creep in. The causes can be endless, but regardless of any cause, any cause of imbalance always rests at home in our mind and our thoughts. It is in the mind where we can hide out in the past or false truths, instead facing the untainted present with clarity and confidence. We can know all of this and yet still feel challenged to find the confidence to give things another try, or step out of our protective barriers. An easy way to restore confidence is to do something you know you do really well.

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.

Warm Shiitake and Pine Nut Salad
Warm Shiitake and Pine Nut Salad
During these cold, wintery months, it can be hard to get excited to eat a cold salad. That’s where this recipe comes in! Developed with award-winning chef Gabe Kennedy, our Warm Shiitake and Pine Nut Salad is the cure for your winter blues. This salad is the perfect cold-weather salad – it’s warming, delicious, and hearty enough to keep you feeling fuller longer. The nutritional stars of this recipe are the shiitake mushrooms – these unassuming fungi are packed with superfood properties. They’re high in B vitamins and contain all 8 essential amino acids. They also help support immune function, can aid in weight loss, and contain phytonutrients that support cardiovascular health. The other stars of this salad are the amazing flavors! The balsamic vinegar provides a lovely sweetness, the pine nuts add the perfect amount of crunch, and the arugula adds a sour tanginess – all combining to create a flavor profile that is earthy, grounding, and comforting.

Adaptogenic Coffee Creamer
Adaptogenic Coffee Creamer
We’re just wrapping up our January Group Cleanse and as we transition into our 80:20 eating, we know we’re not the only ones looking forward to reintroducing a warming caffeinated beverage into our morning routines. Our morning cup of coffee is one of the hardest things for many of us to give up during the 14-day cleanse, so we wanted to create a healthy take on this beloved energizing drink. We’ve come up with the perfect way to up-level your morning cup of joe – Adaptogenic Coffee Creamer! This creamer is packed with superfood properties and adds the perfect amount of creamy goodness to your favorite coffee.

Yes, What Goes Up, Must Come Down, But...
Yes, What Goes Up, Must Come Down, But...
Often times we hear the saying, “what goes up, must come down.” As someone who’s had their fair share of traumas, this phrase has been real throughout my healing journey. I call it, doom and gloom energy. It is a fear around things being good, and then not enjoying them when they are good, because you’re too busy waiting for what is going to go wrong and screw it all up! As I have explored this and still explore this within myself and clients, I have come to realize that yes, Newton was on to something when he said "what goes up, must come down", but no, what goes up doesn’t always need to come down with a crash landing. Transitions from one chapter or experience to the next, can be relatively smoothe and peaceful. Rather than a Newtonian approach, what if we looked at this concept in terms of airplanes.

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.

Fear of Failure vs. Fear of Success
Fear of Failure vs. Fear of Success
Fear of failure vs. fear of success. In writing it looks clear, sure plenty of people understandably have a fear of failure, but looks ridiculous why anyone would have fear of success. And yet it is common. I for one can put both hands up to say success terrifies me way more than failure. In fact, I sit quite easily with failure. Perhaps it’s because my self doubt convinced me a long time again that I would fail, so then if and when it happens I am prepared and I can say “I knew this would happen!” The saying whether you “believe you can or you can’t, you are absolutely right” rings true.

Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Before you go out and grab a box of conventional chocolates, you’ve got to check out this recipe. Our Vegan Chocolate Truffles are the most decadent, mind-blowing, rich and creamy chocolate truffles we’ve ever tasted! And trust me, we’ve had our share of chocolate. Store-bought chocolates unfortunately come with additives, preservatives, and lots of processed sugar, leaving you with a nasty sugar crash and an upset stomach. These truffles are guilt-free and won’t leave you with a sugar crash, plus a gift of homemade treats always means so much more than those bought from the store.

Yoga for Weight Loss: Flow and Let it Go
Yoga for Weight Loss: Flow and Let it Go
Have you ever felt out of balance: bloated and cluttered, without a clear mental focus? Yoga can help you lighten up and feel more energized and productive. Louise Hay, best-selling self-help author, connects all physical symptoms in the body to underlying emotional causes, and says weight-gain or excess weight, is symbolic of clinging to what no longer serves us. A regular yoga practice doesn’t simply make you look lean and flexible, but also helps you feel that way from the inside out. Don’t worry, we’re not here to tell you to strive for a “yoga body” like the images splashed all over social media. Yogis come in all shapes and sizes. Yoga is for every body and there’s a style and type of practice that works for each individual.

Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Body Confidence
Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Body Confidence
Yoga has a lot of benefits, from the physical to the mental. But did you know it can also boost your self confidence? Body confidence is something everyone should have. It helps you to be happy in life and with yourself, and be proud of yourself and the body you inhabit. Body confidence is believing in yourself, and not having self-doubt about your image. Yoga is one of the best ways to boost your body confidence. Here’s the ways in which it can improve how confident you feel in your body: Yoga boosts your focus

Yoga Expands Your Consciousness: Enjoy the Journey
Yoga Expands Your Consciousness: Enjoy the Journey
Yoga reminds us that having a human life is an awesome opportunity! It does not matter if you are physically beautiful, or materially rich. Yea it’s maybe some good karma, but what we do with the life we have is up to us. While each of us have a different set of circumstances, we have some capacity to create inner freedom. The superficial is not important to the yogi. The connection to cosmic consciousness is what's important. Through the practices of yoga the body will be its most beautiful, yet as yogis we are most interested in just that quality of consciousness. Higher states of consciousness which are possible through yoga, create a greater sense of connection to ourselves and the world around us. Life is limited, so take good care of your body so you can become conscious and be present for the adventure of your life as much as you can. Yoga allowed me the consciousness to remember that my time in my body is limited. It is something I remember, as I give thanks each morning when I awake from sleep. It is what inspires me to explore, and gives me the strength to be myself in the world and enjoy my time here. Yoga can also make us conscious enough to be braver.