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


Good Morning Flows
Good Morning Flows
You’ve heard the expression “waking up on the wrong side of the bed,” right? Well, some days when your alarm goes off, you and want to burrow beneath the covers instead of getting up and facing the day. Our emotions and moods are always changing. And depending on what’s going on in your life, you may be facing serious challenges at work or in your relationships. We can’t control a lot of what’s happening around us, but we can take steps to control our reaction to them. Yoga and meditation are powerful tools to help us create tangible space in our reaction time to external events. No matter what’s happening in your day to day, practicing yoga in the morning sets you up for a positive experience.

Aligning Your Plate with Your Practice: Nutritional Philosophies for Yogis
Aligning Your Plate with Your Practice: Nutritional Philosophies for Yogis
As you know, a meaningful yoga lifestyle is about far more than poses and attending classes. At its best, any yoga practice is part of a holistically positive and aligned way of living. One essential component of this is making dietary choices that best support your practice. Nutritional philosophy has historically been a central part of yoga. Nevertheless, it’s worth looking a little closer at how you can leverage traditions and modern nutritional knowledge to fuel your body in a way that’s right for you. The first step to aligning your plate with your yoga practice is getting a better understanding of nutrition. Let’s start with the definition. At its core, nutrition is the way your body uses food and other elements to nourish itself. It’s a process that supports the various basic needs of your holistic wellness. This is why balance is so often considered vital in nutrition. Different food groups — fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins, among others — give your body specific fuels. When these are unbalanced or the body is missing something, it can impact performance and your experience.

Moon Energy Yoga
Moon Energy Yoga
Ready to align with the moon? February 10th marked the Lunar New Year, which celebrates the New Year based on the lunar calendar. This week, we’ve got four classes designed to attune your physical and subtle body to the energetics of the moon. Light can’t exist without darkness and vice-versa. Hatha is the physical practice of yoga and “Ha” means sun and “tha” means moon. The sun provides us with light and life, but the moon wields significant power on the Earth and on us. On a grand scale, the moon controls the ocean tides with its gravitational pull. About 71% of the earth is covered by water of which the oceans are 95%. So, as the moon waxes and wanes, it influences everything from fishermen’s livelihood to tsunamis to daredevils surfing fifty-foot waves off the coast of Nazaré. Of course we all feel the moon’s impact on our moods and emotions so aligning with the moon’s energy can be really impactful.

Core and Spine Love
Core and Spine Love
A strong core and a healthy spine go hand in hand. Visualize the muscles of your core, which include your abdominals, back, and glutes, as a natural girdle supporting your spine. Keeping these muscles strong and supple will protect your spine, improve your posture, maintain and improve alignment, and help you avoid lower back pain. Whether you’re taking a yoga class specifically designed to focus on core/spine health or a core/Pilates class, you’ll garner these benefits. Back pain is often the result of weak abdominals, tight hip flexors, and inflexible hamstrings. It’s vital to ensure all three of these elements are addressed to keep your core and spine in optimal health.

And Breathe
And Breathe
B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the yoga teachers credited with bringing yoga to the West taught that pranayama was more advanced than asana. In his classes, he instructed his students to master the physical postures prior to attempting pranayama techniques. Pranayama allows you to sink into deeper meditation. A well-rounded yoga practice includes asana, pranayama, and meditation. What is Pranayama? Pranayama is the practice of extending and regulating your prana or life force. Simply by focusing on mindful breathing, we can learn to change the way we feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. Simply by utilizing different techniques, you can calm your nervous system, boost your energy, quiet your mind, and soothe your emotions. Pranayama gives you the ability to manage your prana.

Yoga on the Go: Crafting a Portable Practice for Traveling Instructors
Yoga on the Go: Crafting a Portable Practice for Traveling Instructors
Most yogis practice at a well-established studio with all the equipment needed to run a great practice. This means yogis can play music, perform equipped poses, and allow newcomers to borrow things like blocks and bands. However, you don’t necessarily need to practice from the same space year-round. In fact, taking your yoga on the road may be the perfect way to learn new flows, connect with other practitioners, and earn some extra cash. Yoga on the go is perfect if you’re traveling but still want to maintain your fitness, too. Even a simple session with a mat, a clean space, and thirty minutes of free time can clear your mind and improve your health.

Yoga with Style
Yoga with Style
Are you ready to mix it up on your mat? Yoga fusion classes run the gambit of combining yoga with weights, barre, Pilates, HIIT, cardio––the variety is part of the fun! These special classes emphasize getting stronger, but also staying flexible. Whether you are short on time but want to fit in your fitness and your yoga or whether you get bored easily, we’ve got some awesome classes for you.

Short and Effective Classes for Yogis on the Go
Short and Effective Classes for Yogis on the Go
Can you believe we’re more than halfway through January? If you started the year out with the intention to expand or maintain your yoga practice, how is it going? If life has gotten busy and you over-estimated just how much time you actually have, we’re here to make it easier for you to be consistent with your yoga routine. Don’t waste energy stressing about why you’ve not had time to practice yoga as frequently as you would like. Instead, focus on how you can fit in your yoga, even when you’re short on time. Consistency is key to feeling balanced, strong, and flexible. Quality not quantity! You don’t need an hour or ninety-minute practice to garner all the mind, body, and spiritual benefits of yoga. Even fifteen to twenty-minute classes will help you find a better mood, vibrant energy, and a stronger more supple body. Practicing yoga several times a week is an investment in your health––both inside and out. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali referred to yoga as a process of being a gardener or farmer. Each yoga practice is planting seeds for your future health and well-being. You might not see the benefits today but you’re setting yourself up to feel your best tomorrow and beyond.

Yoga All the Time
Yoga All the Time
“The very heart of yoga practice is ‘abyhasa’ steady effort in the direction you want to go.” ― Sally Kempton Has someone told you that you MUST practice yoga in the mornings or the evenings or when the moon is full or fill-in-the-blank? It’s simply not true. No hard and fast rules exist. The best time to practice is when you can step onto the mat! In our busy lives, every day can be different and so you can adapt your practice based on your schedule. One of the greatest benefits of practicing yoga at home or on the road is you choose. There are advantages of practicing at different times.

Unlocking the Power of Yogi Ideals: Transforming Every Aspect of Your Life
Unlocking the Power of Yogi Ideals: Transforming Every Aspect of Your Life
For most people, yoga represents a reprieve from everyday life. While on your mat, you can put your troubles aside and work on your strength, balance, and mobility. However, the Yogi ideals can make life off the mats that much more fulfilling, too. Yogi ideals can have a profound impact on the way you view life and help you develop self-love and awareness during your everyday life. The Yogi ideals can help you make better decisions, too. Following the yogi way of life can reduce the harm you cause and help you move through the world with grace, mindfulness, and love.

Twist it Out
Twist it Out
Like a spark of lightning or a crash of thunder, our lives can transform in a flash. We can’t control external events, but we can control our reaction to them. Think of your yoga mat as the preparation zone for the rest of your day. Life isn’t linear, it’s a winding twisting journey so why not twist it out on your mat first? Twists are an excellent way to invite in a feeling of lightness, to release negative thoughts and emotions, to keep your spine healthy, and to benefit your internal organs. Here are 3 ways twists help. This week’s classes focus on twisting postures, not simply to benefit your physical body but serve as a tool to navigate life’s twists and turns. Enjoy!

No Mat (No Excuses!) Standing Yoga
No Mat (No Excuses!) Standing Yoga
Consistency is a concept we discuss frequently in yoga. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1:14 states, sa tu dirghakala nairantarya satkarasevito drdhabhumih: Practice that is done for a long time, without break and with sincere devotion becomes a firmly rooted, stable, and solid foundation. In other words, you must be consistent in your yoga practice to reap the physical, emotional, and mental benefits. A few classes here and there won’t do it. Sometimes it’s simply not feasible to practice full length classes regularly at a studio. One of the biggest benefits of online yoga with us is you can practice anytime and anywhere. Consistency and discipline looks different for all of us. If you’re a YogaDownload yogi, you understand the importance of yoga most days. If you only have fifteen minutes, you can squeeze in a quick practice at home or when you’re traveling. On the days you have plenty of time for a longer class, great! It’s more about the commitment to settling into your breath and movement each day, no excuses.

Yoga for the Holidays
Yoga for the Holidays
Whether you celebrate Hannukah, Christmas, or Kwanza, it’s that hectic yet slow time of the year. Add in that we’re in the midst of Mercury Retrograde––the time when the planet of communication is traveling backward––and you may be feeling off your game. It’s the time of year to release expectations and attachment to how the next few weeks will unfold. According to Patanjali’s Eight Limbed-Yoga Path, the final Yama is Aparigraha which is: A=”not”, the absence of, the freedom from Parigraha=hoarding or collecting. In other words, Aparigraha means not being greedy and not attaching too much importance to possessions, outcomes, and even relationships. Yes, this concept can be confusing. In relation to the holidays, it can be a reminder not to worry too much about what you cannot control.

Yin for the Win
Yin for the Win
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year! Despite our best intentions to maintain our healthy routines and remain balanced and grounded, we often find ourselves feeling stressed out. If you usually practice active, flowing styles of yoga, it might be the perfect time to slow down and focus more on Yin yoga to tide you over to 2024. Yin yoga is a quieter style of yoga that soothes your nerves and relaxes your fascia, tendons, and ligaments. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced yogi, you can adapt Yin yoga to your individual abilities and needs.

In a Flow State
In a Flow State
It may sound like a contradiction to discuss flowing and stillness as co-existing, but they actually go hand in hand. Learning to still or quiet your mind and focus on your breath flowing through your body enables you to find your zone, where you stop doing and you’re simply being. When you’re able to filter out distractions, you’re able to access a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process. Perhaps you feel in the zone when you are totally immersed in a favorite activity, like running, surfing, dancing, or gardening.

Mobility = Flexibility
Mobility = Flexibility
You may have heard the terms flexibility and mobility used interchangeably but although they are complementary, there are distinctions. Think of flexibility as the muscle’s ability to stretch passively. Mobility incorporates flexibility but also requires strength to actively move a joint through its full range of motion. It’s important to work on both flexibility and mobility and guess what? Yoga provides a way to improve and maintain both. Mobility and flexibility provide a myriad of benefits to help you feel your best. The combination of both helps you move your body through your full range of motion, whether you’re swinging a golf club, picking up a heavy box, or flowing through chatarangua dandasana. When your muscles are tight or inflexible, they can create restriction of the joints and restrict range of motion.

How to Conquer Travel Anxiety
How to Conquer Travel Anxiety
Traveling is often considered an exciting experience. Unfortunately, not everyone finds the process to be entirely positive. If you live with travel anxiety, your symptoms can put a serious dent in something that should really give you great cause for joy and enrichment. The good news is that you’re not powerless here. Some knowledge, preparation, and a few techniques can help you manage and even overcome your anxiety. This can help free your mind and body to fully drink in all the positive attributes travel has to offer. Travel anxiety is a difficult experience, but there are tools to address it. Get to know what the causes are and adopt relevant preparation and coping strategies. That said, it’s worth also generally building anxiety-reducing methods into your wider lifestyle. This can empower you to both enjoy greater day-to-day wellness as well as preparing you to make effective adjustments when traveling.

Empower and Energize
Empower and Energize
Are you ready to feel energized and empowered and embark upon your day? Or do you just feel like lounging on your couch or staying in bed with the covers over your head? If you’ve been feeling stressed out or simply lethargic, yoga is one of the most powerful ways to lift your spirits and feel better. Often, we feel depleted because we are focusing on external events, or we’ve slipped into a pattern of being sedentary. This week, take some time to rebuild your strength, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Choose Your Mindset Each Morning
Choose Your Mindset Each Morning
How do you usually begin your day? And have you noticed how different your day is depending on whether you start out with a ritual or start out running around? Mindset or perception is everything and is a vital concept in yoga philosophy. According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, humans suffer because of our perception. If we can change our viewpoint, if we can polish the lens through which we see the world, we will encounter less suffering.

Slow & Low, That’s the Tempo
Slow & Low, That’s the Tempo
We’ve just survived another time change! In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re moving into Winter with shorter days and much, much longer nights. Even if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and entering summer, you’ve experienced a change in nature, as well. We’re all connected to the earth and life flows along so much more smoothly when we align with the changes in season. Transitions are excellent moments to breathe and experience the shifts. If you usually gravitate toward intense style yoga classes because you feel like you need more work, why not try something different! We promise that a slow flow class won’t be boring or effortless.

Hone Your Technique
Hone Your Technique
Renowned yoga teacher, B.K.S. Iyengar based his system of yoga on proper alignment. He backed up his methods with theory that resonated not just when he was alive but stands the test of time, regardless of what style of yoga you practice. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned yogi––technique matters. There is no perfect pose, but by learning what works best for your body, you can create a yoga practice that will help you feel your best, inside and out. We all have different anatomies, starting from our bones, our joints, our muscles, and our innate ability to move. You don’t have to be naturally flexible or strong to practice yoga.

Unravel from Travel
Unravel from Travel
Hello fellow travelers, how are you feeling this week? Have you been consistent in your practice? Are you feeling grounded yet energized, calm yet revitalized? If you’re on the road right now or just returned from a vacation or work trip, it’s possible you’ve skipped yoga and regular workouts. You’re not alone but never fear, we’re here to keep you on track and/or ignite your desire to step back onto your mat. Part of why we created YogaDownload is for yogis who prefer to practice at home. But another part of our vision was to provide a portable platform (hello App!) so you can maintain your flexibility, mobility, and fitness when you’re on the road. And once you’ve returned home, you can press play and center yourself in familiar territory. Stepping back into your routine will have you feeling balanced in no time.

How Yoga Can Offer a Lifeline in the Teen Insomnia Epidemic
How Yoga Can Offer a Lifeline in the Teen Insomnia Epidemic
We like to stereotype teenagers when it comes to their sleep habits and brush off the idea of a tired teen as typical laziness, especially when we see this stereotype frequently in the media. But, teen sleep problems are very real. According to the CDC, 7 out of 10 teenagers don’t get enough sleep on school nights. It’s recommended that teens should sleep 8-10 hours each night, and when that doesn’t happen, it puts them at risk of both mental and physical health issues. Yoga can provide a lifeline for teens who are struggling to get enough sleep. Unfortunately, yoga is often another thing that tends to be stereotyped and stigmatized, especially with younger audiences.

Reset and Renew: Take a Break!
Reset and Renew: Take a Break!
You know how you’re accustomed to powering off your phone or computer when it’s not working properly? You’ve tried everything else but sometimes the only thing that fixes the issue is shutting it down. Allow the screen to fade to black and hit the pause button before starting over fresh. Well, sometimes, we need to power off our brains, our bodies, and our hearts. Between global events and our personal lives, sometimes it is simply time for a total reset. By implementing rituals like yoga, meditation, and pranayama, we can clear out the noise from the inside out and reset our systems to better handle whatever may be unfolding next in our lives.

Why Lower Body Mobility is So Important
Why Lower Body Mobility is So Important
Take a moment and recall how you felt the last time you stood up after spending hours sitting at your desk or taking a long drive. How was your posture? How did your lower back feel? This week we’re digging into how important it is to keep your hips and legs mobile and flexible. Our lower bodies house the body’s largest muscles and our hip joints are impacted by several muscles, ligaments, and tendons. For you to move your lower body––walk, dance, run, practice yoga––the hip flexors, extensors, abductors, adductors, and rotators must be strong yet supple. The pelvis needs to be stable but also mobile. Think of your lower body as the foundation to staying physically fit.