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


10 Reasons Why Fear Can Be Good for You
10 Reasons Why Fear Can Be Good for You
Many people shy away from fear and see it as a negative, a danger and something to be avoided. However, fear can sometimes be good for you! Fear can keep you on your toes and help you experience new things. Here’s our top 10 reasons why a dose of fear every now and again can be good for you. Fear keeps you safe The fear instinct is the bodies’ internal danger alarm. The feelings of fear compel you to take action against danger. Without the fear instinct, you wouldn’t have an awareness of threats around you - so you wouldn’t be around very long! Fear gives you the flight or fight reaction to make decisions when you may be unsafe - such as if a car drives towards you when you’re crossing the road. Without fear - you wouldn’t be able to make a decision to help you stay safe.

Arm Balances as the Fountain of Youth
Arm Balances as the Fountain of Youth
Need to make a major shift in your perspective or boost your confidence? We’ve got you covered this week with poses designed to help you feel strong, focused, and humble. Whether you love to balance on your hands and take flight or if you fear falling on your face, this week we’ve got four classes for you to get engaged and turn your world upside down. These practices are empowering and invigorating. Regardless of how you feel about inversions, these postures are excellent for your circulation, mental focus, and overall mood. It’s helpful to use your full yoga practice to keep your spine flexible, your hips open, your core and upper body strong, and your attitude positive. You may have heard yoga called the Fountain of Youth, and often going upside down is what helps keep your skin glowing with the boost of fresh blood from the heart to the head.

Lightly Spiced Tomato Soup
Lightly Spiced Tomato Soup
I have had a problem for a few months already, but it is one of those good problems – how to eat all the beautiful produce I get?! In Estonia summers are rather short, which means that most of the crop is at its best at the same time – zucchini, tomatoes, cucumber, kale, you name it! And, even if I have my rooftop garden, my mother’s garden and my grandmother's garden, I still also like to go to the farmers market too, because, well, I love going to the market to look at the abundance of produce. I do need to hold myself back with shopping, though. I really really hate throwing away food and always try to eat everything from root to leaf, so I always try to make the most of everything I have. Oh, I wish I could somehow spread the harvest over the whole year! But I can’t, so this time of year my 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day is easily 15 or 20 portions of fruit and veggies, and everything else has to wait until I run out (although I do miss lentils and pasta already).

Yoga for Addiction Recovery: How it Heals the Mind, Body & Soul
Yoga for Addiction Recovery: How it Heals the Mind, Body & Soul
Addiction is a threefold disease. It affects the mind, body, and spirit in various ways. While there are many traditional methods of treating addiction with behavioral therapies, more and more programs are beginning to incorporate holistic methods into their treatment programs. By taking a holistic approach to treating addiction, the healing process occurs on the mind, body, and spirit. As a result, individuals in recovery are given tools to achieve and maintain lasting recovery. One holistic method that is becoming increasingly popular in the treatment industry is yoga. It is a safe, healthy, and natural medicine that can greatly enhance the recovery process. Since addiction affects the whole person, the whole person must be treated. Yoga allows people to learn how to connect the body, mind, and breath to focus their attention inward and gain self-awareness. Why Yoga?

Simple Ways to Show Love to Yourself & Others Regularly
Simple Ways to Show Love to Yourself & Others Regularly
Love, it makes the world go round. All you need is love. It’s so simple right? Actually, maintaining and nurturing loving relationships in our lives can take effort and practice. However, showing your love to others, as well as yourself, can make a huge positive impact in our lives. Love comes in many forms, from our significant others to family, to friends and even pets. Feeling loved can harbor a sense of caring, and inspires you to make others in your life feel good. It’s really quite contagious, so here’s our top ways to help you show love to others (and a few to show some love to yourself too). Listen to others

Practice Yoga with Love
Practice Yoga with Love
One of yoga’s most beautiful benefits is how it can shift your emotions in a pure, positive way. Even if you come to the practice for other reasons, your emotional makeup will transform, whether you’re trying to or not! Our subtle body, which is a blueprint of our physical body, contains our emotional energy. Through targeted practice, we can enhance how we feel. The subtle body contains the chakras or emotional energy centers. In order to feel more loving, we want to make sure our energy is balanced from the base of our spine or Muladhara (Root) Chakra to our Sahasrara (Crown) Chakra. In order to tap into your own heart and open to more love in your life, you’ve got to be willing to release fear. Yoga practices that create more space in the Anahata (Heart) Chakra will create space in your physical body to experience joy and love. The Anahata Chakra contains the essence of compassion and selflessness and symbolizes when we rise above our egos to care more for others than ourselves. Anahata is associated with the element of air, the color green, the sense of touch, and the thymus gland.

Jalapeño Cilantro Mezcal Margarita
Jalapeño Cilantro Mezcal Margarita
We thought this was the perfect time to share a Conscious Cocktail recipe! Since we eliminate alcohol during the cleanse, this recipe is a great way to transition into your 80:20 eating plan. For more information about our 80:20 Lifestyle Program, click here. This recipe features a spirit that got a lot of attention this summer – mezcal! Mezcal, like tequila, is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant. While tequila is only made from blue agave plants, mezcal can be made from any agave plant. When making mezcal, instead of steaming the agave before distilling as is customary for tequila production, the agave is cooked in large earthen ovens with charcoal and lava rocks. This is what gives mezcal its signature smoky taste.

Want to be a Traveling Yoga Teacher? Here's How to Mentally Prepare Yourself
Want to be a Traveling Yoga Teacher? Here's How to Mentally Prepare Yourself
Being “Nomadic” - the idea of traveling the world, bouncing from place to place doing as you’d like, exploring culture, exploring untapped parts of the world, and most importantly, better exploring yourself, is quite the popular trend these days. Often I get asked “how do you do it? How do you travel the world so much? What are you doing for work?” When my answer to them is: "I teach yoga", most people question how I do it. After all, teaching yoga isn't a job that is known to make you rich, nor fund you the needs to travel long-term. The short answer in how I travel and teach yoga is Yogatrade, which has allowed me to find teaching jobs all over the world. But to be honest, it takes a lot more than just finding a job to take a risk, leave your friends and family, and move across the world. If you've been playing with the idea of teaching yoga abroad, here are a few small steps to mentally prepare yourself:

Power Yoga: Everything You Need To Know
Power Yoga: Everything You Need To Know
If you’ve never tried this invigorating and fast-paced practice of power yoga, you might be wondering what it’s all about. Here’s our rundown on what power yoga is, where it came from, and how it might improve your health! What is Power Yoga Power Yoga - it sounds daunting, but what actually is it? Power yoga is a sequence of postures that are specially designed to build on strength, stamina and flexibility, all while being fast moving. Power Yoga is derived from the Ashtanga yoga tradition, which can be equally as physically demanding, but works through building heath in your body, and moving through the vinyasa sequences in a fast paced way. Unlike Ashtanga, power yoga practice doesn’t have a set sequence of postures, and any class can be different from the next. However, it will usually start with Sun Salutation poses, to build heat within your body, and will often feature a strong focus on yoga poses that will build up strength and get your heart pounding and body sweating - power yoga can be a full on cardio workout!

5 Reasons to Practice Power Yoga
5 Reasons to Practice Power Yoga
​Are you ready to feel empowered, strong, and challenged this week? Power Yoga is a sweaty Vinyasa flow class with increased intensity, usually through a faster pace or an emphasis on strength. Or both! While Power Yoga does focus more on the physical body than some more spiritual classes, you’ll still gain all the emotional and mental benefits too. Here are 5 reasons you should try these invigorating Power Yoga classes this week. 5 REASONS TO PRACTICE POWER YOGA 1. Build Stronger Muscles, Bones, and Joints

Healthy & Delicious Pumpkin Pesto
Healthy & Delicious Pumpkin Pesto
Pumpkin pesto? Most of you probably think I am nuts since surely pesto is made out of basil, right? Well – yes, and I LOVE traditional pesto, but since I have grandparents who grow pumpkins and there always seems to be too many of them I need to get creative, and I promise you, pumpkin pesto is the next big thing! If possible, then I always recommend choosing smaller pumpkins, since they tend to have more flavor. My favorite is Hokkaido, which in addition to being ultra-tasty is also extremely high in protein. Just as the traditional pesto, my pumpkin pesto contains parmesan cheese. My diet is strongly plant-focused, but I am not vegan or even vegetarian, so I go for parmesan in this recipe, but if you prefer a vegan option, it can be substituted with nutritional yeast.

5 Benefits Of Doing Surya Namaskar Early In The Morning
5 Benefits Of Doing Surya Namaskar Early In The Morning
Surya Namaskar, also known as Sun Salutations, is a set of helpful yoga asanas that can open up a world of benefits for your physical and mental health. As the name suggests, Surya Namaskar means bowing in reverence to the sun. The sun is the source of all life forms on our planet. Solar energy is the most nourishing life force, without which all living beings (plants, animals, and humans) would cease to exist. In yoga, the Surya Namaskar is a practice that seeks to pay homage to the sun and show gratitude for the importance it holds in our daily lives. While Surya Namaskar is a healthy exercise for your body whenever it is practiced, early morning hours are popularly considered the best and most auspicious for these asanas. Early morning is usually when it is calm outside, helping your mind to also be at its most peaceful and still. This meditative state is beneficial when practicing Surya Namaskar. It allows you to awaken your body, focus your mind, and experience a feeling of gratitude as you begin a new day.

5 Reasons to Add Pilates to Your Routine Today
5 Reasons to Add Pilates to Your Routine Today
We’re excited to share a unique new program, which is the perfect fusion of Pilates and yoga, from Claire Petretti Marti. While Pilates and yoga have some similarities, in practice, they are quite different. The fusion of these two practices offers unparalleled benefits for your body, mind, and spirit. The two modalities complement each other and adding Pilates to your current routine can help you take your yoga practice to the next level. What is Pilates? Pilates is an exercise method created by Joseph Pilates and documented in his 1945 book, Pilates Return to Life Through Contrology. In Pilates, the core is called the Powerhouse and the emphasis is on strengthening the deep abdominals, the obliques, and the back in order to create a resilient support system to protect the spine. Joseph Pilates believed that age isn’t gauged by years, but by the suppleness of the spine.

If You Love Yoga, Here's Why You Should Try Pilates
If You Love Yoga, Here's Why You Should Try Pilates
If you practice yoga, Pilates can help to complement your yoga practice. Yogis who practice pilates as well, can create greater stability, better alignment and have stronger cores. This deeper strength can give greater control over your movements, allowing you to move between poses and hold them for longer. Pilates is an 85 year old system of body conditioning, which can complement asana practice. It’s focus is on building and engaging a strong core - essential for advanced yoga poses. It was developed by Joseph Pilates, who studied a number of forms of exercise including yoga to come up with the practice. Similarly to yoga, the focus is on connecting the mind and body to create the movement, but the movements themselves are very different. How Pilates and yoga are different is that while yoga holds each pose for a while, or flows through in vinyasas, Pilates is a practice which one repeats precise movements up to ten times in a rhythmic flow. The method to pilates is an emphasis on the controlled flow of movement.

Apple Pie Smoothie
Apple Pie Smoothie
The mornings are getting cooler here in Colorado, the leaves are changing up in the mountains, and the Fall Equinox is less than a week away (where did the summer go?!). The change of season always brings a new crop of fruits and veggies into season which makes it that much more exciting. Apples are one of our favorite autumn fruits, so we wanted to share a smoothie recipe we’ve been loving lately – Apple Pie Smoothie! This smoothie tastes like fall in a glass, and gives you all the apple pie flavor you love without all the added sugar. Apples a great source of fiber, plus they’re rich in immune-boosting vitamin C and antioxidants. Even though they contain naturally occurring sugars, they have a low glycemic index because of their high fiber content, making them a great low sugar option. Besides adding great flavor, Ceylon cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar levels, making this the perfect smoothie to enjoy when you’re craving something sweet but want to avoid the mid-morning crash. As the mornings get colder, you can make this a warm smoothie by heating up the almond milk in a saucepan over low to medium heat. What’s your favorite fall treat?

5 Surprising Benefits of Yoga on Oral Health
5 Surprising Benefits of Yoga on Oral Health
Yoga is a great way to stay healthy and keeping the body supple. However, it offers amazing benefits to oral health as well. Thanks to these benefits, you must consider incorporating yoga in your life for your dental care. 5 benefits of yoga on dental health include: Reduced Inflammation High stress levels cause an increase in the production of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. This increases inflammation which will worsens the swelling of gums if you suffer from them. Gum swelling will increase the risk of gum diseases.

Top 10 Ways to Avoid Procrastination
Top 10 Ways to Avoid Procrastination
We’ve all probably experienced procrastination whether its at school, at work or in our home lives. Some tasks and chores just seem impossible to keep focused on, and procrastination can seriously hinder our productivity levels. Here’s 10 ways to help avoid procrastination. 1. Get Organized You won’t be able to get anything done if you don’t know what actually needs doing! Buy a planner, use apps, or set up your own personal organisational system to keep track of all tasks and assignments that need doing, and by when. This will make it easier to stay on track and know what needs doing, and when. 2. Set achievable goals

Yoga for Focus & Motivation
Yoga for Focus & Motivation
​After a great yoga practice, you’ve probably experienced how your mind feels more clear, calm, and balanced. Many practitioners find the mental benefits of yoga to be the most important, even more than a strong, supple body. Who doesn’t want to be focused, motivated, and able to experience life to the fullest? This week’s classes will release stress and boost your ability to focus and motivate yourself. Interested in why and how yoga does this? Step back about 5,000 years and tap into the wisdom of the Yoga Sutras. Yoga Sutra 1.2 Citta Vritti Nirodhah is often translated as: Yoga is the ability to direct the mind without distraction or interruption. This skill is difficult, takes constant practice over time, but can be achieved! Patanjali outlines a practical how-to manual to reach a state of yoga: the eight-limbed yoga path. The eight limbs are:

Simple Pearl Barley Salad
Simple Pearl Barley Salad
The autumn is slowly sneaking in here in Estonia, and for me, it always means some changes on my menu. I still love salads, but instead of leafy greens that are main heroes in my summer salads, they are now a little heartier. Hence barley in today’s delicious bowlful. Barley is somewhat a national food for us Estonians, or at least it used to be. It is traditionally cooked with potatoes and pork, and then lightly mashed to something called ‘Mulgipuder.’ Mulgipuder is often served with crispy fried pork fat (greaves in English, I think) and sour cream. I don’t even remember when was the last time I had it, but now thinking about it I just started graving it… Especially the leftovers heated up on a frying pan, so it turns nice and crispy… mmm! Talking about Estonian kitchens, it is traditionally a cross between German (sausages and sauerkraut) and Russian (potatoes, a lot of meat, soups) but today leaning more towards the clean Scandinavian kitchens. So here was a sneak peek to Estonian cuisine.

Coconut Oil 101: 8 Health & Nutritional Benefits of this Superfood
Coconut Oil 101: 8 Health & Nutritional Benefits of this Superfood
Coconut oil is truly a superfood. It stands out from all other oils due to its extremely high nutritional content. If you’re already consuming coconut oil regularly, that’s great! We will provide you with information on how it benefits your body. If you don’t regularly consume coconut oil, you might want to try incorporating it into your diet by the end of this. Let’s get started! Coconut Oil is Anti-Microbial Coconut oil has been known to kill harmful microorganisms in your body. It contains helpful fatty acids that do this, specifically Lauric acid. Lauric acid accounts for around 50% of all the fatty acids found in coconut oil. Once you digest the coconut oil, the Lauric acid creates a different substance in your body called monolaurin. Together, these two things have been scientifically proven to kill any harmful pathogens in your body. Whether it’s bacteria, fungi, or even a virus, coconut oil has the power to kill them.

6 Easy Life Hacks to Fit Yoga into Your Busy Schedule
6 Easy Life Hacks to Fit Yoga into Your Busy Schedule
Life is pretty busy, and although we might love the idea of slowing down, taking some time for ourselves, and reaping the benefits yoga practice promises, sometimes in practice, it can be hard to simply just find the time. Yoga urges you to slow down, but sometimes, work, housework, responsibility and family duties don’t give you an opportunity for some time off to roll out your mat. If you’re finding it hard to juggle a busy schedule, you might have brushed off yoga as something you just don’t have time for, and start denying yourself those minutes in the day that are just for you. Taking time for yourself is important, and yoga can massively benefit both your physical and mental health - so don’t be so quick to write it off as something not important. Even the busiest of people can benefit from all yoga has to offer - here’s some tips on how to fit yoga into your busy schedule. Keep Your Yoga Mat in Eyesight

Yoga Quickies for Busy People
Yoga Quickies for Busy People
Leading a full life is a blessing. Leading a life where you feel you don’t have time to take care of your own well-being is a problem. In order to live your best life, you must carve out time to refill your own well. Balance is key to achieving a joyous fulfilling life. We’re here to help you with four quick powerful classes so you don’t sacrifice your yoga practice! We know you’re busy, so we’ll keep this short. Here are three tips to keep your yoga practice on track, no matter what other commitments you are managing in your life. 1. Schedule your yoga time in your planner: When you write down what yoga class you’re going to take in your calendar, it’s part of your daily schedule. You don’t need to waste time pondering if you have time. You do have time––written out clearly in black and white. 2. Remind yourself of how you’ll feel, even with a short time commitment: You’ll feel stronger, more flexible, more relaxed, and also more energetic. Your sleep will deepen, and your posture will improve. The mental benefits of a quick yoga practice are incredible: you can return to your work day with heightened concentration and a clear mind. 3. Practice first thing in the morning: Prioritize your personal yoga practice and do it first, maybe even before your morning coffee or tea. Set your alarm for twenty minutes earlier than usual if necessary. Unexpected events often arise once your day gets going and can steal your scheduled yoga time. If you take care of yourself first, you’ll be better equipped to handle your day, no matter how busy it is! Have a wonderful week!

Sugar Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins
Sugar Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins
Today’s recipe is entirely free from refined sugar, but I promise than nobody will miss anything. The banana adds just enough sweetness, and the darker your bananas are, the sweeter they will be. Since I really hate food waste, I sometimes deliberately pick out the darkest bananas from the market, bring them home, slice and store them in the freezer to be used in smoothies, banana bread and in these little muffins. Sometimes I come home with a full box of bananas because they look so sad on the counter and otherwise they would be just thrown out in the evening. So I sometimes think about myself as a banana savior. Since I love overripe bananas it is a very simple saving job for me, so win-win. In addition to being sugar-free these little nuggets here are also wheat-free and if you choose gluten free oats even gluten-free. Preparing these muffins could not be any easier, and the most time-consuming part is swirling in the peanut butter on top of the muffins. For me, these extra swirls are 100% worth the effort, but you can skip this to save an extra 5 minutes of your time.

8 Reasons Why Men with Back Pain Should Practice Yoga
8 Reasons Why Men with Back Pain Should Practice Yoga
Back pain is a serious problem in the modern day with 80% of Americans expected to experience it at some point during their lifetime. So, any activity that can help to guard against it should be welcomed right? Well, this is exactly what yoga can do. As the flexibility and increased range of motion it gives you can really take the pressure and strain off your back throughout the day. While the core strength you’ll gain will keep your back better supported while also improving your posture. However, despite these benefits most yoga classes continue to be dominated by women as many men remain reluctant to give it a try. But why is this?

11 Quick Ways to Manage Stress and Feel More Relaxed
11 Quick Ways to Manage Stress and Feel More Relaxed
Stress and anxiety are all to common in the modern world. In fact, up to 70% of adults say they feel stressed or anxious on a daily basis. There are many ways to combat stress of anxiety, but if you’re having a bad day and need a quick fix, here are some quick ways to manage stress and feel more relaxed. Work out Exercise is one of the simplest ways you can relieve stress. It may make you scratch your head, but actually, the physical stress that you put your body through during exercise can actually help to relieve mental stress. Try to work out regularly to reap the most benefits. This is because of stress hormones. Working out and moving your body can reduce the stress hormones in your body, and can also release endorphins, which improve your mood. Working out can also improve sleep quality, which can be a major cause of stress. Think about your mood the last time you didn’t get enough sleep - the two are very intricately connected! Exercise can also boost your confidence, and introduce a new fun hobby into your life!