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


The Inspiration Download: Interview with Pakistan-Based Yoga Teacher Ria Pereira
The Inspiration Download: Interview with Pakistan-Based Yoga Teacher Ria Pereira
The Inspiration Download interview series features different people who are bringing ideas to life and sharing something with the world that they are passionate about, whether it's through teaching yoga, creating a business, doing work in their community, creating art, hosting events, bringing to life new wellness products, or more. These interviews highlight real people who have brought ideas to life and give real-life insight and inspiration on their processes and journey. Ria Pereira is a yoga instructor from Karachi Pakistan on a mission to help people love themselves and lead them towards a healthy lifestyle. She also has a passion to bake cakes and brownies to add more sweetness to one’s life. What are you passionate about sharing with the world and why? How does this inspire you?

How to Deal with Grieving Normalcy a Year into the Pandemic
How to Deal with Grieving Normalcy a Year into the Pandemic
Our homes and our minds both have the ability to be our sanctuary and personal prison depending on what we may be experiencing in a given moment. As we enter into our 1 year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic I personally have experienced the highs and lows on a daily, weekly, or moment to moment basis. A lot has come up in as I am sure it has for you, and the feeling I notice bubbling up lately is grief. We have been facing uncertainty at an extreme level for about a year now, on top of the organic uncertainty we face by simply having the human experience. Some of us are grieving connection, how we thought work would look or feel, life prior to the pandemic, loved ones, births where limited people were able to be there and you were masked (because there was a deadly pandemic in the same building you were birthing a child), first years of college, high school, or elementary school, canceled or delayed weddings and funerals, jobs, a big move, putting yourself on the market to start dating, your first year as a teacher and you’re doing it virtually, you name it, and the list goes on and on. Your grief is extremely valid.

Anahata Heart Chakra: Doing Your Best is Perfect
Anahata Heart Chakra: Doing Your Best is Perfect
I have struggled with perfectionism my whole life. If you’re anything like me, your ego carries a dialogue within you that charges up your desire to be the best or do it best. I have noticed in my own shadow work that words my ego creates around this energy that is essentially draining, impossible to achieve, filled with loads of effort, and yet like the dangling carrot in front of my face meant to be endlessly chased. One of the key insights that came about as I looked within myself to work with this energy was a simple yet profound exchange of energy I could create within my body, most especially my fourth chakra, the Anahata or Heart Chakra, which I see as a space that holds shape for the energy that codes my self-esteem. This is the energy center where many of us hold the keys to our self-esteem.

The Inspiration Download: Interview with German Yoga Teacher Sandra Bracy-Toscani
The Inspiration Download: Interview with German Yoga Teacher Sandra Bracy-Toscani
The Inspiration Download interview series features different people who are bringing ideas to life and sharing something with the world that they are passionate about, whether it's through teaching yoga, creating a business, doing work in their community, creating art, hosting events, bringing to life new wellness products, or more. These interviews highlight real people who have brought ideas to life and give real-life insight and inspiration on their processes and journey. This session is with Sandra Bracy-Toscani, a Berlin, Germany based yoga teacher. Sandra's Bio: My journey began in chaos. I was insecure with talking in front of people, I oftentimes had panic attacks & not to mention, an issue with self-love and self-esteem. Better to say I never experienced high self-esteem and self-love. I, always being attached to men, subconsciously put them in front of me. A position I should have held for myself. Until one day I decided I wanted more from my life, and so my story began. I began to stand up for ME. I began to connect with ME.

6 Tips to Stay Positive This Year
6 Tips to Stay Positive This Year
Now that 2020 is behind us and we're settling into 2021, it’s time to start looking ahead to the future, even though we're still living in a pandemic. Given how difficult the past year has been for all of us around the world, if you’re having a hard time thinking positively, you’re not alone. There’s no guarantee 2021 will be perfect, but with the right attitude, you can still make the most of the year ahead. Here are 6 simple tips to foster and maintain a positive outlook throughout the year: 1. Commit to Positivity Life is full of challenges and the only thing that really matters is how you respond to them. Instead of reacting to difficult situations with negativity or fear, embrace the opportunity to rise above.

10 Tips to Detox from Social Media
10 Tips to Detox from Social Media
The irony of reading this on a screen and possibly linked from a social media post is obvious. Social media is not all bad, and in fact, allows us to access a vast array of useful information and connection with one another. However, many of us have become unknowingly addicted to social media, our devices, and endless browsing, to which there are real downsides. Like anything else, the key is balance. The purpose of these tips is not to villainize social media, or torture ourselves by abstaining from things we like or disconnecting people we love. It's about leaving room to be more present, and in the moment, versus always thinking ahead to how you're going to share something with your audience, being distracted by your phone all the time, or stuck in loops of comparison.

Love Your Body & Stop Obsessing Over Your Weight
Love Your Body & Stop Obsessing Over Your Weight
Here is a novel idea – What if we measured our weight by laughter and contentment instead of pounds and kilos? If we stopped obsessing about how much we weigh and lived more by our worth as a person. If the saying – you are worth your weight in gold became a marker of our potential to live to. Wouldn’t our world be a better place and wouldn’t we each live a brighter existence? In a morning conversation about how we did not value our bodies when we were younger, I was thinking how can we instill value to our youth, where they grow up loving and appreciating their bodies for what they do and feel, over how they look. How can we gift this to our sons and daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren?

Slow Down, Check In, & Chill Out
Slow Down, Check In, & Chill Out
Can I be honest with you? Sometimes I get burnt out, grumpy, and in a funk. Just like many of you, I fall into the trap of the glorifying of busyness. Subconsciously I believe that I’m not doing a good enough job if I’m not running from one thing to the next, crossing things off my list, working late into the night and then rising in the wee hours of the morning to work again. As much as it benefits others, my career of massage and yoga education is not immune to stressful deadlines and schedules. Today a friend innocently asked me “so, how are you?” When I paused long enough to bypass the automatic answer of “fine,” I realized that I don’t know how I truly am doing. I haven’t made enough time to check in and listen lately.

The Courage to Stand Still
The Courage to Stand Still
"One hundred actions are not worth as much as one moment of stillness" - Xiang Zhai Standing still is perhaps the most contradictory activity in which we can engage. While we are seemingly doing “nothing” in fact we are challenging ourselves both physically and mentally, using every muscle in our bodies, strong, deliberate breath and an iron-willed focus. All to do that which our culture regards with little respect. To many, to stand still is to stagnate. To lose momentum. Not to keep up with progress. The truth is, many consider standing still as actually falling behind. Yet standing still has taught me valuable lessons. It allows me to be inside myself. Instead of always wanting to be the busy one, the active one, the catalyst, standing still allows me to watch.

10 Ways to Give Back
10 Ways to Give Back
Giving something back, aka philanthropy, isn’t a new concept. Being generous has been a part of our everyday lives for decades, and is an integral part of our modern society. However, giving back doesn’t have to be hard. Yes, there are those that dedicate themselves to philanthropy, but you can also do something as simple as carrying groceries for a neighbor. Any act of kindness, big or small, can have a positive impact on social issues, wellness, and community spirit. Isn't that the world we want to live in in 2020? Here are some small ways you can give back. 1. Volunteer Your Time

10 Free Ways to Chill Out Right Now
10 Free Ways to Chill Out Right Now
It's too easy to be on edge all the time these days. Technology addiction, political tension, being busy all of the time. Many of us are plagued with some or all of these things on a daily basis. More and more of us are reporting feelings of anxiety regularly. It's important we do things regularly to counteract feelings of tension, and let our minds and bodies unwind, chill out, and relax. We're all unique, so it's important we search around for things that work for us. However, it doesn't always have to cost a therapy session, or big trip to allow yourself to relax. There are things you can do, right now, that are completely free, that can help you relax and chill out. Here are 10 free ways to relax, right now:

How to Incorporate Self-Care into Your Daily Life
How to Incorporate Self-Care into Your Daily Life
Self-care is an all-encompassing term that we tend to hear a lot, but what actually is self care, and why is it important? Self-care means taking care of your body, mind and soul - every day, not just when you’re feeling run down. This can include eating healthy, doing positive activities, and taking some time out for yourself, in order to stay happy and healthy. Sounds easy enough right? However, it’s not always as straightforward as it seems.

The Inspiration Download: Interview with Iana Velez, Publisher of NY Yoga Life Magazine
The Inspiration Download: Interview with Iana Velez, Publisher of NY Yoga Life Magazine
The Insight & Inspire interview series feature different people who are bringing ideas to life and sharing something with the world that they are passionate about, whether it's through teaching yoga, creating a business, doing work in their community, creating art, hosting events, bringing to life new wellness products, or more. These interviews highlight real people who have brought ideas to life and give real-life insight and inspiration on their processes and journey. This session is with the Publish & Editor-in-Cief of NY Yoga Life magazine, Iana Velez. What are you passionate about sharing with the world? Why does this motivate you?

Perfectionism On & Off the Yoga Mat
Perfectionism On & Off the Yoga Mat
Do you long to perform better on your yoga mat? Maybe you’ve seen an impressive peacock pose on Instagram and feel shameful that your pose doesn’t look nearly that graceful? Well, I know the feeling; I’ve been there, too. But listen up, y’all. Contrary to popular belief, yoga is NOT about how flexible you are, your cute leggings, or your ability to stand on one hand. Everybody is built differently, and in an ideal world, each pose would be specifically instructed to fit each body. For example, the shape of my particular hip sockets will never ever – not even after twenty MORE years of practicing yoga – allow me to come into a safe lotus pose. And currently, my massage practice takes all I’ve got out from my wrists and leaves nothing else for arm balances.

Surround Yourself with People Who Fill You Up with Happiness
Surround Yourself with People Who Fill You Up with Happiness
Surround yourself you people who top you up. Fill your friendship bag with the people who are there in an instant when you need them. The people who you laugh the loudest with and those that you laugh along, with even when they are laughing at you! The friends who make you realise and feel just how special you are.

15 Things to Do to Get Out of a Funk
15 Things to Do to Get Out of a Funk
If you're feeling like you're stuck in a rut do not worry. We all have our moments, you're never stuck, and there are things you can do, on any given day, to turn the momentum around. This is not a post to disregard or invalidate whatever you may be feeling, but rather to encourage you not to get stuck there and keep doing your best to stay bright and optimistic. Ready to turn things around?

Inspiration to Live a Beautiful Life
Inspiration to Live a Beautiful Life
ife begins and ends with you. It is all too easy to use time to rattle off numerous reasons why life is harder, tougher, sadder or more challenging for you. Why waste the time though! We each have the same 24 hours in our days to make use of. You and you alone get to choose how you will spend them.

Healthy Roots: Heal Your 1st Chakra with Yoga
Healthy Roots: Heal Your 1st Chakra with Yoga
The first chakra is the chakra that most reflects the physical body; also known as the root chakra, or Muladhara. Energetically speaking, the root chakra contains the information that codes how we take care of our physical bodies, what set of experiences have created assistance and resistance to being in our bodies, survival information, safety information, fight, or flight information, and our connection to our mother. Whenever we feel that things are no longer in alignment with us, or could use some mending or transformation, the first chakra tends to be the best place to go within and get curious.

Transform Your Life Through Ritual and Journaling
Transform Your Life Through Ritual and Journaling
A few weeks ago, I hit a real low point. It happens to all of us, no matter how spiritually advanced we are. Despite the number of Downward Dogs I may have done that morning, I was still not immune to having a bad day. I felt overwhelmed. Anxious. I felt I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other and complete the tasks of the day, because my mind was reeling. The pandemic. The Black Lives Matter movement. The uncertainty of all of it got to me. The tears came with such force I had no choice but to hunker down and let them flow. My attention moved from overwhelm to intense feeling and all I could do was feel my emotions with every inch of me. I didn’t have words to describe these emotions, and I didn’t need that, I just needed to feel it all.

Want Happiness? Focus on Solutions, More than Your Problems
Want Happiness? Focus on Solutions, More than Your Problems
Want to feel like life is easy and good? Then focus on that desire, more than anything else that might seem in the way of it. While it is easy to focus on one's shortcomings, like anxiety, depression, and things that feel real and impossible to overcome, the truth is we will never overcome them by focusing on them. Where the attention goes, the energy flows. Sure, it might be easy for someone not experiencing any specific issue to say, 'just ignore it', but on some level, we all have the power to choose what we focus on.

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.

A Yogi's Guide to Surviving Anger
A Yogi's Guide to Surviving Anger
Alongside insecurity, anxiety and self-centeredness, one of my greatest emotional challenges in life has been anger. And while it was much worse in my teens and twenties, it still tests me. Even just a couple of years ago, when I was living in Hawaii, there were days when I just woke up with an unshakable and debilitating irritability and animosity towards everyone and everything, for no immediately obvious reason. And this was particularly disheartening because, at the time, I felt that I had everything for which I could ever wish; I was living where I had always dreamed of living and had a wonderful partner, all the time I desired for investing in my practices, meaningful and successful work that generated more than enough income to support our modest but very comfortable life – not to mention surfboards, paddle boards, hiking shoes, climbing gear, and the perfect environment in which to use them all, every single day. And here I was, waking up exasperated and resentful of a life that was failing to fulfill me, compounded by all the guilt and shame that resulted from judging myself for feeling this way. It was a horribly difficult time, but it did teach me at least one important lesson: anger won’t disappear at some point in the future, when external conditions are perfect.

Finding Santosha: How to be Content Right Now!
Finding Santosha: How to be Content Right Now!
As I sit here and think about this blog post, I can hear in the back of my head, "I will finally be happy when this post is written." Here I am placing conditions on my happiness and I know that I am not just doing it here, but I am guilty of it in many other area of my life. Thinking about this thought, I ask myself, “am I really going to be happy and content long term when this blog post is written? Or will I be seeking the next goal to place my conditions of contentment on?” Conditions on contentment was never something that I ever gave much thought to, I just assumed that they came with the process of being content, however, fleeting it may have been. However, true contentment does not lie in reaching the destination, but rather in enjoying the process. Something that I would come to learn through my personal yoga practice and the trials and errors of seeking lasting contentment.

Energetic Maintenance Techniques During COVID-19
Energetic Maintenance Techniques During COVID-19
I am 100% on board with respecting and adhering to the CDC, WHO, and NIAID’s suggestions for staying home, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks in public, and washing hands. I am choosing to abide by the suggestions made by my governor as well as all of the medical professionals offering guidance, but as a psychic and energy worker, I will admit that I even take it a step further. I have found there are ways I can actually work the energy of my body and its energetic field to improve my feelings of safety, security, and well being during a time like this, and I wanted to share those methods with you. Everything is energy, everything.

8 Healthy Habits for Life During Quarantine
8 Healthy Habits for Life During Quarantine
To start living the life that you want, you need to work on healthy habits every day. This requires patience because you have to learn new things. The younger you are, the easier it is to do, but the truth is, we are all able to change our habits and ways of living. Now, in a life of quarantine, you have to make a decision between falling into a habit of having a bag of chips and unhealthy food, or doing things that are more beneficial for your body. Sometimes it is difficult to change daily routines, and this is being forced upon all of us right now, so it's important we all decide what our ideal routine will be. If you're unexpectedly stuck at home, here are some simple healthy habits you can implement. These eight inspiring ideas will keep the body and mind healthier during quarantine. Yoga This practice can be the beginning of a new way of living for you. Yoga brings relaxation not only to the body but to the mind as well. You'll learn breathing techniques and meditate.