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


Yoga for Kids
Yoga for Kids
How old were you when you started practicing yoga? If you began as an adult, you know how transformational yoga can be in all aspects of your life. Maybe you stepped onto the mat when you were a child, and if you did––lucky you! Yoga offers a myriad of benefits for your mind, body, and spirit, and for many of us is what helps keep us balanced in our lives. During 2020, many children are home instead of in school and need all the gifts yoga has to offer more than ever. Just as yoga helps develop strength, flexibility, balance, and equanimity for adults, it also offers vital tools for children to live healthier happier lives. One of the primary ways yoga helps children is by encouraging self-love and self-acceptance. Yoga teaches kids more about their own bodies and minds. One of yoga’s messages is to remind us we are all different, yet perfect as we are. If children understand that whatever shape or size they are is acceptable, they may avoid body image pressures that inundate us. If children can learn to love themselves from a young age, they are better equipped to handle all the negative messages society can present to them.

5 Reasons to Practice Yoga First Thing in the Morning:
5 Reasons to Practice Yoga First Thing in the Morning:
Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. -Dalai Lama Any time is a great time for yoga, as long as you can fit your practice into your busy life. Sometimes, despite the best intentions, your day can run away from you. Work and personal matters can take precedence and suddenly, it is bedtime and you didn’t step onto your yoga mat. Here are 5 reasons why practicing yoga first thing in the morning can set you up for your best day.

Yin Yoga for Peacefulness
Yin Yoga for Peacefulness
Peace can become a lens through which you see the world. Be it. Live it. Radiate it out. Peace is an inside job. —Wayne Dyer September 21st is International Day of Peace and an excellent reminder that to find peace, it is imperative to create it from the inside out. One of the greatest lessons yoga teaches us is how tuning into our minds, hearts, and bodies helps us polish the lens through which we view the world. Our perspective is key and even if we aren’t in control of external events, we can gain control of our thoughts and emotions.

Yoga to Improve Your Posture
Yoga to Improve Your Posture
Excellent posture not only keeps your physical body healthy, but also provides the foundation and support you need to maintain emotional and mental balance. Yoga will help you find proper spinal alignment to stand tall and feel your best inside and out. Over the last thirty years, we’ve grown more sedentary as a culture. Many of us spend hours each day sitting, which is the number one contributor to back pain, poor posture, sluggish digestion, and mental fog. To counteract hunched shoulders, tight neck muscles, and lower back pain, take the time to step onto your yoga mat and perfect your posture.

An Introduction to Iyengar Yoga
An Introduction to Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar yoga is a type of yoga that was developed by B.K.S Iyengar - and also named after him. He was one of the people who was partly responsible for bringing the modern practice of yoga to the Western world. B.K.S. Iyengar was born in 1918 in Bellur, India. B.K.S. Iyengar practiced yoga for over 85 years, but began his study under his guru, T. Krishnamacharya - also sometimes known as the Father of modern yoga. B.K.S Iyengar brought the practice of yoga to the western world in the 197’0’s and wrote the book Light on Yoga, which has been a book many yoga students across the world have studied for generations. Iyengar yoga is identified by being similar to the classic Hatha yoga traditions, but with lots of attention on the technical alignment and proper posing. This helps keep the mind drawn inward, but also connected to reality.

Shining a Light on Iyengar Yoga
Shining a Light on Iyengar Yoga
“If the foundation is firm, the building can withstand calamities. The practice of Yoga is the foundation, so that the Self is not shaken under any circumstances.” – B.K.S. Iyengar With the world in a tumultuous state these days, it’s more important than ever to fortify our inner strength and foundation. Iyengar Yoga is an excellent path to create more stability. Along with Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar was one of the two most famous students of the Father of Modern Yoga, T. Krishnamacharya. Both teachers are credited with bringing their interpretation of the Eight-Limbed Yoga Path to the West. If you love Vinyasa Yoga, thank Ashtanga Yoga founder Pattabhi Jois because Vinyasa flow is a derivative of his style. Iyengar went in another direction.

Yoga to Stay Light & Bright
Yoga to Stay Light & Bright
"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." -Elizabeth Kubler-Ross True happiness and beauty come from within and yoga is a powerful tool to help you shine your own light. When the external world feels heavy or hard, it can be easy to forget all the light and strength inside of us. Yoga reminds us our light is always there––we may have to work to shed the layers of darkness to uncover it, but we have the ability to choose positivity, no matter what. We create our own calm within any storm.

Be Gentle
Be Gentle
You’ve probably heard that the yogic path is simple, but not easy. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali lays out the eight-limbed path of yoga and emphasizes how it takes consistent practice over time. Just like you vary other types of physical training to keep your muscles and bones in optimal shape, varying the intensity of physical asanas will keep you from over-use injuries. If you practice daily, it’s great to adapt your routine to keep your body healthy. Slowing down can be just as powerful as leveling up. In fact, slowing down offers the opportunity to truly focus on your breathing and the sensations of each asana. The true yoga practice is internal. We use the physical practice to quiet our minds and balance our emotions. Of course, some days you really need to move, to have a vigorous flow to get that yoga buzz. But a gentle practice will also help you approach that place of stillness.

Yoga and Music: A Harmonious Match
Yoga and Music: A Harmonious Match
Depending on who you ask, you’ll receive varied answers to whether playing music during yoga helps you get into the flow easier or distracts you. Some people love music that enhances the yoga experience. When teachers offer appropriately energizing songs to boost the students’ mood and complement active asanas or play relaxing, calming music to aid in quieting the mind, the overall class can be just that much more impactful. Of course, there’s an art to creating flow in yoga both in instruction and playlists. Here a few benefits of music and yoga together:

Branch Out: New Styles of Yoga to Try
Branch Out: New Styles of Yoga to Try
When is the last time you tried something different on your yoga mat? We all have our favorite styles of yoga and it’s easy to find your routine has morphed into a rut. This week, we’re here to offer some variety to help you avoid a practice plateau. There isn’t an identical path for any of us. We’re all unique. Why not branch out and experience something new? Some people claim that their yoga is the “true” yoga and everything else is not yoga. Whose path is the right one? Is there a right one? If the end result is that you uncover your best self, you shed the layers weighing you down and shine bright, isn’t that actually the “right” path for you? What really matters is how you feel during and after your yoga practice.

Find Your Flow
Find Your Flow
Depending upon in which hemisphere you live, you’ve either just celebrated the Summer or Winter Solstice. Long summer days characterized by sunshine and short nights or long dark nights to rest and recuperate. Wherever you are, take a moment to check-in and ask yourself if you are living your life in the flow right now. When we are in the flow or the zone, we are aligned with ourselves, with our community, and with nature. If you’re feeling in alignment, great! If you need some encouragement and support to find your optimal rhythm, we’re here to help. We’ll work together to find our flow on the yoga mat so we can take our renewed sense of connection off the mat for the rest of the day. Vinyasa flow yoga is an excellent way to create strength, balance, flexibility, and connection.

A Strong Core is the Secret to Personal Power
A Strong Core is the Secret to Personal Power
Are you ready to tap into your superpowers and dedicate time and energy to creating a strong center? Sure, a toned belly, healthy spine, and looking good without a shirt are tangible physical benefits of intelligent core training. But the true benefits of strengthening your center run much deeper than mere aesthetics. Learning to cultivate your personal power located in your Manipura (Navel) Chakra will aid you in burning through layers of insecurity and help you build a true sense of your authentic self. Yoga is an excellent path to access your “inner fire,” and step into your greatest sense of self. Through asana, pranayama, and mantra meditation, you can ignite your self-confidence, self-discipline, and willpower. Kind of like firing up your superpowers! Sound good?

3 Reasons to Focus on Your Neck, Back, & Shoulders in Yoga
3 Reasons to Focus on Your Neck, Back, & Shoulders in Yoga
Have you ever received upsetting news and immediately your jaw, shoulders, and neck grow rigid? Were you aware that yogis and psychologists agree that unprocessed emotions become trapped in your physical body? In our current time, many of us are having to navigate an intense collective experience, as well as how everything occurring is impacting every aspect of our own personal lives. Our yoga practice is a tool to alleviate stress and tension and fortify us emotionally, mentally, and physically. This week, join us as we explore some yoga classes designed to not just make you strong enough to handstand like a master but to soften the knots in your neck and the pain in your back.

Yoga to Make You Braver
Yoga to Make You Braver
What does courage mean to you? The root of the word courage comes from the French word coeur, which means heart. In yogic circles, it is often stated that courage comes from the heart, which contains two dual emotions: love and fear. Being brave doesn’t mean an absence of fear, it means choosing to do what feels right despite feeling afraid. Bravery stems from understanding your truths and trusting yourself to do the right thing. When we are in harmonious times, it’s easy to express our beliefs and our truth. Many of us yogis surround ourselves with like-minded people seeking to live life on a higher vibration. We choose to focus on the positive and live from a place of compassion and love. Practicing these principles on the yoga mat strengthens our resolve to practice them off the mat.

Ways Yoga Helps Your Mental Health
Ways Yoga Helps Your Mental Health
Yoga has been proven to have benefits to your mental health, and a wealth of research has gone into how practicing yoga can improve the lives of those with mental health conditions. The results are staggeringly positive, proving that yoga can help with many common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as others. There is now one in every four people affected by mental health disorders, so more and more people are looking for effective ways to help protect and restore mental health. Yoga is becoming more and more accepted as a way to manage mental health conditions. It’s already used to reduce stress, improve flexibility and promote a more ‘zen’ state of mind. However, more people are digging deep to understand the therapeutic benefits of yoga on mental health. These findings are also backed up by studies which show that yoga practice can change the structure and function of your brain, proving that yoga can improve your emotional health in a neurological way. Here are some of the ways yoga can support your mental health.

Yoga for Mental Health Wellness
Yoga for Mental Health Wellness
Yoga is an incredible tool for our health––physical, emotional, and mental. Yoga can help manage anger, anxiety, depression, and other common psychological conditions many of us experience. This week, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the tangible ways yoga can not just open up your hips, but also positively impact your mental health. Let’s start with exploring that intangible feeling you experience after yoga––calm, clear, energized, and happy. How does mindful breath and purposeful movement translate into a major adjustment in your mind? One of the primary reasons is because deliberate movement and breathing patterns affect your nervous system in a positive manner. Yoga helps us shift from fight or flight or a reactive state to rest and digest, a receptive state of being. When we are reacting from a place of fear, anger, or anxiety, we are operating from our fight or flight response––shallow breathing, accelerated heart rate, and stress. When our autonomic nervous system is out of balance, we have a difficult time managing our emotions. Ever over-reacted and lashed out at a loved one or a stranger for no apparent reason? Ever noticed that response doesn’t happen after a satisfying yoga practice?

Yoga to Practice with Family & Friends
Yoga to Practice with Family & Friends
“Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others.” - Harriet Goldhor Lerner Every day is a perfect one to foster your connections with the world around you. Many places in the world, including the United States, Australia, Canada, China, and Germany, celebrate Mother's Day on May 10th––we know our community of yogis in the UK celebrate in March, but why not celebrate again? It’s a great way to show appreciation and love for your mother or anyone that is a source of support in your life. Practicing yoga together is a wonderful way to spend time with loved ones, whether it is in honor of Mother’s Day or just any given Sunday. Yoga is centered on creating connection or union––with yourself, with others, and with the universe around us.

Yoga for a Healthy Back
Yoga for a Healthy Back
The question isn’t whether you’ve experienced back pain, but whether you are one of the lucky ones who haven’t. Millions of people around the world suffer from aches and injuries to their backs on a regular basis. The good news is that yoga helps with more than the muscles and ligaments, which may be strained, sprained, or simply unbalanced. Often, the root of the pain is grounded in emotional or mental issues and yoga addresses the physical, emotional, and mental causes When you are hurting, ranging from a mild inconvenience to complete incapacitation, it is important to distinguish between acute pain and chronic pain. Acute back pain is intense and lasts from a few days to several weeks. It’s generally due to a fall, lifting a heavy object improperly, a car accident, and resolves within six to eight weeks. During this stage, rest and apply heat and ice to ease inflammation until you are ready to perform gentle exercise. Walking is an excellent option. Chronic pain lasts longer than three months and is more complicated. Yoga can provide temporary and potentially permanent relief. Our mind and body work together and cannot be separated. Only yoga restores harmony on every level. Physically, in addition to stretching and strengthening the spine, yoga helps you:

The History of Earth Day
The History of Earth Day
Earth day is celebrated on the twenty second of April each year, and has become the largest non-religious observance around the world. Earth day had humble beginnings as a day to preserve the environment in the United States, and has now become the largest push for a cleaner and healthier planet - celebrated across the entire world. Earth Day is important to show that everyone can make a difference to the planet in a positive way. History of Earth Day During the 1970’s, the United States was experiencing a period of division, both economically and politically. During this time, the country was divided over it’s participation in the Vietnam War, and at the same time the economy was experiencing a boom. This boom however, had an adverse effect on the environment. Industries such as automobiles, chemical plants and oil were seeing huge growth, but that also went hand in hand with the production of air pollution and waste. Back then, the health of the environment wasn’t at the forefront of our minds like it is today, and many people were unaware of the damages this economical growth could have on the planet.

Earth Day: Connect with the Earth
Earth Day: Connect with the Earth
On April 22, 2020, the world unites together to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. This celebration of a universal commitment to protecting the earth can be embodied in the yogic concept of Ahimsa or Non-harming. Yoga practice, comprised of the earth’s elements of earth, air, fire, water, and ether, naturally honors our planet. Use Earth Day to remind yourself of your connection to it. Fifty years ago, Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator, was shocked at the damage from an oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. The event ignited a fire in him for action to protect our environment. Once people saw how smog, oil spills, rivers so polluted they burst into flames, and damage from corporate waste were destroying the earth, they joined the cause. On April 22, 1970, 10% percent of the U.S. population took to the streets in hundreds of cities to protest environmental and demand change for our planet. Earth Day is the result.

Quality over Quantity: Short and Sweet Yoga Practices Can Change Your Life
Quality over Quantity: Short and Sweet Yoga Practices Can Change Your Life
We all want to enjoy the benefits from a regular yoga practice, like a better mood, vibrant energy, and a stronger more supple body. And a consistent daily practice, however brief, can change your life in profound ways you may not have contemplated. According to the Yoga Sutras, practicing yoga is also considered the path to avoiding future suffering. Yoga Sutra 2.16- heyam duhkham anagatam, in the second chapter of the sutras on Sadhana or practice, loosely translated means, “pain yet to come is to be avoided.” What exactly does Patanjali mean in this thread of yogic wisdom? Essentially, we do have the ability to avoid or minimize future pain and suffering through our routine yoga practice. In other words, what we do today can help alleviate our future suffering. Our human experience includes pain, but through yoga you can shift your perspective and what you may have perceived as pain changes.

Yoga for Lightness
Yoga for Lightness
The world is a delicate balance between light and dark. Yin and yang. At this moment in time, most of us are experiencing a weight we’ve never shouldered before. Feeling overwhelmed with the constant bombardment of news, the new reality we’re living in, and the sense our world is forever changed doesn’t exactly encourage a feeling of well-being. Although many events are outside of our personal control, we do have the ability to manage our personal reactions and find balance. Yoga is an excellent tool to help us lighten the emotional and mental impact of all these changes and shift our perception. We all see the world through a unique lens shaped by our life and personal experiences. Sometimes we need a little polishing of the lens when it appears cloudy or dark. When we move energy through our bodies with certain asanas and breathing techniques, we can release stuck energy and alleviate patterns that aren’t serving us. This week, we’re here to offer some classes to help you lift your spirits.

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.

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.

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.