yoga download
LOGIN
VIEW
CART

Yoga, Health, and Wellness Articles + Recipes

rss

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


Yoga on the Go
Yoga on the Go
Raise your hand if you committed to a consistent yoga practice in 2022 but now, you’re having a challenging time stepping onto the mat regularly. You aren’t alone. We get it––life is busy. Despite our best intentions, sometimes our healthy habits are the first item dropped from our schedule. But self-care is essential to our well-being and the more energy we dedicate to our yoga practice, the more energy we have for everything else in our lives. We’re here to save the day with condensed classes that pack in all the yoga benefits you crave in half the time.

Celebrating New life: Pre & Post-Natal Yoga
Celebrating New life: Pre & Post-Natal Yoga
It’s a new year and a wonderful time to celebrate new life, so if you’re anticipating the birth of your child or recently had a baby, this week’s classes are for you. Pre-natal and post-natal yoga can support you on your mother’s journey by helping manage stress, maintain strength and flexibility, and encourage overall well-being. Because your body is different during this important time, it’s important to practice yoga in a safe and effective manner that meets your specific needs. Whether you’re an experienced yogi or a newbie, there are classes that will work for you. This week’s pre- and post-natal practices are designed by teachers experienced with working with all phases for expectant mothers and new moms. If you’re looking for a studio near you, make sure the instructor has a special certification for pre-natal and post-natal yoga, because additional considerations are involved!

Start 2022 Strong: Physically, Mentally & Emotionally
Start 2022 Strong: Physically, Mentally & Emotionally
Happy New Year! It’s time to close the book on 2021 and embark on the next chapter in 2022. But, where to begin? We’ve got so many choices and possibilities that sometimes it’s hard to get focused on what we really want to manifest. This week, we’re here to help you visualize, clarify, and implement your personal journey for your best life. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali often spoke of yoga as a process of planting seeds for the future. Each thought and emotion and action have immediate impact but also will either bloom or wither in the future. Using the ancient wisdom of the Yoga Sutras aids us on our journey. Yoga Sutra 1.2: Citta Vritti Nirodaha, is the pillar around which the entire text is built. This translates as yoga is the ability to direct the mind without distraction or interruption. Sounds simple, right? Just filter out all those external and internal distractions and focus on what you want to.

The Power of Intention
 The Power of Intention
“Commitment is the ultimate assertion of human freedom. It releases all the energy you possess and enables you to take quantum leaps in creativity. When you set a one-pointed intention and absolutely refuse to allow obstacles to dissipate the focused quality of your attention, you engage the infinite organizing power of the universe.” - Deepak Chopra If you’re ready to leave 2021 in the rear-view mirror and manifest the 2022 of your dreams, it’s vital to have a clear vision of what you want and where you want to go. This week, we’ve got some excellent classes designed to help you get centered, visualize, and set in motion the life you want.

Pre-Holiday Yoga for Relaxation
Pre-Holiday Yoga for Relaxation
Are you feeling joyous and peaceful or off-balance and fatigued? Even though you might be busier than usual or traveling for the holidays, it’s more important than ever to carve out some time to relax and recharge with yoga. And for some of us, this time of year might be tough and not feel festive at all. Yoga can help you build a sense of happiness and calm from the inside out. This week’s classes will help you replenish your energy, no matter what’s going on in your life. Here are a few ways relaxing yoga benefits you:

Yoga for Optimal Health
Yoga for Optimal Health
Self-care is so important, especially around the holidays. Whether you love this time of year or find it overwhelming, there’s no denying that the pace of life accelerates. Luckily, yoga helps you maintain optimal health––inside and out. One of the best aspects of stepping onto your yoga mat is that whether you’re seeking a physical outlet or an emotional boost, yoga delivers it all. This week’s classes have varying focuses, so choose what resonates most for you at the moment, and know you’ll receive all the benefits. If you’re feeling stiff or out of balance physically, yoga can provide the gateway to more openness in your bones, joints, and muscles.

Yoga to Take Action
Yoga to Take Action
"Do or do not. There is no try." Yoda said it best in Star Wars. If we want to manifest the life of our dreams, it isn’t enough to visualize and plan. You must act. You must do. There is power in movement and this week’s classes are designed to assist your launch into action and your manifestation of change. Our thoughts and emotions hold great power. Yoga and meditation help us quiet our mind and tune in to our inner desires––what will bring us true contentment or Santosha. But identifying and visualizing the life we want is only the beginning. You are what you do. Each action we take creates a new pattern inside and out. It is vital to practice with purpose and follow up your intentions with action. “Do your Practice and All is Coming”- Sri K Pattabhi Jois.

Relax: Yoga & Breathwork to Soothe your Nervous System
Relax: Yoga & Breathwork to Soothe your Nervous System
Do you need a little helping hand to calm down right this moment? If you missed YogaDownload.com’s two October yoga retreats in Spain and Portugal, you may not be as relaxed as those lucky students (and teachers!) For the rest of us at home––don’t worry! We’ve got some classes designed to bring your nervous system back into balance and help you unwind. One of the greatest gifts yoga offers is its profound impact on the brain and the nervous system. The sympathetic or “active” nervous system governs our fight or flight response.

Yoga for Resilience
Yoga for Resilience
“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” - Nelson Mandela Being graceful and strong when life is flowing along smoothly is one thing. Maintaining that grace during difficult times is a different proposition. We’ve learned this lesson on a global scale over the last eighteen months. Our lives are different, and we’ve all had to tap into our inner strength and resiliency, often to levels we’ve never imagined accessing. Life is a rollercoaster and how well you navigate the twists, drops, and 360-degree loops is an indicator of your resilience. Yoga can help you empower yourself and tap into your inner resiliency and strength in such a way you can continue moving forward in your life despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Learning to bend before you break is vital.

Happy 15th Birthday YogaDownload!
Happy 15th Birthday YogaDownload!
Who wants to celebrate our birthday with us? We here at YogaDownload are celebrating 15 years of sharing yoga online! Whether you’ve been with us from the beginning, when the classes were audio or you practiced your first class this morning, we are thrilled you are here. Without you wonderful subscribers from around the globe, we couldn’t have expanded from audio classes, to streaming videos, to programs ranging from meditation to power yoga, to offering one of a kind yoga retreats around the world.

Forward Folds: A Remedy to Relax
Forward Folds: A Remedy to Relax
“By drawing our sense of perception inward, we are able to experience the control, silence, and quietness of the mind.” B.K.S. Iyengar Hey, anybody out there need to relax? If you’re waving your hand wildly, join us this week for some yoga sequences that soothe your nervous system, reduce anxiety, and lengthen the entire posterior side of your body. Forward folds are introspective postures that will help you quiet your mind’s chatter and relax. During a well-rounded yoga practice, you move your body throughout a range of positions including forward folds, back bends, spinal rotation, and lateral movement. By choosing to emphasize forward bends in a practice, you’ll primarily cool your system down, inside and out. A few key pointers will make sure you maximize the benefits of this family of asanas and avoid injury to your lower back and hamstrings.

Lean and Limber: Yoga for Weight Loss & Core Strength
Lean and Limber: Yoga for Weight Loss & Core Strength
“A healthy body is a platform for flourishing a healthy mind.” -Pawan Mishra We only get one body in this lifetime, and we have a responsibility to take care of it to the best of our ability. Some days, yoga is spiritually focused, taking steps on the path to enlightenment through meditation and mantra. Some days yoga satisfies the need to work through complicated emotions or break some unhealthy thought patterns. And some days, yoga can be purely focused on getting strong, lean, and powerful.

Yoga Flows to Let Go
Yoga Flows to Let Go
One of the most profound gifts we received from our consistent yoga practice is a shift in perspective. We learn to experience life in the present moment without clinging to the past or the need to attach ourselves to an outcome. Attachment and aversion are two sides of the same coin and vital yogic principles that can teach us to release what is no longer serving us in order to be our best selves. Our bodies are storehouses for life experiences––the good, the bad, and the ugly. We often shape our inner narrative and make choices for our future based upon our emotional wounds. Sometimes it is more comfortable to hold onto the painful stories, like a tough childhood, a horrific break-up, getting fired from your dream job, or losing a friend. The same concept applies with our triumphs and joys. We hold a lifetime within our tissues and sometimes, these things become what in the Yoga Sutras Patanjali called Kleshas or the fundamental obstacles to yoga and Samadhi.

Yoga for the Energetic and Subtle Bodies
Yoga for the Energetic and Subtle Bodies
If you’ve been practicing yoga for any length of time, you’re aware the practice works in ways that aren’t linear, aren’t clear-cut, and aren’t often explainable. Even though yoga is a science and a philosophical system, its benefits go much deeper than what can be seen by the naked eye. Yoga impacts us on the level of our subtle body, which expands beyond Western understanding of anatomy and physiology. Each of us is made up of three bodies: the gross or physical body/ Stula Sharira, the subtle body/ Sukshma Sharira, and the causal body/Karana Sharira. The physical body consists of what we can touch and see: our muscles and skeleton. It forms the Annamaya Kosha, the coarsest of the five sheaths. It is vital to craft a yoga practice which benefits our entire system.

Get Grounded: Benefits of Standing Poses
Get Grounded: Benefits of Standing Poses
This week is all about reminding yourself that true wellness begins with a stable foundation. Establishing alignment from the ground up is key to being stable and powerful––inside and out. Whether both feet are planted on the earth or you’re balancing on one leg, you are building strength and fortifying your mental and physical awareness. Yoga classes focused on standing asanas help you embody a sense of profound connection with yourself and the world around you. Physically, standing poses cultivate proper posture, including aligning your bones and joints from the feet to the crown of your head. Standing asanas from the simple Tadasana or Mountain Pose to the more complex Virabhadrasana or Warrior poses and to Vrksasana or Tree pose, develop both muscular and bone strength. Whenever you’re practicing standing yoga poses, you’re also working your joints through their full range of motion, enhancing mobility and flexibility. Standing poses assist in building core awareness and power, which are required to maintain excellent posture and prepare the body for deeper poses.

Yoga to Fire Up Your Manipura Chakra
Yoga to Fire Up Your Manipura Chakra
Who needs to cultivate a stronger sense of self or perhaps tone down an ego that is slanting more toward arrogance than confidence? Finding the balance between inner strength and insecurity takes effort but is vital to living the life you love. This week, we’ll focus on the Manipura or navel chakra, which yogis identify as the source of our self-confidence, willpower, and inner fire. Your personality and personal power stem from the “fire in your belly” or “tapas.” At different points in our lives, like starting a new job or ending a personal relationship, our self-confidence may need a boost or a reality check. When the Manipura is in over-drive, it manifests as arrogance or ego. A lack of navel chakra energy can fill us with insecurity and self-doubt. Know that no matter what stage you’re in, focusing on your Manipura chakra can bring you back into balance.

Yoga For All of Us
Yoga For All of Us
“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” - Bhagavad Gita Every single one of us is unique. No identical fingerprints exist. Nobody can feel your feelings, think your thoughts, or experience the physical sensations you have. This week we are celebrating the differences between us––while keeping in mind what connects us––with yoga practices designed specifically for certain populations. No one size fits all yoga practice exists. The considerable benefits for the physical, mental, and emotional bodies are available to everyone regardless of age, current health, and energy levels. We all progress through different seasons of our lives and our needs and desires change. Your yoga practice at age 21 is and should be different than your experience when you are 71. We are constantly evolving and so should our yoga practice.

Take Your Time: Yoga Classes that Hold Each Pose
Take Your Time: Yoga Classes that Hold Each Pose
Sometimes when you are seeking more clarity, the best move you can make is to hit the pause button and slow down. This week’s classes help you do that with a mix of Hatha and Iyengar practices designed to help you reach a deeper level in your mind, body, and spirit. Sequences vary in each class, with poses held for several breaths instead of flowing breath to movement. Quieter styles of yoga give you the opportunity to savor the feelings that arises in each asana (pose). Hatha yoga is the umbrella under which all physical styles of yoga reside. A Hatha Yoga class combines asanas and pranayama, usually at a slower pace than some other practices like Ashtanga and Vinyasa.

Pranayama: Just Breathe
Pranayama: Just Breathe
Are you ready to go deeper into your yoga practice? This week the focus is on Pranayama, which is a vital component of a complete yoga practice. We’ve got new short classes dedicated to different techniques which will impact your state of mind and your body––fast! Pranayama is the practice of extending and regulating your prana or life force. The way we breathe changes the way we feel. Yoga luminary T.K.V. Desikachar stated: “In order to influence our prana, we must be able to influence the mind. Our actions often disturb the mind, causing prana to exude the body. Through daily pranayama practice, we reverse this process, as a change in the breathing pattern influences the mind.”

Ahimsa: Practice Kindness
Ahimsa: Practice Kindness
Kindness is the reason! A universal thread in all yoga practices is learning to embody loving kindness. How you treat yourself has an effect on you and how you treat others has an effect on you. When you are kind, your behavior impacts others around you in a positive manner and helps them feel more content. Learning to be compassionate and kind regardless of circumstances is one of the key principles of the eight-limbed yoga path, as expressed in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Ahimsa, the first of five Yamas contained in the first limb of yoga is at its root is all about kindness. Ahimsa translates to the absence of, or the freedom from violence, killing, judging, or harming. Ahimsa is avoiding all forms of violence to yourself or to others. It is less about physical violence and more about thoughts and feelings.

Yoga For A Happy & Healthy Mind
Yoga For A Happy & Healthy Mind
One of yoga’s greatest benefits is the process of tuning into your thoughts and emotions and understanding your own personal truth. When we utilize the tools of a consistent yoga practice, we learn to tune out distractions and external influences and listen to our internal voice. Avidya or mistaken perception is ignorance––the fundamental inability to see things as they are. The practice of yoga is moving away from these misperceptions toward Viveka, the ability to discern and see clearly. The physical practice aids us in relaxing our muscles and begins the process of delving deeper into our psyche. Yoga teaches us that all we need is within us, we simply need to pay attention. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras include the eight-limbed path of yoga. The Niyamas, or moral observances, are tangible steps to achieve a calm and peaceful mind.

Yoga for Stress Relief & Unwinding
Yoga for Stress Relief & Unwinding
Have you noticed that every time you step onto your yoga mat it’s a different experience? Sometimes we choose a fast-paced sweaty class and others we seek a more chilled out type of practice. While all yoga will help you relieve stress, taking the time to slow down and unwind can nourish your system on a deeper level. This week we’re bringing you slower classes designed specifically to help you shift your system back into balance. One of the most profound ways a slower yoga practice impacts us is by soothing our parasympathetic nervous system. Holding poses for longer periods of time, like in Yin Yoga, encourages our “fight or flight” adrenaline responses to quiet. When you’re in Sleeping Swan (half-pigeon) for several minutes on each side, not only do the tight muscles and connective tissue begin to relax, but the mind quiets and the heartrate slows. When you can slow down and leave the rest of the day behind for even a little while, you’re refilling your well and soothing your nervous system.

Yoga To Release Tension In Your Shoulders & Back
Yoga To Release Tension In Your Shoulders & Back
Who else spent months sprawled on the couch bingeing television and hours perched in front of the computer zooming with friends and family? During quarantine, most of us found ourselves more sedentary than usual. Prolonged sitting does a number on our posture, and our shoulders round forward, our necks grow stiff, and our posture begins to slump. Not only does our body fall out of alignment, but we can become more closed off emotionally. The inner reflects the outer. This week, we’re focusing on asanas (postures) that loosen up the shoulders, relax the throat and neck, and create more spaciousness in our spines. When we focus on relieving stress and tension that lurks around the neck and shoulders, we can alleviate pain. Practices focused on the upper body create strength and mobility and encourage proper posture. They also go deeper within and benefit the subtle body, where our chakras reside.

June 21st is International Yoga Day
June 21st is International Yoga Day
Mark your calendars for the sixth annual International Yoga Day! This relatively new holiday, established in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly in 177 member countries, celebrates the value of yoga for physical, emotional, and mental health. June 21st is the solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere and the shortest in the Southern hemisphere. This day is a turning point for the entire planet and a sacred day in many cultures. Perfect to celebrate yoga! Each International Yoga Day features a different theme. As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, the chosen theme for 2021 is Yoga for Wellbeing, stressing the benefits of yoga for stress relief and overall mental health. The emphasis on mindful movement and deliberate breathing patterns in yoga benefits not just your physical body, but enhances mood, relieves stress, alleviates insomnia, and aids in managing situational depression. Even if your intention is centered on increasing physical strength, mobility, and balance, you garner the mental benefits too. Our lives are forever changed after this past year. It’s a simple fact. Many of us experienced enormous levels of anxiety, stress, fear, loss, and anger. When we react from these emotions, our breathing becomes shallow, our heart works overtime, and the stress hormone cortisol skyrockets. When our physiological system is out of control, it’s tough to remain grounded, clear, and balanced. Yoga helps positively impact our nervous systems, which in turn helps us step out of the fight or flight response. We can stop simply reacting and start operating from a more stable place.

Open Your Hearts: Yoga for Anahata Chakra
Open Your Hearts: Yoga for Anahata Chakra
“Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point,” which translates to: the heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." - Blaise Pascal This quote by famous mathematician Blaise Pascal is from 1669––talk about ancient wisdom! Even a genius steeped in reason and mathematics recognized that often the answer lies in listening to the heart and emotions, as opposed to relying solely on the brain. This week we’re focused on balancing your heart energy. In yoga, we emphasize opening and balancing the Anahata (Heart) chakra as being vital to feeling our best. The seven main chakras are energy systems running along our Sushumna Nadi, in our subtle body, the blueprint of our physical body. The fourth chakra, Anahata, is the recognized seat of love and compassion and translates to “Unstruck.” Its essence is selflessness, expanding beyond your ego, and learning to release fear and forgive those who have harmed you.