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


Yin Yoga to Relax More
Yin Yoga to Relax More
If you’re feeling the impact of more than a year of managing extreme stress levels, you aren’t alone. These days, we’re all working to establish a sense of equanimity. Life is about finding the balance between opposing forces which exist outside and inside of us. Yoga is a fluid dance between strength and softness, and yin and yang. Yin and Yang are opposites and they complement each other perfectly. This week, shift your focus to Yin yoga and give your mind the quiet time it needs and recharge your batteries. When we take the time to nourish ourselves, we renew our energy and become the strongest versions of ourselves. If you’re new to Yin yoga, you may not be familiar with all its wonderful benefits. A Yin practice targets the deeper layers in the body, specifically the connective tissue––fascia, tendons, and ligaments and the internal organs. Yin is based upon three main principles:

Take Your Time with Longer Yoga Classes
Take Your Time with Longer Yoga Classes
Today is a perfect day to expand your horizons. Consider mixing up your routine by spending more time on your yoga mat this week. We’re here to help with four longer yoga classes that will give you the space and time to deepen your practice. “Do Your Practice and all is coming." K. Pattabhi Jois, the Indian scholar and credited founder of Ashtanga yoga famously said. According to his teachings, there is no substitute for time spent on the mat. Traditional Ashtanga classes were usually at least ninety minutes long. Each moment of practice is a moment exploring your heart, your body, and your mind. Here are three reasons to try one of this week’s longer 45-90 minute classes.

You are a Powerful Force
You are a Powerful Force
The Force is within you! Each and every one of us has a well of inner strength and courage, our source of personal power. Through our yoga and meditation practices, we can cultivate our inner light and empower ourselves to meet life’s challenges with courage and confidence. There are many paths to build personal power, strength, and compassion. A few of our favorite classes have empowering themes and/or solid Power Vinyasa flows, which are excellent ways to tap into your inner strength. If you need a reminder of just how courageous you are, these classes will give you a major boost. Yoga teaches us that all we need is inside of us and practice is to reveal and honor our inner light. Learning to dig deep and operate from our courageous hearts can be uncomfortable.

Music is Medicine! Yoga with Music
Music is Medicine! Yoga with Music
“Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life.” -B.K.S. Iyengar. We here at YogaDownload.com believe music enhances the yoga experience. Both music and yoga touch on the physical, mental, and emotional levels of our beings. Sound is integral in many schools of yoga, like Ashtanga, where classes begin and end with chanting and mantras woven into the practice. The power of sound is vital in yoga, whether you are focusing on mantra, chanting, instruments like the harmonium, or a well-curated playlist.

Fitness 'n' Yoga 7 Day Bootcamp with Ben Davis
Fitness 'n' Yoga 7 Day Bootcamp with Ben Davis
Are you ready to kick off March with a 7 day fitness and yoga bootcamp designed to have you feeling at the top of your game? If you struggle to fit in workouts and yoga, but don’t want to miss any of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits from both, this week’s program is for you. And if you’re simply feeling bored with your current routine, try this package as an adrenaline boost to spark your motivation. Here are 3 reasons not to miss this bootcamp:

Yoga for Sports: How Yoga Improves Your Game
Yoga for Sports: How Yoga Improves Your Game
Whether you’re working to improve that backswing on the fairway or perfect an inverted hand plant with a snowboard, incorporating a yoga practice into your routine can really help step up your sports game. In fact, doing yoga can make you better at just about every other sport you’re passionate about. And all you need is your body to make the magic happen! Just ask professional athletes like Lebron James, golfer Lexi Thompson, snowboarder Emilien Badoux and the entire New York Yankees lineup. They — and their trainers and coaches — know that yoga offers both physical and mental benefits that translate both on and off the field. But here’s the good news: you don’t need to be a pro to reap the rewards of a regular practice. While incorporating yoga on a rest day can be beneficial, timing your session so that you’re engaging in stretches right before or after your activity can multiply those benefits.

Stand Up & Stretch: Yoga to Counteract Prolonged Sitting
Stand Up & Stretch: Yoga to Counteract Prolonged Sitting
Raise your hand if you’ve sat more in the last year than ever before? With stay-at-home orders around the world, many of us have adapted to a new way of life: working from home, Zoom calls instead of going out with friends, and a whole lot of Netflix on the sofa. Even if you’re staying true to your yoga practice, the additional hours on your bum instead of your feet can take its toll. Never fear––we’ve got the antidote to all that couch dwelling. This week’s classes are designed to help you squeeze in more standing and more quick yoga sessions throughout your day. But first, let’s delve a little deeper into why all that sitting can leave you feeling not just physically stiff, but also mentally cloudy and emotionally stagnant. We store unprocessed emotion in our hips, so it is vital for our hips to be open and healthy, not just for the physical body, but also for emotional well-being.

Yoga for Strength & Grace
Yoga for Strength & Grace
How are you handling conflict and challenges these days? Is there adequate space in your reaction time or has the stress of the last year amplified to a point where you aren’t quite as patient and kind as you could be? If you’ve experienced more fear and edginess and anger, you aren’t alone. This week, we’re focusing on cultivating your own unique sense of grace and strength in your yoga practice. The word grace derives from Old French and means “pleasing quality” or simply a pleasing way of moving or behaving. A graceful person is one with poise, decency, honor, and elegance. Sometimes if you’re being pushed to your limits by the events of the world and personal circumstances, it can be difficult to react gracefully. Developing grace under pressure is one of the greatest gifts yoga can impart.

Branch Out with More Uncommon Styles of Yoga
Branch Out with More Uncommon Styles of Yoga
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and the seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. Alan Cohen Change is good! We know it’s a wonderful feeling to step onto your yoga mat and practice with your favorite teachers. We all have our preferred types of practice, whether it’s a range from Ashtanga to Vinyasa to Power to Yin. Mixing it up helps us stay fresh mentally and emotionally and also ensures we don’t physically injure ourselves through too much repetition. So be adventurous this week and try something new.

Yoga to Open Your Mind
Yoga to Open Your Mind
Students come to yoga for a variety of reasons: physical, mental, and spiritual. Regardless of why you started practicing, your entire being benefits. It’s easy to focus on mastering the asanas or physical postures first. But traditionally, yoga’s primary intention is to gain control over your mind. The seminal text on yoga, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, were compiled centuries ago and the wisdom proves true today. The Sutras are divided into 4 Padas or chapters which provide a pathway to journey toward Samadhi or enlightenment. The pillar of the entire text is stated in Sutra 1.2 Chitta vritti nirodaha. In a nutshell this means that yoga is the ability to direct the mind without distraction or interruption. Yoga equals sustained attention.

Slow Down: Yoga to Relax and Recharge
Slow Down: Yoga to Relax and Recharge
Are you already leaping into a New Year’s Resolution type of mindset, but haven’t taken enough time to relax after the hectic holiday season? Fostering a balance between action and rest is essential. The “doing” pattern of life is helpful to fulfill our desires and achieve our goals, but if we aren’t mindful, it’s easy to slip into only doing and not being. Why not try a less is more attitude this week? One of yoga’s true gifts is teaching us how to be present––not anticipating the future and not fixating on the past. If we are too focused on what is happening next, we cannot be fully present in what is happening right now. Consider a few of your favorite activities where you’re simply in the flow––running, surfing, gardening, dancing, listening to music or whatever is your perfect state.

Work it Out! Finish 2020 Strong
Work it Out! Finish 2020 Strong
Never in our lifetime have we shared so much together as a global community, yet experienced more solitude. 2020 has been a year of contrasts and for many a year of profound challenge and change––whether you planned on it or not. Whether you were able to spend the holidays with family and friends or were unable to travel, you may have had a tougher time maintaining a sense of balance. Around the holidays, emotions amplify and rise to the surface for many of us. It’s tougher to find that sense of equanimity and as a result this time of year your healthy habits and positive practices may disappear. Instead of stepping onto the mat, you nibble on another cookie or sip more Irish whiskey and suddenly find yourself parked on the couch feeling sluggish. Of course, there’s no reason not to indulge and spoil yourself, but if you feel you’ve overdone it, re-energize with some movement. Self-care is a form of spoiling yourself, right? Go for a brisk walk, turn on some music and dance around your living room, roll out your yoga mat and flow for a few minutes.

Feel the Seasons Change: Big Shifts Inside & Out
Feel the Seasons Change: Big Shifts Inside & Out
Can you feel the transition happening all around you? December 21, 2020, marked the Solstice, the day where the sun stands still and creates the longest night or longest day of the year, depending on where you reside on the planet. A once in a lifetime planetary event occurred on the same night, an event astronomers dub the “Great Conjunction” ––also referred to as the “Christmas Star.” The two planets will appear as a sparkling bright light to the naked eye, shining in the Southwestern sky. This incredible union is the planets’ closest encounter since 1623 and the first time it will be visible since 1226. How remarkable is that? What’s even more helpful is that this intense once in a lifetime experience is a great time to make positive changes in your life and step into optimism for 2021. Even better? This conjunction is in Aquarius, the sign of social change, humanitarian efforts, and justice for all. Sign us up!

Create Your Healthiest Spine and Back with Yoga
Create Your Healthiest Spine and Back with Yoga
Have you ever noticed that when you’re worried about money, all of a sudden, your lower back “goes out?” Or you were reprimanded at work and a crick appears in your neck? Of course, suffering a physical injury or the culmination of a lifetime of poor posture causes pain, but what’s happening internally is often the root of external pain. Yoga’s three-pronged focus on physical, emotional, and mental wellness offers back pain relief for every layer of your being. In yogic philosophy, the subtle body is a blueprint of the physical one. The subtle body consists of energy or prana which flows through channels called Nadis. The primary Nadi, the Sushumna Nadi, runs from the Muladhara (Root) Chakra at the base of the spine to the Sahasrara (Crown) Chakra at the crown of the head. Keeping the seven primary Chakras or energy centers balanced is essential to keep our prana flowing freely so we feel invigorated, calm, and pain-free.

Yoga for Abundance & Generosity
Yoga for Abundance & Generosity
“The fastest way to bring more wonderful examples of abundance into your personal experience is to take constant notice of the wonderful things that are already there.” ~ Esther Hicks In the United States, we’re observing Thanksgiving this week, which is usually celebrated with gatherings of family and friends and a bountiful feast. In 2020, this type of celebration may not be possible and many people may be alone. It’s time to shift the focus inward and examine all the gifts you do have, regardless of external circumstances. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude creates more positivity and joy in your life.

Be Easy On Yourself
Be Easy On Yourself
The physical practice of yoga is built around Yoga Sutra II 46 Sthira Sukham Asanam, which means the posture should be a balance of effort and ease or strength and softness. For many of us yogis, it can be more difficult to access the ease and softness. But without these important qualities, you can’t find that sense of balance in your practice and in your life. If you are too rigid, that’s a lack of stability. If you’re too limp, that’s also unstable. Allowing yourself to be gentle and receive can be a challenge, but the benefits are numerous. In yoga, we’re seeking a sense of Samadhi, the state of mind where your attention is clear, focused, unwavering, and relaxed simultaneously. One of the lessons on the yoga journey is discovering the difference between being and doing. In active Yang practices like Ashtanga and Vinyasa, it can be easy to focus on the movement and the strength required to fill out the shape of Virabhadrasana/ Warrior I or Natarajasana/Dancer’s Pose. We are accustomed to working hard, right? But if you push too hard, you’ll fall over or possibly injure yourself. To truly achieve Sthira Sukham Asanam in a pose, it is a dance between relaxing your body and mind, just as much as it is working to ground through your feet and expand your arms up toward the sky.

Yoga to Boost Immunity
Yoga to Boost Immunity
How are you feeling today? Did you get a restful night’s sleep? Are you energized and ready to make the most out of your day? If so, fabulous! That’s an excellent sign your immune system is working optimally. If, however, your sleep has been intermittent and you’re feeling stressed out, you aren’t alone. Here are 4 of the top ways yoga can support and strengthen your immune system and help you stay healthy all season long! Stress is one of the primary factors in a weak immune system. Yoga helps lower your cortisol levels.

Yoga to Stay Grounded and Strong
Yoga to Stay Grounded and Strong
When the world around you feels uncertain, it’s the perfect time to shift your focus and create a sense of stability from the inside out. Steadiness is the quality of strength and grounded energy. Yoga Sutra 2.46 Sthira Sukham Asanam means the posture should be steady and comfortable. Working on developing this in your yoga practice will aid you in staying centered and rooted in the present moment. By balancing the need for survival and security first, you can become your strongest most grounded self, regardless of external circumstances. The Muladhara or Root Chakra, located at the base of the spine, is the foundation for our physical and energetic bodies and is essential to our sense of stability. Muladhara is the base chakra and addressing it first creates the basis for emotional and physical health.

Vinyasa Flow with Electronic Music: Dance Party!
Vinyasa Flow with Electronic Music: Dance Party!
We don’t know about you, but it’s been a hot minute since we went out dancing! With 2020 keeping us close to home and dance parties closed down, we are itching for something different. This week we’re thrilled to share 4 new Electronic Music Session classes from some global record labels that will complement your practice and allow you to find your flow on a deeper level. We’re ready to synchronize our breath to our movement and add another element to our customary practices. Vinyasa Flow yoga and electronic music can be perfect partners in your quest to dance with your breath, quiet your mind, and soothe your soul. Vinyasa means to place in a special or sacred way and is an excellent way to build strength, balance, flexibility, and connection. This style of yoga focuses on linking breath and movement to create a moving meditation, which often feels like a powerful dance. Vinyasa Flow classes are varied and creative and each one is as unique as each instructor’s individual style and sequencing. Settling into the rhythm and flow helps you find harmony within yourself and with the world around you.

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.