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


Yoga for the Lower Chakras
Yoga for the Lower Chakras
Whether you are familiar with how balancing your seven main Chakras can improve how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally or you’ve got no idea what these subtle body energetics are, we’re here to help you get the greatest benefits from your yoga practice. Basically, the subtle body is a blueprint of the physical body. When you practice yoga asanas, there is always a corresponding impact on your subtle body, which holds your emotions and life patterns or Samskaras. This week we’ve got four classes that focus upon the first three Chakras: Muladhara or Root Chakra, the Svadisthana or Sacral Chakra, and the Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra. By working on balancing our subtle body energy from the ground up, we can create a solid foundation upon which to bring our dreams into day-to-day reality. To maximize the impact of yoga’s impact on your brain, nervous system, and nadi system, we’ll share a brief review of each chakra’s energetic powers.

Yoga to End Your Day
Yoga to End Your Day
As 2019 begins, we are gifted with a blank slate, a fresh calendar, and a new opportunity to start fresh and create the lives we desire. Although the holidays are exciting, there’s a tendency to fall out of our routines and practices. There is also the tendency to not sleep enough, to eat foods we don’t usually consume, and generally wear ourselves down. The New Year is a powerful time to implement healthy new habits to help you thrive in your daily life. To assist you in feeling your best, we’ve got four new practices to use as an evening wind down ritual––a life hack many of us need. Without consistent sleep and relaxation, we can’t operate at our highest level during the day. In order for our Prana to flow freely, we need balance. Each class will help you implement a ritual for relaxation and a restful night’s sleep.

Yoga for Skiing and Snowboarding
Yoga for Skiing and Snowboarding
In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is upon us. Outdoor enthusiasts are flocking to the mountains to ski and snowboard. We here at YogaDownload.com want to support winter athletes and help you have the healthiest, most exciting season ever. Yoga can enhance your performance and help keep you injury-free so you enjoy your best days this season and for years to come. If where you live it is springtime, you’ll still benefit from our targeted classes this week. Water-skiing anyone? When you’re careening down a snow-covered mountain at the speed of light or even at the speed of a sloth, it’s important for your mind to be in the game. Honing your mental focus to a razor sharp edge will enable you to not only enhance your downhill skills, but will also help prevent avoidable injuries. Athletes agree that a clear attentive mind is the key to success on the slopes.

Overcoming Fear
Overcoming Fear
Halloween is approaching and many of us will dress up like vampires and ghouls, work to scare people, celebrate the horror genre and watch scary movies. What are you afraid of? Well, besides that scary clown who may or may not be hiding underneath your bed? On a more serious note, have you examined the concept of fear and how it impacts you? Fear is a necessary part of life. If we didn’t have healthy fear of dangerous activities like jumping off cliffs or walking down dark alleys in sketchy neighborhoods, we might get injured or worse. One of the biggest human drives is to protect ourselves from pain and loss, but sometimes we hold ourselves back because we are afraid of being hurt. According to Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutras, the biggest fear we face is the fear of death, referred to as abhinivesha. In theory, all our fears stem from this all-encompassing one.

5 Benefits of Inversions: Flip Your Perspective
5 Benefits of Inversions: Flip Your Perspective
​In yoga, students are often sharply divided about inversions. Some people can’t wait and approach headstands or handstands with joyous anticipation. Other practitioners choose that moment to take a sip of water, rest in child’s pose, or otherwise avoid getting their heads below their hearts. We believe as long as inversions are practiced with safe alignment and modifications if needed, there’s a pose appropriate for almost everyone. What is an inversion? It’s any asana where the head is below the heart. So, Downward Dog, Legs up the Wall, and standing forward folds count. More dynamic inversions include Headstand, Handstand, Shoulder stand and Forearm Stand. Of course, if injuries or other physical limitations exist, some of these postures may not be appropriate. People who have suffered a stroke, have neck injuries, heart conditions, high blood pressure that isn’t regulated, or glaucoma may need to modify or skip some asanas. Why inversions?

5 Reasons to Do Yoga in the Morning
5 Reasons to Do Yoga in the Morning
Are you a morning person and already practice yoga when you wake up? Awesome! Feel free to skip down to our list of four fabulous new classes to start your day with and push play. Or, review the benefits of a regular morning practice and let us know if we included all your reasons why you salute the sun first thing. If stepping onto your mat before the sun sets in the west isn’t your preference, check out five great reasons why practicing in the morning could become a ritual you embrace and even learn to love. So, stop hitting the snooze button and who knows, you might even become a morning person. Here are 5 reasons to make yoga part of your healthy morning routine! 1. Create a Good Mood: Start your day out right and create a positive mindset before circumstances conspire against you.

Strong Muscles & Healthy Bones
Strong Muscles & Healthy Bones
We like strong bones and we cannot lie…and toned muscles and healthy joints are awesome yoga benefits too. A regular yoga practice gives you flexibility and mobility, but this week we bring you four classes especially targeted toward building bone and joint health. Without stability and strength, you can become more susceptible to injury and who wants that? Invest some time into bolstering your bones and protecting your joints in order to continue all of your daily activities feeling great. To balance out the flexibility and mobility aspect of yoga, we suggest you try these new classes from two of your favorite YogaDownload.com instructors. Ben Davis' - Fitness n' Yoga: Sea Star Flow will get you moving and ensure you are working your muscles to build strength, stability and functional fitness. You may already know that weight-bearing exercise is vital to keeping your skeleton healthy. You don’t have to jog or run in order to build muscular strength and bone health, because all standing yoga poses are weight-bearing.

Yoga for Your Upper Body & Chakras
Yoga for Your Upper Body & Chakras
If someone asked you what the biggest benefit of yoga for your upper body is, how would you answer? Would you say that all the Down Dogs and chataranguas gave you muscular endurance and strength? That your chest and shoulders are more open and your posture is excellent? Would you mention how your spine is protected because you’ve built up a girdle of mobile muscle to keep you safe from injury? Or perhaps you’d expand beyond the obvious physical benefits. You could share how you are now a person able to live from a place of compassion, speak your authentic truth, trust your intuition, and visualize Samadhi or enlightenment because you’ve balanced your heart, throat, third-eye, and crown chakras. Yoga’s benefits are infinite and whatever your answer, you’d be correct. The fruits of a well-rounded yoga practice encompass the physical benefits for your muscular, spinal, nervous, and digestive systems.

Forward Folds to the Rescue: Time to Cool Down and Focus Inward!
Forward Folds to the Rescue: Time to Cool Down and Focus Inward!
One of the most magical aspects of yoga is how you can vary the practice based upon the way you feel today. It’s always fluid and adaptable to not just your physical needs, but your emotional and mental state as well. Some days, you just need a well-rounded yoga practice to keep you feeling strong, flexible, and balanced. Other days you need something more targeted and specific. Yoga can be your medicine. You probably know that certain asanas or postures offer particular benefits. Breathing in a deliberate way and utilizing different pranayama techniques can revitalize you or relax you. Back bending opens the heart and energizes you. Twists encourage healthy digestion and are excellent for neutralizing your spine. Forward folds are not just about stretching your back and hamstrings, they also calm your nervous system and encourage you to shift your gaze inward. A well-rounded yoga practice moves you through a full range of motion to encourage a healthy spine and balanced body and mind. This week, our focus is on forward folds, offering you ways to calm your nervous system, manage anxiety, stretch and strengthen the back body and improve your posture.

Hit the Reset Button
Hit the Reset Button
Are you in need of a reset? Maybe you are feeling tired or lack motivation, or you simply woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Perhaps external events are weighing heavily on you. Or maybe you’ve fallen into a pattern of negative thinking and need to flip the switch and find a more positive perspective. Yoga is a practice of looking within and shining a light on our true nature. Enter the yoga sutras! The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are considered the seminal text on yoga and despite the fact they are thousands of years old, their enduring wisdom is relevant today. The practical philosophy can be employed to help us uncover our best selves. In order to shift your perspective, consider Sutra 2.33: vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam. When distracted by disquieting or negative thoughts or feelings, cultivate the opposite point of view and replace with the positive. This is pratipaksha bhavana. Let’s consider a few situations and see how this practice can create a true shift in your attitude.

Yoga for Strength & Stability: Slow & Steady Wins the Race
Yoga for Strength & Stability: Slow & Steady Wins the Race
You’re familiar with Aesop’s fable about the race between the tortoise and the hare, right? The tortoise moves slowly and steadily and doesn’t stop. The hare bursts out in front with reckless abandon, certain to win against the plodding beast. Yet, in the end, the tortoise’s persistence and refusal to give up, despite a near certain defeat, wins the race. He personifies the traits of stability and strength. These qualities are vital to a sustainable, long-term yoga practice. In your yoga practice and in your life, you’ve probably embodied both creatures, jumping into new postures or endeavors without much thought, just like the swift-footed rabbit. And embracing life full-speed ahead without overthinking it is important. But it can lead to carelessness and injuries if you aren’t mindful. Yoga Sutra 2.46 Sthira Sukham Asanam means the posture should be steady and comfortable. Steadiness is a quality of strength and grounded energy. Working on developing this in your yoga practice will aid you in staying centered and stable.

3 Ways to Celebrate the International Day of Yoga
3 Ways to Celebrate the International Day of Yoga
From India to Indiana and everywhere in between, International Day of Yoga is a monumental celebration for yogis around the world. It’s happening on June 21st, the first day of summer and the solstice - when the sun is at its highest peak in the year. This auspicious day brings yogis of all ages, religions, nationalities and social backgrounds together to celebrate both our individuality and universality. Here are 3 ways you can join the International Day of Yoga festivities and promote harmony, foster good health and the overall well-being of the planet: On the Mat New to yoga? International Day of Yoga is the perfect time to start your practice because you’ll have the energy of the world’s yoga community behind you.

Yin Yoga Chill Out
Yin Yoga Chill Out
Life is all about balance. Hot and cold. Day and night. Sun and moon. Dark and light. Yin and Yang are opposites and they complement each other perfectly. Without balancing the opposing forces that exist within us and in the world around us, it’s tough to become centered and strong. Yin is stable and quiet. Yang is active and intense. Yin is stillness. Yang is movement. This week we’re focusing on how Yin Yoga can help you quiet your mind and delve deeper into your yoga practice. Many of us love our flowing linear styles of yoga like Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Power yoga. An active Yang practice has many benefits, but if your life is busy and intense, it might not be the best way to achieve balance and yin yoga can help.

Challenge Yourself!
Challenge Yourself!
You’ve built a regular yoga practice and step onto your mat several times a week. Congratulations on your commitment and your positive healthy lifestyle. Consistency and dedication are key elements in creating a strong yoga practice you love. Wait one second––hit the pause button right now and check in with where you are today. Are you challenging yourself or have you settled into a nice comfortable routine? Have you had any ‘aha’ moments lately on the mat, like when you noticed your concentration was laser focused or you managed to hold Tree Pose effortlessly? Or perhaps you are just going through the motions and have lost a little of your yoga high. We all have our favorite styles, teachers, and classes, but sometimes in order to develop, you need to get uncomfortable. We aren’t suggesting you toss out all your favorites and start over, but what about adding in a challenge every week? In order to grow and progress on your yoga mat and in your daily life, you have to push beyond your boundaries and try something new or different.

Come on Yogis, Do the Twist
Come on Yogis, Do the Twist
We all have our favorite yoga asanas or postures and most yogis agree that twists are awesome. This week, we’re focusing on twists and how beneficial they are for your spine, your digestive organs, and your general sense of well-being. Of course, like all physical practices, it’s important to make sure you are using proper form and breathing techniques to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks. Twists help nourish your entire spine, help maintain spinal health and prevent back pain. Twisting is one of the major directions in which your spine moves, but how often do you twist throughout the day? Most of us move primarily in the sagittal (front to back) and frontal planes (lateral) which can lead to compression. Without balanced movement for our vertebrae, muscles, and connective tissues, our spine can grow stiff and tight.

A Tribute to Yoga Mamas
A Tribute to Yoga Mamas
Ever noticed how the word Mom has OM in it? It’s no surprise then that moms across the globe consider yoga to be an antidote to the sacrifices that come with being a mom. Whether you are going through the thrills of your first pregnancy, finding your footing as a new mom, living in the grey zone of your child’s teen years or readjusting to an empty nest - doesn’t everything seem better with yoga? On Mother’s Day we thank you for showing us how yoga can double the joys of motherhood, no matter where you are in the process. To The New-Mom Yogi From guilt-free naps during Savasana to chanting a low “Ommmmmmmmmm” to pacify a crying baby, the New-Mom Yogi finds ways in which she can extend the lessons on the mat to her new life. New moms often don’t have time for a shower, let alone for a 75 minute yoga and meditation session. There’s no shame in spit-up stains or greasy hair, and whoever set the expectation that you can “snap back” to your old body in a couple months (or ever) has obviously never tried it themselves.

Body & Mind Connection
Body & Mind Connection
Why did you start practicing yoga? Many of us come to the mat for the physical benefits of flexibility, strength, balance, and equanimity. Some people start a yoga journey for the promised benefits of relieving stress and quieting the mind. Others seek spiritual enlightenment. No matter what path you travel, you’ll receive the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga. Yoga’s benefits are interconnected. According to T.K.V. Desikachar, the author of the Heart of Yoga, it all stems from Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of yoga and his seminal text, the Yoga Sutras: “…the essence of Yoga, was formulated by the great Indian sage, Patanjali, more than two thousand years ago in this succinct definition: Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distractions.” -Yoga Sutra 1.2 Citta Vritti Nirodhah We live in a busy world governed by multi-tasking, speed, and technology. Choosing to turn off your phone, and to leave work, relationships, and daily stress behind is the first step to creating a clear, peaceful mind.

Yoga to Improve Self Confidence
Yoga to Improve Self Confidence
We all have that friend who seems naturally confident and fearless about being exactly who they are, regardless of the situation. Or, perhaps you are the confident one and have learned to tap into your true self and exhibit your personal power. A healthy amount of ego can be a good thing—a strong sense of self-confidence drives success and helps us live an authentic life. True confidence comes from within and self-assurance is a quality that can be cultivated, practiced, and strengthened. It's not just something that comes naturally to some people, and not to others, with nothing we can do to improve our sense of self-confidence. Utilizing yogic techniques of asana, pranayama, and meditation, we can uncover and address the layers of insecurity obscuring our inner strength and practice improving our own self-confidence. Sound good? How can yoga work to help you feel more self-assured in public or be able to speak your truth in a difficult relationship? Yoga can help balance your Manipura chakra, which is associated with the ego, self-confidence, willpower, self-discipline, and fire.

5 Celebration Ideas for Earth Day
5 Celebration Ideas for Earth Day
Get Grounded. Celebrating Earth Day with 5 Rituals and 4 New Yoga Classes How will you thank Mother Earth and celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd? 193 countries around the globe hold events to celebrate Earth Day. To honor the planet that provides our home and sustains us with air, water, food and all our necessities, take the time to attend a local event or create your own ritual. This week, we’ve got five celebratory suggestions for you, in addition to four new classes that embody the qualities of our planet. Grounded, strong, reliable, and generous. Here are 5 celebration ideas to make give thanks to the Earth and make your Earth Day meaningful!

Get in the Flow
Get in the Flow
When is the last time you were “in the flow?” You know, when you were doing something you love, like surfing with the sun warming your face and the water glistening around you? Or, when you were dancing to your favorite band and responsibilities disappeared or when you were running with the breeze kissing your skin? When you’re so immersed in the activity, you aren’t conscious of the doing; you are simply doing. We’ve all slipped into involuntary Dhyana and often believe we need a certain activity to find that beautiful sense of being in the moment, free from external distractions. What if you could achieve that state voluntarily without the ocean, concert hall, or running shoes? You can. Yoga can help you discover this place. Roll out your yoga mat because you can get into your zone right now. We bring you four new flow classes this week, all focusing on different aspects of finding your flow state through breath and movement. "Flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity."

Strong to the Core
Strong to the Core
What if we told you that by strengthening your core, you could not only reap physical benefits like improved posture, a healthy back, toned abdominals, better digestion and organ health, but also fire up your self-confidence and inner radiance? This week we’ve got four new classes to power up every aspect of your center from the outside in and the inside out. Your core houses the Manipura or navel chakra, which is considered the source of your identity and the center of your ego and personal power. Self-confidence, willpower, self-discipline, and fire are all qualities associated with the third of seven main chakras or energy centers. By employing asana, pranayama, mantras and guided meditation to stoke the fire in your belly you can burn through any layers of self-doubt and trust in your self. Look at it this way: You aren’t simply working to create toned abdominals.

Back to the Basics
Back to the Basics
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few. -Shunryu Suzuki Do you remember your first yoga class? Or maybe you’ve never stepped onto a mat and something intangible is holding you back from beginning a yoga practice. Wherever you are on your yoga journey, pause and take a moment to let go of all you think you know about yoga, whether you’ve been practicing for a decade or a day. It’s great to go back to the beginning and remind yourself of how far you've come and that there isn’t only one way. A certain freedom exists when you come from a place of curiosity and openness. If you’ve been practicing for a while, you might have your favorite teachers, classes, and regular practice schedule. While that’s great, there’s a thin line between continuing to grow and sinking into a rut. This week, return to that place where you are open to hearing, processing, and accepting new information. You know, before you knew it all? Be open and step outside your comfort zone.

It's All About Balance
It's All About Balance
One of the primary benefits of yoga and main reasons to practice is to achieve balance in your body, your mind, and your heart. Yoga Sutra 2.46, Sthira Sukham asanam, is commonly translated to mean the posture should be steady and comfortable. By finding a balance between effort and ease on your yoga mat, you can create a sense of wholeness in your life. Hatha yoga is the broad umbrella under which most physical forms of yoga are housed. ‘Ha’ means sun and ‘tha’ means moon. Hatha yoga seeks to balance the masculine solar energy and the feminine lunar energy that exists within all of us. Because at any given time, each of us is experiencing some level of imbalance, right? Your career is on fire, but your personal life is in shambles or vice-versa. Playing with the concepts of effort and ease through asana and pranayama helps bring the energy within you into a sustained state of balance.

Yoga For Your Heart
Yoga For Your Heart
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. ~ John Lennon Imagine filling your heart so full of love for yourself and others that no space for fear exists! One of the most powerful aspects of yoga is the ability to create openings in your physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies. The heart chakra is the seat of compassion, love, joy, and happiness. This week, our focus is all about opening and nourishing your heart. February 14th is known around the world as the day of love and it’s not just limited to romance. Documented celebrations as long ago as Roman times emphasize that the power of the heart justifies rejoicing. Our heart is the connection point where we are magnetically drawn to others. Love stems from our powerful fourth Chakra, the heart chakra.

Yoga for Healthy Lungs & Happy Breathing
Yoga for Healthy Lungs & Happy Breathing
If you aren’t breathing fully, you aren’t living fully. One of the best ways to maximize your oxygen intake and breathe to your maximum capacity is to practice yoga. We all have our reasons for stepping onto the yoga mat: flexibility, strength, balance, stress-relief, and even enlightenment. One major benefit of yoga you may not have considered is improved lung power. Yes, practicing yoga regularly results in healthier lungs and a stronger respiratory system. Because respiratory health is what keeps us alive, we’d say garnering this benefit from a regular yoga practice is essential. Your lungs are muscles and benefit from practices to promote healthy breathing and overall well being. Yoga is associated with overall improved lung function and can help reduce effects of respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.