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


Chickpea Miso Soup
Chickpea Miso Soup
As many of us in the northern hemisphere approach the coldest weather of the year and flu season, I thought I would share with you my new favorite go-to soup when I feel under the weather. Over the years, as I’ve slowly worked to better my health with a plant-based diet, I’m usually a little puzzled as to what to eat when I get sick. When it comes down to surviving the flu, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking chicken noodle soup, ginger ale, saltines, toast and jelly. And even though I haven’t had any of that stuff for a few decades (or the flu for that matter!), they’re still ingrained in my mind as flu comfort foods. What I know and live by, most importantly when I’m sick, is that whatever I’m going to eat has to be nourishing and healing, and not simply comforting – although all of the above would be nice. Aside from homemade chicken noodle soup, which isn’t going to happen when you’re sick unless mom lives nearby, none of the previously mentioned foods are going to support your immune system with any extra love. When you’re sick, boosting your immune system’s fighting power with nourishing, vitamin and mineral-filled food will help you feel better faster. As a veg-head who hasn’t eaten chicken noodle soup since high school, over the years I’ve turned to miso (pronounced mee-so) soup. Miso, which has its origins in Japan, is traditionally referred to as fermented soy. It’s known as an all-purpose, high-protein seasoning that’s most often used in soups, salad dressings and veggie dishes. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals and contains all eight essential amino acids. It also has quite a few healing benefits now back by scientific research – reduces the risk of heart disease, hypertension and breast cancer, to name a few.

Sagittarius New Moon: Mining the Darkness to Give Birth to the Light
Sagittarius New Moon: Mining the Darkness to Give Birth to the Light
The new moon in Sagittarius on December 18, 2017 gives us plenty of opportunity to let go of what no longer serves us in preparation for the coming new year. This new moon happens just a few days before the winter solstice on December 21st, and the darkness of the new moon combined with the yearly celebration of the darkest day of the year signifies a cosmic urge to turn inward, look carefully at our shadow, and surrender whatever we deem no longer of use.

Yoga for Solid Sleep & Happy Mornings
Yoga for Solid Sleep & Happy Mornings
This week we bring you four new classes to help fall asleep, have wonderful dreams, and awake recharged and clear for lovely days. When you were a little kid, you probably battled your parents to stay up as late as possible and avoid an early bedtime. As you transitioned into adulthood, sleep still seemed optional: there can always be so much to do! And, once upon a time, when you were ready to go to sleep, you could lay your head on the pillow and drift off to dreamland. If you are lucky, falling asleep still comes naturally. For many of us, insomnia is an occasional or chronic issue. Our world is zooming at warp-speed and keeping up can launch our nervous systems into overdrive or the “fight or flight response.” Despite physical and mental exhaustion, the minute we try to go to sleep, an endless reel begins playing through our brains. We’re unable to shut off the movie documenting every detail of our day or the issues we’re contending with at any given moment. Sleep is essential for us to rejuvenate and heal our physical, mental, and emotional health. Yoga to the rescue! With the appropriate yoga practice, you can learn to not only tire out your body, but also quiet your mind and calm your heart for a solid night’s sleep.

Use your Imagination
Use your Imagination
Patanjali, author of The Yoga Sutras, shares that there are five states of mental activity; understanding, misunderstanding, memory, sleeping, and imagination. Imagination seems to be a challenging mental activity for those of us raised and living in our current cultural, social, educational, and economic system. Or so we remember. How often do we as adults imagine, like we did as a child? I remember my childhood imagination explorations including faeries, castles, mythical creatures, dances, romances, flying, time traveling, body swapping, etc. Why and when did we agree with what we were told, by elders of authority, such as to stop day dreaming in the make believe? Why is it that socially we were threatened out of our imaginations to avoid the risks of being labeled as strange, childish, or unacceptable?

What Types of Music are Best During Yoga?
What Types of Music are Best During Yoga?
The beauty of music is that it can drive you to do ‘things’. They say that music often has a positive impact on the mind, though the genre and the selection of music are important for that kind of effect. There are many medical studies that have endorsed the usage of music for restorative as well as curative purposes. Doing yoga is an activity where you have to apply your body and mind—sometimes, you feel out of the zone to put yourself in that crucible and need an inspiration or a driving factor. For some, good music or a song can provide the inspirational energy to engage in the activity. Many yoga centers incorporate music into a routine during their practices and teaching sessions. It becomes imperative to know what kind of music is conducive to yoga. Is there any subtle connection between sound and the way our body and mind responds to it?

A 2-Step Guide to Holiday Bliss: Yin Yoga & Meditation
A 2-Step Guide to Holiday Bliss: Yin Yoga & Meditation
You’re probably multitasking right now while you read this. Our lives today are so much about getting things done and going through the never ending to-do list that we forget to pause, reset and rejuvenate. Plus, with the holidays near, we may find ourselves being pulled in a hundred different directions. There has to be a Yin to all the Yang created by travel planning, gift shopping, meals, celebrations (and recovery). ‘Tis the season to be merry and nothing should dampen that spirit. Spare a little time to journey inward and focus on just being. This will surely multiply the joy of your celebrations and help in getting things done faster and more efficiently. Wondering how to put this in motion? We have a simple recipe for it - Follow our 2-step guide of Yin Yoga and Meditation, to Holiday Bliss and witness heaps of love coming your way:

Roasted Curry Chickpeas
Roasted Curry Chickpeas
Lately I’ve been hungry for more veggie protein options, so I’ve been gravitating toward eating more beans. Chickpeas, AKA garbanzo beans, are part of the legume family. They’re touted for their high levels of insoluble fiber, so naturally they’re an amazingly cleanse-friendly food. In just 1 cup of chickpeas you’ll get over 15 grams of protein, so they’re a fantastic veggie-based protein source. Chickpeas boast a wide array of phytonutrients both in the seed coat and inner bean. My favorite inflammation fighting phytonutrient, quercetin, is plentiful in this little bean, which makes it a healthy food to be eating during any allergy season. Chickpeas are extremely versatile. You can flavor them with a variety of spices, add them to soups, salads, and salad dressings. You can even eat them by the handful for a healthy and filling snack. Not only will this recipe delight your taste buds, but it will also help to satisfy your cravings for junk food and sweets. In a recent study, people who ate chickpeas were shown to eat fewer processed foods. Equally exciting, participants who ate garbanzo beans for just 1 week were able to control their blood sugar and insulin levels.

5 Ways Meditation Benefits Your Life
5 Ways Meditation Benefits Your Life
Whether you already like to meditate, are thinking about trying it, or are unsure of why it's useful, here are 5 reasons that taking the time to practice meditation, even for a few minutes a day, can have a profound impact on your quality of life and benefit your well-being.

5 Reasons Online Yoga Classes Enrich Your Yoga Practice
5 Reasons Online Yoga Classes Enrich Your Yoga Practice
Online classes are not always given the respect they deserve. While they have plenty of differences than in-person classes, they nonetheless offer room for growth. My first experience with yoga did not happen in a studio or group setting. It happened with a Power Yoga DVD that I picked up from the store. Eventually I started going to a studio, but practicing yoga by myself with a DVD was my first step. Since then, I have enjoyed the wide variety of online classes available to explore other yoga styles and teachers. In every yoga class, online or in person, you learn something new. It ranges from the external, such as a pose cued by the instructor, to the internal, such as building self-awareness. I have been practicing yoga for nine years, and continue to learn new things from every teacher and class I attend. Online platforms bring the teachers, classes and learning experiences to you- you just need to be ready for them. Here are 5 of the ways online classes enrich you’re your yoga practice (in ways in-person classes do not).

Cilantro Detox Juice
Cilantro Detox Juice
Today I want share with you my new favorite green juice! Hydrating and refreshing – it’s just perfect for detoxifying. Cilantro Detox Juice is an incredibly healing juice. Created by our friend and fellow wellness warrior, Elana Amsterdam, this juice features an entire bunch of cilantro (stems and leaves), which is known to be highly effective at helping chelate heavy metals from the body. As someone who has a family history with Alzheimer’s, detoxing heavy metals is of particular interest to me. If you don’t have a juicer at home, this would probably taste just as good blended up in your high speed blender, but you’ll have to report back and let me know. Alternatively, you might like our Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie.

Yoga for Detox: Overindulgence + Unleash Your Inner Power
 Yoga for Detox: Overindulgence + Unleash Your Inner Power
As 2017 comes to a close, ask yourself how are you feeling? Do you feel strong? Powerful? Are you shining your inner light to the world at one hundred percent or do you feel weighed down physically, emotionally, or mentally? We’re thrilled to offer a brand new package: Yoga for Detox from Overindulgence to help you release any extra baggage AND four new classes designed to fuel your inner power. The end of the year is an excellent time to check in and connect to your center. In order to find clarity and truly see yourself, it’s necessary to shed whatever excess may be concealing your true sense of self. First, burn off the layers that are hindering you with our new program designed for detoxification, just in time to balance out the holiday season.

What is Power?
What is Power?
When we think of power, we tend to think of domination or control. A few years ago, though, I heard of a healthier and more yogic definition of power which resonated with me: power can be measured by how quickly you can make your desire into a reality. When we are in our personal power, we get what we want so easily, as if in the blink of an eye. To access the kind of personal power that allows us to quickly transform what we want into what we have, we must have a clear vision of which possibilities we actually desire. Visualization and goal setting can be a helpful practice to turn the gaze inward and initiate this kind of alchemy.

5 Easy Healthy Recipes to Boost Immunity
5 Easy Healthy Recipes to Boost Immunity
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ―Hippocrates Did you know that the immune system’s army is in the stomach? And to keep the army healthy, you need to feed it good nourishment. Our immune system does an incredible job at protecting us from all those pesky germs that want to invade our body. But sometimes, germs pass by it and we get sick. Thankfully, it is possible to intervene and give the immune system a helping hand. In this article, I share you easy recipes to boost immunity and help you fight those nasty germs and colds.

8 Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling
8 Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling
Travelling regularly for work or pleasure can be extremely fun, but often isn’t particularly good on your body. Gaining weight is all too easy, sitting for long periods of time on trains or planes and being forced to make rush food decisions or generally unhealthier options along the way can mean adding a few pounds around the waist in a short amount of time. Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly is a lot simpler when you can home cook and exercise at home or nearby, but while travelling these luxuries are gone; eating healthy and exercising become even more of a challenge. At the very least, staying well rested and hydrated as possible should be your two major concerns.

Focus on Gratitude!
Focus on Gratitude!
Quick exercise: Name three things you’re grateful for right now. Can you do it? Were you able to list three? Ten? Or, did you have a tough time feeling thankful because you’re in a challenging phase of life and your focus is simply on surviving whatever is difficult right now? We’re here to remind you that if you shift your attention, you’ll change your perspective. Two of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras provide direction and wisdom.

6 Recipes for a Healthy & Happy Thanksgiving
6 Recipes for a Healthy & Happy Thanksgiving
Turkey, stuffing, pie, oh my! Thanksgiving is a holiday about abundance, or for many us, overabundance! So to make sure you don’t feel like slithering out of your chair only to fall asleep under the table, we’ve pulled together six of our favorite healthy recipes that will leave you feeling energized and not stuffed to the gills. Using fresh herbs, seasonal farm fresh produce, and nutrient dense ingredients, we’ve put a healthy spin on some of our traditional favorites. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do and feel our love as you make them! As you plan your Thanksgiving menu, remember that this time of year is not just about the food you put on your table, it’s also about the connection and time spent with your loved ones. Enjoy every moment!

Full Up: Eat and Schedule to 80% Full
Full Up: Eat and Schedule to 80% Full
I can almost still taste last weekend. Tacos, tequila, BBQ, sausages, mimosas, ceviché, beer, benedicts, ice cream…Two of my best girlfriends and I spent the weekend eating around Austin, TX. Sure, we caught a little bit of live music, did some window shopping, and took a walk around Lady Bird Lake — but mostly we just ate and drank, and ate some more. This week I decided it was time for a cleanse. Yep, time to clean out the ol’ intestines with a reset elimination diet. For the past 7 days I’ve ousted wheat, meat, booze, dairy, sugar, caffeine, most grains, legumes and nightshades. Side-effects of this elimination experiment have been a heightened sensitivity to flavor – good morning, tastebuds! – and an awareness of my tendency to comfort eat. It’s now clear to me that most of the time I put food in my mouth it’s for a reason other than true hunger. Maybe I’m bored, lonely, or feel that I need a reward or entertainment. And stopping at 80% full as recommended? Rarely.

New Moon in Scorpio — Consciously Choosing the Light
New Moon in Scorpio — Consciously Choosing the Light
This Scorpio new moon on November 18, 2017 calls us to initiate ourselves into the watery depths of our unconscious. Whether it be through occult practices, transformational rituals, psychotherapy, shadow work or anything that ushers us “beyond the veil,” now is the time to walk into the underworld. Most of us strive to stay in the light, ignoring the dark and repressing that which needs to be addressed for us to be truly free. We can no longer resist the change that is upon us, and ignore the power of the shadow within. The lesson of Scorpio is that what we try to hide away and leave in the dark rarely remains there for long. Either we bring it forth ourselves with our own depth work, or it comes forward on its own as our struggles, triggers, and negative patterns. What we leave in the darkness destroys us, but what we bring into the light ultimately saves us. The darkness of the new moon in Scorpio means that we cannot hide anymore, we must make friends with the darkness—our darkness—if we yearn for personal freedom.

5 Best Yoga Poses in a Timecrunch
5 Best Yoga Poses in a Timecrunch
Top 5 Poses in a Time Crunch If you're like me, your yoga practice and it's consistency move in waves. I practice yoga multiple times every week usually. That said, some weeks I make it to class and my mat five times, and on other weeks, it's closer to two. It is important to remember, on days when we don't create the time for a full hour-long practice, there are great benefits for fitting in even a single pose into your day, even for 1-minute or less. So which poses will give you your best bang for your buck in terms of time investment and a return of benefits. Here are five that can reset your mood in a matter of moments. 1. Paschimotanasana 2. Seated Twist 3. Salabasana 4. Shoulderstand 5. Headstand (or handstand)

Matzo Ball Soup: Gluten-Free Recipe
Matzo Ball Soup: Gluten-Free Recipe
This gluten-free Matzo Ball Soup is a healthy twist on a Passover classic. My secret to making this dish gluten-free is to use almond flour in place of matzo meal. Yes, it’s a grain-free Paleo Matzo Ball Soup, as a good as any your Bubby ever made. Traditionally, Matzo Ball Soup is served each year at Passover. One of my favorite holidays, it ushers in a change of seasons and occurs each year on the spring full moon falling in March or April.

Shift Your Perspective: The Benefits of Inversions
Shift Your Perspective: The Benefits of Inversions
Do you need a change of pace? Are you ready to tap into your inner child and become more playful in your yoga practice, yet desire to shift your physical, mental, and emotional viewpoint too? This week, we’re thrilled to offer four new classes focused on how inversions and going upside down benefits you. Technically, an inversion in yoga is anything that brings your hips above your heart and your heart above your head. Downward-facing dog and standing forward bends can be considered inversions. Some inversions build heat and energy, like handstands and forearm stands. Others like headstands and shoulder stand act to calm the nervous system. Assuming you are physically healthy and aren’t dealing with injuries to your neck or shoulders, low blood pressure, or glaucoma, there’s an inversion to benefit you.

3 Ways to Enjoy Maternity Leave
3 Ways to Enjoy Maternity Leave
We all think it’s going to be easier than it is. We imagine that maternity leave will be like a long holiday in which we can get to enjoy life, see friends, and read books. Because of course we’ll know our baby and of course we’ll be better at it than everybody else! It turns out it’s a bit different than that. Babies don’t keep to our schedules. That’s probably because they don’t know what schedules are. For that reason, if you don’t plan ahead you will find those weeks turn into a constant struggle to catch up to the baby situation. Like desperately trying to figure out where there is a changing room when the little one is wailing like a fire alarm. Here are some things that you’ll definitely want to take care of before the little one arrives to enjoy your maternity leave instead of struggle through it.

Vegetable Lasagna with "Ricotta" Cheese
Vegetable Lasagna with
Temperatures have started to dip in the northern hemisphere the past few weeks, causing us to crave warm soups and other fall favorites. Today we have a recipe that is the epitome of comfort food. It’s the perfect meal that the entire family will enjoy. But it’s also a labor of love and tends to be one those childhood favorites that just don’t work in our Conscious Cleanse lifestyle. That is until today! Our Vegetable Lasagna with non-dairy ricotta “cheese” is a simple, gluten free, vegan lasagna. And it tastes delicious. Now your Italian granny might turn over in her grave but believe us our vegan cashew “cheese” is so tasty you will never miss the real stuff. As for the noodles? Gluten be gone. These “noodles” are made from veggies sliced thinly and roasted until caramelized and sweet. A real excellent substitution in the flavor department. Layer it all up with a high quality can of organic crushed tomatoes and you have a healthy and warming dinner.

5 Yoga Poses for Moms and Kids To Do Together
5 Yoga Poses for Moms and Kids To Do Together
Kids love yoga! It’s true. They don’t perceive it as the challenging practice that makes you bend your body in all directions or need to focus on staying calm while doing it. That’s you. For kids, yoga is a fun experience. They get to explore new movements and imitate nature, animals, and warriors. Of course, yoga is not just a game. It’s a practice that sets the foundation for a resilient, strong character. Researchers found that yoga helps children cope with symptoms of ADHD, such as hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsiveness. Yoga helps them focus and boost their performance in physical and intellectual activities.

3 Yoga Tips for New Moms
3 Yoga Tips for New Moms
You just had a baby - congratulations! Does your body feel like a total stranger? Your amazing body spent nearly a year growing a new human, and longer for nourishing and nurturing this new life. For new moms, sometimes your body doesn’t feel like yours anymore. We can help. Whether you’re looking to reconnect with your sense of self, rebuild your core or just start moving and toning your muscles again (with your doctor’s blessing), we put together a special 10-class Yoga For New Moms package with exactly you in mind. We also have 3 key tips to practice any time: