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


Make 2020 Your Best Year Yet
Make 2020 Your Best Year Yet
"The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat." - Napoleon Hill Get fired up! Are you ready to tap into your innermost desires and stoke your motivation? Join us for our incredible 2020 challenge and we’ll be right there with you getting fired up for not just your best year ever, but your best DECADE ever. We’re going to give you every single little thing you need to help you kick off 2020 and manifest your desires for your best life. All you need to bring to the table is your Tapas… Tapas? If you aren’t familiar with this Sanskrit term, Tapas is one of the Niyamas or five internal practices from the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali’s Eight-Limb Yoga Path. This path outlines your journey through yoga and life. Cultivating these qualities before and during your time on the mat will lead you to success.

15 Ways to Relax During the Holidays
15 Ways to Relax During the Holidays
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and for some, that also means the most stressful. You know that feeling when you have holiday parties to plan for, gifts to purchase, dinner to host and it feels like you’re never ever going to stop? During the holiday season, it’s so important to find a way to relax and recharge. So here are a few quick ways to do just that, just in time for the holidays! Don’t strive for perfection Sometimes ‘good enough’, is just that! Don’t always strive to be best, or perfect, especially when you’re juggling a lot of tasks. When planning your holiday season, give yourself a break and let ‘good enough’ be good enough for you. After all, is anyone really going to notice the ‘perfect’ Christmas tree, when you’re having fun with your loved ones?

Lentil & Quinoa Plant-Based Burger Patties
Lentil & Quinoa Plant-Based Burger Patties
Two almost empty packets inspired this recipe. From the name of the recipe, you can already guess what they were. Yes, you are correct – red lentils and quinoa. Both of these are always favorites in my house, so that they would have been used soon anyway, but since there are never too many plant-based burger recipes, I figured if those two together would make sense. They did. The patties are simple to make, and they hold together without adding any flour, so the recipe is also naturally gluten-free. To serve, this time, I made a very simple salad of baby spinach and cherry tomatoes and topped the patties with mashed avocado, green onions, and jalapeno. If you fancy a bigger meal, these patties also work exceptionally well in a burger bun or with a side of rice. Oh, and I have made the same recipe as a snack. If you wish to serve these as a snack, I recommend making them 3-4 times smaller, so they would be bite-sized and hold together nicely.

Working the Night Shift? Your Guide to Getting Enough Sleep
Working the Night Shift? Your Guide to Getting Enough Sleep
While most people are getting ready for bed, others are heading out the door for work. Not everyone is on a typical 9-to-5 schedule; according to the American Psychological Association, about 15 million Americans are on the clock for the night shift. Nurses, doctors, factory workers, and even employees in creative fields like radio and television are often hustling before the sun comes up. Working while the rest of the world is dozing off presents some unique challenges because this routine conflicts with the body’s natural circadian rhythm. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get quality sleep when you return home from your shift. Here’s how to create a cozy sleep environment and enjoy eight hours of sleep, even if you’re working from sunset to sunrise. Have a Good Mattress

11 Easy and Simple Ways to Relax
11 Easy and Simple Ways to Relax
When you’re feeling stressed - and it happens so easily- it can be hard to relax. Getting rid of your day to day stress often seems really hard. However, there are a few simple ways to relax, which are especially useful if you can’t get away from the thing that's stressing you out! Relax Your Body A relaxed body equals a relaxed mind, according to Harvard Medical School. A relaxed body actually sends calming signals to the brain that can help to reduce mental tension. Working out can help to relax the body, as it releases endorphins, which can boost your mood. Exercise can also reduce stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. You can also relax your body by taking a warm bath.

Relaxing Restorative Yoga at Home: 5-Class Series
Relaxing Restorative Yoga at Home: 5-Class Series
Restorative yoga is the key to your holiday survival guide. No matter where you live in the world and no matter which holidays you celebrate, it’s the time of year where your regular routine can get tossed out the window. Some of us are spending more time with family, or perhaps spending more time alone, indulging in food and drink we usually wouldn’t consume, and generally caught up in the busy-ness of the season. Whether you’re overjoyed to take time off from work and hang out with extended family and friends or you dread every moment, we’re here to help provide some balance. This week’s Restorative Yoga Package is here to give you an escape. Of course, if you already practice Restorative yoga on a regular basis, you’re aware of the myriad of physical, emotional, and mental benefits of a slower, quieter class. Restorative yoga is helpful to balance your nervous system and quiet your mind. Many of us enjoy vigorous Vinyasa style yoga and use it to balance stress and burn off energy.

Grammy’s Greens & Cauliflower Soup
Grammy’s Greens & Cauliflower Soup
The holiday season can be tricky to navigate as a Conscious eater when faced with the temptation to overeat or skip meals in preparation for the big healthy family feast. That’s where this recipe comes in! During the holidays, we often eat around 4 or 5 pm, so it’s nice to have something light earlier in the day. This way you avoid being too full for the family meal and you don’t make the mistake of skipping lunch and then binging at dinner because you haven’t eaten all day. This soup is packed with nutrients and high in protein to help you power through your holiday meal prep without weighing you down. It’s super easy to make and eat; if you’re pressed for time, you can make it ahead of time and freeze it until you’re ready to eat, and since it’s puréed, you can even sip it from a mug to make it more convenient.

7 Easy Tips To Stay In Shape As You Age
7 Easy Tips To Stay In Shape As You Age
Do you get worried you might be getting out of shape as you move further into adulthood? We sometimes take for granted the beauty of having massive loads of energy experienced during youth. It's not uncommon for people to feel like they've let themselves go as they move into middle age, or that their midsection is getting more robust. However, it's never too late to turn things around, and even simple lifestyle changes can help keep you healthy and feeling in top shape, even if you've been feeling like you've gotten out of shape. The very fact that you’re scanning the internet for fitness ideas is an indication that you are on the right track. Be kind to yourself wherever you are on your fitness journey right now, and implement some of these simple tips to stay or get into better shape in the coming year. 1. Wake Up and Drink Warm Water

Healthy Sugar-Free Chocolate Cookies
Healthy Sugar-Free Chocolate Cookies
Those cookies are healthy enough to be breakfast. They include all the ingredients used for sweet oatmeal, just in a different way. I must add that I don’t like sweet oats – I always have my oatmeal with butter or extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Even adding berries or milk makes the oatmeal too sweet for my liking. However, take all the same ingredients and bake cookies out of them – a very different story, and I have made already three batches this week. Luckily, most of them I have given away as a present for my yoga students. I say luckily, because even if they are healthy – eating a full tray of these babies as an evening snack is probably not the best idea. The cookies are not super sweet, so if you prefer sweeter treats, feel free to add more sugar. All the ingredients are edible raw, so feel free to taste the dough before baking it and add sugar if you feel like it. My partner thought they were not sweet enough, I find the sweetness to be just enough, so I kept the recipe as I prefer it.

Combining Yoga & Different Styles of Music to Create a Flow State
Combining Yoga & Different Styles of Music to Create a Flow State
When we are considering different things to pair together, it is always a subjective matter. For instance, there might be people who love salted chocolate, while others want salt nowhere near their chocolate! The same can be said about adding music to your yoga practice. Some people love vibration support and melodic inspirations when they are flowing from one pose to another and find it improves their practice. Others revel in the silent internal waves of just their breath and prefer yoga without any music. There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s simply a matter of preference. Regardless, music has become increasingly popular to complement a yoga practice and seems here to stay for those who like this combination. Because of this, there are people who are always looking for new excellent music choices for their yoga sessions. If you’ve been moved by music during a yoga class, you can appreciate the beauty of this combination. Music can add another layer to a deep, rigorous flow and can support you in the challenging moments of a class, or keep your mind from wandering. Many have opened to new music artists and styles of music from tracks they discovered that moved them during yoga. What Is Yoga?

Benefits of Going Back to the Basics in Yoga & Best Poses to Revisit
Benefits of Going Back to the Basics in Yoga & Best Poses to Revisit
When you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, you might have built up a bit of an ego. You might be seeking out the most advanced poses and classes, with the toughest teachers, and you might be pushing yourself as far as you can. Sound familiar? Pushing yourself too far in yoga can get you into sticky situations, especially if you try poses that are too advanced before you are ready for them. This is why going back to yoga basics every once in a while can be immensely beneficial to you, even if you’re not a beginner to the yoga mat. A basics yoga class can be so much better than pushing yourself into advanced practices, and perhaps injuring yourself. Here’s a few simple reasons why going back to basics can actually help you on the way to becoming more advanced at yoga, and a few basic poses to go back and master.

Focus on Strong Foundations: Revisit the Basics for Your Best Yoga Practice
Focus on Strong Foundations: Revisit the Basics for Your Best Yoga Practice
Are you seeking to find your best yoga practice? Often, the most powerful way to manifest transformation in your life and your yoga practice is to stop wherever you are and assess the strength of your foundation. Just like you can’t build a home that will last for generations on unstable soil, you can’t build a sustainable yoga practice by focusing only on how it looks or feels on the surface. This week hit the pause button and dig deeper to ensure your foundation is solid. If you’ve been rolling out your yoga mat for a while, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of just focusing on learning new skills or taking every asana into its most advanced variation. Practicing this way isn’t necessarily the path of becoming an advanced yogi. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, cultivating an enduring yoga practice was compared to being a gardener or a farmer. Planting seeds and tending the soil on a consistent basis is key for successful growth. A healthy lifelong yoga practice at times isn’t apparent from looking solely on the surface. The strength stems from the roots, beneath the soil.

Goat Cheese & Sage Scalloped Potatoes
Goat Cheese & Sage Scalloped Potatoes
Scalloped potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving dish, but are traditionally loaded with heavy cream, cheese, and flour. Our recipe is an up-leveled version that tastes just as good as you remember grandma making. This recipe falls under our 80:20 eating, as we keep potatoes, yeast, and goat cheese off our plates while cleansing. However, this recipe could be easily modified to be more cleanse-friendly by leaving out the yeast, substituting our Vegan Cashew Cheese for the goat cheese, and swapping out the potatoes for another tender root veggie, like rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, or even golden beets – or mix it up with a combo of your favorites! Do you have a favorite holiday recipe you’d like us to give a Conscious Cleanse makeover? Let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from our community!

How to Prepare for a Yoga Vacation
How to Prepare for a Yoga Vacation
A yoga retreat is a nice opportunity to take a step back from the distractions of daily life. They also help you focus on and immerse yourself in your yoga practice, while also experiencing new places with new people. As rejuvenating as this experience can be, many find the idea of a retreat slightly intimidating. Yes, for some, even a retreat may seem daunting at first, as many wonder if it's really a relaxing vacation or a challenge that puts you too far outside your comfort zone. Here's a few handy tips and tricks to help you get the best out of a yoga vacation and feel ready to immerse yourself in yoga and travel. Pick the right retreat Your experience all depends on the retreat you choose, as different retreats have different areas of emphasis and intensity. Some are more yoga focused, some have more time for sightseeing and others are more about delicious food. Others incorporate other things like meditation, reiki, time in nature or even wine tasting and cooking classes. Some are more of a vacation and others are more serious about yoga. If you're craving discipline and practicing multiple challenging yoga classes each day, there's a retreat for you. If you want a vacation on the beach with nice relaxing yoga class as an addition, there's a retreat out there for you also. Make sure you look around and find the retreat that suits you best. Some are more of a vacation and others are more serious about yoga. At most retreats, all classes and activities optional, which means you get to choose your own adventure and are not confined to a strict schedule either.

Ways Stress Can Impact Your Health and How to Fight It
Ways Stress Can Impact Your Health and How to Fight It
We’ve all experienced stress once or twice (or more) in our lives. It’s a natural physical and mental reaction to life's experiences. Anything can trigger stress, from work responsibilities to serious life events or external factors. For in the moment, short term experiences, stress can actually be beneficial to your health, by helping you cope with some potentially serious situations. Your body responds to feeling stressed by releasing stress hormones, which increase your heart rate, your breathing rate and gets your muscles ready to respond. However, as healthy as a good dose of stress can be - good things come in small packages. Feeling stressed for long periods of time - more than is necessary for survival - can take its toll on your health. Chronic stress and stress conditions can cause a number of physical symptoms, and affect your overall health. Here are just some of the ways stress can impact you and your health negatively. Central Nervous System

It’s All About the Nervous System: Try Yoga to Relieve Stress
It’s All About the Nervous System: Try Yoga to Relieve Stress
We’ve all been burned out and exhausted and not sure how to cope at some point in our lives. Whether it is looming deadlines, emotional demands, climate change, political battles, family drama––the result is the same. Sometimes juggling all the challenges and all the wonderful gifts in our lives can feel overwhelming and we’re not sure how to feel better. Here’s how: Yoga can help lower your stress levels and your blood pressure because it’s an excellent practice to calm your nervous system. By combining physical asanas or postures with Pranayama or controlled breathing techniques, yoga can have a profound impact on your nervous system. When we are stressed out, our adrenal glands are working overtime and we’re often in a state of “fight or flight,” which doesn’t allow for adequate rest and recovery. Over time, if we fall into this type of pattern of constantly being in heightened over-active mode, our bodies and minds begin to suffer. As you’ve heard over and over, yoga offers a three-pronged approach to improving your life: physical, mental, and spiritual. While taking your usual sweaty Vinyasa or Power class will definitely impact your mind and heart, sometimes slowing down a bit and taking a more mellow class can give you more of the mental stress relief you’re craving. Our parasympathetic nervous system is designed to soothe and lower our stress levels. Certain styles of yoga, like Yin and Restorative, emphasize postures that can reset your nervous system in minutes. Gentle Hatha classes also focus more on unwinding and relaxing you. Of course, you’re releasing tightness and tension from your muscles, but you’re also soothing your brain.

Plant-Based Mushroom Soup
Plant-Based Mushroom Soup
I love mushrooms. LOVE! All kinds of mushrooms, but especially those I can pick myself from woods. In Estonia, we have a lot of forests, and unless the area is marked as private property, we are allowed to forage for whatever you like, as long as you act responsibly and do not leave any rubbish behind. I know that this is not the case all over the world, so I consider myself extremely lucky. For this year, the season of fresh mushrooms is, unfortunately, over, but simple button mushrooms work just perfectly for this recipe.

4 Effective Yoga Poses You Can Do At Your Desk
4 Effective Yoga Poses You Can Do At Your Desk
Those that have office or desk jobs may have to spend much of the day in the same place or sitting at a desk. It can be too easy to ignore our bodies’ need to move regularly and experience stress and tension because of how we have sit to work. Repeating the same cycle for weeks, months, and years can lead to more serious responses from the body, causing the immune system to continually be on defense and increasing poor posture. This pattern worsens as time passes unless you are proactive and take preventative measures, like yoga. The best way to break this cycle is to start making small changes. While there are several ways to start having a healthier and more positive routine at the office, this can be done from the comfort of your desk or chair. Below, you will find 4 of the best poses that you can do while at work and create a more stress-free workday and future.

Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Those who practice yoga often know the importance of balance on the mat, be it balance in the body, balance in tree pose, or balance between the breath and the movements. But not many of us transfer this balance into our day to day lives, especially our work-life balance. Yoga can help us practice so much more than the physical movements and poses. It helps us practice things like our breath, calming our minds, pushes us outside our comfort zone and allows us to grow and self reflect. This self-reflection will ultimately help in maintaining a strong work-life balance, as understanding patterns, strengths and weaknesses are essential in setting the boundaries we need to balance our lives. In layman's terms, a work-life balance is how you maintain the time you dedicate to working vs having fun and living your life. Finding a balance that works for you requires work and self-reflection. There are many ways yoga can help you improve your work-life balance.

Chickpea Stuffed Eggplant
Chickpea Stuffed Eggplant
Eggplant is one of my all-time favorite vegetables. Added to curries, baked to moussaka, in baba ganoush or filled with all kinds of things from goats cheese to vegetables. Bring it on! I love it in any shape or form! Today I am sharing one of my favorite eggplant recipes with you. The recipe is vegan, but it is loaded with protein – both chickpeas and peanut butter help out here, and the spices add a nice kick too. Not all people love eggplant.

Sharpen Your Edge at Work with a 2-Week Lunch Break Yoga Challenge
Sharpen Your Edge at Work with a 2-Week Lunch Break Yoga Challenge
We’ve got an invigorating new yoga program designed to fit in during your lunch hour. This collection of 10 short, dynamic classes will give you the structure to stay consistent in your practice. Here are 3 reasons why you should take the challenge to not just improve your strength and flexibility, but also achieve peak performance at work. 1. Improve your mental focus and clarity all day: After a busy morning working or studying, your brain can feel foggy and dull. When you’ve got another several hours at work, you need to reset and find a way to hone your focus and be productive. By shifting your attention to breathing and moving on your yoga mat, you give your busy mind time to rest and settle. Even a short class will provide you the opportunity to feel refreshed. You’ll return to your project with increased clarity and focus and maybe even finish up early!

Yoga & CBD: Benefits, Precautions, and Everything You Need to Know
Yoga & CBD: Benefits, Precautions, and Everything You Need to Know
Yoga has long been known as an effective means of increasing mental and physical well-being. The focus on breathing and poses help increase one’s mindfulness and focus. Yoga has seen a recent surge of popularity in the West due to these mental and physical benefits. However, some are saying CBD can increase the benefits you can get from yoga. CBD yoga has become increasingly popular in recent years and combines the therapeutic effects of yoga with the therapeutic effects of CBD. Several anecdotal stories from users recount how CBD dosing has made their yoga experience more effective and beneficial. However, there is still a lack of clinical scientific evidence on the matter, so it's very important to educate yourself to understand if trying this combination is right for you. In this article, we will talk about how CBD and yoga can work together to relax the mind and body, precautions, and what CBD is.

6 Ways Yoga Makes You Braver
6 Ways Yoga Makes You Braver
"Feel the fear, and do it anyway." - Susan Jeffers Sometimes fear works in our favor and motivates us, however, most of the time things that scare us are based on nothing more than a story of thoughts. However, we have the ability to ignore, quiet, and overcome any fears if we're brave enough to and yoga can help. Sometimes fearful, made up stories of the future can hold us back from experiencing some of the magic that life has to offer. We have to be brave and get out of our comfort zones to take chances, have new experiences and greater satisfaction. It can be easier to stay and feel stuck and safe, instead of choosing to be brave though. For most, the familiar is more comfortable than the unknown, and it's preferable to stay within the boundaries of what you know, instead of diving into unknown possibilities.

Be Fearless
Be Fearless
What scares you? For some people, it’s heights or public speaking or spiders. Halloween celebrates thrills, chills, and things that go bump in the night. While Halloween tends to be a fun holiday defined by disguising our true identity with make-up and costumes, it echoes how many of us deal with our fears the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year - hiding behind a mask. Yoga provides a safe space for us to examine our fears and offers tools to become more courageous. The Yoga Sutras state that the fear of death is the biggest fear we face and is the basis for all other fears. In the second pada, Patanjali refers to this concept as abhinivesha. Learning to live in the present moment is a powerful way to stop worrying and being scared of the future. Fear can only exist in relation to what you anticipate happening. Fear doesn’t exist when you are in the moment. Every minute of your day is an opportunity to move from a place of courage or from a position of fear.

How to Make the Perfect Low-Sugar Green Smoothie
How to Make the Perfect Low-Sugar Green Smoothie
One of the foods our cleansers struggle with giving up most is SUGAR. Added sugar is everywhere, even hidden in your favorite salad dressings or condiments, which makes it particularly hard to avoid, and the more you eat it, the more you become reliant on it. Sugar can lead to health issues such as chronic weight gain, an overgrowth of candida, blood sugar imbalance, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and more. It’s also been linked to an increased risk for more serious health concerns like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. During the Conscious Cleanse, you’ll give up added and refined sugars completely, but if you think you might have a sugar sensitivity, you may need to do even more to tame your sugar cravings (take our Sugar Sensitivity Quiz here). Many fruits, grains, and other healthy foods still have naturally occurring sugars that can sabotage your health if you’re sensitive to sugar.