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


Homemade Bao Buns with Oyster Mushrooms
Homemade Bao Buns with Oyster Mushrooms
By now, you are probably used to my recipes – only a few ingredients and hardly take over 30 minutes to prepare. Today’s recipe is quite different as it takes 5 hours in total to make and contains four sub-recipes. I promise it is worth it. I agree – 5 hours is a very long time to prepare the recipe, but luckily, most of it is resting time during which you can catch up on whatever tv show you are binging on or fit in a yoga session. The bun recipe is an interesting one – the dough is proved with yeast, but after that, baking powder is also used. Sounds weird, but it works. Of course, my bao buns do not look as perfect as the store-bought ones are. But it is nice to say that mine are made from scratch and come out of the steamer piping hot and fresh. And by ‘steamer’, I mean the homemade system that I build every time I fancy something steamed. The system consists of a big pot, small wooden basket and a plate covered with baking paper. I don’t even know why I haven’t purchased a real steamer as I am eating steamed foods at least once a month… In case you have an oven with steaming function, this should work well too, and saves you from steaming the buns in patches.

6 Reasons to Get Your Children into Yoga
6 Reasons to Get Your Children into Yoga
Even though we spend the vast majority of our childhood learning in formal education settings, there are so many useful life lessons and skills that our schools fail to teach us. Education might be effective in teaching us book smarts, but should go beyond classrooms and homework in teaching our youth how to live a fulfilling, meaningful, and happy life. We’re now beginning to see that growing into a healthy, happy, well-adjusted adult doesn’t just happen. It takes work and we should give our kids the tools and opportunities to learn how to accomplish this goal. Yoga can help us find this as adults, but research increasingly shows that it's helpful for children, who begin yoga and meditation at a young age. Yoga is about much more than the poses (asanas) and physical benefits. This ancient Indian art helps us truly connect with our bodies, our inner world and the web of life that we are all a part of. It's mental and emotional benefits are profound and can be useful in the ups and downs of day to day life. It’s non-competitive and can be practiced by people of all ages and fitness levels and it imparts values like inclusivity, union and compassion, as opposed to always trying to be the best.

6 Heart-Opening Backbends to Attract More Love
6 Heart-Opening Backbends to Attract More Love
It might sound cliche, but it's good to have an open heart. What does this mean though and why is it good? From the perspective of the chakra system, the heart is the place where we love from. Simply put, when your heart center is open, you are more open to experiencing, giving, receiving, and enjoying love with others (as well as being more loving towards yourself). When your heart is closed, you're more closed off from experiencing love. Can doing yoga poses help us experience more love? Yes! Our bodies and minds are connected, and putting your body into a more open and loving shape, can make your mind more loving and open. Think about how someone who is defeated, sad, and heartbroken carries themselves. It's usually a more hunched forward position and closed in the chest. Now think of someone who is bright and confident. Their posture is usually tall, proud, and open, specifically around the ara of their chest. This is an example of the connection between our emotions and our bodies.

Open Your Heart
Open Your Heart
Do you remember the scene in the classic holiday cartoon, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, when the Grinch finally understands the gift of selfless love and his heart expands and fills with joy? When we spend time in our yoga practice working on backbends, we are essentially creating space for more love and compassion and releasing the fear that can be restricting us from living our most authentic life. In order to invite more love and compassion into your life, it’s important to release old resentments and hurts which may be blocking you from expressing your emotions. Our hearts contain the two primary human emotions of love and fear. Part of the human experience includes love and pain. When you’ve been hurt, it is natural to protect yourself as you heal. But often, the initial healing process morphs into fear and emotional blocks. Yes, we don’t want to have our hearts ripped out of our chests, but to truly be strong, we’ve got to be vulnerable.

Heartbeet Smoothie
Heartbeet Smoothie
You know those family recipes with that one “secret” or unexpected ingredient, like grandma’s chocolate cake recipe that calls for mayonnaise or tomato juice? This smoothie is our version of that recipe. When you think about making a smoothie, you’re probably thinking, fresh greens, fruit or berries, maybe a booster like chia seeds or hemp seeds, and water or a nut milk. We’re guessing that a root vegetable doesn’t immediately come to mind. Well, we’re here to change your perspective! This smoothie has an extra-special secret ingredient – beets! Beets are a secret superfood powerhouse and are actually sweeter in flavor than most people think.

Yoga to Alleviate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Yoga to Alleviate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In modern life, people are often working on laptops and using smartphones. Because of this, there can be a lack of rest for your hands. This often leads to the tissues inside your carpal tunnel to swell, which blocks the median nerve in your wrist, which is responsible for the finger movement. Carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway through which muscle tendons and the median nerve pass through. Issues with your Carpal tunnel, more commonly referred to as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, can be uncomfortable, and get in the way of day to day tasks. Fortunately, there are specific yoga poses and general areas of your body to target in your yoga practice, for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, that will help to heal it naturally. Neck Stretches

10 Ways to Find Inspiration When You're Feeling Down
10 Ways to Find Inspiration When You're Feeling Down
When you’re suffering from a low mood, anxiety or depression, you can get stuck in a rut and you just can’t get out of it. You might have a to-do list that’s really long, but you’re struggling to even get out of bed. Things can pile up and can add to your low mood, when you’re finding it hard to get inspired about life. Your brain may feel overwhelmed and it’s hard to get excited about anything at all. But it’s not impossible to feel inspired again after being stuck in a rut. Here’s a few ways to get yourself back on track 1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

5 Ways to Stay Inspired On and Off the Mat
5 Ways to Stay Inspired On and Off the Mat
It’s easy to fall into the habit of always taking the same yoga classes and teachers, walking or running the same routes. Suddenly, you find yourself uninspired and unmotivated in not just your practice, but also your life. Remember, your yoga practice mirrors your life off the mat. The key is to stay open-minded and curious and always keep learning. We’re here with some tips to help! 1. Venture Out of Your Comfortable Routine Try a new teacher, new class, or new style of yoga this week. We all know consistency in your yoga practice is crucial, but sometimes we fall into a rut. If you find yourself dragging your feet to get to class, try something outside of your comfort zone. If your go to practice is Vinyasa or Ashtanga, try a Yin or Iyengar class or vice-versa. Even if the class you choose isn’t one that you’ll return to, it will give you a renewed appreciation for your usual choices. And you may learn something new by slowing down or stepping it up.

Sweet & Crispy Tempeh
Sweet & Crispy Tempeh
If you have been following my recipes for a while, you know that I am a chili lover. I also happen to be a lover of Asian food, and this recipe here is inspired by my travels to Indonesia. I am generally not a fan of soy products, but tempeh is a huge exception – I LOVE it. I love how crispy it can get, and this recipe is just amazing. Tempeh itself is fermented soybeans tightly pressed together – very high in protein and also has a lot of fiber. In short – healthy stuff! While I can’t say that the sugar used in this recipe is the healthiest thing on earth, but a little bit of it doesn’t hurt you, and the flavor is worth not having a dessert after this meal. This sweet, sticky and spicy glaze is amazing, and turns a simple bowl of rice into something truly delicious. I served it with red whole grain rice this time, but every type of rice works well. I also added a simple sambal of more chili, and lemongrass, because, well, chili. Sweet and Crispy Tempeh

To Force, or To Flow?
To Force, or To Flow?
“Don’t write a book unless you just can not NOT write it.” – Maya Angelou I haven’t been writing much lately, in my blog, or anywhere, truly. My yoga dharma talks, which were once the effusive ideologues of youth, have been reserved and quiet. My energy has been taken up by personal relationships and by growing my coaching business, which takes me being more extroverted than is in my true nature. And now, at the end of the day, I find that there’s not a lot left over to give to writing or inspiring. You understand, right? Even if you’re not growing a business or doing the dance of an on-again-off-again relationship, you pour your energy out in so many different directions. In busy times like these, we can learn to prioritize consciously, rather than succumb to a haphazard whirlwind of to-do lists. We can sort by which activities have the most impact, which takes the shortest amount of time, and which brings us the most joy.

How To Start Meditating
How To Start Meditating
Meditation is a practice that’s open to anyone, and there are huge health benefits to be had from a simple and daily meditation practice - both physically and mentally. There are so many studies out there that have proven that mindfulness and meditation can have a positive impact to your mental and physical health. For example, meditation can reduce stress to the extent that it can help to reprogram your brain to increase your capacity to manage stress, and also reduce the stress hormone cortisol in your body and even strengthen your immune system. Meditation can also help to improve your concentration and focus. This is because meditation creates a mindful awareness in the brain, allowing it to be calm and in harmony with itself. Regular practitioners of meditation have shown a heightened attention and concentration span.

Release Distraction and Embrace Meditation
Release Distraction and Embrace Meditation
When is the last time you were able to sink into the zone? That place where you’re not trying to be in the moment, you just are. For some people, this state of mind occurs when they are being active, doing something like running, surfing, dancing, or listening to music. In yoga, we call this involuntary dhyana. Wouldn’t it be freeing to make this happen voluntarily, without engaging in any physical activity? That is meditation. One of the primary intentions in yoga and meditation is to center your mind and become grounded in the present moment. In our daily lives, it’s easy to become mired in the past and controlled by memories, patterns, and fears. Also, in our Western culture, the focus on the future, on doing, on achieving, on getting somewhere or buying something, pulls us out of the now.

Kale & Sweet Potato Super Salad
Kale & Sweet Potato Super Salad
I love salads, no matter what the weather outside is like. Sunny, windy or snowing – give me a good salad, and I am happy! Salad does not mean a pile of greens and a boring dressing (although, as a side, I do enjoy this type of salad too), salad can be exciting and full of different flavors and textures. One of my favorite greens is kale, and I have already shared an amazing warm kale and chickpea salad with you. Here comes another one, also very winter-appropriate, featuring sweet potatoes and load of other delicious good-for-you ingredients. I always like to make sure I eat as many colorful foods throughout the day as possible. The colors in different plants are different phytonutrients – natural chemicals that help our bodies to fight diseases and stay healthy, and let’s be honest – they just taste amazing. In this salad pretty much all the colors are covered – kale for green, sweet potatoes for orange/yellow, red onion and pomegranate for red, apple for white and black beans, you guessed it, for black – so I can peacefully eat white bread for the rest of the day. Just in case – the last part about white bread was a joke. After a lunch that healthy, I always feel so good that I never crave anything unhealthy. Kale and Sweet Potato Super Salad

Powerful Benefits Of Yoga and Meditation In Addiction Recovery
Powerful Benefits Of Yoga and Meditation In Addiction Recovery
There are many things you can do to enrich your spiritual life while in recovery from an addiction. And I’ve found that without doing so, the stress of learning to live without drugs and alcohol can be so intense that I can’t stay sober unless I find some suitable resources to cope. I wasn’t a big fan of the idea of holistic therapy at first. However, over time I’ve really developed an appreciation for meditation and yoga. They’ve both really contributed to the quality of my recovery. I’m going to explore the benefits of both in detail below. Yoga In the context of addiction recovery, yoga is best utilized alongside traditional treatment options that emphasize professional therapy and participation in a support group like AA.

5 Secrets to Living a Balanced Life
5 Secrets to Living a Balanced Life
Having a balanced life can be a key for success. Keeping things in balance can lead to a stress free life, peace of mind and having a good life. We all have a manner of responsibility, and keeping these in balance with things that we enjoy doing can be hard. However, if things get off balance, stress can occur, as well as emotional or even physical health issues. Here’s our top secrets to maintaining a balanced life. Take care of yourself If you’re not healthy and living an unhealthy lifestyle, you’ll find it hard to get everything done. The first step to living a balanced life is to get enough sleep, eat nutritious food and exercise. You can’t function as an adult while not getting enough of these things. As well as taking care of your physical health, take some time to look after yourself mentally too - try to find time for activities you love, and help yourself unwind after a stressful day by doing something relaxing. This will put you in a great state of mind to lead a balanced lifestyle.

Balance is a Life Skill
Balance is a Life Skill
Happy New Year and Happy New Decade! Now is the perfect time to assess whether your life feels in balance or if it’s time for a few tweaks to your routine. Except what looks like balance today could be very different than it was even a few short months ago. Our yoga practice mirrors what’s happening during the other twenty-three hours of our day. By tapping into yogic principles, you can find the perfect balance for you at this particular time in your life. In our physical Hatha yoga practice, we seek to balance the masculine solar energy (‘Ha’) and (‘tha’) the feminine lunar energy that exists within all of us. By following the guiding principle of Yoga Sutra 2.46, Sthira Sukham Asanam, which means the posture should be steady and comfortable, we are working with the principles of effort and ease. In this way, your yoga asana and pranayama practices will bring your physical body into symmetry and sustain your mental focus. By finding balance on your yoga mat, you can create a sense of wholeness in your life.

Beetroot Cured Salmon
Beetroot Cured Salmon
I do not label myself as vegan, vegetarian, or even flexitarian, but I very rarely eat animal products. So, if there is a rare occasion that I do eat something that is not plant-based, it better be amazing. This beetroot and citrus cured salmon ticks this box, and since it is rather festive in its bright pink color, it is very suitable for the Christmas table too. I have prepared this salmon several times for cold spreads, and every single time I will be asked for the recipe, so it is not only me who finds it delicious ☺ The earthiness of the beetroot and zing from the citrus create perfect harmony. It pairs exceptionally well with freshly toasted bread. If you can find them, then the big caper berries are a nice addition to this dish, but be careful – the capers have a strong taste, so it might make sense to serve them on the side.

11 Tips for Making New Year's Resolutions that Actually Stick
11 Tips for Making New Year's Resolutions that Actually Stick
It’s nearing the end of 2019 and it’s the time of year where everyone is thinking about the year ahead. Making New Year’s resolutions are an old tradition, however many of us struggle to keep them for 365 days! Here are our top tips for making New Year's resolutions that turn out to be successful, and how to make them stick. Make specific goals If you set big goals that are vague, they won’t last because they’re just too big! To achieve your goals, they have to be specific, and measurable. Break your big goals down to something more specific, which will be easier to stick to and track.

Holiday Season Recharge
Holiday Season Recharge
How are you feeling today? We’re still in the midst of the holiday season and if you’re like many of us, your typical routines have receded in the rearview. Don’t feel guilty if you’ve abandoned your usual healthy workout routine or eaten a few dozen frosted sugar cookies washed down with crisp champagne. Life is meant to be savored, enjoyed, and lived in the present moment. Sometimes this might be the only chance you’ve got to spend time with family, see old friends, or simply hibernate. But if you’ve abandoned your usual exercise, yoga, and diet, you may be feeling lethargic and heavier than usual. When your body feels bloated, your mind and emotions can also feel slower and foggier. To counteract these weighty tamasic sensations, see if you can carve out some time to recharge your body’s natural cleansing powers. What do you need in this moment to feel more like yourself until you return to your habitual routine?

Energy Balls - Perfect for a Small Present
Energy Balls - Perfect for a Small Present
I don’t know how it looks like all over the world, but in Estonia, Christmas time often means overindulging big time. I am talking about eating way too much meat (mostly pork) in different preparations – roasted, as blood sausages and aspic. Aspic is a meat jelly, set with natural gelatin from cooking the bones and a pig’s head for a long time on a low temperature, and blood sausages are exactly what they sound like. Both of them may seem weird, but actually, they are much more delicious than expected. Besides – if the poor pig is anyway, then I am always voting for the whole animal to be eaten. Next to this enormous amount of meat, there are also loads of different sides and sweet treats throughout December.

Keys to Keeping Your Pelvic Floor Healthy After Childbirth
Keys to Keeping Your Pelvic Floor Healthy After Childbirth
For anyone who has given birth, a strong and supportive pelvic floor is crucial to overall health and vitality. Your pelvic floor is a thin layer of muscles that run from the pubic bone to the Coccyx. The pelvic floor plays an important role in many things, like supporting your body’s internal organs (bladder, intestines, uterus, etc.), enabling you to maintain urinary and bowel control, and providing support vital for reproductive and sexual functioning. Your pelvic floor supports your organs during activities that stress them physically, such as laughing, sneezing and coughing and also plays a vital role in supporting the spine. Unfortunately, many new moms are not aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy pelvic floor. Strong pelvic floor muscles are a crucial part of your body’s internal core stabilizers, so if you want to strengthen your core, you can’t ignore your pelvic floor.

Simple Solstice Ritual Ideas
Simple Solstice Ritual Ideas
Depending where you are in the world, you’re either in the midst of cold weather or gearing up for a hot summer. If you’re wrapping up warm and finding the days growing darker, the winter solstice is arriving, whereas if you’re in warmer climates, the opposite is true, and the summer solstice is growing near. The shortest and longest days of the year retrospectively, the solstice is a time to think inwards, reflect, and set intentions for the season ahead. Symbolically this is a turning point in the seasons and a powerful time to stop, reflect, and give thanks for what we each have in our lives. It's also a momentary step back from our day to day successes and trials, and remember and feel our place in the bigger picture and the cosmos. It is a powerful time to honor the sun, which gives all things on our planet life.

5 Ways to Harness the Power of the Solstice
5 Ways to Harness the Power of the Solstice
One of the most powerful ways to manifest change in our lives is by aligning with nature and stepping into its flow. On December 21, 2019, the last Solstice of the decade occurs. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the longest day of the year and the shortest night. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is the longest night of the year and wherever you live, this momentous day marks the time to pause and reflect and renew our energy. While the world is shifts and transforms, it’s the perfect time to assess how you want to shift and transform individually. Here are 3 ways to harness the power of nature in your own life: 1. Go Outside!

The Best Vegan Eggnog
The Best Vegan Eggnog
Today we want to share a healthy holiday recipe that you can whip up for a holiday party or just sip on in front of a warm crackling fire – eggnog! Our version is a vegan eggnog, free of eggs and dairy, but before you freak out, don’t worry – we’ve made sure this recipe just as creamy and delicious as the holiday original. Not only is this recipe tasty, but it’s also chock full of healthy ingredients that will help you keep your glow this holiday season in the face of too much sugar, stress and spirits. Maca reduces symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue, and can also help to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression. Cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar and reduces LDL cholesterol, while nutmeg calms nerves and helps with sleep. Cashews are a good source of bioavailable iron and tryptophan, which can help boost natural serotonin levels. We hope you enjoy this healthy holiday drink! If you want to turn this recipe into a Conscious Cocktail, add 1-2 oz. of brandy, bourbon, or dark rum to each glass, depending on how strong you like it. This time of year, it can be easy to overdo all the sweet treats, drinks, and rich food, so bear in mind one of the central questions of the Conscious Cleanse before indulging in each and every holiday treat and ask yourself, “how will this food make me feel?”

11 Simple and Natural Cold Weather Allergy Remedies
11 Simple and Natural Cold Weather Allergy Remedies
Allergies are a reaction of the body on getting in touch with the specific allergy initiating particulates called allergens. The two ways that these allergens enter the body are inhalation and direct skin contact. Allergies are mostly seasonal and cold weather allergies are the most common type of seasonal allergy. Some of the most common allergens that are responsible for cold weather allergies are snow dust, pollen, cold weather in general and some other unknown allergic agents. There are various tests to figure out what exactly is causing your cold-weather allergies. Some of the common symptoms of cold weather allergies are skin rash, reddening and inflammation of the skin, coughing, and eye dryness and irritation.