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


Inspiration for Life as a Yoga Instructor
Inspiration for Life as a Yoga Instructor
I chose to have my career as a yoga instructor. There is a lot that goes into it and it constantly develops an array of skills and parts of myself, such as public speaking, my creativity, and courage. It continually motivates me to show up in the present moment too. There is so much to this beautiful job, but what really qualifies us to teach yoga is simply that we continue to practice yoga. We must practice what we teach. We also must really love people. Like any other mission, or purpose in life, it can present challenges, but as yoga teachers if we are humbly willing to show up to the moment, focus on growing and healing ourselves, and do all that we can to be of service to our community, this is such a rich profession. It is a great honor to be of service and inspire people back to their true nature and back to joy. One goal of teaching yoga is to assist others in the experience of yoga, guide them towards enlightenment, a more liberated consciousness, and freedom from attachment and separation.

The History and Philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga
The History and Philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga
Yoga has come a long way, and in these modern times, the average yogi has a wealth of options when it comes to classes and styles of yoga. Each style of yoga can be vastly different from the next, all linked with a focus on physical and mental strength, flexibility and mindfulness. Ashtanga yoga is a style that can be the most intensive, and requires a lot of disciple and determination. Ashtanga yoga is a standard set of asanas, focusing on breath, and internal mental space. Ashtanga yoga is a rigorous workout, and it’s known for its fast pace and difficult postures. Ashtanga typically features more traditional transitions and poses are held for a longer time than in some faster modern styles of yoga. Ashtanga is a great style of yoga for those who want to get a good workout and also clear their mind. It’s most similar to Vinyasa, however, it differs as Ashtanga series stays the same every time, whilst a Vinyasa flow can differ from class to class. Ashtanga also incorporates many aspects such as chanting and breathing that are parts of traditional yoga, and vinyasa flows can sometimes leave out.

9-Day Ashtanga Yoga Immersion
9-Day Ashtanga Yoga Immersion
“Do your Practice and All is Coming”- Sri K Pattabhi Jois. If you love Vinyasa yoga and have wondered how it evolved, spend some time with us this week on an Ashtanga immersion and learn the foundation from which Vinyasa in the West is derived. Tap into the ancient wisdom and traditional practice of Ashtanga yoga, brought to the West by K. Pattabhi Jois, who is considered the Father of Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga is a sweaty, vigorous yoga system based on the eight-limbed yoga path outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Jois developed the Ashtanga yoga system when he was a student of T. Krishnamacharya at the College of Maharaja in Mysore, India in the early twentieth century. Traditionally, Ashtanga is taught in the Mysore style, which means students practice in the same room, at their own pace, with individual guidance from the instructor. Kind of like you, practicing yoga at home with YogaDownload.com.

Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookie Bites
Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookie Bites
Ah, summertime here in Colorado – the weather is beautiful, the kids are out of school, and fun in the sun is the name of the game. But with all the fun, free time, summer can also be hard for us moms trying to keep our kids eating healthy. Sometimes the break from school just turns into one long holiday of eating less healthy options – hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, soda – until your kiddos are left jacked up on sugar, experiencing frequent bellyaches, having meltdowns from sugar crashes, and more. What’s a healthy mom to do? As working moms in the wellness industry, we know how important it is to keep your kids eating healthy without depriving them of all the fun they see their friends having. So we go for a happy medium: healthy sweet treats! And this recipe is one of our all-time favorites. Our Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookie Bites are the perfect balance between sweet treat and healthy snack.

9 Tips to Show Up On Your Yoga Mat Consistently
9 Tips to Show Up On Your Yoga Mat Consistently
Several years ago I read something that said something along the lines of 'mastery' simply being the result of doing things you've committed to or decided you would master, even in the moments when you really don't feel like it. I resonate with this, and have often returned to the lightbulb moment this perspective gave me, on days when I do not feel like showing up on my yoga mat. When I manage to overcome the obstacles of getting onto my mat (which are usually made up excuses), almost always, I'm happy I practiced. Very seldom, if ever, do I regret taking the time to do yoga. Can you also relate to this? The benefits of yoga are too numerous to list, and so rich for those that feel the effects of a regular practice on their well-being. Life can feel challenging sometimes, and having something to return to that brings a greater sense of peace, is priceless. I've learned that for whatever reason, the yogic combination of focusing on the breath while putting the body into these powerful shapes, has the ability to transform our thinking, and has left me feeling more relaxed, happy, and content, time and time again.

7 Epic Outdoor Yoga Destinations
7 Epic Outdoor Yoga Destinations
Yoga is a practice that can be done anywhere, as long as you have a mat and a quiet space. It’s super easy to take your yoga practice outside, but have you considered taking your yoga practice overseas and somewhere international? There are plenty of beautiful outdoor spots all around the world for you to roll your mat out, where the nature and scenery is part of the yoga experience. Yoga is deeply symbolic of nature, from the names of many postures (Tree, Mountain, and poses named after animals), to the corresponding elements of certain poses (Earth, Air, Water, and Fire). The yoga community is widespread around the globe, so there are special places for you to treat yourself to a purposeful and beneficial yoga travel adventure, and also bring your yoga practice into the open air.

Feel the Connection Between Nature and Yoga
Feel the Connection Between Nature and Yoga
One of the greatest ways to feel connected to the world inside of you and the world around you is to step into nature. When you spend too much time indoors or with your nose buried in your phone or computer screen, it’s easy to lose touch with how you’re feeling. Where yoga teaches us to use mindful breath and movement to tune out distractions and to tune into the present moment, stepping out into nature allows us to feel connected simply by being. Taking your yoga outdoors to a park or the beach, where you can breathe in clean air and enjoy beautiful scenery, enhances yoga’s myriad benefits. Being in nature reminds us that we are connected to something greater than ourselves.

Vegan Mango Lassi
Vegan Mango Lassi
Here in Colorado we’re rapidly entering the dog days of summer – and it’s hot, hot, HOT outside. And when the weather gets this warm, we love to cool off with a refreshing chilled beverage. That’s where this recipe comes in! Our Vegan Mango Lassi is a dairy-free spin on the traditional drink you know from your local Indian restaurant. This recipe is a great alternative for those who are sensitive to dairy or vegan, since yogurt is the main ingredient in a traditional mango lassi. We like to use homemade coconut or cashew milk in ours, but you can use any non-dairy milk (think hemp, almond, or even macadamia nut).

6 Hilarious Types of Yoga Students that Yoga Teachers Can Relate to
 6 Hilarious Types of Yoga Students that Yoga Teachers Can Relate to
Yoga continues to grow in popularity. The practice is no longer for one type of person and a new modern culture has developed around yogis and yoga studios. Understanding of simple studio etiquette is one good example. With any subculture comes stereotypes too. While exaggerated, as they always are, they're also good reminders not to take ourselves, our image, and the hobby of practicing yoga, too seriously. Yoga Instructor Marissa Anniston has shared 6 hilarious stereotypes of yoga students that yoga teachers might be all too familiar with. Yoga is all about love and understanding in the end, so do your best not to judge anyone you might come across in the yoga studio. Remember, we are all just doing the best we can. 1. The Frequent Texter

8 Tips to Get Started with Yoga
8 Tips to Get Started with Yoga
Getting into a yoga routine can be hard, especially if you’re not 100% sure it’s right for you. Perhaps you’re finding yourself feeling a little stiff, or you’ve read up on the benefits of yoga, and want to experience them for yourself, but you’re finding it hard to get on the yoga mat. Putting yoga into practice and starting a new activity can be hard, especially if you need a little extra motivation to get you there. Before you say it’s not for you, and give up the idea, here’s some tricks to get started in yoga, even if you think it’s not your vibe, and make a routine stick. Some of the benefits you can gain from a regular yoga practice include less anxiety, improved concentration, relief from pain and aches, and will also release endorphins, putting you in a better mood for the day. So if you’re umming and ahhing about starting yoga, those are some pretty great reasons to get started. Start Short

Yoga for Seniors: 10 Gentle Classes for Everyday Wellness
Yoga for Seniors: 10 Gentle Classes for Everyday Wellness
Whether you began practicing yoga yesterday or thirty years ago, your practice will evolve and change, just like your daily life transforms. You probably don’t enjoy coloring books and the jungle gym like you did in first grade, right? In our teens and twenties, it’s common for many people to practice sweaty yoga with a variety of physically intense asanas. As you move toward the middle and later years, it’s natural to shift to gentler, quieter types of practices. This week, we’re excited to share a program designed for the more mature yogi. In order to age as gracefully as possible, making shifts to how we show up on our yoga mat ideally would mirror the transitions in our professional and personal lives. Different concerns arise with each stage of life and yoga can play a major role. If you’re already a yogi, you know how eating well, moving your body mindfully, and breathing purposefully enables you to feel your best. Even if you’ve always been active and taken care of yourself, aging happens. Diseases, injuries, and degeneration of the mind are realities.

Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks” (with 2 Sauces!)
Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks” (with 2 Sauces!)
We L-O-V-E summer here at the Conscious Cleanse – the weather is beautiful, the best fruits and veggies are in season, and our local farmers market always has a great selection to choose from. It’s also a great time to gather in the backyard with friends or family and enjoy some food fresh off the grill. Unfortunately, most of the go-to grilling options are highly processed (lookin’ at you, hot dogs) or served up in a gluten-bomb bun. And if you’re a veggie eater like Jules, the options get even worse: imitation meat is frequently packed with artificial additives and preservatives, allergens like gluten or soy, and highly processed – not exactly a “health” food. So we wanted to share one of our favorite grilled veggie recipes: Cauliflower Steak!

10 Easy Ways to Overcome First Signs of Depression
10 Easy Ways to Overcome First Signs of Depression
Everyone feels sad from time to time. Sadness is a difficult emotion to overcome because of it's discomfort. When sadness becomes too intense and continuous, then you might be dealing with depression. While sadness is a common human emotion, it can shift into more long-term depression without even noticing it. But, how can you know that sadness has become deeper and you are on the edge of falling in depression? Here are ten of the most efficient tricks to help you identify and overcome the first signs of depression, so you can enjoy life more and feel happier and lighter, instead of heavy and stagnant. If you're not sure if you're depressed or not, these tips can help you get clear on whether you're just feeling low temporarily, or in a long-term cycle of unhappiness you'd like to change.

How Long Does it Take to Get Out of Shape?
How Long Does it Take to Get Out of Shape?
We’re all human, and everyone skips a workout every once in a while. And while it’s important to take some time off to rest and enjoy other aspects of your life, it can be very easy to let one skipped workout turn into two, or three, until time on your yoga mat or at the gym is a distant memory. If you’re having a break from staying active, you may wonder, how long does it take to get out of shape? Before we go on, it’s key to remember that taking breaks from your fitness routine every now and again isn’t a bad thing! When you exercise, especially with high impact workouts, there is a high degree of stress on the body, and all good regimes include rest days and days without workouts. There’s also the mental aspect to consider, taking breaks and focusing on other areas of your life will ensure you don’t get too single minded in your fitness goals.

Keep On Moving!
Keep On Moving!
Here’s a mini-quiz for you: In one to three words, how do you feel after sitting for six hours either in an office, plane, car or even after an extended Netflix binge? Now, how do you feel after a long walk in nature, a sweaty juicy yoga class, or your movement of choice? If you responded to the sedentary day with words like stiff, cranky, negative, or anxious, you’re not alone. And if you responded invigorated, happy, positive, or calm to activity, you’ve described how much lifestyle impacts your well-being. Your level of physical activity profoundly impacts your emotions and thoughts. We all experience periods where we aren’t exercising or practicing yoga as frequently as we would like. Sometimes it’s because of injury or illness, but sometimes we fall into a rut and stop moving our bodies enough. And when that’s the case, we often feel heavy, lethargic, fuzzy, and unhappy. According to numerous academic and psychological studies, a sedentary lifestyle negatively impacts your ability to maintain optimal health.

Simple Beetroot Hummus
Simple Beetroot Hummus
It is so simple to pick up a jar of hummus from a store. But it is almost as simple to prepare hummus yourself and know exactly what has been added. You can do everything from scratch, including soaking and boiling the chickpeas, but I usually don’t feel this is necessary. The chickpeas from a jar, especially if I choose an organic brand, do it for me, but in case you do have extra time you can soak the chickpeas overnight and then boil until tender. It makes sense for me to cook your own chickpeas if you need a lot of them, so I sometimes do this for bigger parties, but if I am just hungry for a quick beet hummus I prefer having it in 5 minutes instead of the next day! However, I do prefer to roast the beetroots at home. I do this quite often anyway, so I usually have leftovers for hummus too.

10 Foods that Prevent & Lower Your Risk of Cancer
10 Foods that Prevent & Lower Your Risk of Cancer
You are what you eat! Food is the fuel on which our body works. It is the source of various nutrients that are needed to ensure proper bodily functions. Poor eating habits and diet can be closely associated with various lifestyle diseases and even cancer. Eating more healthy and nutritious food is one of the most simple, yet powerful things we can do to keep ourselves healthy. It is important to eat foods rich in fibre and vitamins. By making healthier choice we can reduce the risks of cancer. Along with eating good food, other healthy lifestyle choices can help keep diseases at bay. A balanced diet is an execllent starting place and so is adding some more physical activity. Even strengthening the core of the body further empowers the immune system. One simple first step towards a healthier life is to simply look at and assess your diet. Identify whether the foods that you are eating are fulfilling the needs of your body or not. Do your best to stay away from foods containing saturated fats and high sugar content.

9 Physical & Psychological Benefits of Forward Folds
9 Physical & Psychological Benefits of Forward Folds
In some ways, every family of yoga postures has their own unique personality and set of benefits. While there are countless poses and variations, there are some overarching categories of yoga poses, or families, and they include backbends, twists, inversions, balancing poses, arm balances and forward folds, amongst others. These families of postures each have their own set of alignment principles and benefits both physically, psychologically and energetically. In simpler terms, each family of poses make us feel a different way. It can be fascinating to not only examine yoga's overall effect of us, but how specific types of poses provide specific benefits. You will feel quite different leaving a class where you've done predominantly twists, versus a yoga class designed around arm balancing. Physically, you'll emphasize and work certain parts of the body more performing certain poses. Energetically, each pose also has a unique effect on our mind and mood. Forward bends, also called forward folds, are yoga postures where you hinge forward at your hips. There are many forward folds, both standing and seated, that are commonly practiced in various forms across all styles of yoga. Common forward folds in yoga include, Paschimotanasana, Uttanasana, and Prasarita Padotanasana. What makes these poses unique? Let's take a closer look at these postures, and their power to transform our bodies and mind.

Yoga for Legs: Create a Powerful Foundation & Get Strong from the Ground Up!
Yoga for Legs: Create a Powerful Foundation & Get Strong from the Ground Up!
In yoga practice, as in life, it’s vital to create a healthy foundation if you want to be strong. Without a fortified and solid base, it’s impossible to progress to higher levels. Consider if a skyscraper or even a two-story building is built without properly preparing the soil beneath it: any shift in the earth, excess of rain, or other changes can cause the structure to collapse. Just like an architect plans a safe, strong building that will withstand the test of time, yogis need to create strong bodies, resistant to injury, from the ground up. A good yoga instructor will teach standing yoga poses beginning with the position of the feet and legs. Without the feet in proper alignment, the knees can be stressed, the pelvis misaligned and the spine compromised. Standing poses are excellent for creating strong flexible legs and creating the proper balance of stability and mobility in the hips and pelvis.

Vegan Summer Strawberry Cheesecakes
Vegan Summer Strawberry Cheesecakes
These type of cakes are often called vegan cheesecakes, but I call these cakes strawberry cakes, because that’s what they are. The preparation of the cake is relatively simple, but you need to be patient because you need to wait for the cashews to soak and then the cake to set. You also need a very good blender to get the consistency nice and smooth. Once you have the cake ready, you can just keep this in the freezer and thaw it whenever you have unexpected guests or merely overwhelming feeling that you want something sweet. And as far as the sweets go – for the cake it is healthy too! Vegan Summer Strawberry Cheese Cake

Why We Need Bedtime Routines: Treat Yourself Like a Grown-Up Baby
Why We Need Bedtime Routines: Treat Yourself Like a Grown-Up Baby
I remember the days when I was working in an office for 40+ hours per week. I would be completely exhausted in the evening, and know I needed a good night’s sleep so I could rock at life the next day. Since I felt too tired for evening activities much of the time, I would pop on some Netflix and binge out on my favorite TV shows, which would lure me in, and the next thing I knew it was 1 AM when I needed to wake up at 6! Sound familiar? I’m pretty sure most of us have been there. Well I’ve gotta tell you what I've discovered through many of my own struggle days. My nighttime routine makes all the difference!

Simple Tips to Become More Minimalist
Simple Tips to Become More Minimalist
Decluttering and adopting a minimalist lifestyle is a great way to bring calm into your life. However, deciding to become more minimalist is a lot easier than actually doing it! It’s not as easy as simply decluttering - minimalism is a lifestyle change that can affect all aspects of your life. Here’s our top tips to start on the minimalism trend. Have fun with exploring these. Remember, there is no correct way to be a minimalist. It will look different for everyone, so be open in finding the lifestyle adjustments that work best for you. Get clear on why you want to be a minimalist Make a list of all the reasons why you want to become minimalist.

Why Shifting into Slow Gear Helps You Grow
Why Shifting into Slow Gear Helps You Grow
It’s universally acknowledged, that life feels too busy these days. While technology, growth, and progress are the way of the world, the acceleration of the daily pace of life can be exhausting. Between work, family, and fun, we’re often juggling a zillion tasks a day in order to “get it all done” or check off the boxes on our to-do lists. Slow down for a moment and see how you feel right now. Are you peaceful, joyous, and focused or frazzled? Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra1.2, Citta Vritti Nirodha, is the premise around which the entire Yoga Sutras are built. Yoga is all about calming the fluctuations of the mind or about learning to direct your attention where you want it to go. In our daily life, if we are slaves to the cult of “busy,” we’re at the mercy of distractions and lack of focus. Stepping onto your yoga mat is the first phase of eliminating distractions and slowing down those crazy thoughts careening around in your head

Fresh Start Green Juice
Fresh Start Green Juice
We love a fresh start. Any chance we can get to clear out the old and bring in the new is an opportunity to celebrate. After all, that’s what cleansing is all about, isn’t it? Recently I’ve found myself organizing and refreshing just about everything I can get my hands on…all my tax receipts are all in order (hooray!), my kitchen knives are all sharpened, I’ve donated a large box of toys and books that my kids are no longer interested in, I bought a bunch of new bins and have taken charge of a messy closet…and let me tell you, it feels good! Really good!

6 Tips to Meditate Anywhere
6 Tips to Meditate Anywhere
It’s been scientifically proven that meditation helps improve well-being physically, mentally, and emotionally. For me, it feels like meditating connects me to the parts of myself that are powerful and clear, and lessens the parts of myself more prone to struggle. However to get the benefits of meditation, one must actually mediate. The form, format, duration of one’s meditation is less important, than the action and consistency of actually meditating. You don’t have to be on a certain cushion, or in a certain place at a specific time of day, to make this practice a consistent and powerful part of your life. Unfortunately, many don’t meditate because of a lack of time, or not having enough alone time. Luckily, you can meditate more easily than you might think in some unexpected or public places. Oftentimes, you can do it discreetly without anyone noticing!