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


Everything About Yoga Twists
Everything About Yoga Twists
If you’ve done even one yoga class, you’ve probably already done at least one twisting pose in your practice, probably more. Twisting has a large number of benefits to the body, however, it’s important to do them safely for the best yoga experience. Here’s some of the benefits of yoga twists, and how to master them. Back Health When we do twists in yoga we rotate the spine and stretch the back muscles, which in turn helps to restore and keep the spine’s range of motion. Not having a strong range of motion can run the risk of our joints becoming hard and inflexible, and the supportive muscles surrounding the spine can shrink. Stretching the muscles regularly with twists can prevent this. Boosting Energy

What is Yoga Anyway?
What is Yoga Anyway?
I'm reflecting on my very first yoga class. As a college freshman, I somewhat arbitrarily signed up for yoga as a “physical education” elective. My beloved grandma had been practicing yoga for years, so I had a vague knowledge of what it was all about, but I had no idea how much that that one course would end up influencing my life. Since first walking into that college gym, I have gone on to study various styles of yoga with many wonderful teachers, taught yoga in different capacities for over ten years, and owned two yoga studios on opposite corners of Colorado. Twenty years after that first class, I embarked on another in-depth yoga teacher’s training; RootEd is a 230-hour “apprenticeship” with the inspiring Jessica Patterson out of Colorado Springs. For the RootEd application, I was asked to answer the question “What is Yoga?”

10 Benefits of a Longer Yoga Practice
10 Benefits of a Longer Yoga Practice
In today’s busy modern world, yoga has evolved over the years to fit into our jam-packed schedules, the most notable of these being - practices are shorter. The traditional yoga class and used to last 90 minutes, which was a standard practice. Nowadays, we see 60, 30, even 5 minutes yoga practices, which while they still have their uses, sometimes can’t compare to the benefits of a longer practice. The main benefit of a longer practice is more time to focus on mindfulness, breathing techniques, and to generally help you relax. Here are 10 ways these benefits can positively impact your life.

Why Yoga is the Perfect Pre & Post Sport Workout
Why Yoga is the Perfect Pre & Post Sport Workout
Staying active is vital to a healthy lifestyle and a positive outlook. Here at YogaDownload.com, we’re all about mixing it up. Some days full-length well-rounded yoga classes are the ticket and other days you might prefer to run, cycle, golf, or play in the snow. Using yoga as a workout warm-up or cooldown is the ideal way to enhance your performance and prevent injury. Even when you stretch pre-or post-workout, you often just stretch the muscles in the same direction and plane of motion in which you are exercising. Many sports, like cycling and running, consist of repetitive movements, in one direction and in one plane of motion. Other sports like golf and tennis that rely on using one side of the body more than the other can develop certain muscle groups while ignoring others. Over time, these processes cause imbalances in the muscles and joints leading to overuse injuries.

4 Reasons Why Yoga Improves Your Snowboarding
4 Reasons Why Yoga Improves Your Snowboarding
Yoga is one of the most helpful and healthy ways to directly benefit your riding. From stretching, to strength, to balance, yoga has you covered to be a better snowboarder. Here is why! Stretching: Staying limber is one of the most important things you can do to keep your body healthy for snowboarding. Basic yoga done before and after will help prevent injury due to falls, and keep your body less sore after a day of shredding. It’s like performing preventative maintenance on your car. Flexibility will help you when learning, and help your body perform at its best when you are engaging in such a physically demanding sport. It will also help your body move without restriction. There are so many directions and movements your body must go through while riding, that keeping yourself as flexible as possible is of utmost importance.

Best 9 Yoga Poses To Do At Your Desk
Best 9 Yoga Poses To Do At Your Desk
Getting up and on the yoga mat regularly is great for your health and mind, but if you work at a busy desk job, your regular practice still might not be enough to combat the stress and pressure you are putting on your body - and your posture! However, there are many ways to alleviate this pressure, but the easiest ones don’t even involve getting up from your chair - perfect for those days when you’ve just got too much work to do. There are many yoga poses you can practice at your desk, and we’ve put together some of the best to help the areas that get the most strain sitting down, to reduce back pain, posture issues and stress. Seated Crescent Moon

7 Essential Yoga Poses for a Strong Core
7 Essential Yoga Poses for a Strong Core
In order to build a strong core, you need to work a variety of muscles, all the way from your hips to shoulders. The core does not just refer to your abs. It refers to the different muscles that run the length of your torso. There are great yoga techniques that can be done in order to build your core muscles. Not only do they help to make you more fit. They also increase your will power, stamina, and overall quality of life. Here are 7 Essential Yoga Postures for a Strong Core:

Yoga & Other Tips to Help with the Physical & Mental Challenges of Remote Work
Yoga & Other Tips to Help with the Physical & Mental Challenges of Remote Work
In more ways than one, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed our sense of normal. These days, more people find themselves working remotely as the virus continues sweeping across the globe, forcing many establishments to shut down their offices. Most children are staying at home as well and logging on for their classes rather than catching the school bus. There are also fewer opportunities to get out and socialize with friends and family. This means that many of us are stuck at home all day long. Unfortunately, all this time spent inside can lead to increased issues with your health.

Why Doing Yoga Everyday Can Help You with Everything
Why Doing Yoga Everyday Can Help You with Everything
​If you’ve been feeling a bit down recently and are in need of a mood boost, it can be easy to veer towards those vices which might not necessarily be the best for you. That’s not to say there’s not a time and a place for a bit of junk food, or a glass of wine, but one thing you can do everyday to help boost your mood is practicing yoga. Building a healthy habit of practicing a little bit of yoga each day can help to improve your mental and physical health, as well as make you feel happier. Here’s a few more reasons why doing yoga everyday can help you.

Quality over Quantity: Short and Sweet Yoga Practices Can Change Your Life
Quality over Quantity: Short and Sweet Yoga Practices Can Change Your Life
We all want to enjoy the benefits from a regular yoga practice, like a better mood, vibrant energy, and a stronger more supple body. And a consistent daily practice, however brief, can change your life in profound ways you may not have contemplated. According to the Yoga Sutras, practicing yoga is also considered the path to avoiding future suffering. Yoga Sutra 2.16- heyam duhkham anagatam, in the second chapter of the sutras on Sadhana or practice, loosely translated means, “pain yet to come is to be avoided.” What exactly does Patanjali mean in this thread of yogic wisdom? Essentially, we do have the ability to avoid or minimize future pain and suffering through our routine yoga practice. In other words, what we do today can help alleviate our future suffering. Our human experience includes pain, but through yoga you can shift your perspective and what you may have perceived as pain changes.

Why What You Wear to Yoga Matters
Why What You Wear to Yoga Matters
If you have done yoga before, you know it is about getting to a place of important to be physical, mental, and spiritual peace, more than it is about how anything looks. At least to a certain extent. To induce those feelings that help you clear up your head it is essentially important to be in an environment where the distractions are minimal and your mind can focus. Moreover, to be physically at peace, you need to be in yoga clothes that feel comfortable and relaxed. If you're clothes don't fit right, aren't ideal or mobile enough from yoga, or you simply don't feel good in them, it can be a distraction from finding your sense of peace on your mat.

Yoga in the Comfort of Your Own Home
Yoga in the Comfort of Your Own Home
Whether you’ve been practicing regularly with us for years or you’re dipping your toe into a home practice for the first time, rolling out your mat at home offers a myriad of benefits. Being able to click play whenever you want allows you to choose when and where you do yoga. We have more than 1,700 classes, so even if you’re stuck inside, you won’t run out of yoga. In this current global pandemic, it’s more important than ever we focus on mindfulness. You might be young and healthy, but many people in our communities are vulnerable, especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Many of the external events swirling around us are beyond our control, but we can control our reactions to this temporary new normal of “social distancing.” Yoga studios are closed or limiting classes, but you can continue to practice with us. Here are a few of our favorite reasons to take advantage of your home practice right now:

Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Body Confidence
Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Body Confidence
Yoga has a lot of benefits, from the physical to the mental. But did you know it can also boost your self confidence? Body confidence is something everyone should have. It helps you to be happy in life and with yourself, and be proud of yourself and the body you inhabit. Body confidence is believing in yourself, and not having self-doubt about your image. Yoga is one of the best ways to boost your body confidence. Here’s the ways in which it can improve how confident you feel in your body: Yoga boosts your focus

Yoga Expands Your Consciousness: Enjoy the Journey
Yoga Expands Your Consciousness: Enjoy the Journey
Yoga reminds us that having a human life is an awesome opportunity! It does not matter if you are physically beautiful, or materially rich. Yea it’s maybe some good karma, but what we do with the life we have is up to us. While each of us have a different set of circumstances, we have some capacity to create inner freedom. The superficial is not important to the yogi. The connection to cosmic consciousness is what's important. Through the practices of yoga the body will be its most beautiful, yet as yogis we are most interested in just that quality of consciousness. Higher states of consciousness which are possible through yoga, create a greater sense of connection to ourselves and the world around us. Life is limited, so take good care of your body so you can become conscious and be present for the adventure of your life as much as you can. Yoga allowed me the consciousness to remember that my time in my body is limited. It is something I remember, as I give thanks each morning when I awake from sleep. It is what inspires me to explore, and gives me the strength to be myself in the world and enjoy my time here. Yoga can also make us conscious enough to be braver.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

6 Reasons to Add Yoga to Your Strength Training
6 Reasons to Add Yoga to Your Strength Training
Yoga is well known as a calming and relaxing practice, so if your fitness goals are more performance and aesthetically based, you might have dismissed yoga as not being useful to you. There is a common misconception that yoga is purely for those looking for spiritual or relaxing exercise practice. However, more and more gyms, studios and trainers are incorporating yoga into their everyday fitness practice, as it’s a great exercise to add to your regime to see results. Yoga is a very important part of strength training. When used in combination with other more high impact exercises, yoga can help you to increase your endurance, increase your strength, improve your posture and technique, and improve your balance as well as your flexibility. Adding yoga to your strength training will help you achieve your peak performance, as well as calm your mind and improve your mental balance. Still need convincing? Here’s our top reasons why you should add yoga to your strength training. 1. Increased Flexibility

7 Mental Benefits of Yoga
7 Mental Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has a great many physical benefits, and mental too, but an aspect of yoga that can be overlooked in our modern day is the spiritual benefits. Yoga helps with happy living by giving us a way to unite our bodies, minds and breath, letting us connect to our inner selves. This is the spiritual aspect of yoga. There are many spiritual benefits of yoga, but here are a few that you can take into your life off the mat, and help you connect with your spiritual side. 1. Mindfulness

Benefits of Hip Openers in Yoga
Benefits of Hip Openers in Yoga
Hip-opener poses and asanas are some of the most popular and requested types. They bring release to areas of tightness that many people suffer from. As there are over 20 muscles that work across the hips, such as adductors in the inner thighs, abductors in the outer thighs, hip flexors and lateral rotators, it’s important to give these a good stretch. Any movement that stretches these muscles is a hip opener, but there are certain poses that give these a deeper release. If you have tight hips, it not only can affect your ability to get into certain yoga poses but can also affect your day to day life.

The Benefits of Warrior Poses
The Benefits of Warrior Poses
The series of warrior poses are the foundations of a strong and solid practice of asana. Warrior poses are among the most common poses in yoga practice, and help with balance, stance and hip opening. Warrior poses are great for nearly every type of body and skill level, are easy for beginners to get to grips with, while still being a great pose for building up strength, confidence, and feeling like, well a warrior! As we do warrior poses more and more often, it’s easy to forget the benefits they can give our minds and bodies. We’ve taken a look at some of the common variants of warrior pose, and the benefits these can give you. Warrior 1 Warrior 1 is a pose that will give you more flexibility in your hips, strengthen and tone your legs when practiced often.

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