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


The Three Gunas: Tamas, Rajas, & Sattva
The Three Gunas: Tamas, Rajas, & Sattva
The main vedic-yogic system of understanding, assessing and addressing the needs of the mind and the emotions is the triguna system. This system is like a lens through which we may view everything in existence as the division into and interactions between 3 basic qualities called gunas. Tamas is metaphorically described as pertaining to darkness and heaviness, oriented towards the past and arising from it as karmic consequences of past actions.

Why Yoga is Even Better At Home!
Why Yoga is Even Better At Home!
Home workouts grew in popularity during the pandemic and continue to be a great alternative to going to a gym or class at a studio. While not everyone has the resources to build a home gym, yoga is a highly accessible form of exercise that anyone can implement — no matter your age, gender, or body type. In fact, doing yoga at home can be just as effective as going to a studio for your practice and in some ways even better than going to a public class! Here are five reasons why yoga is the perfect at-home workout and some tips to help you reap these benefits as you practice yoga at home. Practice with little to no financial investment

Hydration Tips for Hot Yoga Enthusiasts
Hydration Tips for Hot Yoga Enthusiasts
Hot yoga isn’t necessarily new, but it’s increased in popularity over the last few years for a variety of reasons. It increases the intensity of traditional yoga by using a heated room that can range from 90-108 degrees. Some of the biggest benefits of hot yoga include reduced stress, greater calorie burn, and improved flexibility. People try out these classes for different reasons and can experience various perks. However, one thing almost everyone experiences is sweat. A lot of it.

9 Amazing Benefits of Kapalabhati Pranayama (Breath of Fire) and How to Practice It
9 Amazing Benefits of Kapalabhati Pranayama (Breath of Fire) and How to Practice It
Kapalabhati pranayama technique creates fire and power and is wonderfully detoxifying for you. This breathing practice builds heat in the body and raises your energy levels leaving you feeling refreshed and invigorated. If you have ever been to a Kundalini yoga class, you have most likely done Kapalabhati breathing. How to practice Kapabalbhati breathing:

Yoga is Not Always Easy
Yoga is Not Always Easy
One morning at my 5:30 am Mysore Ashtanga practice, I had one of those days where my body went on strike. Everybody has those days, where technically we can and have done all (or most) of these postures with grace and ease, but that day… not so much. My muscles fought back in even the simplest forward bends, my spine wouldn’t loosen up, and as a result, my inner-monologue was…well, let’s just say it was less than yogic. Asana practice has two real main functions in the yogic tradition: to prepare the body to sit and meditate, and to open and balance energy lines in the body to facilitate personal development (so one can be comfortable in meditation internally). Typically on these days of physical ‘strike’, I’m left to contemplate in my Savasana what in my body/emotional patterning is so out of whack that it causes my entire physical being to seize up.

The History of Yin Yoga
The History of Yin Yoga
What is Yin Yoga? In the simplest terms, Yin Yoga is a yoga style that holds passive yoga postures for a longer duration of time. These poses are usually held for a duration of between three to ten minutes.

Little Things That Affect Your Posture & How To Fix Them
Little Things That Affect Your Posture & How To Fix Them
Posture is something that most people can stand to improve a little. Our heads, necks, backs, and shoulders get put under pressure every day, and it’s easy to not realize how tight they can become. The easiest way to improve posture and ease tension in the upper body is to make little changes throughout your day, and not even all of them need to be done at once. Here are a few things that could be damaging your posture and upper body, and a few ways to combat it. Slouching on your commute

8 Forward Folds to Get Grounded & Relieve Anxiety
8 Forward Folds to Get Grounded & Relieve Anxiety
Every family of yoga poses has its own unique energetic benefits. While the musculoskeletal benefits of postures are more obvious, benefits like open hamstrings, strengthening the core, or opening the shoulders, the energetic and emotional benefits are more subtle but important and valuable in their own way. For example, backbends, are uplifting and energizing and a perfect remedy for sluggish depressed energy.

6 Powerful Backbends to Open Your Heart Chakra
6 Powerful Backbends to Open Your Heart Chakra
Your heart chakra is the place of love and connection. It is associated with the element of air. It is connected to your lungs, heart, chest, and upper back region. Emotionally, it is the place where we love.

What is Jalandhara Bandha?
What is Jalandhara Bandha?
The bandhas are energetic locks in the body that help control of the flow of energy, prana, or life force, in your body. Engaging the bandhas creates more depth and richness in your yoga practice. They can help you get into postures more deeply, and in a safer way, as well as improve the function of energy throughout your entire body. Jalandhara bandha – the throat lock

Benefits of Nadi Shodhana: Alternate Nostril Breathing
Benefits of Nadi Shodhana: Alternate Nostril Breathing
Breathing exercises can have a huge impact on your mental, physical, and emotional health. Pranayama practices of controlled yogic breathing, are an important part of the yoga practice. Yoga is really a practice of breathing and we most commonly practice ujjayi pranayama during a yoga class. Aside from practicing pranayama while doing asana, it is important to have even a basic understanding of standalone pranayama practices you can do while seated. Different techniques have different energetic effects on the practitioner. Some are energizing, some are calming, some are in between. Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing), is a common technique that brings about focus and overall balance. Here are some of this technique's profound benefits, as well as how to practice it.

What is Uddiyana Bandha?
What is Uddiyana Bandha?
The recent article on Mula bandha goes into more depth on what the bandhas are. In a brief review, the bandhas are energetic locks in the body. They are utilized to gain control of the flow of energy, prana, or life force, in your body. Understanding and engaging the bandhas creates an added depth to your yoga practice. What is Uddiyana bandha? The second bandha is Uddiyana bandha. Uddiyana bandha engages the diaphragm and inner organs. It is also beneficial for digestion and detoxification and strengthening and toning the abdominals. This bandha also creates an upward pull of energy, similar to Mula bandha, but with a little more intensity.

Benefits of CombiningYoga and CrossFit
Benefits of CombiningYoga and CrossFit
Yoga and CrossFit can be paired beautifully to develop a well-rounded physical routine. Yoga is a mindful practice that increases strength, flexibility, and peace of mind, while CrossFit is more intense and aggressive. When both are paired, they provide unique emotional, psychological, and physical benefits. Whether you are an avid Crossfit enthusiast, who wants to balance your regular routine or a yogi who wants more cardio and strength training, these two modalities work well together. We’ve listed 6 fantastic benefits of incorporating yoga into your CrossFit training, or vice versa to help facilitate your well-rounded development:

What is Mula Bandha?
What is Mula Bandha?
The bandhas are energetic locks in the body. They are utilized to gain control of the flow of energy, prana, or life force, in your body. Understanding and engaging the bandhas creates an added depth to your yoga practice. The bandhas can be extremely beneficial for the brain, the Nadis (energy channels), and the chakras. They purify, remove blockages and harmonize and balance the self.

🥳 15 FREE Top-Rated Classes to Celebrate Our 15th Birthday!
🥳 15 FREE Top-Rated Classes to Celebrate Our 15th Birthday!
This week we are thrilled to celebrate the 15th year of YogaDownload! This site and community would not be continuing to grow if it wasn't for all of you showing up regularly on your mats from across the globe for the past 15 years! Thank for you logging in to take care of yourselves, while also supporting this global community and resource for online yoga.

Why We Practice Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Why We Practice Savasana (Corpse Pose)
“For a star to be born: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.” – Zoe Skylar Recently, I wrote about the importance of play. Today, through my sugar hangover, my attention turns to decay, decomposition, and death. I wrote this around The Day Of The Dead, All Souls Day, or Dia De Los Muertos, when we honor not only those who have passed on from this lifetime, but also the natural passage at the end of all lives. Here in Denver, the once juicy green leaves have dried, withered, and fallen, now are starting to emit the rotten Autumn scent, reminding me that everything must come to an end. Unpleasant though it may be, the fact is that death can come at any time, at any age; after a long or short illness, due to violent crime or an inexplicably tragic accident.

A Yogi’s Guide to Surviving Lockdown
A Yogi’s Guide to Surviving Lockdown
So, I won’t be the first to suggest that some good might come of the lockdown and social distancing enforced upon many of us by government action over the spread of Covid-19. Social media is not only full of political rants and tyrades of fear, but also of heartfelt encouragements, expressions of kindness and solidarity, and even beautiful poetry about us members of the great human family who are stepping up to take care of each other in difficult times, about the benefits to the environment and ecosystem of the planet from the forced cessation of destructive human production and transportation activities, and even about the psychological and spiritual benefits of just withdrawing from the world a while and spending time with ourselves.

Yoga en Español
Yoga en Español
Here at YogaDownload.com, we love to help make yoga available to as many people as we can, all over the globe. This week, we are thrilled to introduce our first dedicated Spanish Language Yoga Program: Yoga en Español. According to the World Economic Forum, the world’s most spoken languages are Chinese, Spanish, and English. As of 2018, that means Spanish is the second most spoken language, by roughly 437 million people, primarily in Spain, Latin America, and parts of the United States. Currently, most yoga classes are offered in English, Sanskrit, or some combination of the two. Many students find learning the Sanskrit names for the yoga asanas or postures to be a daunting challenge. Sanskrit isn’t a spoken language, only existing in written form, so it takes a great deal of memorization to learn the pose names. If English isn’t your first language, practicing yoga can be even more challenging due to language barriers.

Yoga & Fitness: Bringing Different Worlds Together
Yoga & Fitness: Bringing Different Worlds Together
Yoga in itself is a very unique discipline and contrasts what fitness and exercise represent in ways. It is called a discipline simply because it is one; a very complex discipline that has existed on earth for centuries at least. Yoga is a sacred journey. It is a spiritual practice, not solely focused on health and physicality. Today, it is a positive part of the lives of a growing number of people worldwide, as it continues to gain in popularity and people practicing. Then, there’s fitness, which is growing in popularity as well. For many, the fitness lifestyle is sought-after and is more than just a hobby or practice. Most people want to look and feel fit. For some, going to the gym has even become a social event, with a sense of community. These are just a few reasons the number of gyms and fitness centers in the world have increased tenfold in a very short period of time. Although different from yoga, the fitness industry is a lucrative industry that is also doing good for people’s well-being.

Decompress from the Holidays
Decompress from the Holidays
Happy Holidays from YogaDownload.com! We hope you’re enjoying the last days of 2017, and are filled with positive energy and peaceful light. Sometimes, however, the holidays can feel more stressful than joyful. On one end of the spectrum, you can take the celebrations too far and overindulge with cookies and pie, wine and cocktails, and too many family obligations. On the flip side, the holidays could stir up mixed emotions and even sadness. Whether you love the holidays or hate them, we’re here to help you navigate the last week of the year with four new classes designed to make you sweat, smile, and shed lingering stress. Sometimes you simply need to take some time for yourself to maintain your equilibrium. A vigorous asana practice can snap you right out of your thoughts and launch you into a place where you’re tuned into your physical body. By stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself physically, you can quiet your mind and refill your emotional well.

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

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

Six Benefits of Sun Salutations
Six Benefits of Sun Salutations
Sun Salutations are about worshipping the sun and activating the solar energy in the body. Consisting of 12 yoga poses (Hatha Yoga) requiring the practitioner to move from one pose to another in a rhythmic fashion in order to reap the benefits. Although this series can be practiced at any time of the day, the benefits of Sun Salutations increase when practiced in the morning in front of the sun.

Yoga Poses Scientifically Proven to Ease Depression
Yoga Poses Scientifically Proven to Ease Depression
A study titled 'Treating Major Depression With Yoga: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Pilot Trial' published in PLOS ONE Journal earlier this year. It was completed by a group of scientists from the University of California, Johns Hopkins University, and Cornell University. The main purpose of the study was to examine how an 8-week hatha yoga intervention impacted people with mild to major depression. To achieve this purpose, the researchers recruited 38 adults who were diagnosed with depression. According to the results, the group who practiced yoga during the study period exhibited a considerable decline in depression scores than the group who did not. The decline was statistically and clinically significant, so the study concluded that the yoga intervention can serve as a tool for reducing depression severity.

Yoga for Transition & Transformation
Yoga for Transition & Transformation
Transitions are part of life and the change of seasons is a perfect time to focus on transitions and transform your life. When we tap into the essence of the season and align ourselves with nature, we can create lasting change. Now that you’re in week two of the YogaDownload.com Pre-Holiday Challenge, we hope you’re feeling stronger and determined to stay the course.