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


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YogaDownload.com's Blog

Learn Yoga Massage: Tap into the Power of Touch
Learn Yoga Massage: Tap into the Power of Touch
Did you know that the first sense we become aware of as babies is touch? More than sight, smell, taste, and sound, touch is what helps us feel a true sense of connection with the people around us. There’s nothing quite like a hug from a friend you haven’t seen in a while, holding hands with your partner or child, or simply receiving a pat on the back. In certain cultures, kissing on the cheek is a common greeting, while other countries might frown upon even a handshake. Within your family or group of friends, touching could be common or non-existent. No matter the environment, many of us can go through an entire day or days without touching anyone at all. Lack of touch correlates with feeling disconnected, and we’re here with some new ways to change that. Touch is vital for overall health and wellness on a long-term basis.

21-Day Full Body Fitness Bootcamp: Achieve Peak Wellness with YogaDownload!
21-Day Full Body Fitness Bootcamp: Achieve Peak Wellness with YogaDownload!
Are you ready to feel revitalized? When we feel our personal best, we are more confident, have more energy, and have a clear calm mind. When we exercise vigorously, we release bloating, heaviness, and stagnant negative energy. The lighter we feel physically, the more free we feel in our minds and hearts. Check out our new 3-week bootcamp if you are ready to take your health to the next level. What: If you are nodding your head in agreement, join us for a 3-week bootcamp specially designed for you. Challenge yourself and commit to daily yoga and fitness for 21 days. This boot camp program is physical with classes intended to make you stronger and more supple. But don’t mistake this plan for simply a physical one. It is less about what you look like and more about what you feel like. We’ll participate as a community and blast through your personal barriers to ultimate fitness. Why: You can transform your life when you feel your best on every level.

Yoga for Strength and Power: Inside and Out
Yoga for Strength and Power: Inside and Out
Did you know that practicing certain styles of yoga is an excellent way to build not only flexibility and balance, but also strength? Hatha yoga, specifically styles of Vinyasa, Power, and Ashtanga work like a functional fitness program with your own body weight. In a well-rounded yoga practice, you work your body in all planes of motion and utilize not just the large muscles, but the small ones too. When you feel strong physically, there’s a direct correlation to how you feel emotionally and mentally as well. It’s all connected. Let’s focus on the physical aspect and how yoga builds strength.

4 Ways to Make YogaDownload.com a Powerful Health Hack
4 Ways to Make YogaDownload.com a Powerful Health Hack
These days, life seems to only get busier and often it’s easy to let your yoga practice fall by the wayside when work deadlines, family obligations, travel, or fill-in-the-blank, get in the way. Staying healthy physically, emotionally, and mentally can be a challenge when you feel pressed for time. What’s important to remember is a consistent yoga practice will keep you healthy. When you feel your best, everything else falls into place. We’re here with a few tips and tricks to help you solidify your yoga habit. Remember there isn’t a one-sized fits all method––what’s key is having a game plan. Whether you prefer practicing first thing in the morning, later in the evening, or anytime you can squeeze in a yoga break, creating an individualized schedule will make the difference. Once you feel the benefits of a clear mind, supple and strong muscles, and a softer heart, sticking to your yoga practice becomes second nature.

5-Day Empowerment Flow Program: A Self-Confidence Overhaul with Jackie Casal Mahrou
5-Day Empowerment Flow Program: A Self-Confidence Overhaul with Jackie Casal Mahrou
Stop what you are doing and close your eyes. Well, close your eyes after you read this article, of course. Take a hard look at your life. Would you say you are living your life to its fullest potential and operating from your highest self? If not, are you ready to make a true personal breakthrough? We’re here to help with a new program from beloved YogaDownload.com teacher, Jackie Casal Mahrou: 5-Day Empowerment Flow Series. First, consider whether you are tapping into your well of inner strength, listening to your inner voice, and expressing your authentic self. Or have external events and global challenges dimmed your radiance? Bouncing back after unforeseen challenges rock your world isn’t always easy. Don’t forget your power exists inside of you. Resilience is the ability to stay strong through times of adversity; to prevent obstacles from destroying your spirit, and to continue to forge your path.

The Magic of Yoga
The Magic of Yoga
Do you believe in magic? Not necessarily the kind of tricks you might see at a Las Vegas show, but more the type of magic that manifests as an intangible feeling that can’t be measured with logic or science. Whatever your initial reason for beginning yoga, you probably know you don’t keep returning simply because your hamstrings are more supple–– there is something more. Let’s call that subtle quality the magic of yoga. Perhaps you felt happy for ten minutes, ten hours, ten days, or even ten years after yoga class and you can’t pinpoint why. We often discuss the tangible physical benefits of a consistent yoga practice, like strength, flexibility, and balance. These qualities are wonderful, but not everything about yoga can be quantified. This week we’re focusing more on what is percolating beneath the surface in the subtle body. Our subtle body is said to contain more than 72,000 Nadis or energy channels and prana encompasses more than the muscles and the ligaments. It impacts our nervous system, our circulatory system, and our organs, whether we are aware of it or not. When we practice yoga, whatever the style, we are shifting and moving around our prana or life force energy. The magic of yoga impacts us on a cellular level. How? Why?

Yoga for Chronic Pain Relief
Yoga for Chronic Pain Relief
​During yoga class, you may have heard that mental and emotional pain can manifest in our bodies as physical pain. For example, an emotional trauma suffered as a child that was never fully processed can show up as pain in the hips and lower back. Samskaras, or shadows of past pain and suffering, exist for all of us. Yoga can assist us in soothing the nervous system and quieting the mind, which helps us process and move through pain. "Practicing yoga has the opposite effect on the brain as does chronic pain." M. Catherine Bushnell, PhD, scientific director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) says. What an incredible concept! We can help program our brains to feel better simply by showing up on our yoga mats. In fact, a 2015 study from Harvard Medical School, Annals of Internal Medicine concluded yoga increased mobility for people suffering from chronic low back pain more than the standard medical care did.

Yoga for Greater Flexibility
Yoga for Greater Flexibility
Ask any yoga teacher what the most common excuse they hear from people who don’t practice yoga is and you’ll probably receive the same answer: “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible.” We’re not sure where the myth started that naturally flexible and bendy people were the only ones who could practice yoga. In fact, it’s really the opposite. Flexibility looks very different depending on if you are a twenty-year-old former dancer, a thirty-year-old professional athlete, a fifty-year-old desk jockey, or an eighty-years-young retiree. No matter your age, anatomy, or physical abilities, yoga can help you become more flexible. The beauty of yoga is there are several styles and levels of classes and at least one is suited for you. How wonderful is that?

Happy and Healthy Hips: Unpack Your Saddlebags!
Happy and Healthy Hips: Unpack Your Saddlebags!
This week, it’s time to unpack those saddlebags and release the heaviness and stress weighing you down and impeding your emotions. It takes a lot of work to create the tight hips many of us are experiencing these days. Almost everything we do in our daily lives create tension: from sedentary activities like sitting at a desk and driving to running or even simple everyday stress. We accumulate unprocessed emotions in our hips and we’ve all got one or maybe fifty of those, right? Let’s unpack them. When your hips are both open and strong, you have a balanced center of gravity and are able to maintain not just a healthy spine, but also a happy heart and mind. Physically, your pelvis houses several ligaments and muscles.

5-Day Absolution Intensive with Mark Morford
5-Day Absolution Intensive with Mark Morford
Set Yourself Free! Take a moment to check in on how you’re feeling. Go ahead; take a quick scan from the crown of your beautiful head to the soles of your bare feet. If you are wearing shoes, go ahead and slip your feet out and wiggle your toes. On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your feeling of personal freedom right now? Where are you physically, emotionally, and mentally today? If you are feeling restricted in any or all of these areas, rest assured that your yoga practice can help you shed the tightness in your muscles, soothe any discord in your emotions, and quiet your thoughts. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali teaches that learning to detach or let go is necessary in order to find freedom. But what does it mean to truly let go? And let go of what, exactly?

Yoga for Self Care: Do You First!
Yoga for Self Care: Do You First!
Self-care is a priority, not an after-thought. Yes, you come first. When was the last time you were on a plane? If you were actually paying attention to the safety presentation before take off, you’d recall that the flight attendant always advises each passenger to place their own oxygen mask on first, even before their child’s. The message here, like our theme this week, is that taking care of yourself first is key before you can help anyone else. Do you ever feel guilty if you take time to go get a massage or put off a work call until after you’ve practiced yoga or worked out? Or how about feeling somehow naughty that you took a nap in the middle of the day instead of going to get your car washed? As yogis, we often consider ourselves experts in self-care when often, we are the ones focused on caring for others, and our own needs are at the bottom of the list. We get it: we are all busy and juggling responsibilities. Problems arise when obligations to your work, your family, your cat or your dog, supersede your obligations to your own health and well-being. It’s time to put yourself first before you burn out and can’t show up in your life at your best. Shifting your perspective to view self-care as a necessity and not a luxury is all you need to do for a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Yoga for the Upper Body: Heart, Shoulders, Throat & Head
Yoga for the Upper Body: Heart, Shoulders, Throat & Head
Yoga’s benefits are all-encompassing. This ancient practice affects our entire body, mind, and heart. Yoga can be approached in hundreds of different ways and can be utilized for specific areas of focus. This week, we’ll focus on how yoga benefits the upper body and that includes not just muscles and bones, but your four higher chakras or seats of higher consciousness. Many of us sit at the computer, drive a lot, stare at our smartphones, and as a result, our shoulders begin to round forward, proper posture disintegrates and we can actually become more closed off in our emotional expression. By focusing on asanas that open up the heart, shoulders, throat, and neck, we not only improve our posture, but we learn to keep the heart open and to communicate with truth and kindness. So yes, you can loosen up the physical tension and tightness that plagues you, improve your posture, and get rid of aches and pains. But the benefits go deeper by balancing out your Anahata or heart chakra, Vishudda or throat chakra, Ajna or third eye chakra, and Sahasrara or crown chakra.

Your Seasonal Wellness Makeover: A 2-Week Yoga Challenge for Body & Mind
Your Seasonal Wellness Makeover: A 2-Week Yoga Challenge for Body & Mind
After last week’s celebration of the Equinox and official change of seasons, we figured it was the perfect time for a two week Yoga Challenge. Why not harness the power of Mother Nature to boost your motivation and discipline? Whether you already practice yoga daily or if this is a big change to your routine, participating with yogis around the globe in a supportive environment will help you feel healthier and happier. You’ll even receive inspiration, structure, and goal setting techniques with life coach and YogaDownload teacher Elise Fabricant. Transformation isn’t easy, but we do have the power to make shifts in our thoughts, emotions, and physical strength and flexibility. Change doesn’t happen overnight, which is why we’ve carefully chosen two weeks of yoga classes to keep you engaged, excited, and on track.

Equinox: The Power of Change and Transition
Equinox: The Power of Change and Transition
"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and the seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But, there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. " - Alan Cohen Happy Equinox yogis! Whether you are celebrating the budding and blossoming of Spring in the Northern hemisphere or accepting the shedding of layers that personifies Autumn in the Southern hemisphere, we are all in the midst of powerful transition. When we align our own intentions and goals with nature’s rhythms and patterns, we strengthen our positions. We’re all living this one life on the planet together and the earth impacts everything we do, from how we feel physically to our thoughts and emotions. Why not harness these seasonal shifts to reflect, set intentions, and implement change?

Yoga Nidra: 1 Week Program for Ultimate Relaxation
Yoga Nidra: 1 Week Program for Ultimate Relaxation
Attention busy yogis: one hour of Yoga Nidra is like getting a few hours of deep sleep. Yes, one hour of Yoga Nidra practice has many benefits, but its power to provide you with the nourishing effect of true restful sleep can transform your life. This practice is designed to help you learn to completely relax, delve into your unconscious, and maximize your total well being. What’s even more wonderful is that anyone can learn this practice, no matter your age, physical abilities, and current state of health. If you aren’t familiar with Yoga Nidra, it is a healing practice of total relaxation. Your teacher guides you into a deeply relaxed state, kind of like how you feel right before you fall asleep where you are relaxed, quiet, yet aware of your surroundings.

Yoga for the Solar Plexus
Yoga for the Solar Plexus
Come on yogi, light your fire! Join us this week as we work to stoke our inner fire, to stimulate our power center, and to increase our confidence in all aspects of our lives. As you know, yoga transcends the physical, and one of the most important benefits of a regular practice is the ability to impact your subtle body and change how you feel from the inside out. Through targeted breath and movement, you can increase the flow of prana (energy) in your system and live your life feeling your best. Who doesn’t need a little boost? As you’ve probably experienced, different types of yoga classes yield different effects. Sometimes you need to quiet and calm, other times you need to strengthen and balance, and other times you need to rev up your engines. When you’re ready to manifest your desires, focus on the Manipura or navel chakra. Of the seven main chakras in the subtle body, Manipura houses the fire element. It’s the seat of ego and self-confidence, relationships with others and our boundaries, willpower, self-discipline, and it’s truly the center of our power and personality.

Quick Yoga Fix: Ways to Stay on Track when Time is Tight
Quick Yoga Fix: Ways to Stay on Track when Time is Tight
Can you believe it is almost March? Time seems to be zooming at the speed of light these days and with that swift pace, some priorities in life seem to shift. Work, school, family, travel, all the little responsibilities…some days it’s tough to complete all the things you want to do after you’ve done all the things you need to do. And you want to do yoga, right? If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you may be battling the Polar Vortex and spending an hour shoveling your driveway or taking thirty extra minutes to get to the office. That precious time could have been spent on your yoga mat. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps your holidays and vacation time created a lapse in your regular yoga practice. Regardless of why you’ve not had time to practice yoga as frequently as you would like, the result is the same. You’ve fallen out of your routine and aren’t feeling as balanced, strong, and flexible as you’d like. Maybe you feel like if you can’t get a full hour or ninety-minute practice in, it isn’t worth your time to step onto the mat. Not true!

Rise & Shine: A 2-Week Morning Yoga Program
Rise & Shine: A 2-Week Morning Yoga Program
Whether you’re already a dedicated morning yoga practitioner or if you are considering starting a new morning habit, we’ve got an excellent new two-week program specifically designed to kick-start your day. Certain techniques and styles are more impactful in the mornings and your instructors for our Rise and Shine program created each class to maximize these principles. Practicing yoga in the morning has the power to create a positive attitude you can extend throughout your day. When we wake up, we’ve got a new day in front of us to create exactly what we want in our lives. The way you start your day can have an enormous impact on how external events impact you. You may have noticed the more often you practice yoga, the more calm and collected you are when confronted with difficult situations. We don’t really have control over external events, but we do have control over how we react.

Fusion Yoga & Fitness: Efficient, Effective, & Fun!
Fusion Yoga & Fitness: Efficient, Effective, & Fun!
Most of us who practice yoga also work out and participate in other wellness activities. Whether you run, cycle, lift weights, or walk for fitness, yoga is an excellent complement. Sometimes, however, time is short and it’s not possible to get in both your workout routine and a full yoga class. Enter fusion yoga and fitness classes, where you can experience the best of both worlds, all in one efficient, effective, and fun class. 1. Fusion yoga classes are efficient. When you are pressed for time, but you don’t want to sacrifice either your fitness or your yoga routine, try one of these hybrid fusion yoga classes and stay on track with your life and your health. Fulfill all your needs with a class that will allow you to check off your fitness box, and balance it out with yoga to keep your muscles supple and your mind calm.

Ashtanga Yoga: Where the Physical Practice Began
Ashtanga Yoga: Where the Physical Practice Began
This week we highlight Ashtanga Yoga. Sit back, take a sip of your favorite beverage, and allow us to share the fascinating history of this vigorous practice. Ashtanga is the eight-limbed yoga path as outlined in Patanjali’s seminal text, the Yoga Sutra. In order to truly appreciate the place Ashtanga Yoga holds in the yoga world, we’ve got to look back about one hundred years. At that time, yoga in India was primarily seated meditation. Instead of simply studying and meditating, the Father of Modern Yoga, T. Krishnamacharya, developed a series of asanas combined with pranayama, in a vigorous set sequence of flowing asanas. For the first time in yoga practice, the physical postures and the controlled breath were part of a moving meditation.

5 Olympic Athletes Who Do Yoga
5 Olympic Athletes Who Do Yoga
Even though yoga is not considered an Olympic sport, at least not yet, the reality is that it already is a big part of the Olympics. Yoga is a fundamental component of the workout routine of many athletes who are striving for gold during these summer games, and it might very well be one of the key factors for them to finish on top of the podium. It’s no secret that yoga is a great complement for other physical activities. Some even think every athlete should do yoga (Link: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4806/Why-Every-Athlete-Should-Do-Yoga.html) to increase strength, balance, flexibility and mental control. That’s why it comes as no surprise that more and more competitors are taking advantage of the benefits it brings to their discipline. From elastic gymnasts, to big rugby players, they are all bringing the lessons learned on the mat to their respective sports.

Yoga for Athletes
Yoga for Athletes
In order to be in peak condition for their chosen sport or sports, athletes maintain strenuous workouts and conditioning programs. Many athletes claim they don’t have time for yoga, but we’re here to share how yoga can provide you a competitive edge, whether you’re a weekend warrior or a professional athlete. This week, we’re thrilled to bring you more yoga for athlete’s classes, with a new program from YogaDownload Instructor of the Month, Robert Sidoti. Get ready to enhance your performance and prevent injury. A well-rounded yoga practice includes dynamic flexibility training, core stabilization, strengthening and balance work. Often, when athletes stretch pre- or post-workout, they are usually just stretching the muscles in the same direction and plane of motion in which they will be exercising. Yoga

Yoga to Awaken your Inner Warrior
Yoga to Awaken your Inner Warrior
A true warrior is a combination of characteristics: strength, clarity, composure, and fearlessness. To awaken your inner warrior, it is vital you dig deep and recognize your own desires, truths, and powers. Being a warrior and standing up for what you believe in doesn’t mean you have to be the most physically powerful person, nor the fastest or most agile. A true warrior comes from within: being firm in your resolve, true to your beliefs, and learning to bend and not break. Yoga guides us to turn our attention and awareness inward with the intention of recognizing and releasing our inner truth and sharing it with the world. When you practice yoga with an emphasis on uncovering your personal truth, you begin to discover and cultivate your unique power and gifts. Through a dedicated yoga practice, we strengthen our external body and fortify our inner resolve. By becoming still and calm, you can discover what motivates you. Then, you know what you want and what you are willing to take a stand for, without fear.

Yoga Philosophy: The Yoga Sutra Roadmap with Bhavani Maki
Yoga Philosophy: The Yoga Sutra Roadmap with Bhavani Maki
Do you feel clear, calm, and happy during yoga practice, only to lose the feeling hours or even minutes after you step off your yoga mat?Wouldn’t it be fulfilling to carry that yoga high off of the mat into the other twenty-three hours of your day? Moving through physical postures and linking them with mindful breath is the gateway into a much deeper yoga practice. This week, we are excited to offer you a relatable, practical series on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, to allow you to move to the next level and learn to live your yoga all day long. Yoga Sutra 1.2 Citta vritti nirodhah is the pillar around which the entire text functions. This principle has been defined with various nuances, but essentially means yoga is the ability to direct the mind without distractionor interruption.

Yoga for the Lower Chakras
Yoga for the Lower Chakras
Whether you are familiar with how balancing your seven main Chakras can improve how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally or you’ve got no idea what these subtle body energetics are, we’re here to help you get the greatest benefits from your yoga practice. Basically, the subtle body is a blueprint of the physical body. When you practice yoga asanas, there is always a corresponding impact on your subtle body, which holds your emotions and life patterns or Samskaras. This week we’ve got four classes that focus upon the first three Chakras: Muladhara or Root Chakra, the Svadisthana or Sacral Chakra, and the Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra. By working on balancing our subtle body energy from the ground up, we can create a solid foundation upon which to bring our dreams into day-to-day reality. To maximize the impact of yoga’s impact on your brain, nervous system, and nadi system, we’ll share a brief review of each chakra’s energetic powers.