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


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Barley and sauerkraut stew
Barley and sauerkraut stew
The recipe I share with you is an Estonian classic. Well, almost. Traditionally it is cooked with a lot of fatty pork, but my version is completely vegan. Also, the potatoes and carrots are not traditionally added here, but rather served as a side. I wasn't planning to cook this recipe, but a fridge clean-out soup, but while cooking, it got way too thick. Of course, there is always an option to thin out the soup with extra water or stock, but this time I felt halfway through the cook that maybe a stew is a better option. So, a stew type of a thing is what I ended up with and I am most likely going to eat it for a few days in a row now.

Unique & Complementary Workouts for Yogis
Unique & Complementary Workouts for Yogis
“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and 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 Now, we’re not suggesting that by mixing up your yoga and exercise routine you’ll transform your life, but it’s a start! We show up on our yoga mats the way we show up in our daily life. It’s easy to fall into a rut and repeat the same workouts, practice with the same teachers, or walk the same route.

Yoga for Deep Healing
Yoga for Deep Healing
Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it. - Tori Amos. Life is a meandering journey filled with highs and lows, twists and turns, and during difficult times, it can feel unbearable. We all experience pain and suffering––it’s inevitable. We also enter this lifetime with Samskaras, or shadows of past pain and suffering. 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. Yoga offers a way to deepen your awareness of your subconscious emotions and process them.

Inner Fire: Yoga to Ignite Your Flame
Inner Fire: Yoga to Ignite Your Flame
Are you ready to feel passionate about your life, right now? If you’ve been feeling lethargic or in a rut, here are three ways yoga helps you stoke your inner fire. 1. Improve Your Digestion: Yoga and pranayama techniques can literally stimulate your internal organs, which helps your digestive system operate at ideal capacity. In the Heart of Yoga, T.K.V. Desikachar says in order to operate at our optimum levels we need to burn up “the rubbish.” When we focus on working our solar plexus or core, it helps us to digest, assimilate, and eliminate our food efficiently so we feel energized. When our gut is healthy, our prana or life force energy flows freely.

10-Day Pranayama Immersion: Just Breathe
10-Day Pranayama Immersion: Just Breathe
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a seminal text on yoga, states that “when the breath wanders the mind is unsteady. But, when the breath is calmed, the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.” The practice of controlling or extending your breath is called Pranayama, one of the eight limbs of yoga. In Sanskrit, the word Pranayama consists of “prana” and “ayama”. “Ayama” means to stretch or extend, and “yama” means to regulate and direct. Prana is life force or energy that consists of the three gunas, or nature’s building blocks.

Worry is a Waste: Yoga for Optimism
Worry is a Waste: Yoga for Optimism
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” - Corrie Ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook Did you realize that fear exists only in the future, not in the present moment? Maybe you’re scared to attempt your first handstand or fear what might happen when your rollercoaster car teeters at the the peak above an enormous hill right before it drops. Perspiration pops up on the back of your neck, butterflies flit around in your belly, your pulse kicks in your veins in the seconds before you do something that scares you. But, when you’re balancing on your hands or screaming and laughing on the ride, you are not afraid. You’re simply experiencing.

Yoga Classes of the Yama Aparigraha: Non-greed
Yoga Classes of the Yama Aparigraha: Non-greed
Aparigraha is about non-attachment. This is not a vow to live in poverty, but more of an invitation to be satisfied with what you have and avoid excess and perpetual dissatisfaction. There is abundance in the spirit of Aparigraha. A person with a lot of money who steals from others and is constantly worried about not having enough is not really rich in the truest sense of the word. Yoga teaches us that our greatest satisfaction comes from within. In many modern societies, there is tremendous emphasis on acquiring more and more trappings of excess materialism. Having nice things and living comfortably is wonderful, and Aparigraha isn’t about denying ourselves the nice things in life - but about not becoming greedy.

YogaDownload's 16th Birthday!
YogaDownload's 16th Birthday!
Do you love celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones? Marking important occasions with rituals and celebrations is a great way to express gratitude for what’s meaningful in your life. This week, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating 16 years of YogaDownload! We appreciate our global community of yogis, that would be you by the way, and wouldn’t be here today without your consistency and dedication to yoga. One of the ways we’ve distinguished ourselves over the years is by consistently bringing you fresh content every week. As part of our celebration, we are featuring throw-back classes from some long-time YogaDownload teachers who have been with us from the beginning and are still creating new practices for you. The teachers you love and appreciate return to the studio over and over because of you.

Daily Devotion: Showing Up For Yourself
Daily Devotion: Showing Up For Yourself
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” - Oscar Wilde It’s time to hit the pause button and contemplate how much time you take out of your day to refill your well. How often do you make yourself a priority––your wants, your needs, your desires? And consider whether you feel guilty if you choose yourself first?

Good Morning! Yoga for a Great Day Ahead!
Good Morning! Yoga for a Great Day Ahead!
If you want to experience your best day possible each and every day, choose to begin your morning with yoga. Unrolling your yoga mat in the morning empowers you to create and maintain a positive mindset regardless of what your schedule entails. Root canal at the dentist? No problem. Annual review with your evil boss? Those “helpful” comments will roll right off your back. One of the greatest benefits from a regular yoga practice is that it helps us pause before reacting to external stimulus. We don’t have control over many external events, but we can learn control over how we handle challenging situations. You’ll have a powerful foundation for the day to be your strongest, most positive self and avoid being drawn into drama caused by snap reactions. Practicing yoga in the morning clears your mind, soothes your emotions, and warms and opens your body.

21-Day Yoga Challenge: Nurture & Nourish
21-Day Yoga Challenge: Nurture & Nourish
21-Day Yoga Challenge: Nurture & Nourish: Challenge starts October 17th We’ve heard the term “self-care” bandied about a lot lately. Have you ever wondered what that means, exactly? We’re often so busy taking care of others in our lives from partners, pets, co-workers, and everyone we encounter, we don’t leave enough fuel in the tank to take care of ourselves. Are you as kind to yourself as you are to the person you love most?

Stretch, Flow & Let Go!
Stretch, Flow & Let Go!
Who is in the mood to mix things up? If you feel like you’ve fallen into the same-old, same-old mindset, it’s time to shake off your usual routine before you fall into a yoga rut. Our bodies and minds and hearts thrive on stimulation. Challenging yourself to do something different is the best way to maintain a fresh perspective on life. Physically, we can injure ourselves if we are repeating the same activities day after day. By trying different classes, you can avoid injuries caused by repetitive stress. Your mind can shift into auto-pilot with the same practices too and that’s a recipe for becoming stagnant.

Best Poses to Balance Your Throat (Visshuda) Chakra
Best Poses to Balance Your Throat (Visshuda) Chakra
Your throat chakra is the center of communication, where you express yourself and truth. It is associated with ether. Physically, it is connected with your throat region. It is related to being honest and expressing yourself. When your throat chakra is out of balance, it can physically result in any issues with the throat or thyroid, and motionally with dishonesty, an inability to speak up - or to stop talking.

Mark Morford's Yoga Alchemy - The Collection
Mark Morford's Yoga Alchemy - The Collection
Yoga is a path of self-improvement and self-discovery, where through practice and discipline, we can transform ourselves. Renowned ParaYoga founder and Tantra Yoga scholar Rod Stryker teaches, “We’re not transforming into something we aspire to,” he says. “We’re transforming into the very thing that we are innately: our best Self.” We are all in different stages in our lives and our personal development is an individual process. Yoga gives us tools to shed the habits and patterns which may be holding us back from being our best selves. This week’s Yoga Alchemy Program with Mark Morford is a deep dive into your own personal physical, mental, and emotional metamorphosis.

Evening Yoga for Better Sleep
Evening Yoga for Better Sleep
Never forget that rest is just as important as work! Seasons are changing and the shifting hours of sunset and sunrise impacts the quality of our sleep. And if like many of us, you’re busy juggling career and a personal life, sometimes it is tough to wind down from your adrenaline filled days. If you’re having a tougher time getting an excellent night’s sleep, you aren’t alone. By making some simple changes to your bedtime routine, you’ll be catching all your zzz’s in no time!

Sanskrit 101
Sanskrit 101
Sanskrit is an ancient Indian language. It is similar to Latin in the sense that many modern languages have roots in Sanskrit, but it is not really spoken as a first language in modern times. While many people are intimidated by yoga in general, they are more so because of words in a language with which they are not familiar. Sanskrit is an ancient language of India that today is spoken mostly by Hindu priests in religious ceremonies. Yoga studios are the other place where Sanskrit is most commonly used around the world in modern times.

Yoga for Resiliency
Yoga for Resiliency
Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong, and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason. - John Mayer Whether you’re in a phase of life where everything feels joyous or traumatic or somewhere in between, remind yourself that everything is temporary. The only universal constant is change. If we can learn to release attachments to feeling or being a certain way, we can find more peace when navigating times of loss and grief. We can also accept that “good times” don’t last forever.

Yoga for Calm & Confidence
Yoga for Calm & Confidence
​"Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." -Christopher Robin Every time we step onto our yoga mat is an opportunity to create our own mindset. Whether we want to enhance a sense of positivity or shift from negative feelings weighing us down, yoga provides the tools to take charge of our personal well-being. Mindful breath and movement offer a powerful path to not just grow stronger and more flexible physically, but to become calmer and more confident. Yoga helps remind us of just how wonderful we are!

5-Day Yoga 101 for Men Series with Robert Sidoti
5-Day Yoga 101 for Men Series with Robert Sidoti
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s, there are few.” ― Shunryu Suzuki Did you know that up until the early twentieth century, yoga was only taught by and to men? T. Krishnamacharya is considered the “father of modern yoga” with such illustrious students as Pattabhi Jois and B.K.S. Iyengar, who both helped bring yoga to the West in the twentieth century. It wasn’t until 1937, that Krishnamacharya agreed to teach Indra Devi, a Western woman who became a renowned teacher.

National Relaxation Day!
National Relaxation Day!
What if we told you that there’s a day dedicated to slowing down and chilling out, with zero guilt and zero regret? National Relaxation Day on August 15th is all about hitting the pause button on your busy schedule and putting your feet up. See if choosing to focus on doing less actually helps you create space for more joy and peace! Many of us complain that there isn’t enough time in the day. We’re constantly too busy and too committed to checking off item after item on our never-ending to-do lists. We forget that rest is just as important as work. We lose appreciation for experiencing the here and now. When we fall into a pattern of constantly “doing” instead of being, we can burn out and lose that sense of santosha or contentment in our lives.

Yoga for a Healthy Body and Mind Connection
Yoga for a Healthy Body and Mind Connection
Whenever we step onto the yoga mat, we’re beginning the process of healing our bodies, our hearts, and our minds. These intertwined benefits serve to not just make us stronger and more flexible in tangible ways but also intangible ones. This week’s classes will invigorate and replenish your mind and leave you feeling more clear, calm, and happy. Through well-sequenced and planned classes focused on Pranayama (mindful breath work) and Asana (Physical postures), you’ll experience adjustments to your state of mind and create shifts in your perspective. We live in a world where many external events are out of our control and if we don’t work to keep our mental state balanced, we can internalize those events, causing stress and unhappiness.

Practices for Challenging Times and Obstacles
Practices for Challenging Times and Obstacles
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” - Haruki Murakami A broken heart, a car accident, a death of a loved one, a cancer diagnosis: any one of these can occur and knock us off of our feet. We all experience pain. Suffering is the identification with the pain. Or, as Judith Lasater states in her book Living Your Yoga, suffering is the personalization we bring to our difficulties.

Consistency is Key: Short Practices to Keep Showing Up
Consistency is Key: Short Practices to Keep Showing Up
“Practice and all is coming.” -K. Pattabhi Jois One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll receive from yoga teachers is to make time for your practice––daily if you can. What you usually don’t hear is for how long, when, or where to practice. The key element is to be consistent with your yoga. We’re here to encourage you to release the attachment to believing you must spend a certain amount of time on your mat to “make it count.” There’s an element of freedom and surrender when you recognize that you:

Full Body Tone & Tune-Up
Full Body Tone & Tune-Up
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” -Jim Rohn Close your eyes and take a quick scan from the crown of your head to the base of your feet. How do you feel? If you’re not feeling your best on every level, consider why not and consider what you can do today to attain ultimate well-being. We live in a stressful world, where we’re constantly bombarded with difficult challenges. Stress wears not just our minds and hearts down but weakens our physical vitality. There’s an important reason that asana or physical postures are the gateway to a deeper and more meaningful yoga and meditation practice.

Yoga for Your Heart!
Yoga for Your Heart!
This week is the perfect time to renew your commitment to living life with a loving, open heart, regardless of external circumstances. Yoga can help you create openings in your physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Everything is connected so physical activity creates emotional releases and purposeful words and mantras create physical strength. One of the most powerful mantras you can tap into is Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.