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


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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.

Yoga to End Your Day
Yoga to End Your Day
As 2019 begins, we are gifted with a blank slate, a fresh calendar, and a new opportunity to start fresh and create the lives we desire. Although the holidays are exciting, there’s a tendency to fall out of our routines and practices. There is also the tendency to not sleep enough, to eat foods we don’t usually consume, and generally wear ourselves down. The New Year is a powerful time to implement healthy new habits to help you thrive in your daily life. To assist you in feeling your best, we’ve got four new practices to use as an evening wind down ritual––a life hack many of us need. Without consistent sleep and relaxation, we can’t operate at our highest level during the day. In order for our Prana to flow freely, we need balance. Each class will help you implement a ritual for relaxation and a restful night’s sleep.

New Year Yoga Reboot Challenge: 4 Reasons to do a Yoga Challenge
New Year Yoga Reboot Challenge: 4 Reasons to do a Yoga Challenge
Are you ready to leave 2018 behind? For many of us, it’s easy to let our usual routines fall to the wayside when the holidays are upon us. If you are one of the virtuous yogis who maintained your practice, congratulations! If you’re like a few of us here at YogaDownload.com, you may have let your best intentions slide and now it’s time to turn it all around. So, if you’re ready to reset and rejuvenate and enter 2019 feeling incredible, we’ve got the perfect solution. We’ve created a slightly different challenge for you, so no excuses! Each class is 30 minutes or less, so all you have to do is wake up early and get it done or squeeze it in somewhere in your day. Consistency is key when creating a new habit and we’ve made it easier for you by shortening the time needed. Although the classes are shorter, they aren’t short on benefits. We want to empower you to complete the entire challenge so, we’ve assembled a variety of classes from some of your favorite YogaDownload.com instructors. Mastery has been described as doing something you've committed to, even on days you don't feel like it. If you still aren’t convinced to jump onboard, here are 4 reasons to tip you over the edge and join us.

Celebrate: Why Yoga can Help you Enjoy the Holiday Season more
Celebrate: Why Yoga can Help you Enjoy the Holiday Season more
Around the world, people are celebrating various traditions. Whether you are commemorating the Solstice or observing faith based holidays, December represents a time to connect with family and friends. It’s a great time to focus on joy, peace, and establishing rituals. Whether you’re one of the lucky ones who get to spend more time with loved ones, take a trip back home, or go on a vacation somewhere far away or you find this time of year challenging, your yoga practice is always a safe haven. This time of year is a great reminder to focus on what is most important in life: love and connection. We’re here to remind you that taking the time to connect with your own heart will help you navigate this time of year. The heart chakra is considered the seat of compassion and selfless love. According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in Sutra 1.33, the mind becomes peaceful and free when the qualities of the heart are cultivated. Patanjali suggests:

Two Steps to Manifest your Dreams
Two Steps to Manifest your Dreams
Can you really manifest your dreams? Make your deepest desires come true? An ideal starting point is taking the time to clarify what exactly will fulfill you, what will make you content, and define what type of life you want to lead. If you don’t know what you want, how can you find it? Visualizing your ideal world is the first step and action is the second. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Eight Limbs of yoga outline a practical path to finding your highest self and learning to become happy in the present moment. In the second limb, the Niyamas or five personal observances, Svadhyaya is defined as self-study. “Sva” means self and “Adhyaya” means study or education. In this context, svadhyaya is a constantly evolving, life long learning process. In the quest to understand our truth, svadhyaya encourages us to reflect, meditate, and study sacred texts. By reading enlightened authors, we can learn from the wisdom of the great people before and around us. By stepping onto our yoga mats, we learn about ourselves. Through dedication and practice, the answers will appear and enable us to define our dreams and clear the path to manifest them into reality.

Yoga for Skiing and Snowboarding
Yoga for Skiing and Snowboarding
In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is upon us. Outdoor enthusiasts are flocking to the mountains to ski and snowboard. We here at YogaDownload.com want to support winter athletes and help you have the healthiest, most exciting season ever. Yoga can enhance your performance and help keep you injury-free so you enjoy your best days this season and for years to come. If where you live it is springtime, you’ll still benefit from our targeted classes this week. Water-skiing anyone? When you’re careening down a snow-covered mountain at the speed of light or even at the speed of a sloth, it’s important for your mind to be in the game. Honing your mental focus to a razor sharp edge will enable you to not only enhance your downhill skills, but will also help prevent avoidable injuries. Athletes agree that a clear attentive mind is the key to success on the slopes.

Body Positive Yoga | Radically Inclusive Yoga Program
Body Positive Yoga | Radically Inclusive Yoga Program
News alert: If a yoga instructor reprimands you because you don’t look a certain way in an asana or physical pose, that teacher may be in the wrong profession. A good teacher will emphasize that how you feel in a pose is what’s important, not what shape you are creating on the mat. If you are finding sensation and breathing fully, then you are in the right place. Despite the barrage of Instagram filtered images crafted by tall thin yogis in advanced yoga poses, you do NOT need to be a skinny pretzel to be a “real yogi.” We’re here to tell you there is no such thing as a yoga body. With the explosion of yoga’s popularity in the Western world over the last few decades, a huge focus on appearance has overshadowed what yoga is truly about. Yoga is for every body and there’s a style and type of practice that works for each individual. It’s adaptable. Accessible. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t. No matter who you are, whether you are thin or heavy, tall or short, in a wheelchair or an Olympic athlete, yoga is for you.

Practice Makes Perfect: Giving Thanks
Practice Makes Perfect: Giving Thanks
Everything in life can be considered a practice, whether it’s working out, practicing yoga, honing your hobby of choice, and even learning to operate from a place of gratitude each day. Just as you need to work your biceps and quadriceps to keep them strong, toned, and supple, you need to train your brain and your heart to move from a place of appreciation. Sometimes, it’s tough to be positive and grateful. As the Buddhists teach, life is hard. We don’t have much control over external events, but we do have control over our own reaction to them. One of the greatest benefits of a consistent yoga practice is that it allows you to create more space in your reaction time. It isn’t always easy, but being content is worth it.

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.

Let's Get Uncomfortable
Let's Get Uncomfortable
Stop and take a moment to consider the current state of your yoga practice. Have you fallen into a rut or are you in the process of growth? When is the last time you tried a new class or teacher––maybe one you’ve heard is challenging or different? Have you attempted a new asana lately, perhaps the one that scares you a little bit? If you’ve been practicing for a while, maybe it is time to step out of your comfort zone. The best way to become a more advanced practitioner is to continue to learn about yourself and understand your strengths and your limitations. Remember we are all different: physically, mentally, and emotionally. According to the Yoga Sutras, in the eight-limbed path of yoga, self-study is called Svadyaya and it encompasses seeking within as well as learning from texts and books. Awareness is the sign of an advanced practitioner and one of the greatest indicators of it is your breath.