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


Are You Exhausted But Can't Sleep?
Are You Exhausted But Can't Sleep?
“Also, I could finally sleep. And this was the real gift, because when you cannot sleep, you cannot get yourself out of the ditch–there’s not a chance.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love One of the most agonizing states I know is the purgatory of insomnia, when I am desperate to sleep but still my mind and body hold me captive in the waking world. If the Centers for Disease Control statistic that one in three adult Americans are not getting enough deep sleep on regular basis is right, you may well know this particular agony also. Sleep, so seemingly simple, continues to allude many of us. Why does sleep matter anyway? As Liz Gilbert says, we must sleep well enough and long enough in order to stay out of the “ditch.” Here are some of my favorite practices and tips to set myself up for good sleep.

Pumpkin Facial Scrub DIY Recipe
Pumpkin Facial Scrub DIY Recipe
Fall is finally here and pumpkin season is upon us! This time of year, it seems like EVERYTHING is pumpkin-spiced! So why not take advantage of the flavor for your skincare routine? We’ve developed a non-toxic Pumpkin Facial Scrub that is not only great for your skin, but will leave you smelling like sugar and spice and everything nice. Besides being the flavor of fall, pumpkin has many hidden benefits for your skin! When used topically, pumpkin can help brighten dull complexions, is full of antioxidants, and has anti-aging properties. Sugar gently exfoliates dead skin away, while avocado oil and coconut oil help to moisturize and cleanse your skin. Honey is antibacterial, which can help acne-prone complexions, and cinnamon can help increase blood flow and plump skin. (Note: If you have sensitive skin, make sure to spot test this scrub on your arm before using on your face.)

12 Tips to Fight Signs of Aging
12 Tips to Fight Signs of Aging
Time comes for us all, and while getting older is a natural process that’s fully embracing, you may want to fight certain signs of aging. Whether it’s physiological changes such as slower movements and decreased mobility, or something more superficial, like those wrinkles around the eyes, everyone has a different concern about getting older. You might be wondering what the best way to fight signs of aging are, or just want some advice on how to stay healthy and active in older age. We’ve put together some key tips to fight signs of aging, from what you use on your skin, to what you do to stay active, and even how to keep your brain sharp. Here are 12 essential tips to fight signs of aging, broken down into 4 important categories!

7 Qualities of the Best Yoga Teachers
7 Qualities of the Best Yoga Teachers
While there are many ways to be a powerful yoga teacher, here are some common traits of the truly excellent yoga teachers. A teacher loses their power when they become self-absorbed and the solid teachers know this. As teachers we must get over our selves and show up to serve others. We must truly embody and practice yoga to teach yoga authentically. Here are 7 key traits of the best yoga teachers: 1. Presence To be a powerful yoga teacher, we must be focused and present while teaching. How can we inspire our students to show up to the moment if we are distracted? As teachers of yoga we must breathe for and with our students, we must set the rhythm, the energetic tone, and hold strong in presence. 2. Adaptability

3 Powerful Ways Yoga is Healing for You
3 Powerful Ways Yoga is Healing for You
I was first introduced to yoga 15 years ago in high school by a gym teacher who was a true believer in yoga’s healing ability. She offered yoga class as an alternative to more mainstream physical activities and I’ll try anything once so I decided to see what it was all about. At the time I was more into competitive sports and this was...different. I’m saying different in a sarcastic tone because it felt odd, uncomfortable and a bit “woo-woo”. Every class the teacher would praise yoga for all of its physical, mental and spiritual benefits. I didn’t necessarily doubt her but I wasn’t connecting to anything but the clock to signal class was over. After that semester was done, I didn’t think I would ever try yoga again. But a few years later curiosity led me to another yoga class. If at first you don’t succeed try again, right? Well, nothing had changed and I was sure this was my final attempt. Fast forward to a few more years later and I found myself at a yoga studio yet again. Third time is a charm? Yes...third time is a charm! It was like a light from above shined down on me and something finally clicked and I felt the healing power of yoga. I began to practice yoga regularly and I got it. I got the appeal, I got why people swear by it and really, I just got how yoga is holistically healing on so many levels. Yoga is one of those things that it may take awhile to “get” but once you do, you really do. Although it’s not always easy to articulate what yoga does for me personally, I know it’s an integral piece of the puzzle needed to stay healthy, strong and happy.

One Year Without Alcohol: Month 6
One Year Without Alcohol: Month 6
Ok world, I’ve done it! No drinking for a month. It actually wasn’t very hard. I still went out and just had soda water. I wasn’t a hermit. I still had fun with friends. I also realize that I prefer a balance of this yogic lifestyle and also living and enjoying this physical and by nature material world. I’m right in the middle of Dharma Mittra’s 500Hr Teacher Training. If I thought not drinking would be a challange...well, let’s just say I didn’t really know what I signed up for. No coffee, no caffeine, no eating before noon, no eating after 6pm, 45 minutes of breathwork and meditation daily, 1 hr of practice daily, no salt, no tree nuts, no coconut, basically no fun. Kidding! Kind of.

7 Ways of Finding Time for Self-Care
7 Ways of Finding Time for Self-Care
A side effect of modern life seems to be that we’re always on the go. From balancing your career and personal life, to spending time with your family, it can be hard to find time in your schedule to dedicate to yourself and self-care. Finding time for self-care can often take a backseat to our other responsibilities and obligations, but it’s important to take the time to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Here’s our top 7 tips for finding time for self-care, even if you’re living an ‘on the go’ lifestyle! 1. Master a go-to meal

5 Evening Journaling Ritual Ideas
5 Evening Journaling Ritual Ideas
“To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle.” -Walt Whitman In the last article, we discussed how to jumpstart your morning routine with a journal and utilize yoga philosophy off the mat. In order to balance the jumpstart, we also need the wind down night time routine to balance. Instead of preparing for an active day, we can now prepare for a restful and calm night, perhaps even right before sleep. Like yoga, journaling is a powerful tool for self-discovery and impetus for positive change in your life. A night time journaling ritual can be a powerful All you need is a writing utensil and a journal. A basic notebook is fine, but there are also journals specialized for yoga practitioners. Here are 5 ideas for an evening or night time journaling ritual. 1. Give yourself space to find flow.

Slow Down
Slow Down
Transitions are the perfect moment to pause and observe how you are feeling in the present moment. This week, we mark the transition from summer to fall or winter to spring, depending upon where you’re located on the globe. Why not slow down, check in, and use this natural transition to appreciate your life? Savor your experiences instead of anticipating what’s next. Have you been to a concert lately? Noticed all the people with their phones up in front of their faces, videotaping a song instead of actually watching the show? They could be fully immersed in what’s happening on stage, but instead choose to create a barrier with a camera screen in order to save the moment for later. So, they never actually fully experience the gift of the live performance. Now consider in how many other areas of your life you are focused on the past or anticipating the future? It’s easy to be pulled into the “doing” pattern of life.

The Change of Seasons is Time to Reflect & Slow Down
The Change of Seasons is Time to Reflect & Slow Down
Whether you're in the northern or southern hemisphere, the seasons are beginning to change. There’s no way around it, when the seasons begin to change, we simultaneously feel a shift internally. Our moods, daily routines, what we eat and our overall energy changes with each season. What satisfies you in the summer is not going to be the same as what makes you happy during the fall. Seasons help us examine different parts of ourselves and they bring balance to our lives. One of the best ways to take advantage of the changing seasons is to check in with yourself. Think of it as a clean slate. Nature’s cue to slow down and press the pause button. So much can happen in such a short period of time and each season has its magical moments and lessons. We can get lost in the day to day and busy moving on to the next thing that we don’t take the time to reflect.

5 Meditations for Kids' School Stress Management
5 Meditations for Kids' School Stress Management
Many of us reminisce to those simple days of being a kid.....there were no worries of bills, traffic, and work. A kid's biggest worries are compromised of lunch, friends, and whether the class stays inside or out for recess. Big deal right? But if you really, really think back to childhood, it was a big deal and still is for kids! Childhood can be overwhelming and stressful as kids are growing, changing, and learning about the world around them. Going back to school with new teachers, new faces, and new rules can seem daunting and stressful for kids as well. So, just like us, kids need a way to decompress and release this tension. Fortunately meditation and breathwork, works for kids in similar ways that it works for adults. Here are five breathing techniques and meditations for kids, they can use for stress management from returning to school: 1. Color Breath:

5 Powerful Morning Journaling Ideas
5 Powerful Morning Journaling Ideas
“The more free time we devote to shaping our minds, the better off we will be. I recommend waking up early to use the morning to meditate “. -Dalai Lama Journaling daily has surprising benefits, many of which intersect with and complement a yoga practice. Journaling, like anything, takes dedication, consistency and practice, but the benefits are well worth the work. Use these tips and ideas below to explore and support your life, mornings, and yoga practice! Journaling is an amazing ally, as you can do it anywhere and all you need is a writing utensil and a book with paper. Basic notebooks do the trick, however there are also more specialized journals for everything from goal setting to journal's for yoga practitioners. Here are 5 morning journaling ideas that can jumpstart you towards amazing days. Have fun with them and explore which work best for you. 1. Get Grateful

8 Morning Ritual Ideas to Start Your Day Happy and Relaxed
8 Morning Ritual Ideas to Start Your Day Happy and Relaxed
“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep! You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep! People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep!” -Rumi The snooze button being pressed repeatedly, breakfast on the go, and a general feeling of racing against time to get to where you need to be. Does this sound like your morning everyday? Many people associate the morning with an anxiety ridden mad dash. A mad dash to the finish line that’s ironically the beginning of the day. As easy as it can be to fall into a habit of doing everything on auto-pilot to make it out the door on time, could this be negatively impacting you more then you realize? If you think about it, isn’t the way you start your day going to set the tone for everything that follows? If you begin with chaos and disorder, can you expect to be as connected, productive and happy as you want to be? If you feel like you need to start off the day in a more peaceful and relaxed way, adding morning rituals can be the answer. The sunrise symbolizes new beginnings and beneath all the busyness, the morning holds a special kind of magic that’s always there to connect with. Begin to test out morning rituals and see which ones feel right. Choose morning rituals that make you want to get out of bed in the morning. Make sure you decide on ones that you can make into a habit without dreading. Maybe you can’t dedicate 30 minutes or more of your morning time to rituals, but even 5-10 minutes can make a world of difference. Here are 8 Morning Ritual Ideas for you to Start Your Day with a Clear Mind and Open Heart:

Do You Need a Pattern Interrupt?
Do You Need a Pattern Interrupt?
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal.” ~ Paulo Coelho While nestled in the mountains near Granby, Colorado on the YogaDownload.com retreat this August, a student called her week away a “pattern interrupt.” (That’s us in the picture, having a coaching session “al fresco”). And indeed, unless one’s regular life consisted of camping in teepees, being served three colorful vegetarian meals per day, receiving Thai massage in a tent in the meadow, hiking to waterfalls, outside yoga twice daily, sipping fine whiskey at the state’s smallest bar, and throwing an impromptu dance party with new friends, then the experience surely interrupted the daily routine. We all need such breaks in the routine.

How Yoga Improves Upper Body Posture
How Yoga Improves Upper Body Posture
Do you know where you hold your stress? Chances are the majority of people reading this hold stress in their upper body or have at one point. And if you don’t hold stress in your upper body, are you aware of all the pressure put on it from the modern day society we live in? Think about what slouching over in a desk all day or sitting at home on the computer can do to your upper body, specifically your posture. Not only do these things wreak havoc on your posture, they also can contribute to overall tightness and pain. Eventually down the road, muscular imbalances in the upper body may even start to occur. Our bodies are made for physical activity and being stationery for a long period of time with unnatural movements can take a real toll. Even spending lots of time in the texting pose (which is definitely not a yoga pose!) can cause problems to the upper body. How To Tell If You Have Good Posture When it comes to having a strong and healthy upper body, good posture is key.

One Year without Alcohol: Month 5
One Year without Alcohol: Month 5
I’m in Spain, north of Barcelona on the Costa Brava, the rugged coast. The drink here, not to excess but as a daily, mealtime accompaniment. I’ve been observing this casualness and decided to partake in this celebratory, nonchalant part of the culture. A glass of wine (or two) at dinner seems to be part of the culture here which I don’t mind as I explore the coast solo. This while Dry 2018, is about being honest, getting clear, cleaning up the murky and messy. It’s not about perfectionism. It’s about intention. So I’m having a glass of Tempranillo, a local varietal. Not to numb, but because I’m on a solo vacation and it will help me sleep. My sister, who is basically my spirit guide and on what’s app whenever I need her, is basically saying yes to everything. Should I buy this dress that’s a little expensive? Yes. Should I indulge in this decadent meal? Yes. Should I have a glass of wine? Yes.

The Benefits of Fasting (& Why Yoga Makes it More Effective)
The Benefits of Fasting (& Why Yoga Makes it More Effective)
Fasting. It’s one word that can ignite a lot of emotions and thoughts in people, and one of them is usually fear. Simply hearing the term “fasting” might make you head out to the grocery store ASAP to stock up or call your favorite pizza place and order an entire pizza...for one. With that said, some people may feel a rush of excitement at the thought of fasting. People who are familiar with fasting usually look forward to the mental challenge, inner peace, and health benefits that fasting brings. Fasting is an ancient concept in yoga culture, a self-cleansing and self-healing practice that can help strengthen your mind, body and soul connection while improving your overall health, digestion and well-being. If you’ve never fasted before, it is inevitable you may feel scared and apprehensive about doing it. Your mind may be consumed with repeated thoughts of how am I going to do it and the feeling of lack. Lack of food, lack of food and well yeah, lack of food! It’s common to think that fasting may cause too much mental anguish and even potentially be harmful. It is important to know that for most people, fasting is safe and has a lot of health benefits. Yoga and fasting in combination enhance these health benefits. Make sure to drink ample amounts of water during your fast. Water allows the body to handle what’s going on during fasting and also reduces cravings. People who shouldn’t fast include children, diabetics, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and people who suffer from hypoglycemia.

Are you Getting in Your Own Way?
Are you Getting in Your Own Way?
Can I tell you a secret about my work as a health coach? There’s a misconception that health coaches prescribe a diet plan or exercise regime to their clients. In fact, that’s not what I’m up to at all. The reality is that most (not all) people come to me knowing exactly what they should be doing to have a healthy, vibrant, powerful life. And yet they just aren’t doing the things they know would propel them towards their goals. They are getting in their own way. So then my job becomes to help my clients not with a meal plan but with motivation, not with diet but with discipline, not with exercise ideas but with overcoming self-sabotage. Have you ever been all hell-bent and determined to change something in your life and initially attack it with passion then somewhere along the way drop it to the side, perhaps looking back at it every so often with regret or shame? Think New Year’s Resolutions. The honest truth is that improving one’s life and health takes work and often that work can be uncomfortable and unfamiliar. It can be easier to get in your own way, and not move forward towards the goals you're apsiring to. When faced with discomfort it’s absolutely normal for we silly humans to interfere with their own progress.

Travel Inspiration: Magic Island
Travel Inspiration: Magic Island
We all have that one place we dream about and long to go back to, whether it is home, for those of us that live life away from home, or maybe just be an unexpected place that stole your heart. For me it is definitely the latter, a tiny little island called Koh Phangan in Thailand known for its crazy full moon parties (which I still have not attended), vast jungle, beautiful water, warm people, great food, and all things yoga. It's been the most inspirational travel destination I've been fortunate enough to experience. The island place stole my heart when I first unexpectedly ended up there in 2016 before my big move to Singapore. I stayed there for a month and quickly fell in love with the community and the infinite love and ability that existed in this retreat to have whatever you desire.

How to Overcome Disappointment
How to Overcome Disappointment
There is such excitement in imagining opportunities manifest themselves. When opportunities arise and we truly believe we deserve them and our ability to create them, we can even start to see and feel ourselves experiencing them. We have the ability to imagine the things we want unfolding. We may even start to communicate to our friends that it is “happening!” Often, this approach works. However, sometimes things don't turn out exactly or even close to how we wanted them to. It feels disappointing. To move through disappointment without allowing an undesired circumstance to cause us low self esteem or despair is challenging. How did this happen when we believed in what we wanted to happen. When we were already planning our future around this! WTF?! How to overcome disappointment is possible, even when it's challenging. With a focused perspective we can accept whatever challenges life throws at us, as important, and valuable in the long run. Challenge teaches us our capacity, our boundaries, our resilience, our passion. There are many possible disappointments life can provide us; job loss, feeling rejected in a relationship, failing a test, losing our ground, death, participating in an unhealthy behavior, etc.

7 Ways to Turn a Bad Mood into a Good Mood
7 Ways to Turn a Bad Mood into a Good Mood
Some days life feels undeniably easier than other days. It’s part of being human. Ever wake up on the “wrong side of the bed”, where one thing after another seems to keep going wrong and your mood is bad and everyone is bothering you? Life can feel like a struggle on these days, instead of something we’re meant to enjoy and savor. Do you appreciate the opposite days? The days where you are in the flow and one amazing thing after another unfolds and you’re in a good mood, are happy, content, and enjoying life. These are the days we live for. Luckily, we have the power to put ourselves into a good mood and create more of these days, even on those days when we wake up in a bad mood. It’s not always by chance whether we're in a good mood or a bad mood. We have the power to create the days and moods we want. While some days feel more challenging than others, we have the power to turn any day around.

Dream BIG!
Dream BIG!
I am a dreamer. Head in the clouds, anything is possible, never settle kinda' girl. I believe that the bigger your dreams, the bigger your possibilities. Why would you want to place limitations on this short and fleeting life we have been granted? A life without dreams is like a garden without flowers. Where is the beauty? Plant seeds, create awareness and then focus on finding potential. Voicing your dream whether in words or writing, is like fertilizer, so be prepared to watch the dreams blossom into fruition. They say when the student in ready the teacher appears. I say when the seed is planted the sun will shine. If you aim for the stars even if you fall short, you will land in the clouds. From experience I know there is a much better view from the clouds than there is from the ground always looking up and wondering what if. I grew up conservative in my approach. A planner. I saved money and believed in hard work and long term effort to reach goals over time. Then I realized I was frustrated and impatient. My meticulous planning and attention to detail was preventing action.

Yoga for Crossfit: Why it Improves Performance & 3 Poses
Yoga for Crossfit: Why it Improves Performance & 3 Poses
Yoga is not only a good way to relax your mind and body, it is also being praised for improving Crossfit performance. Yoga creates more flexibility and creates more mobility, which are beneficial for the rigors of Crossfit as well as reducing the risk of injury. While the practices are different in many ways, Crossfit and yoga actually have a lot in common, so if you practice yoga, it’s can be easier to learn to practice Crossfit, and vice versa. Benefits of Yoga for Crossfit: Here are a few reasons why you should consider using yoga as a part of your crossfit training regime. Yoga has many gentle poses that develop your core which is an important part to Crossfit. Being capable of balancing and holding the body with the core is essential. When you regularly practice yoga, you promote strength, endurance, and flexibility and have a greater awareness of how to use your core effectively. You also find your inner strength which is important in Crossfit training. You practice cultivating calm, in challenging moments in yoga, and that can really help during Crossfit. Yoga can help us have more fun in Crossfit. Studies have found that yoga allows you to become more self-aware and improves your energy levels, helping you to enjoy life more fully. Sometimes in Crossfit, training and progress becomes such a focus point that we forget to be light and have fun. Yoga can help here.

6 Tips: How To Stop Craving Junk Food
6 Tips: How To Stop Craving Junk Food
Junk food is one of the greatest dangers for modern humans, but not everyone understands why, or how to stop eating it! For some, it’s easy to give up fast food, sweets, and pastries, but for many, overcoming this indulgence for a healthy diet is very difficult. Healthy eating must become not just a habit, but an integral part of a lifestyle for everyone who wants to live a long and healthy life. Why Is Excessive Junk Food Dangerous? Excessive passion for processed food and snacks is a top reason for obesity and high disease rates in different countries all over the world. Americans are the undisputed leaders in this category however. They spend more $60 billion annually on snack foods, many of it processed food high in sugar. Unprocessed foods are created by nature, that’s why human body easily digests them. The taste and consistency of natural food is supposed to easily satiate hunger. In contrast, junk food and other processed foods contain a big amount of salt, sugar, and flavor enhancers, that are very addictive and leave us wanting more. The addiction and craving of junk food isn’t only about your body; it also affects your brain. According to the latest research, abuse of unhealthy food causes addiction and affects the striatum, one of the nuclei of the human forebrain that coordinates multiple aspects of cognition, in particular motivation, making decisions, and reward perception.

Why Busy People Need Morning Routines for Productivity
Why Busy People Need Morning Routines for Productivity
It’s no secret that routines often reap high rewards, especially those in the morning. If you have done any kind of research on this matter, you know there is a long list of reasons to rise early in the morning. If the facts are all laid out in front of you, what are you still waiting for? Here’s how it all started for me. I had heard great things about organizing and prioritizing mornings. So, I decided to take the plunge and put these ideas into practice. I set out to create my own set of morning rituals and find out the truth for myself. After only a few months of implementing these changes, I figured just about anyone can benefit from waking up with the sun. In fact, busy people might just need morning rituals more than anyone else to keep their days productive. Modern life can be fast paced, ever changing, busy, and stressful. For many, we are constantly interacting with a variety of clients and multitasking to get a to-do list complete. Taking time each morning to slow down may just help those of us who are busy, have productive days and succeed. Having a specific morning routine helps you to be more organized and less stressed out, ultimately making you a better professional and much more productive.