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


Quick Yoga Breaks at Your Desk: 16-Class Package
Quick Yoga Breaks at Your Desk: 16-Class Package
We’ve all been living in a time of major global stress and transition. A consistent yoga practice is vital to stay balanced and manage the shifts occurring around us on a daily basis. We’ve got good news––even on the days where you’re really busy, you can sneak in a ten-to-fifteen-minute yoga break. A consistent daily practice can keep you grounded––just remember quality over quantity. Many of us used to head into an office, but now work from home. While you’re saving time because you don’t have to commute any longer, somehow it still feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to practice yoga. Distractions abound at home, right? Everything from dishes, to walking the dog, to family demands, to the temptation of a catnap can pull you out of your resolve to move and breathe and meditate.

Yoga to Open Your Mind
Yoga to Open Your Mind
Students come to yoga for a variety of reasons: physical, mental, and spiritual. Regardless of why you started practicing, your entire being benefits. It’s easy to focus on mastering the asanas or physical postures first. But traditionally, yoga’s primary intention is to gain control over your mind. The seminal text on yoga, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, were compiled centuries ago and the wisdom proves true today. The Sutras are divided into 4 Padas or chapters which provide a pathway to journey toward Samadhi or enlightenment. The pillar of the entire text is stated in Sutra 1.2 Chitta vritti nirodaha. In a nutshell this means that yoga is the ability to direct the mind without distraction or interruption. Yoga equals sustained attention.

Slow Down: Yoga to Relax and Recharge
Slow Down: Yoga to Relax and Recharge
Are you already leaping into a New Year’s Resolution type of mindset, but haven’t taken enough time to relax after the hectic holiday season? Fostering a balance between action and rest is essential. The “doing” pattern of life is helpful to fulfill our desires and achieve our goals, but if we aren’t mindful, it’s easy to slip into only doing and not being. Why not try a less is more attitude this week? One of yoga’s true gifts is teaching us how to be present––not anticipating the future and not fixating on the past. If we are too focused on what is happening next, we cannot be fully present in what is happening right now. Consider a few of your favorite activities where you’re simply in the flow––running, surfing, gardening, dancing, listening to music or whatever is your perfect state.

7 Amazing Yoga Poses to Detox Your Body
7 Amazing Yoga Poses to Detox Your Body
After a indulgent Christmas, you might be thinking about rolling out your yoga mat and getting back into your fitness routine for 2021. Some of us, however, might be finding it daunting after taking time off. A detoxing yoga routine can be just what you need to feel refreshed and ready to take on a new year. Here’s our top poses to detox after indulging. Twisted Chair This pose is great for detoxing the digestive system, ‘twisting’ the body to wring out toxins and negative energy. It also helps to increase flexibility and tones your internal organs - perfect for if you’ve overdone it over the festive season.

Work it Out! Finish 2020 Strong
Work it Out! Finish 2020 Strong
Never in our lifetime have we shared so much together as a global community, yet experienced more solitude. 2020 has been a year of contrasts and for many a year of profound challenge and change––whether you planned on it or not. Whether you were able to spend the holidays with family and friends or were unable to travel, you may have had a tougher time maintaining a sense of balance. Around the holidays, emotions amplify and rise to the surface for many of us. It’s tougher to find that sense of equanimity and as a result this time of year your healthy habits and positive practices may disappear. Instead of stepping onto the mat, you nibble on another cookie or sip more Irish whiskey and suddenly find yourself parked on the couch feeling sluggish. Of course, there’s no reason not to indulge and spoil yourself, but if you feel you’ve overdone it, re-energize with some movement. Self-care is a form of spoiling yourself, right? Go for a brisk walk, turn on some music and dance around your living room, roll out your yoga mat and flow for a few minutes.

Feel the Seasons Change: Big Shifts Inside & Out
Feel the Seasons Change: Big Shifts Inside & Out
Can you feel the transition happening all around you? December 21, 2020, marked the Solstice, the day where the sun stands still and creates the longest night or longest day of the year, depending on where you reside on the planet. A once in a lifetime planetary event occurred on the same night, an event astronomers dub the “Great Conjunction” ––also referred to as the “Christmas Star.” The two planets will appear as a sparkling bright light to the naked eye, shining in the Southwestern sky. This incredible union is the planets’ closest encounter since 1623 and the first time it will be visible since 1226. How remarkable is that? What’s even more helpful is that this intense once in a lifetime experience is a great time to make positive changes in your life and step into optimism for 2021. Even better? This conjunction is in Aquarius, the sign of social change, humanitarian efforts, and justice for all. Sign us up!

Set Yourself Up for a 2021 Transformation
Set Yourself Up for a 2021 Transformation
It’s the two-week countdown to 2021 and time to set yourself up to transition and transform. We don’t know about you, but we are more than ready to kiss 2020 goodbye and step into the realm of new possibilities. Starting January 1, 2021, we’ve got a three-week challenge designed to usher in a fresh start and provide you with the framework to start your year feeling empowered and renewed. Yoga is one of the most potent tools we have to navigate the ebbs and flows of change. By concentrating on building our strength and balance from the inside out, we are better equipped to handle whatever comes our way. Yoga and meditation are two practices which will fortify your mind and heart and smooth the inevitable shifts ahead. We’ve all been reminded, rather forcefully, that we don’t have much control over external events, only over our reactions to them. If you’ve found yourself more anxious, more depressed, more emotional in general, you aren’t alone. The good news is you can learn to flex the internal muscles of your mind and train yourself to be less reactionary. The more you practice, the more strength and balance you’ll embody, regardless of prevailing circumstances.

Soothe Stress and Manage Anxiety Naturally with Yoga
Soothe Stress and Manage Anxiety Naturally with Yoga
What is your go-to coping mechanism when you feel overwhelmed or can’t control your reactions to anything and everything? Does heading outside into nature help reduce your blood pressure or a phone call with your best friend do the trick? Did you know one of the best ways to manage stress and anxiety is through a balanced yoga practice? Mindful movement and controlled breathing patterns positively affect your nervous system. Yoga helps us shift from fight or flight, a reactive state, to rest and digest, a receptive state of being. Through physical asanas and Pranayama breathing techniques you can lower blood pressure, regulate heart rate, and reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. With an intelligent combination of active practices, passive practices, and meditation, like our new one-week Anxiety Relief program, you’ll feel more calm, energized, and balanced.

Create Your Healthiest Spine and Back with Yoga
Create Your Healthiest Spine and Back with Yoga
Have you ever noticed that when you’re worried about money, all of a sudden, your lower back “goes out?” Or you were reprimanded at work and a crick appears in your neck? Of course, suffering a physical injury or the culmination of a lifetime of poor posture causes pain, but what’s happening internally is often the root of external pain. Yoga’s three-pronged focus on physical, emotional, and mental wellness offers back pain relief for every layer of your being. In yogic philosophy, the subtle body is a blueprint of the physical one. The subtle body consists of energy or prana which flows through channels called Nadis. The primary Nadi, the Sushumna Nadi, runs from the Muladhara (Root) Chakra at the base of the spine to the Sahasrara (Crown) Chakra at the crown of the head. Keeping the seven primary Chakras or energy centers balanced is essential to keep our prana flowing freely so we feel invigorated, calm, and pain-free.

Yoga for Abundance & Generosity
Yoga for Abundance & Generosity
“The fastest way to bring more wonderful examples of abundance into your personal experience is to take constant notice of the wonderful things that are already there.” ~ Esther Hicks In the United States, we’re observing Thanksgiving this week, which is usually celebrated with gatherings of family and friends and a bountiful feast. In 2020, this type of celebration may not be possible and many people may be alone. It’s time to shift the focus inward and examine all the gifts you do have, regardless of external circumstances. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude creates more positivity and joy in your life.

Be Easy On Yourself
Be Easy On Yourself
The physical practice of yoga is built around Yoga Sutra II 46 Sthira Sukham Asanam, which means the posture should be a balance of effort and ease or strength and softness. For many of us yogis, it can be more difficult to access the ease and softness. But without these important qualities, you can’t find that sense of balance in your practice and in your life. If you are too rigid, that’s a lack of stability. If you’re too limp, that’s also unstable. Allowing yourself to be gentle and receive can be a challenge, but the benefits are numerous. In yoga, we’re seeking a sense of Samadhi, the state of mind where your attention is clear, focused, unwavering, and relaxed simultaneously. One of the lessons on the yoga journey is discovering the difference between being and doing. In active Yang practices like Ashtanga and Vinyasa, it can be easy to focus on the movement and the strength required to fill out the shape of Virabhadrasana/ Warrior I or Natarajasana/Dancer’s Pose. We are accustomed to working hard, right? But if you push too hard, you’ll fall over or possibly injure yourself. To truly achieve Sthira Sukham Asanam in a pose, it is a dance between relaxing your body and mind, just as much as it is working to ground through your feet and expand your arms up toward the sky.

10-Day Hanumanasana Immersion: Get into the Splits!
10-Day Hanumanasana Immersion: Get into the Splits!
Take a leap of faith into Hanumanasna! Are you ready to immerse and challenge yourself to attempt something new this week? If there are certain yoga poses you’ve given up on because you don’t think you can ever do them, you’re not alone. What’s the point, right? But sometimes dedicating time to master something seemingly impossible results in deeper lessons than bending yourself into a certain shape. There’s an element of the Niyama Svadhyaya or self-study when we dedicate ourselves to a challenge. Asana or the physical practice is only one of many layers of yoga. When we focus on learning a certain posture, the benefits extend deep below the surface of muscle and bone. If we challenge ourselves to spend the time to master a difficult pose, like Hanumanasa or the Splits, we tap into our inner thoughts and emotions too. We learn a lot about ourselves by the inner dialogue that arises when we work through difficulties, challenges, and limitations.

Yoga to Boost Immunity
Yoga to Boost Immunity
How are you feeling today? Did you get a restful night’s sleep? Are you energized and ready to make the most out of your day? If so, fabulous! That’s an excellent sign your immune system is working optimally. If, however, your sleep has been intermittent and you’re feeling stressed out, you aren’t alone. Here are 4 of the top ways yoga can support and strengthen your immune system and help you stay healthy all season long! Stress is one of the primary factors in a weak immune system. Yoga helps lower your cortisol levels.

Yoga to Stay Grounded and Strong
Yoga to Stay Grounded and Strong
When the world around you feels uncertain, it’s the perfect time to shift your focus and create a sense of stability from the inside out. Steadiness is the quality of strength and grounded energy. Yoga Sutra 2.46 Sthira Sukham Asanam means the posture should be steady and comfortable. Working on developing this in your yoga practice will aid you in staying centered and rooted in the present moment. By balancing the need for survival and security first, you can become your strongest most grounded self, regardless of external circumstances. The Muladhara or Root Chakra, located at the base of the spine, is the foundation for our physical and energetic bodies and is essential to our sense of stability. Muladhara is the base chakra and addressing it first creates the basis for emotional and physical health.

Happy 14th Birthday YogaDownload!
Happy 14th Birthday YogaDownload!
While 2020 may be the year many people around the globe discovered the joy of practicing online yoga at home, YogaDownload.com is celebrating 14 years of being a pioneer in the online yoga space. Founder, Jamie Kent first created YogaDownload.com with audio yoga classes designed to reach students who couldn’t make it to a studio. Whether the barrier was location or cost or time, her vision was to share yoga with the world by providing world-class teachers, affordability, and ease of use. If you’ve been with us from the beginning or just discovered how life-changing practicing on your own terms can be, thank you for being here!

Vinyasa Flow with Electronic Music: Dance Party!
Vinyasa Flow with Electronic Music: Dance Party!
We don’t know about you, but it’s been a hot minute since we went out dancing! With 2020 keeping us close to home and dance parties closed down, we are itching for something different. This week we’re thrilled to share 4 new Electronic Music Session classes from some global record labels that will complement your practice and allow you to find your flow on a deeper level. We’re ready to synchronize our breath to our movement and add another element to our customary practices. Vinyasa Flow yoga and electronic music can be perfect partners in your quest to dance with your breath, quiet your mind, and soothe your soul. Vinyasa means to place in a special or sacred way and is an excellent way to build strength, balance, flexibility, and connection. This style of yoga focuses on linking breath and movement to create a moving meditation, which often feels like a powerful dance. Vinyasa Flow classes are varied and creative and each one is as unique as each instructor’s individual style and sequencing. Settling into the rhythm and flow helps you find harmony within yourself and with the world around you.

Heal Your Shoulders, Neck, & Upper Back: 2-Week Program
Heal Your Shoulders, Neck, & Upper Back: 2-Week Program
It’s safe to say that we’ve all experienced pain in our shoulders, neck, and upper back at some point. Tension in your shoulders and neck is one of the most common complaints with just about everyone! Whether you spent too much time in front of the computer or slept wrong and woke up with a crick in your neck, having pain in your upper body can truly ruin your day. The physical causes can develop from heredity, injuries or accidents, or poor posture. But for many of us, the manifestation of pain in this area of the body stems from issues beyond skin deep. We’ve got an amazing new program to address these issues and prevent further discomfort. The variety of classes over the next two weeks will not only help you relieve stress and tension in your physical body, but dig beneath the surface into your emotional and mental states. The root of the problem is often predominantly emotional and upper back issues often relate to experiencing a lack of emotional support from significant people in your life.

Yoga for Kids
Yoga for Kids
How old were you when you started practicing yoga? If you began as an adult, you know how transformational yoga can be in all aspects of your life. Maybe you stepped onto the mat when you were a child, and if you did––lucky you! Yoga offers a myriad of benefits for your mind, body, and spirit, and for many of us is what helps keep us balanced in our lives. During 2020, many children are home instead of in school and need all the gifts yoga has to offer more than ever. Just as yoga helps develop strength, flexibility, balance, and equanimity for adults, it also offers vital tools for children to live healthier happier lives. One of the primary ways yoga helps children is by encouraging self-love and self-acceptance. Yoga teaches kids more about their own bodies and minds. One of yoga’s messages is to remind us we are all different, yet perfect as we are. If children understand that whatever shape or size they are is acceptable, they may avoid body image pressures that inundate us. If children can learn to love themselves from a young age, they are better equipped to handle all the negative messages society can present to them.

5 Reasons to Practice Yoga First Thing in the Morning:
5 Reasons to Practice Yoga First Thing in the Morning:
Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. -Dalai Lama Any time is a great time for yoga, as long as you can fit your practice into your busy life. Sometimes, despite the best intentions, your day can run away from you. Work and personal matters can take precedence and suddenly, it is bedtime and you didn’t step onto your yoga mat. Here are 5 reasons why practicing yoga first thing in the morning can set you up for your best day.

Yin Yoga for Peacefulness
Yin Yoga for Peacefulness
Peace can become a lens through which you see the world. Be it. Live it. Radiate it out. Peace is an inside job. —Wayne Dyer September 21st is International Day of Peace and an excellent reminder that to find peace, it is imperative to create it from the inside out. One of the greatest lessons yoga teaches us is how tuning into our minds, hearts, and bodies helps us polish the lens through which we view the world. Our perspective is key and even if we aren’t in control of external events, we can gain control of our thoughts and emotions.

5 Good Reasons to Join a Yoga Challenge
5 Good Reasons to Join a Yoga Challenge
The start of a new season is the perfect opportunity to try something new and challenge yourself. Why not get out of your comfort zone and try a yoga challenge? It might sound intimidating, but challenging yourself to practice yoga every day, and even trying a few new things can be the best way to get out of a rut, and start a fresh season. Still need convincing? Here are just a few reasons to join a yoga challenge today. Learn New Things

2-Week Yoga Challenge: A Fresh Start
2-Week Yoga Challenge: A Fresh Start
As we approach the equinox on September 22, 2020, it’s time to align with nature. On this day where the night and the day are equal length, it’s the perfect opportunity to focus on establishing your equilibrium. It’s always an ideal time to set intentions when seasons change, and we’re here to encourage you with a Fresh Start Challenge beginning on September 21st. No matter where you live, 2020 has been a year of dramatic and shocking events. We’ve all been required to adapt in our professional and personal lives, often without much choice in the matter. If you’ve been consistent with your yoga practice this year, hopefully, you’ve had an outlet to help you ride the tidal wave of change. The world is transforming and all we can do is work on keeping our minds, hearts, and bodies in balance from the inside out. Join your global yoga community for a two-week effort to make a shift toward balance together.

Yoga to Improve Your Posture
Yoga to Improve Your Posture
Excellent posture not only keeps your physical body healthy, but also provides the foundation and support you need to maintain emotional and mental balance. Yoga will help you find proper spinal alignment to stand tall and feel your best inside and out. Over the last thirty years, we’ve grown more sedentary as a culture. Many of us spend hours each day sitting, which is the number one contributor to back pain, poor posture, sluggish digestion, and mental fog. To counteract hunched shoulders, tight neck muscles, and lower back pain, take the time to step onto your yoga mat and perfect your posture.

5 Ways Barre Enhances Your Yoga Practice
5 Ways Barre Enhances Your Yoga Practice
Are you ready to mix up your week with some new workouts that will enrich your yoga practice? We’re excited to share a 6-part bootcamp from Erin Wimert, YogaDownload.com’s top barre teacher, that will have you shaking, sweating, and smiling. If you’re not familiar with this total-body fitness class, barre is a challenging workout that combines elements of classical ballet barre, Pilates, and body-weight exercises. But don’t worry: no dance experience needed. 5 reasons to integrate barre into your routine:

Shining a Light on Iyengar Yoga
Shining a Light on Iyengar Yoga
“If the foundation is firm, the building can withstand calamities. The practice of Yoga is the foundation, so that the Self is not shaken under any circumstances.” – B.K.S. Iyengar With the world in a tumultuous state these days, it’s more important than ever to fortify our inner strength and foundation. Iyengar Yoga is an excellent path to create more stability. Along with Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar was one of the two most famous students of the Father of Modern Yoga, T. Krishnamacharya. Both teachers are credited with bringing their interpretation of the Eight-Limbed Yoga Path to the West. If you love Vinyasa Yoga, thank Ashtanga Yoga founder Pattabhi Jois because Vinyasa flow is a derivative of his style. Iyengar went in another direction.