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


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.

Love Your Body, It's the Only One You Have
Love Your Body, It's the Only One You Have
Embrace and love your body. it's the most amazing thing you'll ever own. -Anonymous It has been some time since I've taken the time to muse online. Even though things are expanding beautifully at the studio, and my 3 little angels are keeping my husband and I on our toes, I still find time to write in my journal each and every day. Inspiration to write hit during a quiet moment at the studio and I decided to take full advantage! While sitting at the front desk I noticed that someone put a copy my book Yes! Yoga Has Curves to the side in order to purchase it after class. Immediately I was taken back to the great times I spent with all the beautiful women in both volumes. Even though many didn't know me they trusted me to share their story and beauty with the masses. The book not only serves as inspiration for yogis of ALL beautiful sizes to practice yoga but also as a personal reminder for me to stay the course. Seeing the book was no coincidence. A few weeks ago I found myself feeling disconnected from my asana practice.

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.

Why Practicing Yoga on your Lunch Break is a Great Idea
 Why Practicing Yoga on your Lunch Break is a Great Idea
We don’t know about you, but sometimes if we don’t have time for a full yoga practice, we find it is easy to skip it altogether. Often life becomes hectic and you simply can’t make it onto the mat as frequently as you’d like. Don’t throw in the proverbial towel, instead shift your perspective to seeing how a quickie practice is better than none. We’ve got some great classes to help you squeeze in some yoga on your lunch or workday break. Even a few minutes a day will help you maintain your flexibility, strength, and mental focus. Depending upon the type of work you do, you may need to counteract the effects of sitting at a desk for hours or standing on your feet. Here’s what a quick break can do if you’ve been sitting too long: open up your spine from tailbone to crown, loosen your shoulders, and release your hip flexors. Sitting for long periods can compress your spine and leave you vulnerable to back pain. If you’ve re-read the last sentence on the document you’re working on five times and it still doesn’t make sense that means you need a break. In as little as five minutes, you can change how you are feeling and find clarity.

Overcoming Fear
Overcoming Fear
Halloween is approaching and many of us will dress up like vampires and ghouls, work to scare people, celebrate the horror genre and watch scary movies. What are you afraid of? Well, besides that scary clown who may or may not be hiding underneath your bed? On a more serious note, have you examined the concept of fear and how it impacts you? Fear is a necessary part of life. If we didn’t have healthy fear of dangerous activities like jumping off cliffs or walking down dark alleys in sketchy neighborhoods, we might get injured or worse. One of the biggest human drives is to protect ourselves from pain and loss, but sometimes we hold ourselves back because we are afraid of being hurt. According to Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutras, the biggest fear we face is the fear of death, referred to as abhinivesha. In theory, all our fears stem from this all-encompassing one.

Yin Yoga: The Power of Patience
Yin Yoga: The Power of Patience
Do you know anyone who couldn’t benefit from cultivating more patience? We’ve become so accustomed to moving at a breakneck speed in life, from speeding down busy highways to accessing any type of information on our phones in nano-seconds that we rarely hit the pause button. Often we translate that hectic pace into our yoga practice. While a juicy Vinyasa flow class is wonderful for many reasons, if you are out of balance, this type of Yang or active practice can actually exacerbate feelings of impatience, anxiety, and anger. Sometimes when life is moving too fast, the best thing you can do is slow down to equalize out your energy. Enter Yin Yoga. What is Yin Yoga?

5 Benefits of Inversions: Flip Your Perspective
5 Benefits of Inversions: Flip Your Perspective
​In yoga, students are often sharply divided about inversions. Some people can’t wait and approach headstands or handstands with joyous anticipation. Other practitioners choose that moment to take a sip of water, rest in child’s pose, or otherwise avoid getting their heads below their hearts. We believe as long as inversions are practiced with safe alignment and modifications if needed, there’s a pose appropriate for almost everyone. What is an inversion? It’s any asana where the head is below the heart. So, Downward Dog, Legs up the Wall, and standing forward folds count. More dynamic inversions include Headstand, Handstand, Shoulder stand and Forearm Stand. Of course, if injuries or other physical limitations exist, some of these postures may not be appropriate. People who have suffered a stroke, have neck injuries, heart conditions, high blood pressure that isn’t regulated, or glaucoma may need to modify or skip some asanas. Why inversions?

Yoga to Strengthen, Protect, & Heal
Yoga to Strengthen, Protect, & Heal
Are you curious about how yoga can protect and heal your body? Why strength is just as important as flexibility and how understanding the way physical postures impact your muscles, joints, and bones can help you develop a practice that lasts a lifetime? We are and we’re thrilled to present internationally acclaimed expert yoga teacher, Desiree Rumbaugh’s new five class all-levels yoga series for you this week, Strengthen, Protect & Heal. Take the time to gain a deeper knowledge of your yoga foundation and learn to appreciate your practice on a new level. Strengthening your muscles through practicing weight-bearing yoga asanas like Warrior series, Triangle and Tree Pose will help support healthy joints. Creating strength will protect your knees and shoulders from injury that could occur if you are stressing the joints too much because of weak quadriceps or deltoids. Stable joints are happy joints.

Yoga on the Go
Yoga on the Go
If you ever say you just can’t squeeze in time for yoga because you’ve got too many other things to do like work, family, or Netflix, we say yes you can! If you ever think, if I can’t practice yoga for at least an hour, it’s not worth my time. We say, yes it is! If you believe committing only thirty minutes a day to yoga wouldn’t really make a difference. We say, yes it does! We all have the same twenty-four hours in our day so, why do we make time for certain activities and not for others? It all comes down to priorities. What matters the most? We make time for what is important and we’re here to tell you that if you can’t commit an hour or more to yoga each day, it’s okay. You can reap all the awesome benefits of a regular practice in small chunks of time.

4 Benefits of Doing a Yoga Challenge
4 Benefits of Doing a Yoga Challenge
The seasons are changing. Whether it’s Autumn or Spring in your hemisphere, it’s September and it’s time to align yourself with nature. Choosing to make a deliberate shift now will give you extra power to transform your life or at least your yoga practice. Our two-week FREE challenge is designed to help you release the past and create space for the future. Autumn commemorates letting go and Spring welcomes the blossoming of new energy. Join fellow yogis from around the globe and let’s transform together. Why participate in a yoga challenge? We all know change isn’t easy and having the support of thousands of other yogis will keep you on track. Here are four benefits we think you’ll resonate with: 1. Increased Strength: Not only will your quadriceps and triceps get stronger from daily practice, your brain will also get a workout.

5 Reasons to Do Yoga in the Morning
5 Reasons to Do Yoga in the Morning
Are you a morning person and already practice yoga when you wake up? Awesome! Feel free to skip down to our list of four fabulous new classes to start your day with and push play. Or, review the benefits of a regular morning practice and let us know if we included all your reasons why you salute the sun first thing. If stepping onto your mat before the sun sets in the west isn’t your preference, check out five great reasons why practicing in the morning could become a ritual you embrace and even learn to love. So, stop hitting the snooze button and who knows, you might even become a morning person. Here are 5 reasons to make yoga part of your healthy morning routine! 1. Create a Good Mood: Start your day out right and create a positive mindset before circumstances conspire against you.

Strong Muscles & Healthy Bones
Strong Muscles & Healthy Bones
We like strong bones and we cannot lie…and toned muscles and healthy joints are awesome yoga benefits too. A regular yoga practice gives you flexibility and mobility, but this week we bring you four classes especially targeted toward building bone and joint health. Without stability and strength, you can become more susceptible to injury and who wants that? Invest some time into bolstering your bones and protecting your joints in order to continue all of your daily activities feeling great. To balance out the flexibility and mobility aspect of yoga, we suggest you try these new classes from two of your favorite YogaDownload.com instructors. Ben Davis' - Fitness n' Yoga: Sea Star Flow will get you moving and ensure you are working your muscles to build strength, stability and functional fitness. You may already know that weight-bearing exercise is vital to keeping your skeleton healthy. You don’t have to jog or run in order to build muscular strength and bone health, because all standing yoga poses are weight-bearing.

Broga: Yoga for Men
Broga: Yoga for Men
Hey yogis, this week is all about the men. Broga is our new series of classes geared toward the guys. If you’ve felt that yoga is directed toward women, these new classes are created specifically for the male body and perspective. Look at these classes as a return to the time where only men practiced yoga. What you may not know is that up until 1937, women were specifically forbidden to study yoga. So, how did yoga become a seemingly female dominated practice in the West? Yoga’s eight-limbed path was studied in India, by men only in it's origins. Then, a Western woman, Indra Devi, convinced Sri Krishnamacharya, considered by many to be the father of modern yoga, to allow her to study with him in his school where the pupils were all teenaged boys. Most of the Ashtanga based Vinysasa classes and Hatha yoga come from what Krishnamacharya taught at his school in India. Devi, along with Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois, worked to bring yoga to the West. The rest is history. So yes, real men practice yoga.

Yoga for Your Upper Body & Chakras
Yoga for Your Upper Body & Chakras
If someone asked you what the biggest benefit of yoga for your upper body is, how would you answer? Would you say that all the Down Dogs and chataranguas gave you muscular endurance and strength? That your chest and shoulders are more open and your posture is excellent? Would you mention how your spine is protected because you’ve built up a girdle of mobile muscle to keep you safe from injury? Or perhaps you’d expand beyond the obvious physical benefits. You could share how you are now a person able to live from a place of compassion, speak your authentic truth, trust your intuition, and visualize Samadhi or enlightenment because you’ve balanced your heart, throat, third-eye, and crown chakras. Yoga’s benefits are infinite and whatever your answer, you’d be correct. The fruits of a well-rounded yoga practice encompass the physical benefits for your muscular, spinal, nervous, and digestive systems.

Yoga for Fasting
Yoga for Fasting
Periodic fasting benefits on the human body tremendously, and so does yoga. Fasting is a thorough and healing reset for most systems of our body. Practicing yoga during a fast has the power to amplify the benefits of fasting. Fasting is deeply purifying multi-day process that will cleanse your body and mind in powerful ways. Why is fasting beneficial? Our digestive system is always working hard to digest our food and drink, which requires a lot of energy. During a fast your body gets a break from digesting food and converting it to energy, so it begins to work on healing other parts of the body that need it. Your body then focuses on repairing, resetting and working to get things in better condition. Your immune system, adrenals, hormones, brain chemistry and metabolism can all positively be affected by fasting. After around one day, our bodies transition into a metabolic state known as ketosis. When your body is in ketosis, it begins to convert fat into ketones which become your body’s new fuel source, and is extremely detoxifying. Some benefits of fasting (and entering a state of ketosis) include:

Forward Folds to the Rescue: Time to Cool Down and Focus Inward!
Forward Folds to the Rescue: Time to Cool Down and Focus Inward!
One of the most magical aspects of yoga is how you can vary the practice based upon the way you feel today. It’s always fluid and adaptable to not just your physical needs, but your emotional and mental state as well. Some days, you just need a well-rounded yoga practice to keep you feeling strong, flexible, and balanced. Other days you need something more targeted and specific. Yoga can be your medicine. You probably know that certain asanas or postures offer particular benefits. Breathing in a deliberate way and utilizing different pranayama techniques can revitalize you or relax you. Back bending opens the heart and energizes you. Twists encourage healthy digestion and are excellent for neutralizing your spine. Forward folds are not just about stretching your back and hamstrings, they also calm your nervous system and encourage you to shift your gaze inward. A well-rounded yoga practice moves you through a full range of motion to encourage a healthy spine and balanced body and mind. This week, our focus is on forward folds, offering you ways to calm your nervous system, manage anxiety, stretch and strengthen the back body and improve your posture.

Healing 101: Yoga for Healing Trauma, Grief, & Illness
Healing 101: Yoga for Healing Trauma, Grief, & Illness
One of the beautiful aspects of yoga is that the practice is fluid and changeable, just like our lives. One day you feel called to an energetic Vinyasa flow and the next a peaceful yin class. Learning to adapt your practice to serve yourself best at any given time will ensure you stay healthy, inside and out. It’s natural for your yoga practice to shift with your current circumstances. Sometimes current circumstances are painful, difficult, and seemingly unbearable. Loss and grief affect us physically, not just emotionally or mentally. The pain sits in our tissues and if left untended can result in blocks and stuck negative energy. By practicing yoga and mindfulness, we can help ourselves work through whatever is going on, whether it is loss of a loved one, illness, or trauma. Utilize yoga as one of the tools you use to navigate the difficult times. How can yoga help you process grief? Grief is like a rollercoaster––it doesn’t have a time limit, it doesn’t have a distinct beginning or end.

Hit the Reset Button
Hit the Reset Button
Are you in need of a reset? Maybe you are feeling tired or lack motivation, or you simply woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Perhaps external events are weighing heavily on you. Or maybe you’ve fallen into a pattern of negative thinking and need to flip the switch and find a more positive perspective. Yoga is a practice of looking within and shining a light on our true nature. Enter the yoga sutras! The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are considered the seminal text on yoga and despite the fact they are thousands of years old, their enduring wisdom is relevant today. The practical philosophy can be employed to help us uncover our best selves. In order to shift your perspective, consider Sutra 2.33: vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam. When distracted by disquieting or negative thoughts or feelings, cultivate the opposite point of view and replace with the positive. This is pratipaksha bhavana. Let’s consider a few situations and see how this practice can create a true shift in your attitude.

5 Reasons to Strengthen your Abs & Booty: 2-Week Abs & Booty Bootcamp Challenge
5 Reasons to Strengthen your Abs & Booty: 2-Week Abs & Booty Bootcamp Challenge
This week, we are excited to kick off a two-week challenge designed to tone and strengthen your center and bolster your center of gravity. We’ve got the top 5 reasons to focus on your abs and booty during yoga…hint––not just for how you look in a bathing suit! Now, we aren’t saying we don’t love looking our best, but we want to remind you these benefits change how you feel, not just how you look. Ready to get motivated? Here are the top 5 benefits to working out your abs and booty! 1. A Healthy Spine: Strong, toned abdominals will help maintain a healthy back. Often, lower back pain comes from weak abdominals and who has time for that? Many of these classes focus on toning not just your abdominals, but your back muscles too. The muscles of your trunk comprise your core and keeping them in shape will help you protect your spine. By performing specific, targeted work to strengthen your center, you can avoid pain and injury.

Yoga for Strength & Stability: Slow & Steady Wins the Race
Yoga for Strength & Stability: Slow & Steady Wins the Race
You’re familiar with Aesop’s fable about the race between the tortoise and the hare, right? The tortoise moves slowly and steadily and doesn’t stop. The hare bursts out in front with reckless abandon, certain to win against the plodding beast. Yet, in the end, the tortoise’s persistence and refusal to give up, despite a near certain defeat, wins the race. He personifies the traits of stability and strength. These qualities are vital to a sustainable, long-term yoga practice. In your yoga practice and in your life, you’ve probably embodied both creatures, jumping into new postures or endeavors without much thought, just like the swift-footed rabbit. And embracing life full-speed ahead without overthinking it is important. But it can lead to carelessness and injuries if you aren’t mindful. Yoga Sutra 2.46 Sthira Sukham Asanam means the posture should be steady and comfortable. Steadiness is a quality of strength and grounded energy. Working on developing this in your yoga practice will aid you in staying centered and stable.

7 Tips for a Healthy and Enjoyable Travel Journey
7 Tips for a Healthy and Enjoyable Travel Journey
Travel can expand our perspective, recharge us, and be one of the best parts of life. However, long journeys can also be tolling on our bodies and minds. Diet's change, long periods of time sitting, and changes in sleep patterns, are all sacrifices for the joy of travel. Restlessness from sitting and waiting can also be hard to deal with. Exercise routines can also suffer (or disappear) when we're on the go. However, you can stay healthy and enjoy traveling, despite these challenges. Here's 7 tips to enjoy being on the go and stay healthy in the process! 1. Stay Hydrated This simple tip can be the difference between an enjoyable trip and an uncomfortable one! Drink plenty of water while you're on the go. Of course, if you're in a car, this might mean more bathroom breaks, but it'll be worth it, to keep you healthy and feeling good for a long ride. Refillable water bottles can make this much easier, and cheaper as well, as most bathrooms and rest stops have water fountains you can refill in. 2. Stretch Before and After Take Off (and even in your seat) Long trips usually mean long periods of time sitting.

3 Ways to Celebrate the International Day of Yoga
3 Ways to Celebrate the International Day of Yoga
From India to Indiana and everywhere in between, International Day of Yoga is a monumental celebration for yogis around the world. It’s happening on June 21st, the first day of summer and the solstice - when the sun is at its highest peak in the year. This auspicious day brings yogis of all ages, religions, nationalities and social backgrounds together to celebrate both our individuality and universality. Here are 3 ways you can join the International Day of Yoga festivities and promote harmony, foster good health and the overall well-being of the planet: On the Mat New to yoga? International Day of Yoga is the perfect time to start your practice because you’ll have the energy of the world’s yoga community behind you.