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


Yoga for Lightness
Yoga for Lightness
The world is a delicate balance between light and dark. Yin and yang. At this moment in time, most of us are experiencing a weight we’ve never shouldered before. Feeling overwhelmed with the constant bombardment of news, the new reality we’re living in, and the sense our world is forever changed doesn’t exactly encourage a feeling of well-being. Although many events are outside of our personal control, we do have the ability to manage our personal reactions and find balance. Yoga is an excellent tool to help us lighten the emotional and mental impact of all these changes and shift our perception. We all see the world through a unique lens shaped by our life and personal experiences. Sometimes we need a little polishing of the lens when it appears cloudy or dark. When we move energy through our bodies with certain asanas and breathing techniques, we can release stuck energy and alleviate patterns that aren’t serving us. This week, we’re here to offer some classes to help you lift your spirits.

Why You Don't Need To Be Flexible to Start Doing Yoga
Why You Don't Need To Be Flexible to Start Doing Yoga
If you’re thinking about starting yoga, but a lack of flexibility is holding you back - don’t let it stop you! The idea that you need to be flexible to do yoga is a huge myth, and flexibility isn’t essential to get on the mat. In fact - yoga practice can actually improve your flexibility, and you can see this improve over time the more yoga you practice. Every yogi started somewhere, and even the most flexible people didn’t start out being able to bend their bodies into difficult poses. Yoga can improve your flexibility if you’re not very bendy - as well as improve your posture, balance and strength, if being flexible isn’t one of your goals. Even bodybuilders didn’t start off being able to carry the heaviest of weights - they trained and started from the bottom, and the same is true for yoga and flexibility. Progress comes with effort and hard work, and starting from scratch.

How to Stay Healthy, Calm & Courageous During COVID-19
How to Stay Healthy, Calm & Courageous During COVID-19
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life." -Prince Life as we know it is different in ways you may never have imagined. At this moment in time, it feels like Mother Earth has hit the pause button for all of us. Nobody is immune to this unprecedented challenge we are facing. Just like Prince sang––we are all here to navigate through this together! And we will make it through to the other side. Yoga teaches us that everything is temporary. Everything. We are facing a choice now: choose to see this moment in time as an opportunity for reflection and growth or as a time to be frustrated and defeated. It’s all a matter of perspective. We’re in it, so why not make the most of this enforced seclusion, which is basically a virtual cocoon? Chose to emerge as a butterfly.

3-Week Evening Wind Down Yoga Program
3-Week Evening Wind Down Yoga Program
In these unprecedented times, you might be hearing the term “self-care” more frequently. These days, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself and get adequate sleep. Rest and sleep are vital elements in staying healthy. We’ve got a three-week evening wind down yoga program designed to help lower your stress levels and quiet your mind so you can slip off into dreamland to rejuvenate. According to yogic philosophy, the world is comprised of three universal elements: the gunas. An excellent way to relax is through balancing the three gunas, which exist within each one of us as well as all around us in nature. The three gunas are: Sattva (balance, luminosity, harmony), Rajas (the state of energy, action, change, and movement), Tamas (the state of heaviness, darkness, inertia, inactivity, and materiality). Usually, we seek to find balance in a sattvic state, but if you need help winding down at the end of the day, it’s important to encourage more tamas through yoga, pranayama, and meditation.

Yoga in the Comfort of Your Own Home
Yoga in the Comfort of Your Own Home
Whether you’ve been practicing regularly with us for years or you’re dipping your toe into a home practice for the first time, rolling out your mat at home offers a myriad of benefits. Being able to click play whenever you want allows you to choose when and where you do yoga. We have more than 1,700 classes, so even if you’re stuck inside, you won’t run out of yoga. In this current global pandemic, it’s more important than ever we focus on mindfulness. You might be young and healthy, but many people in our communities are vulnerable, especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Many of the external events swirling around us are beyond our control, but we can control our reactions to this temporary new normal of “social distancing.” Yoga studios are closed or limiting classes, but you can continue to practice with us. Here are a few of our favorite reasons to take advantage of your home practice right now:

Yoga for Every Body
Yoga for Every Body
What do a person who just recovered from back surgery, a woman just cleared to return to exercise after giving birth, a triathlete, and a dancer have in common? They are all people who can do yoga. Yoga is inclusive and accessible, no matter who you are. There is no such thing as a “yoga body.” If you have a body, you can do yoga. It’s as simple as that. The Father of Modern Yoga, T. Krishnamacharya is credited with creating what we know as Vinyasa yoga. One of his guiding principles was "Teach what is good for an individual." Initially, he taught Hatha yoga to young boys in his school in Mysore, India. For many years, women weren’t allowed to practice or teach yoga. In 1937 this all changed when T. Krishnamacharya, admitted Indra Devi into his school. She was the first woman student and the first Western woman in an Indian ashram.

Fierce Medicine: Ana Forrest 4-Part Live Workshop
Fierce Medicine: Ana Forrest 4-Part Live Workshop
Freedom with Forrest Yoga. The practice of yoga is an individual experience, whether you practice alone, with YogaDownload.com, or in public classes. Always remember there is not one path––there are many. It’s key to find the style and teacher that resonates with you. We’re all different and that’s the beauty of yoga: there is a style that is perfect for everyone. This week, we are thrilled to highlight and share Forrest Yoga with you. We’re offering nearly ten hours of yoga in four two-hour live workshops so you can immerse yourself into this powerful, vigorous healing practice. The program description will explain the four pillars of Forrest Yoga, but we’d like to share more about the creation and evolution of this system.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life.” - John Lennon Each and every one of us has the capacity for true joy and happiness, despite prevailing circumstances surrounding us. We each deserve happiness! Sometimes, when life events challenge us, we can become weighed down with worry and anxiety and dis-ease. If you’re too focused on the past, which cannot be altered, you can sink into depression. If you’re too focused on the future, you can become anxious. Learning to ground yourself in the present moment is key to happiness.

Yoga for Weight Loss: Flow and Let it Go
Yoga for Weight Loss: Flow and Let it Go
Have you ever felt out of balance: bloated and cluttered, without a clear mental focus? Yoga can help you lighten up and feel more energized and productive. Louise Hay, best-selling self-help author, connects all physical symptoms in the body to underlying emotional causes, and says weight-gain or excess weight, is symbolic of clinging to what no longer serves us. A regular yoga practice doesn’t simply make you look lean and flexible, but also helps you feel that way from the inside out. Don’t worry, we’re not here to tell you to strive for a “yoga body” like the images splashed all over social media. Yogis come in all shapes and sizes. Yoga is for every body and there’s a style and type of practice that works for each individual.

Yoga for Your 6th Chakra: Ajna. Trust Your Intuition
Yoga for Your 6th Chakra: Ajna. Trust Your Intuition
Do you trust your intuition? Take a moment and consider the last few major decisions you made in your life. Did you feel secure following your initial instincts or did you second guess yourself? Learning to believe in your intuition and perceive your world clearly is one of the greatest benefits of a balanced Ajna Chakra or Third Eye. The Ajna Chakra is the sixth of seven main Chakras running along the Sushumna Nadi, an energy channel mirroring the spine. Nadis are part of the Subtle Body, a blueprint of the physical body.

Time to up level. Intermediate classes & up
Time to up level. Intermediate classes & up
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 You’ve probably heard that how we show up on our yoga mats is a reflection of how we show up the other twenty-three hours of our day. This week’s classes will encourage you to check in and evaluate whether it’s time to up level your practice and step out of your comfort zone or if you are right where you are supposed to be today. Okay yogis, it’s time for a little reflection and self-assessment. Take a few moments to ponder your yoga practice over the last three to six months. Make some allowances for the holiday season, but be honest with yourself. Have you settled into a comfortable routine––too comfortable a routine? When is the last time you had a breakthrough in your yoga or meditation practice? Are you fully present for your practice or have you found yourself in autopilot mode, where you’re simply going through the motions as opposed to continuing to grow?

7 Easy Ways to Make This the Year You Develop a Regular Yoga Routine
7 Easy Ways to Make This the Year You Develop a Regular Yoga Routine
The start of the year is a time for resolutions - and many people’s resolutions will be to work out and exercise more - perhaps even get into a yoga routine! However, it can sometimes be hard to find the motivation to keep going, especially towards the end of January when it’s cold and dark, and the motivation you had on the 1st of the month is starting to wane. However, the best way to keep going with your yoga practice is to start a routine. Thinking about giving up? Let us remind you of some of the benefits of yoga, and give you some tips to get into a regular routine for 2020. Need some inspiration to get into your yoga routine for 2020? There’s a wealth of benefits that practicing yoga can supply. As well as the expected, such as physical health and fitness, there are also some more unknown benefits.

5-Day Power Vinyasa Flow Bootcamp: Strengthen & Sweat
5-Day Power Vinyasa Flow Bootcamp: Strengthen & Sweat
Power Yoga to Feel Free and Strong! When you consider all of the benefits yoga offers to you each time you step onto the mat, do you list freedom in the top five? Most of us look to increased flexibility, balance, strength, and equanimity. But a sense of freedom is also one of yoga’s most powerful gifts. Freedom to breathe more freely and freedom from habitual thought patterns, which may have held you back or caused you doubt and anxiety. This week we’ve got a Power Yoga challenge to set you free! Sometimes, a strong, dynamic yoga practice can dislodge and set free emotions trapped in your physical body. Don’t be intimidated by the vigorousness of these classes––you can always modify and adapt the instructions to suit your energy level and ability. This new Power Yoga program consists of a variety of classes designed to empower you to find balance, joy, and an open mind. The openings we create in our physical body help release emotions and thoughts, which might be restricting us from living our fullest life.

Open Your Heart
Open Your Heart
Do you remember the scene in the classic holiday cartoon, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, when the Grinch finally understands the gift of selfless love and his heart expands and fills with joy? When we spend time in our yoga practice working on backbends, we are essentially creating space for more love and compassion and releasing the fear that can be restricting us from living our most authentic life. In order to invite more love and compassion into your life, it’s important to release old resentments and hurts which may be blocking you from expressing your emotions. Our hearts contain the two primary human emotions of love and fear. Part of the human experience includes love and pain. When you’ve been hurt, it is natural to protect yourself as you heal. But often, the initial healing process morphs into fear and emotional blocks. Yes, we don’t want to have our hearts ripped out of our chests, but to truly be strong, we’ve got to be vulnerable.

5 Ways to Stay Inspired On and Off the Mat
5 Ways to Stay Inspired On and Off the Mat
It’s easy to fall into the habit of always taking the same yoga classes and teachers, walking or running the same routes. Suddenly, you find yourself uninspired and unmotivated in not just your practice, but also your life. Remember, your yoga practice mirrors your life off the mat. The key is to stay open-minded and curious and always keep learning. We’re here with some tips to help! 1. Venture Out of Your Comfortable Routine Try a new teacher, new class, or new style of yoga this week. We all know consistency in your yoga practice is crucial, but sometimes we fall into a rut. If you find yourself dragging your feet to get to class, try something outside of your comfort zone. If your go to practice is Vinyasa or Ashtanga, try a Yin or Iyengar class or vice-versa. Even if the class you choose isn’t one that you’ll return to, it will give you a renewed appreciation for your usual choices. And you may learn something new by slowing down or stepping it up.

Release Distraction and Embrace Meditation
Release Distraction and Embrace Meditation
When is the last time you were able to sink into the zone? That place where you’re not trying to be in the moment, you just are. For some people, this state of mind occurs when they are being active, doing something like running, surfing, dancing, or listening to music. In yoga, we call this involuntary dhyana. Wouldn’t it be freeing to make this happen voluntarily, without engaging in any physical activity? That is meditation. One of the primary intentions in yoga and meditation is to center your mind and become grounded in the present moment. In our daily lives, it’s easy to become mired in the past and controlled by memories, patterns, and fears. Also, in our Western culture, the focus on the future, on doing, on achieving, on getting somewhere or buying something, pulls us out of the now.

Balance is a Life Skill
Balance is a Life Skill
Happy New Year and Happy New Decade! Now is the perfect time to assess whether your life feels in balance or if it’s time for a few tweaks to your routine. Except what looks like balance today could be very different than it was even a few short months ago. Our yoga practice mirrors what’s happening during the other twenty-three hours of our day. By tapping into yogic principles, you can find the perfect balance for you at this particular time in your life. In our physical Hatha yoga practice, we seek to balance the masculine solar energy (‘Ha’) and (‘tha’) the feminine lunar energy that exists within all of us. By following the guiding principle of Yoga Sutra 2.46, Sthira Sukham Asanam, which means the posture should be steady and comfortable, we are working with the principles of effort and ease. In this way, your yoga asana and pranayama practices will bring your physical body into symmetry and sustain your mental focus. By finding balance on your yoga mat, you can create a sense of wholeness in your life.

Holiday Season Recharge
Holiday Season Recharge
How are you feeling today? We’re still in the midst of the holiday season and if you’re like many of us, your typical routines have receded in the rearview. Don’t feel guilty if you’ve abandoned your usual healthy workout routine or eaten a few dozen frosted sugar cookies washed down with crisp champagne. Life is meant to be savored, enjoyed, and lived in the present moment. Sometimes this might be the only chance you’ve got to spend time with family, see old friends, or simply hibernate. But if you’ve abandoned your usual exercise, yoga, and diet, you may be feeling lethargic and heavier than usual. When your body feels bloated, your mind and emotions can also feel slower and foggier. To counteract these weighty tamasic sensations, see if you can carve out some time to recharge your body’s natural cleansing powers. What do you need in this moment to feel more like yourself until you return to your habitual routine?

Simple Solstice Ritual Ideas
Simple Solstice Ritual Ideas
Depending where you are in the world, you’re either in the midst of cold weather or gearing up for a hot summer. If you’re wrapping up warm and finding the days growing darker, the winter solstice is arriving, whereas if you’re in warmer climates, the opposite is true, and the summer solstice is growing near. The shortest and longest days of the year retrospectively, the solstice is a time to think inwards, reflect, and set intentions for the season ahead. Symbolically this is a turning point in the seasons and a powerful time to stop, reflect, and give thanks for what we each have in our lives. It's also a momentary step back from our day to day successes and trials, and remember and feel our place in the bigger picture and the cosmos. It is a powerful time to honor the sun, which gives all things on our planet life.

5 Ways to Harness the Power of the Solstice
5 Ways to Harness the Power of the Solstice
One of the most powerful ways to manifest change in our lives is by aligning with nature and stepping into its flow. On December 21, 2019, the last Solstice of the decade occurs. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the longest day of the year and the shortest night. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is the longest night of the year and wherever you live, this momentous day marks the time to pause and reflect and renew our energy. While the world is shifts and transforms, it’s the perfect time to assess how you want to shift and transform individually. Here are 3 ways to harness the power of nature in your own life: 1. Go Outside!

Relaxing Restorative Yoga at Home: 5-Class Series
Relaxing Restorative Yoga at Home: 5-Class Series
Restorative yoga is the key to your holiday survival guide. No matter where you live in the world and no matter which holidays you celebrate, it’s the time of year where your regular routine can get tossed out the window. Some of us are spending more time with family, or perhaps spending more time alone, indulging in food and drink we usually wouldn’t consume, and generally caught up in the busy-ness of the season. Whether you’re overjoyed to take time off from work and hang out with extended family and friends or you dread every moment, we’re here to help provide some balance. This week’s Restorative Yoga Package is here to give you an escape. Of course, if you already practice Restorative yoga on a regular basis, you’re aware of the myriad of physical, emotional, and mental benefits of a slower, quieter class. Restorative yoga is helpful to balance your nervous system and quiet your mind. Many of us enjoy vigorous Vinyasa style yoga and use it to balance stress and burn off energy.

It’s All About the Nervous System: Try Yoga to Relieve Stress
It’s All About the Nervous System: Try Yoga to Relieve Stress
We’ve all been burned out and exhausted and not sure how to cope at some point in our lives. Whether it is looming deadlines, emotional demands, climate change, political battles, family drama––the result is the same. Sometimes juggling all the challenges and all the wonderful gifts in our lives can feel overwhelming and we’re not sure how to feel better. Here’s how: Yoga can help lower your stress levels and your blood pressure because it’s an excellent practice to calm your nervous system. By combining physical asanas or postures with Pranayama or controlled breathing techniques, yoga can have a profound impact on your nervous system. When we are stressed out, our adrenal glands are working overtime and we’re often in a state of “fight or flight,” which doesn’t allow for adequate rest and recovery. Over time, if we fall into this type of pattern of constantly being in heightened over-active mode, our bodies and minds begin to suffer. As you’ve heard over and over, yoga offers a three-pronged approach to improving your life: physical, mental, and spiritual. While taking your usual sweaty Vinyasa or Power class will definitely impact your mind and heart, sometimes slowing down a bit and taking a more mellow class can give you more of the mental stress relief you’re craving. Our parasympathetic nervous system is designed to soothe and lower our stress levels. Certain styles of yoga, like Yin and Restorative, emphasize postures that can reset your nervous system in minutes. Gentle Hatha classes also focus more on unwinding and relaxing you. Of course, you’re releasing tightness and tension from your muscles, but you’re also soothing your brain.

Sharpen Your Edge at Work with a 2-Week Lunch Break Yoga Challenge
Sharpen Your Edge at Work with a 2-Week Lunch Break Yoga Challenge
We’ve got an invigorating new yoga program designed to fit in during your lunch hour. This collection of 10 short, dynamic classes will give you the structure to stay consistent in your practice. Here are 3 reasons why you should take the challenge to not just improve your strength and flexibility, but also achieve peak performance at work. 1. Improve your mental focus and clarity all day: After a busy morning working or studying, your brain can feel foggy and dull. When you’ve got another several hours at work, you need to reset and find a way to hone your focus and be productive. By shifting your attention to breathing and moving on your yoga mat, you give your busy mind time to rest and settle. Even a short class will provide you the opportunity to feel refreshed. You’ll return to your project with increased clarity and focus and maybe even finish up early!

Be Fearless
Be Fearless
What scares you? For some people, it’s heights or public speaking or spiders. Halloween celebrates thrills, chills, and things that go bump in the night. While Halloween tends to be a fun holiday defined by disguising our true identity with make-up and costumes, it echoes how many of us deal with our fears the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year - hiding behind a mask. Yoga provides a safe space for us to examine our fears and offers tools to become more courageous. The Yoga Sutras state that the fear of death is the biggest fear we face and is the basis for all other fears. In the second pada, Patanjali refers to this concept as abhinivesha. Learning to live in the present moment is a powerful way to stop worrying and being scared of the future. Fear can only exist in relation to what you anticipate happening. Fear doesn’t exist when you are in the moment. Every minute of your day is an opportunity to move from a place of courage or from a position of fear.

Arm Balances as the Fountain of Youth
Arm Balances as the Fountain of Youth
Need to make a major shift in your perspective or boost your confidence? We’ve got you covered this week with poses designed to help you feel strong, focused, and humble. Whether you love to balance on your hands and take flight or if you fear falling on your face, this week we’ve got four classes for you to get engaged and turn your world upside down. These practices are empowering and invigorating. Regardless of how you feel about inversions, these postures are excellent for your circulation, mental focus, and overall mood. It’s helpful to use your full yoga practice to keep your spine flexible, your hips open, your core and upper body strong, and your attitude positive. You may have heard yoga called the Fountain of Youth, and often going upside down is what helps keep your skin glowing with the boost of fresh blood from the heart to the head.