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


Happy 15th Birthday YogaDownload!
Happy 15th Birthday YogaDownload!
Who wants to celebrate our birthday with us? We here at YogaDownload are celebrating 15 years of sharing yoga online! Whether you’ve been with us from the beginning, when the classes were audio or you practiced your first class this morning, we are thrilled you are here. Without you wonderful subscribers from around the globe, we couldn’t have expanded from audio classes, to streaming videos, to programs ranging from meditation to power yoga, to offering one of a kind yoga retreats around the world.

Forward Folds: A Remedy to Relax
Forward Folds: A Remedy to Relax
“By drawing our sense of perception inward, we are able to experience the control, silence, and quietness of the mind.” B.K.S. Iyengar Hey, anybody out there need to relax? If you’re waving your hand wildly, join us this week for some yoga sequences that soothe your nervous system, reduce anxiety, and lengthen the entire posterior side of your body. Forward folds are introspective postures that will help you quiet your mind’s chatter and relax. During a well-rounded yoga practice, you move your body throughout a range of positions including forward folds, back bends, spinal rotation, and lateral movement. By choosing to emphasize forward bends in a practice, you’ll primarily cool your system down, inside and out. A few key pointers will make sure you maximize the benefits of this family of asanas and avoid injury to your lower back and hamstrings.

Lean and Limber: Yoga for Weight Loss & Core Strength
Lean and Limber: Yoga for Weight Loss & Core Strength
“A healthy body is a platform for flourishing a healthy mind.” -Pawan Mishra We only get one body in this lifetime, and we have a responsibility to take care of it to the best of our ability. Some days, yoga is spiritually focused, taking steps on the path to enlightenment through meditation and mantra. Some days yoga satisfies the need to work through complicated emotions or break some unhealthy thought patterns. And some days, yoga can be purely focused on getting strong, lean, and powerful.

Yoga Flows to Let Go
Yoga Flows to Let Go
One of the most profound gifts we received from our consistent yoga practice is a shift in perspective. We learn to experience life in the present moment without clinging to the past or the need to attach ourselves to an outcome. Attachment and aversion are two sides of the same coin and vital yogic principles that can teach us to release what is no longer serving us in order to be our best selves. Our bodies are storehouses for life experiences––the good, the bad, and the ugly. We often shape our inner narrative and make choices for our future based upon our emotional wounds. Sometimes it is more comfortable to hold onto the painful stories, like a tough childhood, a horrific break-up, getting fired from your dream job, or losing a friend. The same concept applies with our triumphs and joys. We hold a lifetime within our tissues and sometimes, these things become what in the Yoga Sutras Patanjali called Kleshas or the fundamental obstacles to yoga and Samadhi.

Yoga for the Energetic and Subtle Bodies
Yoga for the Energetic and Subtle Bodies
If you’ve been practicing yoga for any length of time, you’re aware the practice works in ways that aren’t linear, aren’t clear-cut, and aren’t often explainable. Even though yoga is a science and a philosophical system, its benefits go much deeper than what can be seen by the naked eye. Yoga impacts us on the level of our subtle body, which expands beyond Western understanding of anatomy and physiology. Each of us is made up of three bodies: the gross or physical body/ Stula Sharira, the subtle body/ Sukshma Sharira, and the causal body/Karana Sharira. The physical body consists of what we can touch and see: our muscles and skeleton. It forms the Annamaya Kosha, the coarsest of the five sheaths. It is vital to craft a yoga practice which benefits our entire system.

3-Week Challenge: Detox & Destress
3-Week Challenge: Detox & Destress
The challenge begins on October 4th! The seasons are shifting, and it is the perfect time to align with nature and release whatever is weighing us down. If you’re feeling stagnant or heavy in your mind, heart, or body, we’re here with a 3-week plan to make it easy to hit the reset button. As a global community, we’ll practice a variety of yoga classes designed to detoxify and destress. In the Heart of Yoga, T.K.S. Desikachar wrote that one of yoga’s primary functions is to help burn off the “rubbish” or toxins that can build up in our systems. Whether that means learning to shed a series of repetitive negative thoughts, recover from heartbreak, or lose a few unwanted pounds, the practice of yoga provides a framework for us to release extra baggage and shine our inner light. Sometimes life simply bogs us down and a periodic challenge or program can help set us back on track.

Get Grounded: Benefits of Standing Poses
Get Grounded: Benefits of Standing Poses
This week is all about reminding yourself that true wellness begins with a stable foundation. Establishing alignment from the ground up is key to being stable and powerful––inside and out. Whether both feet are planted on the earth or you’re balancing on one leg, you are building strength and fortifying your mental and physical awareness. Yoga classes focused on standing asanas help you embody a sense of profound connection with yourself and the world around you. Physically, standing poses cultivate proper posture, including aligning your bones and joints from the feet to the crown of your head. Standing asanas from the simple Tadasana or Mountain Pose to the more complex Virabhadrasana or Warrior poses and to Vrksasana or Tree pose, develop both muscular and bone strength. Whenever you’re practicing standing yoga poses, you’re also working your joints through their full range of motion, enhancing mobility and flexibility. Standing poses assist in building core awareness and power, which are required to maintain excellent posture and prepare the body for deeper poses.

Yoga to Fire Up Your Manipura Chakra
Yoga to Fire Up Your Manipura Chakra
Who needs to cultivate a stronger sense of self or perhaps tone down an ego that is slanting more toward arrogance than confidence? Finding the balance between inner strength and insecurity takes effort but is vital to living the life you love. This week, we’ll focus on the Manipura or navel chakra, which yogis identify as the source of our self-confidence, willpower, and inner fire. Your personality and personal power stem from the “fire in your belly” or “tapas.” At different points in our lives, like starting a new job or ending a personal relationship, our self-confidence may need a boost or a reality check. When the Manipura is in over-drive, it manifests as arrogance or ego. A lack of navel chakra energy can fill us with insecurity and self-doubt. Know that no matter what stage you’re in, focusing on your Manipura chakra can bring you back into balance.

Yoga For All of Us
Yoga For All of Us
“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” - Bhagavad Gita Every single one of us is unique. No identical fingerprints exist. Nobody can feel your feelings, think your thoughts, or experience the physical sensations you have. This week we are celebrating the differences between us––while keeping in mind what connects us––with yoga practices designed specifically for certain populations. No one size fits all yoga practice exists. The considerable benefits for the physical, mental, and emotional bodies are available to everyone regardless of age, current health, and energy levels. We all progress through different seasons of our lives and our needs and desires change. Your yoga practice at age 21 is and should be different than your experience when you are 71. We are constantly evolving and so should our yoga practice.

Everyday Iyengar: 7-Class Immersion with Dana Hanizeski
Everyday Iyengar: 7-Class Immersion with Dana Hanizeski
“It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.” -B.K.S. Iyengar Are you ready to immerse yourself and learn all about Iyengar yoga from expert teacher Dana Hanizeski? We are delighted to share this new 7 class program which will leave you feeling energized, calm, and knowledgeable. Before we dive into a deeper description of Iyengar yoga, here’s a little history about the man who created this unique style. B.K.S. Iyengar was one of T. Krishnamacharya, the Father of Modern yoga’s, most famous students in Mysore, India. Other prominent Krishnamacharya disciples include Pattabhi Jois and Indra Devi. Iyengar is one of the teachers who introduced his style of yoga and interpretation of the Eight-Limbed Yoga Path to the Western world.

Take Your Time: Yoga Classes that Hold Each Pose
Take Your Time: Yoga Classes that Hold Each Pose
Sometimes when you are seeking more clarity, the best move you can make is to hit the pause button and slow down. This week’s classes help you do that with a mix of Hatha and Iyengar practices designed to help you reach a deeper level in your mind, body, and spirit. Sequences vary in each class, with poses held for several breaths instead of flowing breath to movement. Quieter styles of yoga give you the opportunity to savor the feelings that arises in each asana (pose). Hatha yoga is the umbrella under which all physical styles of yoga reside. A Hatha Yoga class combines asanas and pranayama, usually at a slower pace than some other practices like Ashtanga and Vinyasa.

Pranayama: Just Breathe
Pranayama: Just Breathe
Are you ready to go deeper into your yoga practice? This week the focus is on Pranayama, which is a vital component of a complete yoga practice. We’ve got new short classes dedicated to different techniques which will impact your state of mind and your body––fast! Pranayama is the practice of extending and regulating your prana or life force. The way we breathe changes the way we feel. Yoga luminary T.K.V. Desikachar stated: “In order to influence our prana, we must be able to influence the mind. Our actions often disturb the mind, causing prana to exude the body. Through daily pranayama practice, we reverse this process, as a change in the breathing pattern influences the mind.”

Ahimsa: Practice Kindness
Ahimsa: Practice Kindness
Kindness is the reason! A universal thread in all yoga practices is learning to embody loving kindness. How you treat yourself has an effect on you and how you treat others has an effect on you. When you are kind, your behavior impacts others around you in a positive manner and helps them feel more content. Learning to be compassionate and kind regardless of circumstances is one of the key principles of the eight-limbed yoga path, as expressed in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Ahimsa, the first of five Yamas contained in the first limb of yoga is at its root is all about kindness. Ahimsa translates to the absence of, or the freedom from violence, killing, judging, or harming. Ahimsa is avoiding all forms of violence to yourself or to others. It is less about physical violence and more about thoughts and feelings.

Yoga for Longevity: 7-Class Program with Caitlin Rose Kenney
Yoga for Longevity: 7-Class Program with Caitlin Rose Kenney
If we asked you to share your number one reason to practice yoga, what would your response be? Answers run the gamut from spiritual enlightenment (Samadhi) to physical mastery of asanas like handstand or Hanumanasana, to mental health benefits like stress relief. Whether you step onto the mat for the spiritual, physical, or mental aspects of yoga, you are receiving all the benefits. What if we suggested you regard yoga as life insurance? Consider your yoga practice through the lens of preventative healthcare, a tool to ensure you’ll continue enjoying a long life to the fullest. Yoga helps keep our bodies strong and supple, our minds alert and open, and our hearts softer and more compassionate. To sustain a lifelong yoga practice, check in with yourself. Are you doing the same things out of habit, but it no longer gives you the same joy or energy?

Yoga For A Happy & Healthy Mind
Yoga For A Happy & Healthy Mind
One of yoga’s greatest benefits is the process of tuning into your thoughts and emotions and understanding your own personal truth. When we utilize the tools of a consistent yoga practice, we learn to tune out distractions and external influences and listen to our internal voice. Avidya or mistaken perception is ignorance––the fundamental inability to see things as they are. The practice of yoga is moving away from these misperceptions toward Viveka, the ability to discern and see clearly. The physical practice aids us in relaxing our muscles and begins the process of delving deeper into our psyche. Yoga teaches us that all we need is within us, we simply need to pay attention. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras include the eight-limbed path of yoga. The Niyamas, or moral observances, are tangible steps to achieve a calm and peaceful mind.

Yoga for Stress Relief & Unwinding
Yoga for Stress Relief & Unwinding
Have you noticed that every time you step onto your yoga mat it’s a different experience? Sometimes we choose a fast-paced sweaty class and others we seek a more chilled out type of practice. While all yoga will help you relieve stress, taking the time to slow down and unwind can nourish your system on a deeper level. This week we’re bringing you slower classes designed specifically to help you shift your system back into balance. One of the most profound ways a slower yoga practice impacts us is by soothing our parasympathetic nervous system. Holding poses for longer periods of time, like in Yin Yoga, encourages our “fight or flight” adrenaline responses to quiet. When you’re in Sleeping Swan (half-pigeon) for several minutes on each side, not only do the tight muscles and connective tissue begin to relax, but the mind quiets and the heartrate slows. When you can slow down and leave the rest of the day behind for even a little while, you’re refilling your well and soothing your nervous system.

5-Day Quick Energy Flow Challenge
5-Day Quick Energy Flow Challenge
Welcome Summer! Anybody else savoring the sense of freedom in the air these days? Now that most of the world is opening and travel is a possibility again, you aren’t alone if all you are ready to shake up your regular routine. Whether that means going on vacation or simply enjoying visits with friends and family, your dance card may be so full, you have less time for your yoga practice. Nobody wants to sacrifice all the benefits of a consistent yoga practice, right? Sometimes when life shifts into high gear, it can feel we’re too busy to fit in our yoga and end up skipping it altogether. Then, all the hard-won benefits like physical flexibility, strength, and balance can diminish. The clear calm mind and softer heart that comes from mindful breath and movement can devolve into stress and anxiety. Don’t stress––we’ve got the perfect solution to keep you in the flow.

Yoga To Release Tension In Your Shoulders & Back
Yoga To Release Tension In Your Shoulders & Back
Who else spent months sprawled on the couch bingeing television and hours perched in front of the computer zooming with friends and family? During quarantine, most of us found ourselves more sedentary than usual. Prolonged sitting does a number on our posture, and our shoulders round forward, our necks grow stiff, and our posture begins to slump. Not only does our body fall out of alignment, but we can become more closed off emotionally. The inner reflects the outer. This week, we’re focusing on asanas (postures) that loosen up the shoulders, relax the throat and neck, and create more spaciousness in our spines. When we focus on relieving stress and tension that lurks around the neck and shoulders, we can alleviate pain. Practices focused on the upper body create strength and mobility and encourage proper posture. They also go deeper within and benefit the subtle body, where our chakras reside.

June 21st is International Yoga Day
June 21st is International Yoga Day
Mark your calendars for the sixth annual International Yoga Day! This relatively new holiday, established in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly in 177 member countries, celebrates the value of yoga for physical, emotional, and mental health. June 21st is the solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere and the shortest in the Southern hemisphere. This day is a turning point for the entire planet and a sacred day in many cultures. Perfect to celebrate yoga! Each International Yoga Day features a different theme. As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, the chosen theme for 2021 is Yoga for Wellbeing, stressing the benefits of yoga for stress relief and overall mental health. The emphasis on mindful movement and deliberate breathing patterns in yoga benefits not just your physical body, but enhances mood, relieves stress, alleviates insomnia, and aids in managing situational depression. Even if your intention is centered on increasing physical strength, mobility, and balance, you garner the mental benefits too. Our lives are forever changed after this past year. It’s a simple fact. Many of us experienced enormous levels of anxiety, stress, fear, loss, and anger. When we react from these emotions, our breathing becomes shallow, our heart works overtime, and the stress hormone cortisol skyrockets. When our physiological system is out of control, it’s tough to remain grounded, clear, and balanced. Yoga helps positively impact our nervous systems, which in turn helps us step out of the fight or flight response. We can stop simply reacting and start operating from a more stable place.

Open Your Hearts: Yoga for Anahata Chakra
Open Your Hearts: Yoga for Anahata Chakra
“Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point,” which translates to: the heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." - Blaise Pascal This quote by famous mathematician Blaise Pascal is from 1669––talk about ancient wisdom! Even a genius steeped in reason and mathematics recognized that often the answer lies in listening to the heart and emotions, as opposed to relying solely on the brain. This week we’re focused on balancing your heart energy. In yoga, we emphasize opening and balancing the Anahata (Heart) chakra as being vital to feeling our best. The seven main chakras are energy systems running along our Sushumna Nadi, in our subtle body, the blueprint of our physical body. The fourth chakra, Anahata, is the recognized seat of love and compassion and translates to “Unstruck.” Its essence is selflessness, expanding beyond your ego, and learning to release fear and forgive those who have harmed you.

Two-Week Bridal Bootcamp
Two-Week Bridal Bootcamp
Who is ready for an excellent fitness bootcamp program with all the guess work and decision making handled for you? Wedding season is upon us and if you’re getting married, you want to feel and look your best for your special day. Whether you’re a bride-to-be or simply someone who is ready for a challenge for your body, mind, and spirit, this week we’re here to deliver. We all want to feel our best, but sometimes it can be overwhelming deciding what workout to do when and what is the most impactful way to get stronger, more flexible, and emotionally balanced. It’s easy to start off with the best of intentions and then other commitments and responsibilities knock you off your path. This fitness bootcamp is specially crafted to give you excellent results in an efficient manner, while also making it easy to stay on track. Here’s how:

Yoga Sculpt: When You Want It All!
Yoga Sculpt: When You Want It All!
We’ve all faced the dilemma: you have a limited amount of time to move your body and relieve stress. Do you practice yoga or do strength training? Problem solved: Yoga sculpt. If you’ve never tried a yoga fusion class, here’s your chance to garner all the benefits of a strength workout blended with the mindfulness of yoga. These hybrid workouts can combine yoga with weights, barre, Pilates, HIIT, cardio––the variety is part of the fun! In these special classes, the emphasis is on getting stronger and sculpted, but also staying mindful and maintaining mobility. It’s one of the most efficient and effective ways to ensure that you prevent injury and enhance your strength, balance, and flexibility. Here are a few reasons we love these yoga fitness fusion classes:

9 Ways Meditation Can Change Your Brain
9 Ways Meditation Can Change Your Brain
We’ve all heard meditation is good for your brain, and with the rollout of meditation apps and courses over the past few years, it’s becoming more and more well known that meditation can benefit us vastly. With this increase in popularity, also comes scientific research into the positive effects of meditation. Now, we can actually see the various neurological benefits that meditation has on the brain, including actual changes in gray matter - or increased activity in certain areas of the brain. Looking at these benefits alongside the psychological effects of meditation on our well-being, it’s easy to see exactly how meditation can change your mind and brain. Meditation Can Help Preserve Aging Brains

Meditation to Get Your Mind Right
Meditation to Get Your Mind Right
Quick check in: does your mind feel laser-focused and steady? Ready to handle any challenges in a reasonable, calm manner? If your answer, like ours, was to throw your head back and roar with laughter because you’ve got countless distractions bouncing around your brain, we’re here to help. This week, we’ve got four meditation classes to help you feel clearer and more grounded. If you are new to meditation or it has been a while since you meditated, read on for some insight into why it can have such a profound impact on your life. Meditation is the practice of learning to quiet the monkey mind or as Patanjali delineated in Yoga Sutra 1.2: citta vritti nirodhah: Yoga is learning to direct the attention of your mind where you wish it to go. Meditation encourages you to quiet the distractions in order to create space for clarity. It is the art of letting go and bringing the mind to the present moment. Meditation is a practice that takes time and effort, but it is worth every minute.

9 Ways to Increase Your Confidence During Your Weight Loss Journey
9 Ways to Increase Your Confidence During Your Weight Loss Journey
If you’re trying to get healthier and improve your body image by losing weight, you might know that the struggle of weight loss needs you to stay motivated and confident across a long period of time. But if you’re trying to lose weight, it can be hard to keep confident and feel happy about yourself if you’re not happy with your body image. It’s really important to give yourself confidence boosts along the way of your weight loss journey. We all know that you’ll feel better about yourself when you meet your weight goals, but if you feel more confident while you’re losing weight, you might find yourself more motivated to stick to it, and finally reach those goals. Here’s some ways to boost your self confidence when you’re losing weight.