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


5-Part Metamorphosis Series: Transform & Evolve
5-Part Metamorphosis Series: Transform & Evolve
When we hear the word metamorphosis, often it conjures an image of the caterpillar pausing and withdrawing from the world for a period of time and emerging as a beautiful butterfly. One way to visualize it is an incubation period, where you focus on rest and renewal in order to become your best self. Metamorphosis doesn’t necessarily mean you are changing into someone different; rather it means you are transforming into the highest version of yourself. In other words, the butterfly was always inside you, but it may take time and effort to fly free. Renowned ParaYoga founder and Tantra Yoga scholar Rod Stryker teaches, “We’re not transforming into something we aspire to,” he says. “We’re transforming into the very thing that we are innately: our best self.”

Yin Yoga to Relax More
Yin Yoga to Relax More
If you’re feeling the impact of more than a year of managing extreme stress levels, you aren’t alone. These days, we’re all working to establish a sense of equanimity. Life is about finding the balance between opposing forces which exist outside and inside of us. Yoga is a fluid dance between strength and softness, and yin and yang. Yin and Yang are opposites and they complement each other perfectly. This week, shift your focus to Yin yoga and give your mind the quiet time it needs and recharge your batteries. When we take the time to nourish ourselves, we renew our energy and become the strongest versions of ourselves. If you’re new to Yin yoga, you may not be familiar with all its wonderful benefits. A Yin practice targets the deeper layers in the body, specifically the connective tissue––fascia, tendons, and ligaments and the internal organs. Yin is based upon three main principles:

Take Your Time with Longer Yoga Classes
Take Your Time with Longer Yoga Classes
Today is a perfect day to expand your horizons. Consider mixing up your routine by spending more time on your yoga mat this week. We’re here to help with four longer yoga classes that will give you the space and time to deepen your practice. “Do Your Practice and all is coming." K. Pattabhi Jois, the Indian scholar and credited founder of Ashtanga yoga famously said. According to his teachings, there is no substitute for time spent on the mat. Traditional Ashtanga classes were usually at least ninety minutes long. Each moment of practice is a moment exploring your heart, your body, and your mind. Here are three reasons to try one of this week’s longer 45-90 minute classes.

Why Yoga is the Perfect Pre & Post Sport Workout
Why Yoga is the Perfect Pre & Post Sport Workout
Staying active is vital to a healthy lifestyle and a positive outlook. Here at YogaDownload.com, we’re all about mixing it up. Some days full-length well-rounded yoga classes are the ticket and other days you might prefer to run, cycle, golf, or play in the snow. Using yoga as a workout warm-up or cooldown is the ideal way to enhance your performance and prevent injury. Even when you stretch pre-or post-workout, you often just stretch the muscles in the same direction and plane of motion in which you are exercising. Many sports, like cycling and running, consist of repetitive movements, in one direction and in one plane of motion. Other sports like golf and tennis that rely on using one side of the body more than the other can develop certain muscle groups while ignoring others. Over time, these processes cause imbalances in the muscles and joints leading to overuse injuries.

2-Week Yoga Challenge: Find Your Flow
2-Week Yoga Challenge: Find Your Flow
Aligning yourself with nature to create a deep sense of flow is a common theme in yoga. The power inherent in the change of seasons makes the recent Equinox an auspicious time to challenge yourself to grow and transform. Whether you’re celebrating the blossoming of Spring or marking the releasing associated with Autumn, the world is shifting and so can you. We are constantly and growing as individuals, but sometimes we can slip into patterns of stagnation. As a global community, we’ve all been required to stay closer to home and for many of us jobs disappeared or dramatically changed, our social life quieted, and our physical, emotional, and mental health was tested. It has been a tough year! If you feel like you’re in a rut, you’re not alone.

You are a Powerful Force
You are a Powerful Force
The Force is within you! Each and every one of us has a well of inner strength and courage, our source of personal power. Through our yoga and meditation practices, we can cultivate our inner light and empower ourselves to meet life’s challenges with courage and confidence. There are many paths to build personal power, strength, and compassion. A few of our favorite classes have empowering themes and/or solid Power Vinyasa flows, which are excellent ways to tap into your inner strength. If you need a reminder of just how courageous you are, these classes will give you a major boost. Yoga teaches us that all we need is inside of us and practice is to reveal and honor our inner light. Learning to dig deep and operate from our courageous hearts can be uncomfortable.

Music is Medicine! Yoga with Music
Music is Medicine! Yoga with Music
“Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life.” -B.K.S. Iyengar. We here at YogaDownload.com believe music enhances the yoga experience. Both music and yoga touch on the physical, mental, and emotional levels of our beings. Sound is integral in many schools of yoga, like Ashtanga, where classes begin and end with chanting and mantras woven into the practice. The power of sound is vital in yoga, whether you are focusing on mantra, chanting, instruments like the harmonium, or a well-curated playlist.

Fitness 'n' Yoga 7 Day Bootcamp with Ben Davis
Fitness 'n' Yoga 7 Day Bootcamp with Ben Davis
Are you ready to kick off March with a 7 day fitness and yoga bootcamp designed to have you feeling at the top of your game? If you struggle to fit in workouts and yoga, but don’t want to miss any of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits from both, this week’s program is for you. And if you’re simply feeling bored with your current routine, try this package as an adrenaline boost to spark your motivation. Here are 3 reasons not to miss this bootcamp:

Yoga for Sports: How Yoga Improves Your Game
Yoga for Sports: How Yoga Improves Your Game
Whether you’re working to improve that backswing on the fairway or perfect an inverted hand plant with a snowboard, incorporating a yoga practice into your routine can really help step up your sports game. In fact, doing yoga can make you better at just about every other sport you’re passionate about. And all you need is your body to make the magic happen! Just ask professional athletes like Lebron James, golfer Lexi Thompson, snowboarder Emilien Badoux and the entire New York Yankees lineup. They — and their trainers and coaches — know that yoga offers both physical and mental benefits that translate both on and off the field. But here’s the good news: you don’t need to be a pro to reap the rewards of a regular practice. While incorporating yoga on a rest day can be beneficial, timing your session so that you’re engaging in stretches right before or after your activity can multiply those benefits.

Quest for the Press: 4-Part Handstand Workshop
Quest for the Press: 4-Part Handstand Workshop
Which handstand camp do you belong to? When it comes to handstands, there is no middle ground, it’s either: I love handstands and press up every chance I can or no way can I balance on my hands. Whether you love them or hate them, this week’s special Quest for the Press Program can benefit you. Now, if you’ve never been able to do a handstand or you’ve tried but been unable to achieve one, this program provides a methodical, intelligent, progressive method. Each class builds upon the prior sequence. You’ll work toward overcoming fear and press up with confidence. And if you are already a handstand aficionado, it never hurts to review technique and maybe even learn some new tips and tricks!

Stand Up & Stretch: Yoga to Counteract Prolonged Sitting
Stand Up & Stretch: Yoga to Counteract Prolonged Sitting
Raise your hand if you’ve sat more in the last year than ever before? With stay-at-home orders around the world, many of us have adapted to a new way of life: working from home, Zoom calls instead of going out with friends, and a whole lot of Netflix on the sofa. Even if you’re staying true to your yoga practice, the additional hours on your bum instead of your feet can take its toll. Never fear––we’ve got the antidote to all that couch dwelling. This week’s classes are designed to help you squeeze in more standing and more quick yoga sessions throughout your day. But first, let’s delve a little deeper into why all that sitting can leave you feeling not just physically stiff, but also mentally cloudy and emotionally stagnant. We store unprocessed emotion in our hips, so it is vital for our hips to be open and healthy, not just for the physical body, but also for emotional well-being.

Yoga for Strength & Grace
Yoga for Strength & Grace
How are you handling conflict and challenges these days? Is there adequate space in your reaction time or has the stress of the last year amplified to a point where you aren’t quite as patient and kind as you could be? If you’ve experienced more fear and edginess and anger, you aren’t alone. This week, we’re focusing on cultivating your own unique sense of grace and strength in your yoga practice. The word grace derives from Old French and means “pleasing quality” or simply a pleasing way of moving or behaving. A graceful person is one with poise, decency, honor, and elegance. Sometimes if you’re being pushed to your limits by the events of the world and personal circumstances, it can be difficult to react gracefully. Developing grace under pressure is one of the greatest gifts yoga can impart.

Branch Out with More Uncommon Styles of Yoga
Branch Out with More Uncommon Styles of Yoga
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 Change is good! We know it’s a wonderful feeling to step onto your yoga mat and practice with your favorite teachers. We all have our preferred types of practice, whether it’s a range from Ashtanga to Vinyasa to Power to Yin. Mixing it up helps us stay fresh mentally and emotionally and also ensures we don’t physically injure ourselves through too much repetition. So be adventurous this week and try something new.

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.