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


Why to Practice Yoga Off The Mat
Why to Practice Yoga Off The Mat
We all know what yoga is on the mat – it’s the yoga asanas (poses) we throw ourselves into, creating shapes and movement on the mat, giving our body a physical workout. What, what is yoga off the mat? For me, it’s not quite as simple as the 8 limbs of yoga, which is what we are taught. Yoga is a very personal thing. It’s a different practice for everyone – some might like Ashtanga or Power yoga, some might prefer Kundalini or Yin. The 8 limbs of yoga philosophy, stemmed from Ashtanga (ashta = eight, anga = limb), are guidelines on how to live a life of more meaning and purpose, and act as a moral compass as we guide through this cray thing called life. The 8 limbs are as follows:

What is Yoga Anyway?
What is Yoga Anyway?
I'm reflecting on my very first yoga class. As a college freshman, I somewhat arbitrarily signed up for yoga as a “physical education” elective. My beloved grandma had been practicing yoga for years, so I had a vague knowledge of what it was all about, but I had no idea how much that that one course would end up influencing my life. Since first walking into that college gym, I have gone on to study various styles of yoga with many wonderful teachers, taught yoga in different capacities for over ten years, and owned two yoga studios on opposite corners of Colorado. Twenty years after that first class, I embarked on another in-depth yoga teacher’s training; RootEd is a 230-hour “apprenticeship” with the inspiring Jessica Patterson out of Colorado Springs. For the RootEd application, I was asked to answer the question “What is Yoga?”

10 Benefits of a Longer Yoga Practice
10 Benefits of a Longer Yoga Practice
In today’s busy modern world, yoga has evolved over the years to fit into our jam-packed schedules, the most notable of these being - practices are shorter. The traditional yoga class and used to last 90 minutes, which was a standard practice. Nowadays, we see 60, 30, even 5 minutes yoga practices, which while they still have their uses, sometimes can’t compare to the benefits of a longer practice. The main benefit of a longer practice is more time to focus on mindfulness, breathing techniques, and to generally help you relax. Here are 10 ways these benefits can positively impact your life.

8 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Sex Life (And 3 Poses That Help)
8 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Sex Life (And 3 Poses That Help)
We all know that working out can improve our sex lives, as exercise can boost both your energy levels and your self-esteem, but did you know that yoga not only gives those benefits, but lots more? If you’re looking to yoga as your new form of working out, read on to discover how it can also give a boost to your sex life. Yoga Improves Pelvic Floor Muscles When you practice yoga, you can use up all of your muscles in one pose or another, including your pelvic floor. When doing standing poses and supporting your own body weight, you’re also working out your pelvic floor muscles. In an average yoga class, this can add up to half an hour of pelvic floor exercises. If you didn’t know, strengthening these muscles can help to improve your orgasms - a great incentive to get on the yoga mat!

How Yoga Makes You Strong
How Yoga Makes You Strong
Yoga practice may not necessarily make you think of the word ‘strong’ - but it’s a common misconception that the practice is all about getting bendy and flexible. Yoga can actually be a great addition to strength training, and can make you more powerful and strong both in the gym and your day-to-day life. Combining yoga with strength training can not only make you stronger - it can actually help reduce your risk of pain and injury. Read on to find out how. Yoga is a form of bodyweight training If you’re working on a specific set of muscles, perhaps to increase strength in these areas, or for aesthetic reasons, it can be easy to neglect the other muscles in your body - which can hinder your progress. Yoga as bodyweight training can help to even things out in your body.

4 Reasons Why Yoga Improves Your Snowboarding
4 Reasons Why Yoga Improves Your Snowboarding
Yoga is one of the most helpful and healthy ways to directly benefit your riding. From stretching, to strength, to balance, yoga has you covered to be a better snowboarder. Here is why! Stretching: Staying limber is one of the most important things you can do to keep your body healthy for snowboarding. Basic yoga done before and after will help prevent injury due to falls, and keep your body less sore after a day of shredding. It’s like performing preventative maintenance on your car. Flexibility will help you when learning, and help your body perform at its best when you are engaging in such a physically demanding sport. It will also help your body move without restriction. There are so many directions and movements your body must go through while riding, that keeping yourself as flexible as possible is of utmost importance.

6 Prep Poses and Exercises to Help You Nail a Handstand
6 Prep Poses and Exercises to Help You Nail a Handstand
Handstands are one of the more impressive poses that you can have in your arsenal, however they can be difficult to pull off. This is a pose that you need to work up to, building the muscles needed and mastering variations of the pose before tackling an unaided handstand. There are lots of ways you can prepare to master the handstand, but they mostly come down to strengthening your core and arm muscles, as well as improving your general strength and flexibility with regular yoga practice. We’ve listed some of the key poses and exercises you can do to help you ace your handstands.

8 Yoga Poses That Improve Digestion
8 Yoga Poses That Improve Digestion
Some of the consequences of unhealthy habits and lifestyles are low energy, weak digestion, and depression. To prevent these challenges from developing in your body, it is better to take care of yourself and do things every day to restore your body in simple, yet effective ways. In yoga, there are specific poses that help your digestive system work optimally. Certain of asanas are aimed at improving the functioning of the digestive organs: the liver, pancreas, stomach, and intestines, to eliminate excess tension that interferes with proper blood circulation. Regular practice of these exercises will improve digestion and eliminate intestinal dysfunctions and have your digestive system operating in harmony.

The Inspiration Download: Interview with German Yoga Teacher Sandra Bracy-Toscani
The Inspiration Download: Interview with German Yoga Teacher Sandra Bracy-Toscani
The Inspiration Download interview series features different people who are bringing ideas to life and sharing something with the world that they are passionate about, whether it's through teaching yoga, creating a business, doing work in their community, creating art, hosting events, bringing to life new wellness products, or more. These interviews highlight real people who have brought ideas to life and give real-life insight and inspiration on their processes and journey. This session is with Sandra Bracy-Toscani, a Berlin, Germany based yoga teacher. Sandra's Bio: My journey began in chaos. I was insecure with talking in front of people, I oftentimes had panic attacks & not to mention, an issue with self-love and self-esteem. Better to say I never experienced high self-esteem and self-love. I, always being attached to men, subconsciously put them in front of me. A position I should have held for myself. Until one day I decided I wanted more from my life, and so my story began. I began to stand up for ME. I began to connect with ME.

Best 9 Yoga Poses To Do At Your Desk
Best 9 Yoga Poses To Do At Your Desk
Getting up and on the yoga mat regularly is great for your health and mind, but if you work at a busy desk job, your regular practice still might not be enough to combat the stress and pressure you are putting on your body - and your posture! However, there are many ways to alleviate this pressure, but the easiest ones don’t even involve getting up from your chair - perfect for those days when you’ve just got too much work to do. There are many yoga poses you can practice at your desk, and we’ve put together some of the best to help the areas that get the most strain sitting down, to reduce back pain, posture issues and stress. Seated Crescent Moon

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.

How to Create The Perfect Yoga Room for All of Your Senses
How to Create The Perfect Yoga Room for All of Your Senses
What sets yoga apart from other forms of fitness, is the uniquely holistic approach it takes to strengthen your body, mind, and soul. For many, yoga serves as an essential retreat from a chaotic or busy life, a time to regroup, unwind, and build mindfulness. In the process, it will help you improve muscle tone and flexibility, everything you want from a standard workout at the gym. Yoga provides a myriad of both physical and mental health benefits. In addition to engaging muscle-groups in poses — or Asanas — that promote strength, flexibility, and balance, yoga also incorporates deep breathing, meditation, and body awareness. This helps decrease stress, relieve anxiety, and promote deep relaxation. Yoga is accessible for beginners and a great way to build a more healthy lifestyle. You don’t need much in the way of specialized equipment to start practicing in your own home yoga room today.

Understand the 7 Chakras: Overview, Reading List, & Yoga Classes
Understand the 7 Chakras: Overview, Reading List, & Yoga Classes
Many of us are familiar with at least one of the seven chakra. The third eye, our intuition center, tends to be the most spoken about chakra; however, all of the other chakras need our time, attention, and TLC, too! If you have attended yoga or meditation classes, you have perhaps heard the teacher speaking about the chakras. Below, you will briefly discover what the chakras are, where they are located, and each of their main characteristics. If you're curious about learning more about the chakra system, there are 3 must-read recommended books about the chakrasfor you to continue on your path of chakra discovery. There are also yoga classes for each of the seven chakras, if you'd like to learn more about them through movement, and experience.

Best Beginner Yoga Poses for Back Pain Relief
Best Beginner Yoga Poses for Back Pain Relief
If you deal with back pain, yoga might be exactly what you need. Yoga is a mind-body remedy that helps efficiently treat back pain and stress that accompanies it. Here, we’ll discuss yoga poses that can reduce pain, relax, and strengthen your body. There can be tens of different causes of back pain; poor posture, a weak core, and sedentary work are among them. It’s always essential to find out contributing factors and reasons for pain so that you can treat it the right way and prevent it from happening again. However, in most situations, practicing even basic yoga poses will relieve the strain and pain in your back. In 2017 a study was conducted and it proved that yoga is really beneficial for back pain. A group of 320 adults was assessed to see whether yoga was efficient as physical therapy for reducing chronic back pain. Participants in both physical therapy and yoga classes showed analogous improvements in pain levels.

Exploring Common Sanskrit: Om, Spanda, Sutra, Dharma… WHAT?
Exploring Common Sanskrit: Om, Spanda, Sutra, Dharma… WHAT?
This month I have the pleasure of taking part in a writing experiment. Susanna Harwood Rubin, a yoga teacher and writer on the East Coast, is prompting students every day with a new Sanskrit word to explore with a few of their own words. I’m less than a week into this experience, and am already surprised how it has enabled me to look inward and apply the words and concepts to my life personally. Following are a few of my word explorations, with more to come. OM

Why YogaDownload's A Perfect Solution For Traveling & Yoga On The Go
Why YogaDownload's A Perfect Solution For Traveling & Yoga On The Go
This guest post was originally published on yogi Whitney Reynolds' blog, MoonWanderings. I am just finishing up my two week trial with YogaDownload. Here are my thoughts on my experience, what I enjoyed, and who I think would make a good fit for this platform. Week 1: Decision Paralysis The first week at YogaDownload can be overwhelming. There are so many choices of classes and programs to choose from. It is really difficult to decide where to begin.

A Brief History of Yoga
A Brief History of Yoga
Millions of people across the world practice yoga everyday, and it’s becoming a constantly evolving and changing practice that has integrated into the modern world. But what is the history of yoga, and how has it shaped our modern day practice? Yoga’s extensive 5,000 year old history is rich, intertwining with religion, philosophy and exercise, and as such, there are a few theories about the origin of the practice. Some people suggest that the origins of yoga stem from a Bronze age civilization called the Indus Valley Civilization, from northwest South Asia, while others believe yoga was around when the ideas of Hinduism and Buddhism were taking shape. There were many different periods of yoga, and they have all shaped our modern practice today. The first of these is the Vedic Period. This was the wra when the Vedas, which are four ancient scriptures, were created. These holy writings were created by Brahmans, ancient indian priests, and are a collection of hymns that actually contain the oldest known teachings about yoga that are still available today. The Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, which is the root of the word ‘yoga’, first appeared in one of the Vedas.

20 Top-Rated YogaDownload Classes of All Time
20 Top-Rated YogaDownload Classes of All Time
This week, we are thrilled to celebrate the 14th year of YogaDownload.com. This site and community would not be continuing to grow if it wasn't for all of you showing up regularly on your mat, from all over the world for the past 14 years! Thank for you showing up for yourself, and also supporting this global community and resource of online yoga in the process. As part of our celebration, here is the list of the 20 top-rated classes of all time! We've produced over 1700+ classes since our inception 14 years ago. Your honest ratings and reviews over the years have helped us to continue creating classes you want, based on your valuable feedback.

7 Tips on Picking the Right Yoga Teacher Training for You
7 Tips on Picking the Right Yoga Teacher Training for You
Ok. So you’ve finally decided to do a yoga teacher training. Now comes the big decision - which one to choose? There are thousands of teacher trainings out there today, and in a world of increasing choice, the decision is more difficult. How do you choose a Yoga Teacher Training? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

8 Reasons Why Yoga is Good for Children
8 Reasons Why Yoga is Good for Children
Adults undoubtedly have busy lives these days, but our kids also do. School all day, after-school activities and homework, friend and family time and weekend plans! Practicing yoga is good for adults with stressful lives, and it can also benefit kids for all the same reasons. We all know that yoga can help to relieve stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, and mood, as well as keep you fit. Yoga can also teach your kids to be mindful, which is important to teach at a young age. It’s important to teach our kids ways to handle stress in their lives - which will help them as they grow into adulthood.

10 Valuable Benefits of Yoga Proven by Scientific Studies
10 Valuable Benefits of Yoga Proven by Scientific Studies
Have doubts about the effectiveness of yoga on your overall health? Here are 10 amazing benefits of yoga that are supported by scientific studies. The practice of yoga has existed on this planet for a long time. It was developed by the Indus-Saraswati civilization in India nearly 5,000 years ago. Yoga was acknowledged by the UN, and the world celebrates International Yoga Day on June 21 every year. It is now practiced nearly all over the world for its positive effects on the individual’s well-being. But does science support the effectiveness of this millennia-old practice? Well, for years, a lot of people have questioned the effectiveness of yoga practices, and their suspicion was justifiable. If someone tells you that certain lifestyle changes can fix a chronic illness that medication cannot, you are supposed to be surprised! However, researchers have found significant pieces of evidence that support several powerful benefits that yoga has to offer. Here are 10 evidence-based benefits of yoga, proven by science.

7 Essential Yoga Poses for a Strong Core
7 Essential Yoga Poses for a Strong Core
In order to build a strong core, you need to work a variety of muscles, all the way from your hips to shoulders. The core does not just refer to your abs. It refers to the different muscles that run the length of your torso. There are great yoga techniques that can be done in order to build your core muscles. Not only do they help to make you more fit. They also increase your will power, stamina, and overall quality of life. Here are 7 Essential Yoga Postures for a Strong Core:

10 of the Best Places In The World To Do Yoga
10 of the Best Places In The World To Do Yoga
We, humans, live in an age of physical and mental stress. Body inactivity, past ailment, and genetic traits make our bodies lose flexibility and strength. Mild to chronic health problems are the consequence. Yoga is one of the top ways to de-stress and rejuvenate the body to wellness and immunity. This physical practice is world-famous since times immemorial. With yoga cities getting back to the new normal, fitness rainbow is brightening up for health and strength seekers. Let us look at the world's most popular places to take your yoga practice to new heights.

Yoga & Other Tips to Help with the Physical & Mental Challenges of Remote Work
Yoga & Other Tips to Help with the Physical & Mental Challenges of Remote Work
In more ways than one, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed our sense of normal. These days, more people find themselves working remotely as the virus continues sweeping across the globe, forcing many establishments to shut down their offices. Most children are staying at home as well and logging on for their classes rather than catching the school bus. There are also fewer opportunities to get out and socialize with friends and family. This means that many of us are stuck at home all day long. Unfortunately, all this time spent inside can lead to increased issues with your health.

An Introduction to Iyengar Yoga
An Introduction to Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar yoga is a type of yoga that was developed by B.K.S Iyengar - and also named after him. He was one of the people who was partly responsible for bringing the modern practice of yoga to the Western world. B.K.S. Iyengar was born in 1918 in Bellur, India. B.K.S. Iyengar practiced yoga for over 85 years, but began his study under his guru, T. Krishnamacharya - also sometimes known as the Father of modern yoga. B.K.S Iyengar brought the practice of yoga to the western world in the 197’0’s and wrote the book Light on Yoga, which has been a book many yoga students across the world have studied for generations. Iyengar yoga is identified by being similar to the classic Hatha yoga traditions, but with lots of attention on the technical alignment and proper posing. This helps keep the mind drawn inward, but also connected to reality.