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


Everything You Need To Know About Vinyasa Yoga
Everything You Need To Know About Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa Yoga is one of the most practiced styles worldwide, indeed, according to a survey by the Yoga Journal, it is the most popular style amongst yogis. So, why is it that there seems to be some confusion about what Vinyasa is? Is it a style? A sequence? Or is it just a technique? And what exactly does it mean when a teacher says “take a Vinyasa”? Catch your breath before you keep reading, you’re going to need it to go with the Vinyasa Flow and clearly understand this unique style of yoga. To begin with, there are several definitions of the word itself. Some sources affirm it means “connection”; others translate it from Sanskrit as “to place in a special way”; and there are those who say it’s just “flow”. With this in mind, it’s not surprising the broad usage of the term Vinyasa.

10 Tips to Master Hard Yoga Poses at Home
10 Tips to Master Hard Yoga Poses at Home
Practicing yoga at home is a great way to get some exercise in if you can’t make it to a class. All you need is a mat! However, if you’re trying to master some tricky yoga poses and you just can’t get over that hurdle, being on your own can be a hindrance. Here’s our top 8 tips for practicing and mastering hard yoga poses at home. 1. Create the right space Having a dedicated space for yoga will make practicing at home so much easier. Try to find a space to unroll your matt that’s quiet and peaceful, with plenty of space around to move your body freely. Remove any obstacles if needed. Try to find an empty wall that you can use as a prop for poses that require a bit of extra support. Maybe you’d like to light a candle to make the atmosphere even more relaxing and inviting.

Yoga & Alternative Medicine: A Perfect Combination for Vitality
Yoga & Alternative Medicine: A Perfect Combination for Vitality
You can do this without the use of potentially harmful pharmaceutical drugs or invasive treatments. By combining your regular yoga sessions with alternative medicine, you can get even more benefit from your yoga practice. Here are three forms of alernative medicine that can increase quality of health and vitality for brand new and experienced yogi's! Acupuncture & Yoga

Why Yoga Helps You Trust Your Intuition
Why Yoga Helps You Trust Your Intuition
Have you ever gone against your own intuition? How did that work out for you? Have you ever felt so numb to your internal signals that you didn’t even sense what your intuition is communicating to you? Or have you ever consciously overthrown your own intuition and gut instincts for your desire to be loved and accepted? Maybe you overrode your intuition hoping to prove that you were a perfect match for a partner, a job, a community, rather than sensing and questioning if the relationship, job, or community was a good match for you. Please remember there is nothing to prove in love and acceptance, and that true love and acceptance must begin within. We must start with ourselves and trust our intution, which starts on the inside. Yoga reminds us that the actual external experience is a reflection of our inner resonance. Yoga states that we will continue to attract experiences to bring awareness to any unconscious patterns that keep us from true connection, trust and joy.

5 Powerful Fusion Yoga Hybrid Workouts to Try
5 Powerful Fusion Yoga Hybrid Workouts to Try
You can get into your best shape by combining yoga with other fitness workouts and routines. Yoga hybrid workouts have become all the range as of late, as an active lifestyle is becoming more and more popular. As it’s becoming more apparent the benefits a regular yoga practice can give you, there’s more ways to incorporate it into your regular workout. Here are some ways you can combine yoga poses with other fitness methods, to get into the best shape you can and move in more ways! If you’re adding a few moves to your regular workout, or adding some weights or dance moves into your yoga practice, there’s a yoga hybrid out there for you. Mixing it up can increase your endurance, strength, and most of all make your practice fun. Here are five unique fusion yoga forms, that are worth giving a try! Anti Gravity Yoga If you’ve ever fancied yourself a bit of an acrobat, aerial yoga is the hybrid for you.

A Beginner's Guide to Ashtanga Yoga
A Beginner's Guide to Ashtanga Yoga
This week we highlight the incredible practice of Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga yoga is a modern rigorous, disciplined, and traditional style of yoga. It is comprised of 8 limbs, with asana (the physical yoga pose limb), being a set sequence of standing and seated postures, that create inner heat, refine your focus, and challenge you physically, while keeping a single pointed focus. Basic Ashtanga sequences are well-rounded, and also feature many forward bends, the most inward facing family of yoga poses, where we meet ourselves. If you're feeling stagnant in your practice and want to take it to the next level, or feel you're craving some consistency in your yoga practice (and maybe life), give Ashtanga a try. You might find these practices are ones you can return to over and over again, as no matter how many times you practice the Ashtanga sequence, there is benefit, power, and progress. Enjoy the challenge and power of Ashtanga yoga this week, with four unique takes and versions of this transformative and powerfully simple style of yoga.

9 Benefits of Yoga for Athletes
9 Benefits of Yoga for Athletes
Yoga is a key practice not just on it’s own, but to compliment other activities and sports. Many professional sporting teams and athletes use yoga practice to compliment their training, or include it as a key part of it. If you play sports regularly, trying yoga can boost your performance in a wide range of ways. Yoga will improve your physical and mental state, letting you push yourself to your limit in your training. Yoga can also balance out strength and development that can become imbalanced if you just practice one type of sport. This can also help reduce injury. Push away any thoughts of yoga just being about flexibility and contorting your body - yoga helps your muscles grow and works parts of your body that are underused in most people’s daily life. It also helps you stretch out any areas of tightness or pain. Here’s some of the benefits practicing yoga can have for athletes.

5 Olympic Athletes Who Do Yoga
5 Olympic Athletes Who Do Yoga
Even though yoga is not considered an Olympic sport, at least not yet, the reality is that it already is a big part of the Olympics. Yoga is a fundamental component of the workout routine of many athletes who are striving for gold during these summer games, and it might very well be one of the key factors for them to finish on top of the podium. It’s no secret that yoga is a great complement for other physical activities. Some even think every athlete should do yoga (Link: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4806/Why-Every-Athlete-Should-Do-Yoga.html) to increase strength, balance, flexibility and mental control. That’s why it comes as no surprise that more and more competitors are taking advantage of the benefits it brings to their discipline. From elastic gymnasts, to big rugby players, they are all bringing the lessons learned on the mat to their respective sports.

The Benefits of Warrior Poses
The Benefits of Warrior Poses
The series of warrior poses are the foundations of a strong and solid practice of asana. Warrior poses are among the most common poses in yoga practice, and help with balance, stance and hip opening. Warrior poses are great for nearly every type of body and skill level, are easy for beginners to get to grips with, while still being a great pose for building up strength, confidence, and feeling like, well a warrior! As we do warrior poses more and more often, it’s easy to forget the benefits they can give our minds and bodies. We’ve taken a look at some of the common variants of warrior pose, and the benefits these can give you. Warrior 1 Warrior 1 is a pose that will give you more flexibility in your hips, strengthen and tone your legs when practiced often.

5 Tips for Taking Those Perfect Yoga Photos
5 Tips for Taking Those Perfect Yoga Photos
Yoga is the perfectly balanced embodiment of strength and grace. Each yoga pose is an achievement and, like any other milestone, deserves to be celebrated. And what better place to share the achievements of your yoga journey than through photos, whether you share them with your friends on social media, or just to enjoy yourself? Whether you’re just starting out with your yoga practice or already an advanced practitioner, you know that even the simplest yoga poses require a ton of work. When taking a photo of your yoga poses, the ultimate goal is to make it look effortless and beautiful. Here are five ways you can create the perfect yoga photo for your Instagram, teaching portfolio, or just for fun! 1. Pick a pose and shoot in burst mode

The Psychological Benefits of Yoga
The Psychological Benefits of Yoga
We all know that practicing yoga can have great physical health benefits, but it can also benefit your psychological and mental health state. There’s no denying the high that you get after a successful yoga class or practice, and that zen-like state of feeling calm, grounded and centered. Yoga is a great practice if you’ve been feeling down, negative, or scattered with your thoughts. Practicing yoga has a way of subsiding those negative emotions, bringing you into a state of calm and peace. Yoga also helps you feel a connection to your body, and helps you become more aware of any thoughts, emotions and physical feelings around your mind and body. This sensation of mindfulness can help improve our emotional health, and lead into a calm state. The psychological benefits of yoga have lead to the practice being regarded as a great practice for those suffering from stress, anxiety, and other mental health problems. Yoga changes your brain.

8 Advanced Yoga Poses to Work Towards
8 Advanced Yoga Poses to Work Towards
Feeling a little unchallenged by your yoga practice? Perhaps you’re finding that you can do each pose without struggle, and you’re finding it all a little tedious. It’s time to shake up your practice! With yoga there’s always more advanced variations, or different ways to change up your routine. While you might have seen some advanced yoga poses and instantly thought you’d never achieve them, if you’re finding yourself in a yoga rut, giving yourself a more difficult pose to aim for is a great way to bring some purpose back into your practice. Here’s our run down of some trickier poses to aim for, whether you’re a master yogi, or a relative beginner. 1. Eka Hasta Vrksasana - One Handed Tree Pose

10 Ways Yoga Can Help Productivity
10 Ways Yoga Can Help Productivity
While we hear a lot about how yoga is great for winding down and relaxation, you may not know that yoga can help productivity. Yes, yoga is a great escape from our busy working lives, but there are many ways that practicing yoga can help us get more work done, increase concentration and send your productivity levels soaring. Here’s 10 ways yoga can help productivity at work. Yoga Relieves Stress Stress is one of the major factors that can affect your health and work productivity. When we’re feeling stressed we sleep less, any illnesses or physical conditions can be exacerbated, and our mental health suffers too.

The 7 Scariest Yoga Poses for Halloween
The 7 Scariest Yoga Poses for Halloween
It’s the season to be spooky, even in your yoga practice! The good news is, you can get the heebie jeebies right from the mat. Some of your favorite asanas are inspired by some rather haunting ideas. Don’t be surprised - yoga is about the balance of opposites: solar and lunar, hold and release, and of course, light and darkness. So we’ve put together a sequence of the creepiest, crawliest postures to get you exploring your spooky side. Here are the 7 scariest yoga poses to get you in the mood for Halloween! 1. Cat Pose: arch, hiss and strike fear into the heart of the superstitiously inclined.

Everything You Need To Know About Yin Yoga
Everything You Need To Know About Yin Yoga
If you haven’t tried Yin Yoga the classic “what are you waiting for?!” question comes to mind. Yin Yoga can be described as a treat to the body, a slowly moving meditation, a way to connect with what’s really going on internally. When I do a lot of cardio and strength training workouts, Yin Yoga is my sanctuary. If I am not that active, Yin Yoga is a relaxing time where I can check in with how my body is feeling. So, what exactly is Yin Yoga? Let's take a look at this unique and healing practice! Yin Yoga is influenced by the philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yin poses are created with the intent to improve the flow of chi, the subtle and invisibly energy that some believe run through the meridian pathways in the body. Whenever there is an excess or lack of chi, the body is said to become unbalanced. Yin poses are working with meridian lines to help circulate chi throughout the body and release stagnant energy to help the body function optimally.

5 Tips How to Do a Handstand & the Benefits
5 Tips How to Do a Handstand & the Benefits
Handstand is a pose that might seem unattainable or impossible at first sight. However, with persistence, technique, and patience, anyone can learn how to do a handstand with time. Learning to engage the shoulders, core, and arms properly, will increase and build steadiness over time. From there, handstand becomes easier to refine. They key, in practicing and integrating these simple tips, is patience. Anyone who takes the time and is patient, can learn how to do a handstand, regardless of how hard it may seem in the beginning. Here are 5 simple and concise tips for learning how to do a handstand:

4 Reasons to Branch Out in Your Yoga Practice
4 Reasons to Branch Out in Your Yoga Practice
Sun Salutations, Warrior Poses, Downward Dog – every yogi has their favourite tried and tested poses and flows that they may be able to do with their eyes closed. As you move through your daily routine on the matt, you might notice your mind drifting. The flows that once took concentration and took your mind away from the humdrum day to day thoughts are now second nature, and you’ve lost your sense of zen. It’s easy to get into a rut if you stick to your comfort zones in life – and your yoga practice is no different. This week we’re challenging you to try a new class every day for two weeks. Here are four key benefits that branching out in your yoga practice can bring you. 1. Keep your brain active Did you know that learning a new skill, such as a different language or something creative like a musical instrument can help your brain form new connections? The same applies when you learn a new yoga flow or try a challenging pose. Stimulating your brain in this way can increase your memory skills, concentration and even your creativity levels. Learning something new, like figuring out a new yoga challenge can create neural pathways in the brain, increasing brain power.

How Yoga Can Strengthen the Joints
How Yoga Can Strengthen the Joints
If you’re struggling with painful or weak joints, you may be avoiding exercise, to reduce the inflammation and sensitivity. But did you know that practicing yoga can help strengthen the joints and certain poses can actually reduce joint pain? Here’s our top reasons why yoga can strengthen the joints, as well as some poses to practice if weak joints are affecting you. A joint is the place where two bones meet, and are made up of bones, tendons to connect your muscles to your bones, ligaments, cartilage for cushioning and synovial fluid for lubrication and to reduce friction. Most joint injuries occur from working out too hard, lifting weights that are too heavy, repetitive movement or falling. Common injuries are sprains and strains that inflame the joints and cause pain. Yoga is a great way to ease back into exercise while also helping to strengthen joints. Yoga works to increase your range of motion, which reduces future injury.

7 Yoga Poses to Curb Hair Loss
7 Yoga Poses to Curb Hair Loss
Do you feel that your hair looks dull and dreary? Do you go through your old pictures and wish for that thick and beautiful hair to return? Well, quit sulking, stop blaming your hair products and start practicing yoga for long, healthy and shiny hair. Hair loss is a major concern for both men and women. There are a number of reasons that can lead to hair loss, such as age, pollution, poor diet, stress, and thyroid problems. Thanks to the sedentary lifestyle we lead, stress has become the primary reason for hair loss and unhealthy hair. That’s right! Now, you can stop cursing your hair products and straighteners. They probably play only a small role in damaging your hair. Stop right there and don’t waste another penny for those expensive hair products and treatments. Choose the harmless, happy and healthy way to combat hair loss and accelerate hair growth. Yes! You heard it right! Yoga is a great way to protect your hair, restore its strength and prevent hair loss. It enhances blood circulation and oxygen flow to the head and scalp region for the regrowth of healthy hair and improves your physical and mental health as well. Here are 7 yoga poses that can work wonders for your hair. Let’s take a look at them now.

9 Reasons Why Men Should Do Yoga
9 Reasons Why Men Should Do Yoga
It improves your physique as well as your mental health, but even though yoga is one of the most beneficial exercises to do, many men still shy away from the practice. From increasing your strength to helping your sleeping patterns, there’s a wealth of reasons why men should do yoga. Here’s our top nine reasons why you should incorporate yoga into your workout regime. Builds your muscles evenly A lot of men schedule their workouts to build their muscles on certain parts of their body, for example their arms or shoulders. Yoga works to build muscles all over the body evenly. Yoga practice will work the muscles many men ignore in their workout regimes, which makes it a great exercise for overall body conditioning, an ideal reason why men should do yoga, especially if their aim is to build muscle. Reduces the risk of injury

Yoga Infographic: Yoga to Tone your Body
Yoga Infographic: Yoga to Tone your Body
Yoga's flexibility benefits may be more obvious and known, however, this practice can visibly tone your entire body. Strength is just as essential in yoga, as flexibility, and because of this, yoga builds visible strength and tones the entire body. Whether you want to tone your arms, legs, core, or back, there are specific poses to make each area more lean and strong. Enjoy this easy to follow infographic, clearly gives postures to practice to leave you feeling toned.

Everything About Uttanasana: Standing Forward Fold
Everything About Uttanasana: Standing Forward Fold
What is Uttanasana? Uttanasana might be known to you as a ‘Forward Bend’ or a ‘Standing Forward Fold’, but the Sanskrit name literally translates as ‘Intense Stretch Pose’. This is translated from the three Sanskrit words; “Ut’ which means ‘Intense’, “Tan” which means “to stretch” and “Asana” meaning “pose”. This pose is great for a deep stretch to the hamstrings or back, but should also been deeply relaxing, despite the name ‘intense’! The more you relax into the pose, the better the benefit will be. Uttanasana is found in most yoga sequences, but is a key component of sun salutes and vinyasa flow. It’s usually found as part of the transition sequence between standing poses and chaturanga dandasana, or the four-limbed staff pose. While it can be used as a transition pose, taking the time to practice this pose stand alone, or as part of a slower flow, can help to give more time to work on the technical aspects of the pose.

4 Best Restorative Poses to Relieve Stress
4 Best Restorative Poses to Relieve Stress
Restorative yoga is a deeply relaxing practice that helps relieve stress. A hectic lifestyle is the biggest host to stress. Through Restorative Yoga, deep relaxation therapy can be attained. Restorative Yoga is a slow-paced practice that holds poses for long to attain deep relaxation. The practice opens up the body by being in specific positions and gives a completely different experience than most of the more rigorous traditional and contemporary yoga styles. There are three main components of the restorative style: use props all the time, transition into the poses slowly, and hold the poses for a longer period of time. During a restorative yoga practice, the yogis can make use of props like blankets, blocks, and bolsters for support. It also encourages long hold as it allows the muscles to relax, stills the mind, enhances the mood and its healing capacity, and is an amazing and effective antidote to stress. Here are the top three restorative yoga poses to help reduce stress:

Yoga for Crossfit: Why it Improves Performance & 3 Poses
Yoga for Crossfit: Why it Improves Performance & 3 Poses
Yoga is not only a good way to relax your mind and body, it is also being praised for improving Crossfit performance. Yoga creates more flexibility and creates more mobility, which are beneficial for the rigors of Crossfit as well as reducing the risk of injury. While the practices are different in many ways, Crossfit and yoga actually have a lot in common, so if you practice yoga, it’s can be easier to learn to practice Crossfit, and vice versa. Benefits of Yoga for Crossfit: Here are a few reasons why you should consider using yoga as a part of your crossfit training regime. Yoga has many gentle poses that develop your core which is an important part to Crossfit. Being capable of balancing and holding the body with the core is essential. When you regularly practice yoga, you promote strength, endurance, and flexibility and have a greater awareness of how to use your core effectively. You also find your inner strength which is important in Crossfit training. You practice cultivating calm, in challenging moments in yoga, and that can really help during Crossfit. Yoga can help us have more fun in Crossfit. Studies have found that yoga allows you to become more self-aware and improves your energy levels, helping you to enjoy life more fully. Sometimes in Crossfit, training and progress becomes such a focus point that we forget to be light and have fun. Yoga can help here.

Give Props to Yoga Props
Give Props to Yoga Props
Props? I don’t need props! Props are for beginners, right? Nope. Props are for everyone and can benefit any level of yoga practice. As yogis, we strive to make mindful decisions, so why do we shy away from props? The most common examples of yoga props are blocks, straps and bolsters. As a yoga teacher, I sometimes include props as part of the class. Occasionally, when I ask participants to get their props prior to the start of class there is someone who doesn’t. I will usually request it again and explain we are all going to use them. If I attempt to deliver props to someone already on their mat, I am sometimes shooed away. Whether they come out and say it or not, the message is clear – “I don’t need props.” There is a stigma associated with the NEED for props. However, there are many benefits of yoga props. Don’t believe anyone who tells you using yoga props is cheating! I have never found anyone who could not benefit from the use of a prop for one or more poses, myself included.