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


Sugar Free Banana Oatmeal Cookie Recipe
Sugar Free Banana Oatmeal Cookie Recipe
Ever go to a kid’s birthday party and realize there’s nothing your little one can eat? That’s a regular occurrence for me and my daughter, Ilse. Ilse, like me as a child, is super sensitive to a LOT of common allergens like sugar, eggs, gluten, dairy, and nuts. Wherever we go, there’s often times not a sweet treat she can eat and it’s never fun to be the only kid at a party who doesn’t get to eat any dessert. So my husband Adam and I came up with a super easy, allergen-free cookie we could always bring so Ilse would be able to have a sweet treat with the rest of the kiddos. And guess what happened? Not only did Ilse love these cookies, all the other kids loved them, too! Even when there was a conventional cake or cupcake option, other kids gravitated towards our cookies instead. I even started having parents ask me for the recipe or request that I bring the cookies for their next party! This recipe is truly kid-tested and approved!

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.

Yoga for Your Upper Body & Chakras
Yoga for Your Upper Body & Chakras
If someone asked you what the biggest benefit of yoga for your upper body is, how would you answer? Would you say that all the Down Dogs and chataranguas gave you muscular endurance and strength? That your chest and shoulders are more open and your posture is excellent? Would you mention how your spine is protected because you’ve built up a girdle of mobile muscle to keep you safe from injury? Or perhaps you’d expand beyond the obvious physical benefits. You could share how you are now a person able to live from a place of compassion, speak your authentic truth, trust your intuition, and visualize Samadhi or enlightenment because you’ve balanced your heart, throat, third-eye, and crown chakras. Yoga’s benefits are infinite and whatever your answer, you’d be correct. The fruits of a well-rounded yoga practice encompass the physical benefits for your muscular, spinal, nervous, and digestive systems.

How Yoga Improves Upper Body Posture
How Yoga Improves Upper Body Posture
Do you know where you hold your stress? Chances are the majority of people reading this hold stress in their upper body or have at one point. And if you don’t hold stress in your upper body, are you aware of all the pressure put on it from the modern day society we live in? Think about what slouching over in a desk all day or sitting at home on the computer can do to your upper body, specifically your posture. Not only do these things wreak havoc on your posture, they also can contribute to overall tightness and pain. Eventually down the road, muscular imbalances in the upper body may even start to occur. Our bodies are made for physical activity and being stationery for a long period of time with unnatural movements can take a real toll. Even spending lots of time in the texting pose (which is definitely not a yoga pose!) can cause problems to the upper body. How To Tell If You Have Good Posture When it comes to having a strong and healthy upper body, good posture is key.

30-Minute Chicken Meatball Tacos
30-Minute Chicken Meatball Tacos
Can you really get a cleanse-friendly meal on the table in 30 minutes? Yes, you can! Between kids and full-time work, we’re always looking for fast, healthy options. And who doesn’t love Taco Tuesday? Well, say goodbye to boring taco night! These Chicken Meatball Tacos are spiced with a premade low sodium herb blend, rolled into meatballs, popped into lettuce leaves, and topped with a bright veggie slaw. Serving a non-cleansing family? No problem! Simply provide the hard corn shells or soft tortillas and some shredded cheese and you’ve got a meal that the entire family can enjoy.

One Year without Alcohol: Month 5
I’m in Spain, north of Barcelona on the Costa Brava, the rugged coast. The drink here, not to excess but as a daily, mealtime accompaniment. I’ve been observing this casualness and decided to partake in this celebratory, nonchalant part of the culture. A glass of wine (or two) at dinner seems to be part of the culture here which I don’t mind as I explore the coast solo. This while Dry 2018, is about being honest, getting clear, cleaning up the murky and messy. It’s not about perfectionism. It’s about intention. So I’m having a glass of Tempranillo, a local varietal. Not to numb, but because I’m on a solo vacation and it will help me sleep. My sister, who is basically my spirit guide and on what’s app whenever I need her, is basically saying yes to everything. Should I buy this dress that’s a little expensive? Yes. Should I indulge in this decadent meal? Yes. Should I have a glass of wine? Yes.

Yoga for Fasting
Yoga for Fasting
Periodic fasting benefits on the human body tremendously, and so does yoga. Fasting is a thorough and healing reset for most systems of our body. Practicing yoga during a fast has the power to amplify the benefits of fasting. Fasting is deeply purifying multi-day process that will cleanse your body and mind in powerful ways. Why is fasting beneficial? Our digestive system is always working hard to digest our food and drink, which requires a lot of energy. During a fast your body gets a break from digesting food and converting it to energy, so it begins to work on healing other parts of the body that need it. Your body then focuses on repairing, resetting and working to get things in better condition. Your immune system, adrenals, hormones, brain chemistry and metabolism can all positively be affected by fasting. After around one day, our bodies transition into a metabolic state known as ketosis. When your body is in ketosis, it begins to convert fat into ketones which become your body’s new fuel source, and is extremely detoxifying. Some benefits of fasting (and entering a state of ketosis) include:

The Benefits of Fasting (& Why Yoga Makes it More Effective)
The Benefits of Fasting (& Why Yoga Makes it More Effective)
Fasting. It’s one word that can ignite a lot of emotions and thoughts in people, and one of them is usually fear. Simply hearing the term “fasting” might make you head out to the grocery store ASAP to stock up or call your favorite pizza place and order an entire pizza...for one. With that said, some people may feel a rush of excitement at the thought of fasting. People who are familiar with fasting usually look forward to the mental challenge, inner peace, and health benefits that fasting brings. Fasting is an ancient concept in yoga culture, a self-cleansing and self-healing practice that can help strengthen your mind, body and soul connection while improving your overall health, digestion and well-being. If you’ve never fasted before, it is inevitable you may feel scared and apprehensive about doing it. Your mind may be consumed with repeated thoughts of how am I going to do it and the feeling of lack. Lack of food, lack of food and well yeah, lack of food! It’s common to think that fasting may cause too much mental anguish and even potentially be harmful. It is important to know that for most people, fasting is safe and has a lot of health benefits. Yoga and fasting in combination enhance these health benefits. Make sure to drink ample amounts of water during your fast. Water allows the body to handle what’s going on during fasting and also reduces cravings. People who shouldn’t fast include children, diabetics, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and people who suffer from hypoglycemia.

Vegan Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream
Vegan Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, we all scream…for vegan ice cream! Ice cream is synonymous with summer (if you're in a part of the world where it's currently summer), but all that dairy can leave your belly and sinuses feeling less than happy. That’s where this recipe comes in! Dairy-free and vegan, this ice cream it gets all its creaminess from cashews. Yum! Caramel is one of those flavors that can be hard to make without the dairy, but we feel we’ve come up with a pretty good replacement using dates that really makes this recipe fantastic. You can also use the ice cream base and customize it with some of your favorite flavors (think cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips, berries, mint, you name it!).

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.

Forward Folds to the Rescue: Time to Cool Down and Focus Inward!
Forward Folds to the Rescue: Time to Cool Down and Focus Inward!
One of the most magical aspects of yoga is how you can vary the practice based upon the way you feel today. It’s always fluid and adaptable to not just your physical needs, but your emotional and mental state as well. Some days, you just need a well-rounded yoga practice to keep you feeling strong, flexible, and balanced. Other days you need something more targeted and specific. Yoga can be your medicine. You probably know that certain asanas or postures offer particular benefits. Breathing in a deliberate way and utilizing different pranayama techniques can revitalize you or relax you. Back bending opens the heart and energizes you. Twists encourage healthy digestion and are excellent for neutralizing your spine. Forward folds are not just about stretching your back and hamstrings, they also calm your nervous system and encourage you to shift your gaze inward. A well-rounded yoga practice moves you through a full range of motion to encourage a healthy spine and balanced body and mind. This week, our focus is on forward folds, offering you ways to calm your nervous system, manage anxiety, stretch and strengthen the back body and improve your posture.

Are you Getting in Your Own Way?
Are you Getting in Your Own Way?
Can I tell you a secret about my work as a health coach? There’s a misconception that health coaches prescribe a diet plan or exercise regime to their clients. In fact, that’s not what I’m up to at all. The reality is that most (not all) people come to me knowing exactly what they should be doing to have a healthy, vibrant, powerful life. And yet they just aren’t doing the things they know would propel them towards their goals. They are getting in their own way. So then my job becomes to help my clients not with a meal plan but with motivation, not with diet but with discipline, not with exercise ideas but with overcoming self-sabotage. Have you ever been all hell-bent and determined to change something in your life and initially attack it with passion then somewhere along the way drop it to the side, perhaps looking back at it every so often with regret or shame? Think New Year’s Resolutions. The honest truth is that improving one’s life and health takes work and often that work can be uncomfortable and unfamiliar. It can be easier to get in your own way, and not move forward towards the goals you're apsiring to. When faced with discomfort it’s absolutely normal for we silly humans to interfere with their own progress.

Nut Milk Recipes: Make Your Own Nut Milks!
Nut Milk Recipes: Make Your Own Nut Milks!
Nut milks are a healthy alternative to soy and cow milk products! However, processed almond and coconut milks in the grocery stores still have some strange and scary ingredients! Making your own nut milks with natural and healthy ingredients gives you full awareness of what you are putting into your body. Making your own nut milks is also so much fun and much easier than you may think! With all the environmental toxins we are now faced with, eating and preparing raw and vegan foods is a way we can support our bodies in detoxing toxins and sustaining peace with our environment and other beings we share this planet with. There are also health benefits in replacing dairy products with non-dairy alternatives. Plus, nut milks are delicious and offer a variety of unique flavors and textures! Almond Milk Recipe: You can use this same recipe and ratio for any nut milk or hemp milk.

Travel Inspiration: Magic Island
Travel Inspiration: Magic Island
We all have that one place we dream about and long to go back to, whether it is home, for those of us that live life away from home, or maybe just be an unexpected place that stole your heart. For me it is definitely the latter, a tiny little island called Koh Phangan in Thailand known for its crazy full moon parties (which I still have not attended), vast jungle, beautiful water, warm people, great food, and all things yoga. It's been the most inspirational travel destination I've been fortunate enough to experience. The island place stole my heart when I first unexpectedly ended up there in 2016 before my big move to Singapore. I stayed there for a month and quickly fell in love with the community and the infinite love and ability that existed in this retreat to have whatever you desire.

Healing 101: Yoga for Healing Trauma, Grief, & Illness
Healing 101: Yoga for Healing Trauma, Grief, & Illness
One of the beautiful aspects of yoga is that the practice is fluid and changeable, just like our lives. One day you feel called to an energetic Vinyasa flow and the next a peaceful yin class. Learning to adapt your practice to serve yourself best at any given time will ensure you stay healthy, inside and out. It’s natural for your yoga practice to shift with your current circumstances. Sometimes current circumstances are painful, difficult, and seemingly unbearable. Loss and grief affect us physically, not just emotionally or mentally. The pain sits in our tissues and if left untended can result in blocks and stuck negative energy. By practicing yoga and mindfulness, we can help ourselves work through whatever is going on, whether it is loss of a loved one, illness, or trauma. Utilize yoga as one of the tools you use to navigate the difficult times. How can yoga help you process grief? Grief is like a rollercoaster––it doesn’t have a time limit, it doesn’t have a distinct beginning or end.

How to Overcome Disappointment
How to Overcome Disappointment
There is such excitement in imagining opportunities manifest themselves. When opportunities arise and we truly believe we deserve them and our ability to create them, we can even start to see and feel ourselves experiencing them. We have the ability to imagine the things we want unfolding. We may even start to communicate to our friends that it is “happening!” Often, this approach works. However, sometimes things don't turn out exactly or even close to how we wanted them to. It feels disappointing. To move through disappointment without allowing an undesired circumstance to cause us low self esteem or despair is challenging. How did this happen when we believed in what we wanted to happen. When we were already planning our future around this! WTF?! How to overcome disappointment is possible, even when it's challenging. With a focused perspective we can accept whatever challenges life throws at us, as important, and valuable in the long run. Challenge teaches us our capacity, our boundaries, our resilience, our passion. There are many possible disappointments life can provide us; job loss, feeling rejected in a relationship, failing a test, losing our ground, death, participating in an unhealthy behavior, etc.

Grilled Chicken with Tomato Free BBQ Sauce
Grilled Chicken with Tomato Free BBQ Sauce
BBQ! The go-to meal for summer cookouts and gatherings. What’s better on a lazy weekend afternoon than a big plate of finger-licking BBQ sauce-covered meat or veggies? Unfortunately, most store-bought BBQ sauces are laden with added sugars and other impossible-to-pronounce-ingredients. For our cleansers, who are keeping tomatoes off their plates during cleanse-time, it’s also a dish that they’ve long had to avoid. Not anymore! We’ve developed a cleanse-friendly BBQ sauce that is so smoky and delicious you’ll never miss the original. We’ve replaced the tangy-sweetness of the tomato and sugar with beets; the only added sweetener is a little bit of blackstrap molasses. Seriously, it’s so good you’ll want to slather this stuff on everything! We went traditional with this recipe and used it on grilled chicken, but you could go vegetarian or vegan and put it on grilled or roasted veggies too. The possibilities are endless!

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:

7 Ways to Turn a Bad Mood into a Good Mood
7 Ways to Turn a Bad Mood into a Good Mood
Some days life feels undeniably easier than other days. It’s part of being human. Ever wake up on the “wrong side of the bed”, where one thing after another seems to keep going wrong and your mood is bad and everyone is bothering you? Life can feel like a struggle on these days, instead of something we’re meant to enjoy and savor. Do you appreciate the opposite days? The days where you are in the flow and one amazing thing after another unfolds and you’re in a good mood, are happy, content, and enjoying life. These are the days we live for. Luckily, we have the power to put ourselves into a good mood and create more of these days, even on those days when we wake up in a bad mood. It’s not always by chance whether we're in a good mood or a bad mood. We have the power to create the days and moods we want. While some days feel more challenging than others, we have the power to turn any day around.

Hit the Reset Button
Hit the Reset Button
Are you in need of a reset? Maybe you are feeling tired or lack motivation, or you simply woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Perhaps external events are weighing heavily on you. Or maybe you’ve fallen into a pattern of negative thinking and need to flip the switch and find a more positive perspective. Yoga is a practice of looking within and shining a light on our true nature. Enter the yoga sutras! The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are considered the seminal text on yoga and despite the fact they are thousands of years old, their enduring wisdom is relevant today. The practical philosophy can be employed to help us uncover our best selves. In order to shift your perspective, consider Sutra 2.33: vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam. When distracted by disquieting or negative thoughts or feelings, cultivate the opposite point of view and replace with the positive. This is pratipaksha bhavana. Let’s consider a few situations and see how this practice can create a true shift in your attitude.

Grain-Free Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chip Waffles
Grain-Free Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chip Waffles
Here in Colorado, we start looking forward to the bounty of summer produce that will start making appearances at our local farmer’s market. One of the vegetables we eat the most during the summer is zucchini! It’s chock full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, and it works in so many different recipes (check out our Simple Basil Pesto with Zucchini “Noodles” or Coconut Curry Zucchini Soup). This recipe uses zucchinis to put a new, healthy spin on a breakfast favorite – waffles! These healthy waffles are a great way to get your picky eaters to eat some veggies. Plus, thanks to the cassava flour, which comes from a root, these puffy waffles are actually grain-free and paleo! Enjoy these healthy, paleo, grain-free waffles for a lazy Saturday or Sunday breakfast or brunch.

Dream BIG!
Dream BIG!
I am a dreamer. Head in the clouds, anything is possible, never settle kinda' girl. I believe that the bigger your dreams, the bigger your possibilities. Why would you want to place limitations on this short and fleeting life we have been granted? A life without dreams is like a garden without flowers. Where is the beauty? Plant seeds, create awareness and then focus on finding potential. Voicing your dream whether in words or writing, is like fertilizer, so be prepared to watch the dreams blossom into fruition. They say when the student in ready the teacher appears. I say when the seed is planted the sun will shine. If you aim for the stars even if you fall short, you will land in the clouds. From experience I know there is a much better view from the clouds than there is from the ground always looking up and wondering what if. I grew up conservative in my approach. A planner. I saved money and believed in hard work and long term effort to reach goals over time. Then I realized I was frustrated and impatient. My meticulous planning and attention to detail was preventing action.

5 Reasons to Strengthen your Abs & Booty: 2-Week Abs & Booty Bootcamp Challenge
5 Reasons to Strengthen your Abs & Booty: 2-Week Abs & Booty Bootcamp Challenge
This week, we are excited to kick off a two-week challenge designed to tone and strengthen your center and bolster your center of gravity. We’ve got the top 5 reasons to focus on your abs and booty during yoga…hint––not just for how you look in a bathing suit! Now, we aren’t saying we don’t love looking our best, but we want to remind you these benefits change how you feel, not just how you look. Ready to get motivated? Here are the top 5 benefits to working out your abs and booty! 1. A Healthy Spine: Strong, toned abdominals will help maintain a healthy back. Often, lower back pain comes from weak abdominals and who has time for that? Many of these classes focus on toning not just your abdominals, but your back muscles too. The muscles of your trunk comprise your core and keeping them in shape will help you protect your spine. By performing specific, targeted work to strengthen your center, you can avoid pain and injury.

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.

Banana Vegan Ice Cream Recipe
Banana Vegan Ice Cream Recipe
If you are currently in the midst of summer, ice cream might seem like the most desirable treat on a hot day. While the occasional indulgence can be good for the soul, a regular overload of dairy and sugar that are present in most ice creams, has very few nutritional benefits. In fact, too much of it, can take it's toll on your body and leave you not feeling your best after the cold treat. Luckily, you can still enjoy delicious ice cream as frequently as you'd like, while giving your body nutrients and vitality in the process! Who thought that you could have healthy ice cream? This vegan ice cream recipe will give your body antioxidants and a healthy serving of fruit, while satisfying your ice cream craving on a hot day. Plus, it's simple, and easy to make, as long as you have access to a strong blender or food processor. Enjoy! Ingredients: Frozen Organic Ripe Bananas