More people than ever are rolling out their mats and turning to this ancient tradition to enjoy a multitude of benefits. It’s estimated that as many as 12,000,000 people do do…
More people than ever are rolling out their mats and turning to this ancient tradition to enjoy a multitude of benefits. It’s estimated that as many as 12,000,000 people do do yoga on a regular basis in the US alone. Practice is as popular there today as aerobics was in the 1990s, and with this popularity we see a whole new set of trends emerging.
It’s no secret that yoga provides physical and emotional support for many different situations and circumstances. But it is now possible to find classes that focus on very specific areas such as yoga therapy, practice for back pain, stress relief, core yoga, practice for sports, pregnancy, cardiovascular workout, and so the list continues. Despite the huge mix of ancient and modern styles, there are constantly new ones emerging. Some require elaborate equipment while others are more closely related to the original Hatha practices.
Yoga is for everyone. You do not need to be flexible or strong to begin. Whatever your chosen goal it’s now possible to find a class that will help you achieve it, in the way that most suits you. Fast becoming popular, anti-gravity yoga requires just one piece of equipment: an anti-gravity hammock suspended from the ceiling. You practice suspended three inches from the ground and postures can be performed with or without making contact with the floor. The technique was created over a seven-year period by the American director, choreographer and performer Christopher Harrison and new classes are popping up globally.
Benefits: Provides all the benefits of a regular yoga class and allows the body to perform inversions without any stress on the neck or spine. Anti-gravity offers a new and exciting way to increase core strength, encouraging you to move deeper into postures while in a supported environment. Conquering something new in this way can improve self-confidence. It also adds a new dimension to your practice and you are able to enjoy a real sense of freedom as you move through a series of postures while suspended.
Laura Armada-Buch, an anti-gravity master trainer, says, “In today’s world so many people take life too seriously. This type of practice aims not only to decompress spines via inversions, but also fight against the seriousness of life and bring some happiness to people. It’s the only class where you will flip, swing, relax and smile.”
Find out more at antigravityyoga.co.uk SUP (stand up paddleboard) yoga is a great test of balance and requires core strength to help you maintain the postures without getting wet! This type of class is very popular with those who have a love of water and water sports. If you don’t like the idea of potentially getting wet, you could try an indo yoga board. These provide an unstable base similar to a SUP and will give the same benefits without bringing water into the equation. A typical class includes 30 minutes of paddling and 30 minutes of yoga postures on the board.
Benefits: SUP fans say practising outside develops and enhances their connection with nature and natural rhythms. “I love SUP Yoga as practicing outside in nature is such a calming and liberating experience!” says Gerry Bloom, a leading SUP teacher. “The board is unstable and you have to constantly adjust your balance which engages your core.” There are also a growing number of classes being held in swimming pools.
Visit supyogabrighton.co.uk and indoboard.eu to find out more Athletes all over the world are turning to regular practice and incorporating it as part of a crosstraining or multi-sports training regime. Yoga works the entire body equally, improving posture and mobility which is so important for competitive sport. It helps eliminate muscular imbalances and increases strength and flexibility. Your focus and concentration also improves and you have time for both your body and mind to relax.
Benefits: Regular practice will minimise the risk of injury. The breathing techniques, called pranayamas, increase oxygen levels and help to reduce the amount of lactic acid in the working muscles. When you combine the breathing with exertion your muscles will have more oxygen and you should remain cramp-free. Thanks to the internet it is now possible to discover a whole new world of teachers. Online yoga studios provide classes for all abilities and requirements. Location is no longer an issue; you can practice with a massive selection of teachers all over the globe at a click of a button. Classes come in the form of video or MP3 audio, and you can download or stream from hundreds of sites. Through the internet there is now no excuse to ever miss a practice. Audio yoga classes are extremely popular as little equipment is required and the tuition becomes 100 percent portable, plus there is no visual distraction.
Benefits: They are great value as you can purchase one class and use it over and over again, at a time and place that suits you. This could be while you’re on holiday, travelling or away working. You can load your class onto any portable device and take it with you anywhere. As practice continues to grow so too does the demand for clothing. Yoga fashion is becoming more and more mainstream. Yoga pants are as much a fashion item as a practical one. Fairtrade fashion is fast becoming big business and this has in part been driven by yoga students considering their core principles when it comes to buying a mat or a pair of pants.
Get involved: For a great selection of ecofriendlyyoga clothing and products, check out Yoga Bliss UK. It supports businesses from the global yoga community, making sure items are fairtrade and are produced by co-operatives in countries such as India and Brazil. Visit yogabliss.co.uk
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