Top 5 yoga trends of 2015

Yoga_2015Dec21_AWith a new year upon us, now is a great time to reflect on 2015 from a yoga perspective. It’s been a pretty crazy year yoga-wise, with old-timers yoga and “doga” (that’s yoga for dogs) being a few of the trends to rise in popularity this year. Whether you lived them yourself or missed them altogether because you spent this year at a yoga retreat in the Himalayas, here are the top five yoga trends of 2015.

Hot barre yoga

Regular hot yoga hasn’t been ‘hot’ for a couple of years now. In 2015, however, hot barre became all the rage as more and more people started giving it a try for themselves. This more intense form of hot yoga sees participants burning up to 200 calories a session, and not to mention, sweating like crazy. The practice is likewise good for detoxing the body and giving you a deeper stretch. As we observe more yoga studios across the country offering hot barre yoga classes, it’s likely this fat-burning practice is here to stay.

Yoga pants replacing jeans

Yoga fashion has been big business for a few years now, but 2015 saw the industry take off to a whole other level. In addition to yoga tops becoming an acceptable street fashion item during the summer months, yoga pants became a wardrobe staple both inside and outside the classroom. As Business Insider reported in October, yoga pants have replaced jeans as the go-to pants for this generation, and stores like Gap and Old Navy have already released lines of yoga pants to keep up with the trend.

Couples yoga

“The couple that practices yoga together, stays together” could very much be the new saying that makes its way around yoga studios. Believe it or not, more and more couples have started attending yoga classes together in 2015, and the yoga studio has become one of the hottest date spots around. It might not be up there with Netflix and chill just yet but, if you and your partner both enjoy yoga, why not enjoy it together? And with your partner around, you have the added benefit of not having to deal with creepy-ponytail-guy asking for your phone number after class.

Yoga weight training

Another relatively new form of yoga making waves in 2015 was weight training yoga. Here you practice yoga as normal, but also add dumbbells to the mix. The result is a more intense workout that not only allows you to work on your muscles and improve strength, but can also assist you with calorie-burning and toning. While this a good way to add a challenge to your yoga routine, adding weights can also make it harder for you to focus on breathing, which can lead to you losing some of the relaxing and meditative aspects of practicing yoga.

The beach yoga photo

If you have a friend who practices yoga and they happened to make their way to a beach in 2015, chances are they posted a picture of themselves doing a yoga pose on the sand. While this wasn’t the first year that people have done this, for whatever reason it really blew up in 2015. It seems Facebook and Instagram are awash with pictures of people contorting their bodies on fine, sandy beaches. There’s no doubt that 2016 will see much of the same. If you ever find yourself vacationing on a beach, it’s likely you’ll be unable to resist the urge to snap a yoga pose of yourself.

This has been a great year for yoga, and we think 2016 will be even better. Contact us today if you have questions on these trends or want any other yoga-related information.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

Yoga’s going to the cats, literally

Do you love yoga? Do you love cats? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then we are about to make your day. That’s because we want to share with you a little knowledge on a growing trend that is starting to gain more recognition across the world. That trend is cat yoga, and it is purr-fect if you want to do yoga and have cats around. In fact, we would even dare to say that it’s the cat’s meow.

Believe it or not, cat yoga has actually been around for a while now, but it has gained a lot of attention over the past few weeks as Instagram photos have begun to circulate of two popular cat cafes offering yoga classes. At the moment, over 30,000 pictures on Instagram have the hashtag “catyoga”, and you will now see pictures of various people doing yoga with cats around.

Before we get into the basics of cat yoga, we should probably mention a few things first. For instance, if you are allergic to cats, you should avoid cat yoga as it will not cure this condition. If you don’t like cats, or yoga for that matter, combining the two is equally unlikely to make either one more enjoyable for you.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the details of just what in the name of Garfield cat yoga really is.

What is cat yoga?

Cat yoga is doing yoga with a cat or cats around you. It’s more or less that simple. You do not force the cat to join in or perform any poses of its own. You do your yoga, the cat will do its own thing. That’s cat yoga.

What does the cat add to yoga?

Having a cat around will certainly make your yoga session more interesting. By letting the cat interact with you, you add a new dynamic to the yoga equation. You will constantly be kept on your toes because, let’s face it, you never know what a cat will do.

Does cat yoga have any benefits?

It all depends on how much value you place on spending time with cats. Realistically speaking, there is no advantage of doing cat yoga over regular yoga. However, if you enjoy spending time with your feline friends, the benefits are endless.

Where can I do cat yoga?

At the moment there are cat yoga classes in New York City, Washington DC, London, and Sydney. Given the growing popularity of cat cafes and cat yoga, it looks as if this is a trend that could carry on into 2016 and beyond.

Is it possible to do cat yoga at home?

Yep. If you have a cat and a yoga mat, you have the tools of the cat yoga trade.

Do I interact with the cat during cat yoga?

No. You should be focused on completing your poses and going through your movements as normal. Let the cat do as it pleases, and work around it should your furry companion decide to get comfortable on your mat or start pawing at your leg.

Do cats like cat yoga?

For one reason or another, cats seem to be intrigued by a person practicing yoga. When it comes to cats, we feel as if “like” is a strong word, but we will say they don’t seem to hate it – which is fairly high praise when coming from a cat.

When should I consider doing cat yoga?

Cat yoga is perfect if you find yourself stressed and maybe focusing too hard. Sometimes during yoga we are liable to hold onto thoughts or ideas, especially negative ones, that can cause us to become tense. Having a cat around can provide a pleasant distraction, which just might brighten your mood and allow you to focus on more positive energy during your yoga routine.

Cat or no cat, we love yoga more than a kitty loves a ball of yarn. You could even say yoga is like catnip to us. If you want to learn more about yoga classes, give us a call. We promise to have you feline good.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

5 minutes is all you need for yoga

How many times have you told yourself that you are too busy to do yoga? It happens to us all from time to time, and there is no reason to feel bad about it. However, just because you don’t have time to attend a class doesn’t necessarily mean you have to skip yoga altogether. In fact, all you need is five minutes to get a quick session in. You may be busy, but chances are you have at least those few minutes to spare.

Yoga is an all-or-nothing activity for a lot of people. It’s either an hour class at the yoga studio, or nothing at all. Unfortunately, when work piles up or social obligations take center stage, it can be hard to fit in 30 minutes or an hour for a class. And that doesn’t even factor in the time needed to get to and from the yoga studio.

If your schedule has sucked out of your day the time necessary for a traditional class, we have a ready-made alternative that will let you reap the benefits of yoga in just five minutes. Sure, it’s not as good as a full session, but even five minutes of yoga can have long lasting benefits, whether you are doing it morning, noon or night.

For starters, a five-minute yoga session will help you clear your head, leading to less stress. This is especially great if you are busy and find your mind constantly racing. A short yoga session can also help balance your metabolism, ensuring your body is running at optimal efficiency. And even at five minutes, you still get the normal benefits of yoga, like improved flexibility and lung capacity.

So instead of lying in bed tapping away at your phone before going to sleep or just after waking up, why not squeeze a little yoga back into your busy life? As your parents always said, even a little goes a long way.

The five-minute yoga routine

Mountain Pose (arms up)

60 seconds
A nice, easy way to get things started. The key here is to focus on taking long, deep breaths. Make sure your mind is clear and you are paying attention to your breathing.

Side bend

15 seconds each side
From the previous pose, perform a side bend to both the left and right side. Remember, this is not a race so there is no need to rush. Take the full 15 seconds on each side. Return to the mountain pose when finished.

Child’s pose

30 seconds
After the side bend, move to the ground and enter into the child’s pose. You may have your arms outstretched or to your sides. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Downward-facing dog pose

60 seconds
Gently transition to a downward-facing dog from the previous pose. This is a great way to stretch out your body as well as get the blood flowing.

Cat and cow poses

60 seconds
For the next pose, transition between the cat and cow pose. Don’t go too fast when doing these two, as this can put unnecessary pressure on the spine. Make sure you begin and end the asana with your spine in a neutral position.

Lotus pose or standing backbend

60 seconds
You can choose how you wish to end the session. The lotus pose is probably better to do before bed, as it allows you a chance to focus your mind, while the standing backbend is good for stretching and helping to wake up your body in the morning. You can also do both by splitting them up into 30-second segments.

If you have some free time and want to get back into the yoga studio, get in touch. We have many different types of classes to fit around your schedule and needs.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.