Here’s why to consider shirtless yoga

Yoga_Aug25_ARemoving your shirt during your yoga class, and practicing in your sports bra, might not be something you have ever considered. Many of us have inhibitions about going semi-topless in a sports environment, even in the usually supportive setting of a yoga class. Yet it can be the ideal way to connect with both yourself and the other women at your studio, and to derive a deeper experience from your yoga practice. Here’s why slipping off your shirt, and letting out your true self, might be something you want to consider for your next class.

You’ll feel comfortable in your own skin

It’s easy to spend our lives hiding behind clothes and make-up. But a big part of yoga is about letting our real selves shine, accepting who we are – imperfections included – and loving ourselves. Yes, it might take a leap of faith and a big dose of bravery the first time you pull a pose in just your bra, but taking off your shirt during a yoga session gives you the chance to develop more confidence and feel more comfortable in your own body.

The confidence and warmth you give off will make you appear more attractive and likeable to others, and you’ll also feel a positive vulnerability that puts you in a better place to push beyond your comfort zone as you explore the spiritual side of yoga. What’s more, it’s a chance to feel deep gratitude for the body you have, and to reject the pressures that society places on us to desire physical belongings or to forever seek to change our appearance.

It makes others think about it, too

You’re not the only one who will benefit when you remove your shirt. There’s no doubt you’ll catch the eye of other women in your yoga class, who will likely admire you for having the confidence to just go for it. Some might have considered doing the same but never quite felt able to go through with it, while many others won’t even have thought about it – and might ordinarily say it’s not the sort of thing they would ever do. But by going ahead and demonstrating the benefits of a deep, semi-topless yoga experience, you’ll inspire other yogis to move beyond their comfort zone and feel the sense of liberation too.

It helps you to cool down

Let’s face it, yoga can get hot – if you’re practicing a variety of poses, and especially if you’re doing them to a high level of intensity and in quick succession, you’re likely going to break a sweat. What better way to cool down and let your body regulate its own temperature than by losing the shirt and instead experiencing the full depth of your poses without the constriction of clothing? The benefits of keeping cool mean you’ll be able to practice for longer, too.

Yoga is about discovering and embracing the real you as much as it is about physical exercise and all its undeniable health benefits. If you want to find out more about how yoga can put you on the path to a happier you, just give us a call.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

5 yoga trends to look out for in 2015

Yoga_Jan30_AA new year is the perfect opportunity to try new things – including in the exercise sphere. Whether you already practise yoga but are looking for something new and different to spice it up, or you need a change to your routine and fancy something a bit different from running and lifting weights, trying out yoga with a twist could be just what your health and fitness regime needs. Take a look at these five yoga trends that are on the up as we enter 2015.

Live music yoga

Exercise should be fun, right? Though the appeal of peaceful stretches and meditative breathing exercises may have been what attracted you to yoga in the first place, there’s no harm in mixing things up. That’s just what live music yoga does – think your usual practice with a burst of hip hop, or even just a modern twist on traditional Sanskrit mantras. By changing things around and treating your yoga session almost as though it were a fun night out with your friends, rather than ‘just’ yoga or merely another fitness session, you’ll keep yourself interested and looking forward to each class even more than you already do.

Leading the pack with this trend in 2014 was Wanderlust 108, a ‘mindful triathlon’ in New York. The race itself was followed by yoga and meditation, both accompanied by live music – and this year we can expect live music yoga to crop up in even more studios. It is recognized as helping set the mood for your stretches and keep the pace during your workout while ensuring you achieve a deeper spiritual experience.

Yoga for kids

Who said yoga was only for adults? Children can make great junior yogis, and derive real benefit from regular practice, it is even said to boost academic performance. The basic principle that yoga is for everyone, and that not one of us isn’t good enough to give it a try, is as important for children as it is for their parents. Yoga can be a real confidence booster for kids, helping them to gain self-acceptance and preventing them from suffering with esteem issues. It can also keep them grounded and offer some calm when the pressures of childhood and adolescence make it feel like they are being pulled in a hundred different directions. Most of all, yoga is fun and offers the perfect opportunity for kids to be kids and have some good old-fashioned play time.

Meditation apps

Mobile apps are there to make our lives easier and, while from time to time it can feel like they are more of a distraction than anything else, they can be beneficial in the yoga and meditation arena. In much the same way as the long-standing relaxation web site can help us to remember to take a break from our busy lifestyles, so apps on your phone can help you maintain a healthy life balance.

Apps like Headspace serve as a daily reminder to take out time for a daily meditation practice, while others such as Moves can also keep track of your daily movements and encourage you to get up and about rather than sitting down the whole time. Both these apps and others complement your yoga practice and allow you to make everyday technology a force for positive change in your life in 2015.

Yoga in the office

All of us who work in an office spend far too much of our time sitting around – for as much as 13 hours every day in some cases. Add to that the portion of your life that you spend sleeping, and you’re left with a sedentary lifestyle that could exacerbate existing medical conditions and which daily exercise can’t counteract alone. One solution is office yoga, and it’s a concept that a growing number of companies are buying into.

Studies have shown that bringing yoga and meditation into the workplace is a great way to encourage a healthier and more productive workforce. As well as the physical benefits, yoga offers greater focus and clarity, and helps to beat stress and anxiety. But even if your company doesn’t yet have an active program of yoga or other fitness activities, you can make 2015 the year you become more active at work, by taking regular walks, checking your posture and doing exercises and stretches at your desk.

Restorative yoga

Yoga can have a bit of a reputation for being little more than laying around doing nothing. In reality we know there’s more to it than that, and some practice can be rigorous and physically challenging. But the rise of self-care in fact means more focus on a therapeutic approach to yoga, with more time spent in restful poses and with the help of eye pillows, blankets and blocks. It’s the perfect opportunity for mental and physical repair – which we all need in this day and age of constant connectivity.

If you’re determined to make yoga a part of your lifestyle this year, contact us to try a class.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.