As the holiday season gears up, while we're enjoying lovely weather, thoughts inevitably turn to lose weight, toning up, how one would look in a swimsuit... and the relief from stress that was going on holiday should naturally provide.
Conversely, how one looks in a swimsuit and planning a holiday are, in themselves, significant stressors. To say nothing of possibly having to work while on holiday.
Statistics show that a whopping 90% of Britons on holiday admit to working while away; at the very least, they are writing business emails deep into the night.
This demographic needs to disconnect!
If your partner's nagging to put down the phone and spending bundles on holiday can't make that happen, who or what could?
This growing trend of steady work pressure is only one reason why people are discovering the benefits of yoga.
Another would be that, all too often we define ourselves through our work and our social trappings – high powered jobs, living in the right postal code, driving a gleaming automobile... when we should be discovering our fundamental identity.
Rather than being stressed over money, worried about teenagers or angry about work, wouldn't it be a relief to only feel stressed, worried or upset?
Practising yoga can help you peel away the layers of surface identity that everyone uses to define themselves, permitting you to become calm, centred being you always knew you were, deep down.
Are you ready to delve into those layers? Tap into your potential, discover new levels of energy, concentration and creativity?
Together let us find some of the best yoga classes near me in the country, where we could learn more about yoga philosophy and how we could shut out some of the noise and tension of our daily life!
You could also check out yoga Edinburgh.
The Vocabulary of Yoga
For centuries, the practice of yoga was isolated to the Indian subcontinent, where it originated as a religious practice.
People were dissatisfied with their belief systems' symbolic rituals; they wanted a more intimate union with their god.
Yoga means Union in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India.
Only by shedding external concerns and finding a genuine liberation from daily concerns could one find the much sought-after spiritual enlightenment.
On the way to communion with their higher power, early yogis discovered the fantastic effects their postures and meditation had on their health and well-being.
It has only been in the last 100 years or so that yoga has made its way into western society.
Swami Vivekananda introduced the practice throughout Europe and in the United States, where it gained a following among such worthies as Ralph Waldo Emerson and other philosophers of the day.
However, yoga did not go mainstream until about 20 years later, when a self-styled fellow named Pierre Arnold Bernard, known as The Great Oom, founded the Tantrik Order of America.
As he tended to be somewhat secretive, the original yoga studio's location is unknown but thought to have been in started somewhere on the west coast of America.
One concrete fact is that there was a Tantrik club in Nyack, New York, the facility having been given to him by a disciple.
From there, yoga spread across the United States and throughout the western world. Mr Bernard did eventually marry, and his wife taught yoga well into her 80s!
In the 1980s, yoga enjoyed another resurgence in popularity, this time for its health benefits.
A Dr Ornish, concerned about the prevalence of heart disease, espoused yoga as one aspect of a lifestyle change one could make to prevent heart attacks and reverse any damage done to the body.
The health benefits of yoga are just one reason why more people are unrolling their yoga mats!
- More restful sleep
- More energy, flexibility, creativity and higher levels of concentration
- lower blood pressure, more even heart rate, more stamina
- lowered sensitivity to allergens
- fewer digestive problems
- fewer aches and pains
It might be hard to believe that posturing on a yoga mat could do so much good, but you should know that yoga is not all posing and holding.
Pranayama, the art of controlling one's breath, is essential to magnifying the gains typically brought by yoga.
No matter what type of yoga you embrace, breathing is a fundamental part of the practice.
What type of yoga would you practice?
Types of Yoga You Should Try
Classifying yoga lessons into beginner, intermediate, advanced, and daily practitioners would be doing the art and science of yoga a disservice.
Yogis, as yoga practitioners are known, would also frown on those labels.
A 70-year-old's body has different requirements than, say, a professional athletes', an expectant mother's or a child's.
Therefore, the types of yoga are categorised by their level of intensity and discipline rather than yogis' levels of proficiency.
Yoga teachers everywhere advocate trying several styles of yoga before settling on the one(s) that work best for you.
Hatha yoga considered the fundamental style of yoga, generally incorporates 20-30 poses in one class. Proper breathing is emphasised throughout. Hatha is great for beginners!
Iyengar yoga is primarily about body alignment. You would use blocks, ropes, and harnesses to help you hold each asana, and get plenty of information about each pose from your instructor — best for those recovering from injury or those who like details.
Another type of yoga that is great for injury recovery and seniors is Restorative yoga. This type of yoga is very gentle, with each position held for several minutes.
Yin yoga is undoubtedly meant for those who cannot unplug from their daily life!
Each asana is held for a long time, with particular stress put on proper breathing. It is more of a meditative style of yoga; one might even call it a more pure form of the art.
Kundalini is where the religious roots of yoga come into practice. This type of yoga involves chanting, singing and meditating.
Rather than asanas, you would perform kriyas; challenging physical poses. Naturally, breathwork plays a role in this practice.
An ashtanga is a prevalent form of yoga. Consisting of a repeating set of 6 poses, you would flow from one to the next, breathing all the while.
This is more of a workout than other types of yoga mentioned till now; best suited for those who like orderly progression and predictability, and building a little sweat.
Bikram yoga is a form of hot yoga: 26 poses and two breathing exercises, done in a high temperature, low humidity room.
Hydration is essential, and beginners should rest when they feel it necessary. This workout is more challenging than most!
Hot yoga is similar to Bikram but is not constrained to only 26 poses. If you enjoy a challenging workout that leaves you drenched, hot yoga near me is for you!
Vinyasa yoga: if you are ready for a strenuous workout, this is the style for you. You would flow from one asana to the next, holding each pose for only a few seconds.
Endurance athletes find extra value in this type of yoga, as it substantially raises the heart rate and challenges the body.
There are, of course, many types of yoga, and the list is ever-expanding.
Mysore – a subset of Ashtanga, Nada yoga, dealing with inner listening and chanting, and Jivamukti: a fashionable style of yoga created by Americans David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984.
So concerned are authorities in India that yoga is being misappropriated, they seek to protect the practice of yoga from straying too far from its origins by limiting claims of new types of yoga in other lands.
We don't want to take anything away from the pure souls that gave us this beneficial practise; we want to know where to go to get our yoga on!
Find a Yoga Class in London
Our capital city being the world's leading financial centre, it is no wonder that Londoners crave more relaxation!
Of course, not everyone works in finance: London is also a global centre for the arts and entertainment, fashion and education, healthcare, tourism, and transportation.
The number of yoga studios within London's greater metropolitan area proves a number of those savvy city dwellers are already in on fitness' best-kept secret!
You could get started on your journey to wellness in any of London's yoga studios, among them:
Yotopia, located on Mercer Street, in the heart of Covent Garden.
Besides the traditional Ashtanga and Yin yogas, they teach flow yoga – where you gracefully transition from one position to the next.
You could join any of their cooking classes – sessions held in hot rooms, to get your sweat on.
Also taught are: Dharma yoga, Rocket yoga – an intense workout, and inversion yoga.
As the name implies, you would be inverted; perhaps doing handstands, headstands, shoulder stands, or hang upside down in a harness.
The best pricing at this studio is £100 per month for unlimited classes. If you wanted to check them out before buying access to a set number of passes, their drop-in rate is £18 for one session.
The Iyengar Yoga Institute is located on Randolf Ave, Maida Vale, just a short walk from the tube.
Their focus being on wellness, you will find their agenda full of restorative yoga classes, or sessions meant for particular groups:
- Yoga for children and teens
- Yoga for seniors
- Prenatal yoga
- Remedial yoga classes
- Therapeutic levels
- Pranayama classes
They also conduct a beginners' course for those who are new to Iyengar yoga philosophy. Also, they host workshops over the weekends!
Prices start at £11 for members, with concessions made for seniors and youths. Non-members would pay £3 more per class.
An annual membership costs £55.
Find Yoga Classes in Birmingham
Birmingham runs a close second to London. Although not a significant financial hub, it is our country's second-largest and most populous city.
At one period in its history, Birmingham enjoyed its Age of Enlightenment, a quality every devoted yogi seeks to attain.
However, in this sense, the enlightenment gained and applied was more of a secular bent: scientific, political, cultural and, of course, economic.
Since that time, Birmingham has been at the forefront of technological advances, leading it to be included today on the world's list of Gamma+ World Cities.
A famous appellation, indeed!
Which begs the questions: how hard do Brummies work, and where do they go to relax and steep themselves in wellness?
We'd be hard-pressed to answer the first one, but the second one is easy.
Judging by the number of yoga studios in and around the city, we'd venture a guess that more than one yoga mat gets rolled out in the course of the day.
Yoga in Solihull is a freelance group of instructors who teach yoga in various venues around the city, where beginners of all ages are welcome.
If you are concerned about your well-being, you may drop in on them to learn breathing techniques and mindfulness that will help you detach from your stressful day.
Every class those yoga instructors lead is suitable for beginners. Additionally, they teach a gentle yoga class, for those recovering from injury and who have not recently been physically active.
One intriguing style of yoga they teach is chair yoga, a modified method of yoga suitable for those whose ability to move is restricted.
If need be, they will visit your home or facility to provide private lessons, too!
Pricing for one on one lessons is £15 per hour if you book three sessions; for ten courses in class, you would pay £70.
Should your enthusiasm demand something more lively, you might prefer learning at The Unlikely Yogi.
This organisation has two studios; both in Sutton Coldfield: one on High Street, the other on Lichfield Road.
There you could participate in yoga classes, workshops and retreats. Although there is a particular emphasis placed on beginners, yogis of every level are welcome to join them.
A 10-class pass costs £68, or you could drop in for £8 per session.
As with London, so with Birmingham: we invite you to find your best yoga by trying many styles, studios and instructors before finding the one that is right for you.
From the largest cities in England, we go to the largest metropolis in Scotland...
Yoga Classes in Glasgow
Glaswegians have plenty to feel stressed about, one of them being that legendary rivalry between Celtics and Rangers.
Here is a short look at yoga studios in the city that could help combat any stress you may feel when your favourite team loses:
- The Kali Collective Vinyasa studio, located on Washington Street, in the Pentagon building, comes highly rated by visitors and regular yoga class attendees alike.
- They are currently offering a summer promotion: £150 for unlimited membership!
- Infinity Yoga, on Osborne Street, teaches Hot yoga and Pilates.
- £76 will buy you an unlimited monthly membership
- Bikram Yoga Centre, located at Downside Lane, generously provides a list of do's and don'ts before arriving for your first Hot yoga session.
- You may take advantage of their current special pricing: £30 for 30 days of an intense workout.
The list of yoga studios in Glasgow is so rich and long that we could not list them all in this article!
You may find other yoga studios to your liking throughout the city.
Where to Find Yoga Classes in Manchester
With the first anniversary of the attack on the Manchester Arena just past, it would be understandable that many would feel stress and anxiety. Ariana Grande herself admitted that she too is overcome.
With due respect given to everyone who suffered and lost in that tragedy, far be it from us to flippantly suggest that yoga would heal all ills.
However, it might not be a bad idea to lessen anxiety and relax through breathing and meditation.
Should you be of a mind to do so, you might find valuable teachers throughout the city.
Yoga Manchester consists of a dedicated group of yoga masters who teach classes and workshops in locations throughout the city.
You could purchase class passes from their website, and even book yourself into a week-long retreat in sunny Spain.
Perhaps a clean getaway is just what you need! Just remember to leave your work phone at home...
If Iyengar yoga intrigues you, you may enjoy practising it at iYoga, located in Winsor House on Battersea Rd.
Should your schedule be jam-packed, you are sure to find a spot in any of their sessions: they hold 14 classes per week; beginners are welcome – to their workshops and level!
Their unlimited class passes cost £90 per month.
Manchester Yoga and Holistic Central are located on Lloyd St, the primary commuter's route from Manchester city centre.
How about dropping in on their Ashtanga or Hatha yoga classes after a busy day at work? Drop-in rates are only £7!
Besides those types of yoga, they teach restorative yoga, Vinyasa and yoga for anxiety and depression.
We leave Manchester now with the sincere hope that you have recovered well from last year's events.
Search for yoga classes in Manchester.
Where to Find Yoga Classes in Leeds
The economy of Leeds is reputed to be the most diverse in all of the UK, with 77% of its jobs held in the private sector.
That represents a majority of headaches and pressure for the Leeds workforce!
In spite of Leeds being known as the country's greenest city, we'd venture to say that plenty of Loiners would like to get their yoga on – indoors or out. You and they could do so with any of these studios:
- Yoga Leeds teaches several types of yoga, even a class dedicated to beginners. Prices start at £35 for new students; dropping in on any level would cost £7.
- Bodhi Yoga Studio firmly believes that the benefits of yoga are attainable by anyone. For £35 a month, you could enjoy a variety of lessons, from Slow Flow to Kundalini.
- You may want to join them for a yoga workshop!
- Leeds Yoga is interested in teaching you the benefits of yoga! Join them for £49 per month for unlimited lessons
As with other cities featured in this article, the list of yoga studios in Leeds is longer than we have room for in one piece.
Find Yoga Classes In Edinburgh
Feeling that the gloomy winters of Edinburgh are bringing you down? Why not try yoga and find a new source of energy and well being.
Edinburgh, one of the two main cities in Scotland, is known for its Fringe Festival, its castle and amazing old town
But there is also a big community-driven to bring well being and mindfulness to the masses.
With three different studios, Tribe Yoga offers a wide range of yoga lessons and workshops.
New Town: 71 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh EH3 6JG
Quartermile: 1 Porters Walk, Edinburgh EH3 9GJ
Leith Walk: 35-36 Haddington Place, Edinburgh EH7 4AG
The Yoga Room
Located at 5 Forth Street, Edinburgh EH1 3JX, the Yoga Room offers everything from single drop-in classes to 12 weeks beginners workshops.
Yoga sessions range from £5 to £15 depending on your level and the number of classes you prebook.
Nested at 58 Warrender Park Road. Edinburgh, EH9 1EX, the Soulshine Yoga studio put a particular emphasis on retaining the connection to the original cultural foundation of yoga.
Their classes all hover around £8 each, and they offer daily sessions all week long.
Calm On Canning Street
Peace on Canning Street is a yoga and wellbeing sanctum huddled in Edinburgh's West End. They welcome everyone to join them.
This space is about community, connection and awareness. A place where everyone is welcome, where you can leave the burden of the world at the door, and you can come to find quiet, space and stillness free of judgement and expectation.
This studio offers an Intro 4 Class Pass for £3, a great way to start learning about yoga.
Find Yoga Classes In Belfast
With two studios in Belfast, Flow Studio is a welcoming practice that will help you find the foundation for your flow.
Vinyasa also called flow because of the smooth way that the poses run together, is one of the most popular modern styles of yoga. It's a broad group that encompasses many different types of yoga, including Ashtanga and power yoga. In contemporary yoga parlance, vinyasa stands in opposition to hatha.
The studio offers an Unlimited Two-week "New to Flow" pass for only £20.
51 Malone Road, Queen Quarters Belfast, BT9 6RY
52A Hill Street, Cathedral Quarter, BT1 2LB
Namaste Yoga Centre, Abhyasa Yoga Studio and Maitri Studio also offer great yoga workshops across the city of Belfast.
Find Yoga Classes In Newcastle Upon Tyne
Yogalilies Yoga and Pilates Studio on Pilgrim Street is an award-winning urban retreat right in the centre of the historic City of Newcastle upon Tyne. They offer yoga classes, courses, workshops and retreats.
They have an Introductory Offer: 14 Days for £30 — a great way to start and see if yoga is right for you.
Hotpod Yoga on Jesmond Avenue, Happy Yoga on Carliol Square or Forrest Yoga With Conrad Reese is other great studios that will help you discover the pleasures and benefits of practising yoga regularly.
Find more about Yoga classes in Newcastle.
Find Yoga Classes in Cardiff
Thanks to this city's dedication to sports, it earned the distinction of being named Europe's most sporting town in 2014.
Have you ever noticed that there are no yoga competitions in any major sporting event?
That is because yoga is an intensely personal journey: no two yogis experience the discipline and art of yoga in quite the same way.
You could discover for yourself what yoga means to you.
Find yoga classes in Cardiff.
Om Yoga Studio
The name may seem a caricature of channelling inner energy, but we assure you the practice of yoga is not a joke to these masters.
You may enjoy their foundation course (£40 per session), or attend one of their classes (£50 for monthly unlimited access).
Their particular focus is prenatal yoga, followed by Mum'n'baby yoga (£35 for five sessions). If you wish to drop in, you could pay only £7 for one lesson.
Cardiff Yoga Studio
Here you will find an entire array of beginners classes, along with more advanced offerings such as Hatha yoga and Mindfulness yoga.
The price for such a 7-week course is just £9 per session!
You may also register for an extended session – a workshop, for just £30.
As much as we would like to dig deeper into this city's unique yoga culture, we would have to refer you to this page, where you could find more studios in Cardiff.
The Benefits Of Yoga
1 - Yoga Can Reduce Stress And Release Anxiety
About 80 to 90& of visits to the doctor are related to stress, but only less than 3% of doctors talk to their patients about ways to reduce stress. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness and other mind-body practices train your mind and body to be able to cope with stress better and develop overall fitness and well-being.
In a national survey, over 4 out of 5 people who practise yoga reported that it helped them reduce stress. Exercise is a constructive way to decrease stress, but yoga is different from spinning classes or weight-lifting in that it powerfully mixes both physical fitness with an underlying philosophy of self-compassion and mindfulness. One of the main ideas in yoga is being non-judgmental toward both yourself and other people, which is an excellent tool for stress relief since much of our stress comes from us being harsh on ourselves or disappointed with others.
A primary principle of yoga is that your body and mind are one and united. Stress in one domain will affect the other and vice versa. Many of us live mostly in either our brain or our body, which creates inequality and even a lack of self-knowledge. For example, people with very analytical jobs may spend a lot of their time in their cognisance, and may not understand how much pressure is stored in their body. Or if you’re a professional athlete, you may be keenly aware of your body, but could help from becoming more aware of your unconscious state. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, yoga, you maintain balance and make the connection between your body and mind.
Yoga also trains your counter-stress response system, which is known as the parasympathetic nervous system. With regular yoga exercises, your chronic daytime stress hormone levels drop, and your heart rate variability increases, which is a measure of your capacity to tolerate stress. This has been proved to improve even after a few sittings of yoga.
2 - Improve Your Heart And Lungs Health
From pumping blood everywhere in your body to supplying tissues with essential nutrients, the health of your heart is an indispensable component of overall health.
Studies show that yoga might help improve heart health and reduce several risk factors for heart conditions.
One study found that participants over 40 years old who practised yoga regularly for five years had lower blood pressure and pulse rate than those who did not.
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart problems, such as heart attacks and strokes. Lowering your blood pressure can help reduce the risk of having these conditions.
Some research also suggests that including yoga into a healthy lifestyle could help slow the progress of heart disease.
One study followed 113 patients with heart disease, looking at the effects of a lifestyle change that involved one year of yoga training combined with dietary changes and stress management.
Participants saw a 23% reduction in total cholesterol and a 26% decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol. Additionally, the progress of heart disease ended in 47% of patients.
It’s not clear how much of a role yoga may have had versus other circumstances like a diet. It can decrease stress, one of the significant contributors to heart disease.
When you continually get your heart rate into the aerobic range, you reduce your risk of heart attack and can relieve distress. Not all yoga is aerobic, if you do it actively or take flow or Ashtanga classes, it can increase your heart rate into the aerobic range. But even yoga practices that don't get your heart rate up that high can improve cardiovascular conditioning. Studies have found that yoga practice reduces the resting heart rate, improves endurance, and can improve your highest uptake of oxygen during exercise—all observations of enhanced aerobic conditioning. One study discovered that subjects who were taught only pranayama could do more training with less oxygen.
Yoga gets your blood circulating. More particularly, the relaxation activities you learn in yoga can help your flow, especially in your extremities. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which perform better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to bring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is cleared. Inverted poses, such as Headstand and Shoulderstand, stimulate venous blood from the legs and pelvis to move back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This can help if you have inflammation in your legs from heart or kidney problems. Yoga also increases levels of haemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the muscles. And it thins the blood by making white cells less viscous and by cutting the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood. This can lead to a reduction in heart attacks and strokes since blood clots are usually the cause of these killers.
Yogis tend to take fewer breaths of larger volume, which is both calming and more effective. A 1998 study published in The Lancet taught a yogi technique known as "complete breathing" to people with lung difficulties due to congestive heart failure. After a month, their average respiratory incidence decreased from 13.4 breaths per minute to 7.6. Meanwhile, their exercise ability increased significantly, as did the oxygen saturation of their blood. Also, yoga has been shown to enhance various measures of lung function, including the highest volume of the breath and the efficiency of the respiration.
Yoga also improves breathing through the nose, which filters the air, warms it (cold, dry air is more likely to start an asthma attack in sensitive people), and humidifies it, removing pollen and dirt and other things you'd rather not have into your lungs.
3 - Be Stronger and More Flexible
Increased flexibility is one of the first and most obvious advantages of yoga. During your first class, you probably won't be able to touch your toes, never mind perform a backbend. But if you stick with it, you'll notice a progressive loosening, and eventually, apparently impossible poses will become feasible. You'll also probably see that aches and pains start to disappear. That's no chance. Tight hips can strain the knee joint due to abnormal alignment of the thigh and shinbones. Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can create back pain. And rigidity in muscles and connective tissues, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause inadequate posture.
Strong muscles do more than looking good. They also defend us from conditions like arthritis and back pain and help limit falls in older adults. And when you develop strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. If you just went to the gym and lifted weights, you might build muscle at the loss of elasticity.
Your head is like a bowling ball—big, round, and bulky. When it's balanced directly over a straight spine, it takes much less work for your neck and back muscles to hold it. Move it a few inches forward, however, and you begin to strain those fibres. Keep up that forward-leaning bowling ball for eight or 12 hours a day, and it's no surprise you're tired. And exhaustion might not be your only difficulty. Faulty posture can cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint challenges. As you slump, your body may counterbalance by flattening the natural inward curves in your neck and lower back. This can cause injury and degenerative arthritis of the spine.
A Word About Yoga Classes Online
What if you don't live in or near any of these cities?
What if you are a shift worker, unable to attend a regularly scheduled class? Or somehow unable to get to a yoga studio?
What if your Internet search for yoga classes near me yields unsatisfactory results?
Your best solution may well be private lessons, taken via webcam.
Plenty of yoga studios in the UK offer private lessons, in your home or at their facility, but it would be hard to argue against the value, and convenience Superprof yoga teachers provide online.
No matter where in the country you live, as long as you have a reliable Internet connection, you could realise the benefits of yoga for yourself under the instruction of a Superprof yogi.
You may worry that the rate for such private lessons would exceed what you would pay in a class.
Let us put your mind to rest: Superprof yoga teachers often charge less than what you would pay a studio, and you would be treated to more personalised attention than in a class full of peers!
Besides, most Superprof yoga teachers offer one incentive that yoga studios don't: they give their first hour of lessons for free!
With more than 300 teachers standing by at an average cost of £24 per lesson, you may find Superprof offers the best deal in yoga teaching.
If you are one of those Britons who cannot seem to switch off from work, you may find that channelling your energy into your well-being would prove far more worthwhile than answering yet another email from the boss.
After all, work will always be there; no need to stake your health, sanity and family on it.
Much better, you should invest more in yourself.