Are you of a mind that alternative healing is suited only to those embrace so-called new age concepts like chanting and rubbing beads?
We have to wonder why they are called new age in the first place, seeing as meditation, chanting and counting malas (the correct name for those aforementioned beads) are much older than so-called western civilisation.
As is yoga: a combination of physical, spiritual and mental practices that originated in ancient India, around 7 thousand years ago.
Doesn’t that accurately illustrate how old-age this supposedly new age discipline is?
And who, these days, might you think would be interested in yoga poses?
You would be surprised!
David Beckham, for one, has found relaxation and strength through Bikram yoga. Furthermore, he practices power yoga with his lovely wife, to forge a deep spiritual connection with her.
He’s not the only high-profile person engaged in the practice of yoga!
From Supermodels – notably Giselle Bündchen, to singers (Lady Gaga and Madonna among them) and actors (Orlando Bloom)… it seems everyone is getting their yoga on!
What about you?
Have you ever walked past a yoga studio and wondered exactly what goes on in there?
Within this heart are depicted several yoga poses: can you identify them? Source: Pixabay Credit: GDJ
If you’ve never attended a yoga class, your first misgiving might be that everyone else’s body is toned, conditioned and flexible.
Don’t worry, you’ll be fine! Yogis tend to be very welcoming and not the least judgmental.
Besides that, they too took their first lesson once upon a time, and most likely remember being put off by more experienced practitioners.
Light, ambience and mood are prominent features of every yoga session; therefore you will find a well-lit, airy space punctuated only by colourful mats on the floor, and possibly some yoga blocks.
After taking your place on your yoga mat, you may find yourself bewildered as your yoga instructor calls out asanas, or poses.
As a newcomer, you will not be expected to know exactly what a downward dog or sun salutation represent. It is perfectly OK to copy your neighbours.
No need to worry if you don’t get every yoga pose exactly right, or even if you lose your balance.
Whatever you do, please don’t let frustration at your perceived ineptitude turn you off of this restorative workout! In time, you too will hold the tree pose effortlessly.
Among the names of poses already mentioned, here are a few more you might hear:
Child’s pose: kneeling on your mat, torso bent forward and arms outstretched in front of you
Warrior II pose: fundamentally a lunge position, with torso facing sideways; arms outstretched forward and back
There are in fact 3 warrior poses!
Chair pose: much like squatting, except your arms are raised above your head, rather than chest-height
Triangle: with feet in the lunge position (right foot forward) and arms spread wide, bend at the waist, twisting your torso so that your right-hand reaches toward your right foot. Left arm should rise straight up into the air; face follows your left arm.
The Bridge, similar to the pelvic lift: laying on your mat, feet flat on the floor, raise your hips up. Roll your shoulders under you and link your fingers under your glutes.
The Corpse: a not-so-charming name for simply laying flat, with feet splayed and palms up.
This is the last pose in every session; designed to relax your body and allow you to absorb the wellness you’ve created.
Every yoga class is different because there are different types of yoga, and your yoga teacher may use the more formal names when calling out each pose.
The Corpse is formally named savasana, for example.
Conversely, s/he may not call out any poses or explain anything at all. Vinyasa flow is such a type of yoga; if you are unfamiliar with the poses, it would be best to try yourself in another style of yoga.
In fact, you should try several types of yoga before settling on one or more types that are right for you.
To make such a trial more economical, many yoga studios offer drop-in rates. Please see the chart below for the ones closest to you.
What if you don’t want to wriggle into yoga pants and potentially embarrass yourself in a well-lit studio?
It is entirely possible to take yoga lessons at home, even by webcam! Source: Pixabay Credit: Free-Photos
If Colin Ferrell and Emily Blunt can enjoy the benefits of yoga away from prying eyes, why can’t you?
There are many reasons why people prefer practising yoga at home.
Recovering from an injury or to help remediate a disability are just two instances where private yoga sessions have added value.
More good reasons could be that you are a shift worker, unable to attend regularly scheduled yoga sessions, or you travel a lot.
The psychological stress brought on by shift work is an excellent reason to seek restorative yoga!
For whatever reason, you choose to take your first forays into yoga at home, rest assured there is plenty of yoga instruction available to you.
The Kali Collective specialises in Vinyasa yoga and offers a home programme called Yoga at Yours.
It doesn’t even have to be at your home; it could be in your office, before a big meeting. They even like leading small groups: up to 8 people costs only £40 per session.
Actually, they offer a full range of yoga instruction, from workshops and retreats to masterclasses.
We’ll talk about those in our next section!
If you want to deepen your mind-body connection – or, as a beginner, forge a body, mind and spirit connection, doing so in your own home, on your own schedule is the perfect way to do so.
Whether you choose Hatha yoga – what some think of as the essential yoga or go beyond to the more rigorous Ashtanga yoga, it is entirely possible to take part in yoga online…
and there are hundreds of yoga teachers on Superprof’s site!
Depending on your level and what type of yoga you wish to practice, you could find your ideal yoga instructor right on our platform, and for less money than you might have thought possible.
Most Superprof yoga instructors offer their first lesson free, to discuss yoga philosophy with you and discover why you are interested in the discipline.
You could also take lessons by webcam; not such a far-fetched idea, seeing as the telly broadcasts morning yoga.
Talking with your instructor via webcam would give you feedback; the telly yogi wouldn’t be able to!
As a beginner, you would not be expected to maintain such exquisite poses, even at a retreat Source: Pixabay Credit: Gary Skirrow
Another way to avoid being a complete novice in the yoga studio is to take part in a workshop or retreat.
Whereas a typical yoga session lasts around an hour, a workshop can be several hours long and a retreat can take an entire weekend.
These focused sessions are the perfect way to learn more about yoga or acquaint yourself with other types of yoga.
You could sign up for a workshop that addresses a particular facet of yoga, such as pranayama or meditation.
Pranayama essentially deals with breathing techniques for improving energy flow.
As previously mentioned, the Kali Collective hosts workshops and retreats, but so does Yoga Healing, located on Mansfield St.
Besides regular classes, you will find their calendar loaded with enticing headers such as Chakra Meditation and Summer Yoga and Meditation.
Pricing is around £20, with more in-depth subjects commanding a slightly higher fee.
You might be happy to know that this studio teaches an Absolute Beginner yoga course; a six-week introduction to yoga basics.
Flow Yoga, on Darnley Street, takes a more exacting approach to their class and workshop structure.
You might avoid seasonal allergies by participating in their Hello, Spring! workshop; a detox for mind and body.
Don’t you want to forget all about that terrible winter we just endured and get ready for summer?
Or perhaps you would be interested in their Heart Opening workshop; a series of poses designed to expand your chest and ribcage, whose end effect is feelings of strength, confidence and assertion.
Prices for either of these workshops range from £20-30.
Should you be hoping for a more in-depth yoga experience, Ayatana Yoga hosts retreats, either at their facility in Argyll or just outside of Dunkeld.
£375 affords you an all-inclusive weekend, jam-packed with activity and good (vegetarian) food.
You can learn stress reduction techniques or EcoYoga: an amalgamation of mindfulness and meditation, philosophy and neuroscience.
You would come back to your very real world more relaxed and transformed.
And, most likely, you would want to sustain the gains you made while you were away.
Please refer to the chart below to find some of the best yoga classes in Glasgow: what type of yoga would be taught, and how much you can expect to pay.
|Studio Name||Types of Yoga Practiced||Levels Taught||Rates|
|Kali Collective||Vinyasa, Vinyasa Flow, Vinyasa Power; Kula yoga, Yin Yang yoga||Beginner to daily practitioner||starting from £25|
|Yoga Meditation Healing||Beginners' yoga, Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga, senior yoga, flow classes, hot yoga, meditation classes||Beginner to daily practitioner||£6-10 per session, depending on class|
|Merchant City Yoga||Beginners' yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Yin yoga||Beginner to advanced||Monthly pass £65|
Drop-in rate £12
|Hot Pod Yoga||Flow yoga||Beginner to intermediate||Unlimited monthly membership £70|
10 class pass £85