Learn about yoga

What is a yoga wedge used for?

Yoga wedges are designed to offer support to the wrists and elbows enabling you to access poses that you may not otherwise be able to achieve. So how do they work?

What’s the difference between yoga and Pilates?

There are many different forms of yoga and Pilates all of which are beneficial to health. They have similarities but they are not the same. So what are the differences?

How to clean your yoga mat at home

Sweat and dirt can collect on your yoga mat through use. If left uncleaned, this will result in the build up of odour and bacteria. It is therefore important to clean your yoga mat. But how?

Are yoga socks a good idea?

It’s important though to ensure you have the right equipment to help you achieve your yoga goals. There are many reasons why yoga socks are an important part of your yoga kit. Let’s take a look.

What is the best thickness for an exercise mat?

With such a variety of exercise mats to choose from, where do you start? In this guide we explore mat thickness and size to help you choose the perfect exercise mat.

What are yoga blocks used for?

Yoga blocks are designed to improve postural alignment and provide stability during yoga poses. The blocks can be used for a variety of purposes, such as heightening balance, deepening stretching, and helping to reduce stress in difficult positions.

What is yoga?

Yoga is an extremely popular form of exercise. Discovered in India more than 5000 years ago, this ancient art of exercise has numerous health and wellbeing benefits ranging from increased strength to lowering stress levels. Yoga focuses on meditation, breathing techniques, physical poses, flexibility, strength and concentration. There are many different types of yoga practices which vary in intensity so there is something for everyone, regardless of your age or fitness level.

What are the benefits of yoga?

- Flexibility - one of the main aspects of yoga are the yoga poses. Yoga poses encourage stretching which increases flexibility allowing more freedom of movement.

- Strength - yoga poses are designed to build strength. As you gain experience in perfecting and holding the various yoga poses using just your own body weight, the tension put on the muscles causes them to grow and become stronger.

- Posture - as you practice yoga poses, your core and back muscles strengthen which encourages good posture.

- Low impact - yoga is suitable of everyone. As it is a low impact exercise, it will not put pressure on your joints but will help with strength and flexibility.

- Reduces stress - meditation can help to relax the mind and create calmness. Yoga, like other exercise, can also affect your mood by lowering your levels of stress hormones and increasing the level of ‘feel good’ brain chemicals, leaving you with a positive mindset.

What are the different types of yoga?

There are a number of different types of yoga - here are just 5 popular forms:

1. Bikram yoga - also called hot yoga was introduced by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s. Bikram was born in Calcutta and wanted to replicate the climate of India. Bikram yoga is therefore practiced in a very hot room, 105 °F with a humidity of 40%. It consists of 26 poses and is more of an intense form of yoga.

2. Hatha yoga - focuses on slow, precise stretching and movements and holding poses. It also concentrates on breathing techniques.

3. Vinyasa yoga - this type of yoga is also called ‘flow’ because it concentrates on poses flowing from one to the other without a rest between them.

4. Ashtanga Yoga - a tough, dynamic form of yoga which synchronises breathing and movement.

5. Iyengar Yoga - focuses on body alignment using various yoga accessories such as yoga blocks and yoga straps.