8 great places to source a yoga mat

where to buy a yoga mat, find a yoga mat, yoga mat shopping, yoga shopping, yoga props
8 Great Places to Source a Yoga Mat
The great thing about yoga is that it is such a portable practice.  Once you have a few of the poses down it’s easy to practice anywhere you have space to roll out your mat.

There are many accessories and props you can purchase to assist your yoga practice (which I would recommend investing in over time) but when starting out the most important yoga item to have is a mat and, for that, you have many options.

The key thing to bear in mind is that yoga mats need to be ‘sticky’ in the sense that they grip well when you are working on them.  Some mats have a texture to them which really helps with grip.  Initially, you may find the mat surface to have a light, slippery sheen but this breaks down with use.  You can always help break up the surface a little by rubbing with a cotton cloth.

Around 3-4mm is a great thickness for a yoga mat as it offers some cushioning to the body but isn’t so thick that it is like stepping on to a camping mattress.

1  Borrow one.  Most studios do have yoga mats available to borrow so if you are not too particular about using a mat other students have used then this is a good option to start.

2  Borrow one (again!).  From a family member or friend.  Another good way to check out a yoga class without committing to buying something you may use three times before it’s on the yard sale pile.  Which leads me to number 3

3  If you’re a yard sale, rummage sale or thrift store fiend, keep an eye out.  I’ve seen mats at yard sales with the cellophane wrap still intact – an unwanted gift for the seller but a gem find for you!

4 Look for a bargain.  Stores like TJ Maxx and Ross are both bursting with deals and it’s well worth a look here for a bargain priced mat.  Sometimes branded with a name you may recognise, sometimes not.  I’ve seen mats in both stores for twenty bucks and lower.

5  Target.  It doesn’t really matter what you’re looking for – Target will always provide!  They have a yoga section with a great selection of yoga gear.  Mats are in the $20 – $30 dollar range.

6  Sports shops.  Sports shops do stock yoga mats just be careful not to pick up the typical ‘gym’ type mat which is often much thicker, spongier and more slippery than a yoga mat.

7  Specialised Yoga & Fitness clothing stores. There are a few of these around now.  Some of them carry great quality yoga mats but you might want to be doing some deep yogic breathing when you read the prices!

8  The studio.  Many studios have a retail area where you can buy, among other things, yoga mats.  These are generally well established yoga brands which are great in quality but do come at a price.

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7 Top Tips for a Happy First Yoga Class

yoga newbie, new to yoga, first yoga class, starting yoga
7 Top Tips for a Happy First Yoga Class

Joining a yoga class as a new student can be a daunting experience but with a little advance preparation it can be the start of a life changing journey


I love yoga and would recommend anyone to give it a try but I also understand that, for some, the first visit to a class can be intimidating.

I’ve attended many classes, both as a student and as an instructor, where I’ve observed new students’ first class nerves.  Initially, attending a class can be daunting but as the unfamiliar becomes familiar and the student becomes more comfortable in the studio surroundings then yoga begins to work its magic.

Here are 7 top tips to ease you into a class and ensure a happy first yoga class experience!

  1. word of mouth  If you can get a recommendation of a teacher/studio from a like minded friend this is an excellent place to start.  You have a ready made connection to the instructor and studio.
  2. arrive early  There will be a little bit of paperwork to complete and a few extra minutes will give you the chance to familiarize yourself – well, find the restroom and water fountain location, at least!
  3. choose beginner  Not because I’m saying you’re no good at yoga before you’ve even started!  A beginners class is always a good place to start (or level 1/intro class/new to yoga or however else a studio describes it).   No matter how athletic, fit or flexible you may be,  a beginners class will give you a better understanding of the poses and important alignment points at an easier to follow pace.
  4. chat to the instructor  If at all possible, grab a moment to introduce yourself and chat about any concerns.  Most instructors will approach you if but sometimes, with instructors arriving close to class start and large student numbers in popular classes, there is not always an opportunity.
  5. keep an open mind  Different instructors teach yoga in different styles.  One instructor might teach a slower class with lots of quiet, meditative time.  Another teacher’s class might be faster paced with lots of repetition of poses and background music.  Try to be open minded and if your first class isn’t the one for you give someone else a go.
  6. dress comfortably  Wear the clothes that feel comfortable for you.   Remember that some of the poses involve bending forward and twisting.  If those low rise pants ride down when you fold forward don’t wear them.  Or that top is sooo low neck that you’re constantly adjusting it just don’t go there.  Think ease of movement and personal comfort.  A t-shirt and stretchy leggings work just as well as the latest body forming fashion outfit
  7. sense of humor & a smile  Arm yourself with a sense of humor and anything is possible 🙂

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A Yoga Studio for the over 40’s

Yoga for the over 40's is a growing demographic
Yoga for the over 40’s is a growing demographic

Seniors are the largest growing segment of the US population with numbers growing year on year.  As yoga continues to gain popularity one yoga studio has embraced these changes to cater for a very specific demographic – the over 40 age group.


Yoga studios are aplenty in the US.  Plenty of choice, styles, facilities and instructors.  Some studios specialize based on class style, such as hot yoga or vinyasa yoga, or on a specific school of yoga study such as Iyengar or Bikram. This particular yoga studio specializes in yoga for the over 40’s age group.

Founded by David Webster in the Summer of 2013, Better Living Yoga in Aliso Viejo, California opened its studio doors in March 2014.

David recognized that ‘Yoga for seniors is a demographic that is not being served and it is the largest growing market’.  We are all living much longer and by 2030 older adults will account for roughly 20% of the U.S. population.

This particular studio is catering for a very specific demographic – the over 40’s.

As we age we can anticipate a whole range of conditions and ailments coming our way.  Diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression and cancer to name but a few. Research carried out by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) discovered that two out of every three older Americans have multiple chronic conditions

Not appealing, I know, however we can adapt and, in some cases, limit the effect and impact of these age related conditions using the tools we learn when practicing yoga and meditation.

‘Yoga for seniors is a demographic that is not being served and it is the largest growing market’

The primary focus for Better Living Yoga is to cater for an older community with a ‘non-competitive approach and attention to alignment & safety to help reverse and prevent chronic conditions’.  Although the target demographic is the over 40’s, all levels and ages are welcome and it’s a perfect studio to attend for students working with injuries or recovering from medical procedures and surgery.

Their schedule boasts an impressive line up of experienced yoga instructors and yoga therapists of varying yoga lineages all with extensive teaching experience.

Enjoy a healthier transition into older age by making a regular yoga practice part of your routine.

 

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ask an instructor – Jessica Seabern

Jessica Seabern - yoga teacher and teacher trainer
Jessica Seabern – yoga teacher and teacher trainer

Jessica Seabern

Jessica is a yoga teacher and YogaWorks teacher trainer

ask an instructor – 10 questions. 

the very first yoga class you attended? I can’t remember when but recall being bored!

what is it about yoga that inspires you? How strong it makes me physically & mentally.

what yoga item(s) could you not be without?  Cotton yoga pants (hard tail).  Universalyogi mats are my fave.

your favorite post yoga class snack?   Whole bowl – cabbage, spinach, brown rice, beans, avocado, hot sauce!

which book would you recommend to a brand new student of yoga?  ‘The Heart of Yoga’ by TKV Desikachar is good for beginners.

if you could teach a class anywhere in the world, where would it be?  Harbour Island, Bahamas Pink Sands Beach – I lead retreats there!

type of class you like to attend when you are not the instructor? Flow with creative & intelligent sequencing, not exhausting but empowering.

favorite thing to do if not doing yoga? Beach and travel.

if you weren’t a yoga instructor?  A travel correspondent/journalist would be my first choice.

and finally……

as a yoga instructor, what do you hope a new student takes away from your class?  Better knowledge of yoga & burning desire to learn more.

 

Jessica is leading a Teacher Training at YogaWorks Mission Viejo in Feb. 2017 and a retreat in the Bahamas late February 2017.

Visit www.universalyogis.com for retreat info

http://www.yogaworks.com/yoga-teacher-training/jessica-seabern-mission-viejo-february-2017 for TT info.

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