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yoga advice

Yoga & Meditation

Trying Something Different: Cork Space Yoga Mat Review

June 18, 2018 • By

Corkspace Yoga Mat

Finding the right yoga mat can be such a challenge for both new and existing yoga practitioners. The market is saturated with every style of mat imaginable; eco, patterned, round, travel, cushioned, hot yoga mats, cold yoga mats, yoga mats that mop your brow after class (I wish!).

So, how do we find the one that’s right for us?

Yoga Mat Review

Once you have been practicing yoga for as long as I have (trying not to age myself but it’s been over ten years), you will have tried every style of yoga mat possible, and you will come to know what you like and what you don’t.

Generally you want something that is durable, can take a lot of sweat, is easy to take from class to class, kind to the planet and, most importantly, is not slippy!

In all the years I’ve been practising I have never had a mat that didn’t need ‘breaking in‘. Meaning many slippy yoga practices before my mat finds its grip.

That is, until now.

Yoga Mat | Northern Yogi

I was recently sent a new style of yoga mat, this time made of cork! I have to admit I was sceptical at first. Was this a marketing gimmick? How can one safely practice yoga on something that keeps wine fresh?

Oh how wrong my sceptical self was. When I unwrapped the packaging and peeled out the beautifully smooth, stylishly branded cork yoga mat (that comes with a carry strap!) I thought ‘hmm I kinda like this’.

Then I stepped on it. I placed my yoga feet on my new yoga mat and I took a big yoga breath. And it felt good. From my head, all the way down to my yoga soles it felt good.

I lifted my arms and exhaled as I placed my hands onto the smooth cork. And they stayed there, exactly where I had placed them. They didn’t slide forwards or backwards.

So I stepped my feet back, gently, just in case.


Corkspace Yoga Mat | Northern Yogi

Ardo Mukha Svanasana. I’m in downward facing dog and my hands are still in that same position. This is definitely the time when the feet begin to slide. It’s a brand new yoga mat, this is always when the feet begin to slide.

So I waited.

And they didn’t move.

So I took a breath. Then another. Then three more.

Five big breaths is downward facing dog with my hands and feet firmly gripped into this cork yoga mat. Still.


Yoga Practice | Northern Yogi

I got through a full practice on the Cork Space yoga mat with no slips and no slides. I felt rooted in my standing sequence and supported in my seated sequence. It was beautiful, both the practice and the yoga mat.

Yoga Blog Manchester | Northern Yogi

The Cork Space yoga mat is eco friendly and made from sustainable cork and naturally sourced rubber. It’s not just good for you but for the planet too!

You can find out more about this wonderful mat here: Cork Yoga Mat UK

Save yourself 10% off this amazing yoga mat here or add northernyogi at checkout.

Yoga & Meditation

FeetUp® Trainer – The Yoga Inversion Tool

June 9, 2017 • By

Yoga Inversion Tool - Northern Yogi


While I was a Yoga beginner I used to watch people float up into headstands like it was the easiest thing in the entire world, and I’d think “that’ll never be me”.


Headstands are too scary. I’ll never be strong enough or have that much balance. Is it even safe to stand on your head?



Feet Up Trainer yoga - Northern Yogi

The headstand in an Ashtanga practice comes at the end of the primary series. Meaning that if you’re a beginner and you turn up to an ‘all level’ yoga classes the teacher will, no doubt, have headstand in their sequence. A good teacher will set up the foundations of a headstand; the correct arm position, where the strength comes from, etc. Then the rest is up to you, the student. And it’s scary. A lot of teachers won’t let you go up against the wall because frankly there is no point in being against the wall, one day that wall won’t exist so best no to rely on at all. So how is one even suppose to learn what it feels like to be upside down?

Feet Up Trainer - Northern Yogi

If your yearning to lift up into headstand, or want to challenge yourself in inversions, you might like to give the FeetUp Trainer a try. I was lucky enough to be sent this product recently and WOW, game changer!


The FeetUp Trainer has been developed to make headstands accessible to everyone. By using this tool yoga students are able to progress with their headstand practice much quicker as it helps to build confidence in those challenging inversions.


No weight is placed on the head when using a FeetUp Trainer as the tool evenly distributes the weight across the shoulders. This means and pressure is taken off the neck, and the spine is gently stretched. The hands can be placed onto the handlebars and this helps massively with balance. Over time you can play around with releasing the hands, moving the legs, shifting the weight around and seeing what feels good for you.


yoga tools - northern yogi


I know my students love a good challenge in class and using this tool is fun, challenging yet safe. I’d recommend it to all my students and teacher friends. It really is a fearless way of practising yoga inversions and once fear is removed, anything is possible!


Yoga Inversion Trainer - Northern Yogi


To find out more about this latest yoga innovation visit FeetUp Trainer.


Follow me on Instagram for more yoga tips and tricks







Yoga & Meditation

Why I Chose Stillness and You Probably Should Too

October 25, 2016 • By

Beach Yoga

2015 was meant to be my year of achieving things. On New Year’s Eve 2015 and wrote three things that I wanted to achieve in 2016. It’s good to have goals and I wanted to make a dramatic change to my life.

The goals:

  1. Buy my first home
  2. Qualify as a yoga instructor
  3. Witness the completion of my partners feature film (not a direct goal for me but one that affected me nonetheless)

Pre New Year’s Eve 2015 my life was fairly familiar to most. The stressful 9-5 job in a passionless environment, the micronutrient guzzling, health conscious gym goer who practiced yoga daily and always, always, always dreamt of better things to come. I knew that by setting some, rather large yet very achievable goals for the year I would be forcing a change in my life. Dissatisfaction comes when we believe we have no choice or control over our current circumstance, so I was dissatisfied because I felt a lack of control, trapped without choice. I’d unwillingly subscribed to a lifestyle that gets sold to many of us from a young age; work hard, get a well-paid job, earn lots of money, retire rich, die. Nowhere in this sales pitch did anyone mention happiness or what to do when there is a day to day lack of it.

When January rolled around I signed up to a yoga teacher training course. I thought I was ready for the challenge to come but, my goodness, teacher training is hard! It requires all of your energy, focus, adaptability and strength. Probably not the most sensible time to buy a home but during my course my partner and I found our perfect house, put in an offer and waited with baited breath.

The offer was, of course, rejected. Ouch.

The second offer was accepted too much relief but then follows that horrid period of having to deal with lawyers and agents and bankers and builders and contractors. Everyone who wants as much as possible from you in a very short space of time. It’s hard to find stillness when legal pages need signing and flooring needs choosing and removal men have broken your favourite mirror.

I kept moving through the bustle. Working the 9-5 job, travelling 200 miles each weekend to train to teach and then I read, revised, practiced and panicked in pockets of free time. I never stood still.

In May I got a phone call from my doctor that said something along the lines of ‘We’ve had your smear results back, the test is showing quite a severe abnormality and you need to go to the hospital as soon as possible, this week in fact’. The phone call that every woman dreads. The cervical cancer call.

What followed was weeks of tests and procedures and tears and panic and what felt like an eternity of waiting. But still no stillness.

Following this news, and in the midst of yoga exams, my body become this place I no longer wanted to be. I shook constantly, my muscles twitched, my neck was stiff, my head pounded, my heart palpitated, my stomach couldn’t handle food, I panicked if I was away from home for too long, my periods become irregular, I became exhausted and my fuse was short. I lay awake at night and struggled to get up in the morning. I didn’t want to roll out my yoga mat and practice asana but I forced myself to because I felt it would help me, plus I was about to become a qualified yoga teacher so how could I not practice asana (yoga poses)?

Once qualified I was prancing around at the front of a class of yoga students, preaching health and happiness. Then I’d go home and keep my misery company. I found some solitude in red wine, heck all wine but I feared being alone. Unfortunately my third yearly goal was to support my partner in achieving his dream, a goal that took him away from home every week, took my strength and support away. So I was forced to be alone, to sit with my fear and my misery and the body I no longer wanted to be in. It is really, really difficult to sit with fear. So even though all was now quiet, there was no stillness.

You see, there is a difference between quiet and stillness, silence and peace. Just like there is a difference being sitting and meditating. Everyone sits but not all are meditating. Everyone can be quiet, but not all are still.

In these quiet moments my body raced with fear until, one day, I chose to stop. Fear, anxiety and stresses don’t just go away overnight, but you have a choice about how they affect your life. So I stopped watching the television, the news scared me. I stopped scrolling through newsfeeds and tweets and updates because my body only knew how to absorb the negative. I stopped drinking caffeine, for now, because it made me feel worse. I tried ever so hard to step away from my smartphone, the gateway to infinite symptoms that made my heart race. And I chose to be still, to just sit attentively, dedicated and focused on this stillness. Letting it do its magic and wash my woes away.

Stillness can only be found deep inside of yourself, you can create the perfect surroundings, dim the lights, burn some non-toxic candles, sit on a comfy cushion and block out the external noise. But stillness is something you bring out of yourself into the world we live in, not vice versa.

It took me 9 months of madness to realise that my body craved extended moments of stillness. More than just taking a long bubble bath or a relaxing autumnal stroll, it wanted to hear that quiet little voice inside that says ‘Everything is going to be okay’.

Finding real stillness requires dedication, time and bravery. You may have to sit with emotions you’d rather avoid for a little while but what happens on the other side is the realization of the entire universe residing within you, a place you can visit in times of need, a tool you can utilize when the road gets a little rocky. And eventually you will find yourself sitting in stillness with the bravest soul in the entire world, you.


Yoga & Meditation

Things to do before your yoga class

October 13, 2016 • By

yoga-adviceWahoo! You’ve made the decision to go to your local yoga class tonight, well done! You’ve made the right decision.

Before rolling out your mat, handing over your hand earned cash or beginning the sun salutes here’s some tops tips to help you get the most out you’re your yoga practice:

  1. Set off in plenty of time

You don’t want to run into class, panting, whilst the other students are halfway into their second downward dog. You want to arrive around 10 – 15 minutes early. This will give you enough time to greet the teacher, let them know of any injuries you may have, roll out your mat in a decent place and take a few quiet breaths before the class begins.

You’ll enjoy your practice a lot more if you ease into it gently rather than throw yourself onto the mat and quickly and quietly as possible.

  1. Drink lots of water

Traditional yoga teachers advise not to drink water during your practice as is douses the internal ‘agni’, the fire you create internally when practising. Obviously in the health and safety conscious west a teacher would never forbid you to drink, just advice against it. Therefore drink lots before a practice. This should stop you feeling thirsty yet keep that internal agni burning.

  1. Stretch

Yes, it may seem a bit weird stretching before a class that includes lots of stretching but it’s nice to warm up your muscles and release and tensions before you get into full swing. Maybe a few ‘walking the dogs’ (downward dog with paddles feet) or a pigeon to open the hips.

  1. Take some deep breaths

Meditating before your yoga practice will help you bring your mind into the right place to commence your moving meditation. Just sit on your mat, close your eyes, forget about your journey to class and breathe away the stresses of your day.

  1. Talk to people

If you’ve turned up in plenty of time then utilise it by making some new friends. If it’s a class you attend regularly you’ll begin to notice a few familiar faces. Chat to them, talk about how your practice is progress or probe them for tips. You’ll also notice a few new faces each week, talk to the newbies too! They feel nervous and ‘out of the group’ so approach them, ask them if they have practised before and tell them how much yoga has helped you with your back pain/ flexibility/ confidence etc. Yoga does, after all, mean ‘union’. So unite!

Yoga & Meditation

Mindfulness at Work: Will it catch on?

September 28, 2016 • By

Meditation at work Everyone’s talking about it. Nowadays you hear the word ‘mindfulness’ used in the most obscure places; by big brands and official organisations. Massive corporations are jumping on the bandwagon and you’ll see ‘mindfulness’ exercises being pushed upon employees in most workplaces. But what’s the big deal? Can a few minutes of meditation really change your day?

In 2007 Dr Yi-Yuan Tan from Dalian University of Technology, China carried out a study which concluded that a meditation practice can reduce stress and increase attention to detail in just 5 short days. It went on to show a reduction in anxiety related issues, depression, fatigue and anger.

In 2015 35% of workplace illnesses were stress related, resulting in a 43% of all sickdays. These figures are pretty shocking. People are becoming increasingly aware of their health and happiness (rightly so) and leaders of organisations are finally understanding the importance of a happy healthy workforce.

The answer seems so simply in hindsight, your employees are feeling the stresses of modern day life, meditation reduces the symptoms of stress and makes employees sharper and more attentive. Let’s roll out meditation exercises in the workplace!

Unfortunately the reality isn’t always as simple as it sounds. So why aren’t more employees jumping at the chance to Workplace Meditationmeditate at work?

  1. Most industries are made up of an older, old-school age group and meditation is for hippies.

People don’t like change and they also don’t like being told what to do, especially if they have worked in that company for 45 years and the new HR manager is a twenty-something, green juice guzzling weirdo. You probably aren’t going to persuade Eric from finance to sit in lotus for the next 20 minutes breathing his stresses away. Eric prefers to have a pint and a moan.

Unfortunately, sometimes health isn’t valued until sickness comes. And it isn’t until that point that people are willing to consider changing their ways. Never force people to join a meditation session unless they actively want to do so, the benefits just won’t be the same and they’ll go off thinking meditation is a bit rubbish.

Let people become open to it in their own time. Openly share the rewards you have reaped from your own practice but don’t expect Eric from finance to feel the same. Choose your battles.

  1. Meditation makes people feel self-conscious.

It’s not a usual environment to be in with your colleagues. You can hear everyone’s breath, your thoughts are screaming so loudly in your head that surely Sandra from legal can hear them and how do you know everyone has really got their eyes closed, what if they are just sat watching you struggle to meditate?

Mindfulness at workPeople within the workplace like to have a leader, so if you are introducing meditation into your office you need to keep it within a format your workforce are used to. Hire a meditation guide, someone who will talk your employees through a 15-20 minute practice. It will make them feel a lot more comfortable to be guided, less lonely and it will give them the tools to go off and practice in their own time.

My first workplace meditation was one of those awkward moment where the manager got really excited about trying something ‘experimental’ with his workforces and had us all sit around in his office whilst the ‘teacher’ guided us through a ‘meditation’. It turned out that she wasn’t a meditation teacher after all, but had listened to a few YouTube videos and then labeled herself a guide. We were then all asked how we felt afterwards. Just plain weird.   If you’re employees are happy to try meditation at work don’t ask them how they feel afterwards. Let it all settle and then maybe follow up with some feedback later in the day.

Explaining some of the benefits of meditation can make it more appealing to people. Benefits such as;

  • Reduces anxiety by teaching people the importance of controlling their breath
  • Stops symptoms of stress (such as headaches, tightness in the chest, tingling in the hands and feet etc.)
  • Makes it easier for people to concentration on one task at a time
  • Makes people feel more compassionate
  • Makes for a kinder workplace
  • Increases the happy hormone
  • Reduces insomnia
  • Encourages a healthier lifestyle
  • Brings a sense of calm to modern day living
  • Helps you feel more in control
  • Slows the ageing process
  • Reduces high blood pressure

And all you have to do is sit still, control your breath and focus. It really is that simple.

Wellness & Lifestyle

Autumn is here!

September 27, 2016 • By

autumnIf you live in the northern hemisphere like myself then you’ll know autumn upon us, it started on 22nd September to be exact.

Not only will you notice autumn beginning, the leaves changing colour, the air becoming crisper and the evenings becoming darker. You’ll feel it too. Your body is super sensitive to seasonal changes because it believes it needs to adapt in order to survive (your body isn’t yet aware of supermarkets, year round crops, central heating or the internet). This means that you may begin to feel a little more tired in the morning, may start feeling hungrier than usual or may not be feeling as active as you were a few weeks ago.

Your body is preparing to go into hibernation mode, it slows down and begins to preserve energy to get you through the winter months. To help you mentally survive this wonderful season I’ve put together a few tips and tricks, let’s see if they work for you too:

  1. Get yourself in the garden: It’s important to get as much vitamin D as possible at this time of year and hours of daylight are becoming less. Whenever you get free time get yourself into your garden and begin planting for next spring. Not only will you have a beautiful garden to look forward to but you’ll be practising mindfulness and getting your RDA of vitamin D. Win, win!


  1. Eat well: okay, so this applies all year round really but did you know your body is naturally preparing to lose those stubborn summer pounds in autumn and winter. So eating right now will ensure you don’t have to work extra hard come spring to prepare for beach season.


  1. Daily dry brushing: your skin will become drier during the next two seasons. It will lack moisture and the Autumn Yoga | Northern Yogicombination of cold air and central heating will play havoc on the skin. Dry brushing daily will help shift dead skin cells and moisturising will help your skin look fresh and beautiful come spring. Add some coconut oil to your nightly bath, it’s a super easy way to ensure you’re getting all the moisture your skin needs.


  1. Meditate: If you’ve never had a meditation practice before then autumn is the ideal time to begin. The nights are longer and your social calendar will no doubt become a little calmer. Take this time to learn to sit with yourself, focus on the breath and making your exhalations longer than your inhalations. You’ll soon have a sharp, focused and calm mind.


  1. Appreciate your surrounding: autumn is such a beautiful month yet I sometimes fail to stop and appreciate quite how beautiful because I’m already dreading winter. I now make an effort to live in the present moment, to look up to the crisp blue skies and kick my feet through the dried, sunburnt leaves. Wrap up warm and go for a long walk outside. Collect the fallen conkers and pine cones, take them home and decorate them in time for Christmas. Enjoy the magic of this wonderful season, take care of your body, breathe deeply and look forward to the coming months as a time for relaxation, peace and copious amounts of hot chocolate.

Wellness & Lifestyle

An Honest Approach to ‘the Morning Routine’

August 16, 2016 • By

Lemon Water Northern YogiI’ve read thousands of these articles, I’m guessing you have too and yet we both are still open to finding out more about other people’s morning routines. Why is that?

I think there are two main reasons we are both so interested in what people do first thing in the morning:


1. We are really nosey and like to voyeur into others’ lives
2. We genuinely want to feel amazing every single day, and mornings are hard so we want tips on making them easier, therefore making ourselves feel (and look) incredible.

Most morning routine advice comes from successful, beautiful people, usually accompanied by stunning pictures of them looking great clutching a mug of hot water and lemon. The reason this advice comes from successful people is probably because they know the importance starting each day right, but let’s face it sometimes life gets in the way. So it’s time to honestly approach our mornings and make the most of our day!

My morning routine generally looks like this

7am: Wake up, avoid checking phone no matter how much I really want to. Those #Instalikes can wait!
7:05am: Try and locate my earplugs that have fallen out of my ears during the night and are now floating around the bottom of the bed.
7:06am: In the bathroom, washing what needs to be washed, dry shampooing what can wait another day.
7:15am: In the kitchen, flick the kettle on. Play with the dog/ empty dishwasher/ load laundry whilst kettle boils
7:16am: Make 1 coffee for boyfriend (who is still in bed) and myself a lemon, vinegar and hot water. (Somedays this changes to a strong, large cup of tea, mood dependent)
7:19am: Back upstairs with two hot drinks and a dog, challenging.
7:20am: Drink hot water lemon whilst throwing make up on my face, brushing my hair, getting dressed
7:45am: Breakfast, usually berries with Greek yoghurt and granola. This changes to eggs, tomatoes and avocado at the weekend.
8am: Leave house clutching 1 litre of lemon water for the car ride, 1 handbag, 1 gym bag and maybe a bag of trash for the bin. Plus one Shih Tzu on her way to daycare.

You will notice that at no point during my first hour of each day there is no yoga, no meditation, and no 5 k run. I ‘m a yoga teacher and I don’t role out of bed straight onto my mat each day (WTF!). Occasionally yes, everyday no. Generally I prefer to practice in the evenings as I have more time to focus on the task at hand (TOP TIP: It’s easier to still the mind if you’re not thinking about the time). If you feel guilty about missing that 5am gym session just stop. Now. Starting every day with a feeling of guilt is not good and will probably make you feel a bit crappy all day long. So just stop doing it.

Mornings are hard. The baby is crying, the kids are hungry, the dog just crapped on the floor and we are now about 45 minutes behind schedule. Where is the Zen?

I left some parts out of my morning routine earlier because, to the outside world, it appears they are not happening. But, for me, they change my day. So maybe you could add them in whilst no one else is looking. See how it improves your day.

1. Upon waking tell yourself what kind of day you’re going to have:

a. ‘Today will be a good day’
b. ‘Today I will do something kind for a stranger’
c. Today I will be kind to my body’
d. Today the universe with respond to what I send out’

2. Whilst making your morning drink just think about that morning drink. Think about how the water is boiling, think about how that lemon was created, think about the beautiful effect it will have on your body. No other thoughts, just pouring water onto lemon. This is your meditation.

3. Give someone you love a hug; your child, your partner, you’re pet. Love them, show them.

4. Chant. My favourite is:

Aum Bhur Bhuvah Swah, Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi, Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

5. Open the windows, blinds and curtains. It is the morning, let in the light!

Your morning routine doesn’t have to be the mirror image of Richard Branson for you to have a successful day. If a cup of tea and 5 minutes on the sofa makes you feel happy do that. It’s not about how it looks to others, it’s about how it feels to you.

Yoga & Meditation

How to Survive Yoga Teacher Training

July 27, 2016 • By

Beach YogaAt the beginning of 2016 I took the plunge and signed up to my first yoga teacher training course. It’s something I had wanted to do for so long, so despite my trepidation I found my metaphorical balls and enrolled. I felt completely ready for the hard work, commitment and the challenge I was about to endure. On my first day I sat in a circle of, what were once, strangers and listened to the teacher tell us ‘something will change for you over the next 6 months’. I was curious as to what my change would be, I mean how much can a person really change in 6 month? Little did I know what the next chapter had in store.

During the research process of finding the perfect teacher training school I read numerous articles advising not to take on any extra ‘life pressure’ during study. This advice is all well and good, but sometimes you cannot plan what life throws at you. With this in mind I thought it best I share with you future teacher trainees my top 3 tips on surviving yoga teacher training whilst living in the real world.

1. Get a support group, quickly: I’m not sure whether I got really lucky with my fellow teacher trainees or if it was the universe sent me special angels to guide me along the way but the people on my course just happened to be the most supportive, loveliest, friendliest and wisest group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around. When I struggled, they were there. When I fell, they were there. When I laughed and cried, they were there. I looked forward to seeing them after a long week (with an even longer weekend ahead of me) and they made my experience even more special. We created an energy that was sacred to us all, and without them, training to teacher would have been so much harder and a lot less fun. So find your yogi sisters and brothers and lean on them when you need them, which you definitely will at some point.

2. Prepare to be broken: I was so strong before embarking on my training; physically, mentally, and emotionally. Or at least I thought I was. I started practicing yoga over a decade ago to help manage anxiety and stress, I worked hard on my mat so I would eventually be able to still my mind, and it worked! It worked for years. It worked up until the pointhurricane yogini-2of beginning yoga teacher training and the universe said; ‘Okay girl, let’s see how much you really want this’. It then proceeded to throw at me an array of life stresses; a house move, renovations, a sick dog, work worries, cancer, long distance relationships, money woes. You name it, the universe dealt it. My anxiety was through the roof, my practice was minimal and my mind was right back to square one. It was as if I’d been stripped of all my layers of strength and forced to remember what life was like before I first stepped on that mat 10 years ago. This time though I knew my practice would be there to save me, not my physical asana practice, but meditation. I sat, for hours, and felt every little broken piece. I’m still sitting, still feeling, still nursing the after effects of Hurricane Yogini. I just trust that little voice at the bottom of my stomach that whispers ‘trust in me, it will all be okay’.

3. Believe in yourself: If you are brave enough to put your dream out there into the big wide world then you a brave enough to stand in front of a group of people and teacher asana. Your mind will tell you differently, your mind will tell you that you’re not good enough to be there, that you ‘can’t even do a handstand’ so you’re definitely not teacher material. Don’t listen to that voice! That voice is bad, it doesn’t know anything about you and it wants you to fail. When you start believing in yourself that voice will become quieter and quieter until, one day, you just won’t hear it anymore. Hopefully your course leader instill in you a sense of self belief, trust them when they tell you you’re good enough. They want to you succeed and will do everything in their power to help you. Now the rest is up to you.
Training to be a yoga teacher is possibly the most challenging yet most rewarding thing I have ever done. It teaches you so much about yourself, it forces you to deal with the aspects of life you want to change, it forces you to accept the parts of yourself you weren’t so keen on before. It makes you see other people, other places and, most importantly, yourself in a different light. And that’s worth every tear you will cry during the process. There is no hiding from yourself during training to teach yoga, you become raw. You will learn what it’s like to feel deep into your own soul so that one day, hopefully, you’ll pass that gift onto a student.

Yoga & Meditation

What To Wear To Yoga

May 3, 2016 • By

what to wear to yogaTurning up to your first yoga class can be a daunting experience. I remember the first class I ever attended on my own, I got lost, felt rushed, was running late and almost convinced myself I would just miss the class and try again next week with a friend. Luckily that didn’t happen. I found my balls and walked into that class full of experienced yogis, hid at the back and made my way through the class.

Knowing how nerve racking it can be just to make it to the class you don’t want to add to the anxiety by wondering what to wear. So, I’ve done the hard work and made the mistakes for you. Follow these tips and I promise you will never feel uncomfortable on your mat because of what you are wearing.

  •  Think you’d be more comfortable a loose fitting top? Think again! As a woman (no doubt men experience this too) I have days when I just don’t feel as slender as usual. I want to hide under lose fitting clothes and I definitely don’t want to slip into a tight fitting yoga vest. So, I’ll throw on my trusty baggy top and make my way to class. The thing is, as comfortable as you feel in the baggy top, it will all change as soon as you enter your first downward facing dog. ‘Oh no, my tummy is on show’ it what you’ll mumble to yourself through the vest top that has now made its way up your midriff, over your chest and is now flapping around your face.

Top tip: If you don’t feel comfy arriving in at class in a tight vest top wear your loose fitting top, but put a tight top underneath. You will thank me once in your first inversion. Your tummy will be tucked away and you’ll feel confident in all postures.

  • Yes your new yoga leggings look amazing, your bum looks great, they feel good and you can’t wait to show them off in class. You wear your fantastic new leggings to all your classes, until one day, your best yogi friend happens to catch a glance at your downward dog and say’s ‘you can see your arse through those leggings you know?’ Then you have to do a full 90 minute class knowing your teacher can see your bum. Not good. Not zen.

Top Tip: Before you buy any yoga leggings hold them up to the light and stretch the fabric. This is the exact level of coverage your behind will get from those leggings once you’re in a standing forward fold.

  • Picture the scene, the sun is shining outside, it’s a fresh spring day and you’re heading off the yoga class is Kino style shorts, a crop top and flip flops. If you are reading this and you live in Miami you’ll probably be okay, it’s 90 degrees after all. If, however, you are reading this and you live in London/ Sweden/ Iceland you may want to pack some layers. You might be warm walking to class, you’ll probably be really warm during your practice but, most likely, when it comes to your Savasana you’ll start to feel the chill. As your body cools down you’ll lie there, not focusing on your breath and letting go like you should be, but thinking about your cold toes, the draft around your neck, the goose pimples forming on your thighs.

Top Tip: Wear layers, pack layers! You might not want to wear socks with your sandals on your way to class (I don’t blame you) but socks will be your best friend come Savasana. Pack socks, a light cotton shawl, a jumper or cardigan or a loose blanket to wrap yourself up in during relaxation.

Your yoga practice is your tool to help you deal with life’s ups and downs better. It’s not a place to worry about how you look, it’s a place to let go. As long as you are comfortable you’ll be able to focus on your practice, your posture, your breath. That’s the most important thing, not your Lululemons.