Writing about yoga in a trends column almost feels like cheating. It’s been around for centuries and has grown significantly in popularity over the last five years, but since this is a yoga-themed issue, I feel I’m justified on giving you my take on this ancient practice.
Over the years we’ve seen jazzed-up versions of yoga splashed across the pages of glossy magazines; think Nude Yoga, Face Yoga (57 poses for your face) and Voga (Yoga+Voguing, the 80’s dance craze championed by Madonna), needless to say these questionable hybrids never gained mass appeal.
We’ve seen some other variations that have sustained a reasonable following, Acroyoga and Aerial yoga appeal to the daredevils amongst us, allowing you to get in poses where you can ‘fly’ or hang upside down. You might also have caught the episode of Dragons Den last year where Peter Jones and Touker Suleyman invested in BeamBlock yoga, an equipment-based class, which is gaining some traction.
The truth is that yoga doesn’t need changing or modernising, because it’s already perfect. When something has been around for over 5,000 years it’s pretty obvious it is the finished product. So rather than telling you ‘what’s new’ in the world of yoga, I’ll suggest a few new ways to experience it.
Yoogaia offer interactive, live classes, where the teacher instructs you personally via webcam. Book on as you would at the gym and join the class from home or wherever you are. Classes are for up to 25 participants but you only see the teacher and they are the only one who sees you. A subscription to Yoogaia costs just under £14 a month.
Do yoga with me (doyogawithme.com)
This fantastic website allows you to do tailored searches including, length of class, style of yoga and level of experience, helping you to pick the session you are in the mood for on any given day. Best of all, Do Yoga with Me operates on a donation basis so you can access most of the content for whatever you can afford.
YouTube has thousands of yoga classes for free – I watch on my iPad plugged into the TV so I can enjoy the class on a bigger screen – and in my opinion they are of equal quality to what you get on subscription based sites like YogaGlo.
My favourite YouTube channel is Fightmaster Yoga run by Lesley Fightmaster (yes that is her real surname). Lesley has filmed hundreds of yoga classes and they are super. The classes are different lengths, themes and intensities allowing you to find the right class for you on the right day. Because of that, I’ve been practicing yoga six days a week since I discovered her. Lesley’s mission is to bring yoga to everybody and make the world a happier place, so all the classes are run for an optional donation only