free spirit Hannah Cole

Hannah Cole

Yoga poses originally came as visions to the sage Patanjali, to help the body to remain still and comfortable, to meditate. However you don’t need expensive clothing (often made with synthetic fibres that needs a microplastic catcher to prevent plastics leaching out of the machine and into the sea). Many studios also use or sell cheap flimsy mats that can cause injuries, rather than heal.

Find a qualified teacher to avoid injury (don’t practice while pregnant unless under guidance of a teacher). Avoid inversions for menstruation/medical conditions. Online, we like Ekhart Yoga (affordable classes) or Charlie Follows (free online videos).

quality (non-slip) zero waste yoga mats

complete unity yoga mat

Complete Unity Yoga offers sustainable jute yoga mats that are non-slip (unlike toxic PVC which can get slippery if you sweat during class). These lightweight mats are easy to transport, and easy to fold up to take home. With incredible grip, you’ll never fall on your face in Downward Facing Dog again! Also good for Pilates or other exercise, these mats are easy to clean and free from microfibres, so won’t leach plastics if you practice outside on grass or on the beach. They are ethically-made and sold in FSC-certified craft paper. Features a natual rubber fragrance. You’ll also find zero waste yoga blocks etc for restorative yoga.

Cork Yogis also makes good yoga mats from cork (trees are stripped of the bark every few years, requiring no felling). In fact, keeping the cork industry alive in a sea of plastic wine corks helps protect forests from development, retaining jobs and giving homes to wildlife. The thickest mats are best for outdoor or uneven surfaces (or gives extra protection for injuries). This company donates a portion of profits to help the survivors of human trafficking.

Brentwood Home (USA) is worth a mention from across the pond. These yoga mats are also thick and in beautiful colours, made from organic cotton. They feature rubber anti-skid bottoms and biodegrade at end of use. The woven fabric wicks away moisture, so you won’t slip or have to wipe the mat. Good for arm/kneeling poses, tender knees or achy joints (a good reason to do yoga!)

a good illustrated guide to yoga poses

yoga anatomy book

Yoga Anatomy Made Simple is a delightful guide to this wonderful of exercise for mind, body and spirit. Although yoga is deep and complicated, most books are either celebrity dross, or so spiritual that they go a bit weird and uncomfortable for the average western reader. This books adds colourful illustrations to important info, to make learning how to do postures correctly fun!

Knowledge of anatomy is crucial when practicing yoga, as you want to know why you are doing the postures, not just how. But most yoga anatomy subject matter can be dry and difficult. Instead, this book (for written for yoga practitioners and teachers) by a long-time yoga teacher pairs expert knowledge with real-life examples and colourful illustrations, to understand the benefits of each posture, and understand why certain postures are easier or more difficult than others, for different people. Concepts are demonstrated on different body parts and posture groups:

  1. Forward bends
  2. Hip rotations
  3. Backbends
  4. Twists
  5. Shoulder postures
  6. Inversions
  7. Arm balances

Embracing each student’s lifestyle, environment and life history, learn how to analyse postures from a physical perspective, create effective yoga sequences  and avoid unnecessary injury. Stu Girling has been teaching yoga anatomy workshops for years, and specialises in treating injuries and tension patterns.

morning stretches Nikky Corker

Nikky Corker

If you want a good solid affordable yoga manual, we like Instant Yoga. It’s not flash or fancy, but beautifully written and with good photo sequences. It’s written by Tara Fraser, one of England’s top yoga teachers who also is properly trained by British Wheel of Yoga and teaches other yoga teachers.

Similar Posts