The yogi revolution is growing by leaps and bounds. As more people come to appreciate the benefits of a crescent pose, sun salutations and the warrior sequence, the bigger the community gets. Not only does yoga increase your flexibility and aid in weight management, but through the conscious breathing and stretching of your body into these positions it actually strengthens your central nervous system.
With such impressive health and wellness benefits, it’s no wonder people are colouring outside the square of different variation and locations to get their ‘om’ on. While we are familiar with ashtanga (focus on the pelvis and belly with swift movements), vinyasa (considered ‘flow’ yoga because of the extending postures) and Bikram (done in a humid room to accelerate cardiovascular activity), a few peculiar practises have now popped up. I’m always happy to try something at least once, but what do you think of the yoga trends created in 2019:
When I stumbled across goat yoga I thought I’d seen it all, but it seems serpents are sliding onto mats thanks to Canadian reptile-enthusiasts Tristan Risk and Joshua Burns.
The idea behind this daring variation is to chip away at fear to reach complete calm and relaxation. While there is always a snake wrangler on hand, the creatures wrap themselves around a yogi’s body – moving as you do. Ideally, the added weight challenges your balance and ability to distribute weight. After a session, you might find you’ve bonded with the snake because of the intimacy of your proximity, Tristan and Josh encourage that too.
Here’s a 50-second clip of snake yoga in action:
Yoga instructors try to find ways of making the exercise accessible to all ages and lifestyles, so you might’ve heard of this one a few years back as an alternative for the elderly. It’s grown increasingly popular and inclusive in the last few months.
Most professionals spend hours seated at their workstations – the perfect setup for a session. Break the mundanity of an eight hour day by indulging in a few minutes of chair yoga to improve your concentration and posture, as well as increase mood levels. You needn’t worry about breaking into a sweat at the office either. This kind of yoga focuses more on breathing, mindfulness and ease of movement, less on form and technique.
Hammocks are heavenly. I never go travelling without mine; ready to tie it up at the beach or secure it close to the campsite when I venture off the beaten path. They’re a kind of adult swaddling device, and a yoga session in a sling sounds like a great idea. Being suspended in the air will feel like you’re flying!
But it’s not all fun and games because the variation has incredible benefits too. Your joints will get a break – hello spinal decompression – you’ll improve your balance and alignment; plus, all that spinning and curling will improve your core strength.
To restore your natural circadian rhythm (which is your internal sleep/wake cycle), this revolutionary variation simulates a 24-hour day through light, sound and smell.
The session begins in blue light. Your body registers this at dawn, prompting your stress hormones to ‘wake up’. During this time your energy levels increase. Throughout the session, the light slowly warms and certain scents become pronounced until a red light brings melatonin rushing into your body to induce sleep.
Chroma yoga has been met with great scepticism, but the science about audio manipulation is sound. Not to mention, we know that light therapy is effective with people who experience Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) and the benefits of aromatic healing treatments are rarely contested.
If you thought pulling your teen away from their tablet was a challenge before, this trend is going to make it a whole lot harder.
We can shop, work, chat online; you never have to walk into a bank, pop into a post office, or ask your friends to set you up with a date to your cousin’s wedding because there are apps for that. Now, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to get the attention you need during a workout class.
A friend of mine has been skyping into yoga classes himself for a few months now. Admittedly, I thought it was a bizarre concept, but when I joined him for a class, I understood the appeal. Essentially, you can roll straight out of bed and onto your yoga mat on a Saturday morning and still be monitored by a professional. Digital yoga would be ideal for people who travel a lot but still want to maintain their health. If you have a tight schedule, you can slot a session in without worrying about wasting time on the commute to the yoga studio either.
Just when we had resigned ourselves to lathering our skin with collagen to ensure it retains its youthful tautness, we stumbled across this wonderful trend. Spend just 20 minutes, every morning, on wrinkle-shrinking, muscle-tightening exercises and you’ll start seeing results in no time.
The regal Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, swears by face yoga and so do Giselle Bunche, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston.