A new year is the perfect opportunity to adopt a healthier, calmer and more fulfilling lifestyle, and yoga is one of the oldest known methods of achieving greater well-being and contentment. We’re seeing an influx of stylish fitness and yoga wear in the shops this season, so if you’re looking to get bendy, now is the time to gear up. We love the highly affordable pieces in New Look’s new sportswear section, and the Rosie for Autograph range at M&S includes some sports luxe highlights that are ideal for yoga.
We spent some time with Hatha Yoga instructor Philippa Stevens to get some valuable tips on how to introduce the practice into your life, whether you’re starting from scratch or a former yogi looking to get back into the habit of stretching and sun salutations.
1. What should I wear for yoga? Is it the same all year?
Wear any clothes for yoga you feel comfortable in and that don’t restrict your movement. Leggings and a vest are perfect, maybe a long sleeved t-shirt for winter.
It’s particularly important to get the right fit when you’re buying clothes you’ll be wearing for workouts: too tight can restrict movement and impede flexibility, while overly-loose clothing that threatens to fall off will make you feel very self-conscious! We recommend you find sportswear that fits well and makes you feel comfortable and confident while you exercise. If you’re not sure of your size, simply buy two identical items, try both, and send back any that don’t fit using the CollectPlus returns service.
2. What equipment do I need?
That’s the beauty of yoga, all that’s needed is you and a mat! A block and a belt can also be helpful but they’re not essential if you’re just starting out. In our shoot, Philippa uses a Gaiam ‘Tree of Life’ printed yoga mat (£14.99), strap (£6.99) and block (£7.99), all available to buy with CollectPlus click & collect at John Lewis.
If you want to take up yoga, I always recommend you join a class to benefit from the guidance of a qualified instructor: take a look at sites like www.bwy.org.uk or classfinder.org.uk to find a yoga class local to you. Once you’re attending sessions regularly, you can start to practice poses at home.
3. What are some easy poses for doing at home and how often should I do it?
You could try a few minutes in child’s pose (pictured above) to stretch out your back body, particularly beneficial if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day.
After that, try a few rounds of sun salutations to energise in the morning, or maybe some gentle stretches to wind down at the end of the day. Seated side twists (see above) are also an easy way to loosen up and give your insides a bit of a massage!
4. What’s your personal top tip?
Keep your mat somewhere visible at home and then when you have a little time to spare you will be reminded to practice
If I’ve had a busy day I like to put a few drops of lavender oil in the corner of my mat when I’m practicing to really help me relax.
5. Is yoga for me?
It doesn’t matter whether we are a beginner or an experienced yogi – yoga helps us all to feel more balanced in our bodies and our minds. So, I would say yoga is for everyone!
How do I know which is the right style of yoga for me?
There are lots of different styles of yoga so I would encourage you to try a variety of classes to find a style that suits you best.
WIN a Nutribullet 15-piece Pro to kick-start your healthy regime
The Nutribullet is a great piece of kit for the kitchen and is a firm ally for anyone looking to live a healthier life. It usually costs £109 in John Lewis, but we’ve got one to give away to one CollectPlus customer, along with a book of ‘Life Changing recipes’ that should supercharge your day. Simply enter your details in the form below, and we’ll be in touch if you’re chosen as our winner. Good luck.
1. Only open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
2. This prize draw excludes CollectPlus employees, their families, agencies, or anyone professionally connected with the promotion.
3. The prize draw runs from 16:30 on Wednesday 20th January 2016 to 18:00 on Friday 5th February 2016.
4. There will be one prize of NutriBullet 15 Piece Pro 900 Series + Life Changing Recipes Book worth £109 at time of writing. No cash alternative is available and the prize is not transferable. By entering, participants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by the rules. All entry instructions form part of these Terms and Conditions. In the event of unforeseen circumstances the Promoters reserve the right to offer alternative prizes of equal value.
How to enter:
5. To be in for a chance of winning the prize draw, you must complete the form on this page including an email address that CollectPlus can use to contact you.
6. Only one entry per email address will be accepted.
7. The winners will be drawn at random by Friday 5th February 2016 and may be announced on Twitter either on the same date or at a later date. The winner will be notified that they have won the prize draw by email and must respond to this notification within 5 days, otherwise the right to claim the prize will be lost and the promoter reserves the right to re-award the prize.
8. By taking part in this prize draw you agree to @collectplus posting a public tweet stating the prize draw winner’s name.
9. The promoter reserves the right to amend, alter or terminate this promotion at any time due to circumstances beyond its control. The promoter’s decision is binding in all matters.
10. The winners’ details (name and county) will be made available on request to those enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope to CollectPlus, 49 Clarendon Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1DU.
11. The promoter can accept no responsibility for, and reserves the right to refuse, entries which are corrupt, incomplete or fail to arrive by the closing date and time.
12. The promoter is Drop & Collect Limited, 49 Clarendon Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1DU.
13. These rules are governed by English law and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts. DATA PROTECTION: All the personal information that is taken during this prize draw will only be used in connection with the administration of the prize draw and will not be passed on to an outside company without permission.
January 20th 2016 - by @CollectPlus