We know that yoga rejuvenates our bodies and calms our minds, and one of the ways we practice giving without expectation is by sharing our love for yoga.
Every week, our stores and showrooms push their products aside, unroll yoga mats and turn their spaces into instant yoga studios. Classes are complimentary and lead by instructors from local studios in your community. Find your local store info here.
Here are some classes for you to enjoy, wherever you are in the world. Grab your mat, find a comfortable place and hit play.
The word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit root "yuj," which means "to yoke" the spirit and physical body together. Yoga has evolved over thousands of years to embrace a wide range of styles and disciplines and it’s a popular activity for athletes, children, and seniors. Yoga can be modified to suit all levels of fitness. Yoga has been proven to lower blood pressure and increases strength and flexibility. Yoga energizes our bodies and calms our minds.
Remember, your body is your best guide. You don't have to stick to one kind of yoga, just do what your body needs!
Spending hours working out and training can cause overuse injuries of the knees, backs, quads and hamstrings. We love yoga for its stretching and strengthening properties.
Yoga’s focus on flexibility, finding the edge and staying balanced builds full-body strength. A strong core “holds it all together” and provides the power to push through personal limits.
Yoga teaches an inward focus of the mind (and through this, deep awareness of the present moment) by bringing awareness to our breath. When we are able to clear our minds of distraction, we can really fill our lungs and sprint.
Studies have shown that the power of visualization really works. Building relaxation and mental clarity by practicing yoga is a powerful tool to harness that focus and visualize success (like a double fist pump when we cross the finish line first.)
Proper alignment of yoga postures is important for many types of yoga. Choose clothes that are not too baggy and that help you and your yoga instructor make sure you're not doing anything harmful to your body.
In more physical types of yoga and especially in hot classes, expect to sweat. Wear clothes that dry quickly, wick sweat away, and will keep you as comfortable as possible to get the most out of your yoga class. Fabrics with stretch will help you feel most comfortable as you move from pose to pose.
Yoga blocks and straps are great tools for beginner to seasoned yogis. Some styles of yoga, such as Iyengar, require more use of yoga props (such as straps) than others to help you better align yourself in a pose or get into "hard to reach" postures. Try sitting on a yoga block with your legs crossed to help open your hips up.
Check out available yoga blocks and straps.
You're going to be spending a lot of time up close and personal with your mat. Yoga mats come in a variety of colours, sizes and thicknesses. Are you a traveling yogi? Look for thin travel mats that fold up so you can take your downward dog on the road.
Shop for lululemon yoga mats.
It's easy to free your mind when a hammock is gently cradling you and gravity does the work of deepening your stretch. The compression-free inversions can be terrifying at first until you realize that the hammock has your back. Aerial yoga is all about trust and the blissful sensation that you're floating.
Expect a playful class with a strong focus on proper alignment and Tantric yoga philosophy (not what you're thinking). It, like most yoga, is derived from Hatha yoga.
This practice is very athletic and made up of six vigorous series of postures. It's one of the oldest forms of yoga and is considered to be the foundation of much of the yoga we see today in the west.
You're going to sweat in a Bikram's class more than you ever thought was possible. Bikram yoga consists of 26 postures and breathing exercises repeated twice (that's right, 90 minutes) in a room heated to 105 degrees. Heads up—humidity is 40% and will knock you over the first time.
The foundation of every style of yoga mentioned here. Traditional Hatha yoga is a holistic path that includes disciplines, physical postures (asana), purification procedures, breathing (pranayama) and meditation. Hatha practiced in the west consists of mostly physical postures and is also recognized as a gentle introductory yoga for people new to yoga.
By adding heat it is said that classes will help you loosen your muscles (by adding increased range of motion) and improve your cardiovascular system. It differs from Bikram's in that the series of postures are not always (but can be) in any particular order and modifications are often offered.
Expect a class emphasizing healing the body and mind through use of supported postures. One of the oldest forms of yoga, it's for a person who loves technical intricacies and is also great for people who are new to yoga or have any issues with their health.
Don't be surprised if you’re waving your hands like you just don't care or laughing uncontrollably, this practice is intended to wake up the Kundalini energy coiled at the base of your spine while activating chakras (energetic centers in the body), as well as detox the body and mind.
Some believe that Yin yoga is the oldest form of Hatha yoga, since it is the ideal method of physical conditioning for prolonged meditation. Don't let the props and gentle movements fool you, this is not a form of restorative yoga. The long holds require that you focus and release all effort from the muscles.