Yoga Show Highlights

November 11, 2009


I went to the annual Yoga Show at Earls Court last week and apart from feeling that too long has passed since I could ‘salute the sun’ there were some interesting things on display that might be of interest to those you who already do, or are about to take up, this very healthful practice.

The first thing to note is that there so many varieties of yoga on offer that you really need to spend some time researching the possibilities. If you want to sweat your way to fitness then Bikram or Hot Yoga is for you, and you might be interested in some yoga mats on the market that have a towelling cover so you don’t slide off in a mist of your own perspiration. I always thought yoga mats came in plastic and rubber, but there are also jute and bamboo for the adventurous.

Yoga for health problems

Many people do turn to yoga to help with things like having greater flexibility of stretching tight muscles, but an organisation of yoga teachers has taken it one step further. Yoga therapy for health practitioners have two years of specialist training in anatomy, physiology and pathology so they can tailor a practice to your specific health problem. They work with people who suffer from back pain, weight issues, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, asthma, chronic fatigue, diabetes, anxiety and depression.

They specialise in lower back pain and have developed a system for computer assisted low back assessment (CALBA) which allows them to see if your back pain involves a herniated disk. If it does then they can offer advice on therapeutic exercises tailored to the stage of progression of the disk.

Yoga information at and CALBA at

Yoga for the Mind

If you live in, or have access to, London then this form of yoga is aimed specifically at emotional healing for depression, anxiety and stress. They unite yoga therapy, mindfulness and psychotherapeutic holding with the latest research in neuroscience and the psychobiology of stress. It is a long way from the lotus pose and saying OM, but these courses could be a different way of tackling a long standing problem. Further details at

Yoga For Children With Special Needs

Again, this one is London based and works with children, their parents and carers offering yoga, support groups and massage.

It was started in Brazil in the 1970’s and been running in the USA since the 19990’s. It is a charity and came to the UK in 2001 to offer one to one yoga, group classes and in schools together with training for special needs teachers, occupational therapists and parent and family members. They support children with a wide range of conditions including cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, Willi Praeder, autism, epilepsy, ADD as well as other physical and developmental difficulties.

Their website is at

QiYoga for Seniors

If you are looking for something that combines Hatha yoga and Qi Gong then QiYoga might be for you. Available as a DVD to work with at home, this method was developed in Australia and has three different routines to help you gain strength and flexibility, improve your circulation and relax you. More information at the website

Music for Meditation

Finally, if all that yoga has worn you out, the traditional ened to a session is a short relaxation or meditation. Music can be helpful to set this mood and the master of this is Tim Wheater who has been providing mellow sounds for many years. If you are new to his music you can listen to a sample on his website, and at the show his personal recommendation for my readers was his In Unity album.


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