How many times have you done a great workout, only to feel as though you can’t breathe in any fresh oxygen, congested and sniffling from allergies or overheating in a crowded room of sweating bodies? When you’ve cleared your schedule to prioritise your health and have managed to squeeze in a workout, you want to increase the benefits of this opportunity by maximising your oxygen levels, not depleting them!
We know physical fitness and working out are good for us, beyond the obvious feel-good factor and aesthetic results – the stimulus of activity kick-starts our cardiovascular system and enhances our aerobic conditioning. As we begin moving, the flow of oxygen from the outside world moves deep into the lungs, through which the process of gaseous exchange occurs and, as that oxygen-rich blood floods our bodies, we experience enhanced capability and optimal functioning.
The phenomena of breathing is our single most vital life force, yet often we allow it to occur with sub-par or even harmful interactions from our environment. What we tend to miss out on are multiple simple hacks that we can do to support our breath and fuel our healthy lifestyles to even greater capacity.
If you’re working out hard, you want your environment to be working out just as hard.
At-home workouts are steadily growing in popularity – the ease of fitting in a sweat session, or streaming a yoga class from the comfort of your living room is a trend that many time-poor but health focused individuals are picking up on. Unfortunately, most of us are working out in environments that aren’t optimal, and may actually be jeopardising our health progression. As much as we need to focus on our form and fitness, we need to focus on air purity too.
The best hack? Increase the quality of the air around you.
Recently, the World Health Organisation published a list of gases of concern that are commonly found in our homes. From formaldehyde found in the materials of our furniture and flooring to benzene which can be released from burning our favourite scented candles, these gas and pollutant particles can be as small as 0.1 micron, meaning they can travel much further into our bodies, so much so, that when inhaled they infiltrate the bloodstream.
The fix? The Dyson Pure Cool Link.
Dyson is on a mission to help purify the air around you – safeguarding your health, enhancing your fitness journey and protecting your family. And it all begins with air purity.
Not just an air cooling unit, (though this key feature can prevent you from overheating when the thermometer soars from your sweat sessions!) this intelligent, hardworking, home assistant captures up to 99.5% of harmful ultrafine particles as small as 0.1 microns. The high-efficiency HEPA carbon filter and lower face velocity enable this purifying fan to trap, and they contain, the harmful particles floating around your home. This is crucial because unlike some other purifying fans out there which initially struggle to trap the same volume of particles, there is no escaping of the particles once they are pulled in.
The freestanding, compact unit has a footprint the size of a letter so you can move freely without it impeding your activity – which means no excuses for you to skip out the burpees! There’s no fuss, no filter washing, no fiddly attachments and no drama with this stylish piece of tech – simply wipe it clean and get on with your busy life.
Smart Tech Features
But the best part? As we become increasingly obsessed with smart tech, this purifying fan automatically monitors, reacts and purifies, reporting straight to the Dyson Link app. So you can both check in on the air quality and control your purifying fan from anywhere – whether that be on your commute, from your desk at work, or even from the floor at the end of your workout! This not only ensures you can safeguard the levels of air purity in your home, but you can even control your home purifier remotely – so as soon as you step in the door you’re greeted with cool, pure air – there is no extra wastage of keeping the appliance running all day.
Regardless of our goals or stage of life, each of us can benefit from this one clever appliance. Hardworking parents whose families can be protected with clean, clear air, and whose children can learn to strive for healthier lifestyles. Health-conscious individuals keen to reduce the number of harmful particles that can become absorbed into our bodies. Even health and fitness junkies who can maximise their workout potential and accelerate their athletic progress from the simple addition of purified air and oxygen flow. We can all breathe a little easier knowing that this trusted product will back you and your family’s health and wellness endeavors.
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Finding the right yoga mat is incredibly personal—no single mat is going to meet every yogi’s unique needs. Some yogis look for durability, for some the right grip is the key factors and others want to be conscious of the environment. When you are faced with figuring out which mat will best supplement your practice, it can seem like a daunting process with a million options out there. To take some pressure off the situation, we tallied up the Top 10 Best Yoga Mats currently available to keep your focus on the practice, not the mat.
1.The Manduka PROlite: Best Overall Mat
This baby is known industry wide as a breakaway star! This mat is known for being extremely durable due to the PVC material and density. The ProLite is also renowned for its versatility. Whether you are practicing in a heated studio or on a cool beach, the grip and support allows you to flow through your poses with stability and support. This mat is light coming in at 4lbs and is known for getting better with use but like most mats, it does require a small break-in-period.
2. Jade Harmony: Best Professional Mat
The Jade Mat offers open cell technology that provides a superior grip. You will want to keep this mat made from natural rubber out of extreme heat and direct sunlight to keep its longevity going. The grip is great on this mat but it’s important to remember that cleaning this mat required some delicate cleaning products and can sometimes be difficult. If you want to do your best to be eco-friendly during your practice this is the choice for you!
Related post: 8 things your Yoga instructor wish you knew
3. Manduka Black Mat Pro
As one of the most well-known mats in the yoga community its no surprise the Manduka Black Mat Pro is on this list. With a weight of 7 to 9 lbs, this is a wider and thicker mat that truly delivers on stability and support. It also has a lifetime guarantee. You might recognize The Black Mat Pro in your local studios as it’s often a yogi-crowd favourite! This is the big brother to the ProLite but for someone looking for increased comfort and thickness, this is the top-of-the-line option out there.
4. Hugger Mugger Para Rubber
For an increased sense of cushion while remaining eco-friendly take a look at the Hugger Mugger Para Rubber. With non-slip surfaces on both sides and ¼” thickness for added cushion, this is a great alternative to the Jade Harmony Mat. The natural rubber is sustainable and renewable and boasts a marbled design.
5. PrAna Revolutionary Sticky Mat
For taller or wider builds, this may be the perfect mat for you. It is the largest mat available from PrAna and is made from biodegradable, non-amazon-harvested rubber. With a firm three layer design, this non-toxic mat provides great grip and great space to settle into your poses.
You might also like: GuavaGuy: 8 ways yoga can improve your sex life
6. Kharma Khare
If reduce, reuse, recycle is your mantra this the perfect mat for you. This 5mm yoga mat is made from 4mm repurposed recycled car tires and 1 mm natural rubber latex which is sustainably sourced. Pair the fact that it is non-toxic with its amazing grip and you have a wonderful eco-friendly and functional yoga mat. However, do handle with care!
7. PrAna E.C.O
The PrAna E.C.O. mat is latex free and eco-friendly with texture on both sides providing incredible grip and the TPE material is lightweight, PVC free, and has closed cell construction that prevents germs from entering the mat. This is a great latex free option with a much more wallet friendly price tag.
8. Gaiam Print Premium
For all yogis that are mindful of their spending, this is another budget friendly option! With great prints available and a lightweight design, this mat provides a durable cushion for your practice.
Related post: Hot Yoga: All your questions answered
9. The Liforme: Best Non – Slip
With alignment markers and undeniable traction, this is one of the best options available for a high intensity, heated practice. Made with a natural rubber base and layer of polyurethane, the grip is ideal. Coming in at 4.2 mm thick, this mat provides great support. Weighing 5.5 lbs this mat is worth the investment for the hot yoga yogi that embraces a sweaty practice with open arms.
10. The Yoloha Native: Best Low Maintenance Mat
Cork on a yoga mat? Who knew? This mat has a cork surface which means this mat is naturally antimicrobial resulting in low odor and less bacteria per sweat session. This lightweight mat comes with a carrying strap and provides plenty of support. Keep in mind the grip on this mat improves as it gets moist. This is also an eco-friendly option!
There you have it! 10 of the best yoga mats available to take your practice to the next level. Which one best suits your yoga needs? If you would like some further background information on the above yoga mats, click here!
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Many men we talked to before, mistakenly think group classes are all about dancing. We wanted to prove them wrong.
So it seemed right to throw the task to someone with a slightly above-average interest for fitness, who’s not scared of change but likes to spend weekends at Club Vista Mare. After some convincing, Simon accepted the challenge to review a few GuavaPass Studio Partners in Dubai.
We told Simon to try classes that he normally wouldn’t have signed up for if it wasn’t for GuavaPass. For the coming few weeks, Simon will be our dedicated GuavaGuy and share his stories here on our blog and through his Instagram (@sibower). Enjoy the show!
Up there with spin classes as my biggest fear is hot yoga. The stress of a potential rogue fart, combined with the soup like atmosphere of Dubai in peak summer. Hell. However, for a tin man athlete like myself, I need to do these sort of classes to fix my ever declining flexibility and mobility.
The studio was fairly similar to the few other yoga studios I have visited and the staff seemed friendly and helpful. As I walked into the hot yoga room, I thought to myself “this is going to be ok”, but when the class started that all changed.
The teacher was both terrifying and lovable in equal measures, which drove me to push myself a bit further than usual. Watching my super buff, overly inflexible friend struggling also gave me a much-needed boost during the toughest parts of the class. The poses we went through were challenging from both a strength and flexibility point of view, and I had moments where I had to stop (not something I usually do during classes).
During one of the more strenuous parts of the class, the guy next to me had to go and lie down. I looked at him a few minutes later, and to be 100% honest I thought he was dead. He had gone a very unnatural pale color, and suddenly reality hit me – would I actually survive this class? When my vision started to go a little blurry I feared the worst but persisted.
Even the heavenly tone of “last pose” brought further dread, as predictably it was not. However, after 75 minutes (a real slog for a hot yoga class), it was over. Despite the fact I hit some real challenging low points during the class, I felt awesome after. The fact it was such a challenge, and that it’s incredibly good for someone like me, means I will definitely be doing another one of these hellish classes. Highly recommended for standard men who lift and sit at desks all day.
Success – Another yoga class down without the shame of a rogue bowel movement (unfortunately I can’t say the same for the attractive participant on the mat next to me).
Name: Simon Bower @sibower
Civil status: Single
Favorite Yoga Pose: The Slug
Strongest muscle: Tongue
Favorite fruit: Beef
Watch the Dubai GuavaPass Facebook for more stories and reviews from our GuavaGuy!
Read the rest of Simon’s reviews here!
Is co-wellness the new co-working? An inside look at the expansion of co-working into the fitness world
Over the last 5 years, there has been a substantial increase in co-working spaces in Singapore. They offer a new approach to work-life balance and traditional corporate work structures. With the ‘lion city’ recently taking over Silicon Valley as the no.1 city for global startup talent, the demand for spaces that encourage this collaborative and cross-industry business approach is only going to grow.
The primary features of Singapore co-working spaces which have attracted the likes of Hootsuite, Stripe Buzzfeed, Spotify and GuavaPass include the countless networking opportunities, almost unlimited hours, and facilities which trump those of traditional office spaces.
Co-working spaces such as The Working Capitol, The Great Room and Latice80 have recently been joined by a new type of collaborative space. The term ‘co-wellness’ is relatively new to the fitness and health industry. GuavaLabs is the first in Asia to launch a co-wellness facility with a revolutionary approach to corporate fitness, freelance instructor control and turn-key studio rental facilities.
GuavaLabs was originally launched in 2016 by GuavaPass, when the co-founders saw an opportunity to bring the concept of co-working into the fitness space. The first 2,000-square-foot GuavaLabs based in the Mandarin Gallery was designed to provide space for a studio or a trainer to run their own class in a well-equipped workout facility. The space gained such keen interest from instructors and studio owners, that the need for expansion was inevitable.
So, early last month, GuavaPass opened a new a fully functional, 4-room training complex in the heart of the CBD, providing fitness teachers the space needed to help grow their business at minimal cost, maximum return and total control.
The 3,000+ sq ft GuavaLabs in the recently constructed OUE Downtown Gallery provides a state-of the art fitness experience for experts and their members. From the seamless personalised booking system (instructors can book rooms here and clients can book classes here) to the wellness concierge upon entry, to the immaculate facilities, GuavaLabs represents the best the co-wellness concept has to offer.
The GuavaLabs includes a Yoga room (35 pax), a Pilates/Barre/TRX room (25 pax), a Personal training and Bootcamp room (25 pax) and a radical new boxing studio, STILL Boxing. The rooms can be booked by the hour, with flexibility in the time, day or number of continued bookings. Each space features everything needed for personal or group classes, making it a seamless, turn-key experience for both the trainer and their students.
As an instructor, you can rent space with complete control over the cost of a class. Your clients are provided with a personal booking URL and all attendance, payment, and registration can be optionally managed by GuavaLabs. Classes can even be placed on the GuavaPass app if trainers are looking for exposure and to increase their market reach
GuavaLabs includes impressive amenities including showers and bathrooms fitted with luxury Ashley and Co. products, a fully staffed refuel station run by long-standing GuavaPass partners Juice Junkie, and a retail space housing activewear fit for any workout.
STILL boxing is an entirely new concept in boxing fitness, combining the cardio and agility of boxing with HIIT training and strength workouts in one hour-long test of fitness and endurance. Adidas sponsored athlete Liona Hui has been teaching boxing for four years and her residency at this revolutionary studio is drawing an excited crowd to her daily classes. The space is fitted with Asia’s first Aqua Bags and an impressive multi colored light show with music to match it’s hyped energy.
Opened at the beginning of July 2017, GuavaLabs has already gained a sizable following of empowered teachers, impressed students and GuavaPass members. This is definitely a co-wellness space to watch.
Interested in the space? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
Are you already a Guava or a Guava wannabe? Well, this event in Abu Dhabi is open to all and we can’t wait to welcome you at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel in Abu Dhabi for yet another community event, to celebrate Yoga Day. So, put aside your plans and embrace an invigorating afternoon of meditation and self-care.
What is Yoga Day & why does it exist?
The 21th of June every year is an international day for yoga, declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly back in 2014. Individuals are encouraged to participate in the physical, mental or spiritual practice of Yoga. This event will take place to celebrate this occasion and allow you to experience different teachers, methods and practices throughout one morning. I can’t imagine being anywhere else!
5:30AM -6:30AM: Sunrise Yoga with Valentina by the Pool deck
The event welcomes you to participate in three different yoga classes throughout the morning. From 5:30-6:30 am (yes, early but totally worth it) you will be situated on the pool deck of the beautiful Eastern Mangrove Hotel in Abu Dhabi, for the Sunrise Yoga.
You may question why there is need to leave your bed at that time or morning when you can catch a later class? But, in fact, the early hours of the morning from 4am-7am, are known in the ancient yogic world to be the perfect time of day to practice yoga and meditate. It represents the space between dreaming and waking– a place which is calm and serene, peaceful and yet to be filled up with the busyness of life. Therefore, if you do want to find that zen before the rest of your life takes over your day, then force yourself out of that bed and indulge your body and mind in a wonderful experience.
6:30AM- 8:00AM: Breakfast
Afterward, your hunger will be fulfilled with an incredible breakfast spread by Anantara. A great opportunity to sample some of Anantara’s finest and delicious pastries after your class, and to prepare your body for the next. Take caution not to over-indulge in pastries, as we all know how that will end up during your next class- yes, I do mean sneaking a snooze mid-way through your meditation. If you’re fasting, then take this opportunity to enjoy the view of the Mangroves or take a walk through the beautiful surroundings of the hotel.
8:00AM – 9:00AM: Candlelight Yoga and Meditation with Sha in the BallRoom
After breakfast, you’re in for a treat. Candlelight yoga is a relaxing blend of low impact stretching, gentle movements, restorative poses, and supported passive postures. This class will help you further relax and thank yourself for attending the earlier class, through a series of deep stretches and meditation. Sounds dreamy, right? Don’t take that as your cue for a snooze though!
9:00AM- 9:45AM: Thai Stretching Techniques by the Anantara Spa Team in the BallRoom
Your last class of the day will involve various Thai stretching techniques provided by the Anantara Spa Team. The Thai Stretching will help open joints, stretch muscles, and rejuvenate energy. A trained Thai massage therapist will assist in helping stretch each person with specific, assisted yoga poses. This will be the perfect closing class of the day, allowing you to restore and recover your energy from your hard work earlier that morning.
9:45AM- 11:00AM: Body Painting and Hair Braiding for all participants!
Finally, to bring a fun day to a close, there will a complimentary hair braiding and body painting station for all participants, to come away enlightened, beaming and beautiful. We hope you will go home with a wonderful experience and a new outlook on morning yog because let’s face it the relationship with our beds on a weekend is hard to break.
This is THE event of the summer you don’t want to miss out on, so get your zen on and book into this event on your GuavaPass App as slots are limited. As always, free for Guavas, and we encourage you to bring your friends, also for free, by emailing email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you there.
By Marina Sergeeva
Have you ever been in a yoga class and wondered if the comment on ‘relaxing the face’ was directed at you? Or whether or not your teacher notices you’re wearing the same clothes as yesterday’s practice? Your yoga class should be the one place where the judgment or self-conscious thoughts should be at their very least. Instead, you should be focusing on your breath, balance and the silence in your mind.
But what would your yoga teacher say to you if they had the chance?
“Please please show up on time”
Yes, that comment on ‘being mindful about your actions and priorities in life’ was directed at you rocking up 10 minutes late. Although most classes won’t even let you join after 5 minutes, there’s nothing more distracting to the teacher and the students than someone finding a mat after everyone has already settled into their practice. Make it a priority to be on time, or even better, come early and take the time to practice your crow!
“Listen to your body and know when to rest”
Yoga is a difficult practice – plain and simple. Some of the poses are extremely complex and if they aren’t done properly can result in injury. Knowing when to pull back and when to hold onto the pose is something learned over time sometimes only after years of practice. Teachers never encourage pain, only strength, so rest when needed!
“We don’t care what you look like”
Whether it’s the half finished nail job, the greasy pulled back hair or the worse-for-wear activewear, we really don’t care what you look like during class. The only thing we’re looking at is your focus, commitment, and areas we can help you within your practice. The entire discipline is based on looking within and creating a peaceful state of mind – this is one place your looks aren’t important.
“Everyone is working in their inner complexes”
It may seem like your teacher is completely at peace with him or herself, but don’t forget that everyone has their insecurities, even your instructor. The great thing about practicing yoga is it teaches you to quickly cast away negative thoughts, even if it is just for the 60-minute class; the practice allows you to forget and eventually overcome the insecurities which affect you the most.
“Please don’t force yourself to stick to the pace”
When your instructor says ‘take this class at your own pace’, they really mean it. Everyone has different breaths, rhythm and experience levels and as a result, following your neighbor because you don’t want to fall behind is the complete opposite of what yoga should be about. Take your time, don’t rush your sequence and bring the focus back to your breath – you’ll find you will be very similar to the teacher if you do this.
“But don’t completely ignore the practice”
Have you ever been in a class and noticed someone doing a completely different progression altogether? Very rarely there is an experienced participant who sets their own positions and sequences, putting off the rest of the class and especially the newer yogis. At the end of the day, yoga it is a group class, and although you may be focused on your breath, the level of concentration needed to completely block out your fellow classmates is a skill most yogis never achieve. You can always learn something from an instructor, so follow their lead.
“Let’s just get it out in the open – everyone farts, and it’s okay”
Many instructors actually encourage letting one rip in seriously intense poses – it’s completely natural and very common in a practice which involves so many twists, holds and hip openers. The judgment you’re worried about isn’t there, no one has really noticed, and at the end of the day, it’s better out than in.
“For both yours and the classes sake, don’t leave early”
If you’re worried about making it back to work in time, or fluttering to get to the showers quickly, you’ve missed out on the most important elements of yoga. Firstly, your attempt to pause and distress the mind has simply not happened if you’re in that much of a rush. Secondly, if you don’t have 5 minutes to give your mind and body the rest it deserves after class, you should be looking at your priorities outside of the classroom because something needs to change.
Sign up to GuavaPass now!
In a converted shop house in the middle of Bugis, The Yoga Co. is a fantastic studio to ground yourself, relax the mind and step into your practice. Although they are most well known for their Triple Threat Bootcamp (which will very soon be tested out), their Flow class offers a slow and dedicated mix of Vinyasa and Yin. It’s a perfect class for beginners and un-experienced yogis wanting to educate themselves on both the breathing and the movements involved in yoga.
Slow, controlled and focused practice
The Yoga Co has 2 rooms in its studio, and our Flow class was taken in the smaller of the two. The hour long session was a very personal experience with only 5 spots available in the class. Our class was taught by Angela who was new to the studio but has been practicing yoga for a few years now. Her approach to the class was very simple and slow. She focused on the presence of the students within the practice, and led a class perfect for beginners. Starting the class with Pranayama breathing exercises, the instructor brings your focus to the importance of breath throughout the session. Breath is widely regarded as the most important component of yoga. It eliminates joint compression, improves posture and increases circulation not to mention relaxes the mind and focuses your concentration.
A class for beginners and experienced alike
Along with the usual expected poses within a Vinyasa flow, the instructor also offered variations to increase the intensity of the workout. Because of this, the practice was great for beginners and the more experienced yogis. Otherwise, staying as you are within your own reach of the pose is more than welcome. At the end of the class, I personally love the intervention of instructors during Shavasana who gently pull the shoulders into the ground and stretch out the legs. I was over the moon when Angela came around to each student and melted our necks and upper–body with one gentle movement.
If you’re in need of a simple yet relaxing stretch and flow, The Yoga Co.’s Flow class is a perfect option.
Book through GuavaPass now to reserve a spot!
#GuavaTip: The Studio is slightly hidden so follow the stairs past the first door and it’s on the second level.
Have you been practicing yoga for more than 2 years? Are you looking to challenge your body on a new level? If so, Intermediate Yoga at Kate Porter Yoga is a perfect choice. The complex but rewarding Vinyasa-style flow pushes your flexibility, strength and patience over the intense 90 minutes of advanced yoga. This class is fantastic for anyone wanting to expand their knowledge on Vinyasa progressions as well as yogis wanting to take the next step in their practice. The team at Kate Porter Yoga runs the Intermediate Yoga class a few times a week, and their Sunday morning class is a great way to start your day.
From corporate workaholic to yoga enthusiast
The class was instructed by Yen who has been practicing yoga for more than 9 years. A few years ago, Yen turned her back on her corporate job after completing a yoga-training course in India that changed her life. Ever since, she has been teaching with Kate Porter Yoga, spreading the word on the power of yoga and the positive effects it can have on your mind, body and soul.
The challenge is in the commitment to your practice
Over the 90 minutes, Yen took the class through a series of positions and holds that ranged from basic vinyasa poses to some seriously complex twists and inversions. Giving options of increasing or decreasing difficulty, the instructor pushed students to challenge themselves however they saw fit, and provided help when needed. My core and arms specifically were tested in the long-held balancing poses that required a lot of upper-body stability and strength.
An educating and exciting practice
Over the 90 minute session, the class was able to explore much more than the basic progressions of any yoga class, as the time gave Yen a chance to explain and properly educate the class on a variety of advanced positions. Towards the end of the class, the instructor incorporated poses common to a Yin practice including some deep and intensive shoulder and back stretches, which was a perfect end to the class and an even better start to Sunday morning. As the class came to an end, the class is offered fresh tea and cold towels to refresh after a long and powerful session.
Kate Porter Yoga offers a wide range of classes at their studio, from beginner to advanced sessions, in both yoga and pilates with most lasting between 75 and 90 minutes.
Book through GuavaPass today!
Amenities: Mats, towels, showers, changing area
#GuavaTip: The studio is located within a gated area, so upon entering, go through the boom gate to your left and head to the second block of apartments labelled 5000G