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All about the shopping ....

Posted on 31 October, 2015 at 14:50

I loved International Yoga Day this summer at Alexandra Palace. With a whole day of yoga led by greats like David Sye, Robert Milletti and Leah Bracknell what’s not to like. But, if I’m honest – and in the spirit of Satya (one of the Yamas as defined by Patanjali) I have to be honest – I missed the shopping that comes with the main event in October.

I have no trouble resisting designer shoes or handbags but one whiff of yoga goodies and I turn into Carrie Bradshaw of Sex in the City fame. So it was with eager anticipation and a bulging purse that I made my way to Alexandra Palace, which was the new location this year for the annual London Om Yoga Show. I wasn’t disappointed. The show this year was bigger and better than ever. My only problem was that I kept getting lost and realised eventually that if I didn’t buy things when I first saw them I might never get back to the same stall again! That was even after two whole days at the show.

Top marks for the friendliest retailer has to go to Saz from Yoga United. He always gives me a friendly smile and actually remembers me from one year to the next. Over the years I’ve bought a 6mm aubergine mat which provides much needed extra padding for my dodgy knees and bags; an elephant decorated mat bag (roomy enough for extra stuff like a blanket and blocks and various other yoga essentials. This year it was a sticky travel mat that caught my eye. Finally a mat I can squeeze into my bag even on a bargain “hand luggage” only flight. It is also ideal to take to the gym to cover their mats and much better than the cloth “over mats” a lot of people use as it is a sticky version. At £12 was a good price too so I snapped it up. I recommend Yoga United for all your yoga needs – their online service is also very good. I bought a bolster from them earlier in the year and it arrived quickly and in perfect condition. Check out their website www.yogaunited.com for yourself.

Continuing with the mat theme, I finally tracked down a mat cleaner to provide my trustee yoga friend with a much needed spruce up. Containing essential oils including Energising Ginger the small aerosol spray is proving its worth. At just £4 it was also good value. I recommend you give it a go.

I couldn’t resist the Magic Yoga Dot. I’m not sure about its “magical” properties but the dot (it’s actually a chunky circular shaped block) has proved surprisingly comfortable to sit on. I sit on the dot in a half kneeling pose as preparation for Hero. You can do this while relaxing and watching TV. It’s brilliant for the digestion and posture as well as being much better than crashing out on the sofa at night. Apparently the dot has many other uses including helping you get into the splits but I haven’t tried it yet!

I always renew my subscription to Om Yoga Magazine at the Yoga Show. The subscription is amazing value at £27.50 for 10 issues (a saving of £15 on the bookstall price) and subscribing at the show entitles you to a bag with all sorts of yoga goodies inside. I got two books (10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse and an inspirational book “Treasure Yourself” by Miranda Kerr), a DVD which promises to slim my butt (well, I certainly need some help in that area!), a 1kg pack of Epsom Salts, a bottle of designer water, two cartons of drinks, drinking chocolate and sticky yoga socks with open toes. Phew! My only problem was carrying that lot home on the train.

A chat with the friendly and very approachable editor of Om Yoga (Martin Clark) convinced me to buy his recently published book “How to be a Yoga Rockstar”. Filled with practical and inspirational ideas of how to take your yoga journey to the next stage, it is an interesting read for anyone serious about yoga whether they want to earn their living from yoga or not. The book is £16 on Amazon but it was only £10 at the Yoga Show and I got a packet of herbal tea and some yummy pure chocolate thrown in. Wow! Interestingly, I discovered that Martin comes Romford and knows Raphael Park and the bandstand well.

With food samples everywhere at the show I was easily persuaded to fill up my cupboards with Chia seeds (a superfood supplying all sorts of health benefits). I’m looking forward to sprinkling the tasty and nutritious seeds on my yoghurt and cereals. A large packet set me back £8 but that is very reasonable considering the price in Holland and Barrett is much more.

My favourite purchase has to be the Tibetan chimes. I’ve been looking for something like this to start and end my yoga classes. These have the perfect sound with the chime resonating for several seconds. I’m really looking forward to using them in classes and I may even give them a go with my ESOL students. They cost £15 which I thought was a good deal especially as they also gave me a lovely bag to keep them in.

Although I staggered home with more shopping than I could comfortably carry I’m very pleased with my purchases. I will definitely use everything I bought and I’m looking forward to next year’s Yoga Show for another dose of retail therapy.

 

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