Monthly Archives: December 2014

Yoga may guard against heart disease

Dutch review of 37 studies

Doing yoga may be a good way to protect against heart disease, particularly if you cannot do more vigorous exercise, research suggests.

A review in the Netherlands of 37 studies involving nearly 3,000 people found yoga was independently linked to a lowering of heart risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Yoga does not count towards the recommended physical activity that we should all do each week. Experts say it may still be beneficial.

The benefits could be due to working the muscles and breathing, which can bring more oxygen into the body, leading to lower blood pressure”

Maureen Talbot
British Heart Foundation

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing.

There are lots of different types of yoga – tantric, Hatha and Ashtanga to name a few – but most are not strenuous enough to count towards the 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity the government says we should get each week to give our heart and lungs a workout.

Yoga does count as a muscle strengthening exercise – something the same guidelines say we should do on two or more days a week, every week.


Prof Myriam Hunink, from Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, set out to investigate what effect, if any, yoga might have on heart health.

Compared with no exercise, yoga had significant benefits – it was linked to a lower risk of obesity, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol, the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology reports.

When pitched against other types of exercise, such as brisk walking or jogging, yoga was no better or worse based on the same measures of heart risk.

Prof Hunink said: “These results indicate that yoga is potentially very useful and in my view worth pursuing as a risk improvement practice.”

It is not clear why yoga might be beneficial, but experts say it could be down to its calming effect. Stress has been linked to heart disease and high blood pressure.

Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “The benefits could be due to working the muscles and breathing, which can bring more oxygen into the body, leading to lower blood pressure.

“A larger study is recommended though to assess the effects of yoga more fully.”

She said the benefits of yoga on emotional health were well-established.

read full article:

Children’s yoga panto Dec 2014

The children’s yoga group wrote and performed their very own yoga panto this year which was quite stupendous.


See some of the photos below (and if you have any more please send them to us!)  

The children’s class at Yogawest is on Tuesday afternoons and runs as a course during termtime.

Thinking about giving a yoga gift?

Looking for an imaginative gift that will be appreciated?

Have a look at our upcoming Foundation Courses (we have 3 starting in January) at £49 and how about buying a Yogacard for a friend?

Special Offer

Buy a Yogacard-6 or foundation course for someone who hasn’t yet been to Yogawest and get £5 off!

We can giftwrap and post them for you too.

We also have some lovely yoga-related gifts in our shop: drop in to find yoga angels, plates, prints as well as stocking fillers like candles and eye bags.


Yoga Day with Edgar Stringer Feb 8 2015


Save the Date!

We are pleased to announce that Edgar has kindly agreed to teach a yoga day in February for us. Edgar is a Senior teacher and teaches an experienced and a general class at Yogawest on Fridays.

This will be suitable for all levels of ability with at least 6 months experience.


Sunday February 8th 2015

Full can be found here


Edgar-639-twistSee photos from Edgar’s last workshop here


Courses for the new year


Yogawest_Logo_small for web

Yogawest – Courses starting in Jan 2015


While most classes at Yogawest run on a drop-in basis, we also offer specialist courses which need to be booked in advance. These are usually 5 or 6 weeks in duration and offer an opportunity to learn with a group of fellow students.

  • Foundation Course starts Tuesday Jan 6, 6–7pm read more
  • Baby Massage starts Monday Jan 12,  2-3.15pm read more
  • Gentle Class starts Monday Jan 12,  2-3pm read more
  • Teens Class starts Monday Jan 12, 4.30-5.30pm  read more
  • Foundation Course starts Monday Jan 12, 6-7pm  read more
  • Children’s Course starts Tuesday Jan 13, 4.15-5pm read more
  • Foundation Course starts Thursday Jan 15  8-9pm read more








Christmas opening times – 2014


The last classes before Christmas are on Tuesday 23rd of December.

Yogawest is closed from Wednesday 24th to Friday 26th December

Between the 27th–30th December we will be open with a reduced timetable.

Yogawest is closed on New Years Eve, New Years Day and Friday January 2nd.

Full timetable resumes on Saturday January 3rd.

Download the Christmas timetable here

Baby Development – short course


Monday 2.00 – 3.15pm

2 week baby development starter course with Jocasta Crofts Dates Dec 8, 15

In a session Jocasta teaches you about your baby’s development and offers practical ways to support it through play. She does this through body-based exploration, hands-on care and play-based activities, all within a safe setting. This 2 week course will provide a taster of the full course we are planning for the new year.

Places are available on this course to find out more go here

Teacher Training at Yogawest

Teacher Training is coming to Yogawest in 2015

teacher training image (Jess) lrWe’ve had several requests over the last couple of years asking about the possibility of training to be an Iyengar yoga teacher at Yogawest.

We have been working away behind the scenes to arrange this, and now have some exciting news…

Latest Information on Teacher Training at Yogawest

As many of you know, we have been in discussion with a senior teacher in recent months about setting up an Iyengar teacher training course at Yogawest.

There have been various hoops to jump through, but we are delighted to announce that we now have IY(UK) approval to proceed with the course.

Sheila HaswellAnd the really fantastic news is that Sheila Haswell has agreed to teach the first course. Sheila is a well known figure in the Iyengar world, running and teaching at Sarva in High Wycombe until recently. She is a wonderful teacher: compassionate, wise and a brilliant trainer. Although she will still be based up the M4, she has agreed to come to Yogawest regularly to run this course for us.

The course will start in 2015 (probably summer time, with some additional pre-course preparation dates in the New Year tbc) and run for approx 2 years towards the Introductory level exam in Summer/Autumn 2017.

What happens next?

Our next step is to confirm dates and costs and we will update this page when this is arranged.

We’d like to talk to you if you might be interested. Drop Diana an email and let her know. Please also ask her if you have any questions at this stage.

Please note: to train to be an Iyengar teacher you need to have 3 years of Iyengar classes under your belt, and your IY(UK) teacher will need to endorse you for training.

Further information about teacher training in the UK is on the IY(UK) website