A woman doing Yoga

Why It’s Time to Roll Out Your Yoga Mat

Yes, we’re celebrating International Yoga Day.

Calling all yogis – seasoned or amateur. Today is International Yoga Day, the UN’s official day of celebrating the art of yoga and promoting global health, harmony, and peace. This year focuses on ‘yoga for well-being’ and how its practice can promote the holistic health of every individual – especially as the pandemic steamrollers on. With more and more people around the world embracing yoga to stay healthy and rejuvenated during the pandemic in order to fight social isolation and depression, it is also playing a significant role in the psycho-social care and rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients in quarantine and isolation, in particular to help allay fears and anxiety.

But yoga is so much more than a physical activity. In the words of one of its most famous practitioners, the late B. K. S. Iyengar, “Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.” And considering the tornado of crazy we’re living in, anything that helps to deal with our new normal is something we all could do with, right? Right!

Never tried it? Today’s the day to give yoga a go-ga

There are billions of yoga devotees all over the world, and for good reason. An ancient physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India, the word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolising the union of body and consciousness. And while you may believe yourself to be the least bendy person on the planet, have no clue whether or not you’ll enjoy it, and not be able to differentiate a sun salutation from a downward dog, there’s probably no better time to introduce yourself to the 5,000-year-old practice than today. 

What Are the Benefits of Yoga?

For most people, the immediate benefits of yoga are thought to be an improvement in balance and flexibility, but its benefits stretch well beyond that. Research has proven that consistent yoga practice can increase muscular strength and both cardiovascular and respiratory function, as well as reduce stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and depression. It can also help improve sleep quality and overall well-being, which makes it not only a brilliant way to stay in shape, but also a sensational way to look after your mental health – just ask the impossibly hot-bodied Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gisele Bündchen, Jessica Biel, and Kate Hudson.

What Body Parts Does Yoga Target?

Prepare to be dazzled. One of the greatest benefits of yoga is that it provides a low-impact, total-body workout, with poses that help increase the strength and flexibility of your arms, shoulders, back, abdominals and core, hips, glutes, and legs. And since you’re using your body weight to build strength, tone muscles, and increase your flexibility, yoga is brilliant for building core strength – something that improves posture and reduces the chance of injury. 

Do I Need to Be Fit to Start Doing Yoga?

In one word: no. You just have to be ready to start. You don’t need to be ‘in shape’ or have a certain level of flexibility because you can always modify each movement (known as an asana.) Anyone can do yoga, whatever their age or fitness level, making it a practice for everybody and every body.

What Are the Different Yoga Types?

There are many different styles of yoga – from Ashtanga, Bikram, and Hatha to Iyengar, Vinyasa, Yin, and countless others. If you’ve never tried yoga before, it’s worth avoiding the more intensive styles like Power, Ashtanga, or Bikram until you’ve worked out what your body likes. Chatting with a yoga instructor before you begin your yoga journey pays dividends. You can then try as many styles and as many different instructors as you wish until you find the one that works best for you. There’s something for everyone.

Watch The Video: Why It’s Time To Roll Out Your Yoga Mat

Want to Know More? Meet Yogini Stephanie Millman…

“Yoga is for everybody because it’s not just the physical poses or about being flexible. It’s about finding that awareness inside yourself, opening up, letting go, or maybe the need to find strength in yourself’, says Yoga instructor Stephanie Millman – AKA Tranquil Steph. ‘There’s different types of yoga for everyone – Ashtanga yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Hatha yoga… and then there’s more unusual styles like like hip-hop yoga or goat yoga. There are so many different forms of yoga that everybody can try out a different one and practise what feels good for them.” 

So if you’re considering making today the day you begin your love affair with yoga, and joining the billions of others for whom yoga is a way of life, not just a workout, here’s a few tips from Steph on how to get started…

Wear Comfortable Clothing

“Nothing either too tight or too baggy that restricts your movement. Practising in bare feet will help you connect with the ground, balance better, and avoid slipping.”

Talk to Your Teacher

“If you’re new, introduce yourself to the instructor before the class so they can help to point out specific modifications and give you a little extra help to make poses less complicated or hard to follow.”

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

“Everyone had their first experience of yoga once, too! Your class could be full of yogis of every different level, so don’t look at others and compare yourself to them – this is your journey, not anyone else’s.”

If It Hurts, Stop! 

“Don’t push through the pain. If a particular pose genuinely hurts you, stop immediately. Ask your instructor or consult your physician if you’re worried that something is stopping you from practising.”

Be Kind to Yourself

“Be nice to yourself as you start learning yoga. Be open-minded, try not to judge yourself, listen to your body, and listen to your thoughts. Negative thoughts can have a strong influence on how your body responds.”

Be Patient 

“You’re not going to be amazing at yoga on day one. No one learned to fly a plane during their first 30 minutes in the air. No one learned a foreign language the second they started classes. It takes between six to eight sessions to figure out how your body feels, so just give it time. You’ll get there.”

Make It a Part of Your Everyday Life

“Your yoga practice can have profound effects on your body and mind. Yoga can change your life in more ways than one – not only through the physical practice, but also understanding how it makes you feel both mentally and spiritually.”


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Revitalise After Feasting: A Post-Thanksgiving Workout Regimen to Recharge Your Body

Revive, Recharge, Thrive

As the Thanksgiving feast fades into fond memories, it’s time to give your body the attention it deserves. In this post-feasting recovery guide, we’ll explore a tailored workout regimen designed to revitalise your body, recharge your energy, and counterbalance the indulgences of the holiday season.

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Relax Essential Oil Roller

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Green Tea Assorted Energy Drink

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1. Wake Up the Body with Cardio Bursts:

Kickstart your post-Thanksgiving regimen with invigorating cardio bursts. Whether it’s a brisk morning walk, a jog, or a dance session, get your heart pumping and awaken your body from its food-induced slumber.

2. Core-Strengthening Pilates:

Engage your core muscles with a Pilates session to restore balance and stability. These low-impact exercises are perfect for toning and strengthening, providing a gentle yet effective workout for your post-feast body.

3. Yoga for Digestive Ease:

Explore a sequence of yoga poses designed to aid digestion and promote relaxation. Gentle twists and stretches will help soothe your stomach and release tension, leaving you feeling rejuvenated.

4. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):

Inject a burst of energy with HIIT exercises to elevate your heart rate and boost your metabolism. Short, intense intervals followed by rest periods are an efficient way to burn off excess calories and jumpstart your fitness routine.

5. Mindful Cool Down with Stretching:

Wind down your workout with mindful stretching. Focus on areas that may have tightened during the holiday festivities, allowing your body to recover and preventing post-feast stiffness.

As you embrace this post-Thanksgiving workout regimen, remember that it’s not about punishment but restoring balance. This curated routine aims to invigorate your body, clear your mind, and set the tone for a healthy and active holiday season. So, lace up those sneakers, roll out the yoga mat, and let’s embark on a journey to revitalise and recharge after the Thanksgiving feast.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon after Thanksgiving should I start this workout regimen?

The post-Thanksgiving workout regimen can be started as early as the day after the feast. However, listen to your body, and if needed, allow a day or two for digestion before engaging in more intense exercises.

Can I customize the workout routine based on my fitness level?

Absolutely! Tailor the regimen to suit your fitness level and preferences. Modify intensity, duration, or choose alternative exercises to ensure a comfortable and effective workout experience.

Is it necessary to follow the entire workout routine, or can I focus on specific exercises?

Feel free to adapt the regimen to your needs. While the full routine provides a well-rounded approach, you can choose specific exercises based on your preferences or focus on areas that feel particularly tight or in need of attention.


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