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Yoga Overview

Super-toned celebrities in shiny designer “yoga-pants”, sipping from an obligatory post-class about-town paper cup, regularly fill up the pages of the press: this is not want yoga is about!

Yoga, including the “bendy” bit (postures, or “asana”) can, depending on the class, also feature gentle stretches, meditation, breath awareness, discussion, relaxation (yoga nidra), and yes, some do offer chanting as well.

Yoga is about embracing yourself as an individual and doesn’t preclude specific physical conditions — in fact, it welcomes them! It can also help with mental conditions, such as stress, anxiety or depression. It can improve concentration and help you sleep better, as well as the physical side (improved posture, strength, flexibility). Think of yoga as a well-being toolbox: it will build up your collection of tools so you can deal with different things — you can’t fix a whole house with a hammer!

Different styles of yoga have developed over the years, often because of a teacher, and their lineage. Some teachers may blend different styles:

Hatha: this is the most widely taught type of yoga in the UK. Emphasis on postures with breathing and relaxation. Ideal for beginners.

Vinyasa flow: teachers lead classes that flow from one pose to the next without stopping to talk about the finer points of each pose.

Iyengar: emphasis on postural alignment. Is physically demanding and aims for posture perfection. Uses props to help achieve this.

Ashtanga: a fast flowing, dynamic sequence of 75 poses, each held for only five breaths and punctuated by a half sun salutation to keep up the pace.

Kundalini: yoga of awareness, to awaken energy in the spine. It means “the curl of the lock of hair”. As well as postures, breathing and meditation, it includes sound and chanting.

Bikram or Hot Yoga: gained popularity recently, it is yoga poses but in a heated (hot) studio.

There’s a raft of other yoga crazes, including laughter yoga, dog yoga, face yoga…

Yoga is a system of philosophy, originating in India 5,000 years ago, and means ‘union.’ It is built around the eight Limbs of Yoga:

  • Yama: attitude to others
  • Nyama: attitude to self
  • Asana: physical practice
  • Pranayama: breathing
  • Pratyahara: steadying the mind / control of the senses
  • Dharana: intense focus
  • Dhyana: meditation
  • Samadhi: oneness.


Great Guide to Yoga

Classes in West Dorset (as of March 2015)

There are plenty of classes available in the local area. When choosing a class bear in mind the teacher’s qualifications and also that not all classes suit everyone — you may need to try out a few different ones first.

Please contact the yoga teacher for more information about each class.


  • Corrie van Rijn, Thursdays: 5.30 – 7.00pm. 07855 416531


  • Tamara Bowler, Tuesdays, 6.00 – 7.30pm, Wednesdays, 9.30 – 11.00am and 1.15-2.45pm and 6.00pm – 7.30pm. www.tamarayoga.co.uk
  • Juliet, Tuesdays, 9.30 – 11am. 01308 459574
  • Juliet Bishop, Wednesdays, 5.45 to 7.00pm. mail@julietbishop.co.uk


  • Jean Thorn, Wednesdays, 6.30 – 8.00pm. 01308 898799


  • Corrie van Rijn, Wednesdays, 10.00 – 11.30am. 07855 416531


  • Yoga Space Bridport has just opened and offers 20 different classes. www.yogaspacebridport.com
  • Garden Studios in North Allington offers a range of classes. www.gardenstudiosbridport.co.uk
  • O-YOGA meets Mondays, 6.00pm at Bridport Youth Centre. www.o-yoga.com
  • Bridport Leisure Centre offers a range of classes. www.bridportleisure.co.uk
  • Chapel in the Garden offers a range of classes, including Corrie’s Wednesday class, 5.30 – 7.00pm, and a new Yoga for Men on Sundays, 9.00 – 10.15am. www.ukunitarians.org.uk/bridport
  • Lesley Wilson, Mondays, 2.00 – 3.30pm. 01308 898116
  • Helen O’Hara, Mondays, 7.00 – 8.30pm and Fridays, 5.30 – 7.00pm. 01308 424801
  • Carolyne Kardia, Tuesdays, 10.30 – 12pm and 7.30 – 9.00pm. 01308 868807
  • Alice Chutter, Tuesdays, 7.30 – 9.00pm. 07528 575907
  • Michelle, Thursdays, 9.30 – 11.00am. 01460 77398
  • Tamara Bowler, Pregnancy Yoga, Thursdays: 9.30 – 11.00am. www.tamarayoga.co.uk
  • Sue O’Sullivan, Fridays, 2.00 – 3.30pm. 01308 456940


  • Carolyne Kardia, Mondays, 10.30 – 12pm and 7.30 – 9pm. 01308 868807


  • Angela, Wednesdays, 6.00 – 7.30pm. 01297 631943

Litton Cheney

  • Sue O’Sullivan, Fridays, 10 – 11.30am. 01308 456940

Lyme Regis

  • Byrony Henderson, Mondays 7.00 – 8.00pm, Fridays, 10.00 – 11.00am. 07900 391923. byronyhenderson@gmail.com
  • Hannah Lovegrove, Tuesdays, 9.15 – 10.45 am and 11.00 – 12.30 pm; Wednesdays, 6.00 – 7.30 pm. 07971 434336
  • Shakti, Tuesdays, 4.00 – 5.30pm. 01297 444648
  • Barbara, Pregnancy Yoga, Fridays, 5.30 – 6.30pm. 07941 045004

Maiden Newton


  • Jean Thorn, Thursdays, 10.30 – 12pm. 01308 898799

Toller Porcorum

  • Sue O’Sullivan, Over 50s, Wednesday mornings. 01308 456940

Whitchurch Canonicorum

  • Hannah, Tuesdays, 7 – 8.30pm. 07971 434336

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