Om Yoga Show Glasgow

As a Glasgow- based blogger, I was lucky enough to be offered a free ticket to the Om Yoga Show. This is the first year that the show has come to Scotland. The expo-style event describes itself as a celebration of yoga and offers free classes, bookable hotpod yoga classes and intensive yoga workshops, plus 100+ exhibitor stands of yogic goodies to buy.

Part of our run headed past the People's Palace... then inside to use the loo...

The hotpod yoga suite.

My training buddy and I headed to the show after our Sunday morning marathoners long run (only 16 miles- it's a drop back week!). We arrived at the SECC just before lunch and wandered around the stalls with a coffee (from Costa- the far more yogic natural wholefoods stall next to it had a colossal queue. Still mine was soya so that has to be worth some yogi brownie points?!). There were some gorgeous natural soap stalls, and we discovered an all-natural skincare brand based in Edinburgh. The people-watching was brilliant so we started playing yogi bingo with the crowds- Sweaty Betty and Teeki leggings, check; guy with bare feet, check; patchwork trousers, check! 

At 1.30pm we headed to a Vita Coco open class- Beginners Iyengar Yoga with Jennifer MacGregor Dennis (that's a Scottish name folks). Iyengar is a form of Hatha yoga which has a particular focus on alignment and breath. The space Vita Coco set up was gorgeous- all surfboards and palm trees. Unlike some of the other yoga spaces it somehow felt very removed from the crowds, even though there were hundreds of people watching the class take place. I always find the Om awkward and I tend to just hum instead of really making the noise, but I can see how it is a good way to mark the start of a class and jolt your brain into yoga mode. Many of the moves in this class were familiar even to me. I thought the teacher was lovely- very soft seeming but clearly knew her stuff. I really loved the variation she taught us on Downward Dog- like many runners I usually find this pose near-impossible. Through keeping our heels elevated, she allowed us to gain a huge amount of extension and length through the spine and legs. She also reminded us to relax our faces frequently, always at the precise time that I had screwed mine up in concentration or clenched my jaw! I nearly nodded off in the shavasana- the sign of a good class (and a long run)!

The Vita Coco space.

After Iyengar we did some more wandering- we went to peek at the Dragonfly Yurt (shame we didn't do any classes here, it was very cute) then talked to the guys at Almightly Foods and tested some chocolate (the Cashew Mylk- yum) and checked out their new range of nut butters.  Almighty are Scotland-based raw chocolate specialists, with the brilliant company slogan "Nourish your temple". The team at Acroyoga were showing off their impressive skills at their stall. We also chatted to the guy at the Scottish Wildlife Trust for ages about red squirrels, Scottish Wildcats, the replanting of native tree species, and the success story of river otters. I do feel pretty passionately about Scottish Wildlife- as someone who explores the wilds of scotland and gets a lot from nature, I want to protect it. Lastly, I want to give a shout out to Artogi yoga mats who use stunning and unusual art prints to decorate their mats.

Dragonfly Yurt.


At 3.00pm we jumped in to Warrior Yoga Stretch Barre with Victoria Cunningham-Downey. This class was harder work (barre is challenging to start with, but is much more so after 16 miles!), but had a really relaxed atmosphere with a wise-cracking Irish instructor. Again most of the moves were not new to me. It was great fun until one of butt muscles cramped up completely and I couldn't do any more of the dog-weeing-on-a-fire-hydrant moves! We headed home after this as we were knackered, both agreeing that the Yoga Show had been a perfect use of a Sunday afternoon. 

Stretch Barre class.
I loved the show's diverse open class schedule, natural beauty stalls, and plethora of Scottish brands. The two classes I attended were awesome, Iyengar in particular was exactly what my body wanted. You could have filled an entire day with free classes if you wanted to. I don't know how busy Saturday was, but on Sunday we saw only a few people not able to get into a class because it was too busy. I would have liked to see a few more clothing brand stalls, but I understand fitness fashion is my jam and not necessarily other people's. Lululemon did have a mini store, but I actually wasn't very keen on the stuff they were showing. 

One thing I didn't love was the amount of... spiritual mumbo jumbo stalls (for lack of a better phrase- tarot, hands healing, crystals). Yoga and meditation are good for you, there is clear science backing that up. To me the association with spirituality is a bad thing; as it drives the common yoga class atmosphere where genuine effort, athletic achievement, and relaxation are mixed with bullshit hyperbolic verbal meanderings. For me yoga would be better divorced from the mysticism. I understand why these stalls are there- there is a correlation between people who like yoga and people who are interested in spirituality, veganism, and natural beauty. Furthermore, although I am interested in veganism and natural products, I think the yoga movement as a whole risks seriously alienating anyone outside that lifestyle (for example see this post about the yoga show by How Many Miles). The crowd of women at the show were very diverse, but we saw very few men. 

There are Om Yoga Shows coming up in Manchester in May and London in October. I was gifted with a free ticket to the event, and ran a giveaway on Twitter for a pair of tickets, but was not required to write about it. 


Do you like yoga? Do you agree with me about its connections to spirituality, or disagree?

Have you ever been to an Om Yoga Show? 

Post written by Scallywag and published on Scallywag Sprints on 04/04/16


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