Outdoor Yoga Exercises and Its Benefits

Outdoor Yoga

Yoga is all about being one or part with nature. Hence, doing yoga exercises in the outdoor is one of the best ways to truly experience the benefits of yoga.

Benefits of Doing Yoga in the Outdoors

Practice of yoga must not be constricted solely within the yoga studio and a practitioner must learn to develop exercises done on the outdoors. When exposed to the natural environment, you recognize your role as part of the bigger universe. This is what experts believe to be the main component in each yoga practice. So, experts encourage students to practice yoga on the outside and deviate from regular classes done on yoga studios. It is also for the same reason and benefits that yoga retreats are mostly held in outdoor environments that enable one to get close to nature.

When you perform yoga and meditation on the outdoors, it opens up various sensations in your internal self and unfold them. There are different types of exercises that you can perform on the outdoors, depending on the specific sensual impact that you want to achieve.
Free Outdoor Yoga – Canada Place
Finding the Best Spot

When doing outdoor yoga, it is important that you choose properly the outdoor location where you perform these exercises in. There is no need to go to an exotic location just to achieve this; in fact, you can possibly perform your yoga routine in your backyard, provided that it is free off any noise or physical distractions.

If you live in an area where there is a stream or on a foothill, you can head on over there and start your yoga routine. Whatever your choice of location is, it has to be something that produce positive vibes and inspire your practice. Your goal is basically to choose a location that promotes internal harmony and peace.
Slow is Best in the Outdoors

The idea of performing yoga close to nature is a very relaxing experience. Therefore, learn to enjoy the slow pace of the practice instead of engaging in intensive and fast paced exercises. Breathing exercises such as ujjayi breaths will help to establish that relaxing sensation inside your body and establish a rhythm with the gentle sounds of nature.

In addition, avoid stressing out on the amount of exercises you can incorporate into a single outdoor yoga session. Learn to merely let the sequence unfold on its own and provide more emphasis on the precise execution of each move. After all, you have to utilize these exercises as a means to direct the flow of energy in and out of your body.
Four Basic Outdoor Yoga Exercises

There are four basic outdoor exercises that yoga practitioners can adapt to incorporate the different elements of nature into your outdoor session. Each exercise and the elements of nature they represent have its corresponding impact on the physical and spiritual body. Hence, putting them together into each session is a great way to experience multitude of benefits.

Earth exercises help to provide a grounding effect on your physical and spiritual body, which helps add more stability into your yoga practice. Meanwhile, wind exercises represent your ability to achieve freedom and self expression so you can continually nourish your body. Fire exercises give you strength, power, and zest in life to continually forge ahead your goals. And lastly, water exercises is the closing in a series of exercises due to its calming and soothing effect, which has exceeded past your physical body but affects your spiritual body.
Earth Exercises

These outdoor yoga exercises are ideal to bring back balance in your physical and spiritual body due to the massive amount of stress that one has to deal with on a regular basis. Since this is an earth exercise, you have to deal with various physical factors connected to the Earth, such as uneven terrain, presence of rocks or uneven surface, which can be painful against the foot. It is therefore a test of your ability to overcome these physical barriers and focus on the practice itself.

The most basic position to begin with is that of a Mountain Pose. Then, raise your hand up across toward your chest to assume a prayer position. Try to feel the energy around you and the immediate environment and imagine it as a visual image. If you feel any form of anxiety or tension building up, work on eliminating them.

With both your feet and heels remaining firm on the ground, extend both your arms upward. Slowly and with your arms raised still, bend over onto one side of your body to give it a stretching action. While performing these exercises, make sure to incorporate it with slow and rhythmic breathing patterns. To gain optimum benefits through this exercise, you can opt to do this one bare foot to feel the earth against your feet.
Wind Exercises

Wind and air has always been a symbol of life for humans. Thus, practicing wind yoga exercises provide the nourishment that the body needs to stay healthy and maintain life. Wind symbolize freedom and self expression, thus you can optimize those results by incorporating proper breathing techniques into your exercises.

Begin on a Mountain Pose and spread your feet about shoulder width apart. Twist your spine by slowly twisting your upper body. Make sure to gently do the twisting to avoid straining your spine. In one full twisting rotation, begin your inhalation. Exhale upon the release of the twisting action. Perform the series of twisting action for at least 20 repetition so you can get best results. After completing the series of rotations, bring your heels together and let both arms naturally rest on either sides of the body.
Fire Exercises

These exercises are done in order to gain strength and power. You can choose an outdoor area where you can feel the warmth of the sun and providing you with the energy to last you for the day.

Starting on a Mountain Pose, move onto a Chair Pose, which is like sitting on the air. Bend your knees to lower your buttocks while you bring your arms up in the air. Make sure your ankles are properly aligned and stay in position while performing at least 5 breaths. Then, return to your starting position. You must then assume a forward fold pose as you exhale. Transition into a Downward Facing Dog Pose and hold yourself in position for as long as possible to produce body heat.
Water Exercises

The element of water represent rejuvenation and a calming effect on the body. As you practice this exercise outdoors, feel the elements of nature like a tide washing through your body and let it soothe your entire body. During meditation, imagine the qualities of water to bring about an inner sense of calmness.

From a standing position with both heels and toes together, try to achieve a state of perfect balance. Let your hands assume a prayer position. Then, slowly lift it up over your head and release both hands to mimic the stance of a breaststroke. Perform a sweeping motion with your hands and continue doing this for 10 to 20 repetitions. To enhance the benefits of performing outdoor yoga, couple it with meditation and feel the elements.

Different Types of Yoga – An Overview of Popular Yoga Styles

Are you interested in beginning yoga? Or, have you been taking classes in a particular yoga style and are curious what a different type of yoga class might have to offer? You may be looking for specific benefits of yoga and whether one type of yoga will help you more than another. How do you choose from the many different types of yoga that are now available in most places?

Though yoga poses, also called asanas, are more or less the same in each style of yoga, the way they are practiced, the types of instructions you receive and the way a sequence of yoga poses fits together will vary depending upon the type of yoga class you attend. Depending on your age, physical condition, health issues and personal interests, you will find some types of yoga are more suited to you than others. Following is an overview of the most popular yoga styles.
Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga, named after Bikram Choudhury, is one of the most unique forms of yoga practice. Official Bikram studios heat their practice rooms to 105 degrees. A sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises are performed during the 90 minute classes. This series of Bikram poses for beginning and intermediate yoga students is unchanging; Bikram has tried to legally copyright the sequence, with lawsuits resulting.

Bikram practitioners swear by this type of practice. Bikram Yoga has a large, devoted following. Many claim that Bikram Yoga has cured various ailments and restored them to good health. Others do not believe a 105 degree room is the most beneficial place to practice yoga. The rigidity of the sequence would not seem to lend itself to modifications for different health conditions or other circumstances. Actual Bikram Yoga poses are the same as in other styles, but the names do not always match.

Bikram Choudhury himself is a controversial figure. As of late 2013, several former students had filed lawsuits against him for sexual harassment. Bikram seems to be fond of a lavish lifestyle, wearing flashy watches and boasting about his Rolls Royce collection. This is in contrast to a more austere lifestyle practiced by most yoga gurus.

If you are young, healthy and enjoy consistency, knowing what to expect at every class, you might give Bikram Yoga a try. Given the heat, expect minimal clothing, but lots of towels and water bottles. Only authorized, franchised studios are allowed to use the Bikram name. Their owners have paid a high price for their Bikram Yoga certified teacher status, but they do receive extensive training.
Hot Yoga: Energizing, Rejuvenating, Healing
Hot Yoga: Energizing, Rejuvenating, Healing
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Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is based on the idea of practicing in a heated studio, similar to Bikram yoga. Some hot yoga teachers are former Bikram yogis who very closely follow the Bikram sequence and mandated 105 degrees. Others just like the hot aspect, but may keep the temperature “only” in the 90s and use a variety of sequences. As there are no set standards or official hot yoga methodology, do some research before going to a class. It may be anything from hot vinyasa yoga to a close copy of Bikram yoga.
Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika
Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika

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Iyengar Yoga

As a teenager in the 1930s, B.K.S. Iyengar was sent to live with his brother-in-law, yoga guru Krishnamacharya. Iyengar emerged as a young yoga teacher and quickly ascended to become one of the world’s premier yoga masters. He began traveling to the West in the 1950s and 60s, wrote Light on Yoga, the authoritative guide to yoga, and by the mid 1970s had established a sizable following in the United States. Iyengar passes away at age 95 in August, 2014. Even in his last year he maintained a daily practice at the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India, where his daughter Geeta, son Prashant and granddaughter Abhijata carry on the family tradition.
Iyengar Yoga student
Iyengar Yoga student | Source

The sequence of Iyengar Yoga poses taught in classes changes from week to week, rarely is the same sequence taught multiple times. Teachers make modifications and adjustments based on what they see in class. There is an emphasis on alignment and precision; Iyengar Yoga poses are often held longer than in other styles. Iyengar certified yoga teachers go through a demanding certification process and are trained in the use of props and how to modify poses for typical health issues.

If you are interested anatomy and alignment and want to spend time exploring poses rather than moving through them quickly, try an Iyengar Yoga class. If you have an injury or health condition that brings you to yoga, Iyengar Yoga is likely to be helpful. Again, poses are similar to other classes, but there is often a particular emphasis on standing poses and, for more experienced students, inversions.
The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga: The Authoritative Presentation-Based on 30 Years of Direct Study Under the Legendary Yoga Teacher Krishnamacha
The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga: The Authoritative Presentation-Based on 30 Years of Direct Study Under the Legendary Yoga Teacher Krishnamacha
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Vinyasa Yoga | Flow Yoga

Vinyasa yoga is sometimes called flow yoga. The roots of vinyasa yoga are generally considered to have come from Ashtanga yoga, but most styles of yoga use flow at one point or another. Classes and sequences are often energetic, with movements and the breath synchronized as part of transitioning from each vinyasa yoga pose to the next. Vinyasa yoga may be combined with other styles such as hot yoga. If you like the idea of an energetic, athletic class, but are new to yoga, look for an entry level, Vinyasa for beginners class.
Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga has become a generic, catch-all phrase that, unfortunately, does not have much meaning when referring to types of yoga. Despite what you may hear, the definition of hatha yoga is going to depend on who is using the term. A hatha yoga teacher is typically not aligned with a particular style, but may draw from different types of yoga, depending upon the individual’s background, training and interests. This is not to say you should avoid a hatha yoga class, but do some research or talk to the teacher and other students to make sure you know what to expect.
Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga, as it is typically defined in the West, uses physical postures, breath techniques, meditation and rhythmic sound to release energy and allow it to rise through the chakras. If that sounds too esoteric, Kundalini yoga may not be your best choice. Kundalini has a small, devoted following in the United States.

Yoga Mala: The Original Teachings of Ashtanga Yoga Master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
Yoga Mala: The Original Teachings of Ashtanga Yoga Master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
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Ashtanga Yoga

Pattabhi Jois, like B.K.S. Iyengar, was a student of Krishnamacharya. Jois popularized Ashtanga Yoga as a sequence of poses that dynamically flow together with an emphasis on the breath. There are set sequences, but with more variability and options than in Bikram yoga. Ashtanga Yoga, which is sometimes called Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, is considered to be the source of vinyasa and power yoga. As the increase in popularity of these spin-off styles has occurred, actual Ashtanga yoga has remained somewhat stagnant in size. Pattabhi Jois passed away in 2009 at the age of 93.

Choosing a Yoga Teacher

Though there are other types and methods of yoga, the list above includes the yoga styles you are mostly likely to find. With yoga methods that follow a particular individual’s methodology, such as Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Iyengar Yoga, it easier to know what to expect in class when you go for the first time. You will also know that the instructor has been through a particular yoga teacher certification program.

For types of yoga without specific guidelines, including hot yoga, vinyasa flow yoga and hatha yoga, it’s a little harder to know in advance what type of class it will be. There are no true standards for national certification, although Yoga Alliance serves as a registry for certification. Their Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) designation has some minimum requirements, though there is also a lot of flexibility.
Ustrasana, camel pose
Ustrasana, camel pose | Source

If you want to start beginning yoga classes, it pays to do a little research. Search for local yoga studios online, read through their websites or give them a call. Find out what kind of training the yoga teachers have and how long they have been teaching. If you are exploring different types of yoga classes to attend, ask the teachers how they approach yoga for beginners. Though there is a wide range of options available to beginning yogis, with a little research in selecting the right teacher and a lot of determination in yoga practice, you will discover that yoga benefits your life in many ways.

Tips for Developing Your Home Yoga Practice

Practicing Yoga at Home In Between Classes

As a yoga teacher, I urge my students to practice yoga at home in-between classes. Most of them have already experienced the benefits of yoga from attending their weekly class. I tell them that the benefits are greater still when they can commit to a regular home practice as well.

It’s very difficult for many people to get into the habit of practicing yoga. I understand the difficulty! It took me some time to develop my own regular practice of yoga.

Why is it so difficult for us to begin a home yoga practice? How can we overcome this difficulty? Here are a few tips and guidelines for getting started.
Cats and yoga mat
Cats and yoga mat | Source
Getting Started With Your Yoga Home Practice

You don’t need much in the way of equipment to get started with your yoga home practice, although it’s useful to have a non-skid mat, and perhaps a blanket or towel for extra padding.

You also need a cleared space for practicing yoga. It could be a special room or just a corner in your house or apartment that you can set aside for your use. I practice in my living room because that’s where I have the most space.

To plan for your yoga practice I suggest that you:

Set aside 5 – 15 minutes each day at the same time.
Clear your chosen practice area of unnecessary items.
Keep your mat and any other “props” stored within easy reach nearby.
Turn off your phone and computer and avoid other distractions such as laundry or the fridge.
If necessary, tell your spouse and kids that this is your time and to not disturb you for these few minutes (good luck!).

Then practice!

For a simple, short yoga practice you might start by:

Sitting quietly for a minute or so as a way to center your mind and to set your intentions.
Then do 2 – 4 more poses that you remember from class
And lie down for a short rest (savasana).

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Keep it simple for awhile, until you feel comfortable with doing more.
Why Practice Yoga at Home if You’re Already Taking Classes?

Your practice of yoga in between classes will deepen your understanding of what you already do in class. In your own practice you start to internalize the poses and other yoga practices — you’re not outwardly listening to or watching your teacher, but instead you begin to listen to your own inner voice and explore more fully how your own body and mind work.

Your practice of yoga becomes a satisfying, inward quest.
Obstacles to practicing yoga at home
Why is it so hard to get on your mat?

The most common reasons that I hear for not practicing:

I don’t have enough time
I don’t know what to practice
I’m lazy, I procrastinate
I’m too tired
I’m sick or injured

Sarvangasana
Sarvangasana | Source
Work Through These Obstacles to Your Yoga Home Practice

Let’s briefly address all of these reasons for not practicing:

1. I don’t have enough time

This is the most common reason of course. Many of us are already very busy in our lives, and the thought of adding one more activity doesn’t seem feasible. BUT….if you can find 10 – 15 minutes in your day to devote to your own practice, you’ll see a big improvement in your poses. Maybe you’re the type who can easily get up a little earlier in the morning and do a short practice to start your day. You’ll feel more energetic during the rest of the day!

Or maybe you have a few minutes during your lunch, or in the evening for a practice. If you’re a stay-at-home parent, consider taking time for your practice after the kids are off to school.

It doesn’t have to be a long practice — the trick is being consistent. If you use a planner to schedule your day, schedule yourself in for your practice, and don’t cancel! Turn off your cell phone and tell your family that you need these few minutes to yourself with no interruptions, and get to work!

2. I don’t know what to practice

This is a valid reason! How do you get started, especially if you’re a beginner? I tell my students to practice what they remember from class each week. It’s easiest to remember right after class — you might take a few minutes to jot down some notes or diagrams and refer to them during the week. Beginners might just remember a couple poses, and not quite get them right, but it’s a good start. If you do them differently in your practice, you’ll figure it out next time you do them in class, and you’ll learn more quickly that way.

After you’ve learned and can remember a few more poses, you may want to start out with a couple of your favorite poses as a way to get yourself motivated and moving, then work on a couple more difficult poses.

Also, check this resource page for yoga sequences for more ideas of what to practice.

3. I’m lazy, I procrastinate

I understand that one completely too :-). Scheduling your practice, as I mentioned above, may help. Promise yourself a treat afterward if you practice (just nothing too decadent, at least not too often!) Set up practice sessions with a buddy. It’s harder to put off your practice if you’ve promised a friend that you’ll get together to practice. Don’t disappoint your friend!
Practicing with a friend
Practicing with a friend | Source

4. I’m too tired

If you’re exhausted after a long day, consider doing a little when you get up in the morning or at lunch (as mentioned above). But you also might give yourself 15 minutes at the end of the day to do a restorative yoga practice — quiet, calming poses that will soothe the body and the mind. A couple pleasant options are to lie on your back with legs up the wall, or lie with support under your trunk and head, bending the knees to the side with the soles of the feet touching (Supta baddha konasana).

5. I’m sick or injured

It’s often a good idea to just rest if you’re sick or injured. But if you already have some background in yoga, you might be able to find poses that you can do to help recover more quickly. Again, a restorative yoga practice, or the two poses mentioned in the paragraph above are very good to do if you’re sick with a cold or flu or some other relatively mild illness. If you’re injured, your yoga teacher may be able to show you a few ways to safely modify poses that will also allow the injured area to heal more quickly. Don’t push though! If you feel that your practice is hurting, rather than helping, do stop until you heal or can get help!
Restorative Yoga Video

If you’re feeling tired or stressed, you can do a restorative yoga practice. This video is of a nice, soothing restorative sequence.

Even if you don’t do the full sequence, just a couple poses to your own ability will be very useful as a way to gently stretch the body and soothe your mind.

Yoga Practice Sequences

Having a set of printed sequences of poses can help you decide what to practice.

Iyengar Yoga Home Practice Sequences: A Resource Page lists a number of sources for finding sequences of poses for you to practice. The first two links are to general practice sequences for Level 1 (beginning) students and Level 2 (intermediate) students. Print these out and keep them near your props for easy access.

If you don’t have time to do a whole sequence all the way through, pick a few of the poses and do them in the order that they’re listed. Try to include an “inverted” pose (legs higher than heart) even if it’s something very simple like lying on your back with the legs up the wall. Also give yourself a little time at the end to rest.
Learn These Poses to Practice at Home

Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher, John Schumacher, gives clear and concise instructions for individual poses. Listening and watching him teach are great ways to learn more about each of these poses, and will help your own home practice evolve.

The last video is of John teaching a class one of the more difficult standing poses, Parivrtta parsvakonasana, Revolved lateral angle pose.

Alternative Yoga Sessions To Cater Your Convenience

There are alternative yoga sessions which you may enter when you are restricted with other personal matters. You may lack the time to do exercises due to a hectic schedule or have constraints in going outside for gym classes regularly. With that in mind, don’t hesitate in fulfilling your body’s need to enhance its capabilities – try an alternative yoga practice in the comfort of your home. This eliminates the chances of skipping a progressive gym lesson or going out of your house to visit a distant gym center.

Alternative yoga exercises can be done through several choices such as instructional video classes or interactive online courses offered on the Internet. Although you are performing individually, the benefits you acquire in performing alternative yoga training is comparable to those who are attending formal yoga sessions.

Achieving the Greatness of Yoga at Home

Even when you are at home, that does not hinder you to learn and perform yoga training. Alternative yoga practices can be done without getting yourself anywhere. Although the practices involved are mostly light yoga techniques, this can still positively affect your body and may even promote a healthy lifestyle for you to develop.

Light yoga postures are designed to help anyone interested on learning yoga to perform even without the assistance of a yoga instructor. Alternative yoga exercises often only requires about 30 minutes of your daily time. You may want to schedule your alternative yoga sessions personally for at least three times a week. Performing light yoga practices may lead you to higher level of exercises once you successfully grasp the concepts of mastering the asana postures.

You may find the right instructional materials you need for alternative yoga courses on video rentals or DVD stores. The information you may get from these visual packages is an excellent tool especially if you are just starting to practice yoga. Performing the alternative yoga session regularly allows you to experience the same effects as if you are on a gym class. The set of aerobic exercises you may learn from these video classes gives you an idea on what asana postures suits your capabilities.

Online yoga classes from websites dedicated for providing yoga lessons for free on the Internet is also a good choice for you to perform alternative yoga exercises. Most of these online sessions allow you talk to other people practicing yoga for you to exchange ideas on how to completely absorb the offered techniques. Some may provide you the chance to converse with professional instructors to help you make advances on yoga postures you learn from your home. When engaging in yoga online forums, do not hesitate in asking questions about how you may improve your alternative yoga exercises. Browsing websites about alternative yoga techniques will help you find information, perform inquiries and chat with other online yoga practitioners on the World Wide Web.

Learn Various Yoga Moves Online

With the increasing work complexity and life schedule, people are more prone to various ailments such as spondylosis, anemia, back pain, headache, diabetes, obesity and many more issues. It is not possible for them to take different medicines for different diseases. Here, comes the need for yoga. Yoga is one of most effective system to achieve complete health and wellness. There is also another side of the system. Due to hectic work schedule and busy life, people find themselves unable to join a yoga class. But today the advent of internet has changed the mindset of many people. They are now moving towards learning yoga moves online.

The major benefit of practicing yoga moves online is that one can choose his own time depending on his daily work schedule. Whenever he gets time, he can start doing practice yoga positions online. Another major factors leads to the popularity of online yoga classes is that internet is a huge source of information, so, people can visit different sites to gather new and effective information on various yoga moves. They can share their own views and learn new yoga techniques online.

Since ancient time, our ancestors were following the yoga poses to achieve complete health and wellness and they were successful to much extent. The essence of yoga is to bring harmony among our body, mind and the divine entity. Yoga poses consist of several standing positions and meditation techniques that not only provide various health benefits but also keep our body and mind healthy and strong enough to avoid various ailments.

Nowadays many yoga centres are become available online and providing their yoga classes online through high-definition audio. People can join yoga classes depending upon their time availability. A simple set of yoga exercises can provide you a healthy life for future. A healthy body, active mind, relaxation and improvement of your inner power, all these can be achieved through yoga.

Yoga Studios – How to Choose a Home For Yoga and Meditation

If you are new to yoga, or new to the area and looking for a new studio to call your home, there are a few things you need to watch for when choosing a yoga studio. With the increase in the popularity of yoga, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of yoga studios as well as exercise facilities who have begun to offer yoga instruction. Since yoga is an unregulated field at this time, it is important to know how to navigate through the sea of yoga teachers-ensuring your safety, comfort, and success. Everyone can do yoga, but there can be associated health hazards. With the same care that you would put into selecting a health professional, you should put into selecting a yoga professional.

How to Get Started

When you begin to look for a yoga studio, you’ll want to clarify what your intention is for doing yoga. Most studios will report that students start yoga because they desire greater physical conditioning. Others come because they seek a deeper integration between their body and their spirit, looking to work on the inner aspects of the physical practices. Others come because they are healing from another sports injury and recognize that yoga can be safe and potentially therapeutic. Take a moment to answer the question, “Why do I do yoga? What do I want out of my yoga practice?”

Why So Many Different Types?

Yoga is an ancient practice. As it has developed over the years, different yoga practitioners have created their own styles. Today, it is important to know which styles will match what you want from your yoga practice-and which style will keep you safe from injury. For example, which styles will make sure your alignment is correct and that you are practicing according to your fitness level; or which styles are purely for physical exercise, versus connecting the physical with the spiritual.

Ashtanga-Classes are based on a set series of poses, often practiced at a vigorous pace, that emphasize continuity of movement and purification.
Bikram-Class consist of the same 26 poses practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees with humidity level around 60 percent.
Iyengar-Classes focus on the precision and correct alignment of each pose. Props are used to help alignment. Iyengar yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga in the U.S. and many different styles of yoga include Iyengar principles.
Kripalu-Classes are extremely gentle, focusing on mind-body awareness. Kripalu practitioners emphasize the meditative aspect of the asanas.
Kundalini-Classes emphasize rapid breathing techniques, chanting, and mantra meditation. The objective is to open and awaken the kundalini energy stored at the base of the spine.
Power Yoga-Classes feature a Westernized version of ashtanga yoga. Instead of a set series of postures, however classes vary from day to day and from studio to studio.
Purna Yoga-Classes feature Iyengar precision and alignment while bringing gentle physical, mental, emotional and spiritual awareness to the student facilitating personal growth. This approach to yoga takes the wisdom of the past and updates it for the future giving students real tools for healthy living.
Viniyoga-Classes feature a gentle, holistic approach to yoga. Some flow is involved, but the pace is much slower than other classes.

What to Ask

So, you have clarified your intentions for practicing yoga, and you have identified the style of yoga that most resonates with your intentions. Now is the time to pick up the phone and talk to some studios. Here are some questions that all studios should be able to answer. If you can’t get an answer to these questions, know that you may not be dealing with a professionally-oriented studio.

What to Ask About the Studio:

How long has your studio been open? Look for a studio that has been around before the yoga trend hit big, about four years ago.
What style of yoga do you teach? You should be well-versed in the styles of yoga by now, and you can engage the studio representative in an interesting discussion. Be sure the person on the phone can give you an accurate description of the style of yoga at their studio.
Do you supply any equipment or do I need to bring my own? To keep you in good alignment, most studios provide props to support your body.
How often are your studios and props cleaned? Cleanliness is an aspect of yoga.
Do you offer workshops? It’s good to find a studio that does more than just asana practice classes, one that offers ways in which you can deepen your practice in other areas and subjects.
When are your classes offered? You will need to be able to get to classes without too much inconvenience.
What levels of instruction do you provide? Be sure the classes are tailored to beginners, intermediate, or advanced students, as opposed to the “one-level-fits-all” approach. You don’t want to be in a class that is not taught at your level.

What to Ask About the Teachers:

What training do the teachers have? How detailed is their training? Be sure your teacher-to-be is trained in the anatomy and physiology of the asana, as well as the therapeutic applications, contraindications, and benefits of the asana. Was the training repeated over several years, or just a one-time course?
Who trained your teachers? Are the teachers trained by the same person, ensuring consistency of instruction, or have they been gathered from a variety of backgrounds? Is there a master teacher who trains the teachers at the studio, a lineage from which the studio’s teaching stems?
How long have the teachers been practicing and teaching yoga? Experience in both their practice as well as teaching makes an excellent yoga professional.
Do the teachers take ongoing teacher training and how often? It is vital that teachers continue to sharpen their skills; it inspires their teaching and ensures growth, for themselves and their students.
Have the teachers been trained in the therapeutic applications of yoga? Does your prospect know how yoga can help you heal after an injury or strengthen your body through a health challenge? The therapeutic benefits of yoga are so vast, that should you need it, you’ll want to be sure that your teacher can provide.

Putting it All Together

Yoga is both an art and a science. As an art, it is as refined and intricate as classical music. As a science, it is as complex and precise as physics. Joy lies in its infinite exploration. Equipped with a greater awareness of what makes a successful yoga studio and teacher, your choices should support you in moving forward into greater joy. Go explore the many joys, and challenges, that come from the profound art and intricate science that is yoga.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1394911

Finding Time-Saving Yoga Studio Management Software

Running and building up a yoga studio requires coordinating scheduling, marketing, accounting, class registration, class attendance, sales and credit card processing, inventory, payroll, staff management, documents, and so much more.

When you started teaching yoga, you wanted to teach yoga. Sure, you knew running a yoga studio or teaching classes involved administration, but perhaps running your yoga business is taking over your life.

Ask yourself:

How many software applications are you running to keep it all together? Are you using a fleet of spreadsheets?

The fact is there is some pretty cool software options available specifically designed for yoga studios that take care of all your yoga studio administration needs in a central, online location.

3 Fundamental Elements of A Great Yoga Studio Software Service:

Cloud computing capability (web-based software); and
Comprehensive, all-in-one yoga software that centralizes all your yoga studio administration operations.
Automation – the more the better. Typically this is easier with comprehensive, all-in-one software.

1. Cloud Computing Yoga Studio Management Software is Where It’s At

Cloud computing is web-based software. You simply log-in to your account and manage your entire yoga studio on the Web. Stop with the downloads, installations, networking, and upgrades that plague desk-top software applications. Seriously consider putting your entire yoga studio software management needs on the cloud.

2. Centralizing Your Yoga Studio Software

Integrating separate pieces of software is a never-ending headache. When one application is upgraded, it then doesn’t sync with other applications. What you get is a mish-mash of software that more often than not malfunctions. Instead of saving you time, you burn up time trying to get it all working together.

If you can, get yoga studio software that is comprehensive and meets all, or as much of your computing needs as possible.

3. Automation

The more you automate, the more time you save which lets you teach more or take more time off. The fact is, running a yoga studio is managing a large number of variables – students, staff, teachers, schedules, inventory, sales, etc. The goal is full classes and regular students. Automation helps you take care of the menial tasks so you can put your mind and time to activities you enjoy and that let you build your yoga business (and take a vacation).

Yoga Business Software Features to Look For

Not all yoga studios have the same needs. The remainder of this article sets out yoga studio software management features available. Go through them and see what it is you need.

1. Yoga Class Scheduling

Online class scheduling – this is an extremely customer-service friendly feature for your students. Consider the following functions you might want:

Wait-lists: let your students add their name to a waitlist. With software, save yourself the time of managing these lists. Let the software do the heaving lifting.
Student self check-in: spare your students standing in line waiting for you. Let your students scan their ID card and get to class. You also get time to set up and prepare for class.
Printable sign-in sheets: maybe you prefer physical sign-in sheets. Get software that offers a print option with sign-in templates. You can load the data later… or not.
Equipment and room rental scheduling: do you rent out rooms and/or equipment? Why not automate the process and make it easy for your yoga clientele to book your rooms and equipment themselves.
Recurring bookings: nothing builds a business like recurring customers. Make it easy for yoga students to book multiple classes and commit to your classes.
Class attendance statistics: You only know how your business is going if you can measure results. Software that produces easy-to-read reports on class attendance statistics gives you tools at your finger-tips to assess your money-making classes and classes that may not be worth having.

2. Scheduling Ease

Drag and drop functionality for booking is a real luxury. In fact, drag and drop anything is great. Make it easy for your clientele to book classes and appointments with you.
On the Cloud (web-based): Not only does cloud computing save you networking costs, upgrade hassles, and installation nightmares, but you can access your entire yoga business anywhere.
Multiple schedule views: daily, weekly, by name, service, gender and more. Birds-eye views of your schedule can be very handy when looking at the big picture.
Color coding scheduling: sure, you must memorize the colors, but in time the colors will speed up your viewing of your schedules.

3. Yoga Studio Enrollment Options

Perhaps you offer more than just yoga classes. If so, look for yoga studio management software that has the flexibility to schedule all types of events such as:

Courses: still a popular yoga class structure – a series of classes building on concepts.
Seminars / special events: do you ever have a speaker or teaching events? Make it easy for people to sign up and a breeze for you to manage the scheduling.

Plus software that enables:

Payment plan processing: yoga studios usually offer a variety of pricing packages. Make it easy to sell packages (without the hand-held calculator) by considering software that tabulates and accepts payment for yoga packages.
Payment status information: every business has some customers who owe money. Yoga studios are no exception (generally). See at-a-glance who owes you money (and how much).

4. Payment Processing

Credit card integration. Some yoga software includes credit card processing “on the cloud” sparing you the hardware to pay for and set up.
Link payments with services. This way you can produce financial statements any time to see the financial status of your business.
Membership cards (i.e. swipe cards for signing in) and ID tag capability: Lose the paper and look professional with swipe cards enabling self-check in and much faster client tracking.

5. Online Store for More Revenues

If you sell retail, why not create an online store? It’s simple to do with the right yoga studio software. There is software that includes e-commerce capabilities so that not only can you track your in-studio retail sales, but you can actually start selling off your website.

In fact, you could consider partnering with yoga and health products suppliers to provide you products to sell on your online store. You can carry inventory or enter drop-shipping arrangements. The sky is the limit.

Moreover, with e-commerce, you can sell gift cards, yoga class packages, event tickets, etc.

6. Yoga Gift Card Selling Option

Gift cards are BIG business. Why not sell your own gift cards? You’ll earn revenues and get more students in your yoga studio. Some yoga studio software has the capability to provide gift cards and program them with the software so that you can create them, sell them, and track usage. Other considerations when implementing gift cards for sale include:

Prepaid gift card options.
Able to track student account balances.
Loading gift cards with flexible amounts of money.
Selling your gift cards in your studio and online.

7. Email Marketing for Your Yoga Studio

E-mail marketing can give your yoga business a huge boost. If you get yoga studio software, see if you can find a product that integrates with e-mail marketing software. This way you can leverage your yoga studio software contact database with your e-mail marketing rather than having separate databases. Trust me – when you can centralize, it’s worth it.

Not only can you use e-mail marketing to get more students or encourage regular attendance, but you promote sales, encourage referrals, sell products and yoga packages, promote events, send out class reminders, and more.

When you centralize your yoga studio student database with e-mail marketing software, you can segment your students so that you send the most appropriate messages to each person.

For example, if a student signs up online for a class, you can automate reminder class messages. This way you improve your class attendance, and in a worst case scenario, if the student can’t attend, they’ll be reminded to remove their name off the schedule opening up a spot for the wait list.

Then your e-mail system will produce an e-mail to the wait list alerting them to the open spot. Imagine doing all this manually. Automation is key.

8. Yoga Studio Inventory Tracking

If you sell retail, tracking inventory digitally can save you a lot of time. However, you need software that tracks the stocking and sale of items. Moreover, if you get software that includes inventory tracking, look for the capability to track in-store and online sales.

Again, this goes toward centralizing your operation. By tracking inventory with your yoga studio management software, you’ll integrate inventory with sales which lets you produce up-to-date financial reports… not to mention save you time syncing inventory with sales and re-ordering.

9. Yoga Student Account Management

When you use cloud software, you can create accounts for all of your students – so both you and they can log-in to their accounts. This way you and your students can track purchases, their profile, class attendance, referrals, etc. This is very convenient for you and your students.

Liability: What about the dreaded waivers. Necessary, but not a lot of fun. If you let students sign up online, be sure you offer an e-waiver for them to agree to. This too is available with some yoga studio software.

10. Yoga Studio Staff Management

Whether you love managing staff or not, consider saving yourself time and the ability to manage your staff “on the cloud”. Some yoga studio software enables you to do some or all of the following features:

A staff dashboard portal where you can send instructions to staff and to-do items.
Individual staff log-in accounts for each staff member.
Permission levels to various portals of your software. Again, this is where centralization works for you big time.
Staff scheduling – lose the monthly printouts and create staff schedules online where your entire staff can access it anytime from anywhere. Scheduling staff with software is much more convenient than on paper. Beside, how often does the schedule change in a month? Save yourself a few erasers.

11. Look for Payroll Management

Do you know how much you’re paying out in wages, commissions, fees, etc.? It’s not so easy to track with a yoga studio business given the variety of remuneration options yoga teachers opt for. There’s hourly, commissions, flat rates, and combinations of these payment options.

Again, a quality yoga software product will track all your pay-rates for all your staff – no matter how complicated. It makes tallying the amount you owe easy.

Take for example, a yoga teacher that earns a flat rate plus a per student rate after a class attendance threshold is met. Okay, one class with one teacher isn’t too hard to track, but imagine 30 classes and 5 teachers.

It gets complicated. Look for software that will track and tally all of this for you – all calculated with the swipe cards issued to your yoga students (if you opt for swipe cards – now you’re starting to see how beneficial swipe cards can be).

Another payroll feature to look for is a punch clock for hourly employees. I’m not talking about a wall-mounted contraption. I’m talking about staff being able to quickly log into the cloud software and entering start and stop times at the touch of a button.

Finally, you want to be able to export all this payroll data into your accounting software saving you reconciliation hassles come tax time (and saving you lots of money in accounting fees).

12. Track and Measure – Look for Reporting Capability

You won’t know where your business is going if you don’t know where it’s been and where it’s at. This boils down to the financials – but not just the usual income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.

I’m talking about in-depth class attendance, payroll costs, number of students per yoga teacher, yoga student and employee retention rates, no shows, product returns, and sales figures (past, present and forecasts) – to name a few reporting capabilities to look for.

13. Scalability – Get Software that’s Priced to Your Studio Size and Needs

Okay, not every yoga studio wants to expand and build a huge business. That’s why yoga software that scales is key. What I mean by this is yoga software that accommodates both small and huge yoga studios – and is priced according to need.

Look for software that offers different pricing packages so you can get a software package that serves your business as is – but has the capability to accommodate your growth – if that’s what you do with your studio.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5492350

A Singapore Sling lifts the haze

I was not designed for the clinical beauty of Singapore. It has the humidity of a Bikram yoga studio inside a Turkish bath house. I have hair that is the opposite of short. Subsequently, whenever I go there I feel like I have a dead octopus on my head.
I am perfectly designed for the temperature you feel at the base of a lone pine tree on the tundra in the Arctic Circle. So, the relentless moisture of Singapore creates or adds to the fog in my head.

As it turned out, it would be the place that cleared it, too.

In advertising, there is a lot of noise. It is easy to start looking at the wrong things.

The great fashion photographer Norman Parkinson once said the purpose of fashion is to change. In many ways, advertising is not that different. We are always looking at what is changing or what is new. Anybody remember Vine or Foursquare? Vine was launched in 2012. Four years ago, it was the biggest thing ever. I was in many meetings about vaguely doing something with it. Remember how it was going to change the advertising world? Anybody remember having conversations a couple of years ago about how all ads in the future would be 10- or 15-seconds long because that would work better on social media platforms? Anybody notice how the latest Kenzo ad Spike Jonze just shot is 3-minutes long? Boy, we talk a lot of sh!t in this business.

I guess the trick is to remember to look at what doesn’t change.

This fog had been building for a while.

I had been having stupid conversations about ad blocking or what the absolute definition of content actually is. As far as I can tell, content is just another word for stuff, right?

Then there was the story about Matthew McConaughey becoming a creative director for a big whiskey brand. I didn’t realise it was that easy to become a creative director. I feel a bit stupid now, spending the last 20 years trying to get there. Oh well. In between copy-checking shelf wobblers and trying to motivate his creatives with his speech from the Wolf of Wall Street, Matthew used his time to make a violently average ad. The ad had no idea. But it didn’t need one, did it? Because the real idea was using Matthew McConaughey as the creative director. This is happening more and more. The idea is simply to use a celebrity with a big social media following. Is that an actual idea?

Stuff like that. I was thinking about the wrong things.

While this was going on in my head, I was in the middle of the task of judging about 500 television commercials as well as online content (there’s that word again) for Spikes Asia.

It’s an interesting experience looking at that much work at one time. In the beginning, you might be very analytical about the work, but I think when you judge this much work you become a consumer. You notice it or you don’t. You feel it or you don’t.

When you get to that point, all the verbal shrapnel and bullsh!t confetti we deal with every day disappears and it all becomes so very simple. The fog lifts.
It has to have a great idea. It has to be well made.

Seems obvious and easy, right? Well, if that were true there would be far more of that kind of work.

I think many of our businesses at the moment think there are shortcuts. Concept and quality wise. Do yourself a favour. Go and judge 500 pieces of work. You will see many pieces just like the next piece. Many with no ideas at their heart. Many that are made without the care and quality a good idea needs. They are invisible. Whatever box they ticked, they were a waste of money.

And then, you will see a handful of pieces that are brilliant. They go straight into your heart and head. No explanation or post rationalisation is necessary. They make you laugh and cry. They make you feel. More importantly, they stay in your head. You remember them.

This is what quality and care does. It makes you notice. It makes you give away your most valuable asset: Your time.

A Singapore Sling lifts the haze

On my last night in Singapore, our jury president Tony Granger very kindly took us to have a Singapore Sling at the famous Raffles Hotel, the place where it was first made in 1915. We could have gone anywhere to have a Singapore Sling but it wouldn’t have been as special. And it’s special because The Raffles Hotel has invested in an idea. This has created an experience you remember. The tiny fans on the roof. The ingredients they use. The beautiful green lights against the wood panelling. The peanut shells all over the floor. The fact that Ernest Hemingway used to drink there. Details matter. There are no shortcuts. Advertising is no different.

It’s funny we want consumers to believe and invest in our brand or product, but I think part of their belief comes from them seeing that we believe and are investing in the brand or product, too. In a sense, they are saying ‘you first’. And we show them we are doing these things by investing in how we communicate with them. (Rory Sutherland wrote a great piece in the Spectator about this idea and the value of experts).

Look at a great piece of work. A piece of work somebody really cared about. It says to the consumer, ‘I care about what I am selling you. I care about your time. I will try not waste it.’

A lot of things may be changing but these things will never change.

Thanks to Singapore for reminding me there are no shortcuts.

“You could certainly save money by inviting people to your wedding in an email, but not many people would show up.” – Rory Sutherland

The Age of the Expert Entrepreneur and the value of upskilling

Identifying your niche in today’s competitive space of specialists, experts and entrepreneurs can be daunting. We evaluate the importance of continued learning in the context of facilitating individual initiatives, self-branding, and self-development.
From pipe dream to empire

The Age of the Expert Entrepreneur and the value of upskilling

The scribble

Whether it’s in a tiny sketchbook, in a folder on your desktop, on a mind-map in your bedroom, or just lying latent and brewing at the back of your mind, everyone has a pipe dream. No matter where you’ve scribbled your big idea, it should be in your immediate vicinity, ready for you to amend it and elaborate on it at any time. Turning those scribbles into gold might not be as implausible as you imagine. It’s time to pull that castle out of the sky.

The distilling

During employment, during unemployment, during your studies, and during your breaks, you should consistently work on your vision. Add to it, adjust it, adapt it, draw up a list of competitors, hone your mission statement, and sketch out ideas for your branding. Distilling your vision is a consistent work in progress. Let every bit of experience you encounter trickle down into building it up.

The empire

Whether you want to translate Shakespeare into Setswana, own a yoga studio tailored to modern dancers, go into artisanal online retail, or host a podcast on pop culture, there could be a space for you to shape your vision into an empire.

Here are a few examples of local entrepreneurial empires, some up-and-coming, some firmly established:

Progressive poetry press, uHlanga
Sneaker culture and streetwear outlet, Shelf Life
Immersive audio-guided travel app, VoiceMap
Afrocentric socio-political media platform, Africa is a Country

Developing your flair for entrepreneurship does not mean you should never have a job. Experience gained from employment can be invaluable to starting your own endeavour, but it is not a necessity either. It’s important to dismantle the mentality of being bound, limited, and stagnant under traditional employment norms when you have the option of pursuing your own initiative.

Why you lack the confidence

“Growing up”

Often, our societies and cultures thrust giant logistical barriers in our way before we’ve even tried: what about your benefits, medical aid, insurance, retirement annuity? They quickly discourage the idea before you’ve even had a chance to explore it. Disillusioned, you retreat with your pipe dream and your tail between your legs, ready to work a nine-to-five until you die, somewhat fortified against accident or illness. As adults, we are expected to make provision for life’s inevitabilities. Rather than being encouraged to innovate, we’re urged to financially brace ourselves for all worst-case scenarios. Could there be a more dull way to live?

South African culture

According to the SABC, a 2016 survey hosted by the PPC Student Confidence Index found the following: “60% of graduates indicated that they would rather secure employment than pursue entrepreneurial opportunities or pursue a post-graduate qualification.” (South African Broadcasting Corporation)

Business training expert and technical marketing specialist at PPC, Motshabi Nomvethe, asserts that:

Many skilled South Africans are scared to take risks and traditional thinking influences this fear… from a young age learners are told to ‘go to school, get a degree, get a job and work on a retirement plan’. (Own emphasis) (South African Broadcasting Corporation)

When asked: “In comparison to the rest of the world, are we lagging behind when it comes to… entrepreneurs?”, Nomvethe replied: “We definitely are – and I think it’s because the culture again has not been conducive to being entrepreneurs.” (South African Broadcasting Corporation)

Fear of the non-conformist

We are programmed to cling to security when we could achieve legacy. Risks are part of entrepreneurship, and society can be unforgiving when it comes to failure. Entrepreneurs, however, don’t forfeit their security; they create their own, which does require time and dedication. Ultimately, it is up to your commitment (to your vision) whether or not you conform to a financially traditionalist culture.

We’re not taught how to take risks or persevere as sole proprietors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t teach yourself these skills that society and mainstream education largely omit. Upskilling in your chosen field of expertise, as well as in entrepreneurship and business management, will help inform and equip you in the face of risk evaluation, funding red tape, collaborative networking, expansion planning, and the sustainability of your private practice (whether a partnership, a small business, or a sole proprietor).

You are the product

You can and should brand yourself, your name, and your persona. You are the product and the brand, so invest in yourself and hone what you represent in the market. The entrepreneurial, expert space is a constantly evolving, competitive space. Niches are being grabbed and dominated every day.

The importance of upskilling

Apart from improved job opportunities and promotions, upskilling can give you the edge to compete within your industry as an independent expert or rising entrepreneur. Your relevant supplementary skills can add professional value to your individual brand.

There are cost, pressure, and time concerns involved in upskilling, particularly if you’re already working. Studying part-time from home via a distance learning institution can contribute to a healthy balance between your studies, home life, and work life. Nonetheless, upskilling does require determination. The question is: is it worth it? As your industry evolves and adapts, so must you, to maintain competitive advantage. Continued learning is integral to sustainability as an expert or entrepreneur. Staying in high demand means being up-to-date in your field and in a few other fields too. So yes, it is worth it.

Your digital footprint

In the Information Age, where your credibility is as solid as a Google Search results page and human interest can be measured by metrics, upskilling should definitely include e-skilling. Computer studies courses and social media management training are paramount for any individual or start-up today. People tend to believe what they read online, and your influence is only as vast as your digital footprint. When a prospective customer or collaborator Googles you, they should find your online presence current, accessible, unique, credible, and impressive enough to want to work with you.

According to the Sunday Morning Herald,

Expertise is now a subjective thing… Naturally, one trusts the research one has undertaken with one’s own determined late-night keystrokes far more implicitly than the research some distant egghead has done in an actual university. That’s human nature. But the range of professionally acquired knowledge that we classify as contestable is growing, as a direct corollary to our ability to patchily self-educate. (Sunday Morning Herald) (Source)

The internet is a cluttered space, saturated with groups and individuals fighting against transience for lasting visibility online. You need to refine your digital voice and make it as specific as possible. This is where your niche becomes important.

Newmark to open hallmark hotel in Maboneng

Newmark Hotels, Reserves & Lodges has been awarded the contract for the hotel forming part of the 15-storey Hallmark House, due to open in Septemeber 2016, in the Maboneng precinct.
Newmark to open hallmark hotel in MabonengHallmark House, which was built originally in the 1970s as a diamond-polishing centre, is in the heart of the Maboneng district on the east side of the Johannesburg CBD. Maboneng – which means ‘place of light’ in Sotho – is owned and being developed by Propertuity.

The style and ambience of Maboneng

It is an exciting and vibrant new neighbourhood that’s quickly becoming a destination for people who enjoy seeing the expression of current creativity and entrepreneurial spirit in all its modern urban forms: from graffiti to art centres and photo walks; from markets to yoga studios and new designer shops; the area is edgy and vital. Newmark’s boutique hotel in Hallmark House will reflect this character in its style and ambience and will offer businesspeople and tourists alike the opportunity to stay in the heart of this multi-cultural city hub and explore all the area has to offer.

Hallmark House, on Siemert Road, comprises a mix of residential and hotel apartments; the hotel will have 46 apartments on two storeys but will also run a concierge service for the residents’ apartments. There will be two restaurants; one on the ground floor and The Grande on the roof top. The position of Hallmark House allows 360 degree bird’s eye cityscapes of Johannesburg and Hillbrow. The new state-of-the-art building and the hotel within it include 24-hour manned security, secure parking, high-speed internet over fibre optics, art installations throughout all spaces, a gym and, of course, instant access to all the excitement of the area.

Developing the epitome of urbanism

Propertuity has bought many buildings in the city centre in order to create Maboneng and Hallmark House, formerly called Hallmark Towers, and represents Propertuity’s biggest undertaking in the area to date. An international team of professionals is working together to make Maboneng the most exciting urban city space in Africa. Jonathan Liebmann, CEO of Propertuity; architect, David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates; and Malica Design for the interiors, are the principle team members.

Liebmann has a rare ability to see great potential in places that most people would overlook. As a change-maker, he is now transforming the eastern corner of Johannesburg into a cultural destination that is fast being seen as the epitome of urbanism. “Hallmark House will become the most iconic building in the Propertuity Portfolio. Its design will allow for unparalleled views of the dynamic Jo’burg city skyline and will include generous outdoor spaces for every hotel unit to enhance the visitor experience.”

David Adjaye OBE is recognised as a leading architect of his generation. He designed the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, using the shell of a disused railway station. Adjaye Associates’ largest completed project to date is the £160 million Moscow School of Management Skolkovo and his most famous was for the Smithsonian Museum in London.