Last weekend saw The Om Yoga Show return to Olympia for its tenth year. I’d managed to nab a ticket from the very lovely Sally Parkes and persuaded my Italy loveyogabum retreat buddy Sapphire to come along with me.

I’d never visited before, but the real draw was the variety of open classes taking place at the show with the kind of renowned teachers that you’d easily pay several times the £12 entrance fee to take a class or workshop with. And there were a lot of them – six open class areas with half hour long first-come-first-served sessions running from 10am – 5pm on each of the show’s three days as well as longer workshops which cost a bit extra. Plus the very cool Hotpod Yoga which I am planning on checking out properly VERY SOON.

Mercedes Ngoh's jam-packed class

Mercedes Ngoh’s jam-packed class

I was hoping to get there for Mercedes Ngoh’s class but the London transport gods conspired against me and I had to be satisfied with watching Saph take what looked like a great session. I did manage to make Anne-Marie Newland from Sun Power Yoga’s class which left me very keen to explore more of her workshops and courses.

The shops and trade stands were wide and varied, everything from teachers, yoga oils, clothing and yoga monkey swings (yes, really). Saph and I recharged with an acai smoothie and a green juice (no dodgy burger stand catering here) and wove our way through them all. It’s  fascinating the range of products and services that can be lumped together under a big yogi umbrella – £100 leggings and luxury retreats to old hippies offering spiritual readings.

Yoga show rules - whatever you do, don't ask for a coke

Yoga show rules – whatever you do, don’t ask for a coke

Adjacent to the show was the Mind Body Experience and, although a separate event, your ticket got you access to both. For me, this is the one part of the show that I’d avoid taking someone who I was trying to persuade that yoga isn’t all about chanting, wafting incense and hugging people you don’t know. It consisted of stands including angel readings, crystal healing and tarot, and by the time someone had tried to flog us a bra that came with built in crystals for healing purposes, Saph and I quickly retreated back to the main show.

The Yoga Show is a great event for bringing together a variety of brands and teachers in the yoga community and showcasing what’s available for yogis to try. I came away happily clutching my copy of Om Yoga magazine and wading through leaflets I’d picked up to dream of retreats around the world.