Individuals who are willing to get fit could invest in Yoga mats and find local classes to ease away the pressures of the day while toning up.

Tarquin Cooper, a writer for the Daily Telegraph, has discovered a new way to get fit through Yoga classes with a difference.

Pulse Yoga uses the basic techniques to tone up and become more supple but incorporates other exercises into the positions.

Mr Cooper attended a pulse Yoga session with instructor Allie Hill and found that the class helped him with his aches and pains.

"Yoga’s unique system of stretching and holding postures is renowned for relieving physical and mental tension. In my case, it alleviates the bodily aches and stiffness caused by hours of sitting hunched at my desk or pounding the pavements during a run," he explained.

Pulse Yoga was designed to appeal to women who are put off going to the gym but want to get fitter, and to men who would usually baulk at attending a traditional Yoga session.

Participants at the pulse sessions bring their Yoga bags and quality Yoga mats but then use weights, lunges and small movements to work the muscles and sculpt the body.

Ms Hill commented: "I wanted to offer something different. In the US, Yoga’s more mainstream and incorporated into elite sports. They offer all these crazy classes, like Yoga spin, and I loved the idea of introducing weights into my practice.

"The challenge appeals to guys, too. Most look at the relatively light weights and think, how hard can that be? But when you have to do lots of micro-movements to work specific muscle groups, it can be surprisingly challenging to hold a posture at the same time," she added.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people brought their Yoga equipment onto the streets of Paris at the weekend to take part in a mass stretching session.

The crowd of 2,000 devotees gathered near the Eiffel Tower on October 2nd to mark the UN International Day of Non-Violence, which is held on the birthday of Indian peace activist Mahatma Gandhi.

New York-based Yoga teacher Elena Brower, who led the session, explained: "Everybody is excited, everybody is really here in honour of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, it’s the day of non-violence."

Posted by Freya Harper