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Your go-to yoga guide

Want to combine fitness with a de-stress in one fell swoop? How about trying yoga

Yoga for you
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Hatha Yoga is a classical form of yoga postures and breathing designed to revitalise the body physically and mentally.
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Yoga is often billed as the ultimate antidote to life in the fast lane, and here in the UAE - where our every fitness and wellness whim seems to be attended to - we are spoilt for choice with the sheer variety of classes on offer. Read on to find a class that suits you, so you get the most from your next sun salutation!

Yoga Dance

What & why?

Yoga Dance is designed to promote freedom of expression via a combination of traditional asanas (postures) and free dance with soothing sounds and funky beats. The class aims to awaken our ‘Kundalini', a powerful yet dormant inner source of energy, which sits at the base of our spine. It also helps to balance and purify our chakras. Flexibility, balance and coordination vastly improve whilst you ‘un-mind and un-wind', thanks to the restorative yoga section at the end of the class.
Best for: Those who want their workouts to be fun, but also enjoy the benefits of yoga.
Real-life review: "Yoga Dance makes me feel alive and connected and combined with the ‘Kundalini' breathing, you can't help but get a natural high and enjoy complete escape." Sana, 26
Need to know: Classes are held at Towers Rotana on Shaikh Zayed Road, and cost Dh100 per class. Call 056-7995928 or visit www.anaoteroyoga.blogspot.com Yogalates

What & why?

Yogalates is a combination of both Pilates and Hatha Yoga. The yoga postures improve your flexibility whilst the Pilates aspect works on strengthening and toning. Together, you develop fantastic inner core stability. Yogalates instructor Noura El-Iman holds outdoor classes, so you can breathe fresh air and immerse yourself in nature while exercising.
Best for: Those looking for hard-core strengthening and toning benefits from their session.
Real-life review: "No matter how exhausted I feel, I leave Noura's class smiling. She has a great sense of humour, is highly motivational and pushes us just the right amount." Martina, 32
Need to know: Classes are held in The Greens and Safa Park, Dh60 per class or Dh500 for ten sessions. Call 050-3289642 or visit www.yogalatesblissindubai.com

Artistic Yoga

What & why?

The world-renowned ‘Living Himalayan Master' Bharat Thakur's Artistic Yoga is an innovative, powerful and dynamic form of yoga combining traditional yoga techniques with modern cardio training and stretching. Physically, you work on flexibility, strength and endurance whilst mentally you gain a great sense of self-awareness. Unlike conventional yoga, every class is unique and focuses on just two body parts.
Best for: Those wishing to lose weight or achieve the ultimate in body toning.
Real-life review: "I started Bharat Thakur's yoga to lose the extra kilos after having my second baby. After only three months my entire body shape had changed." Emma Henry, 35
Need to know: Classes are held in various locations including Satwa, Al Qusais & Dubai Marina, and cost Dh650 for a month (first class is free).
Call: 800-YOGA (9642) or www.artisticyoga.com

Full Moon Yoga

What & why?

The full moon is believed to have a strong spiritual and healing importance so the monthly Full Moon Yoga session at Talise aims to help you absorb the moon's energy and thereby grant you health, freedom and happiness. The invigorating class takes place on the beach to the sounds of gentle waves and classical music with the backdrop of the beautifully lit Burj al Arab and fire torches in the sand. The emphasis is on breathing and deep meditation to calm the mind and relax the body.
Best for: Those who want to focus on de-stressing and meditation.
Real-life review: "Full Moon Yoga is truly amazing. The setting is out of this world and I did feel incredibly relaxed by the end, so much so that I fell asleep on my mat!" Jane, 27
Need to know: Dh200 per session at Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah. Call 04-3666818 or visit www.jumeirah.com/talise

Fitness-yoga

What & why?

Ignite fitness & wellness holds Fitness-yoga on the beach. The class essentially takes a modern approach to yoga, making strength-training a key element. It is an ideal complement for any sports enthusiast looking to build strength, stamina and flexibility and help reduce the risk of sports-related injuries. Taking place on the beach at sunrise, the setting is perfect to set you up for the day ahead.
Best for: Active sportspersons looking for a dynamic exercise form that builds strength and flexibility.
Real-life review: "Ignite's Fitness-yoga lets me start my day feeling energised, invigorated and ready to face anything. It's also a good antidote to all the cardio training I do." Ama, 26
Need to know: Classes are held on Palm Jumeirah, and cost Dh100 per class or Dh350 for four classes. Call 04-4487142 or visit www.ignite-wellness.com

Bikram Yoga

What & why?

Club Stretch is practically an institution in Dubai, known for its Bikram Yoga classes. The class entails a series of 26 classic Hatha yoga postures and two breathing exercises in a very heated room. The Bikram Yoga theory is that when the muscles are warm, you can stretch more deeply and thereby increase your flexibility. Also by sweating a lot, you flush the toxins out of your body. Designed to stimulate every muscle as well as work your organs and joints, this is a true full body workout.
Best for: Someone with high fitness levels looking to take their yoga practice to the next level.
Real-life review: "The first time I went to Bikram, I was hooked. It is physically and mentally exhausting but by the end I feel great." Katie, 32
Need to know: Club Stretch is located in Satwa and a new centre has just opened in Dubai Marina. Dh70 per class, various packages are offered. Call 04-3452131 or visit www.clubstretch.ae

Flow Yoga Community Class

What & why?

Real Pilates is a hot-spot for fantastic Pilates and yoga classes. Their Flow Yoga Community Class is Dubai's only charitable yoga initiative whereby all proceeds go to the Dubai Autism Centre (DAC). The class itself takes a modern-day approach to yoga, focusing on breath and assignment. It's great for strength, flexibility and endurance.

Best for: Those wishing to combine an invigorating yoga session along with doing their bit for charity.
Real-life review: "I love Real Pilates' Community Class. You feel your body work, but at the same time it allows you to calm down and reach a meditative state of mind." Zeina, 40
Need to know: Real Pilates is located in the Palm Strip Mall in Jumeirah, Dh35 per class (all proceeds to DAC), call 04-3453228, visit www.real-pilates.com

Fertility Yoga

What & why?

Yoga and its many benefits of connecting mind, body and spirit has led many couples to conception. Designed specifically to promote fertility, this class integrates stretching and breathing for a more restorative and therapeutic form of yoga. The focus lies on the hips, reproductive organs and hormonal system to improve physical health and reduce stress whilst the breathing techniques help to flush out physical toxins and create a calmer you!
Best for: Those wanting to optimise their wellness with a view to starting a family.
Real-life review: "Zen Yoga's Fertility Yoga makes me feel like I'm walking on clouds. It gives me a sense of control, making me feel like I'm preparing my body for motherhood." Kerry, 32
Need to know: Zen Yoga has several locations in Dubai, sessions cost Dh75 and various packages are offered. Call 04-3670435 or visit www.yoga.ae 

Prenatal Yoga

What & why?

Flow yoga's Prenatal yoga is a wonderful opportunity to stay in shape during your pregnancy, as many traditional exercise forms are often ruled out for pregnant women. Not only do the asanas help alleviate common complaints such as lower back pain, they also balance mood swings and increase energy levels. Keeping your emotions positive and your body flexible are important throughout pregnancy, and this is the perfect solution for that. The class takes place in an outdoor garden studio at sunrise or sunset, so the setting couldn't be more conducive to relaxation!
Best for: Pregnant women (three months onwards); the class also offers the added bonus of being a great opportunity to meet other mums-to-be.
Real-life review: "I regularly went to Prenatal yoga during both my pregnancies. I've no doubt they made my (natural) births easier and helped me to regain my figure afterwards with minimal effort." Carmel, 36.
Need to know: Dh50 per class or Dh450 for ten classes, classes are held in Mirdiff. Call 050-4734726 or visit www.flowyogadubai.com

Hatha Yoga

What & why?

Hatha Yoga is a classical form of yoga postures and breathing designed to revitalise the body physically and mentally. It is an uplifting practice that increases muscle tone, improves flexibility and concentration, detoxifies the vital organs and allows you to relax deeply. Deep relaxation follows the main postures and throughout, the focus lies on learning to breathe the right way, to cleanse the body, especially lungs.
Best for: Beginners and yoga novices who want to try out a new way to get in shape.
Real-life review: After my weekly yoga class at Sharjah Ladies Club, my mind feels calm, my body feels relaxed and I feel ready to face anything. It's my little escape from being a busy mom.' Alima, 31
Need to know: Hatha yoga classes are the most commonly offered in most yoga centres. Breath & Health Alternative Medical Centre offers daily classes, Dhxx per session. Call 04-3489940 or visit www.breathandhealth.net

You can also try Hatha Yoga at Sharjah Ladies Club, Dh40 per session for members, and Dh55 for non-members. Call 06-5067869, visit www.slc.ae

Kripalu Yoga

What & why?

Kripalu Yoga at Yoga Tree & SOMA Pilates Studio is a soothing and energising class focusing on connecting the body, breath and mind. The word ‘kripalu' means compassionate in Sanskrit and what sets it apart is the emphasis on learning to listen to, love and nurture your body. The class arms you with practical tools to foster mental and emotional growth.
Best for: Someone looking for a yoga class with a focus on stress-relief and spiritual healing.
Real-life review: "Kripalu has enabled me to connect my mind, body and breath as well as meet lots of like-minded people. It's a lovely holistic approach to health & wellbeing." Louise, 42
Need to know: Yoga Tree is located in the Al Buteen area of Abu Dhabi, classes cost Dh60 or Dh540 for ten session packages. Call 02-6676579 or visit www.yogatree.ae

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