Sumit Manav's Ramadan challenge sessions have many takers Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Ramadan Yoga challenge, initiated by the Lifestyle Yoga centre in Dubai, is proving to be a huge draw among those fasting as they seek to keep fit during the holy month.

According to the centre’s founder Sumit Manav, “Fasting has numerous physiological benefits and supports weight loss by giving you a chance to re-assess your meals and improve your eating patterns. Fasting also helps you increase your self-control and overcome food addiction because it forces you to eat only when it is allowed. Therefore, your body gets accustomed to this new change after a few days.”

Comprehensive

However, he pointed out that a comprehensive pre-Iftar fitness regime can do wonders to the body by incorporating specific Yoga postures.

“Certain Mudra practices for instance help boost the production of saliva in the mouth which is largely water and contains electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds and other essential substances that the body needs,” said Manav.

He said the Khechari Mudra or tongue lock is a powerful yoga practice where the tongue is rolled up to touch the soft palate and then inserted into the nasal cavity behind the palette. “This is a highly beneficial mudra which helps you overcome thirst and hunger.”

Manav, who has trained under the renowned yoga guru BKS Iyengar and also at the Osho commune in India’s Pune, said the Ramadan challenge also entails some inversions which help increase the supply of blood to the brain. He said the 60-minute sessions include warm-ups, eight to 10 sun salutations, basic flow exercises, pranayama (breathing exercises), mudras and meditation. The five-times-a-week sessions are being held in two locations. While many have taken the Dh750 month-long package, others have opted for individual sessions which cost Dh75 each.