Yoga for good life

Meditation for fitness? Yes. The word yoga means unity or oneness, and on a more practical level, it is a means of balancing and harmonising the body, mind and motions for health purposes

By Joyce Njeri (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Sat 15 Sep 2007, 10:07 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:48 PM

yoYOGA AS A means of fitness is fast gaining popularity across the country.

In order to be seen as trendy, fitness clubs would not be complete without yoga classes and as such many have incorporated the method as one of the workout plans to give the body full health package.

One such club is the Zen Yoga. Last Wednesday, the club opened a new branch at Murooj Complex, Tulip building, ground floor, inside Spa@Paradise on Shaikh Zayed road. The other Zen establishments are located at Emirates Hills, Town Center shopping mall and at Dubai Media City. Invited guests were treated to a free yoga sampling at Emirates Hill and many of them left the place with a commitment to enlist yoga as part of their fitness regime.

Zen Yoga is a new concept in Dubai. Its three studios are open from 7am - 9pm, and they offer all types of yoga. If you're new to yoga, this is the perfect time to try it out. "The hardest obstacle for most people to starting lessons is inertia," says Michela, one of the club's yoga instructors.

Michela gives a few suggestions to overcome initial resistance by creating a daily practice. "Make a commitment! Stick up a note on your fridge or dressing table saying 'I promise myself that I will do at least 10 minutes of yoga every day'," she says. "Make the practise a part of your life as brushing your teeth until you no longer even ask whether you feel like it or have time... you just do it!

yo1"I can promise you that once you start, 10 minutes will gradually turn to an hour because you realise it is important and you are enjoying it. On those days that you only do 10 minutes, for whatever reason, you will still have fulfilled your commitment," Michela adds.

Laura, another yoga instructor says the true joy of Yoga experience comes when you are unconscious of time, and are free to explore and follow where your body leads you. "One trick involves turning off the intellect in you and tapping into your inner being or nature," she says. "Gently move about dancing, swaying, twisting, enjoying the sensuous nature of your own body and getting to know yourself. Breath and feel that perfect release with each breath, while staying focused. Now you are doing Yoga!," Laura explains.

Zen Yoga's instructors offer individual attention to all students to make sure they have the best experience, with no injuries and with maximum benefits to your body and health. The health benefits of yoga are enormous and widely recognised, ranging from simply cutting down stress levels, speeding up blood and body fluids circulation, strengthening the respiratory system, flushing out harmful impurities to improving the immune system, and even getting rid of allergies.

"When you practise the method, you increase flexibility and improve body posture, ease the tensions, both physical and emotional that accumulate in our minds and bodies," Laura says.

Zen club offers all types of yoga, including Vinyasa, Hatha, Prenatal, Postnatal and Children's Yoga. Additionally, it also has ladies-only classes. Furthermore, 10 per cent of all the club's profits go to charities around the world to support those in need, each year.

yo2This includes 'Miles To Go,' a non-profit organisation dedicated to educational partnerships, humanitarian causes, and economic empowerment for women and their families throughout the world. Recent contributions have been made to the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer survivors and Mercado Global, a non-profit fair trade organisation that links the world's most rural and economically-disadvantaged cooperatives to the US market.

Others are Homeless Children International in Kenya, where the club works to help orphans and vulnerable children who live on the streets of Nairobi. They help them find their way to a bright future through counseling, residential and boarding school programmes and mentorship. Numerous other organisations benefit from the club's profits, as part of its corporate social responsibilities.



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