Thousands join Shilpa Shetty in XYoga Dubai festival
Dubai - The Bollywood star lead the Middle East's largest yoga session as the two day wellness event starts in style.
Approximately 9,000 yoga enthusiasts of all ages and from all walks of life gathered in Downtown Dubai on Friday morning for the opening event of the two-day XYoga Dubai festival, the largest mass participation yoga session in the Middle East.
The festival is the anchor event of the year-long XYoga Dubai initiative which has already included flash mobs and transparent trucks carrying people who do yoga.
Friday's event - held along Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard - was led by Bollywood actress, author and fitness enthusiast Shilpa Shetty and yoga guru Suneel Singh.
The 60 minute routine was also broadcast on large TV screens across the 1.5 kilometer stretch of the boulevard required to accommodate the thousands of yogis.
"Yoga is more than just exercise, it is a path to a healthier life and to see so many people turn out for this event and to see how much Dubai nurtures a healthy and holistic lifestyle, for many of people who have never done it before, was amazing," Shetty said after the event. "Yoga is open to anyone, and getting that message across today was so important, everyone should have the opportunity to want a healthier lifestyle, and I think XYoga Dubai has helped remove some of those barriers to achieve that today."
Following the main session, Shetty spent time at the Burj Park venue taking part in other sessions and visiting the various stands by the partners, Reebok, Cadillac and du.
Following the main event, various other sessions were held. Women only sessions included Om Chanting, Pregnancy, Hatha Flow and Hormonal sessions, whilst all inclusive sessions included Yoga for Athletes, Swing Yoga, a spectacular show on the Dubai Fountain with Stand Up Paddle Board expert, Dashama Konah, as well as a dedicated Spiritual Journey through Music experience with Pierre Ravan, the first 'spiritual house DJ'.
"XYoga Dubai is not just about creating a festival; it's about creating a wellness movement and tapping into the positive energy of Dubai and the many people that make up its unique tapestry," said Javad Khoramifar, Festival Director. "Health and happiness go hand in hand and that's what we wanted to show. After a sold out inaugural event, certainly we expect XYoga Dubai to continue to grow in an ever more health aware society and hope that it brings in people from abroad who also wants share in the experience here in Dubai."
Visitors also got a chance to chill out and learn more at the XYoga Dubai festival village, which had interactive events and live music sets from Capoeira, Ravan and Sadie Nardini as well as food stalls with a focus on healthy eating, raw cooking, yoga apparel and accessories stalls and kids entertainment area.
The event will continue through Saturday.