International Day of Yoga 2016

Yoga event on helipad at Four Points Sheraton Dubai -   PHOTO CREDIT AJAY MITTAL (2)

A moment snapped from one of many deeply enriching mat practices I have enjoyed thus far in 2016, this one at a free event held on the helipad of Dubai’s Four Points Sheraton.

Ajay Mittal‘s picture is jaw-dropping, but still, you had to have been there…

If you follow me on social media you will already be familiar with my constant use of yoga-related hashtags – I am a yoga teacher in my down time, after all, and it did save my life, you can’t blame me.

For everyone else, if you still haven’t welcomed any of this ancient practice’s magic into your life, here is an article I wrote with the help of other yogis seasoned and new that I think sheds significant light on why yoga goes deeper than you ever imagined on and off the mat.

How are you celebrating Intl Day of Yoga today? I’m mad keen about Bikram Yoga again this week and will be heading to The Hot House this evening.

Happy Om, everyone!

WKD (What Kara Did): The Dubai Yoga Brunch

I’m a woman of many skills and interests, and two hats I occasionally wear are sport/fitness/wellness writer for Sport360 newspaper here in the Emirates, and the knitted beanie of a sometimes yoga teacher.

So obviously, when I heard about this quirky sober yoga brunch at cute little art hideout  XVA Art Hotel, I filled up the tank and my Abu Dhabi friends and I went on an early adventure to the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood (my first early/sober Friday morning in weeks!)

WE GOT SO LOST!

Anyway, some yoga teachers are forgiving -the beautiful Yasmine Orlando is one of them – and the space was tree-shaded and tranquil enough to quickly calm us down. We settled in for an easy-breezy practice to the tweeting of birds, and not phones.

Situated in Old Dubai, the XVA property is charmingly traditional in build and design and you have to wander through precious winding stone pathways, some with souk-style shops down them, to get to its tucked-away sanctuary of a courtyard cafe (where post-yoga munchies were held).

xva

That in itself gives it this romantic, otherworldly quality – you just want to stay – and XVA doubling as a boutique hotel and art gallery means it’s totally on my indie/hipster bucket list of local experiences (hopefully they read this and extend a branch from their lush little yard).

As the entire morning (yoga + meal) cost us Dh120, none of us were really expecting much in the way of a breakfast spread. But we were pleasantly surprised to receive a real feast of eggs (done our way), fresh fruit, labneh, olives and warm bread, oatmeal, pancakes, fresh juices and soothing hot drinks. You know how you go to a brunch and waste a ton of food because it’s just overkill? This was, like, the ‘Just Right’ option for brunches in a modern take on the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story.

Then, browse art and get lost strolling through the quaint maze-like district, and you’re pretty much ready to go home for the best nap ever (or check in at the hotel…hmm…). Done.

Boozers Take Note: This is a morning of healing and no alcohol is served, and actually, it was really refreshing and much-needed.

SO IF YOU CAN CALL OFF ANTICS FOR ONE WEEKEND TO SLEEP EARLY THIS THURSDAY AND MAKE IT TO THE NEXT ONE HAPPENING THIS FRIDAY APRIL 8, I’D STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU DO THAT (especially as there won’t be many more of these events what with the heat returning).

brunch

Join Yasmine here.