There are plenty of places out here to practice yoga that will blow your mind, from skyscraper rooftops to desert haven’s and even on a boat out at sea, but this one just set a new bar. Not satisfied with having a cool studio to do yoga in, Piloga instructor Allie McLaughlin brought her strong vinyasa flow to a new level, underwater to be exact. Supported by the amazing team at Lululemon, the session was hosted last Saturday morning in The Dubai Mall‘s famous Aquarium tunnel.
So practicing Savasana surrounded by sharks has got to be one of my all time favourite ways to meditate, although it’s pretty hard to keep your eyes closed the entire time and you can forget about focus… all the while, filtered through a beautiful blue light, you gain a sense of clarity and energy that just isn’t there in a white four walled room.
If it’s something that appeals to you too, they have plenty more sessions coming up… book here!
Celebrating homegrown talent and the love of sport, the U.A.E.’s own unique fitness apparel brand ELEVAETE is creating more than just a statement this Emirati Women’s Day.
ELEVAETE worked with a young local Emirati artist, Amna al Banna, at just 21 and studying graphic design at Zayed University, is known for her passion for calligraphy. With their collaboration, using traditional calligraphy to highlight local culture, Al Banna uses 6 words to represent both traditional UAE culture and sport culture. With these words alone, she’s created unique artwork that is screen printed on two pieces of barre-ready apparel in gold.
Both Al Banna and ELEVAETE reflect the same values at their core – victory, strength, faith, passion, energy, life. So we don’t expect them to available for long, these two pieces are a limited edition run set sold either together or separately and named after two of Al Banna’s identified words.
The pieces themselves are a beautiful fusion of tradition and function. A dark, monotone base colour just helps to highlight the calligraphy and each piece is handprinted with care.
We can’t wait to get our hands on set – get yours HERE.
STRENGTH / QUWA TEE
PASSION / SHAGAF LEGGING
I love to travel, but when I do, my body automatically goes into holiday mode. Throwing caution to the wind i’ll have that extra glass of wine, the bread and olive oil, or go all out and have a dessert too! Things i’d normally be uber cautious about back home. But what I do miss is the day-to-day routine of my Classport workouts and wake-surfing that balances out the foodie in me.
I’ve just spent 6 weeks in Europe and the first thing I did when I arrived to our holiday home in France was google translate the nearest gym and try to get myself into a more work to workout mode. I feel it’s a bit like jet lag, if you don’t assimilate quite quickly, it’s harder to get out of it. I certainly feel that with my body type, if i’ve gone more than a couple of days without some sort of fitness, it’s as if i’ve never done any at all! So I jumped at the chance to keep even a little bit of it going. I signed up with France’s version of Fitness First L’Orange Bleu, which for all intents and purposes is a great little outlet about 20 mins from our home in the countryside. They also have week by week plans which are great for the shorter trips across to Europe.
From spinning to pump and ‘abdos / cuisses’, every class was in French but didn’t take me long to pick up the routine having done similar style classes back home.
As it’s France though, the gym itself has now closed as they’ve decided to go on holiday for the last two weeks!?!…
…so back to square one. Heading to the local sport shop i’ve picked up a couple of weights to get myself motivated at home. Just a pair of 3kg’s to give myself a little resistance, i’m working on my own daily routine but so far so good… so after a 5-10 mins run around the surrounding fields, I stick on the radio, grab my weights and get to work in the garden, with last night’s pasta dish as my only motivation.
Ever watched Total Wipeout on TV and though “I could do that”, well thanks to Bounce, you can now prove your Gladiator-esque skills on their new dedicated parkour-ninja-warrior course.
From spider wall climbs to ring swings and a fireman’s pole that leads to a zipline, it all looks innocent enough when you step up to the first challenge, but then to be told the entire two floor course is being timed and you’ve got about 2 mins to make it onto their daily hall of fame board… well, that’s a different story.
I managed about 3/4 of the entire course, the starting blocks see you free-running your way in a ‘the floor is lava’-style manoeuvre, from which you can get a false sense of security moving through the next few fun steps. It’s the monkey bars that got me. I was a childhood swing park kinda kid, so I know my way round an obstacle course and a jungle gym, but these are more Spartan than they look. From there, I found it almost impossible to get my body swinging far enough on the hoops to make it onto the landing pad, so out of frustration, I just skipped it 😉
The wall climb was much more my style, and I felt I could make up the lost time on all the over-and-under obstacles that were back upstairs. The final jumps were the last hurdle and as soon as I stopped actually thinking about jumping, and just jumped, my timer stopped with a very beginner’s score of about 4 mins (give or take an obstacle).
Fun, sweaty and challenging in ways you never knew you could be challenged. I wander if adults can host Birthday parties here too…
Yoga is all about bending, stretching and breathing right? So power yoga… something a little stronger perhaps? Described as where strength meets flexibility, NuPowerYoga was introduced to us last week at one of my favourite hotspots, Hautletic, through Dubai based fitness studio 1six8. It cites more than just using weights in its vinyasa flow, with innovative Nubell-technology designed, circular hand weights, which are created to be ergonomically optimal, providing an even, all-round weight distribution for your hand, wrist and (occasionally) ankle too.
The benefit of all this is that it helps to alleviate any stress or tension on your joints, often seen with other weights and bells. I know from personal training that I much prefer kettle bells to barbells as I feel I can keep my wrist more controlled when using them. The creator of these circular designs did so due to an accident where he needed to regain strength in his hands and wrists.
Created in the States (of course) there’s been a real trend towards combining different fitness techniques and classes, to ultimately try and create a more thorough body workout. What Nu Power Yoga does is aid those long muscle movements in yoga by adding a little more resistance, helping to get everything firing and ultimately engage with more core.
NuPowerYoga classes start in June, at their hotspot in 168, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai.
Fitness First is the giant of all gyms. Open everywhere and providing pretty much everything you could need for a one on one gym session with a trainer. They’ve progressed to classes as well, but let’s face it, it’s that shiny new equipment we’re most tempted by.
So when a new one popped open up in Mudon, I was first in line to check out their various HIIT regimes. One which stood out for me the most was their Rips, Ropes & Straps set up. We tried a mixture of 5 different exercises, in a group of only 6 people, so ultimately we had more one-to-one time with the instructor… in this case that meant we couldn’t cheat. Hailed as a 45 minute loaded movement training class, using TRX, Rip Trainer, Battle Ropes & Ankorr. It is designed to use 3D movement, aiming to improve your muscular endurance and core strength.
From being strapped in to a harness for elasticated resistance running to core crunches and assisted side winders, the floor became as tough as the wall. Not somewhere to be underestimated either… I always thought Fitness First would be more of a factory, churning out the gym bodies one by one, but I was pleasantly surprised at the homely feel and support systems.
I thought i’d pretty much tried my hand at everything yoga wise, from aerial to Bikram and everything in between, so as soon as I saw we were trying AnimalFlex, I was intrigued…
Not your average workout I have to admit, but a lovely 7am start down in the Marina (why can’t all workouts be outside), with the crew from Fit Squad Dubai and Exclusive Yachts, aboard a two decker boat that that carried us around the Palm whilst we soaked up the morning sun and tested out what’s sure to be the new fit trend.
AnimalFlex is a curious combination of yoga with what I can only describe as playing. It isn’t for kids though, oh no… this is a test of balance, core and agility with well-known yoga positions like the scorpion and crab. To top it all off, our mini-workout saw us racing in cat (or was it cow) from one side to another. The fun of it all certainly helped keep your body from realising the brutal ab and thigh practice too.
To continue the #MINDBODYSEA experience of the morning though, we headed downstairs to enjoy a little meditation. I have to say, trying to keep my mind aligned and body focused after all that running around was trickier than i’d imagined, but it was a thoroughly uplifting recovery. Here’s to more workouts on the sea!
Now I like a sauna as much as the next person, it releases tension, water weight and of course helps you when you’re feeling slightly under the weather too, but heading into the Iyashi Dome at L’Atelier Aquafitness, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was in for…
Originating and inspired by a traditional Japanese technique called Suna Ryogo – a practice where the Japanese were burying themselves in the sand near the hot springs on a beach to eliminate toxins, the Iyashi Dome is a device using a unique technology that deeply cleanses the body, restoring balance and even said to provide somewhat slimming effects.
What it actually does in fact is emit vibrations of far-infrared rays from inside its carbon based dome – which is the same amount of infrared that we naturally produce, so not apparently a health concern (my first question). Interestingly enough, we actually generate our own far infrared rays, between 8-14 microns in fact. So when we are treated with more rays in this manner, they are naturally absorbed by the body (up to 40mm under the skin). These far infrared rays generate heat, hence the sauna-like effect.
The Iyashi Dome aims to stimulate your metabolism and trigger deep set sweating. I’m not entirely sure the concept of sweating whilst lying down is a key in losing weight, but the sweat you are said to lose on a number 10 switch is apparently the same amount as running 20kms (approx 1200 ml). Each session lasts for 30 minutes and whilst your head stays out of the Dome for comfort, the rest of your body is hidden but the towel covering the entrance, as you’ll have to strip off to get in.
One thing is for sure, it’s a great way of removing any nasty toxins, and is a great skin cleanser. Ultimately, the experience was also quite relaxing, although I could have down with a little reading material in there, as i’m used to burning my calories a little more dynamically.
What better way to kickstart the day, especially now the weather’s getting hotter, than an early start down by the sea. I’m totally a water baby and I love the way we get energy from it too, so when ROXY, a brand I haven’t seen in ages, calls us all in for a #RUNSUPYOGA event, i’m 100% in!
ROXY’s a brand I grew up with but I have to admit, I haven’t noticed much of their presence here in the region in a long time. Promoting their new activewear, which is surf to sand appropriate, we tested out their latest pieces down at sunset beach with Surf House Dubai.
Kickstarting the morning with a beach yoga session to wake up our tired limbs, we put our balance to the test before heading out in two groups for an SUP fit session with the Surf House team. Harder than it looks, even for the most practised SUP’er; balancing, squats, push up’s and burpees when there’s a few waves underneath you is a testing experience to say the least.
A brand inspired by both the mountains and the sea, it launched in 1990 with the first women’s specific boardshort inspired by Lisa Andersen, and have been mastering the art of fashionable surf wear since…
I though all barre classes were the same, that there was some governing body that decided which exercises best assaulted all your teeny-tiny muscle groups in one area of the body, at any one given time… and I wasn’t totally wrong. Barre is the name given to a stationary handrail that provides support for people during various types of exercise. Barre work is essentially any and all exercise that uses one, from ballet to booty.
So why is Define Body so different?
Well not only is their morning class taught by a 7-months-pregnant teacher, who will put all of you to shame working out just as hard as you are in the studio, but it also focuses on a much more cardio-based rhythm of movements. Defined as a “one-stop shop for the tone and length you’ve been looking for”. It’s very much a combination of pilates, yoga, ballet to form a bit of a HIIT workout. Also suitable for the boys…
The class aims to get your heart rate right up, whilst aiding the toning process with weighted exercises, standing work, and of course seated movements dedicated to working your core. It doesn’t, thank god, require too much dance, i’ve very little rhythm and almost 0 ability to follow direction too. It will however leave you swearing and sweating your way through a 1 hour session.
What does it help:
Develop proper alignment & form
Target all major muscle groups
Create leaner and longer muscle
Improve strength and flexibility
Get and stay in shape