Yoga has become a global phenomenon not such for de-stressing but in weight loss and its maintenance. There’s a growing tribe right here in the UAE, who can help you get started. Here’s our pick of some of the best in the trade.
Bharat Thakur, founder of Artistic Yoga, has adapted ancient yoga techniques and postures to create a contemporary fitness programme that works on strength, flexibility, stamina, balance and agility. His disciples have included Bollywood hotties such as Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and Salman Khan. Internationally he has trained Hollywood actor Michael Douglas, tennis player Boris Becker, cricketer Shane Warne, musician Anoushka Shankar, among others. He also writes a weekly column for Gulf News tabloid!. Artistic Yoga classes for weight loss, body toning, stress relief and general lifestyle related diseases and disorders (hypertension, cholesterol, sugar) are available in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman.
Price: Dh160 to Dh700, depending on the package. Private session start from Dh250.
Contact: 800-YOGA (9642) or visit artisticyoga.com
One of the oldest yoga teachers in the UAE, Sanjeev Krishnan of Rhythm Yoga is a direct disciple of Sivananda Paramhansa, a renowned yoga guru from south India. He is now trying to introduce the oldest from of defence in Indian culture — kalari — as a way to instill values and discipline into human life and to harness the excess energy in children for improving their overall mental and physical development. Kalari inculcates focus, determination and aim in the minds of people practising it. A new centre has been set up on Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah, which will hold kalari classes in a traditional setting. Krishnan has also been working with KHDA and is trying to get yoga on to the school syllabus. He also specialises in curing back issues through yoga and incompatibility issues.
Price: Dh300 for 10 sessions (three months validity).
Contact: 04-3348955 or visit rhythmoflife7.org
Andrea Balazs is a fertility and pregnancy coach who conducts hatha yoga and prenatal/postnatal yoga classes in Dubai. She also teaches the Aviva Method, a structured, non-invasive and moderate exercise technique, that has a therapeutic effect on the female reproductive system. Having practised yoga since 2003, Balazs started teaching in 2010. She coaches women to reach their health goals, balancing hormones, through fertility, pregnancy and beyond with healthy nutrition and exercise.
Price: On request
Contact: Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit andreabalazs.com
Though he may be young, Ronak Gajjar has over seven years’ experience in teaching yoga, after taking his teacher’s training course at Yoga Alliance in New Delhi. He has also completed certifications in Hypnotherapy and Level 1 of Muscle Activation. He holds classes at various locations in Dubai, including Dhyana Yoga Studio at The Oberoi Dubai.