Fitness & Health: HAPI yoga times in Dubai

Kara Martin 26/04/2017
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Try out a new venue in town.

From hosting yoga classes in inspired spaces such as art galleries, to inviting some of the trendiest teachers the world over to run incredible and creative workshops, and even throwing pop-up glow-in-the-dark classes, Urban Yoga in Dubai is always on a mission to make yoga an even cooler experience for the greater public.

It’s no wonder they’ve opened up their second studio in the up-and-coming arts hub Alserkal Avenue, teaming up with hipster holistic lifestyle brand HAPI.

We were very eager to pay them a visit. The two homegrown brands will be working together at Alserkal to inspire the community to live happier lives through good food and mindful exercise under one roof, and this is the Al Quoz destination’s first purpose-built yoga studio running regular classes.

Kimerberly Stokes, co-founder of Urban Yoga said: “We are delighted that we are now able to reach more people in the yoga community through this central location.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better partner than HAPI for this expansion as we are now able to work together to reach more people and inspire the community to live happier and healthy lives”.

Much like the Urban Yoga’s original studio in Business Bay, HAPI has a large open-plan, loft-style setting that would fit right in in the trendiest neighbourhoods of New York or London.

The small and intimate yoga studio is quiet with a large window wall overlooking the cafe below that serves up everything from cold brew coffee to organic burgers and a healthy bone broth that’s hard to pass up after a tough practice.

Urban Yoga, as a brand, prides itself on yoga instruction for the urban and modern mindset. This makes their new set-up in the ultra-hip Alserkal is pretty perfect, really.

In the chaotic fast-paced world we live in here in the Emirates, they know exactly what you need at the end of the day and their classes are highly popular.

Instruction is very anatomy-focused, with much emphasis placed on your body and how to move it in way that will benefit you both physically and mentally, and we’ve never not left their studio feeling practically reborn.

They teach various styles and difficulty levels, allowing students to select the class that suits exactly what your body is craving – from gentle candlelit flows and restorative Yin Yoga, to more strengthening and re-energizing styles such as Strala Strong (an imaginative and invigorating signature class of famous modern yogi Tara Stiles).

Urban Yoga Dubai

  • What: Urban Yoga
  • Where: HAPI, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz
  • Verdict: This is an inspiring and energising class. We’d be very “HAPI” to hang out there once again.

After a heavy night, we braved a morning Flexibility Flow class led by “Urban Yogi” Liberty that was just what the doctor ordered.

It’s a very smooth flow peppered with plenty of Vinyasas that was clearly designed to coax greater mobility out of all of the body’s major joints and muscles groups.

As you’re asked to hold some of the poses just a bit longer, the sequence also creates more elasticity in the tissues.

We admit to feeling a bit poorly when we entered the class, but this is where Urban Yoga’s cool, curated music playlists also come in handy; as does Liberty’s calm and collected guidance. We powered through and sweated away all of last night’s toxins.

It was a very well-balanced class that inspired both ease and energy, and reminded us just how powerful and healing yoga can be.

For schedule information and to book a class, visit www.urbanyoga.ae or search for Urban Yoga on the Mindbody App.

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GuavaTalk: Five crucial tips for exercising for weight loss

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For a lot of people, weight loss isn’t just as simple as eating less and working out more.

Between bad habits, family/work environments, or a lack of motivation, there’s usually always a reason why you can’t stick to losing weight.

If you’re looking to lose weight, and have chosen exercise as your primary tool, there are a few tips that can help the process along.

SET A GOAL

Whether it’s a number on the scales, a pant size at the store or a feeling when you look in the mirror, setting a goal is crucial for continued weight loss. Although useful, this goal isn’t just a reference point for you to compare your past self to. When you’re getting ready for a workout at 6 am on a Monday morning, you’re going to need some serious motivation. In these times, nothing is better than the idea of fitting into those amazing jeans or reaching that golden number on the scales.

EAT CLEAN

Have you ever heard people say food and exercise for weight loss is 60/40 in importance? Well, that’s wrong – you’re actually looking at around 85/15. No matter how much you’re running, or how many exercise classes you’re doing a week; if you aren’t eating clean you’re not going to see the results. A simple way to eat clean is to follow these rules:

No processed foods – if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, don’t put it in your body

Source ethically treated, grass-fed and free range animal products and by-products where possible – poor living conditions do strange things to the meat produced by these animals

Cut the sugar – it sounds harsh I know, but studies have found that sugar (in all shapes and forms) is more damaging than alcohol and more addictive than smoking!

Fill your plate with bright, fresh, colourful vegetables

DON’T AVOID WEIGHTS

Women often avoid weights because they don’t want to ‘bulk up’ in order to keep a slim figure. I can assure you, that the only changes you’ll see after a few weight sessions per week are lean muscle growth, an increased metabolism and a reduction in body fat. In fact, spending hours doing cardio has been proven to be less effective in weight loss than a combination of HIIT sessions and weight training.

SWITCH IT UP

If your workouts are working, why would you need to change anything? Firstly, keeping your body and your mind guessing during exercise is extremely beneficial. New muscles are engaged, your body is tested in a different way and in turn, it compensates for the change by using up more energy and increases your metabolism. Secondly, keeping your routine fresh avoids the all-too-common ‘burnout’ phase by making things interesting and engaging. It can also break through, or completely bypass any stubborn weight loss plateaus.

HAVE A POSITIVE OUTLOOK ON YOUR WORKOUT

Throughout this weight loss journey, make sure you stay positive. Weight loss isn’t just a straight line down. There will be ups and downs but as long as you keep focused on your end goal, you’ll get to where you want to be.

This article is written by Laura Fitzpatrick and originally appeared on the GuavaPass blog.

GuavaPass is the first and largest fitness community of its kind in Dubai, offering an unlimited membership to group fitness classes at over 80 top studios across the city. Find out more at guavapass.com.

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Why is it important to monitor your heart rate?

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You should be aware of your heart rate.

To gain the most from your training it is crucial that you monitor your heart rate on a regular basis.

Each person’s heart rate helps to determine their fitness level and by monitoring this, you are able to avoid overtraining, which in turn can reduce the risk of injury and mental fatigue.

Your heartbeat in a relaxed state is called your resting heart rate and calculating it is actually a lot more important than you think.

A lower resting heart rate points to a state of greater health and fitness. A well-trained athlete, for example, would have a normal resting heart rate of around 40 beats per minute.

As you become fitter from more intense exercise, your heart rate will decrease, helping your lungs and heart become stronger.

In contrast, if you do not exercise regularly, important organs will weaken and be forced to work harder, which will increase your heart rate considerably.

Essentially, this means you need to improve your fitness level.

In adults, a normal resting heartbeat is around 72 beats per minute (average 600-100 beats per minute).

An unusually low or high heartbeat may point to an underlying problem, so be sure to consult your doctor if that’s the case.

Tested regularly: Elite athletes keep track of their levels.

To measure your resting heart rate, press the side of your wrist towards your thumb. Use your index and middle finger to press over the blood vessels. When you can catch the beat, hold for 15 seconds. Multiply by four to find you resting heart beat.

Another option is to count your pulse for 30 seconds and multiply by two.

If you are training on a regular basis, you can keep a notebook with your resting heart rate and log it each morning. This is seen as the best time to measure your heart rate as your heart beat is at its most relaxed state.

Many factors can affect your resting heart beat so don’t be worried if you notice changes on a regular basis.

Some of the factors include dehydration, body position, emotions or if you’ve trained your body hard the previous day.

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