XYoga Dubai by Dubai Holding attracts huge numbers for a full weekend of seaside yoga at Kite Beach

Hiba Khan 17/03/2018
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It was a weekend well-spent for Yoga enthusiasts in Dubai, as yogis from all walks of life, levels, and nationalities flocked in large numbers to Kite Beach for what was hailed as the most holistic yoga festival, XYoga Dubai presented by Dubai Holding.

The two-day festival kicked off on Friday, 16th March until Saturday, 17th, and offered complimentary classes and workshops by eminent local and international yogis.

The number of attendees surpassed the expectations of the organisers by ten-folds, as more than 2000 yogis attended the mass morning session led by runway model-turned international yoga guru, Yogi Cameron and Bollywood actress and Reebok ambassador, Malaika Arora.

“Dubai brings together people from such diverse backgrounds and nationalities, which is what truly makes the yoga community here so special and all the more unique. I am really amazed by the turnout today and I am just so happy to be able to do a session with such a fantastic group of people,” Cameron told sport360.

1 Malaika Arora and Yogi Cameron open XYoga Dubai

Cameron is a practitioner and specialises in Ayurvedic yoga, which brought the balance and peace in his life that he had been always seeking.

The festival featured diverse styles of yoga and brought together a unique band of yogis, who not only had studied this ancient practice extensively, but had their own understanding and take on it.

The pioneer of chocolate yoga, Sjha’ra Taylor also conducted two-hour sessions, where people got a full-on experience of two of the most universally enjoyed things in the world.

“I am glad that I was able to introduce chocolate yoga to everyone at the festival. The cacao that I used in my session is handpicked by me and is of the highest vibration that has really strong medicinal properties. Having the cacao with the Kundalini yoga is absolutely wonderful for the body,” she said.

Daniel Morgan, UK-based yogi and modern wellness advocate imparted the wisdom and joy of yoga to the attendees at the two-day festival.

Having battled anxiety in the past, Morgan found comfort in the practice of yoga and realised that the teachings of yoga go beyond the postures or asanas, but yoga is a lifestyle.

Over 2000 people at XYoga Dubai

“The practice of yoga doesn’t start and stop on the mat. Yoga literally means union and the whole practice is about internalising the teachings of this practice and finding the right balance in your life,” said Morgan.

With an anatomical breakdown of postures, Morgan understands that every body is different and his classes incorporate traditional teachings of yoga with a modern twist that includes a balance of strength and mobility.

“Yoga has had such a powerful and beautiful impact on my life and it has taken me all over the world. I have had a chance to establish meaningful connections with people that I otherwise would not have had a chance to meet,” he added.

Mohammed Javad, General Manager of XDubai, plans on doing the event on an annual basis and having activations all throughout the year to promote Yoga and to strengthen the community by providing a platform for them to come together more often like this.

He said: “We are definitely looking into doing XYoga Dubai annually and we will have smaller events throughout the year to keep the community alive. The numbers that we have seen is a testament to the growth of yoga in the country and we just want to contribute a little to its growth.”

XYoga Dubai is just a small part of the efforts made by XDubai and Dubai Holding to promote the practice of yoga. For more information or updates, log on to www.xyogadubai.com

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Five key exercises to build stronger and more powerful legs

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We’ve all seen those people in the gym with a massive upper body and skinny legs, and in truth, it looks embarrassing.

Why only train upper body when you need balance and strength from below?

Remember legs make up 50% of your body and are the most useful muscles, especially if you’re involved in sport.

Your legs are a vital source of power, from jogging long distances, to sprinting and turning.

By strengthening your legs in the gym through exercises like squats, deadlifts and leg press, you’ll reduce the risk of injury and increase stability and endurance.

In addition to this, you’ll generate more power which will make you a faster and fitter athlete on the sports field.

Here, we take a look at five exercises that will boost your leg strength and power.

LUNGES

Step forward with your left or right leg and bend forward.

Hold the two dumbbells over your head in a Y shape.

Hold and then push back to your standing position.

Change legs and repeat this 10 times.

SINGLE LEG ROMAN DEAD LIFTS

Hold the dumbbells at hip level and stand tall. Balance on one leg and bend forward while trying to keep your back straight.

Push to a point where you can feel the pressure on the hamstring.

Move back up slowly to a standing position and change legs.

Change legs and repeat this 10 times.

STEP UPS

Stand straight and hold dumbbells in either hand.

Put your left foot on an elevated platform and step up.

Hold for five seconds and step down.

Change legs and repeat this 10 times.

CALF RAISES

Lift your calf muscles off the ground as high as your flexibility allows.

Once you feel the pain then proceed back to a standing position.

Aim to do ten repetitions.

WALL SQUATS

Position yourself with your back against a wall and hold the dumbbells by your sides.

Squat down until you feel a burn in your legs.

Pause and then push back to a standing position.

Aim to do ten repetitions.

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Three ways to add exercise to your daily routine

David Cooper 28/02/2018
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Are you stuck for time to exercise?

Well, then you need to get more organised and make better decisions each day!

Windows of time do exist for you to go for a walk or run so it’s important to utilise them.

Here’s our three tips to help to improve your health and fitness on a daily basis:

RUN OR CYCLE TO AND FROM WORK?

Depending on the distance between your accommodation and workplace, you could try running or cycling to work. It’s an efficient way to fit in your training and will have you feeling energetic and productive for the rest of the morning.

If there is a lack of showering facilities at your workplace, then you could run home instead. This will help clear your head after a long day in the office and beats sitting in a taxi during rush hour traffic in the evening.

USE YOUR WINDOWS OF TIME EFFECTIVELY

It’s nice to have some downtime after a working day but its pointless going straight home and sitting on a laptop for the rest of the evening, flicking through apps on your phone or watching five episodes of a TV series.

If you have free windows of time then go for a walk, a light jog or even a 45-minute gym session. Most of our apartment complexes have small gyms so go down and work hard for a short period of time and you’ll be feeling sharper after.

FOLLOW SAME ROUTINE AT WEEKENDS

It’s nice having a lie-in when you’re off but if you can try and get up at a similar time on a Friday or Saturday as you do from Sunday-Thursday then you’ll have no excuse about not having the time to exercise.

With less time pressure at weekends, why not try some of the great running routes around Abu Dhabi or Dubai? It’s always satisfying testing out a different location rather than the same place that you might train during the week.

Be selective with your decision making and always put your health and fitness at the forefront of your plans.

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