We know we say this often… but get ready for more yoga in Abu Dhabi. If you’ve been shopping around for a fresh place to plop down your yoga mat, then check out YogaOne, a brand-new facility that’s most probably offering the very class you’re thinking of right now.
Located within the peaceful Mangrove One compound which sits behind Al Seef Village Mall, YogaOne is the brainchild of a yoga teacher and her student – two expats with a shared passion for making yoga more accessible to all.
It did not take long for them to bond on and off the mat over this shared interest at all, and this fabulous-looking studio went from just an idea to a real-life success story within a matter of months!
Funny enough, YogaOne’s Margie Cordon was not especially in to yoga before moving to Abu Dhabi…until she met teacher, and now business partner, Mina Lee last year.
“I was living in Rome before this, where it’s much easier to walk around and be active, there was a lot more to do,” says Cordon.
“So when I moved here, while searching for activities I ended up in Mina’s yoga class. “Having a more high-intensity fitness background where I played a lot of tennis etc, I was a little reluctant at first, but I went once, then twice…and suddenly I found myself doing three lessons a day!
“Mina even suggested I pursue my yoga teacher training certificate but I really felt that teaching is a calling and it wasn’t for me. What I knew I did want to do was share how great of a teacher Mina was with everyone, and that’s how we became friends, and that took us to where we are today.”
In turn, Mina Lee sees Cordon as one of her best students and greatest supporters, so the pair make the perfect partnership to run what will be the newest in only a handful of dedicated yoga studios which exist across the capital.
What’s already on their side is their location – smack between the mainland and off island to easily connect yogis living either side. And with 10 instructors already on board to offer a wealth of yoga styles, these girls are sure to have their hands full.
The busy schedule has a class calling on every type of yogi and non-yogi in Abu Dhabi – even “Broga” for the boys and athletes.
Ladies Only, Pre-Natal and Kids yoga (and Karate) are already on the menu, alongside regulars you know and love, from Ashtanga straight down to Yin & Yang.
On top of that, their incredibly bright and spacious ‘Namaste’ room is fitted with overhead infrared heaters so as to offer Hot Yoga classes.
In close proximity to some quaint green spaces too, YogaOne intends to occasionally take things outdoors. One signature class which should win over the more cardio-driven exercisers out there is Fit Flow.
This class is set to high-octane music and combines strength training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in the yoga studio. It’s essentially HIIT and Vinyasa Flow combined (so one to bring your towels and plenty of water to).
If all of these words are new to you, if you haven’t even got a yoga mat, YogaOne says no problem, the more the merrier – and come use their quality Manduka yoga mats for free before deciding whether you’re ready to splurge on your own.
All the lovely shower and locker room facilities come complimentary as well, and their packages are pretty hard to beat. ‘Community’ really is the word heard most often here.
Soon enough YogaOne will run a Teen programme, workshops and teacher trainings, while they already host a open-to-all social gathering on the last Thursday of every month once the last class of the day ends.
Mina Lee is giddy for the year ahead and what she can do with YogaOne for Abu Dhabians.
“As a yogi, I try not to have too many high expectations, but we had an intention here of really creating a yoga community where anyone can come and practise and make their life better; we were hoping to create and provide that environment,” she says.
“I can see that people here need, or could really use yoga to make their busy lives more balanced. You know, Abu Dhabi has a lot of expat professionals who have come here and are acclimatising to a foreign environment as they try to make this place their home.
“Fortunately, the UAE has been a great host in giving us these opportunities, and we ourselves are very lucky to open this business.”
“Margie and I just hope YogaOne can help all these people feel more at ease and at home here, and connect them with likeminded people who share the same passions and energy. I mean, that’s basically how she and I ended up here – connecting over a shared energy and enthusiasm for yoga.”