When the greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD), the heavyweight boxing champion dedicated the rest of his life to raise awareness for this illness and established a centre in his name to facilitate research and find a cure for it.
Despite the many years of research, a cure for this chronic neuro-degenerative disorder is still not within reach.
However, as the number of cases associated with the illness continue to grow at an alarming rate, Dubai-based Kathak dancer, Dr. Vonita Singh came up with a unique way of alleviating the symptoms of this disease using dance, which is the ethos behind her social enterprise Movement Mantra (MoMa).
“I am the daughter of a Parkinson’s Disease (PD) hero – my father fought this Phantom PD for six long years before succumbing to it in 2009,” she said speaking of her background. “Using the technical rigour and experience gained during and after my Ph.D. in Anthropology, coupled with a lifetime devoted to Kathak, I validated my instinct on how to help People with PD by training with the New York based ‘Dance for PD group’.
“Movement Mantra (MoMa) has been set up with the belief that a holistic, mindful approach is necessary to treat people suffering from PD.
“The long-term objective of my work is to create awareness and interventions for people with Parkinson’s by helping them regain lost mobility through elements of dance, bring them together to share, learn and benefit from collective experiences.”
Dr. Singh has been championing the Parkinson’s cause for the last five years and in light of April being the Parkinson’s awareness month, Dr. Singh collaborated with independent theatre company Third Half Theatre to bring the story of her father to life on stage with ‘Still Dancing’ an original theatre production to raise awareness about Parkinson’s Disease in the UAE.
Speaking of her involvement with the production, Dr. Singh said, “the inspiration behind this play is my father and the trials and tribulations we went through as a family of care givers.
“More recently though, my inspiration is all the people afflicted with Parkinson’s who I have met in Dubai and the larger Middle East, many of whom have inspired me no end by their grit and determination.
“Whilst one may not be able to prevent PD, we can surely do with becoming better equipped to anticipate the challenges of both patients and care givers and thereby become more effective in our treatment and interventions,” she said.
In the absence of a proper medical cure for Parkinson’s, Dr. Singh affirms the positive impact of the set of non-medical interventions offered by MoMa across all spheres of an individual’s performance like mobility, social integration and emotional well-being.
The tickets for Still Dancing – A true story of a Parkinson’s Hero are currently on sale on www.Platinumlist.net and are priced at Dh100.
Title: Still Dancing – A true story of a Parkinson’s Hero
Venue: The Junction, Al Serkal Avenue
When: Friday 19:00, Saturday 15:30 and 19:30
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When art meets fitness, that’s when you get a luxury fitness studio like Reform Athletica.
Located a couple of feet away from the hustle and bustle of Mercato Mall in Jumeirah 1, Reform Athletica offers a cozy little sanctuary to help bring all your fitness goals to fruition.
The boutique fitness studio offers four signature classes: Reform Method, TRX Athletica, RA Yoga and Kettle form.
The 50-minute sessions are conducted by highly trained instructors and each of these four exercises are designed to compliment one another to strengthen, stretch and condition your body.
At Sport360 we always have an appetite for a fitness challenge, so naturally we took some time out from our busy schedules to try three of the four exercises: TRX Athletica with Roberto Julio and Reform Method and RA Yoga with Laura McCone.
Here’s the breakdown for each.
The Reform Method
If you walk into a Reform Method class completely blind, the way I did at first glance, it is very easy to mistake the fitness contraption for a medieval torture device, but in reality, it is so much more than that – in a good way, of course.
Perhaps, the comparison is not exactly flattering, but the Reform Method is the only workout that successfully combines strength, endurance, flexibility, cardio and balance training in the safest and most effective manner.
The session makes use of the latest Lagree megaformer machine, which really gets you the best of Pilates, and under the watchful guidance of Laura, we were able to navigate our way through the nitty-gritty details of the contraption.
The workout left everyone feeling sore and aching all over, but the session made us feel more fulfilled.
Out of all the activities I tried at Reform Athletica, the TRX Athletica seemed like the most innocent one out of them all, but five minutes into the workout and with my arms on fire, it was with great remorse I realised how awfully wrong first impressions can be.
TRX, which stands for Total Resistance Exercise, was developed by a former US Navy SEAL and is a massive hit among fitness enthusiasts who claim the workout helps develop functional strength, mobility and stability.
As the head instructor, Roberto Julio thought that body weight drills weren’t enough, so he further incorporated the use of other weights and tools to ensure that the entire body is worked with each exercise.
One of my favourite parts of my Reform Athletica experience was definitely the RA Yoga session with Laura.
Having gone through a grueling TRX and Reform Method session, Laura’s infectious energy is exactly what you need to give your body a much-needed deep stretch to banish all stress from your mind and body.
The session starts off with some dynamic warm-up exercises to synchronise your breathing, which will help as we get into more complex postures with a special focus on splits.
Every fitness session in Reform Athletica is carefully designed to strengthen, sculpt and tone your body, but at the end of the day, it is so much more than just a boutique fitness studio, it is all about a great community of health and environmentally conscious individuals who just want to make a difference in the region.
For information on classes and bookings, log on to: www.reformathletica.com
Nike have dropped a new running shoe – that are a little different from the rest of the pack.
Nike Free footwear let feet flex, splay and move the way they want. Built on a more anatomically shaped last than traditional running models, the 2019 Nike Free Running Collection introduces new elements that enable a more barefoot-like feel than previous versions.
Because Nike Free is intended for lower-mileage runs, the foam cushioning in the new Nike Free midsoles is firmer (closer to that of the original 2004 model to promote a more barefoot-like feel underfoot), flatter and lower to the ground, delivering greater connection and more natural range of motion than before.
The 2019 Nike Free Collection is available beginning April 4th and will retail at AED 549 at the Nike Dubai Mall and select retail stores.