With the new year and events season in full swing and workloads steadily increasing, I have to admit my fitness has taken a backseat. I recently decided to ease myself back in to the fitness world with an Ashtanga yoga class. So I headed down to RAWR Yoga in Dubai to get my Downward Dog on and see what it’s all about.
Ashtanga yoga involves a set sequence of poses that a practitioner follows in the exact same order every time. Sun salutations, a standing sequence, seated postures and a closing sequence complete the set series that’s followed. Each position is held for five to ten slow breaths so be prepared to hold a lot of balances. Tricky business for the less experienced yogis among us!
The room is serene and beautifully bathed in sunlight. The only audible sounds are the soothing voice of the instructor calling out the names of the poses in Sanskrit and the deep, hissing breaths of the practitioners. Ujayyi breath requires you to inhale deeply in to the back of the throat, helping you to connect your movement to your breath with each inhale and exhale.
Between each posture, we did Vinyasas. The flowing movements of the Vinyasas are the link between postures that keeps this type of yoga fluid. They keep the body warm and enable you to get deeper into poses. This constant movement not only works the muscles and burns fat, but also helps to quiet the mind.
Though Ashtanga is very self-sufficient (you lay down your mat and work through the postures individually), the instructor will occasionally come over and adjust your positioning should it require some tweaking to maximise your workout.
Whilst this 75 minute class is calming, it’s by no means a walk in the park. So if you’re looking for a challenging, high-energy workout that’s full of deep bends and stretches that’ll push your flexibility and balance to the limits, this class is the one for you.
RAWR also offers Bikram, Vinyasa, Flow and Power Yoga. For more details visit rawryoga.com