- By Guest Blogger Lil One Of The Ashes
Liloneoftheashes is based in Dubai, and writes about the many ways to enjoy the luxuries that the UAE has to offer without breaking your wallet. Originally from Malaysia and having spent the latter part of life in New Zealand, she enjoys the occasional ladies’ night and plans a lot of the events within her social circle - from brunches, dinners and nights out to afternoon teas and getaways within the region and afar.
In line with CitiSpi's theme, the blog liloneoftheashes.com focuses mainly on just that - that living here in the UAE does not have to be expensive, you can go out and socialise and have a great time, on a budget.
I've been to a fair share of yoga and Pilates classes in Dubai over my short time here. In tune with International Yoga Day coming up on the 21st of June, here's a collection of various spots that I've been to, or that my friends have been to and recommend, without breaking the bank ;)
1. Piloga Pilates & Yoga, Business Bay
One of the ones in the Citispi app, Piloga Studio is located in Bay Square in the Business Bay area. This is the first Pilates studio in the Middle East and Gulf Region to offer the Ron Fletcher movement work, which basically means you experience great movement in every one of their classes. What also makes this studio very special is their super friendly and helpful staff. They just all seem like one big happy family as you walk into the reception area! In addition to classics such as Vinyasa and Yin yoga, Pilates reformer and pre-natal classes, they also mix it up with some funky 80’s yoga and MMA yoga.
· Thoughts from a fellow pregnant blogger K: It can be tricky finding a good pre-natal yoga class in Dubai. Just because you’re growing a new little person inside your belly doesn’t mean you’re not up for a good workout. The yoga teachers at Piloga understand this, and have created some great pre-natal classes that fit women throughout each trimester. Their classes offer a good mix of pregnancy specific breathing exercises, focus and endurance tests (try waving your arms for a solid 5 minutes – now childbirth seems like a piece of cake!), stretches and muscle toning that will help yummy mamas prepare for the arrival of their little one. You leave the class feeling like you’ve made a new friend in the teacher!
· Website: http://pilogastudio.com/
· Deals: There's a "Buy one class, bring a friend for free" offer in the Citispi app valid until August 31st 2016.
2. Bikram Yoga Middle East, Tecom
Last May, a friend of mine sent me a link to a voucher on a deal website for a year's membership to hot yoga, otherwise known as bikram yoga. I had always been to bikram back home and swore not to go to one whilst living in the sandpit because it's 'hot enough out there'. The deal was however, too good to pass :) For about half of the standard price, I could go for unlimited bikram over a year period, for only 1750 AED. We went on a weekly basis, and started to recruit more friends to come along as more short-term deals appeared. Then, the temperature outside started to peak, higher than that of a bikram studio........coinciding with the fact that I started to grow a little person inside of me.... ;)
· Thoughts - Honestly due to the heated studio, bikram is not for everyone, so I suggest you try one class before you sign up for a long-term package. I personally prefer a cosier studio with warm lighting. Not to fret, you'll get your 26 postures done in this place and though you might most likely hate it in the first few sessions, you'll feel absolutely amazing after :)
I survived my first bikram yoga class after 3 years 🙌Feeling amazing. Anyone else wanna join us? It's on @cobonedubai now... Hehe Waves to @eastwestyoga in Newmarket where I used to go, look look.... We do hot yoga as well here in Dubai! @BIKRAMYOGAME 🙏 Cause it's just not hot enough outside 😁 #bikramyoga #hotyoga #mydubai #bikramyogame #yogadubai #dubaiblogger
A photo posted by @liloneoftheashes on May 27, 2015 at 11:49am PDT
· Website: http://www.bikramyoga-me.com/
· Deals: Watch out for package deals on their website (click here), or keep an eye out on one-day deal websites as they tend to throw out deals there as well.
3. 121 Fitness Club, Al Barsha
This I signed up before Bikram came along. It was a new gym close to home, and they had a deal on a deal website - 169 AED for 20 classes. I went to a handful after work with a friend.
· Thoughts - Depending on the instructors that you'll get for yoga, sometimes you felt like it you had a really good session, sometimes it just didn't work for me. They are fairly strict with punctuality so make sure you get there in time. I ended up doing Brazilian jiu jitsu one time because I was late - it was a mixture of fun and awkwardness thrown into one, he he. They also offer various other classes like step, cycling, taekwondo, tabata, etc.
· Website: http://121fitnessclub.com/
· Deals: Keep an eye on deal websites should they participate again. I never finished using my passes due to a bit of misunderstanding of the T&Cs on the vouchers and bad attitude from a certain person at the gym. Moving on :)
4. Free Yoga - Various
If you keep your eyes and ears on the lookout, there are lots of free beach and studio yoga (one-offs and regular sessions) being offered in and around Dubai. I have had the chance to go to only two in the early months of my pregnancy, and then decided that it was probably safer to go to pre-natal yoga sessions after.
Here's a collection of a few between my friends and I.
· Sunset Yoga organised by Tribefit
Sunset yoga. Photos taken by @Tribefit 🙏 Really cool experience... would've perfect if not of the drilling and construction noise behind 🔨🔧 Ah... This is Dubai 😉 When are you guys doing this next? #sunsetyoga #tribefitme #beachyoga #yogadubai #jumeirahbeach #mydubai #dubaiblogger
A photo posted by @liloneoftheashes on May 24, 2015 at 1:00pm PDT
· Morning Yoga organised by Lululemon
Just a few more days to go to National Day 😉 Post yoga hosted by lululemon. Great free event by the beach... Next time need to bring hat, sunnies and lots of sunscreen 😎 #fuelhappiness #mydubai #lululemondubai #nationaldaydubai
A video posted by @liloneoftheashes on Nov 28, 2015 at 1:58am PST
· Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga at The Beach.
A friend of mine (L) has been going to this every weekend and highly recommends it. It's organised by The Beach, and it is complimentary!
Thoughts from L: For the morning person like me, the beach yoga experience is one great way to start and kick up my week for a great productivity. Aside from the fact that it enhances your strength and flexibility, it helps not just your body but also the mind. The trainer was amazing for she not only demonstrates the poses but she usually dedicates positive intentions that creates positivity in all aspect. It makes me look forward for the weekend session indeed.
· Free classes offered by new yoga studios
A lot of new studios will offer free classes when they first launch, or if you're new to it. L went to one in the marina last weekend, called 'Define Body', based in the Silverene Towers next to Dubai Marina Mall. They found out about it here, so as always, keep your eyes and ears out for these deals! :)
5. Pre-natal Pilates at Real-Pilates Studio, JLT.
Possibly on the pricier side in comparison with the deals that I have mentioned above - but hey, you can't always have it cheap :)
· Thoughts: The pre-natal classes offered at Real-Pilates Studio, I personally highly recommend. You can purchase a 10-session for 850 AED and avail to both the prenatal mat (Pilates) and prenatal reformer. I've been to both classes and whilst the mat focuses a lot on stretching the core and uses the mat and gym ball, the reformer works your leg and arm muscles. The classes are fairly small so the instructors will pay attention to you if you need some assistance i.e. extra support underneath your belly when you're lying on your side. It's really quite nice to work out with ladies at different stages of their pregnancy. At the reformer class that I went to, there were only 4 other ladies and we were chatting away in between poses :)
· Deals: Watch out for package deals on their website.
6. Urban Yoga, Business Bay
Located in Business Bay Towers, this place is perfect for those who stay in the area. A friend of mine (R) have been going to this regularly.
Thoughts from R: Urban yoga has numerous classes for differing styles and levels to suit everyone at all times of the day. Nearly all classes are drop in which suits me perfectly as I never know when I can go. I particularly love Vinyasa classes and the urban challenge is so much fun, every teacher I've practiced with has been great which is rare I think and the view is amazing too which is a bonus.
· Website: http://www.urbanyoga.ae/
· Deals: Watch the website for deals.
So there you go, reviews from yours truly and friends. I'll be on the lookout for more classes now to get me back into shape :) I see that there might some yoga classes where we can bring the little ones along as well? Would be keen to try those out! Till then, Happy International Yoga day and let us know if you find any good yoga deals around!