I’ve never really been one to try out new sports or fitness fads, I am a runner through and through and that’s always been my thing. Quite a while ago, I decided that the whole yoga craze was just a trend that would fade away- bah humbug! My first (and only) encounter with yoga was in a group of skinny, uber-flexible women in pastel-coloured body suits, gently bending over to touch their toes, while I only got to my knees before my hamstrings yelled STOP or else…!
However, over the years, I started noticing that pretty much everyone around me who looked great and were in good shape put it all down to their love of yoga. The truth started to get painfully obvious – this mama had to give it another go! But before doing so, I knew there was no way I was going back to a group of gentle “toe-touchers”, nah-uh. I wanted a thorough introduction to the principles of this ancient practice and a one-on-one demonstration of the correct positions to make sure I really got it and could make an informed decision before turning my back on the land of yoga bunnies forever.
Enter Maya Wimbury who runs Maya Yoga here in Dubai, recommended by a friend of mine who said ‘if you don’t like yoga with Maya, you probably need not bother with yoga at all’. Great! I said, bring on the Yogi!
Maya and I decided on a private lesson at my house (this mama certainly didn’t want an audience this time around) and she arrived on the dot, bursting with energy in a neon outfit a far cry from the silly little pastels I had encountered the first time. Lighting some incense she’d brought with her and turning on some soft lounge-style music, my living room was transformed into an ashram in minutes and two yoga mats lay waiting on the floor. My session began very peacefully with a breathing exercise to help open my mind and bring focus to the present moment. Once our minds were settled, we slowly began to stretch into some warm up exercises to increase the body temperature and heart rate (I was sweating quite a bit after just a few minutes!).
Maya explained to me that we would be doing a Vinyasa flow class, which meant that we would work through a set of unique combinations and then repeat them several times after each other. “Warrior 1&2”, “half moon”, “standing split” and “tree pose” are just a few of the poses I got to try and managed to accomplish. Maya’s excellent teaching skills even got me into a headstand or “Salamba Sirsasana” pose (sounds tough, doesn’t it?), which made me feel like the coolest cat in town! Each set of poses was repeated several times until I couldn’t go on or needed a break. The idea of a flow yoga class is to create a mixed tempo, going from calm to cardio to core strength building and back again. As an avid runner I have to admit I was surprised by how much my heart rate went up and how much I was sweating!
After almost an hour of bending, leaning and stretching, we finished off with some relaxation exercises and a gentle shoulder massage- the perfect cool-down that brought my heart rate back down. Mamas, I’m not a person who changes my mind very often (I prefer putting it that way as opposed to saying that I am just plain old stubborn) but seriously, after one session I was hooked… to the point where I’ve bought a full package of private sessions and have started googling yoga retreats. What happened? Well, I guess the yoga got me in the end.
Psst…Although the class I took was a Vinyasa flow class, Maya teaches a broad spectrum of yoga styles. Classes are tailored for individual needs and requirements.
AED300 for 75min
AED70 for 75min
Packages (advance payment):
4 classes + 1 FREE class – AED280
8 classes + 2 FREE classes – AED560
4 classes– AED1,150
8 classes – AED2,300
Top image sourced via NBC Miama