On Friday, April 29th, Zen was at the top of the agenda as more than 80 people gathered at Wadi Adventure for Al Ain’s second Yogafest. This year’s programme was unparalleled with 13 different teachers leading a wide variety of classes during the course of the day at Wadi’s beautiful and spacious Summit Event Centre. Floor to ceiling windows look out to the incredible surf pool majestically framed by Al Ain’s Jebel Hafeet. The goal of this free event was to create an awareness that ‘Yoga is for Every Body’.
The youngest participants were not quite 12 weeks old and the oldest… well, quite a lot older! People of multicultural diversity came from as far away as Abu Dhabi and Dubai to join in. For some it was the first time they had stepped on a yoga mat, while for others, it was another exceptional day spent with their passion. People come to yoga for many different reasons and usually find so much more. Dynamic physical classes like Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Power Yoga promote strength and flexibility in both body and mind. Many athletes (from runners to weight lifters, even the New Zealand All Blacks and our very own Al Ain rugby team) now complement their training regimes with yoga to help avoid or recover from injury. However, this is only the beginning…. yoga will help you to relax and feel more balanced in your day-to-day dealings with the world.
If sweating or bouncing isn’t your thing, try a Yin Yoga class. In this slow and mindful practice the body is encouraged to gradually open and release tension leaving a feeling of deep relaxation and a sense of bliss. Yoga can also help boost your energy levels and vitality and some people claim, even your libido! It helps keep you feeling and looking young and makes for an allround accentuated feeling of wellbeing that encompasses mind, body and soul. Ultimately, yoga is about connection. Yoga is a Sanskrit word that translates as union or ‘etihad’ in Arabic. On a personal level students connect with their own bodies and often tap into a journey of the mind and consciousness.
Yoga is also a way to connect with your community and reconnect with all that is beautiful and worth celebrating in life. The modern world of mobile phones, stressful workloads and hectic domestic agendas doesn’t often allow space and time to just pause, reflect and enjoy. This sense of community and connection was strongly evident at Friday’s event as complete strangers became friends sharing laughter and warm hugs. Many thanks to everyone who helped make the day a special and successful affair.
The event was organized by Yoga Oasis, a friendly co-operative of yoga lovers in Al Ain. They host classes and events of all shapes and sizes around our city and love to welcome new people. Whether you are an absolute beginner or advanced in your practice, you can find out more about what they’re up to and how to get involved by simply checking out their Facebook page (Yoga Oasis UAE) or calling Wendy at 0567539778.