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A pandemic won’t stop the UAE from producing new obstacle courses, parkour coaching, silent yoga, or delicious vegan and gluten-free treats. With social distancing, safe delivery and all the precautionary measures taken, here are a range of new things to try.  Trampoline tricks Bounce is giving everyone the chance to learn parkour and trampoline tricks via a new 10-week Ninja Squad program as part of its Freestyle Academy. The program caters to all ages, and...

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Carlos Mendez Esquivel understands what it is to be a yoga skeptic. When his brother came back from college at age 18 expounding the virtues of the practice, he laughed off it off as just a way to meet girls.  Fast forward two decades and Mendez is very much a convert. After going through a period of significant stress and anxiety in his life, his doctor in Mexico recommended he try yoga. That was 11...

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Being Black in the yoga and wellness space is like being Black in many places: you often find that you’re the only one in the room and you regularly come up against discrimination. My experience as a student, both in the United States and in the UAE, has been that it is difficult to find truly inclusive wellness studios and spaces. It’s even more difficult to find Black representation among teachers. The cultural appropriation of...

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For several years, the yoga world has been in a state of crisis, rocked by revelations of sexual abuse dating back decades. A Vice exposé is the latest outlet to level charges, this time against the founder of Yoga to The People, a pay-what-you-can chain of studios in multiple US states. The problems came to light via an anonymous Instagram account started by former employees, leveling charges of a toxic and manipulative workplace culture involving...

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Everyone knows what yoga is these days, but what about hand yoga? Mudra, to give it its proper name, is the practice of placing the fingers into prescribed positions, or mudras, to diagnose conditions, assist in healing and to improve and maintain good health and well-being.  As a practice, it is as ancient as yoga (the earliest texts date back to between the 4th and 5th centuries) but far more subtle – so much so...

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Leila Kouri, who opened the first F45 franchise in Abu Dhabi 18 months ago, doesn’t think it will be easy getting members back to the gym when the UAE begins to open up post Covid-19.  “Even with a 50 percent cap on numbers, will people be willing to risk it? I doubt it,” she says, adding that it will be challenging to do a HIIT session wearing a mask and gloves.  The once-thriving fitness industry...

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These are hard times indeed, but one person who is determined to help us beam right through this Covid-19 challenge is laughter yoga specialist Suman Suneja. Born in New Delhi and now a Dubai resident, Suneja was an engineer when he returned to his homeland after being diagnosed with arthritis in 1992. Three months in an ashram, soaking up nature and learning to teach yoga, proved healing for his arthritis and created a life-long belief...