A Curve Experience: {Yoga under the Stars}

With a busy job in PR and an active social life, it’s rare for Amy Walker to find herself with an evening to enjoy alone. But when she did this week, she immediately sought a way to unwind and invest in herself with thecurve-me.com instead of the TV. Find out what class she tried and what she thought of it!

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I’ve gone in and out of yoga, always enjoying it but never really taking the time to commit to practicing on a regular basis. When I saw Yoga under the Stars pop up on The Curve on Sunday morning I realized I had no more excuses – my other half was occupied, I had no deadlines to distract myself with and it was the start of the week. Not to mention it was a 5 minute walk from my apartment in what is becoming a lovely community in JLT. So I booked a class for that very evening!

Amy Walker, Dubai, Yoga Retreats, JLT

I have to admit, had I not had the ‘Book Now’ button staring right at me I am sure I would have found a way to get out of it by the time 7pm came around. I will say that I believe in the power of online booking for giving yourself that commitment, and handy if you forget to carry cash around so everything is already taken care of when you get there. I found the process super easy and instantly had a confirmation e-mail to tell me where I needed to be and when along with what I would need.

The beginning of the class was very inviting – I walked up to the grass where we would be yoga-ing and I was met with ambient spiritual music as well as the sweet smell of incense. I’ll stop here and say that one of the main reasons I have started to love yoga is that I am a huge fan of all things spiritual so this appealed instantly to me. I am a big advocate for JLT and it was really nice to use the space like that (honestly the traffic is no problem at all on that side – just make sure you take the right road!).

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Livia, our instructor and founder of Yoga Retreats, was great – we had a nice little chat before we started which made me feel very comfortable. As a beginner I really appreciated feeling welcomed and free to go at my own pace (but also being pushed to stretch that little bit further when she knew I could!). We went through salute to the sun which is familiar to me even as a beginner but my favourite part about this was that we really took our time going through the poses with Livia observing and adjusting us where we needed. I could really feel the difference in places, for example I learned not to lock my arms straight when doing the cobra and bend my elbows – which funnily enough left me with some very sore arms the next day so I must have been doing something right!

I found the balance poses quite hard – it was a little distracting outside with people walking their dogs and running past while I was trying to focus on my spot and it was a little tricky to get even footing on the grass. Then again I am no expert and have a very busy mind so it’s probably more me needing to find my own balance.

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I would definitely go again and would be keen on trying one of the day classes once the weather gets cooler. I really enjoyed how I felt after (very Zen and all stretched out!)  – I would like to push myself a bit harder to get a fuller workout but the beauty of yoga is that it all gets better with practice!

The best part about it was that I took the time in the evening to invest in myself, try something that I normally wouldn’t have done and meet some like-minded people. Thank you to Livia and The Curve for making the experience so enjoyable.

#keepgrowing

{The facts}
Activity: Yoga under the Stars
Provider: Yoga Retreats
Location: Jumeirah Lake Towers, Safa Park, The Springs, and The Lakes
Timing: Timings vary, please check each individual class
Duration: 1 hour
Price: 70 AED
Book it

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A different kind of {ladies’ night}

We are all more than familiar with Tuesday ladies’ nights in Dubai, which offer a great way to have a night out on the town with the girls to unwind. But if you’re tired of the party scene, and can’t bear the idea of glamming up again mid-week then why not try something a little different to have some quality time with your friends that doesn’t include hitting the town?

For a different kind of ladies’ night, here are a few of the women only classes that are on offer from our providers. Sorry boys, you’re going to have to sit these out!

Ladies Golf
Ladies Golf Montgomerie The Curve

In a city like Dubai it’s a shame not to know how to play golf when we are blessed with some of the most amazing courses in the world. Learn the basics, or improve your game with The Academy by Troon Golf at The Montgomerie this December. With morning and evening sessions available on multiple days of the week, there’s something suitable for everyone. Careful, you might get so good your husband might get a little jealous!

Pilates Reformer
Motion Ladies Fitness Center Reformer The Curve

Until the end of October, Motion Ladies Fitness Center is offering a 40% discount on a 12 session package of Pilates Reformer. This form of Pilates uses equipment that helps guide your movements and increase resistance to tone your body. Loved by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Kobe Bryant, you can find out what the fuss is all about in a women’s only environment. If you don’t want to take the leap with a package, you can also try a single session.

Pole Fitness
Pole Fitness Capella Club The Curve
This craze has swept Dubai over the last year and is definitely one to try! While this fitness trend does generate controversy,  it is often misunderstood. In actuality pole fitness not only helps women rediscover their femininity, but it is also actually an intense workout that tones muscles that you never knew even existed! As this is a women only class, you can twirl around the pole in comfort and develop a killer bod in a fun, private way. The more girlfriends you bring, the more fun it is! Tip: These beginner classes are very popular so pre-booking is  a must.

Crafting
reMADE DXB Crafting Class The Curve
While crafting is not strictly a women’s only hobby, it definitely appeals more to the ladies. Since DIY is the new black, grab your girls and become a DIY queen. The next time you need to gift someone, you’ll be able to make it!

Learning to {rappel}

Last month I pushed myself to the edge of my comfort zone. Literally.

My husband Ghassan and I spent a few weeks of September in Australia, during which we took a few days to retreat with our friends to the Blue Mountains near Sydney. Originally intended to be a semi-hiking trip with a lot of relaxation thrown in, we somehow all fired each other up to the idea of rappelling (or abseiling as they call it in Oz) off the side of the majestic mountains. After much debate and nail biting, we decided to call an adventure company last minute and see if it could be arranged.

Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) we found a well reputed company to take us out. Our half day excursion would include 5 meter rappelling, 10 meter rappelling, and finally the monstrous 30 meter rappelling.

coupleStarting off on the 5m drop was difficult, even though it sounds like quite a short distance. With rappelling, the key is to trust the equipment and the people spotting you to ensure you don’t fall. You have to use that trust to sit backwards into nothingness and walk your way down a mountainside with your bum in the air. Yes, it is as daunting as it sounds.

Maya Itani, Abseiling, Rappelling

Listening carefully to the safety instructions from our guide Evan

This was taken when I thought mastering the 5m was an achievement....

This was taken when I thought mastering the 5m was an achievement….

After a few trials on the 5m, we moved to the 15m which was harder of course but much more exhilarating. This cliff side was open and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. Unlike the 5m, the location of this drop meant that the wind could play with you as it pleased, and you had to still muster your courage to lean backwards and climb down. Stepping over the ledge is the hardest part, but once you’ve done that it’s a whole lot of fun. Once we moved on to the 30m, I’d plucked up the courage to actually go first and was shocked when half the distance was actually a sheer drop with no mountainside to push off of. Instead of being terrified though, I turned my back to the mountain, faced the forest, and enjoyed the view!

Ghassan on the 15m cliff side

Ghassan on the 15m cliff side

Heading over the 15m ledge

Heading over the 15m ledge

Our friend John enjoying the 30 m drop

Our friend John enjoying the 30 m drop

Rappelling takes no real physical training and requires little fitness, but getting over that mental ledge (pun intended :)) is difficult. I’m so happy we pushed ourselves to learn how to rappel, as it catapulted us out of our comfort zones. If anyone has any recommendations for locations to rappel in the UAE or Oman, please do comment on this post as I’m definitely keen to have another go at it!

Keep growing,
Maya