From hatha and ashtanga to children’s sessions and even laughing classes, there are plenty of places to try yoga in the capital. Here’s how you can master your down dog with style

1) Power yoga

A fast-paced and sweaty form of yoga with lots of connecting movements. Get ready to perfect your sun salutations (a famous yoga sequence that stretches all muscle groups) and yoga flows. Warning: it’s intense and not suitable for beginners. If you want to stretch without hitting the gym, this is the ideal class – it improves balance, strength and flexibility.
Abu Dhabi Country Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, Dhs60. Tel: (02) 6577777. Taxi: close to Karama Street. adcountryclub.com

2) Yoga for children


Kids can master yoga moves at this fun class themed around nature – think frog, monkey and trees poses that’ll have your children think they’ve landed a starring role in The Jungle Book. Classes encourage discipline and focus in a playful environment, using games, music and stories while working on strength and flexibility.
The Hot House, Al Zeina, Abu Dhabi, Dhs50. Tel: (02) 5837753. Taxi: beside Nandos. thehothouseuae.com

3) Pranayama

Pranayama are controlled breathing exercises designed to clear the physical and emotional obstacles in the body and prepare it for meditation. The class is seated and aims to rebalance the energy channels, known as chakras, that run through your body. The session is suitable for all levels.
The Yoga Studio, Royal Stables Abu Dhabi, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, Dhs70. Tel: (02) 4477735. Taxi: near Abu Dhabi Country Club. info@theyogastudio.ae

4) Beginners’ yoga


Trying yoga for the first time? This class is for those of you who don’t know your down dog from your chaturanga or your plank from your warrior two. You’ll be taken through basic stretching poses and have the philosophies behind the practice explained.
Bodytree Studio, Al Zaab, Abu Dhabi, Dhs80. Tel: (02) 4434448. Taxi: opposite Adnoc, near Khalidiyah police station. bodytreestudio.com

5) Ashtanga yoga

Ashtanga is a methodic and traditional practice, established by the famous yoga teacher Sri Pattabhi Jois in India in the 1940s. This physically challenging style is performed at a slower pace than another popular form of yoga, vinyasa, but its combination of poses such as inversions, standing poses, twists and backbends will challenge, not to mention boost, your strength and overall flexibility.
The Hot House, Al Zeina, Abu Dhabi, Dhs80. Tel: (02) 5837753. Taxi: beside Nandos. thehothouseuae.com

6) Hot Flow


Hot yoga has gained a big following in recent years and adds a whole lot of sweat to your stretch. The classes, a mix of connected postures both standing and floor-based, take place in a room heated between 35°C to 37°C and last 60 or 75 minutes. The rising temperatures mean they’re not aimed at beginners.
Yoga One, Al Seef, Abu Dhabi, Dhs75. Tel: (055) 7164845. Taxi: Mangrove One Compound, behind Al Seef Village Mall. yogaone.ae

7) Yin yoga

Yin yoga is floor-based (mainly seated), meaning it’s suitable for all levels of yogis. A restorative and meditative practice, poses are commonly held for three to five minutes and work into muscles and even deeper into the connective tissue, joints, ligaments and tendons. A great introduction to meditation, as for many people it’s harder than holding poses for a long time – the stillness can be extremely challenging.
The Hot House, Al Zeina, Abu Dhabi, Dhs80. Tel: (02) 5837753. Taxi: beside Nandos. thehothouseuae.com

8) Swing yoga


Using a silk-wrapped sheet suspended from a ceiling, yogis are guided through a series of postures, supported by a swing, which can be used as extra support for the joints. It helps with alignment and takes some of the body weight while supporting more advanced poses such as backbends and inversions for more experienced yogis. It’s a ladies only class.
Fitness First, Bawabat Al Sharq Mall, Abu Dhabi, Thur 7.30pm to 8.30pm, price on request. Tel: (02) 5828714. Taxi: Bawabat Mall. fitnessfirstme.com

9) Hatha yoga


Hatha yoga is the root of all modern yoga. This is a gentle practice, where poses – standing and floor-based – are held for long periods and will have you build strength through stretching, while concentrating more on alignment and breathing than the sweat factor. Classes are appropriate for all levels.
Bodytree Studio, Al Zaab, Abu Dhabi, Dhs80. Tel: (02) 4434448. Taxi: opposite Adnoc, near Khalidiyah police station. bodytreestudio.com

10) Body Balance

Mixing yoga, Pilates and tai chi, Body Balance, a concept from group exercise giants Les Mills, gives a taste of these three Eastern disciplines. A fairly gentle class, it combines floor-based mat Pilates with some of the flowing movements of tai chi and the strength of standing poses of yoga. It’s a session fit for all levels.
Abu Dhabi Country Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, Dhs60. Tel: (02) 6577777. Taxi:  Karama Street. adcountryclub.com

11) Laughter Yoga

Created by Dr Madan Kataria in Mumbai, laughter yoga is not a conventional form of the practice, but is suitable for everyone – even babies can attend with mum and dad. Sessions involve clapping, breathing, meditation and, most importantly, lots of laughing.
Locations vary, timings vary. Tel: (050) 7395592.  pureholisticswithkathrynarmstrong.com

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