KEEP CALM AND DO HOT YOGA

Qatar Today - - DOHA DIARY -

For 90 min­utes, all you can hear is a sooth­ing voice telling you how your mind, body and soul con­nect to each other. Yoga is a sense of be­ing in the mo­ment and fo­cus­ing on get­ting the pos­ture right to re­ally feel the body twist. Only, it hurts dou­ble be­cause the tem­per­a­ture is turned up to make the room as hot as 101 de­grees. The in­struc­tor, Dari Pass, starts the class by say­ing: “Wel­come to Dy­namic Hot Yoga – some like it hot!” Through a se­ries of deep breath­ing and bal­anc­ing pos­tures, any­thing can be achieved is what she claims. A 30day chal­lenge hap­pens ev­ery quar­ter in the stu­dio of Gar­vey's Euro­pean Club for ev­ery­one to learn the ba­sics of hot yoga. The ben­e­fits are detox­i­fi­ca­tion, stretch­ing to your lim­its, in­ten­si­fy­ing your core mus­cles and feel­ing that ex­treme twist. The heat al­lows stu­dents to stretch deeper into the pos­ture and detox­i­fies your body. Test­ing our lim­its, she did.

Speak­ing about how she came around to learn­ing this form of fit­ness, she says: “I was a high school English teacher and coun­selor for 15 years and ended up tak­ing a sab­bat­i­cal for med­i­cal rea­sons. When I went back to my home­town in the United States, I did dif­fer­ent forms of ex­er­cise to get my health back in shape, like a high car­dio ex­er­cise rou­tine, crossfit, boot­camp, etc. I was in a holis­tic su­per­mar­ket one day and just asked out of cu­rios­ity what other fit­ness rou­tines I could sign up for. The lady told me all you need is hot yoga. I had never heard of it, so I stepped into the yoga stu­dio and my life has never been the same again. Each day poses a chal­lenge. It was in­tense and fun, a per­fect rou­tine for body and mind trans­for­ma­tion,” says Dari.

Be­gin­ning the class with deep breath­ing ex­er­cises, the in­struc­tor guides us into the dif­fer­ent an­i­mal poses such as cat-cow, camel, rab­bit and pi­geon, learn­ing how to fo­cus on one long and slow rhythm of breath­ing – the ap­pe­tizer ses­sion. Af­ter the ini­tial deep breath­ing and spine stretches, the main course is savoured, where we move onto the bal­anc­ing pos­tures which rep­re­sent bird flight forms such as the ea­gle pose and the ex­tended tri­an­gle. This is the most dif­fi­cult part of the ses­sion where the core mus­cles are worked out while lit­er­ally sweat­ing your guts out.

Party time in be­tween the ses­sion is for drink­ing a sip of water and tak­ing a deep breath to fo­cus.

“To fo­cus on that mo­ment of be­ing present is what makes me who I am. I got

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