When Team TMN heard about a new yoga technique that promises relaxation as well as better movement and mindsets, we went in search of our moment of calm…
What: Yoga Foundations with therapy balls
Where: Zen Yoga, Dubai Media City
When: Mondays and Wednesdays at 8.15pm
The promise: “The objective of the class is to increase people’s body awareness to allow them to move better, feel better and take what they’ve learned to other Yoga classes, and their daily activities.”
Did it deliver? It was with great skepticism that Team TMN attended the Yoga Foundations class with therapy balls at Zen Yoga. Each of us have tried yoga before, but always had similar results – yawning or drifting off into space after around five minutes, mostly as a result of our own impatience or incredibly short attention spans. However, once we had entered the dimly lit classroom in Zen Yoga and sat by our mats, blankets and yoga balls, we were hit by an unusual feeling for those of us who work in Dubai – ease.
Having arrived at Zen Yoga filled with all the frustrations of the day – minds racing from meetings, tasks to add to a ‘to-do’ list and trouble with traffic, it was strange to feel so calm, so quickly after starting. To our joy (and relief) the class began with some simple steps using the myofascial yoga balls on our backs to unknot tension by simply rolling on them and practicing breathing techniques. We instantly felt as if the weight of the day had been lifted. The therapy balls are supposed to pry apart scar tissue, adhesions and knots by mimicking the touch of a massage therapist, allowing blood flow and water to return to dry and stiff parts of the body. We can’t say for sure if they did this, but they did seem to have a soothing effect on us, aiding in the ‘switching off’ process.
Our instructor, Emilie, was incredibly friendly and professional, managing to make even total beginners feel welcome and a part of the class’s yoga community. She took us through movements that come from Yoga Tune Up, which is a form of mobility training combining elements of yoga with physical therapy principles. This meant that yoga poses were broken down to teach us how to engage the right muscles, as well as how to disengage muscles that tend to work too hard. The clear and concise anatomical language that Emilie used was incredibly interesting, and helped us to understand exactly what we were doing, without causing us to switch off as a result of obscure jargon.
As the class came to an end, we felt a sense of collective calm and wellbeing that is rare to achieve after just one class. Having good knowledge of the poses and techniques that we’d learnt was especially useful in making sense of the processes involved in the classes.
The Verdict: We certainly left feeling considerably calmer, more focused and a lot more relaxed. Team TMN thoroughly enjoyed the 75 minutes of Zen and will definitely be back for more.