Yoga Review: Not Just for The Ladies!

Yoga: A system of exercises practiced as part of the Hindu discipline to promote control of the body and mind.

Being open minded and willing to try new things, I made my way to Qabiliya school at 6 for my first yoga session (ever!) with The Lotus Club.

Not knowing what to expect, I wore my running clothes and mentally prepared myself to be twisted and contorted in various positions that man was just not made to be bent in. The class was being run by Dareen, a guru in her own right (as I was to find out later!).

The first impression which dawned on me upon entering the class and standing before the mirror was how out-of-place I looked with my (relatively) larger arms and (relatively) wider upper body compared to Yoga practitioners. I was a lumbering rhinoceros attending a class amidst slender unicorns.

Dareen started off with a sitting pose whereby one would attempt to clear their mind, listening to the music or simply shutting everything out, listening to your own breathing. We then started to inhale through one nostril, exhale through the other. This exercise helped me notice that my deviated nasal septum made my right nostril more constricted than my left. Also, how loud it was to swallow your saliva to clear your throat.

Dareen expressed great understanding by naming each pose she was demonstrating, unfortunately my forte is photographic memory, and not audible! The names flew over my head, however the poses are etched in my memory.

The most important aspect of yoga is breathing– inhaling and exhaling, as well as focusing on your body, tuning in to its needs, listening to the strains and pains, attempting to find your balance.

We started off nice and easy, with sun salutations, arms wide, inhale, touch your toes, exhale, hold the pose, focus on your breathing, jump back into cobra (or was it upward dog? The only reason I remember those is because of P90X), then jump back, slowly reach up, reach back, arms up, down in front of you, done.

The movements varied in difficulty from here on out, with the tree pose:

and made more difficult by attempting to lean forward.

The most difficult and physically demanding position being the head stand, where your entire body is literally shaking, pouring out buckets of sweat.

It was after this that I realized how physically demanding Yoga can be, as well as rewarding!

Any idea I had of Yoga being whimsical and feminine were obliterated upon completing the class. Dareen’s sound knowledge of which poses target what along with their names is an ability to be envied, and that makes attending her class a rewarding experience.

Classes are held every Monday & Thursday, 6:30 – 7:30 at the Qibiliya School (directly opposite Boubyan Bank in Kuwait City).

For more information, head on over to their Facebook page (link).

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