With an undoubted increase in personal stress and anxiety levels over the tumultuous state of the world right now, there’s no better time to engage in meditative practices. Now that many yoga studios across Dubai have joined gyms and other fitness centers in reopening its doors since May 27, local yogis can return to some of their favorite spaces to help instill a soothing sense of balance and inner peace in this newfound reality as movement restrictions continue to ease around the country. Read on to find out which studios are once again offering classes and the changes you can expect to see before you head to the mat.
Although one of Dubai’s newest and chicest studios just opened its Instagrammable doors in Alserkal Avenue at the beginning of this year, Shimis quickly established a cult-following of all types of yogis with its choice between relaxing plant-adorned Greenhouse walls or heart-racing neon-lit Box rooms. Although the Greenhouse remains closed for now, the Box is once again open for classes with a maximum of 13 students and a two-meter distance between mats. A minimum 45-minute break between sessions allows enough time for thorough disinfection and sanitizers have been placed throughout the studio. Students must bring their own mats, towels, and pre-filled water bottles and all food and beverages will only be sold on a take-away basis. Following government guidelines, temperatures are measured before entering, showers and lockers are closed, and masks are required for both students and instructors at all times except during the practice itself as that is considered strenuous exercise. Membership packages have been unfrozen once again but no walk-in clients are allowed so advance bookings are mandatory to reserve a spot.
Achieve a blissful state of zen at Media City’s Zen Yoga studio, which is already offering a variety of in-person classes from Vinyasa and Hatha flow to meditation training in addition to its virtual live streams for yogis of all abilities. Updated safety measures include no changing rooms or shower facilities until further notice so make sure you arrive dressed for class. Stickers on the floors guide clients through a new check-in process and these strict social distancing rules carry through into the practice rooms where mat spaces are pre-allocated. Masks may be removed during high-intensity classes but are mandatory otherwise. Cash payments are no longer accepted with the studio introducing contactless transactions instead through credit or debit cards and Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay. Since mats, blocks, and bolsters will no longer be provided for health and safety reasons, the studio is selling pre-loved props that have been cleaned and disinfected by a DHA-approved company at a 50% discount.
As of today, popular neighborhood studio Yoga House has reopened two of its three locations with proper safety regulations in place: The Greens and Intercontinental Dubai Marina Studios. Although its Hilton Al Habtoor City Studio will remain shut until the hotel itself reopens, a steadily increasing number of classes will be available in the other studios over the next few months and most of the classes will also still be streamed online since physical attendees will be limited to less than 10. Students are asked to bring their own mat, towel, and props as only blocks will be provided and sanitized after each use for the time being. Rooms will also be deep cleaned after each session and temperatures will be checked at the entrance.
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Urban yoga studio Nilaya House in Al Quoz is now offering a reduced number of eight “in-shala” classes per week in tandem with its high-demand Zoom sessions, which will continue unchanged for the foreseeable future. Pre-booking is essential and walk-ins are no longer permitted since class sizes have been capped to maintain adequate mat spacing within the practice rooms.
Inspire Yoga and Fitness Studio
Al Manara’s Inspire Yoga and Fitness Studio is back in business with a revolving program of 60-minute classes operating at 50% capacity for now. The entire studio has been sanitized and all yoga accessories have been removed while rooms will be cleaned after each use. Adopting a “come in, practice, step out” approach, communal areas are restricted to lockers only and high-traffic areas such as the reception area will be marked with tape and signage to manage appropriate social distancing. Sanitizing stations with both gels and wipes will be readily available throughout the studio but water dispensers will be stopped to limit surface contacts. Prepare to remove your shoes before stepping through the entrance and follow a designated walkway for entry and exit.
Define in the Marina is once again welcoming clients at 50% capacity with a range of Define Body and Define Mind classes on the schedule for the weeks ahead. To ensure those who are interested in attending an in-studio session have the chance to do so, attendance per client is limited to once per day but all sessions will be live-streamed and are unlimited to participate virtually. Contactless check-ins and no hands-on adjustments from the instructors keep social interactions to a minimum, with students encouraged to arrive no more than 10 minutes before their class and leave within 10 minutes of the session ending.
Bay Yoga Center
Bikram yoga center Bay Yoga is (literally) one of the hottest yoga spots in Dubai, offering a series of hot yoga classes in Business Bay. Although not all sessions are available as of yet and spaces are limited, the studio started off with complimentary classes over the weekend to welcome members back to the mat with new safety standards in place.