Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning union or joining. In reality it’s a very general term that encompasses many different disciplines, from the purely physical to the purely spiritual - and everything in between.

imageBut yoga needn’t be confusing or complicated - in fact, its very essence is simplicity. But what exactly is yoga anyway? Where did it come from and what do these strange words such as shavasana and aparigraha mean?

Although you don’t really need to know about any of this to do Yoga (and that’s one of the beauties of this practice), it will enhance your experience to learn a little about Yoga’s background.

Yoga is much more than just a discipline involving a series of poses, or Asanas. It originated in India some five thousand years ago, which explains all those odd-sounding Sanskrit words. It’s not known who invented yoga but we do know that around 500 BC it became a tradition.

But the yoga of those days didn’t involve some slim, serene young woman easing a group of students through poses; there was a lot more that went into it. Originally all students of yoga were searching for union with the divine - meaning, basically, God.

That’s still yoga’s goal today, for those who want it. All forms of modern yoga can be traced back to the yoga sutras, written by Patanjali. The exact date this text originated is unknown - it was created sometime between 300 BC and 100 AD. Yoga’s philosophy and practices are explained in the sutras, which are still as valid today as they were two thousand years ago.

Bharat Thakur’s Artisitic Yoga Centre
classes held at Al Hana Centre, Satwa High Street
Centrepoint (Bur Juman extension), bur Dubai
and Meadow’s Village, next to American School
Tel: 050 4739101

Breath & Health Alternative Medical Centre
Villa 1080, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 2, Jumeirah, Dubai
Tel: 04 3489940

Carol Talbot
Tel: 050 6538540

Club Stretch
(Bikram yoga)
Next to Capitol Hotel, Mina Road
near junction with Satwa High Street
Tel: 04 3452131

Gems of Yoga
1701, 17th floor, White Crown Building
between Trade Centre and interchange 1
Sheikh Zayed Road
Tel: 3315162

The Haven
Villa 1, junction of Street 332 & 5b
off Beach Road at Magrudy Centre
Jumeirah 1, Dubai
Tel: 04 3456770

Dr Pradeep Ullal
(personal consultancy-
Raja Yoga, Himalayan tradition of yoga & meditation)
601. Easa Saleh Al Gurg (opposite Sea Shell Inn hotel)
Bur Dubai
Mob: 050 5538217

Six Senses Spa
See Talise Spa entry

Spa Ayurveda
109 Karama Centre
Behind Lulu building, next to mosque
Karama, Dubai
Tel: 04 3355288

Sudha Madhuri Devi
(personal consultancy Sharjah Ladies Club - Art Center)
Tel: 050 5194882

Talise Spa
Previously Six Senses Spa
Al Qasr Hotel entrance, Madinat Jumeirah Complex
Al Sufouh Road, Umm Suqeim
Tel: 04 3666817/8

Vinay Nasta
Motion Trading
(yoga accessories)
Souq Madinat Jumeirah
Madinat Jumeirah Complex
Tel: 04 3969647

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