Misunderstood by people who have never tried it, adored by those who have taken it on as a way of life, yoga is extremely popular in Abu Dhabi.
Check out these studios where it is no stretch of the imagination to say you could find inner enlightenment. Or at the very least a place to show off some killer leggings.
Close your eyes, breathe deeply and picture what you think a perfect urban yoga studio would be like and there is a good chance you will be imagining this Abu Dhabi stalwart. Light, bright and spacious there is a bewildering array of packages and sessions available. Ashtanga, Hatha, Kids, Pre-Natal, Postnatal, Gentle, Warrior - there are many regular sessions as well as special workshops and one-off events.
Sun-Thu, 8am-9.30pm; Fri, 9am-1pm; Sat, 9am-8pm. Bodytree Studio, Corner of Hazza bin Zayed and Mubarak bin Mohammed Streets, Khalidiyah, www.bodytreestudio.com (02 443 4448).
Flo Fitness Studio
A women-only studio that puts a strong emphasis on style. Just looking at the thoughtful font selection and pastel shades on the @flo_studio Instagram feed is enough to make us relax a little. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a meditative experience only, though. Swing, or anti-gravity yoga is just one of the strengthening and toning forms at this relatively new centre.
Sat-Mon, 9am-10pm; Tue-Wed, 9am-5pm; Thu, 9am-9pm. Flo Studio, Behind BMW Showroom, Al Buteen, www.flostudio.com (02 644 6496).
The Hot House
If the stretches, holding of poses and attempts to control breathing while stretching is becoming too easy for you, try it all in a heated room for even more challenge. Varied pricing packages mean you can have a flexibility (pun intended) of which classes and sessions you want to pursue. Select sessions can help with healing of mind and spirit as well as body.
Sat-Sun, 9am-8.30pm; Mon-Thu, 9am-9pm; Fri, 8.30am-noon. The Hot House, Al Zeina, www.thehothouseuae.com (02 583 7753).
A fitness concept and studio well-known in Abu Dhabi as a cycling and endurance specialist, there is also enough here to demand the attention of yogis. As you may expect from the high-octane facility in Zayed Sport City there are power yoga sessions that pursue active and athletic forms of yoga.
Sun, 8.30am-noon, 3-10.30pm; Mon and Wed, 8.30am-8.30pm; Tue, 8.30am-10.30pm; Thu, 8.30am-7pm; Fri, 8.30am-noon. The Room, Saif Ghobash Street, Zayed Sport City, www.theroom.ae (02 444 4945).
Whitewashed walls and potted plants? Check. Inspirational quotes on walls and minimalist furniture? Check. Calm people standing around looking serene and having hushed conversations about designer herbal teas? You know it. This ladies-only studio is a gorgeous addition to Abu Dhabi’s yoga scene and offers Hatha, Swing, Dynamic flow and much more besides.
Sun and Tue, 8am-10pm; Mon, 8am-9.15pm; Wed 8am-9pm; Thu, 8am-6.15pm; Sat, 9am-8.15pm. The Studio, Corniche Road, www.thestudiouae.com (050 820 0028).
Heated or non-heated. Beginner or advanced. Young or old. Yin or yang. It doesn’t really matter where you are on your yoga journey at this community-centric studio. It is geared up for sharing and togetherness with the spiritual and meditative side of yoga being as important as deep stretching.
Sun-Thu, 8.30am-noon, 4-9pm; Fri-Sat, 9am-noon, 4-7.30pm. Yoga One, Mangrove One Compound, www.yogaone.ae (02 562 1217).