Discover the benefits of an ancient practice for International Yoga Day

In honour of the third annual International Yoga Day, we take a look at the universal benefits of the cherished practice

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Yoga has taken the world by storm in recent years and has become an important part of many people’s lives globally, despite its roots in ancient India.

We even have a whole day dedicated to the practice thanks to the prime minister of India and the UN, with International Yoga Day celebrated annually on 21st June. This year, the UAE will honour this celebration on 20th June, owing to the Holy Night Laylat Al-Qadr falling on the 21st.

Yoga for health

The theme for the third annual International Yoga Day is ‘Yoga for Health’. To celebrate, we’re sharing the benefits of yoga outside of the studio.

What is it about yoga that touches so many different people?

We talk to Abu Dhabi-based yoga instructor Sasha Quince to find out what yoga means to her and the benefits it can bring.

Why do you think yoga has captivated so many people across the globe?

Yoga has a power to make you feel. People come back time and time again to yoga because they feel peace, happiness, they rest better, and they feel less stressed.

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What is so important about yoga to so many?

Yoga means union, and that union first starts with the self. When you are self-aware, you’ll see that everyone you interact with is a form of union. Yoga teaches us to see beyond gender, nationality, background and age. We are all human, as we all experience adversity and growth.

How has yoga helped you?

I can’t imagine my life without yoga. I love that I feel new, energised, and awake. It’s like I am seeing the world anew and I am mindful of my words, my actions and my own self-judgement after I practice. It helps me be a better person, a better mother and offer more to anyone I interact with.

This year’s theme for International Yoga Day is ‘Yoga for Health’. What does this mean to you?

We give, give, give all day long and yoga is a pathway to fill our own cups up and to stay in balance so we can offer from a stronger and more present place. Yoga is not only a physical practice; it has the power to cleanse our organs, heal us, empower us, bring us peace, change the way we think and free us from our toxic behaviours and habits.

International Yoga Day in the capital

Embrace the spirit of yoga by checking out some of these events with your friends, family and loved ones.

Yoga Wellness Day

Immerse yourself in a yoga-filled day with three classes, breakfast and body painting or hair braiding. 17th June. Free for GuavaPass members, registration required.  Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street. 5.30am-11am. Contact: abudhabi@guavapass.com, guavapass.com

Movie and potluck

Anaadi Yoga Abu Dhabi is hosting a movie and potluck to celebrate the mental and spiritual benefits of yoga. 17th June. Etihad Towers, Tower 2, Ap 3705. 5.30pm-7.30pm. Contact: 056 60 20 690

It is also offering 80% off on its brand new 4-week Online Vibrant Summer Program. This features yoga videos for all abilities, guided meditations and more. Sign up between June 16th-23rd with the promo code: YogaDay

Singing bowl meditation and iftar

The Hot House founder and instructor Tasha will use Tibetan bowls for an hour of relaxing sound healing meditation. June 19th. AED 80 including tea, dates and soup. Bodytree Studio, corner of 11th and 26th Street. 6-7pm. Contact: 02 443 4448, info@bodytreestudio.com

Moving meditation

Focus on finding harmony between your body, breath and mind in this one-hour class. June 21st. AED 70. The ROOM, Zayed Sports City. 5.30pm-6.30pm. Contact: 02 444 4945, info@theroom.ae

Candlelight yoga and meditation with Sasha Quince

This class features active practice, a restoration and partner series, and relaxing meditation. Open to all levels. June 21st. AED 80 including water, nuts and fruits. Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street. 7pm-8pm. Contact: letsgoyogame@yahoo.comletsgoyogame.com

Lighten your soul through gratitude with Inner Seed

This 75-minute sequence features meditation and a group circle. Ladies only. AED 70. All proceeds go towards Beacon of Hope, a charity that will speak at the event. June 21st. The Studio, Villa 42, Corniche, between 6th and Al Bateen Streets. 4pm-5.15pm. Contact: 0504199195, laura@innerseeduae.com

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