Monthly Archives: January 2018

marathon runners | stretch it out 

Get your running shoes out and ready for some action, because in a few days it’s that time of year again… Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon time! Now maybe this year you’re running to raise awareness for a cause that’s close to your heart, or maybe it’s something that’s been on your bucket list and is a personal challenge. Whatever your motivation is for running a marathon is, one thing is for sure— the experience is ambitious, and life-changing.  

Training for a marathon is an intense process that takes place over the course of months or even years. From building your base mileage, to working on your time and speed, you will constantly be challenging and pushing your body to its limits. So, it’s no surprise that many runners implement yoga into their training for a marathon. Sure, we all know that yoga is a stress buster. But it also packs some serious perks for runners, like improving flexibility, easing aches and pains, and helping you recover from long runs and races faster.  And the body isn’t the only thing to benefit from yoga. During a yoga practice the mind is also strengthened with a sense of determination that will definitely be crucial on race day. 

We asked our in-house super strong+ stretchy Yogi Walid for some of his favorite poses for runners. These can be practiced pretty much anywhere, but try focusing on these postures next time you’re in a yoga class, and feel free to ask Walid for pointers on how to perfect them. Good luck on your race! 

 

Upward-Facing Dog Pose 


marathon
 

This pose will challenge you to lift and open your chest by expanding the rib cage, while strengthening your arms, shoulders and wrists, as well as increasing flexibility in the back and neck. This is an important pose in yoga for its ability to align the spine and stimulate the nervous system, and can be done before and after the run. 

Steps:

01. Begin lying on your belly with your legs extended straight back behind you and the tops of your feet relaxed down on the mat, hip distance apart. 

02. Plant your palms beside your ribs so that your elbows are bent approximately 90 degrees and your forearms are relatively perpendicular to the floor. 

03. Look up and on an inhale, press firmly into your palms and straighten your arms, lifting your torso, hips, and the tops of your thighs up off the ground. Your shoulders should be stacked directly over your wrists. 

04. Relax your shoulders away from your ears, then begin to roll your shoulders back and find the action of pulling your chest forward through your upper arms.  

05. Keep your belly in toward your spine. Remain in the position for 5-10 deep breaths, then exhale slowly and come back to starting position. 

 

Bridge pose 


marathon
 

This pose can be performed before or after a run, and is effective in relaxing the body and reducing stress. It stretches the chest, spinal cord and neck, and works exclusively on your spine and hip joints. It also helps relieve pain, stiffness and discomfort in these regions and helps resolve any disorders associated with the neck, arms and palms.

Steps:

01. Lie flat on your yoga mat, with your feet flat on the floor, and your arms by your side, and knees parallel to your hips. 

02. Now exhale and push up, and off the floor with your feet. 

03. Raise your body up leaving your neck and head flat on the mat, and the rest of your body is in the air. You can use your hands to push down for added support. 

04. Stay here for a few deep breaths, then bring your spine back to the floor by articulating it one vertebrae at the time. 

 

Legs-Up the Wall Pose 


marathon
 

This a restorative yoga pose that allows the mind and the body to relax, relieving stress and tension while stretching the hamstrings and back after a run. 

Steps:

01. Find an open space near a wall.  

02. Lie on your back, making sure that your hips are grounded on the floor as the back of your legs press against the wall, and the soles of your feet face upwards. It will take you a little bit of movement to get comfortable in this position. (you can also bend your legs a bit if you have tight hamstring muscles). 

03. Now take a few minutes to breathe and enjoy this relaxing stretch!

 

We hope that these help and remember: A muscle is only as strong as it is flexible! So get stretching!!


Yoga for athletes | meet Nicky

Today, Yoga has become one of the most popular choices in fitness regimes. It not only improves physical and mental health, but it also comes with numerous other health benefits that far surpass the advantages of your regular aerobic workout. And most fitness enthusiasts that practice yoga regularly also prefer to include some form of cardio exercise in their fitness regime – be it running, circuit training, swimming or cycling.

And with that in mind, we are excited to introduce you to the newest addition to The Hundred Wellness team- Nicky Rinks. Nicky is a vinyasa flow Yoga Alliance certified & RYT 200 registered yoga teacher who has been practicing for 12 years, and teaching for over 5 years, in London and Dubai.

In Nicky’s classes you can expect intense verbal cues, in a dynamic high-energy vinyasa, or a slower pace for her restorative Hatha style sessions. All of her classes are built around creative and coherent sequences, in a supportive environment. With a style that integrates all the lineages that she’s learned from in the exploration of physical movement; the multitude of yoga traditions including flow, dharma, Hatha, Bikram and rocket, combined with her love of active sports including running (training, racing and marathons), wake-boarding, surfing, snowboarding, cycling and dancing.

Nicky’s yoga is a practice that is very physical yet equally breath balanced, that in turn teaches the importance of yoga to counterbalance any other sports you are practicing – from running, to cycling, climbing, swimming, wake-boarding, surfing and everything in-between including daily living!!

We sat down with Nicky to get to know more about her and her Yoga classes:

 

Hi Nicky! Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and how you first got interested in yoga?

I first tried yoga 12 years ago, whilst on a traveling stint through Thailand. From then on, I increasingly included yoga in my daily routine back in London. At the start I attended yoga classes for the physical ‘activity’, but as my practice evolved I increasingly found myself at a session desperately seeking the only hour of ‘calm’ in my hectic London lifestyle.

I’ve always combined yoga with my other sport passions – including running, cycling and snowboarding. But after my first marathon 5 years ago which left me with runner’s knee and unable to run for a few months, I started to focus on yoga more seriously than ever. At this time, I was due to head off for a snowboarding season on sabbatical in California. Whilst there, for 3 months my daily routine consisted of snowboarding all day, and yoga every morning/evening. I felt great.

On my return to London, I decided to take the next step and embark upon my yoga teacher training. I did my yoga teacher training with a brilliant London based yoga school called Stretch yoga, in partnership with Frog Lotus Yoga International, based out in Seville, Andalusia. I completed my 200 RYT Yoga Alliance Certified training 3 months later, training every weekend Friday evening through to Sunday whilst working a full-time job. I then embarked upon setting up my own business, Rinky Dink Yoga, in London. I taught weekly classes around the city in various unique locations, including at a Skate Shop, and at the UK’s first co-working space Headspace.

I moved to Dubai in February of this year, and re-launched my yoga business as SoulFlex – working with clients including Adidas and a range of private students. I’m excited to be joining The Hundred Wellness Centre, to bring more yoga to the centre and to continue pass on my passion, and the benefits I’ve experienced from the practice to others.

What was the first asana (yoga pose) you tried?

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose). This is still one of my favourite poses, even today! It’s the pose you come back to again and again during a practice. It’s brilliant for me as a runner, as it stretches out the hamstrings, always much needed after a long marathon training run. It also stretches out the chest and lengthens the spine, and energizes you –providing additional blood flow to the head.

What do you love most about teaching yoga? And what advice do you have for people who have never tried yoga?

I love the realization that my students experience after heading along to their first few yoga classes – that moment when they understand that yoga is an utterly brilliant way for anyone, with any level of physical ability, to feel better in their body and feel better in their mind. There’s a saying that I love, ‘I bend so that I don’t break’, and it’s so very very true. The body and mind need to flex, strengthen stretch and bend to enable you to achieve.

If you spend one hour flipping yourself upside down, bending in half, stretching out parts of your body you’ve probably barely considered in your life, whilst focusing on your breath, it’s impossible not come away with a different physical and mental set of feelings and realizations. This is my ‘why’ for teaching yoga.

 

You lead a very busy life – what are your 5 musts, and 5 non-negotiables?

These crossover, my musts are my non-negotiables, so I’ve included more than 5— all of the below I have to weave into my daily life:

  • Daily yoga
  • Daily running
  • Daily laughter
  • Daily time spent outdoors
  • Daily 7-8 hours sleep where possible (the older I get, the more I value my sleep)
  • Daily fresh, healthy, often raw, vegetarian foods
  • Daily reading, even as little as 30 mins, at the start of the day after my run/yoga where possible – of whichever book I’m currently fixated on (currently ‘Malcom Gladwell, Outliers’)
  • A daily drive to achieve new dreams, I love making lists of all the things – short term, and long term – that I want to achieve (and ticking them off!). Dream and drive towards those dreams, daily.

What other mindfulness practices are important to you?

Meditation. I always include meditation at the start of my yoga practice. This usually consists of 5-10mins of stillness, breathing, and focus on the breath and being present. I use it to clear the busy chattering mind of my to-dos in the day and week to come and to focus – the mind, body and soul as one. I find this helps in both my practice, and my daily life. I am calmer and able to deal with the inevitable trials and tribulations and stressful times of everyday living much, much better.

I often try to apply this meditative practice whilst running, running at a comfortable pace in my training where I’m at home with myself I’m able to meditate. Or running through the agonizing highs and lows of the marathon race, where I focus on transcending the pain – becoming mind, body and soul as one.

What words do you live by? (or favourite quotes)

Here are some of my current favourites:

“Life is the greatest experiment. Each of us is an experiment of one-observer and subject- making choices, living with them, recording the effects.” {Dr George Sheehan}

“I will not last forever. But I am absolutely going to know I have been here.” {Dr George Sheehan}

“Energy is eternal delight” {William Blake}

 

Thank you so much, Nicky! If you have been wanting to try Yoga, or wanted to try something different from what you have been doing, don’t miss out on Nicky’s classes! For more info on her schedule, you can check here, or call us on +971 4344 7333

See you on the mat!


yoga | from busy to calm

busy to slow

Do you use your busy schedule as an excuse to skip a workout? Do you feel you are just too busy and don’t have the time to move/exercise? Well, when it comes to yoga, the busier you are, the more important it is that you make time to fit it into your schedule!  And as they say: where there’s a will, there is most definitely a way. No matter what your days look like, you can always carve out a little slice of time for yourself to exercise.

Yoga is a practice that everyone should try, and if you have busy, stressful day-to-day life, yoga can really help you manage your stress while working on your flexibility and getting you in shape. And although skipping out on a yoga practice can free up much needed time, it is often during these times of busy-ness that we need our practice the most. Sometimes, the secret to fulfilling the many responsibilities of life, is in stopping long enough to breathe.

Yoga class is an opportunity to put yourself first and make time for you. With yoga incorporated into your daily life you’ll find that you feel more grounded and in tune with yourself.  And while there are many physical benefits to practicing yoga, the mental benefits make it all worth your time.

Now, despite what you might see on Instagram, Yoga is not just a practice of poses, stretches and hyper-flexibility. Yoga is a philosophy, with the word itself essentially meaning ‘union’ and ‘that which brings you to reality’, and practicing yoga is all about finding the balance within the self and bringing everything to reality.

Yoga is a powerful tool for finding peace and gratitude within. It enables us to move beyond the daily grind of our fast-paced lives, to achieve patience, love, and mindfulness. Although it may start on the yoga mat through breathing and postures, but the ripples of yoga go far beyond. And as you leave the mat in class, you are able to bring that calm energy and mindfulness to all of your daily tasks and interactions, perhaps even inspiring those around you to do the same… Sort of a domino effect if you will 🙂

Many people get into yoga out of mere curiosity, but as you can see from the above, there are many other reasons why yoga is good for you, and we would love to have you explore Yoga with us!

You can see our class schedule here, and if you would like more information please email us or call on +9714 344 7333

See you on the mat!

 


how to stop feeling so ‘busy’

busy

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” Lin Yutang

We know that life can be busy. There is so much to do, with so little time. We totally get it! Many of us juggle a lot of balls at the same time – work, our health, caring for our families and the list goes on. All of this leaves us feeling that we are always ‘busy’.

How much do you love to have nice little to-do lists organized neatly on post-it notes, with tiny little tasks that can be efficiently checked off? By the end of the day, you feel so happy and in control. Let’s be honest, it seems that most of us like racing against time and being this busy, but at The Hundred Wellness Centre we are HUGE self-care advocates. We believe that caring for your mind, body, and soul is a priority in order to live healthy, happy and purposeful life.  So how does one go about doing this when they are so busy and constantly feeling like they are fighting the clock?

Consider these tips to get you started:

01. Appreciate and schedule time for rest: One of the reasons many of us keep busy schedules is that we fail to recognize the value of rest. But rest is so beneficial to our bodies, minds, and souls. Set aside one day per week for some rest and familytime. Intentionally schedule it on your calendar, and then, guard it at all costs.

02. Cultivate ‘space’ in your daily routine. Take time for lunch. Find space in your morning to sit quietly before starting your day. Invest in solitude, meditation, or yoga. Find opportunity for breaks at work in between projects. Begin right away cultivating little moments of space in your otherwise busy day. Give yourself permission to start freeing up your schedule to give yourself space for your personal needs, and to just BE.

03. Realize that being busy is a choice. It is a decision we make. We are never forced into a lifestyle of busy-ness. The first, and most important step to becoming less busy is to simply realize that our schedules are determined by us. We do have a choice in the matter.

‘Busy’ does not need to define you― ‘UNbusy’ is possible. And it’s really okay to be happy with a slower paced life– so tell us, what is your current mindset around being ‘busy’? And what is one thing that you can do to try and make a positive shift this coming week?


get some breathing space with Hatha Yoga

hatha yoga

We are happy to welcome Charity Adams and her Hatha Yoga classes to our class schedule as of March 6th. Charity was introduced to yoga in 1996 shortly after her arrival in New York City.  It quickly became the one constant in her life in the hectic world of fashion.  She credits her love of the practice to two early teachers, Amy Ippoliti and Paul Dallaghan.  By a chance reconnection with Paul more than ten years later she was inspired to delve deeper into her practice and completed her teacher training with him at Centered Yoga Thailand, where she continues her education in Pranayama, Asana, and Philosophy.

Asana is the movement aspect of a Yoga practice and Charity’s classes emphasize the use of breath to release and strengthen in addition to appropriate physical alignment, all of which will lead to a cultivated freedom of body and mind. Students quickly realize the greatest tool to ease the stress of daily life and one that is readily available is the breath.

If you are looking for a little more breathing space and time to practice your mindfulness we encourage you to join one of Charity’s classes, you can see the schedule here


In pictures: The free yoga + meditation class held by Kira Jean at The Hundred Wellness Centre

Last weekend, The Hundred Wellness Centre gardens played host to a special, complimentary yoga + meditation class co-hosted by Kira Jean. The class drew in a diverse crowd – from expert yogis to intrigued novices, and everyone said Namaste to the 24th of September in the most peaceful way possible.

Take a closer look at the special event below and to make sure you are the first to know about all of our events and news in the future add your email to our exclusive database, at the bottom of the homepage here. See you at the next event!

The Hundred Wellness Centre Yoga

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The Hundred Wellness Centre Yoga

The Hundred Wellness Centre Yoga

The Hundred Wellness Centre Yoga

The Hundred Wellness Centre Yoga

To join one of The Hundred Wellness Centre’s scheduled yoga classes, find out more here


Special Free Event: Yoga + Meditation with Kira Jean at The Hundred Wellness Centre this September

 

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You are invited to join us for a special free event this month as we host a complimentary, 1 hour yoga and meditation class with the inspiring author, speaker, life coach and yoga teacher Kira Jean.

On Saturday the 24th of September at 8am, The Hundred Wellness Center gardens will play host to a 60-minute session in which Kira will guide you through a series of yoga poses and breathing exercises designed to create a balance of strength and flexibility in your body and mind. The class will encourage healing within the body and a more stress-free state of mind, helping you to feel healthier, stronger, more relaxed, and energised.

RSVP is essential and spaces are limited. To book your complimentary spot, please contact us via email on info@thehundred.ae or give us a call on +971 (0)4 344 7333

We look forward to welcoming you on the 24th!

Visit the event Facebook page here.


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