The studio Located in Media City’s Concord Tower, mere steps from the temptation of Lime Tree Café’s infamous chocolate brownies, Rawr is a small, stylish studio that attracts focused students.
The promise Bikram is notoriously tough going, performed in a room heated to 40°C, with classes lasting a daunting 90 minutes. However, I’m told I will sleep like a baby afterwards, feel fantastic in the morning and be addicted after just a couple of classes.
Step by step Setting up our mats (which take up almost every available inch of the studio), I look around at my fellow students as the class begins. I’m hoping at least one will be as inexperienced as me. I’ve done plenty of yoga classes before, but this is my first bikram session, and I’ve been warned that I’ll feel exhausted. We begin moving through the 26 hatha yoga poses, working our way through standing poses before moving down to the mat to continue on the ground. I’m hoping the sitting poses will give me a break, but I’m soon forced to think again. While the poses aren’t any more difficult than in a regular session, the added heat and relentless sweating makes it much harder. It feels as though the session is going on forever, but fortunately (or not, depending on how you look at it) there are no timekeeping devices on the walls, so in the absence of clock-watching, I get my head down (literally, at times) and power on.
The results Immediately after walking out of the class, I feel great. Curiously, I almost can’t remember the trauma I felt at some points when the heat really got to me – I’ve read about something similar happening after childbirth, though some mothers may not agree. I sleep like a baby, but I don’t find myself in a rush to head back over the next few days.
Pros • Rawr offers a convenient spot for New Dubaians looking to do classes immediately after work. • Schedules change slightly every week, so if one Monday doesn’t suit, the next Monday might. • The instructors know how to motivate and encourage.
Cons • It really is hot, and much harder than a normal yoga class. You need to stay hydrated, or risk fainting. • Classes can get very busy, which won’t aid those feelings of claustrophobia.
4/5 Dhs150 for 14 days’ unlimited sessions for new students. Dhs70 per 90-minute class. Rawr Yoga, Concord Tower, Dubai Media City, www.rawryoga.com (04 423 2808).
Bikram Yoga Middle East Try hot yoga at this dedicated centre. Dhs85 for one-week unlimited sessions for new students, Dhs600 for one month, or Dhs60 per class. Icon Tower, TECOM (04 368 6287).
Club Stretch One of the original bikram studios in Dubai. From Dhs120 for ten days’ unlimited sessions for new students. Dubai Marina (04 431 1758), Bur Dubai (04 345 2131).
Watercooled Do less intensive yin yoga outdoors on a paddleboard. It’s getting cooler outside, but you will still get pretty sweaty. Dhs175 per person per class. Mon and Wed from 9am. Watercooled, Jebel Ali Resort (04 887 6771).