If there’s one thing we know, it’s that Dubai’s residents like to be on trend in every aspect of their lives. And as the recent Zumba craze proved, that philosophy extends to exercise too.
One of the latest trends is Goyastro, developed by Sunita Bhalla, president of Gems of Yoga (where many yoga teachers in the city develop their training).
Described as ‘a synergy between yoga and astrology’, this new style of yoga suggests a variety of postures for each zodiac sign, based on the belief that different signs are affected by different ailments. While most of these positions are suitable for beginners, there are a couple that may require a more seasoned understanding of yoga, and the presence of an instructor (we’ve labelled these ‘Advanced’).
Aries (21 March-20 April) According to Gems of Yoga, Arians are prone to over-exertion and angry outbursts that can affect their health. The recommendation for Arians is the head stand. Although tricky, once mastered it increases blood flow to the brain and is said to help cultivate mental poise. Advanced!
Taurus (21 April-20 May) Hypertension, arthritis and diabetes are apparently common afflictions for Taureans, and Bhalla’s answer is the fish pose. This pose helps to relieve emotional stress which can help with overindulgence, the main trigger of health problems in those born under the sign of the bull.
Gemini (21 May-20 June) The sign of Gemini is often associated with respiratory diseases, along with strength problems in the bones and muscles in later life. The remedy is the wheel pose or upward bow, which involves the whole body so improves inner strength by using every muscle. It also opens up the shoulders and back for better air flow, helping with respiratory problems. Advanced!
Cancer (21 June-21 July) Although research shows that they are the least likely star sign to develop their namesake disease, Cancerians often have problems with stomach disorders and nervous exhaustion. The spinal twist is Goyastro’s remedy, as this pose massages the abdominal muscles, helping the digestion system and having a calming effect on anyone with a nervous disposition.
Leo (22 July-22 August) For a healthy lifestyle, fiery Leos should practise the seal pose. Their energetic personalities can lead them to have heart problems and feverish conditions, and this pose allows the blood to massage the lungs and heart, allowing for better breathing and a stronger heart.
Virgo (23 August-22 September) Perfectionist Virgos are often hounded by corrosive worries, and this uptight way of life can lead to digestive troubles and nervous complaints. This pose, the wind release, works to free trapped gas within the body. This allows the digestive tract to work more smoothly and enables the circulatory system to perform better.
Libra (23 September-22 October) Libras love to live fast, but this speedy lifestyle can cause them to have nervous exhaustion and weak kidneys. The bow pose can help by strengthening the pelvic, lumber and abdominal areas. This strength can help protect against urinary disorders while improving posture.
Aquarius (21 January-19 February) Skull cleansing – the art of forceful breathing in a meditative state – is recommended for Aquarians, who are apparently sensitive to blood disorders, obesity and bad circulation. Skull cleansing helps to expel bad energies and toxins by releasing large quantities of CO2. It also works to stimulate the digestive system, which helps with weight loss.
Scorpio (23 October-21 November) Lucky Scorpios often show signs of robust health, with very few ailments. In this case, the complex scorpion pose further strengthens an already strong personality. The upside-down pose tests a Scorpio’s balance, as well as strengthening the shoulders, arms and core muscles. Advanced!
Sagittarius (22 November-21 December) Sagittarians are prone to sports injuries, and are often ailed by mental stresses and frustration. This can cause rheumatism and sinusitis, for which the hero pose can help. A therapeutic pose for the mind, it relieves stress, helping to strengthen knees, thighs and ankles; the best way to prevent sports injuries.
Capricorn (22 December-20 January) Emotional inhibitions lead to physical ailments in the case of Capricorns. They can be susceptible to cramps, rheumatism, skin disorders and toothaches. The monkey pose is best for flexibility as well as expanding the spiritual presence, while pumping blood and hormones around the body to help leave your hang-ups behind.
Pisces(20 February-20 March) The plough pose can calm the brain for Pisceans, who are mentally sensitive. Those under the fish sign are also more likely to be afflicted by cold and flu viruses, plus liver and heart disorders. The plough is said to have a restorative effect on the body, and a calming effect on the mind. For more on Goyastro yoga, visit Gems of Yoga, White Crown building, near The Fairmont, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.gemsofyogadubai.com Advanced!