Bahrain’s most famous yogi explains the Great Yoga Wall
More than five years ago, Bahraini entrepreneur Weam Zabar left her high-powered management career to open Namaste, a yoga studio and holistic wellbeing centre, which has since become a raging success. It’s gone from strength to strength, starting out offering yoga classes and reiki, and has expanded to now offer a range of programmes, including Bahrain’s only teacher training course.
Just recently, Zabar has also introduced aerial yoga classes and installed The Great Yoga Wall. “I have mild scoliosis in my back and I have been trying to correct it for years,” Zabar tells us. “My yoga practise stopped the progression of it all together and reduced it to a great degree, but, when I started hanging from the hammock, I found I didn’t have to do as much to get the results I wanted.”
The idea behind anti-gravity yoga, which is now trending all over the world, is that gravity pulls your spine so you have more space between your vertebrae. “I found that it is useful in balancing the back, but also in removing compression that causes a lot of the common back pains that many of us suffer from, either due to bad posture, sitting for so long or weakness and inflexibility.”
When using the wall, Zabar has her students hold poses for between five to ten minutes with the support of the belts. “This gives your mind and body time to remember how the postures should feel when practised without the strap. Because we hold the poses for so long, you will be building both flexibility and strength much quicker and in a much safer way.”
While hanging upside from a wall might sound pretty advanced, this kind of training is actually perfect for beginners, says Zabar, as you move slowly and work on your alignment. Plus, as you’re holding your position for so long, you learn the poses much more quickly.
Strap us up!
BD8 per 90-minute class. Namaste, Budaiya Highway (17 591 565).