30 days of yoga, Uncategorized
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Day 11: Illusions

Dynamic Flow with Omar @ 7:00pm – 8:15pm @ Urban Yoga – Business Bay

A challenging fast paced dynamic flow yoga class. Dynamic flow is all about fun and uplifting sequences designed to awaken and energize the body – this class improves strength, flexibility and stamina. It finishes with a series of yin poses to restore balance in the body

Journal entry

Practicing with Omar is always a treat, and it’s the first evening class I’ve taken with him, being more accustomed to his Saturday morning flows.

He opens the practice with a few words on the yamas and niyamas. I am particularly interested in the yamas, having been introduced to the concept for the first time just then:

The word ‘yama’ is often translated as ‘restraint’, ‘moral discipline’ or ‘moral vow’, and Patanjali states that these vows are completely universal, no matter who you are or where you come from, your current situation or where you’re heading. To be ‘moral’ can be difficult at times, which is why this is considered a very important practice of Yoga. Remember that the word ‘Yoga’ means ‘unity’, ‘wholeness’ or ‘connectedness’; of course it’s important to be mindful, gentle and present in class, but if this doesn’t translate off the mat and connect into what we do in our day-to-day lives, we will never feel the real benefits of Yoga.

The Yamas traditionally guide us towards practices concerned with the world around us, but often we can take them as a guide of how to act towards ourselves too.

Immediately I am reminded of a lovely little interview from Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays (thank you Michelle for the heartwarming recommendation) with Brené Brown about authenticity, and this quote quickly comes back to me.


[Watch the video here, which I fully recommend in addition to the whole episode – look for it, it’s the first one on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast]

Back to Omar…

This class is a level 2, which I note passively when booking it, and then note very actively when practicing it. It’s hard, or the better word, advanced. I am by far the least experienced yogi on the mat that evening, but I am not deterred. It becomes a true test of inward focus, competing only with myself, but even then it’s not a competition. On the outside, I may appear scrappy and struggling, but I feel really really great. My energy levels are high, and at the very least, I attempt everything Omar suggests.

Mantras via Omar…


The only thing that’s real is right now. Everything else is a construct, an illusion.


Success and failure are relative. Instead, think about trying something new, experiencing something new, and call that success.


By the end, I’m wiped out. Savasana feels better than on most days, and towards the end of the pose, it hits me how incredibly tired I am. On my drive home, I chat with mother, overly concerned about my  energy levels, about pain I may be experiencing. I retaliate — “I’m fine! Stop worrying!”

When I get home, the prospect of a 6:30am class is overwhelming, and for the first time in 11 days, my body does not look forward to it. Controversially, I decide to listen to my body, and designate day 12 a rest day…

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