Issuu on Google+

Spadunya Distribution Middle East (formerly, Holistic Beauty and Body Essentials). A consciousMiddle company believes it is their responsibility Spadunya Distribution East that (formerly, Holistic Beauty and Bodyto distribute that company contributethat to the well-being of the consumer to and Essentials).products A conscious believes it is their responsibility the futureproducts of our planet. distribute that contribute to the well-being of the consumer and the future of our planet. Altearah Bio:

Altearah Bio: Our 100% certified Organic colour therapy range Altearah Bio from France, a full100% and certified innovative cosmetic product thatrange combines certain of Our Organic colour therapy Altearah Bio principles from France, aromatherapy as wellcosmetic as chromotherapy. With a concept accessible to of a full and innovative product that combines certain principles everyone, Altearah Bioas has simplified the principles by formulating 14 ready aromatherapy as well chromotherapy. With a concept accessible to to use essential oil compositions, formulated in perfumes, oils, serums, everyone, Altearah Bio has simplified the principles by formulating 14 ready gommage, saltsoil and room fragrances. Organized in a range 14 colours, to use essential compositions, formulated in perfumes, oils, of serums, chosen according to room their effect, theseOrganized health giving bring gommage, salts and fragrances. in acompositions range of 14 colours, simple fun solutions to effect, our daily desire for well-being. chosenand according to their these health giving compositions bring simple and fun solutions to our daily desire for well-being.

Spadunya Colour Experience is an award winning fullExperience service wellness Spadunya Colour is an Spa exclusively for ladies located award winning full service wellnessin JBR The Walk Shams 1. The concept Spa –exclusively for ladies located in is derived from our 100% organic JBR – The Walk Shams 1. The concept colour therapy Spa100% range Altearah is derived from our organic Bio produced SpaDunya, France. colour therapyby Spa range Altearah Offering body by and face treatments, Bio produced SpaDunya, France. hair, nail and beauty treatments as Offering body and face treatments, well Fitness@Spdunya offering as hair, as nail and beauty treatments fitness PT and more. A well asclasses, Fitness@Spdunya offering unique French PT spa concept using fitness classes, and more. A holistic harmonize your unique treatments French spa to concept using mind, and spirit. holisticbody treatments to harmonize your mind, body and spirit. Visit our website: Visit our website:

SHAMS1, The Walk at JBR P.O. Box 24150, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 4393669 , Fax: +971 4 4393668 SHAMS1, The Walk at JBR P.O. Box 24150, Dubai, UAE Email:, Website: Tel: +971 4 4393669 , Fax: +971 4 4393668



24 16





Editor’s Letter


What’s happening: News and events calendar





Will it be the end of the world in December?


Meditation for men

Explaining all the fuss about 2012 and the Mayan Calendar.

For the modern man, ongoing, low-grade stress is a killer, don’t let it get to that point.



16 Gong bath meditation

Do you need a good gonging? Coming clean about why bathing in sound is wonderful for body and soul.

Colour energy massage Why colour therapy mixed with massage is a powerful combination for healing.


20 Mind over fatter


Some of the all-time classic books that have done their bit in changing the world.



Retail Therapy:


From emotional baggage to food intolerances – a guide to cracking the code that unlocks your fat padlock.

The 30-Day Bikram Yoga Challenge

The yoga gauntlet has been thrown! Can Anne Brison survive 30 days of hot, sweaty Bikram yoga?


9 Healing Foods that will change your life

From cocoa to chia seeds, you can’t beat nature’s super foods.

32 Eating out

Some of Dubai’s best organic, vegetarian options in Dubai.


Ask Katrina: Organic anti-aging

Can you be an eco-warrior and fight the signs of aging? Plus, our pick of organic anti-aging serums and creams.

Read this: 6 Self-help classics

From crystal jewellery to fair trade handbags and eco bowls.

44 UAE Holistic Listings

The A to Z of local holistic services, products, healers, centres...


Neanderthal man goes new age

Win a crystal m o bracelet frir fa Sparkle y! See page 42

Diary of how life is changing for a 40-something caveman since meeting The Tree-Hugger.

© 2012 Awakenings. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form of advertising without the prior permission in writing from the Editor. Images from


editor’s letter

Your guide to a holistic and health life in the UAE


FOUNDER Tamara Pitelen Mob: +971 50 843 3262


CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jun R. Jaluag Mob: +971 56 754 0837 SUBSCRIPTIONS Adrian Maul Mob: +971 56 676 9483 CONTENT & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Asma Merchant Mob: +971 55 779 5825 ADVERTISING CONTRIBUTORS Adeelah Mir Hayley Mac Helen Horne Registered at Dubai Media City PRINTED BY United Printing & Publishing Abu Dhabi, U. A. E.

op the cork on the sparkling date juice because if you’re reading this, that means Awakenings Middle East magazine is born! So, first up, welcome to the first issue of the UAE’s only magazine dedicated to serving the people living here who are interested in holistic and healthy living. The idea behind this magazine is to provide a focal point for this fast-growing community and to give exposure to holistic practitioners and healers offering holistic products and services in the UAE as well as provide a resource for people looking for such services and products. So, looking for a Pranic healer or Feng Shui consultant? We’ve got them. Want to buy organic groceries or crystal jewellery? We tell you where. Need a life coach? Hypnotherapist? Acupuncturist? Meditation group? Yoga studio? Organic café? Holistic spa? Check out our six pages of listings for local providers. Why start a magazine for such a niche market? Apart from the fact it’s what we’re passionate about here at Awakenings HQ, we also don’t believe the market is so niche any more – wellbeing has gone mainstream. There’s an army of us out there that’s getting bigger by the day! Back in 2006 when I first moved to Dubai, it wasn’t so easy to find products and services like meditation groups, Reiki classes or organic food. Not so anymore! In the last six years I’ve watched alternative healing centres and complementary medicine clinics pop up all over town, while a quick search of Dubai Meet Up groups reveals people here are interested in everything from the Law of Attraction to Theta Healing, Raw Veganism, Kundalini Yoga, Mindfulness Meditation, Intuitive training… and the list goes on. Basically, whether you call it holistic health, wellbeing, personal growth, self-help, mind & body, new age, spirituality, or weirdo hippie stuff, more people are exploring new ways of understanding our world and universe. So, it’s our aim to bring you comprehensive information of all the holistic living news, events, products and services on offer in the UAE as well as the latest concepts and ideas to feed your mind. Now, it’s customary for an Editor’s letter to highlight some of the features in the magazine but I’ve run out of space, I’ll leave you to explore it yourself, I hope you enjoy it.

Tamara Pitelen

Join our Facebook page!

QUICK! LAST FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS GOING FAST! As a launch offer, we’re posting the first four issues of the magazine to 5,000 UAE residents for FREE! We’re only a couple of hundred people away from the magic 5,000 – after that there will be a post and packaging fee for subscribing. To be one of the final few, go to www.awakeningsme. com and send us your postal details via the Subscribe For Free page.


The Thank You List Awakenings Middle East magazine is a labour of love that would not exist without the support of many, many people. To everyone that has given emotional and/or financial support as well as advice and help, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. There are too many to list here but the people I want to give special thanks to are: Jun Jaluag, Adam Broom, Adrian Maul, Asma Merchant, Vanya Silverten, Nick and Claire Grande, Saj Hanif, Neha Jamani, Lisa Thomas, Ian Scrivener, Rick Pitelen, Grant Pitelen, Anne Toth, Rachel Beavan, Samad Ahmad, Aspen Aman, Kunal Soonderji, Soniyaa Punjabi, Seda Goksel, Leila Almaeena, Mohammed Zein, Nicole Blauer, Adeelah Mir, Helen Horne, Hayley Mac, Sahar Huneidi, Sparklefairy aka Laila Lambert, Stefan Buegger, Shahida Siddique, Caroline Paul K, Kajal KB, Kerry Malster, Shona West and Vanessa Arnold. Bless the lot of you! Love Tamara




What’s happening in your town 30 November Full Moon Desert Drumming

Experience the amazing combined energy of drumming, the full moon, friendly people and mother earth. Gather family and friends or turn up alone, for an evening of drumming, dancing, relaxing and a bbq dinner. Arrival time any time from 6.30 pm - ends around midnight, but some people leave after dinner. Date: 30 November from 6:30pm onwards Place: Gulf Ventures Camp, Al-Awir, Dubai Price: For the barbeque dinner and drumming AED 200 (drum rental included), children 6-13 years are AED 100 and under 5 is free. Contacts: For more information email or call 056-744-2129

Don’t miss it!

21 December Yoga Handstand and Inversion Workshops

Build up your strength and confidence in inversions. Yogi Jade Wood will teach physical preparations for hand-standing including vital arm and core strengthening techniques or ‘tightness drills’. Also, discover different ways into more common inversions such as headstand, alignment in inversions, inversion practice with partners and tuning techniques for getting your handstand feeling fabulous. Dates: 21 December, 18 January and 15 February Time: 2pm to 5pm Place: Zen Yoga, Dubai Media City Price: AED 200 per workshop Contacts: Go to or call 04 367 0435

11 January Meditation Workshop

Learn the art of being in complete awareness through meditation techniques designed to enhance your concentration, inspiration, awareness, mental relaxation and intuition. Limited to eight people. Price: AED 300 Contact: Rachel Beavan on for information re venue, etc.

6 – 8 December Dubai Yoga & Music Festival

3 days of bliss with yoga, wellness, talks and music. Kirtan concert under the stars featuring amazing live performances from local and international artistes. Supported by yoga teachers & performers from all over the world Price: AED 650 for a 3 day pass inclusive of food. Hanuman marketplace is free for all Venue: The Westin, Mina Seyahi

H! S A L F NEWS Eye Centre opened a second

The Third ctober , Philippines in O branch in Manila holistic r fo e Chakra Café salon, 2012. Includes th ls ai N anscend Spa & for nutrition; the Tr re nt Ce , and a Training holistic products s. ie it al aling mod certification in he ye de www.thir



What’s happening in your town January The Flower of Life workshop

A unique, heart-opening, experiential and loving experience including sacred geometry teachings, Merkaba Meditation, Pranic breathing, and more. Heal your inner child, balance your energies, and raise your consciousness. Dates and price: To be confirmed Venue: The Gong House, Jumeirah 2 near Safa Park Contact: Aspen on 050 8733545, or email for more details

Ripe’s Food & Craft Markets

Be seen and get green at these weekly organic food markets. Ripe at the Courtyard, Al Quoz, Dubai every Saturday from 9am and in Abu Dhabi at Jones Al Raha every Thursday.

15-16 February Mind and Body Middle East Show

The Mind & Body (ME) show is to be held for the first time in this region in the Dubai at the Dubai International Marine Club Mina Seyahi.
Discover new experiences, ideas and products for your health, physical and mental wellbeing. Over 70 stands will be showcasing holistic activities, free events, talks and wellness retreats. Get information on many lessons or courses on offer locally including Tai Chi, Meditation, Yoga, Pilates Self-Empowerment, Life Coaching and more. Book for holistic spa treatments and massage, or try a Reiki or Pranic healing session. Merchandise such as crystals, jewellery, angel cards, lamps, music, artwork, natural cosmetics and skincare will be available for purchase. Price: AED 25 for a day ticket or AED 40 for the weekend gives access to free talks and workshops. The entry ticket you will also be included into a prize draw to win a residential wellness retreat. 
 Where: Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi, 10am to 6pm

Don’t miss it!

3 – 10 January 2013 40-hour Teacher Training Ashtanga Yoga workshop

Yogi Kamal Singh is known for his energetic and motivating Ashtanga classes at Tattvaa Yogashala in Rishikesh, India. Kamal will be in Dubai to offer a 40hour Teacher Training Certificate workshop through Zen Yoga. Price: TBC at time of writing Contact: Jatta on

“I dare you to be compassionate in a cynical age.” Lady Gaga, on accepting the LennonOno peace award from Yoko Ono - which she shares this year with Pussy Riot, the Russian punk trio imprisoned for staging an anti-Vladimir Putin protest at a Moscow church. Gaga is donating her prize money to the Elton John foundation.





What’s all the fuss about 2012? Ascension, apocalypse or absurd… which side are you on with regard to the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world on 21 December 2012?


nless you’ve been living blindfolded down a dark hole for the last few years, you’ll have heard a lot about 2012, the Mayan calendar, and the end of the world. There was even a movie about it back in 2009 starring John Cusack amidst nail-biting, hysteriainducing, end-of-the-world special effects. What’s it all about? To say that opinions are diverse is like saying the UAE gets a bit warm in summer. On one extreme, you’ve got the doomsday lot who believe that Planet Earth will implode or explode in some kind of black-hole-vacuum-asteroidcollision-meteor-crash type of freak galactic accident. Or, if the planet isn’t destroyed, the human race will be suddenly wiped out like the dinosaurs were.

On the other hand, you’ve got the much friendlier New Age interpretation, which is that 21 December 2012 marks the beginning of a new era. They believe the Mayan calendar has been misinterpreted and that the world isn’t ending; it’s transforming – like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly.


Names for what’s happening in 2012 – depending on which camp you’re in – include ascension, apocalypse, Armageddon, and absurd. The trigger for much of this ‘the end is nigh’ drama is the Mayan calendar.






APOCALYPSE The ‘we’re all going to die!” camp

Make an ‘the end is nigh’ Doomsday sandwich board and wear it around shopping malls while handing out flyers warning people about the end of the world.

Write a bucket list and start working through it… quickly. (Suggestion? Credit card spending spree!)

Make peace with your maker.

Stay at home and avoid calls from those smug Absurd campers. Return all credit card spree purchases still in the packaging.

ASCENSION The ‘Earth is raising its vibration and moving to a new dimension’ camp

Raise your vibration. How? Meditate and clear your negative patterns, fears and beliefs. Act with respect for Earth, pray for peace… for more preparation exercises, see If you’re in the ‘alien subgroup’ practice your ‘Nanu Nanu’ greeting.

Check the Awakenings website and FB group for news on 21.12 events… or plan your own.

Join in the celebrations, meditations, pujas etc

‘Happy birthday dear Gaia… happy birthday to you…’ Throw a birth party for the new Earth, see

ABSURD The ‘you’re all idiots, nothing is happening’ camp

Send a group Facebook message to your friends asking, ‘Shall we start making plans for New Year’s Eve this year?’

Nothing special.

Carry on as normal.

Say, ‘Ha ha, I told you so, Fools’ to all the Doomsday campers. Text them if they’re screening calls.

OBLIVIOUS The ‘no idea about any of this’ camp

“Prepare for what?”


“Sorry, still not clear what we’re talking about here.”

“Look, I really don’t have time for this…”

The Mayan civilisation lived in the area now known as Mexico from about 2000BC to the 16th Century, when they were conquered by the Spanish. The Mayan Calendar refers to a series of 20 or so calendars of different lengths to track different time periods. It is the Long Count calendar that’s causing all the fuss because it ends its cycle on 21 December 2012 and the Mayans didn’t have anything to follow it – does this signify a cataclysmic end-of-world scenario or just someone in the Mayan calendar-carving department being off sick that day? According to the Mayans, we are living in the fourth cycle and this cycle ends on December 21, 2012 but did they say anywhere that this is where all goes kaput? Well, not really. There are mentions of prophecies and solstices in their inscriptions way beyond this date and into a fifth cycle. Frankly, if we got through four cycles, a fifth one should be fine. DECEMBER 2012

The Kulkukan Temple is a Mayan pyramid in Mexico built around the 10th Century that continues to baffle archeologists and historians for its masterful engineering.


Who doesn’t love a juicy doomsday story? We’ve already survived Y2K and the May 21, 2011 judgment day (if you remember, Dubai had its very own billboard campaign warning about this ‘end of days’ prophecy – the

proponents of which got out of town as fast as they could as soon as it became apparent the world hadn’t ended on 21 May 2011). Now, the stories springing up range from a magnetic pole reversal of planet Earth to collision with another planet

cont. overleaf




BIRTH 2012 DECEMBER 22 While some fear that 21 December 2012 marks the end, others are planning to celebrate it as a new beginning, like the Birth 2012 movement, whose goal is to have a massive global birth party on 22 December by involving a critical mass of humanity (one per cent). That would mean 100 million people uniting to celebrate the birth of a new era for humanity. cont. from pg9

called Nibiru. There might also be a duel between a super massive black hole and our very own Sun (kind of like a Star Wars Jedi battling Ra, the ancient Egyptian Sun god). All of these stories have been refuted by NASA. In fact, they’ve been working overtime to calm the over active imagination of the general public, spurred by these hoax stories and conspiracy theorists. Besides the online traffic garnered by the 2012 related sites, there has even been an increase in the sale of underground shelters in the US.


This is the ‘it’s not an end, it’s a beginning!’ camp who are heralding the Golden Age of Consciousness. The buzz word here is ‘ascension’. The Ascension campers

believe that what’s coming – what’s already well underway in fact – is an energetic transformation of the whole planet and every living being on it. They believe that every living being on earth has the opportunity to ascend – in other words, vibrate at a higher level – and awaken their maximum potential. Achieving a higher vibration involves looking within, processing and letting go of negative emotions like fear, anger and hate, and letting in more love, kindness and compassion. One of the people in this camp is Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the alternative-culture best seller ‘2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl’. He says, “The process [of ascension] is already under way. We’re on the verge of transitioning to a consciousness that’s more intuitive.’’ Which all sounds very nice however, we feel we should also point that there is a

sub-section of this group that believes the planet will be taken over by aliens.


Then of course there are those people who think the hoopla over December 2012 is all a load of fuss about nothing – a silly storm whipped up by doomsday loonies and hippies to cause needless worry. Finally, we have the folks who have been living down the proverbial black hole and who are unaware of any fuss about 2012 – the Oblivious camp. Now that we have given you the lowdown on the different 2012 camps, pick your favourite and set up a tent. Then, take appropriate action, whether this be buying yourself an underground bunker or practicing your alien greeting (‘Nanu nanu’). If by any chance the world does end, so long, and thanks for all the fish.

PARTY AT THE END OF THE WORLD Here in the UAE, many special meditations, ceremonies, celebrations and other events are being planned for 21 and 22 December. For information on what’s happening, keep an eye on the events calendar on the Awakenings website at and the Facebook group at If you want us to publicise your 21 December 2012 event, email the details to


With its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan and world class stores spread over countries like America, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Taiwan and now in Dubai - UAE, Kinokuniya is a globally known book seller of repute. The store in Dubai Mall is a massive 68,000 square feet wide paragon book gallery which stocks more than half a million books and a thousand magazines in English, Arabic, Japanese, French, German and Chinese at any given time. The store is also a distinct cross cultural hub for a wide range of time to time cultural events such as comic art demonstrations, language learning workshops, book launches, etc. The pleasant ambiance, scenographic design and add to it the impressive view of modern skyline - world's tallest building, Burj Dubai, Kinokuniya at Dubai Mall is just the place to evoke emotions and add pleasure to your book shopping.

"We offer our customers the widest range, cost leadership and value-added services"

Dubai Mall Level 2, SF-025 Financial Centre Road, Down Town Burj Khalifa PO Box 283578 Dubai, UAE 04 - 4340 111



Meditation for men Cure stress before it kills you. Words by Adeelah Mir.


aving a bad day at work, getting in to a heated argument with your partner or feeling your blood boil as you get cut up once again on Dubai’s roads are all normal experiences for most of us. How we handle these stressful events however is what differentiates us, and men tend to handle stress differently from women. For women, releasing stress is about talking it out and moving on. Most women can attest to the therapeutic powers of having a good natter about a problem; two cups of coffee, some tears and laughs later and the world seems a better place. Men however don’t usually discuss personal issues with their friends and so often don’t benefit from the old proverb of a problem shared is a problem halved.


Most men don’t realise the dangers of sustained stress until they’re sitting in a

doctor’s office being told they’re suffering from high blood pressure as a result of chronic stress and fatigue. Stress puts the body on high alert but if it stays there indefinitely, you burn out, meaning immune function is reduced, adrenal glands are exhausted and you’re at an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Modern life sees many people living in a prolonged state of stress – and ongoing low grade stress can be worse than short periods of high stress. The INTERHEART study published in 2004 investigated the relation between chronic stressors to instances of heart attacks and discovered participants that reported feeling “permanent stress” either at home or at work were twice as likely to develop a heart attack. Psychological issues also abound for the man who’s under prolonged stress, including insomnia, mood swings, anxiety

and depression as well as the physical clues such as frequent colds and infections, fatigue, hair loss and a host of skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis.


We all get stressed out from time to time and in small doses this is absolutely fine, actually it’s designed to help us cope with the situation at hand. When the body perceives a danger or threat the stress response kicks in, which in turn releases a cocktail of chemicals into the body. This heady cocktail consists of cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline, all of which help you get your A-game on - your senses sharpen, your response time quickens and your heart starts beating faster – excellent if you’re running away from a grizzly bear or dueling to the death. However, unlike our early ancestors, most of us don’t face life or death situations these days so the ‘fight or flight’ reaction is triggered



by what we perceive as a danger or a threat. In the modern world, these stressors are anything from a late bill payment to having a fall-out with your boss or a massive project that’s behind schedule and over budget. It is also important to note that it is not always difficulties or threatening situations in life that can make you stressed; planning your wedding or the arrival of your first child can be equally stressful. Interestingly, the brain does not differentiate between these sorts of ‘happy’ stressors and stress brought on by danger; it releases the same steroids in to the body. Kris Morton, a performance coach for Gazing Arabia, a Dubai-based firm of human performance specialists, says sustained stress is a main factor in reducing a man’s success and happiness. “Sustained low grade stress is difficult to spot because the symptoms aren’t obvious. It can be a cluster of small symptoms like skin condition, insomnia, irritability, headaches, a sore back… but the tendency of men is to

rationalise those things, ‘‘I’m not sleeping well because I’ve got a lot on my mind but that’s ok we’ll be through this in a couple of months’ or ‘it’s my age’ or ‘I ate something…’ then it becomes part of what you live with so it becomes normalised,” Morton says. “I had this myself. I had a sustained period of pressure, I didn’t think I was having a stressful response to it and it went on for a couple of years but I was getting good results at work so I didn’t worry even though I was having insomnia, digestive issues, stomach cramps, and sometimes I would feel a bit overwhelmed but I’d just deal with it and move on. But my behaviour became more unhelpful; I started needing to control more in the large team I was managing. So I was working more hours and taking on more stress and getting more insomnia, dragging myself out of bed and surviving on coffee. This became a pattern and eventually I developed chronic fatigue and I had to remove myself from work, my body said,

... my body said, ‘you’re not listening to me; you won’t heed any of these warning signs I’ve been sending so I’m going to shut you down’

cont. overleaf

UAE MEDITATION CENTRES Illuminations Well-Being Centre

Offers a range of meditation classes in JLT (just outside Dubai Marina Metro Station), Dubai. Call 04 448 7043 or visit

The Third Eye Centre

Holds meditation sessions on Mondays at 7.30pm. For the monthly schedule of meditations, email, visit or call 04 326 6539.

Cosmic Healing Centre

Mind, body, energy centre offering meditation, spiritual development and selfimprovement Cosmic Healing Centre, Office 402, Montana Building (Options Furniture), Karama, Dubai. Call 04 3576676 or go to

Vipassana Dubai

Free 10-day silent meditation retreats held by the UAE Vipassana branch. Vipassana is an ancient Indian form of meditation, for details contact Mr Chandran on 050 7683301 or Mr Mansingani on 050 8525713 or email: See for more information.





Most men don’t realise the dangers of sustained stress until their doctor’s telling them they have high blood pressure. cont. from pg13

‘you’re not listening to me; you won’t heed any of these warning signs I’ve been sending so I’m going to shut you down’. “When that happens, it’s a long, long way back but it’s what got me into this whole body-mind-matter-performancespiritual stuff because I had to fix myself. So I taught myself to think and behave differently over a period of time and slowly I was able to come back to work. I learnt the hard way about the dangers of stress, it would be nice if other people didn’t have to learn the hard way.” So before you get there, let’s take a look at how a little meditation can go a long way to improving your quality of life.


How can meditation help? Quite simply it helps balance out the hormone levels that surge in your body when you are stressed thereby bringing down your heart rate, respiration rate and blood pressure and bringing you back in to a state of equilibrium. “Meditation is a great thing to do and that’s something I’ve gotten into,” Morton says. “For someone like me who’s quite

Sustained low grade stress is difficult to spot because the symptoms aren’t obvious. It can be a cluster of small symptoms like skin condition, insomnia, irritability, headaches, a sore back… busy mentally and can find it hard to switch off and just be, I find meditation helpful and I practice everyday.


Finding a meditation technique that’s right for you is all about trying out the different kinds. For example, if you get agitated and angry under stress try a calming meditation

technique such as deep breathing or guided imagery. If on the other hand you tend to become depressed and withdrawn under stress then try something uplifting like rhythmic exercise (cycling, rowing, running or walking) while staying fully focused in the moment while exercising – a technique called mindfulness. For a bit of both, a yoga class that includes meditation at the beginning and end could be a good start.


This is a great starting point for anyone beginning their meditation journey. Deep breathing is a simple yet highly effective relaxation technique that allows you take in more oxygen with every breath thereby relaxing the body and releasing tension. Begin by sitting up straight and putting one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through your nose – you are trying to breathe from your abdomen, as opposed to from your chest. When you do this correctly you will feel the hand on your stomach rise while the hand on your chest stays put. Exhale through your mouth, DECEMBER 2012


pushing the air out and contracting your abdominal muscles. Continue this for 10 minutes, just focusing on your breathing.


This type of meditation is where you employ your senses to visualise, hear, smell, touch and even taste an imagined setting in which you feel at peace and let go. Choose a scene or setting that you find relaxing - a lush garden, a tropical island or the peak of a mountain top. You could even choose a favourite childhood spot - the point is to make it personal to you, something that brings you peace and tranquility. Have a fixed window of time each day, 15-20 minutes where no one will disturb

you and you feel comfortable shutting out the world. Begin your meditation by closing your eyes and breathing deeply and slowly, then start to focus on your chosen place, explore it, feel the earth or sand beneath your feet, and smell the fresh morning dew or the salty sea air, really experience the place with all your senses. Let go and enjoy the feeling of deep relaxation and when you are ready slowly open your eyes and come back to the present.


Rhythmic exercises - like cycling, walk, running, swimming - when practiced as a mindful relaxation technique can be highly effective for combating stress. if you don’t much like exercising start with walking.

While exercising, focus on what you are doing, breathing deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth. Keep focused on how your body feels as you move; focus on the rhythm of the exercise and the timing of your breath. If your mind wanders, bring it gently back to the moment. For some people meditation feels amazing on the very first try, if that’s not you don’t worry, everyone improves with practice and if you don’t enjoy it straight off the bat, give it some time. It can take the body time to learn to relax especially when you are stressed. Eventually you won’t know how you survived without it. Here’s to a happier, healthier and calmer you!

MEDITATION MAN TOOLS Tools to help you on your way to becoming a meditation master. Online freebies: For free online meditations, there’s • Edgar Cayce meditations at • The Meditation Podcast at • UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Centre offers free meditation podcasts, check out • For free guided meditation audios as well as meditation tracks that you can download and keep subscribe for free to Beat it: Get a free 10 minute meditation audio track from Omharmonics, which uses binaural beats to effect brain wave patterns and get you in to a relaxed meditative state super fast. Visit Go Go Gadget: If you have an iPhone or android phone, there are many meditation apps available for download. Anything from meditation widgets that remind you to meditate to chilled out meditation tracks. Here’s a couple we liked: • Buddhist Meditation Trainer (by Spacebug) - Progress through 10 levels of enlightenment with this meditation trainer. Available free on Android. • Relax & Rest Guided Meditation (by Meditation Oasis) -Customise your meditation experience with music, sounds of nature or a voice to guide you through your meditation experience. The app also features three different meditation lengths. Cost $0.99. Available on iPhone.

Check out our listings on pages 46 to 48 for UAE meditation and yoga centres.





Gong Bath

Meditation Coming clean about gong baths and sound healing.


et’s get one thing out the way; a gong bath doesn’t involve water. Oh yes, you may laugh but that was my initial concern when I first heard the term ‘gong bath’ about 10 years ago. “Ooh no,” I said, “I’m not getting into a bath to meditate…” Be assured though, you don’t get wet or undressed to have a gong bath. My first gonging experience was in Australia in 2002. I was one of about 15 people sat in a circle of chairs in a community hall, the gong players were a husband and wife team and they’d set the room up with a selection of suspended

gongs and Tibetan singing bowls, the latter make an extraordinary high vibrating hum when a rubber mallet is moved around the lip of the bowl. We sat there, eyes closed and the gongmaster started playing and soon I was enveloped in an ocean of swelling, surging and soaring sound. Using various mallets covered with soft cloth, he evoked a symphony of harmonics and tones through a range of strikes, swipes and strokes of the different sized gongs. In one instant, the sounds are like a thunderstorm or the spatter of rain on a tin

roof, the next a saxophone or a schoolboy choir. I’d never experienced anything like it and it was beautiful – as though my whole body was being massaged inside and out by the deep vibrations of the reverberating gongs. Then, the gongmaster walked behind everyone in the circle and played a singing bowl over each person’s head in turn. The feeling is intense and wonderful. Fast forward 10 or so years and I’m living in Dubai where, in the last 12 months, gong bath meditations have sprung up across town in various holistic centres. There are now about five certified DECEMBER 2012



A form of meditation or relaxation that involves being immersed in sound vibration from someone playing the gongs. Some people believe the frequencies of these sound vibrations can be healing, emotionally and physically. This is why different gongs are tuned to different frequencies – in order to work on different parts of the body.

Will I get wet?

No. You’re immersed in sustained waves of primal sound… there’s no water anywhere, no need for wellies.

What do I need to do?

Lie back, relax and let the gongs take you on a journey for an hour.

What if I fall asleep and (oh horror) snore?

Don’t worry about it, lots of people do. It doesn’t matter and you’re still getting the benefits of the gonging.

What do I need to bring?

Something to lie on, like a yoga mat, a blanket for putting over you and maybe a pillow.

gongmasters working in Dubai, each offering their own flavour of gonging for meditation, relaxation and healing. One of these people is Aspen Aman who hosts gong baths from The Gong House in Jumeirah 2 near Safa Park.


“I had my first gong meditation in 2009 here in Dubai,” Aman says. “The thing that attracted me was that I wanted to meditate but I was so bad at it. I knew meditation was supposed to be really good for you but I found it really hard to

How much does it cost?

A group gong meditation is from AED 50 to AED 75 while a private gong meditation is AED 250 to AED 300.

What are the benefits of gong meditation?

The gong vibrations quickly induce a meditative state by calming the mind and stopping the internal dialogue. Gong therapy is used for stress related issues, depression, fatigue, anger, hostility and fear, as well as physical conditions. Gong meditation can: • release tension and aid relaxation • stimulate the circulatory and glandular systems • rebalance the physical and emotional bodies • awaken higher states of consciousness conducive to healing and transformation

cont. overleaf





GONG GUINEA PIGS Everyone’s experience is different , here’s what two newcomers to gonging had to say... “Gong Bath meditation sends different kind of vibrations in your body. It makes you feel calm and at peace. At first, my body did go a little numb but after a while, I felt a sudden flow of energy going up and down in my body. It was as if I was getting a virtual massage. “I experienced something much more. In the middle of the meditation, I felt as if someone asked me to open my eyes. When I opened my eyes, I could see dark energy from people’s body moving to the ceiling. One to try for people wanting to experience a different form of meditation.” Kajal KB, Karama

“I tried Gong Bath meditation recently and found it delivered its promise of a feeling of centredness - the feeling lasted a couple of days. The gong sounds were very soothing and had a calming effect on me. As someone who is hyper most of the times, it is a huge thing for me! At one point, I experienced a little pain in my right leg but it soon passed. Overall, it was a good experience I will definitely be going back.” Caroline Paul K, Bur Dubai

“I don’t know what happened to be honest. I fell into a deep sleep and the 45 minutes felt like five minutes. I think I even snored but felt super relaxed afterwards.” Grant Jualag, Springs 15 cont. from pg17

silence the monkey mind and stop the chatter in my head. Gonging for me was an easy way into meditation.” Why is gonging so conducive to meditation? Because the sounds switch the brain waves into Theta state, which is the second lowest of frequency of brain waves, consequently and very quickly inducing a state of spontaneous meditation.  Theta brain waves cycle at about four to seven times per second (4 Hz – 7 Hz), you are in Theta state in the early stages of sleep and as you are waking up; while you’re dreaming; when you’re in periods of enhanced creativity, as well as deep relaxation.

The reason the gongs can change your brain’s wave frequencies is because there is no fixed rhythm to the ‘music’. The brain cannot follow this non-rhythmic throng of harmonics so it surrenders to the process. “Gong players do not play a song, melody or a recognisable pattern,” Aman says. “So the brain quickly gives up trying to find a pattern and lets go; it disengages from trying to process the sounds as having a logical structure. This allows the left, logical side of the brain to rest while the right, creative side of the brain is stimulated. That’s why gong meditation is great for creative inspiration and problem solving – because a different part of the brain is brought in to work on an issue.”

While the gongs will most often switch your brainwave frequencies to Theta, you may also go even deeper and slip into Delta (one to four hertz), which is the state of deep sleep and complete relaxation. Delta brainwaves bring a number of benefits including reducing cortisol levels – the hormone released by stress that can damage parts of your body, and rejuvenation.


“Humans are hard-wired at a primal level to respond to vibration and percussive sound, Aman says. This has presented itself for centuries across the globe where percussion instruments like drums and DECEMBER 2012


gongs are used by all cultures in rituals from calling on the gods to going to war to celebrating, ceremony, initiation and tribal rites. “It’s very accessible. Vibration affects everyone; people respond to vibration, you can see that with drums, gongs or any percussive instrument. This can be seen through human history across cultures,” Aman says. “I use the analogy of dropping a pebble into a still pool and observing the ripples spread. It makes all the water in the pond flow and oscillate together and because humans are primarily made of water, the gong vibrations do the same thing to our physical bodies. For a short time, all the water molecules in our body are oscillating in the same direction. It’s very relaxing, like an internal massage so it’s great for stress release and muscle tension.” Aspen Aman holds Gong Bath Meditations every Tuesday and Saturday evening. For more information, go to

FOR YOUng! H T A B G N O G FREE ers - free go ad for Awakenings re Special offer just out this voucher t Cu ! th AED 50 or w n tio ita ed m day or bath gular weekly Tues re a to g on al it meirah and take Gong House in Ju e Th at th ba ng Saturday go ions, call or text ace and get direct pl ur yo ok bo To 2. 0 873 3545. Aspen Aman on 05 . l 1 February 2013 Voucher valid til


WHERE CAN I GO TO HAVE A GONG MEDITATION? The Gong House Aspen Aman hosts group gong meditations every Saturday and Tuesday evening. Private gong sessions by request. Special gong meditations are also held for various events from full moon to sessions for children only. Go to Third Eye Centre Lawrence Enderle offers gong baths and singing bowl tuition. 1101 Saeed Tower II Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: 04 326 6539 or email





ere’s the thing: There is no one secret, magic key to effortlessly achieving your ideal body weight. It’s taken me about 35 years to come to that conclusion and I’m writing this in the hope you don’t need to take so long. Despite my religiously following the (often contradictory) advice of the traditional weight loss industry, I spent more than three decades failing to get rid of excess body fat. It left me despairing. Why could I never manage to permanently shed body fat? Because just like the special combination of numbers it takes to open a padlock, I believe there is a set of different factors that combine to create the code that cracks the puzzle of reaching your ideal body weight. Here’s the really important bit though – each person has their own individual combination of these factors that they need to figure out before the weight padlock opens… and stays open. Because I’m not talking about the white-knuckled, gritted teeth effort we’ve all kept up for weeks even months to shave off the extra kilos… only to watch them all come right back within a few months – often bringing their mates with them for a fat party on your belly and thighs. I’m talking about your body finding its natural happy place permanently. Getting back to the special factors, they can be a combination of any or all of

Mind over fatter Mika Thornley has spent 35 years cracking the code that unlocks her ‘fat padlock’. Here she reveals her personal journey to help you with yours. the following: Food intolerances, blood sugar imbalances, the famine response, high GI foods, nutrient deficiency and damaged hormonal health through restricted calories, as well as stress raising cortisol levels which turn on your body’s ‘fat storage mode’ – sustained stress is like taking a ‘fat pill’. But that’s just some of the physical causes of weight gain. Do not make the mistake of focusing only on the physical because the emotional reasons can be the real, hidden foundation of an ongoing weight issue.

For example, some people get fat to avoid physical intimacy; they get fat to avoid relationships because they’re afraid of getting rejected; they get fat so they have an excuse for not engaging with life. Perhaps they associate food with love if they’ve been brought up by a mama who was always urging them to eat, eat, eat. Or maybe they stuff their face with ice-cream and chocolate because it fills some other kind of emptiness inside – for a while. For some people, food is a drug and an addiction that’s used to suppress painful emotions. Binge eating DECEMBER 2012


numbs their pain because some things seem too scary to feel. I say ‘they’, I’ve done most of the above and more.


I’ve officially been on a diet since the age of nine years old when I got my first calorie counting booklet and attempted to stick to a diet of 1000 calories a day. I was a growing nine-year-old girl entering puberty – a time when a girl’s body needs masses of nutrients and energy – and I was trying to live on 1000 calories a day, a dangerously low amount of calories for anyone but that was the accepted wisdom in the 1970s. My mother had a calorie counting booklet that had a green apple with a tape measure wrapped around it on the cover. I studied that book, memorised all the calories in the foods I ate regularly and planned a daily menu with it. It didn’t work. After two years of failed calorie counting, my mum took me to our local doctor. The doctor confirmed that I was indeed an overweight young 11-year-old lady and sternly told me to apply some good old-fashioned willpower to the problem. He gave me a diet sheet – one of the first of hundreds - that was typical of the kind of thing doing the rounds in the 1970s and 1980s, for example: “Breakfast: Half a grapefruit, boiled egg, tea or coffee with dash of milk, no sugar.” That kind of thing. A bland, restrictive, punishing diet. I struggled with calorie counting for years but still my body seemed to be fighting me all the way and the numbers on the scales relentlessly crept higher and higher. It seemed that no matter what I did, my body was determined to keep storing fat. I began to see it as an enemy. This strict diet was the start of the starve/binge pattern that really took hold in my teens. My weight crept up and up and I reached my heaviest weight at 19 years old – 20kgs more than I weigh today.

up with – blaming myself when each one inevitably failed. I joined Weight Watchers about four times as well as the Jenny Craig Programme. Through grim determination, constant hunger and buckets of diet jelly I did manage to lose a few kilos initially but like a rubber band that’s been stretched to the limit, ‘ping’ I soon sprang back to my old, overweight self. One company called Gioventu put me on a high protein, zero carb diet – they guaranteed I would lose weight. I stuck with it religiously, living on chicken, eggs, and fish. I didn’t lose a gram. They just couldn’t understand it. They still took my money. What else has there been? Too many to remember. I’ve done three-day apples-only

fasts and various Slimfast-type plans where all “you have to do is replace two meals per day with this delicious and nutritious drink and bla bla bla…”. I’ve tried food combining, the GI diet, the alkaline diet, the Atkins diet, ‘Stop the insanity’ by Susan Powter, the Fit for Life plan, the fibre-based F Plan diet, the Zone Diet, VLCC… round and round in the same old, pointless circles. And if you’re thinking, ‘well, she should have been exercising’ think again. I was an obsessive runner for years, pounding the pavements every day, running half marathons and marathons as well as working as a part-time aerobics instructor in my local gym every night after my day job. The best it did was keep obesity at bay. cont. overleaf


Over the years, I tried every crazy concept the billion-dollar diet industry could come DECEMBER 2012




cont. from pg21


In the year 2000, I went to see a Life Coach Counsellor called Sarah. She was the first person who made me see the mind-body-emotions connection. For the first 20 or so years of my dieting efforts, all focus was on the physical. ‘If only I had enough willpower to survive on boiled eggs and grapefruit, I would be thin and find happiness’ I told myself. Sarah made me realise that excess weight and what we put in our mouths can be motivated by emotions and subconscious drivers. Click! The first digit in the fat padlock combination dropped into place. “You mean subconsciously there’s a part of me that wants to be fat?” I asked her incredulously. Surely not… but the more we talked about it, the more I saw how being overweight served me – in the same way that some people manifest illness to get love and attention. Over the next few years, I read countless self-help and diet books as well as went to counselors and alternative healers to deal with the emotional issues. “You have trust and abandonment issues,” said various therapists, on hearing about the bullying stepfather I grew up with after my father had an affair when I was seven years old and walked out on me and my mother and brother to live with his mistress. “You don’t trust men so you are trying to make yourself unattractive by being overweight in order to keep yourself single and safe from rejection…” Great, thanks, but how do I stop doing that kind of self-sabotage? To find out I went to psychologists, Pranic healers, Theta healers, Spiritual Response Therapists, Past Life Regression therapists… no stone remained unturned in my search for answers. And some of these things did help. They were part of the answer but not the whole answer – the leg of the elephant, if you like. One or two digits in the combination number that would unlock the weight padlock but not all of it.

CRACKING YOUR FAT CODE There is not one cookie-cutter answer – the combination of keys to your ideal weight is unique to you, your body chemistry and emotional make up. As a starting point to identifying the factors that may be contributing to your lack of success in shifting body fat, ask yourself the following: • How’s that working for you? How does over-eating or being overweight serve you? This could be a simple procrastination technique to avoid a dull chore or a more complex emotional issue, eg, avoiding physical intimacy. If the latter, perhaps an alternative therapy like Theta, Hypnosis or Access Bars could help. • Body clues: Are there any other physical symptoms such as acid reflux or acne that could provide a clue? For example, tell tale signs that food intolerances or insulin resistance is contributing to your weight. • Belief work: What are your subconscious beliefs about food? Meditate on this, maybe you get an image of your mother telling you to eat up because children in Africa are starving… thank the belief and release it, visualise it floating away. • Stimulants and sugars: Do you consume a lot of sugars and stimulants like caffeine? These spike blood sugar levels, which triggers insulin, which flicks the ‘store body fat’ switch • Stress is a ‘fat pill’: Have you been under stress for a prolonged period? Stress releases cortisol, which is believed to promote weight gain, especially around the abdominal area. • Sweat it off: Do you regularly move your body? You don’t need to live at the gym, just start with a walk or swim three times a week.


Then, a couple of years ago, I had a severe outbreak of acne – it was so unsightly that friends would recoil. Acne is something else I’ve been battling since the age of about 12. I didn’t make a connection between my weight and acne yet both had walked hand in hand with me for decades. The other long-term physical issues I had were candida and thrush, acid reflux, and dry, scaly skin in areas. What’s more, medical tests confirmed my adrenal glands were exhausted, my kidneys were struggling and my liver wasn’t functioning at full capacity. I didn’t see any connection and I just couldn’t understand it. I thought I had one of the healthiest lifestyles I knew. I never, ever ate junk food or takeaways, I was always

monitoring what I ate and I was regularly exercising. How could I be so unhealthy? The turning point came when, after three days of living on green smoothies after having become a convert to the raw vegan diet, I’d gained more weight. How could I possibly gain weight on liquidised spinach and mango? In addition, the acne on my skin was so bad I felt reluctant to leave the house. What was going on? The first clue came via a book called Clear for Life. Author Seppo Pusso had spent years studying the causes of acne and come up with a plan that went against everything recommended by the medical establishment. Pusso said acne was the end result of a bodily system that DECEMBER 2012


was in meltdown partly due to swinging blood sugar levels. Interestingly, insulin resistance and weight gain is also the result of fluctuating blood sugar levels. A spike in blood sugar levels triggers the release of insulin and tells the body to store fat. Click! Another lever fell into place in the fat padlock combination. So how do you control your blood sugar levels? For a start, control your intake of carbohydrates that cause blood sugar levels (glucose in the blood) to quickly rise, that is, high GI and GL foods (see Also, increase your omega-3 intake as it may help restore insulin sensitivity as well as help prevent insulin resistance from developing. It is in foods such as free-range chicken and eggs, walnuts, salmon and flaxseeds. Plus, eat small amounts every three hours, don’t overeat and build muscle because exercise improves insulin sensitivity as it creates demand for glucose.


According to Judy Cole, a kinesiologist who used to live in Dubai and wrote a book called The Body Talks: Heal Your Weight, it’s insulin that makes you fat and insulin is triggered by the presence of sugar in its various forms. Seppo also talks about this in his ebook. You need DECEMBER 2012

to make up your own mind but I believe avoiding added sugar is a major key in unlocking the fat padlock. For more on this, Australian David Gillespie has written a book called Sweet Poison. Gillespie was 40kg overweight, lethargic, sleep-deprived and the father

of four, with twins on the way. He had failed for years to lose weight until he did some reading on evolution (“why weren’t our forebears fat?”), and cut sugar – specifically fructose – from his diet. Since then he’s lost 40kg and studied the connection between added sugar and the world’s soaring obesity rate. In the space of 150 years, we have gone from eating no added sugar to more than a kilogram a week. Today, sugar is added even to ‘non sweet’ foods like bread, tomato sauce, soups and cereals. I’ve come a long way but I’m still honing the combination that unlocks my personal fat padlock but so far the main culprits include blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, sugar addiction, emotional triggers, negative benefits, and intolerance to wheat. These are my factors; yours will be different. This is your life and your beautiful, complex body, ditch all the selfcriticism and love yourself enough to work it out with kindness.

GETTING HELP Here are some of the books, websites and people I found helpful for finding the factors contributing to my excess body fat, good luck with finding yours and, who knows, maybe some of these resources will suit you too...

Books: • • • • •

Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth (Simon and Schuster) The Body Talks: Heal Your Weight by Judy Cole (Alchemist) The Low GL Diet Made Easy by Patrick Holford (Piatkus) Clear For Life ebook by Seppo Pusso, go to Sweet Poison: Why Sugar Makes us Fat by David Gillespie (Viking Australia)


• The Sweet Poison Quit Plan, go to • I Quit Sugar, go to

Alternative healers:

• Dr Heather Eade at the Dubai Mall Medical Centre, • Melany Oliver, Access Bars therapist, • Vanya Silverten, Theta Healer at Illuminations Wellbeing Centre, • Nutritionist Andrew Picken, Bespoke Nutrition, email







Challenge The yoga gauntlet has been thrown! Can Anne Brison survive 30 days of hot, sweaty Bikram yoga?


m really going to do it. I am really going to commit the next 30 days to the daily practice of yoga in sauna-like conditions. ‘Why on earth?’ you might justifiably ask. Because I’ve heard that the intense heat that makes Bikram yoga different from the other varieties of yoga is amazing for getting rid of toxins, increasing flexibility faster and getting toned up and slimmed down in double quick time. Bikram yoga is basically a sequence of 26 traditional Hatha yoga postures that takes 90 minutes but the crucial difference to other types of yoga is that it’s done in a room heated to 41 degrees celsius. Apparently, the sequence of postures and the heated room will warm and stretch your muscles, ligaments and tendons in the order in which they should be stretched and the heat takes the trauma out of stretching, heals and helps prevent injuries. It also promotes sweating which helps flush toxins from the body. Which is all very well and good but can I do it every day for 30 days? Will it kill me or make me stronger? I guess we’ll find out... my first class is tonight after work, and yes, I’m a little scared. I’ve done Bikram only one

other time in my life, that was 12 years ago and I swore you’d never catch me stepping foot in one of these sauna torture chambers again. Never say never.

Day one: One down, 29 to go.

I won’t lie, it wasn’t pretty. I certainly wasn’t pretty by the end of it - unless you fancy women covered in sweat with mascara and eyeliner running down faces the colour of beetroot. ’Intense’ is one word for the experience, ‘hardcore’ is another and ‘painful and miserable’ could be thrown about as well. There were a couple of times when I thought I might throw up (especially in the camel pose) or pass out from the heat. I wasn’t the only one though. There were about 35 of us in the class, packed in like sardines mat to mat and other Bikram beginners were falling about around me like pins at the end of a bowling alley. Those who thought they were about to faint had to just stop and sit for a while... but anyone who sat too long was soon given a bit of a telling off by the teacher who would make an excellent boot camp instructor or drill sergeant. He’s of the ‘get up, don’t be so lazy, this is good for you and you will do it’ school of thought.

I made it to the end but the last half hour was brutal. The words going through my head were, ‘please God, make it stop, please God, make it stop...’. At the end, I could literally wring the sweat out of every stitch of clothing I had on. Why am I doing it again? Oh yes, because apparently it’ll clear out a load of toxins, get me flexible in super quick time and help lose weight... cling to that thought.

Day three: Tired. Oh so tired.

I’ve got my third Bikram class in about two hours from now. The not so good news is that right now I’m feeling exhausted, nodding off in the office over my keyboard. And it’s only day three! But the good news is that I got through the whole second class yesterday without having to sit out any of the postures. So maybe you do acclimatise to the heat. It’s still hard going though. And the teacher doesn’t suffer any shenanigans. He told one guy that he was like “a fidgety three year old” and the woman next to me was berated for bringing her mobile phone into class, “we do not bring mobile phones into class! You can live without it for 90 minutes. I lived most of my life quite happily before the invention of mobile phones...” Then, DECEMBER 2012

awakenedbody Half Moon pose (Ardha-Chandrasanaa)

Camel pose (Ustrasana)

Standing Separate Leg Stretching pose (Dandayamana-BibhaktapadaPaschimotthanasana) when a man stood up to leave the room because he was finding the heat too much, the teacher said, “Where are you going? Sit back down! Do not leave the room, commit to at least staying in the room for the whole 90 minutes, even if you have to lie down...” Despite his grumblings, I like this teacher though. He’s clearly passionate about Bikram yoga and he knows what he’s talking about. He’s like Bikram’s version of Dr House. Questionable bedside manner but endearing in a grouchy kind of way. As far as surviving the class though, here’s a tip. Don’t wear too much. My regular yoga class clothes are too heavy for Bikram. A light-weight singlet t-shirt and shorts is best. Whatever you do, don’t wear tracksuit pants or a heavy baggy t-shirt unless you want to die of heat exhaustion. And don’t wear white unless you’re happy for everyone to be able to see through your clothes by the end of the class once they’re dripping with sweat.

Day four: Hang in there

I’ve done four classes now and it doesn’t seem any easier. For the last 20 minutes of the class, I am hanging on with the last dregs of my emotional and physical strength. DECEMBER 2012

Tree pose (Tadasana)

I watched a documentary on telly the other night about the amazing power of the brain and visualisation for managing physical pain so in the really tough moments I’ve been imagining myself encased in a block of ice in the hope that it might make the intense heat more bearable.

No joy so far. Although last night after class, I overheard the teacher tell another new guy ‘not to worry because it does get easier’. Get’s easier!? I wanted to grab the teacher by the collar and scream “WHEN? In the name of all that’s Holy, WHEN does it get easier?” This other new guy had struggled cont. overleaf

BIKRAM BASICS IN A NUTSHELL WHAT IS IT? A sequence of 26 Hatha poses done over 90 minutes in a room heated to 41 degrees Celsius. WHO DEVELOPED IT? Indian man Bikram Choudhury, a National India Yoga Champion who started studying yoga at age three. At the age of 20, Bikram shattered his knee in an accident so, with the help of his friend Bishnu Ghosh, designed a series of postures for rehabilitation. Bikram yoga was born. WHY THE HOT ROOM? The heated room is for warming the muscles and allowing you to work deeply and safely into the various postures. Heat takes the trauma out of stretching as well as heals and prevents injuries. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BIKRAM? According to Bikram, the regular practice of this ‘hot yoga’ will do many great things for your mind and body including eliminate toxins, reduce cholesterol, tone and strengthen muscles, strengthen bones, improve flexibility, reduce stress as well as achieve and maintain your proper body weight.



awakenedbody Standing Bow Pose (Dandayamana-Dhanurasana)

cont. from pg25

through the class. He spent most of it just sitting on his mat, sweating profusely. Apparently it was his third class but he’d found this one was much harder than the first two. The teacher told him to persevere for about 10 classes, that’s when it’ll be easier.

Day seven: Breakthrough

I might have turned a corner with this Bikram thing. Ok, maybe not turned a corner exactly but veered off in a corner-like direction... because today’s class was nowhere near the nightmare of hideousness that my first class was just one week ago. Although, that could also be because today’s class was a 9am Saturday class which means it had less than half the number of people in it that you get on a weekday after work class. And when you’ve got a room jam-packed with people standing mat to mat, all red-faced and sweating buckets, they turn the place into even more of a sauna. We had a lovely Australian instructor who gave me some helpful corrections on my postures and mentioned what some postures were good for. For example, one pose is great for weight management and another pose stimulates your thyroid gland. Which has to be a good thing. I picked up a pamphlet from the reception desk today, it’s one of those ‘About Bikram’ things. Apparently, Bikram yoga was created by an Indian man called Bikram Choudhury who started studying yoga at age three. (Age three! I was still stuffing rattles in my mouth and mashing banana into carpets at age three.) By age 13, Bikram was the youngest National India Yoga Champion and he kept the title for three years but at the age of 20 he shattered his knee in an accident and that’s when, with the help of his friend Bishnu Ghosh, he designed a series of postures for rehabilitation. And Bikram yoga was born. The heated room is for warming the muscles and allowing you to work for deeply and safely into the various postures. Heat takes the trauma out of stretching as well as heals and prevents injuries. (All of this description is what I’m reading on the pamphlet). Then comes the really good bit. According to the pamphlet, the regular practice of Bikram will do many great things, these include

Spine-Twisting pose (Ardha-Matsyendrasana) eliminate toxins, reduce cholesterol, tone and strengthen muscles, strengthen bones, improve flexibility, reduce stress as well as achieve and maintain your proper body weight. This last one is particularly exciting and I’m pretty sure that even after just a week, I can tell that my waist is getting trimmer. I won’t weigh myself till the end of the month so won’t know officially till then but my jeans are definitely looser. So, on we go...

Day eight: Reality slap

Just when I thought I was getting a bit better at this Bikram yoga thing, Bam! I receive a reality slap to the head re my progress that is akin to being rugby tackled by a rhino. Tonight’s eighth class was a return to the almost unbearable hideousness of that first class. Towards the end of the class, it almost feels like you’re on fire on the inside. My heart was pounding, my skin was burning, I had mascara dripping off my chin, I felt nauseous during camel pose and I was thinking very, very bad thoughts about the teacher. I wasn’t the only one suffering, all around me, people were dropping like flies, but the teacher was relentless, “come on, stand up, you can do this, you’ve been sitting long enough...” he said to whoever paused for a rest. And God help anyone who actually

tried to leave the room. Why am I doing this again? Time to re-read that list of benefits.

Day 10: One third of the way

I did my tenth class tonight (break out the aloe vera juice!) and I got my first sense that I might actually enjoy this hot, sweaty, bendy stuff one day. It’s like when I first started running. I was quite a serious runner for a few years there but when I first started, I remember it took about six months of huffing and puffing around the streets near my home and getting my fitness up before I started to enjoy running. Anyway, according to the official Bikram Yoga website (www.bikramyoga. com), as a beginner, It takes three classes for your body to understand the proper approach to the posture, and ten classes for your body to begin to work with postures. So, I’ve reached a milestone! However, the website also stated that a beginner should practice Bikram every day for two months. Every day for two months! I don’t know how anyone with a job to hold down or a family to raise could manage 60 days in a row.

Day 25: Home stretch

Just five more days before the challenge is won! Though I probably shouldn’t get too cocky just yet, not until all 30 are done DECEMBER 2012


and dusted. So, how do I feel? Really good although no dramatic transformation has taken place however I like to think that all sorts of wonderful stuff is happening on the inside that will soon show on the outside. Having said that, I can handle the heat better now and do most of the 26 Hatha postures better than I did at the start. Some poses I can do quite a lot better but on a couple I’ve seen no improvement at all that I can tell, namely Tree Pose (Tadasana), which is the posture my body just doesn’t want to do.

Finish line! 30 classes down

That’s it then. Did it. Thirty days of Bikram yoga ticked off. Am I bendier? Yes, definitely. In the last two nights I stretched deeper than ever into postures like the forward bend when you try and get the top of your head on the ground – for the first time ever, I did get the crown of my head on the ground.

On a couple of other poses though, I don’t feel I’ve made any progress, namely Tree Pose (Tadasana) and Fixed Firm Pose (Supta-Vajrasana). It’s my hips. More precisely, it’s what about 20 odd years of running has done to my hips. That is, welded them together tight. It’s going to take a fair bit of work to loosen them up and until I do I can forget any hope of moving on from Tree Pose into an advanced posture like Toe Stand. However, I’m hooked on Bikram now and enjoy the classes - I definitely couldn’t say that in the first couple of weeks, back then it was just a case of making it through to the end without fainting or crying. I had hoped for some kind of miraculous physical transformation after 30 classes. I didn’t get that and it was probably unrealistic anyway. I’m stronger, more flexible and a little lighter but the kind of transformation I was hoping for takes months or years of practice. Better get on with it then I guess.


Bikram Yoga Middle East, TECOM, Dubai A new Bikram studio in TECOM, Dubai. Single class AED 60 and one month unlimited classes, AED 600. Icon Tower, 4th Floor, TECOM, Tel: 04 368 6287 MMA Fitness Centre, TECOM, Dubai Hot yoga is held at this multi-discipline fitness centre. Location, Pacific Bldg. 2nd Level, TECOM, Dubai, UAE, Tel: 04 367 5077 Email: Club Stretch, Satwa and Dubai Marina Single class AED 70 and one month unlimited classes, AED 700 Bikram Yoga and Pilates studio Al Mina Road, Satwa (near Capitol Hotel) as well as Dubai Marina. Email: Tel: 04 345 2131 Rawr Bikram Yoga Dubai Al Sufouh Rd, 713 Concord Tower, Dubai Media City (same building as Lime Tree Café and Mini Cooper showroom) Tel: 04 4232 808, email



Wear as little as possible: Leave your body issues at the door because covering up in baggy t-shirts and long sweatpants will make the class 100 times harder. You don’t want that. Light-weight singlets and shorts are best. No one is looking at you, they’re all in their own Bikram bubble. Early weekend classes are easier: The more people in the room, the hotter it is so while you’re still a beginner and acclimatising to the heat, go to the quieter classes, like 9am on a Friday or Saturday. The 6pm and 8pm classes on a weekday are the ones often packed to the rafters. Don’t wipe sweat away: A lot of beginners who aren’t used to the rivers of sweat running down their face and body spend a lot of time wiping it away. Don’t! It’ll make you hotter. Sweat is good. Let the sweat run where it may, it’s the body’s cooling system. By wiping it away, you’re making your body work even harder to create more sweat. Fidget-free zone: Don’t fidget with your hair, clothes, towel etc. Don’t itch, scratch, rub… it wastes energy, makes you hotter and distracts others from their practice. Keep singleminded focus on doing the poses and between poses keep still and calm, staring straight ahead at yourself in the mirror while listening for the next set of instructions from the teacher. Don’t drink a lot during the class: It may seem odd but during the class is not the time to drink a lot of water – it could come back up during some of the poses. A few sips are ok but most of your water drinking should be done in the hours before and after the class. Don’t eat before class: Leave a good two hours between your last meal and your Bikram class.




Healing Super Foods Every day and exotic super foods that will change your life. Words by Hayley Mac with an apple and down it every morning. Great for asthmatics or if you have a cold or flu. Clears congestion and mucous. Ginger is also amazing for digestion, sickness, its a powerful anti-inflammatory so a must for anyone suffering with arthritis.  Did you know? Ginger has blood-thinning qualities.

Garlic - a great cancer preventative

3. Coconuts - Living in the desert, these



hen asked to write this article about my favourite super foods, my first thought was, “Oh thats easy”... er, wrong! I hold food in such high regard that choosing just six is tough but I have divided a few of them into two categories: Local organic super food staples and imported speciality super foods. I know not everyone has the extra money to buy expensive super foods so I’ve cut my list in half to show you that it is possible to get super foods into your diet, no matter your budget.  Now, in no particular order...

1. Garlic: Part of the onion family, onion

should be part of your daily diet. The water is high in potassium, an important electrolyte, so it is an excellent hydrator. Coconut water composition is similar to hemoglobin (our blood) making it a great blood cleanser. If you are using an oil to cook, coconut oil is the most stable at high

promotes movement. Great for circulation and sweating, (the aroma will help to repel mosquitos and fleas)  it helps to assist the elimination of toxins and some metals such as lead. Helps to fight colds, flu, infections. You can also apply Garlic topically, mash and mix with honey and apply to cuts & sore.. or brew a garlic tea and use this  as an ointment. Magic!  Did you know? Nearly 30 studies have shown garlic has cancer-preventative effect.

2. Ginger - A ginger shot a day keeps the anti-histamine pills at bay! Juice a chunk

Ginger - a powerful inflammatory so good for arthritis sufferers. DECEMBER 2012


Coconut - an excellent hydrator for desert living.

Maca - a complete protein with more calcium than milk.

temperatures, so the safest to cook with. It is also a healing oil to use topically, great to help banish bad bacteria from your skin, a great moisturiser for your whole body and your hair. I also rub it into my gums.  Did you know? Coconut water composition is similar to hemoglobin (our blood) making it a great blood cleanser.

Goji berries - 10 times more antioxidants than blueberries.

IMPORTED SPECIALITY SUPER FOODS: 4. Maca is a root vegetable that looks a

bit like a turnip. Grown at high altitudes in the Andes, it’s an adaptogenic food, which means it helps your body cope with stress. It also helps balance hormones, improve fertility, libido, strength and stamina.  Did you know? Did you know: Maca has much higher level of calcium than milk and is a complete protein providing all the essential amino acids.

5. Cacao - Raw cacao is one of the best

sources of magnesium of any known food. Magnesium helps to circulate oxygen, blood and nutrients around your body, helps your heart and brain to stay healthy, gives you healthy bones and muscles, eases PMS, headaches, migraines… and so on. Cacao is also high in zinc and iron. Did you know? Raw cacao is the base for chocolate but it loses its super food potency when heated or mixed with sugar and dairy.



6. Goji Berries - How many berries do

you know that have all eight essential amino acids and 18 in total? They are almost a complete food with 500 times the vitamin C of an orange. These mega berries are held in high regard in Chinese medicine, a great jing energy food, increasing the energy of your kidneys and adrenals. Like Maca, goji berries are an adaptogenic food, increasing the strength and stamina throughout your whole system. Did you know? Goji berries have antioxidant levels 10 times more than blueberries.

Cacao - one of the best sources of magnesium of any known food.

Hayley Mac is founder of, a UAE-based online shop for raw, vegan, organic, ethical foodstuffs and groceries.




Super Seeds

Chia seeds - packed with protein and omega-3s.

They’re tiny nutritional powerhouses that punch way above their weight when it comes to wellness wallop. Words by Asma Merchant.


e love super seeds because they’re so easy to eat, just carry around a handful for a super snack, sprinkle them over your salads or cereals or pop a few in your smoothies, yoghurt or protein shake. If you’re fond of baking your own bread or cakes, you can add them to your favorite recipes too. These tiny little seeds pack a powerful punch, read on to see why…

Flax seed

They are low carb seeds with very high fibre, anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids content. Nutritionally unique, flax seed helps promote cardiovascular health and helps in cholesterol and insulin management. They are good for weight-loss as they keep you feeling satiated for longer. Did you know: Flax seed oil does not contain the fibre or the anti-oxidants that you get from eating the whole seed.

become gel-like, keeping you hydrated and satiated for longer. Did you know: Chia seeds have been dated back to 3500BC and were a staple in the Aztec diet.

Pumpkin seeds

Not only are these seeds packed with anti-oxidants and fibre like their counterparts, they are also vitamin and mineral rich. One serving provides half our daily requirement for manganese, magnesium and phosphorous. They also help in lowering cholesterol and work as an effective anti-depressant Did you know: Pumpkin seeds are also called pepitas.

Chia seed

These protein-packed seeds are a good source of calcium, fibre, anti-oxidants and an excellent source of plant based omega-3 acids called ALAs (Alpha-linolenic acid). When combined with any liquid, they

Brown flax seeds

Golden flax seeds

Ground flax seeds



RECIPES Ginger garlic tea

Ingredients: 4 cups of water 2-inch piece of fresh ginger 1 garlic clove 2-3 tbsp honey Method: Peel the ginger and slice it into thin slices and cut the garlic clove in half, length wise. Place the water, ginger and garlic in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain the tea and add the honey to taste.

Cacao bars

Ingredients: 1 cup Be Super Natural Cacao Powder 1 cup of coconut oil Coconut sugar or Agave to taste Method: Handful of Goji berries & Chia seeds (can be substituted with any dried fruits, nuts or seeds). Combine all ingredients to make an even consistency. Spread onto some parchment paper and pop in the freezer for 5 minutes. Take out and smash it into bits!

Maca smoothie

Flax seeds and flax seed oil - Great for weight-loss because they help control insulin levels.

Makes 1.5 pints of juice Ingredients: 3 apples 1/2 lemon with the skin on 1 medium beetroot 4 large carrots 1 stick of celery 3 small cucumbers Handful of flax seeds Maca powder Method: Juice everything then blend with 1 teaspoon of Maca powder. Pour over ice and enjoy!

Pumpkin pesto

Pumpkin seeds


Makes 1 1/2 Cups of Pumpkin Seed Pesto Ingredients: 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds shelled, roasted 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan 2 cloves garlic 3/4 cup basil leaves 3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 cups olive oil salt to taste Method: Combine the pumpkin seeds, Parmesan, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse for about 20 seconds, until the seeds are almost ground. Add basil, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil, and pulse for about 40 seconds (you may want to scrape down the sides with a spatula in between pulses), until all the ingredients are combined. The mixture should be more like a course paste than a liquefied sauce, so be careful not to over-process. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to two days.







Your guide to the organic, eco-friendly eateries popping up all over the UAE, this issue, we go vegetarian to answer this Facebook page message...

“Help! My sister is coming to visit – she’s a strict vegetarian – where should I take her to eat?” Donna, Meadows 2


f there’s one thing the UAE, particularly Dubai, is not short of, it’s places to eat out. For vegetarians, the options are huge but of course there’s more to great vegetarian cuisine than just taking out the meat. Innovative recipes and the freshest, quality ingredients – local organic where possible – cooked to perfection is what you’re after. Here are some of our favourites that cover these bases as well as cater for both veggies and carnivores.


The food here never fails to impress me; super tasty salads, handmade wild bread, cakes, great breakfasts and mains, all made from locally sourced ingredients where possible. Two locations at Downtown, our favourite being Souk Al Bahar for the views of the fountains and the Burj Khalifa, plus their newest addition on the Marina, opposite the Yacht Club. Menu example: Out of the oven Focaccia Bianca with warm oven roasted tomatoes and

kalamata olives in thyme and olive oil, AED 48 Location: Souk al Bahar and Dukkan al Manzil, Downtown Dubai. Marina Promenade. Maps on website. Tel: 04 425 2240, 04 427 9856 and 04 362 4686


Healthy menu inspired by Ayurvedic traditions, don’t be put off by its uninspiring location in the top of the Oasis Centre, the food is wonderful. Offering vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as non-vege, the cuisine blends Ayurvedic and Greek concepts, Yogic Art and macrobiotic foods together with nutritional values - the menu shows the calories, fat, carb, fibre, cholesterol and sodium content of each dish! Balance Café is connected to the Balance 360 Spa offering great value yoga and spa therapies set in a beautiful wellness centre. Cooking classes also on offer, plus take-away. Menu example: Asparagus risotto with truffle oil, gluten-free (313 cals), AED 26 Location: Third floor of the Oasis Centre on Sheikh Zayed Rd Tel: 04 384 7010


Located out on Emirates Road, this newbie to the Dubai food scene promises local and organic ingredients, where possible. Food to suit vegetarian and carnivores alike. Set in a beautiful green landscape, well worth a visit just to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. DECEMBER 2012

awakenedfoodie Menu example: Quinoa & Camarouge Red Rice salad, AED 35 Location: Al Barari, off Emirates Road – driving directions on website Tel: 04 392 5660


The motto is Eat well. Live well. Be well. Sophie’s ‘gastro-café’ offers homemade healthy food, with plenty of vegetarian options. They serve RAW coffee - 100 per cent organic and roasted in Dubai. Located in the bottom of the Shoreline Apartments on the Palm, with no natural light unfortunately. Menu example: Tofu scramble with toasted sunflower bread, AED 35 Location: Lower Ground Floor, Building 8, The Shoreline, Palm Jumeirah Tel: 04 451 5982


A great little chain with a restaurant in Jumeirah and deli-cum-café at the top end of the Walk, JBR. Plenty of options for your vegetarian guest with a home-cooked feel to the main menu and more salads than you can shake a stick at! Service in the past has left a little to be desired, but still definitely worth a visit. They deliver as well. Menu example: Pumpkin Ravioli of homemade pasta stuffed with brie cheese,

caramelized walnuts and pine seeds in a creamy pumpkin sauce with fresh basil, AED 50 Location: On Jumeirah Beach Road going towards Jumeirah Mosque, take a right turn at The One. There’s also a deli on JBR Walk. Tel: Jumeirah 04 345 5822 or JBR Walk 04 423 0855


Karama’s very popular Jainist vegetarian Indian. You’ll probably have to wait for a table but it’ll be worth it; they have a completely vegetarian menu and are committed to innovative vegetarian cuisine. Make sure you leave room for dessert, as the 100 per cent natural ice cream is divine and it’s the only brand made here in the UAE, flavours include fig, lychee mango custard apple, rose water as well as the choco chip favourite. Menu example: Paneer Tikka Masala, AED 30 Location: Bur Dubai, behind Regent Palace Hotel next to Khalid bin Waleed metro. Tel. 04 396 0088


Zest is a healthy food concept serving natural, fresh, nutritious and delicious food and drinks. They offer a menu with healthy options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks in between. The products are freshly made in-house daily and they pride themselves on using only the highest quality ingredients. Whenever possible, they use organic produce. Zest’s commitment to all things natural means they don’t mess around with mother nature so they don’t use sugar, additives, preservatives or colourings. Menu example: Goat’s cheese and pumpkin salad, large, AED 44 Location: Zest Restaurant, Tunisia Food Court, Ibn Battuta Mall. Call 800 ZEST (800 9378) to place your order for delivery.

HELEN HORNE writes Dubai restaurant blog, Honestly Foodie. Her mission? To eat her way through Dubai and give an honest, frank account of the whole experience from food to service to price. Check it out at







Ask Katrina

Got a burning question about holistic beauty? Katrina Valente is your guide to naturally loving the skin you’re in. This issue, what to do when you’re an ethical eco-warrior but who doesn’t plan to growing old gracefully.


“Help! Katrina, I’m torn. I want to use ethical and environmentally friendly products but I have to admit, I also want to wage total war on wrinkles… when it comes to anti-aging, are organic and natural face products really as effective as the hardcore scientifically tested ones stuffed with chemicals? Wendy R. Palm Jumeirah

My big secret for the general public is that anything you buy over the counter has a two layer penetration which makes the results superficial and short-lived. A professional product will penetrate to the


Dear Wendy, Ah yes, the ethical dilemma of the modern woman! Saving the planet versus fighting off the signs of aging. Each woman needs to strike her own balance. The truth is that, although some organic products are powerful, to get the optimum anti-aging effects from a skincare range, you need to use the ‘hardcore’ clinical products as they have the most active ingredients for reversing the symptoms of the aging process. I must stress though that I only recommend professional skincare products as they contain the big guns in the anti-aging arsenal, such as Vitamin C and A and alpha lipoic acid.

fourth or fifth layer of the skin where all the collagen and elastin is produced, thus speeding up the regeneration process and giving much longer-lasting results. Also, professional products are not that different in price because with over-the-counter products, you’re paying mostly for the mammoth marketing campaigns. It doesn’t matter what they tell you is in the product, what’s important is the percentage of active ingredients and in an over-the-counter product there is not enough to make a difference. You only get enough active ingredients in a professional product. However, organic products can also be very powerful, in particular essential oils. These penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin and also work on the emotional body. Essential oils are best used at night under your night cream as a serum. Oils such as sandalwood, rose, geranium, lavender and jasmine give great results in the war against aging. Using a mix of organic and chemical is an option but you need to experiment with what’s best suited to your specific skin type. Also, you should change your skin care routine four times a year in line with the change in weather. If you use the same skincare products for too long, the skin becomes accustomed to the products and slows down regeneration.

WE JUST LOVE… Human + Kind All-In-One Day and Night Cream, AED 130.

Made in Ireland, this is skincare with a conscience. The H + K all day and night hydrating cream has a moistureretaining blend of Aloe Vera, natural vitamin E and essential oils including Centella, marshmallow, juniper berry and rosehip. Human+Kind skincare is available at Boots, Milk & Honey, Organic Foods & Café, Down To Earth, The Change Initiative and Make Up Etc. in Palm Strip Mall Jumeira, as well as online through and




A great home beauty tip for exfoliating the face and body is to use sea salt with olive or almond oil. Take a handful of sea salt and cover it with the oil to make a paste. Rub over dry skin before you shower or, for a gentler exfoliation, use on wet skin after you shower then rinse again. Exfoliate once a week in order to allow proper penetration of your skin products. The sea salt also removes negative energy in your aura leaving you feeling invigorated and refreshed. For extra softness and moisturising, add a few drops of an essential oil like rose, sandalwood or lavender.




Eminence Organics Naseberry Treatment Cream, AED 275

Rich, thick and has a Botox effect to tighten the skin thanks to three per cent glycolic acid from the Naseberry fruit. Lush! Buy it: Email

Dr.Hauschka Regenerating Serum, AED 246.70

Contains the finest plant oils, plant extracts and waxes for firming and regenerating your skin, all sustainably manufactured. Buy it: At Organic Foods & Cafe at The Greens and Dubai Mall.


Altearah Bio Silver serum, AED 229 Great regenerative with anti-wrinkle qualities and soothing for sensitive skin. Buy it: Online at or at SpaDunya Club at Plaza Level of Shams on JBR Walk.

KATRINA VALENTE is a holistic beautician specialising in anti-aging. For a 20 per cent discount on the Eminence Organic Facial Treatment, which is great for getting your skin back its youthful glow, call her on 050 565 7679 or email her at Katrina@katrinavalente. com and mention ‘Awakenings magazine’.





The surprising power of


Colour Therapy or Chromotherapy dates back thousands of years to the ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Asia… can it help you?


olour surrounds us. It’s everywhere, in our surroundings, our food, our clothing. It nourishes our senses; we see it, feel it and absorb it. Our minds, bodies, spirits are profoundly affected by it. Colour references are part of our daily vernacular. If someone ‘sees red’, they’re angry and if they’re ‘in the pink’ they’re healthy. Feeling blue means sad, having a black heart is evil while a ‘yellow belly’ is a coward. But what is colour exactly? Scientifically speaking, colour is simply light of varying wavelengths. Each colour has its own specific wavelength and energy that we

absorb through our senses (eyes, skin, smell) as well as through our magnetic energy field (aka aura). In this way, the energy of colour affects us physically and emotionally. Every cell in the body needs light energy and each of the seven major chakras – the energy centres that are responsible for energising and repairing specific organs - resonates with a particular colour. Thus colour energy has widespread effects on the whole body (see box out). Shahida Siddique is the founder of SpaDunya Club, a holistic spa on The



Walk - Jumeirah Beach Residences. She has been passionate about the power of colour to heal and enhance since a freak golf buggy accident in 2007 left her with severe back and shoulder pain – despite medical tests revealing nothing wrong, Shahida spent weeks in severe pain until a friend who had been to a wellbeing expo gave her a bottle of Altearah Bio Royal Purple for healing. Three days later the pain had gone. “The human body is amazing,” says Shahida. “You are not just a body; you are mind-body-spirit including the light all around you, your aura. This light emanates from the inside out and is constantly modifying and changing based on how you are feeling. How you are feeling is based on outside stimuli and how you transfer this information to your body. “Every colour has a vibration and a wavelength and every cell in our body is vibrating at a certain frequency and wavelength. We are all energy and we are all vibrating. Like music, if everything is vibrating in harmony it’s a symphony but if a discordant vibration or frequency enters, it can change you on a cellular level,” Shahida says. A discordant or low frequency vibration could come from anything, for example, a hurtful comment, a disagreement with a colleague or even watching something upsetting on the news.

Shahida Siddique, founder of SpaDunya Club, become a total convert to the power of colour therapy after it helped her heal from a freak accident. Shahida says the same negative situation or stressor is processed differently by different people. One person may absorb a stress in their head and over time it manifests as a migraine, someone else may hold it in their back or stomach. “We all have our different areas where we are weak and where stresses manifest.” How can colour help? By transmuting


Kidneys, legs, spinal cord toe, feet and rectum

Orange • Sacral chakra

Adrenals, reproductive and muscular systems, bowel, spleen, bladder, ovaries and testes

Yellow • Solar Plexus Chara

Liver, spleen, stomach, small intestine and pancreas gland

the discordant vibrations that enter our systems in the form of stresses, upsets, and abuses that can eventually turn into disease. “Colour can enhance your mood and transform the discordant vibrations impacting your body and energy fields. With transmutation of these discordant vibrations, the cellular vibration shifts and your body is changed at a cellular level.”

The colours and chakras responsible for different areas of your body Green • Heart chakra Heart, blood, rib cage, breast, diaphragms, circulatory system, shoulders, hands and arms, thymus gland Blue • Throat chakra Throat and lungs, thyroid gland Indigo • Brow chakra

Eyes, lower head, sinuses, pituitary gland

Violet • Crown chakra

Brain and pineal gland

There are various ways to apply colour, these include shining light on the body through a coloured filter or lense, through drinking water from a coloured glass bottle, and visualisation. The colour of the clothes you wear and foods you eat also have an effect upon the body. So do the colours in your environment, from wallpaper to cushions to lighting.





TRIED AND TESTED – EMERALD COLOUR THERAPY MASSAGE Renee Scott took a trip to Emerald Massage Planet at SpaDunya Club and didn’t want to come back… I don’t know exactly what planet or dimension it was that I drifted off to during my Emerald Massage at SpaDunya Club but at the end of the hour, I most definitely did not want to return to Earth. ‘Nooo… leave me up here…’ I burbled to my therapist Nok when she indicated that the time was up. Although it may have sounded more like ‘gaarrh, glurrrb, glaaarhhh…’ When they say you’ll be relaxed at the end of one of these massages, they are not kidding. The Emerald Colour Therapy Massage is unique to SpaDunya. A massage through meditation, it was devised specifically for SpaDunya by French Professor of Traditional Massage, Renato Pappalardo of Biopulse Paris.

The very specific movements and technique of the Emerald Massage came to Pappalardo during a week he spent on the beach communing with nature. The meditative strokes used in the massage concentrate on the heart chakra and Emerald oil that is used that is specially created for the opening the heart chakra. Before the massage, every client gets a pretreatment colour consultation to determine

their mood, energy level and emotional state on that particular day. The relevant healing colours and matching aromas are then used in the treatment, making it specific to the individual’s healing needs. As well as being formulated to open the heart chakra, the Emerald oil used in the massage also oxygenates the body through the inhalation and skin penetration of the peppermint-based ingredients in the oil.

Book an Emerald Massage at SpaDunya Club SpaDunya offers a variety of colour therapy treatments and massages using the 100 per cent organic essential oils by Altearah Bio. SpaDunya Club, Plaza level, Shams 1, JBR Walk. To book a massage, email: or tel: 04 439 3669.


Ayushkamy Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat Kerala, South India At Ayushkamy, Ayurveda and yoga are the cornerstones of a healing practice dedicated to body and soul. We hold morning and evening yoga classes for beginners or advanced with oneon-one lessons available on request. We also offer the entire range of genuine and traditional Ayurvedic medicines and treatments as outlined in the ancient Ayurvedic texts. All treatments are under guidance of an Ayurvedic doctor and include Panchakarma therapy, Elakizhi, Abhyangam, Pizhichil and Dhara. Our eco-friendly cottages right on the beach are your home away from home. Let us design your individual holiday, whether you want yoga, Ayurveda, fishing, boating, swimming, or to just relax in the natural peace and beauty and enjoy the local culture and food.

Ayushkamy Ayurveda & Yoga Retreat Lekshmi Puram Beach Kollam, Kerala, South India Tel. +919 4 468 76876 Email.


awakened lifestyle - books

Six Self-help Classics Personal growth and self-enrichment books are among the only genres in book publishing that is on the rise. Here are some of the all-time classics that have done their bit in changing the world… You Can Heal Your Life, AED 65

Many Lives, Many Masters, AED 70

By Dr. Brian Weiss

The true story of how a respected, traditional psychotherapist had his world turned upside down when one of his clients started describing past lives while under hypnosis. In 1980, Weiss was Head of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center when he began treating Catherine, 27, for anxiety, depression and phobias. Weiss turned to hypnosis to help Catherine remember repressed childhood traumas but to his surprise what emerged were her descriptions of past lives, as well as messages channeled from “Master Spirits”. Catherine’s anxieties and phobias soon disappeared, says Weiss, and she was able to end therapy. The previously non-spiritual, scientific Weiss wrote this book to share his new-found knowledge about “immortality and the true meaning of life.” The Road Less Travelled,

By M. Scott Peck

Published in 1978 with a title based on the famous poem by Robert Frost (“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.”), American psychiatrist Morgan Scott Peck describes the attributes that make for a fulfilled human being. These include discipline, which he considers essential for emotional, spiritual and psychological health, namely the ability to delay gratification, accepting responsibility for oneself and one’s actions, and a dedication to truth. Peck says love is the driving force for spiritual growth… but that ‘love’ is a much misunderstood concept. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, AED 65

By Robin Sharma

Julian Mantle is a high-flying lawyer with a non-stop stressful schedule who survives on adrenalin and caffeine. It takes a crisis in the form of a heart attack to make Mantle evaluate his life and suddenly he’s selling all his expensive possessions to trek India in pursuit of a meaningful existence. A simple tale made up by motivational speaker Robin Sharma to address the persistent angst of Western white-collar professionals.

By Louise Hay

She’s the grandmother of the mind-body-spirit movement and this book, first published in 1985, was the start of it all. Hay has been one of the major players in bringing the mind-body connection concept into the mainstream, that is, the idea that it is our mental patterns, thoughts and beliefs that create disease in the body and therefore by changing these with awareness and positive affirmations, we can heal ourselves. Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest your Desires, AED 65

By Esther and Jerry Hicks

Thanks to the bestselling book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, most people have some idea – whether they believe it or not – about the universal law of attraction. In this book, the Hicks give practical exercises and instruction on how to harness this universal law for creating the life you most desire. It includes much advice on working with energy and emotions as well as specific chapters on increasing prosperity, reclaiming health, working with meditation, and clearing clutter for clarity.

The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, AED 73

By Julia Cameron

A book of tools and weekly tasks for unlocking your creative juices based on the premise that creativity is a spiritual experience; that creativity is God’s gift to us and using our creativity is our gift back to God. The weekly exercises include tasks such as writing a daily journal called the ‘morning pages’ where you brain dump onto paper each morning. The ultimate outcome of all this work? Transforming your life, says Cameron. All these books are in store at Kinokuniya Bookworld in Dubai Mall or online at While you’re at it, ‘like’ the Kinokuniya on Facebook For more information, email or call 04 434 0111.





If it was, it’d would be seen by many thousands of UAE residents hungry for information about wellbeing products and services offered locally.

The first and only magazine in the UAE to focus solely on holistic living and alternative health, our target audience are health conscious individuals who are ecologically aware, culturally sensitive, and socially responsible. They are affluent, well-educated, intelligent, and quick to embrace new concepts, ideas and technologies. In the UK and US, this group already spends billions per year on ‘pampering’ including yoga, spa days, health farms and complementary therapies.   Make sure it’s your advertisement that this audience is reading in the next issue of Awakenings ME magazine! To find out how we can help you, send an email to or call Tamara on 050 8433 262.




therapy Who said spending money can’t be good for the soul? Here are some of our favourite buys right now…



Amethyst crystals

Believed to radiate energy, Amethyst has been used for thousands of years to aid healing and meditation. Also called the spiritual stone because its violet colour is the same as that of the crown chakra. The two larger ones are called amethyst geodes and the smaller ones on a wooden base are known as amethyst druze. The centre amethyst is a candle holder. Buy it: At The Laughing Buddha outlets at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Festival City, Souk Al Bahar and Ibn Battuta Mall. Geode from AED 1,900 to 2,750; amethyst on wood base, AED 300 to 500, and amethyst candle holder AED 150 Tel: 04 396 9647 or email

Rose quartz angel charm bracelet

Sparklefairy is Dubai’s crystal guru and the founder of Dubai’s first online crystal boutique. This solid rose quartz and angel wing charm
is just one of hundreds of beautiful products. Rose Quartz is for unconditional love, healing forgiveness, a self-esteem booster that draws off negative energy and replaces with loving vibes, compassion. Buy it: At


Awakenings magazine has one rose quartz angel charm bracelet to give to a lucky reader, just email your answer to the following question to: Q. How can crystals be cleansed? Give one method. (Hint, answers can be found at, click ‘Crystal Power’.)

AED 65

Detox Delight Dubai

Wellbeing delivered to your door in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Detox Delight programmes can be anything from a day a week to a five-day or multiple week plan. The juices include concoctions such as Spicy Detox Lemonade - apple, water, red chili, lemon and Yellow Detox - apple, pineapple, zucchini, coconut water, lemongrass, lime. A fiveday ‘Cure’ programme starts from AED 2,450. Tel: 055 883 5072 Email: Buy it: Online at

AED 31

Organic Heartburn Tea from Earth Mama Angel Baby

Not just for mamas, this 100 per cent organic blend soothes anyone with heartburn. Contains Marshmallow Root, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Spearmint, and Red Raspberry Leaf. Biodegradable, easy to brew tea bags with compostable overwrap, and the 100% recycled and recyclable cartons were produced using wind energy. Buy it: Down to Earth Organics, G11 Hamdan Awards Complex, cnr of 2nd December Street and Jumeirah Beach Rd, opposite Union Flag.




Fair Trade Bobble Bag


Friends Handicraft is a small collective of women in Kathmandu, Nepal, many of whom are survivors of human trafficking. In addition to income, Friends Handicraft provides these women with medical benefits and help with education for their children. Now available in Dubai through The Little Fair Trade Shop, an initiative by Dubaibased Sabeena Ahmed. A variety of products available, from Fair Trade coffee to clothing and accessories like this pink bobble bag. Buy it: For customer and wholesale enquiries, email

AED 173 to AED


Ekobo Globo salad bowl

Loving the colours! These Ekobo eco-friendly salad bowls are part of a range of contemporary hand-crafted home accessories made from a natural and renewable resource: bamboo. Ekobo combine modern aesthetics with local craftsmanship to sustain artisanal communities, while promoting bamboo as a socially and environmentally-responsible material. Available in several colours and sizes. Matching salad tongs, AED 41. Buy it: From The Change Initiative, Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Rd slip road, take exit 36 on SZR. Tel 800 TCI (824). Available in the online shop at

5 AED 8

AED 35

Stress-Relieving Meditation CD

A guided meditation to release stress, which is the leading cause of physical pain, dysfunction and disease in the body. Optimal health begins with releasing stress from the body and mind. See page 12 for more on why you need this CD! Buy it: The Third Eye Centre, 1101 Saeed Tower II (on top of Nando’s/KFC), Sheikh Zayed Road Tel: 04 326 6539 or email

Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days DVD

This documentary film follows six Americans with diabetes who switch to a diet consisting entirely of vegan, organic, uncooked food in order to reverse disease without pharmaceutical medication. The six are challenged to give up meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, soda, junk food, fast food, processed food, packaged food, and even cooked food for 30 days. The film follows each participant's remarkable journey and captures the medical, physical, and emotional transformations brought on by this radical diet and lifestyle change. What is revealed, with startling clarity, is that diet can reverse disease and change lives. See the movie trailer at Buy it: At Organic Foods and Supermarket, The Greens and Dubai Mall





UAE listings

Alternative, complementary and holistic products and services available in the UAE.


Dubai Mall Medical Centre Complementary and alternative medicine with Naturopathic Medicine Practioner Dr Heather Eade. 7th Floor, Dubai Mall, Downtown. Tel. 04 449 5111    Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre Conventional (allopathic), complementary and alternative medicine plus wellness treatments. Ayurveda, Beauty, Gynaecology, Homeopathy, Nutrition, Psychology, Traditional Chinese Medicine. Za’abeel, Oud Metha Rd. Email: Tel. 04 335 1200    Dubai Physiotherapy and Family Medicine Centre Comprehensive family medicine and physiotherapy. 1st Floor, Town Centre Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road. Tel. 04 349 6333    Holistic Healing Medical Centre Eastern and western medicines. Ayurveda, acupuncture, colon hydrotherapy and Homeopathy. Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 3. Email: Tel: 04 348 7172   Martine Nates, Synergy Integrated Medical Centre A clinical acupuncturist, Martine (Dip. AC clin. Ac (China) Certificate in Paediatric Acupuncture) specialises in fertility, pregnancy and post-natal treatments. She uses a combination of traditional Chinese therapies including acupuncture, massage, cupping and moxibustion. Email: Tel: 04 348 5452 Wellbeing Medical Centre
 Complementary conventional and alternative health care, cosmetic surgery and laser treatments. Chiropractic, Natural Medicine, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Nutrition, Allergy Elimination, Detoxification, Face Rejuvenation, Physical and Massage Therapy, Clinical Psychology and Systemic Psychotherapy, Aesthetic Medicine, Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, Laser Treatments – Pain Free Laser Hair Removal and Laser Skin Tightening. Jumeirah 3. Tel: +971 4 348 4406 Email:  


Aura Alternative Medicine Centre Three kinds of treatment Ayurvedic medicines, diet and lifestyle management and Panchakarma for detox, rejuvenating and relaxing. Office 201, Al Faisal 1, CBI Bank Building, King Faisal Road, Sharjah. Email: Tel: 06 575 7001 Breath and Health Alternative Medical Centre Villa 1080, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 2. Email: Tel: 04 348 9940   Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre Conventional (allopathic), complementary and alternative medicine plus wellness treatments. Ayurveda, Beauty, Gynaecology, Homeopathy, Nutrition, Psychology, Traditional Chinese Medicine. Za’abeel, Oud Metha Rd. Email: Tel. 04 335 1200  Dubai Mall Medical Centre Complementary and alternative medicine with Naturopathic Medicine Practioner Dr Heather Eade. 7th Floor, Dubai Mall, Downtown. Tel. 04 449 5111    Dubai Physiotherapy and Family Medicine Centre Comprehensive family medicine and physiotherapy. 1st Floor, Town Centre Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road. Tel: 04 349 6333  Holistic Healing Medical Centre Eastern and western medicines. Ayurveda, acupuncture, colon hydrotherapy and Homeopathy. Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 3. Email: Tel: 04 348 7172 Dr Parviz Rashvand, Synergy Integrated Medical Centre A Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, Dr Parviz combines natural modalities and specialises in cancer, MS, autism and other severe auto-immune and degenerative conditions. Email: Tel: 04 348 5452

Wellbeing Medical Centre
 Complementary conventional and alternative health care, cosmetic surgery and laser treatments. Chiropractic, Family Medicine, General Practice, Natural Medicine, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Nutrition, Allergy Elimination, Detoxification, Face Rejuvenation, Physical and Massage Therapy, Clinical Psychology and Systemic Psychotherapy, Aesthetic Medicine, Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, Laser Treatments – Pain Free Laser Hair Removal and Laser Skin Tightening. Jumeirah 3. Tel: +971 4 348 4406 Email:  


Angel Reading with Kajal KB, Cosmic Healing Centre Email: Tel: 055-6794662 or 04 357 6676 (Cosmic Healing Center).   Angels of Light Founders Terri and Buddy are certified Angel Therapy Practitioners, Reiki Masters, Past Life Regression, Past Life Cord Cutting and Clearing, certified Atlantian Teachers from the Diana Cooper School of Angels, and Angel Crystal Healers. Email: Tel: 050 655 4814    Angel Therapy with Coomi Vevaina and Sharlaine India-based therapists who regularly visit Dubai to conduct workshops and private sessions. Contact Illuminations Wellbeing Centre Tel: 04 448 7043   


Spadunya Club Award-winning holistic and wellness spa for women using the 100 per cent organic, French colour therapy spa range called Altearah Bio in holistic vibrational and energetic treatments. Hammam, hydrotherapy, beauty room and steam, sauna and showers. [See also Colour Therapy, Beauty, and Yoga & Fitness]
Shams 1, The Walk at JBR, Plaza Level. Email: Tel: +971 4 439 3669   Organic Glow Beauty The UAE’s first eco-friendly, organic salon. Organic hair treatments, ammonia-free colour, aromatherapy massage, formaldehyde-free mani-pedis, fresh fruit facials, home-made scrubs and more. Stocks Simply Organic beauty range for purchase. Email: Tel: 04 380 4666


Third Eye Centre Miyan is a Jyotish Maharishi (PhD equivalent research degree in Vedic Astrology) and holds a DMA (Diploma in Medieval Astrology). Private readings and group workshops. Email: Tel: 04 326 6539    Vedic Astrologer & Numerologist, Lalit Soonderji Private readings and group workshops Email: Tel: 04 448 7043   


Aura Alternative Medicine Centre Three kinds of treatment Ayurvedic medicines, diet and lifestyle management and Panchakarma for detox, rejuvenating and relaxing. Office 201, Al Faisal 1, CBI Bank Building, King Faisal Road, Sharjah Email: Tel: 06 575 7001 Balance Wellness Centre, Ayurvedic Consultant Dr Chandy George Ayurvedic assessments and wide range of wellness services, organic and ayurvedic therapies, energy healing. Third floor, Oasis Centre Email: Tel: 04 5151 4051  www.balance-wellness-centre Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre Conventional (allopathic), complementary and alternative medicine plus wellness treatments. Ayurveda, Beauty, Gynaecology, Homeopathy, Nutrition, Psychology, Traditional Chinese Medicine. Za’abeel, Oud Metha Rd. Email: Tel: 04 335 1200 




Katrina Valente Holistics A facial therapist and holistic aesthetician/healer with more than 20 years experience in the beauty industry Email: Tel: 050 565 7679   The Organic Glow Lounge The UAE’s first eco-friendly, organic salon. Organic hair treatments, ammonia-free colour, aromatherapy massage, formaldehyde-free mani-pedis, fresh fruit facials, home-made scrubs and more. Stocks Simply Organic beauty range for purchase. Email: Tel: 04 380 4666 Snowberry Organic Cosmetics (formerly Twentyfour7) Available at Spadunya Club, Shams 1, The Walk at JBR, Plaza Level. Email: Tel: +971 4 439 3669   Organic Supermarket and Café Stocks organic skincare and cosmetics.    Herbline Essentials
 Ayurvedic face, body, hair, acne and slimming treatments made from natural ingredients sourced in the Himalayas.Available through and, UAE pharmacies including Boots, Bin Sina, Health First and United Pharmacies.  


DORN METHOD (Spinal therapy) SpaDunya Club See ‘Holistic Centres’  


Detox Delight Dubai Detox juices delivered to your door and detox programmes developed especially for you based on vegan menus or juice cleanse programmes for weight reduction, energising, skin rejuvenation and immune system boost. Email: Tel: 055 5568 318


Breath and Health Alternative Medical Centre Villa 1080, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suquim 2 Email: Tel: 04 348 9940


Third Eye Centre Clinical Hypnotherapist Monisha specialises in EFT and Hypnotherapy. Offers workshops such as Taking Charge, Self Hypnosis, Karma and Forgiveness. Contact Monisha at The Third Eye Centre. Email: Tel: 04 326 6539   Cosmic Healing Centre (see Holistic Centres)  


The Holistic Institute IFPA and ITEC accredited for diplomas in Clinical Aromatherapy and Reflexology. Short courses in other subjects. Email: Tel: 04 450 3535 

Energy clearing and space management, Third Eye Centre Serving corporates and individuals Email: Tel: 04 326 6539   Cosmic Healing Centre (see Holistic Centres)



Spadunya Club Award-winning holistic and wellness spa for women using the 100 per cent organic, French colour therapy spa range called Altearah in holistic vibrational and energetic treatments. Hammam, hydrotherapy, beauty room and steam, sauna and showers. Shams 1, The Walk at JBR, Plaza Level. Tel: +971 4 439 3669 Email:   Katrina Valente Holistics A facial therapist and holistic aesthetician/healer with more than 20 years experience in the beauty industry.   Email: Tel: 050 565 7679 Katrina also works out of Spadunya Club.   Abeer Ayash, Art Healer
 Abeer creates Soul Paintings for clients using colour for its therapeutic value. For more information, Email: T: 04 326 6539  

CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE (see Acupuncture) COUNSELLING (see also Life Coaching)

Helen Williams, Life Works Counselling and development. Helen is a Gestalt Therapist. 996 Al Wasl Rd, Umm Suqeim 1 Email: Tel: 04 3942464 Andrea Tosatto, Clinical Psychologist, Synergy Medical Centre Specialising in teens and children, Dr Tosatto uses Cognitive Psychotherapy with Jungian analysis as well as yoga and music therapy as needed. Email: Tel: 04 348 5452


Pranic Healing Centre   Encorporates pranic with crystal healing.



Aspen Aman, The Gong House
 Private and group sessions for healing mind and body through sound meditation
as well as gonging classes. Special classes also held for children.    Lawrence Enderle Lawrence hosts Gong Bath Meditations and Sound and Vibration sessions and workshops at The Third Eye Center (see Holistic Centres).   


SpaDunya Club
 Holistic Wellness Consultants offer therapies that include Reflexology, Iridology, Holistic Nutrition, Theta Healing, Quantum Reading, the Dorn Method, PIDDDS (Personal Integrated Dynamics, Diet and Determination), Breuss Massage, and Reiki.
Shams 1, The Walk at JBR, Plaza Level. Tel: +971 4 439 3669
 Email:   Discover Nirvana
 Self-discovery workshops, yoga for kids, space clearing and feng shui for the home, Ayurvedic cooking, wellness for pets, crystal healing, Reiki, Theta healing and online shopping. Email: Cosmic Healing Centre Services, treatments, events and training in various healing modalities, self-empowerment workshops and meditations, plus alternative and complementary therapies. Pranic, Theta, Reiki, Vastu and Feng Shui, Crystal, KriyaShakti, EFT, Hypnotherapy.Office No: 402; Montana Building, Home Options Building, GPO, Karama, Dubai. Email: Tel: 04 357 6676   Illuminations Well-Being Centre
 409, Fortune Executive Towers, Cluster T, Plot T1, JLT (next to Dubai Marina Metro Station). Email: Tel: 04 448 7043.  Think your business should be listed here? Email the details to




The Third Eye
Centre 1101 Saeed Tower II, On top of Nandos/KFC, next to Four Points Sheraton, Sheikh Zayed Road. Financial Centre Metro Station. Email: Tel: 04 326 6539

Naturopathy Touch Building Lake City Tower, opp JLT metro station, JLT. Email: Tel: 04 452 6969  

The Holistic Institute Email: Tel: 04 450 3535    Pranic Healing Centre   Pranic Healing Courses of all levels and group meditations. Encorporates pranic healing with Arhatic Yoga, KriyaShakti, crystal healing and Feng Shui.   Balance Wellness Centre
 Offers a 360 degree healing philosophy encompassing Ayurvedic treatments, diet, counselling, meditation, therapeutic massage, herbal therapies, yoga and Pilates. Third floor, Oasis Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road Email: Tel: 04 384 7010

Cosmic Healing Centre - See ‘Holistic Centres’ for contacts.

India International Healing Institute Saeed Tower 1, Suite 401, On top of Emirates NBD, between Hotel Fairmont and Crown Plaza, Sheikh Zayed Rd. Email:  Tel: +97155 5987572   


Awakened Soul, Rachel Beavan Healer and psychotherapist Email:   Comar Fowler & Associates, Beryl Comar Using a combination of techniques ranging from traditional classroom teaching, group and pair work and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Email: Tel: 050-655 4523    Graca Nascimento Hypnotherapy for addictions such as smoking, phobias and sea-sickness. Illuminations Well-Being Centre (see Holistic Centres)    


Stephanie Niazi, Spadunya Club
 Iridologist Stephanie uses iridology to evaluates wellness imbalances through tissue markings in the eyes which are addressed with holistic nutrition and food solutions.  


Osteopathic Health Centre Malcolm Gregory and Nargis Raza give self-help and support to people suffering from pain. Umm Suqueim and Mirdiff Email: Tel: 04 348 73 66  


Livia Anzaldo, Liv 2 Lead
 Lifestyle Coach & Yoga Alliance Instructor Email: Tel: 050 1819 527   Sushma, Third Eye Centre Certified Life Coach, Sushma conducts coaching workshops and sessions Email: Tel: 04 326 6539


Dreamworks Spa Dubai Balinese foot reflexology and massage centres in various locations Email: Tel: 800 6277 243   Feet First Reflexology and massage centre. Services include deep tissue massage, de-stress massage, shiatsu massage, acupressure facial, slimming massage Email: Tel: (0) 4 366 9956


Illuminations Well-Being Centre Various regular weekly meditations. See ‘Holistic Centres’ for contacts. The Third Eye Centre - See ‘Holistic Centres’ for contacts. Discover Nirvana - See ‘Holistic Centres’ for contacts. Organic Glow Beauty Lounge - See ‘Beauty and Organic Cosmetics’ for contacts Vipassana Meditation Offering courses in Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka. Ten day silent meditation retreats held in Ajman Twitter: #vipassana_dubai Tel: JP Goenka on 050 646 2507 and


Comar Fowler & Associates, Beryl Comar Using a combination of techniques ranging from traditional classroom teaching, group and pair work and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Email: Tel: 050-655 4523


Stephanie Niazi, Spadunya Club
 A certified Wellness Consultant and iridologist, Stephanie specialises in holistic nutrition, using iridology she evaluates potential wellness imbalances through tissue markings in the eyes then she employs food solutions to increase energy and overall wellness. Stephanie also calls upon her other trainings to give an individual healing, namely, Reflexology, Pranic healing, Colour Therapy, Quantum Reading and Dynamic Phyto-Therapy.


Lalit Soonderji, Vedic Astrologer & Numerologist Private readings and group workshops Email: Tel: 04 448 7043


Be Super Natural
 A UAE online shop for raw, vegan, organic, fairtrade, ethical foodstuffs and groceries.  Down to Earth Organics
 Supplies organic food and groceries in Dubai. Store at G11, Sheikh Hamdan Awards Complex, Opposite Union Flag, Jumeirah 1, Dubai. Email: Tel: 04 386 3391 Ripe Middle East
 Supplies local organic produce in Dubai. Farm fresh fruit and vegetables delivered to your door or for purchase at the farmers markets. Warehouse 11, 6A Street, Al Quoz behind Times Square Ctr. Email: Tel: 04 380 7602    Organic Supermarket and Café
 Sells fresh organic and biodynamic food, supplements, skincare, cosmetics, baby items and household cleaning products. Stores in Greens and Dubai Mall. Tel: 04 4340577  Milk & Honey Gourmet Grocer
 Wide range of gourmet and premim organic brands and produce. 24/7 delivery. Tel: 04 432 8686 for Palm Jumeirah and 04 435 6363 for Meadows Town Centre. Twitter #milkandhoneydxb


Pranic Healing Centre   Pranic healing courses of all levels and group meditations. Encorporates pranic with Arhatic Yoga, KriyaShakti, crystal healing and Feng Shui. Yogi George, The Third Eye
 Yogi George teaches Pranic Healing and conducts private sessions at Third Eye. Email: Tel: 04 326 6539




Third Eye Centre Qigong Instructor Ania gives personal classes and group workshops in Qigong as well as healing sessions to remove blocks from meridians and energy channels. Email: Tel: 04 326 6539


The Third Eye Trained clinical hypnotherapists with certifications in regression therapies, travel through lifetimes to expand your awareness, heal your karmas or resolve issues. Email: Tel: 04 326 6539.


Samad Ahmad Using SRT and other energy healing modalities, Samad gets to the root of what’s not working in your life and clears the way for healing, abundance and happiness. Powerful and life-changing work from this gifted healer. Email:

Seda Goksel Healing Reiki Master and Theta healer. Private healing sessions and Reiki classes. Email: Tel: 050 600 6968 Email:

Lukas Putz An SRT practitioner and teacher, Lukas regularly visits Dubai and works out of Illuminations WellBeing Centre (see Holistic Centres). For SRT information, 

Awakened Soul, Rachel Beavan
 Healer and psychotherapist Rachel offers healings as well as classes in Reiki. Email:


Dreamworks Spa Dubai Balinese foot reflexology and massage centres in various locations. Email: Tel: 800 6277 243   Feet First Reflexology and massage centre. Services include deep tissue massage, de-stress massage, shiatsu massage, acupressure facial, slimming massage. Email: Tel: (0) 4 366 9956


Awakened Soul, Rachel Beavan
 Healer and psychotherapist Rachel Beavan. Email:

Colour therapy sprays to heal and harmonise   Developed in Switzerland by Stefan Beugger, an energy healer and colour consultant, the Colours of Awakening are 16 energised sprays designed to, harmonise and balance your personal electro-magnetic field and environment.   Colours of Awakening is seeking distributors as well as therapists, holistic practitioners or retail partners to carry our line of quality products. If you are interested or have any questions about our products, don’t hesitate to contact us by email to:

Tibetan Usui Reiki
 Diane is a spiritual trance healer and Tibetan Usui Reiki healer. Tel: 050 749 2566 or book through the website. Women only.   Melany Oliver, Reiki Master E: Melany also works out of Spadunya Club, see Holistic Centres.  


Diane Taylor, Tibetan Usui Reiki
 Diane uses Reiki on horses to help heal their issues. Tel: 050 749 2566 or book through the website.  


Organic Supermarket and Café 
 Organic eatery with outlets in the Greens and Dubai Mall.    Balance Café
 Dubai’s first Ayurvedic eatery and wellness centre. Third floor Oasis Centre. Tel: 04 5151 4051. www.balance-wellness-centre Baker & Spice Super tasty salads, handmade wild bread, cakes, great breakfasts and mains, all made from locally sourced ingredients where possible. Location: Souk al Bahar and Dukkan al Manzil, Downtown Dubai. Marina Promenade. Maps on website. Tel: 04 425 2240, 04 427 9856 and 04 362 4686 Balance cafe Healthy menu inspired by Ayurvedic traditions. Offering vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as non-vege, the cuisine blends Ayurvedic and Greek concepts, Yogic Art and macrobiotic foods together with nutritional values - the menu shows the calories, fat, carb, fibre, cholesterol and sodium content of each dish. Cooking classes also on offer, plus take-away. Location: Third floor of the Oasis Centre on Sheikh Zayed Rd Tel. 04 384 7010 The Farm Located out on Emirates Road, this newbie to the Dubai food scene promises local and organic ingredients, where possible. Location: Al Barari, off Emirates Road – driving directions on website Tel: 04 392 5660 Sophie’s The motto is Eat well. Live well. Be well. A ‘gastro-café’ offers homemade healthy food, local and organic when possible. Location: Lower Ground Floor, Building 8, The Shoreline, Palm Jumeirah Tel: 04 451 5982 Lime Tree Fresh, healthy and organic offerings with a special knack on fabulous cake. Four locations throughout Dubai, Jumeirah 1, Media City, Al Quoz and Ibn Battuta Mall.

Think your business should be listed here? Email the details to





Saladicious Fresh and healthy salads a speciality. Location: On Jumeirah Beach Road going towards Jumeirah Mosque, take a right turn at The One. There’s also a deli on JBR Walk. Tel. Jumeirah 04 345 5822 or JBR Walk 04 423 0855 Govinda’s Karama’s very popular Jainist vegetarian Indian. Committed to innovative vegetarian cuisine. Location: Bur Dubai, behind Regent Palace Hotel next to Khalid bin Waleed metro. Tel. 04 396 0088 Zest restaurant Natural, fresh and nutritious food and drink using the highest quality ingredients, organic when possible. We do not use sugar, additives, preservatives or colouring. Location: Tunisia Food Court, Ibn Battuta Mall. Tel. Call 800 ZEST (800 9378) for delivery.


Elements Fengshui Candles, crystal rocks and jewellery, aura cleansers, pendulums, singing bowls and bells, new age music and more. Outlets in Al Khaleej Centre, Bur Dubai; Deira City Centre; Level 1 Mall of the Emirates; Dubai Mall. Email: Tel: 04 295 0988   Laughing Buddha
 Stalls within various Dubai malls selling new age products such as crystals, jewellery, incense, CDs and oils.
Ibn Battuta, Dubai Festival City. Ornament Gifts Angels, crystals, art and handmade jewellery. Shop owner Birgit Schurenberg is a certified Refelxologist, Reiki Master, Crystal Healer. Kindly contact Birgit on 050 795 9916 prior to your visit and for consultations. 7A Street, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1, (near Dubai Metro -Noor Islamic Bank Station) Al Shafar Investment Building, Suite 205/8, Dubai. Email: Tel: 04 388 4483 or 050 795 9916 Sparklefairy
 Dubai’s first new age and wellness online boutique, buy anything from crystals to dream-catchers, oracle cards, incense, and jewelry. Third Eye Centre Sells books, crystals, herbal products, oracle cards, incense, essential oils, meditation CDS and more. Email: Tel: 04 326 6539 to shop online The Little Fair Trade Shop Products and foodstuffs made by artisans and farmers in developing or disadvantaged countries. Email: Tel: Sabeena Ahmed on 050 105 2813 (under construction)  The Change Initiative One-stop-shop for sustainable products, from household to fashion and appliances. Email: Tel: 800 824


Spadunya Club, JBR Various holistic techniques from an international team of therapists and healers. Treatment suites, hammam, hydrotherapy, beauty room and steam, sauna and showers. Adjacent is Fitness@Spadunya offering personal training, Aerobics, Pilates, yoga, dance. Shams 1, The Walk at JBR, Plaza Level. Tel: 04 439 3669 Tips & Toes
 Nail haven and day spa with outlets throughout the UAE. Six Senses Spa, Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman Holistic and pampering therapies using only natural products. Eastern and Western techniques combine with modern day lifestyle programmes. Tel: +968 2 6735 555 Supreme Chi Energy Spa Energised water therapy spa for problems like asthma, angina, hypertension, migraines, headaches, back pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, high cholesterol, morning sickness, etc. Swiss Towers, Y3, opposite Carrefour & Damas, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai Tel: 04 3605806 / 055 8742129 Email: Talise Wellness Spa, Madinat Jumeirah  Blends integrative medicine and diagnostics with holistic therapies. Features 26 treatment rooms, including couples suites and a variety of facials, massages and body treatments using top range spa products. Zayna Spa, Abu Dhabi Well-being treatments and traditional massages in this spa hotel based in the Grand Millennium Al Wahda Hotel, Abu Dhabi. From a Tropical Salt Mousse Glow to re-energise and repair the skin to a caviar facial for advanced facial treatment against aging. Email: Tel. +971 2 495 3822


Well Woman Clinic, Melanie Schlatter
 Psychologist Melanie Schlatter specialises in anxiety, panic attacks, depression, grief, sleep difficulties, pain, changes in body image, the initial shock of a disease or illness diagnosis, and medical treatments and tests. She also offers stress management programmes. Al Dhiyafah Street. Email: Tel: 04 332 7117   Dubai Physiotherapy and Family Medicine Centre Comprehensive family medicine and physiotherapy. 1st Floor, Town Centre Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road. Tel. 04 349 6333 


Illuminations Well-Being Centre Several Theta Healers including Master Healer Vanya Silverten work out of New Illuminations (see Holistic Centres). or Theta Healing Universe Part of Third Eye Centre, offers Theta Healing courses and sessions. Tel: Call 04 326 6539   


Sparklefairy is Dubai's first online boutique for crystal gemstones and jewellery, go shopping at

Aura Alternative Medicine Centre Three kinds of treatment Ayurvedic medicines, diet and lifestyle management and Panchakarma for detox, rejuvenating and relaxing. Office 201, Al Faisal 1, CBI Bank Building, King Faisal Road, Sharjah. Email: Tel: 06 575 7001   Balance Wellness Centre Yoga and Pilates classes including Hatha, Yoga Therapy, Vinyasa Flow, Dynamic, Pre and Post Natal, Pranayama and Meditation. Third floor, Oasis Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road. Email: Tel: 04 384 7010

Think your business should be listed here? Email the details to



Bodytree Studio, Abu Dhabi Yoga, Pilates and dance classes to help find your individual potential for greater wellbeing, from the inside out. Coming from the Corniche on 26th /Al Nahyan St, turn left at 11th Street/Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed St and take the immediate first right. Bodytree is the front cream villa directly across the road from the ADNOC station. Tel: +971 2 443 4448. Email: Bikram Yoga Middle East A new Bikram studio in TECOM, Dubai. Single class AED 60 and one month unlimited classes, AED 600. Icon Tower, 4th Floor, TECOM. Tel: 04 368 6287 Bharat Thakur Artistic Yoga Yoga for flat abs and improved stamina. Group classes in various locations through Dubai, Ajman, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.
Book your free trial class on 800 9642. 

Irina Yoga Personal Hatha Yoga as well as group classes and workshops at venues across Dubai. Email:   Kundalini Yoga at The Gong House Hayley Cutler takes Kundalini yoga classes for all levels including absolute beginners on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7.30pm. BYO yoga mat. Class size is limited to 10 so RSVP at or call Hayley on 055 726 6970. Chakra Yoga, Third Eye Centre Specialised Chakra Yoga programmes and courses as well as regular yoga classes. Email: Tel: 04 326 6539 for a schedule.   Naturopathy Touch Hatha, Power, Ashtanga, Yoga Nidra, Therapeutic Yoga, Pre and Post-natal. Lake City Tower, opp JLT metro station, JLT. Email: Tel: 04 452 6969

Club Stretch Bikram Yoga (aka ‹hot yoga›) and Pilates studio Al Mina Road, Satwa (near Capitol Hotel) as well as Dubai Marina. Email: Tel: 04 345 2131    Fitness@Spadunya Spadunya Club’s fitness centre offers Personal Training, Aerobics, Pilates, Yoga, Dance, kids classes and more. Shams 1, The Walk at JBR, Plaza Level. Tel. +971 4 439 3669.

Talise Spa Yoga, Madinat Jumeirah Hatha, Astanga, Advanced Yoga, Fitness Yoga, Vinyasa Fit Yoga, Meditative Yoga. Also monthly full moon yoga sessions. Email: Tel: +971 4 366 6818

MMA Fitness Centre, Hot Yoga Hot yoga is held at this multi-discipline fitness centre. Location, Pacific Bldg. 2nd Level, TECOM, Dubai, UAE. Tel: 04 367 5077. Email:

Rawr Bikram Yoga Dubai Al Sufouh Rd, 713 Concord Tower, Dubai Media City (same building as Lime Tree cafe and Mini Cooper showroom) Email: Tel: 04 4232 808

Yogalates Bliss Yogalates (fusion of Yoga & Pilates) at Fraser Suites, Noura  El-Imam hosts Yoga Workshops and Teacher Trainings in Dubai bringing in teachers from the US, Canada and Bali. Noura also hosts Adventure & Wellness Retreats. Tel: 050 3289 642  

Zen Yoga Various forms of yoga at several locations in Dubai.    VASTU see ‘Feng Shui’

Livia Anzaldo, Yoga Alliance Instructor Email: Tel: 050 1819 527.



Are you the super salesperson we’re searching for? 

Awakenings Middle East magazine needs someone dynamic and driven to take charge of selling advertising and sponsorship on commission. Are you the one who’s able to help us nurture and grow this new born magazine into a big, strapping grown up? If you are then:

You can see the potential of this product and the holistic market. You have experience in magazine sales and are familiar with the UAE market. You are organised and efficient with great networking skills and a spooky knack for closing a deal. You are self-motivated, have bags of initiative and able to manage your own work schedule. You have a million and one ideas for how to make Awakenings a commercial success. The thought of taking ownership of this project and getting stuck in fills you with excitement.

Does this sound like you?

Then get in touch to tell us how you’re the one we’ve been waiting for all this time! Email with a sparkling cover letter and CV and don’t forget to put Super Salesperson in the subject head.




neanderthal man goes new age

Paper undies and massage for men Neanderthal Man is a forty-something, exBritish soldier who collects exotic knives and can strip down and re-assemble a semiautomatic rifle blind-folded. Until recently, he thought ‘chakras’ was a Latino pop star who sung about her hips not lying. But things are changing for the card-carrying caveman, ever since he met the Tree Hugger…


assage, so what’s that all about then? What’s with the poncy oils and rainforest music? Back when I was in the army, we were always getting injured and being packed off to the physiotherapist but I don’t remember any candles or Buddha statues. The only experience I’d had of massage was one of them free head and shoulder rubs they give you in the Etihad business class lounge. For me, these were all about killing time till my flight was called. Nice enough if they were free but I couldn’t understand why anyone would pay good money to be rubbed in smelly oil for an hour with whale music playing in the background. Then, earlier this year, I had my first proper massage. I was on holiday at Six Senses Zighy Bay on the Musandam Peninsula with the Tree Hugger – she’s no stranger to the kind of pampering that involves being plastered in exotic oils, scrubs and seaweed wraps so I decided to see what it was all about and booked a 60 minute Oriental massage.

“Would you prefer a man or a woman,” they asked. That threw me, does it matter? Is that a trick question? Is there a wrong answer? “Not bothered,” I mumbled so I got a man. That’s when it dawned on me; I was paying a man to touch me! The last man who touched my body in an intimate way was the doctor who slapped me on the backside when I was born. It got worse. I was given a robe, towel, flip flops and disposable underpants to put on. Disposable underpants?! What on earth were paper undies for? How did I end up almost naked in this alien land where grown men pay other grown men to ‘touch’ them? I say ‘touch’ but it soon transpired that this kind of touching was really painful. On discovering that my back was a landscape of concrete rocks, the therapist set to work, vigorously rubbing, kneading, pulling, pressing... it was like hot knives being pushed into my shoulders. Still, amidst the agony, my paranoid mind kept throwing up the irrational fear that this man – who was half my size by the way

– would leap on me at any minute with a view to molestation. He didn’t of course, and afterwards I felt rejuvenated and peaceful. A month or so later, me and the Tree Hugger were in Thailand. Again, I found myself getting dragged off for a massage. This was the kind where they only do your feet. There’s a special word for it, ‘reflexology’. It was big news to me that every part of your body is represented on the soles of your feet – not sure I believe that my sinuses are going to be cleared by rubbing my toes though. Again, there was a bit of pain but afterwards I realised that my previously very tired feet were completely rejuvenated. I was starting to get the point of all this massage stuff. I am now sold on the concept of regular massage. The way I see it, the human body is like a high performance car that requires ongoing maintenance to keep it in tip top condition, like a service every 10,000km. I still haven’t completely accepted the thing about paying a man to touch me but I’m getting there. DECEMBER 2012

The Mind & Body (ME) Show 15 and 16 February 2013

Mina Seyahi Hall, Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC)

The region's first ever Mind & Body (ME) Show is here! Re-discover your physical and mental wellbeing through the more than 70 stands showcasing the best of health, fitness and wellbeing, organics, holistic and complementary therapies, spirituality and personal growth. There'll be holistic activities, free events, talks and Wellness Retreats as well as information on lessons or courses on offer locally including Tai Chi, Meditation, Yoga, Pilates Self-Empowerment, Life Coaching and much more. This is where you can book a holistic spa treatment and massage, or try a Reiki or Pranic healing session. Merchandise such as crystals, jewellery, angel cards, lamps, music, artwork, natural cosmetics and skincare will be available for purchase.

Every visitor goes into a prize draw for a weekend residential wellness retreat! Acupuncture Allergy testing Alternative healing Aromatherapy Artwork Astrology and numerology Aura photography and reading Chakra balancing Chiropractic Clothing Complementary medicines Cosmetics and skincare Crystals Environmental services Feng Shui Giftware and Jewellery Green products Herbal medicines

Holistic services Life coaching Massage Meditation Music Natural therapies New Age books Nutrition and dietary advice Organic food Personal development Pilates Reflexology Reiki Spas and Health retreats Spiritual health Stress relief Yoga

For further enquires please contact us on

The Mind & Body (ME) Show When: 15 and 16 February 2013 Where: Mina Seyahi Hall, Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) 10am – 8pm Friday and Saturday AED 25 per day or AED 40 for the weekend

Mind &

B dy M I D D L E



Awakenings Middle East magazine