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Being Black in the yoga and wellness space is like being Black in many places: you often find that you’re the only one in the room and you regularly come up against discrimination. My experience as a student, both in the United States and in the UAE, has been that it is difficult to find truly inclusive wellness studios and spaces. It’s even more difficult to find Black representation among teachers. The cultural appropriation of...

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The mind is a powerful thing. It conjures up unwanted thoughts that are so tenacious that, try as we might, we cannot shift them. It defines our perception of ourselves and our surroundings, even if that perception is harmful. But you can banish those thoughts and change the way you view the world, using that same power of the mind. All it takes is a few tweaks, says clinical hypnotherapist Laila Saif.  A simple exercise...

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My 36th birthday last May marked a big turning point in my life. I woke up feeling numb even though, on paper at least, I should have been happy. I had flown to Kuala Lumpur to celebrate the occasion, booked myself into one of the city’s nicest hotels and planned a day of doing things I love. What more could I want?  And yet, I felt unhappy and empty. I thought I’d shake it off...

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The Coronavirus swept through the world seemingly overnight, leaving our brains little time to absorb the shock. We know it poses a threat to our health, which causes anxiety. The virus is invisible to the human eye, which increases our fear and feelings of insecurity. When a dangerous outbreak such as Covid-19 occurs, it is normal to experience variations of post-traumatic stress. As a result, you might feel exhausted, irritable, unfocused and have trouble sleeping. Severe...

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For several years, the yoga world has been in a state of crisis, rocked by revelations of sexual abuse dating back decades. A Vice exposé is the latest outlet to level charges, this time against the founder of Yoga to The People, a pay-what-you-can chain of studios in multiple US states. The problems came to light via an anonymous Instagram account started by former employees, leveling charges of a toxic and manipulative workplace culture involving...

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When Hafsa Qadeer watches her brother Ahmed play the piano in front of an audience, she wonders if he really is disabled or if the world just has not yet learned how to fully include people of determination in society.  Ahmed, who is 17, is a self-taught pianist, composer and avid reader. He was also born with spina bifida, a birth defect involving an incomplete closing of the spine and its surrounding membranes.  He’s also...

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More and more women these days are training like athletes, honing their physiques with daily HIIT sessions — sometimes back-to-back classes — as well as a string of challenges and races combined with spartan nutrition. According to Dr Rosalie Sant, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Primavera Medical Centre in Dubai and a member of the livehealthy.ae expert panel, the combination is not a good recipe for getting pregnant.  Are women having trouble conceiving due to rigorous exercise...

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The Black Lives Matter protests that began in the United States and spread around the world have us all thinking about our own views on race — and how we can be better. The issue is different, but no less relevant, here in the UAE, which is home to more than 200 different nationalities. We asked Reem Shaheen, founder of Be Psychology Center, counselling psychologist and member of the livehealthy.ae expert panel, for some insight....

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In recent years, sound healing or sound bath experiences have become increasingly popular. But how does it actually work to soothe the body and the mind? Using sound to achieve a deep state of relaxation, or “spiritual” connection with the world around us, is an ancient tradition that dates back more than 40,000 years. Tribes in Australia, Central America and Tibet would use drums, flutes and chanting to guide those that had been experiencing mental...