Posts In: Align

Pregnant woman

Having a baby can be as amazing as it is traumatic. On the one hand, bringing new life into the world is a miraculous experience that can impart a new sense of peace and joy into our lives. But, on the other hand, the pain and trauma the body goes through is something that can take months or even years to heal. This is especially the case if you don’t know what challenges to expect and how to overcome them. With that in mind, the following is a closer look at some postpartum challenges and what exercises can help you overcome them.

Postpartum Challenges and What Exercises Can Help

If you are wondering about some of the most common postpartum challenges and what exercises can help fix them, here is a list for you:

Weight Gain

Although gaining weight is a healthy sign and part of your pregnancy journey, one of the top postpartum challenges is finding ways to go back to your -pre-pregnancy shape. Although some new moms lose this effortlessly by eating well, breastfeeding, and more, oftentimes, it takes more effort to lose the weight. Some great ways moms lose their baby weight are by walking, jogging, and other forms of exercise. Yoga and Pilates are specifically great for post-partum, as they help you to lose the weight without excess pressure on the body.

Pelvic Floor Weakness

Another common postpartum challenge is pelvic floor weakness. This is because the process of carrying and delivering a baby can wreak havoc on the strength of the pelvic floor. There are a few ways to go about strengthening your pelvic floor, such as:

  • Kegels
  • Yoga
  • Deep Squats
  • Deep, Rhythmic Breathing
  • Using Kegel Balls and other apparatuses

No matter if you choose just one of these methods or a combination of several of these, doing these exercises regularly can be an excellent way to strengthen your pelvic floor over time.

Diastasis Recti

Another highly problematic issue that often occurs after giving birth is diastasis recti. This is a condition that occurs when the abdomen stretches during pregnancy and leaves a wide gap that does not naturally close after you have given birth. Nevertheless, while many women maintain a gap between their abdominal muscles after they give birth, diastasis recti occur when the separation is at least 2.74 cm or (2.4 finger-widths wide) or larger.

Either way, since this area is responsible for supporting the uterus, bowels, and other organs, it can cause the belly to continue to protrude for months or even years after giving birth. Moreover, diastasis recti can also cause symptoms such as constipation, lower-back pain, and a leaky urethra. Therefore, finding the best ways to fix this issue is not only imperative to your appearance, but it is vital for your health overall.

Luckily, if you are experiencing diastasis recti, you can fix this issue by practicing workout methods such as yoga and Pilates. This is because each of these workout methods includes exercises that can help strengthen and tone various parts of your body. For instance, bridges, pelvic tilts, planks, bird dogs, diaphragmatic breathing, heel slides, and other exercises can help directly address this issue.

Ready to Fix Your Diastasis Recti?

Overall, if you are suffering from diastasis recti, we’re here to help. No matter how mild or severe your case may be or how long you’ve had it, we have yoga and Pilates workouts that can help fix your diastasis recti while also helping you become stronger, leaner, and more toned. Ready to improve your condition? Here at Align, we offer a variety of yoga and Pilates packages that can help fix your diastasis recti and take your fitness to the next level. Contact us today for more information.

Water Waves

As we are heading into summer, it won’t be long before messages about “summer bodies” or “bikini bodies” appear everywhere. That moment is often a cue for people to start a last-minute diet and fitness regime in the hope of achieving that summer body.

Allow us to let you in on a secret: setting and measuring healthy fitness goals helps you accomplish more in the long term. Our team at Align is here to help you discover what fitness and wellbeing mean for you and how to get to that point.

A New Approach to Health and Fitness

Ask anyone about their fitness goals, and weight loss is often one of the first answers. But as our awareness of the detrimental side effects of yo-yo dieting grows, it is time to reexamine our approach to health and fitness.

Losing weight at all costs isn’t always beneficial to your health. As we move through life, our bodies change. Setting sustainable fitness goals is a great way of acknowledging that change and working with your body to improve your overall wellbeing.

Consider these fitness goals, for example:

  • Feel more energetic throughout the day
  • Improve strength
  • Enhance mobility
  • Relieve recurring back pain (or any other niggling problems)
  • Become more flexible
  • Create a healthier lifestyle for yourself and your family

All these goals allow you to approach your fitness from a more holistic angle. Rather than fixating on weight loss, you are prioritizing long-lasting lifestyle adjustments.

Boost your motivation by sharing your goals with a friend or your family. They can help hold you accountable and motivate you when you feel like skipping too many days.

How to Measure Health and Fitness Goals

Keeping track of your progress and measuring it can be a great motivator and help you stay on track. Before choosing a method or a specific tool, think about what really motivates you.

Here are some of our team’s favorite tools:

1. Before / After Pictures

One of the most common misconceptions about yoga in Saudi Arabia is that you need to be “bendy” to get started. The opposite is the case. Practicing poses is a great way of improving your flexibility. Take pictures when you’re first trying a pose and then again, a few weeks later to see how far you’ve come.

2. Use a Tracking App

Keeping a tally of your progress with the help of a tracking app works very well if you are training towards a goal like running a certain distance.

If you’re starting from scratch, try creating milestones such as running a certain distance continuously or breaking a certain time over a distance. Remember to alternate easier days with more challenging ones.

3. Schedule Off Days

Taking a break from your fitness regime is just as important as practicing regularly. If you are training hard, your body needs time to recover physically. If your routine is starting to feel drab, a break of one or two days is often all that’s needed to get back to exercising.

4. Try a New Activity

Becoming stuck in an exercise rut can drain your motivation, so why not try out a new activity? If you feel stuck in your yoga practice in Khobar, challenge yourself with a Pilates class. The same works for Aerial yoga or Barre class. Just pick a program you’ve never tried before.

Resetting your approach to fitness by setting new goals and measuring them can have long-lasting benefits. Start by thinking about your wellbeing and develop your personal goals from that point. Our team at Align Studio is here to help, and together we’ll make sure you hit your targets.

Let’s face it, most of us aren’t born feeling inadequate. Our life experiences and emotions sometimes create this feeling inside us in various creative ways. For instance, when we were children and felt afraid or anxious, we thought there was something wrong with us, and not our environment.

This sense of quilt can follow people to their adulthood and it often transforms into a feeling that “they are not enough’’. Although this feeling is often tied with experiences in our childhood, there is also another culprit. Yes, that’s right, it is our way of life. Throughout our adulthood, most of us tried to care about ourselves but were inconsistent about it, because our jobs, family, and friends came first.

Today, we’re going to show you why it is crucial to sometimes turn yourself “off” to reclaim your precious sovereignty.

Rest and Digest

As we said, it is crucial to turn yourself “off”. But what does that mean? Well, this means that you need to find time for some relaxation, and this also involves meditating, recuperating, and recovering.

We tend to think that we are following our path with heart and spirit. However, when we observe our lifestyle we are giving our precious lives for our ancestors, who denied their authentic paths. Most of us were taught that money is only a means for paying bills and buying food, without ever considering any self-care. Furthermore, whenever we got the chance to relax it was always something we didn’t do alone, but with our children, parents, cousins, friends, etc. 

So, our advice is to find time just for you and start shifting your energy towards yourself. Stop judging yourself and don’t ignore what you need.


Pilates is both an aerobic and non-aerobic type of exercise. It requires lots of concentration and focus, as it involves moving your body through precise motions. It requires finding a central point in your body through movement, and every exercise has a prescribed placement, rhythm, and breathing pattern.

Interestingly, during these exercises, your muscles are never brought to exhaustion. There is no sweating or straining, but only intense concentration. The method is taught to suit each person and exercises are reviewed regularly to make sure they are appropriate for that person. As every person receives individual attention, the pilates method can suit everybody from athletes to people with low fitness levels. But don’t let us tell you everything.  Check out our Reformer classes at Align, and start recuperating your mind and soul with the help of experienced professionals.


Yoga dates back thousands of years, and it was initially designed as a path for spiritual enlightenment. Today, the physical aspects of Hatha Yoga have gained popularity as a gentle type of exercise and stress management.

According to research, Yoga practice has many health benefits. It can improve your fitness, normalize blood pressure, and is a renowned antidote for stress. Over the years. Yoga practitioners have reported lower levels of stress and enhanced feelings of happiness and wellbeing.

There are many types of yoga, but the most popular are Hatha, Iyengar, and Vinyasa yoga.

Each yoga pose (asana) is held for a period of time and is associated with breathing. Sessions usually start in a calm position and progress towards a more lively and rewarding position as you gain flexibility. If you’re thinking of taking a yoga class in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, visit Align to experience physical and mental exercises that are not only physical but also mental.


The important thing to do is to observe yourself and your behavior. Don’t judge yourself, and strive for things you really need. Try to connect with the “real you” and start loving who you are, in all forms.

Yoga Essentials

Are you looking to take your yoga poses to the next level? Need deeper rejuvenation and relaxation? Consider yoga props. These essential tools can help you deepen your poses and achieve proper alignment. Plus, any yogi can use them, no matter their experience level.

So, if you’re looking for the right yoga props to help you achieve a deeper sense of stability, this blog has you covered. We’ll go over three basic yoga props and how you can easily incorporate them into your practice.

Yoga Block

One of the most popular props to use is the yoga block. A yoga brick or block is a smooth, rectangular-shaped block of wood, foam rubber or cork.

You can use a yoga block for the extension of your arms or to support your back, head, and hips. This helps to provide more comfort while practicing and improving the alignment of your body. These benefits are what make yoga blocks for anyone and everyone at any age, and any level of yoga.

Other benefits of yoga blocks include:

  • Help prevent injury. Yoga blocks are one of the best tools for preventing injury during yoga practice. It does this by reducing overreaching and strain, building strength, increasing flexibility, and improving balance.
  • Bring the ground closer. For some poses, you may not be able to reach the floor. You can use a yoga block to create length and bring the ground closer to you. This can help you experience the full benefit of the pose without straining your body.
  • Help you relax into poses. With increased comfort in your hips, back, and arms, you’re better able to experience the full potential of your poses.

Align’s yoga blocks come in both foam rubber and cork, providing you with the security and support you need for your poses.

Foam Yoga Block

Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are specially fabricated mats yogis use to prevent their hands and feet from slipping during practice. Their non-slip and cushioned surface make it easier to perform yoga asanas safely and comfortably.

Beyond the comfort they provide, yoga mats serve as a private personal space, allowing you to stretch your worries and tension away. Your yoga mat gives you enough room to practice your movements safely, while at the same time creating a private space—a space that others can’t enter.

Our yoga mats are roomy, perfectly cushioned for joint support, and non-toxic. Plus, they come with a yoga bag. Shop our yoga mats.

Yoga Mat

Yoga Strap

If you’re looking to achieve wide range of motion with stretching, increase flexibility, and decrease tension, then the yoga strap is the perfect prop. And there are countless ways to use the strap to your advantage. For example, in seated poses, you can use a yoga strap around your feet to hold poses.

In standing poses, you can loop the strap around your foot to increase flexibility and balance, without losing your form. When in a difficult pose, stretching your limbs to their limits, a yoga strap can help you relax for a deeper, more effective, stretch.

With the Align Yoga Strap, you can get deeper into your practice. Enjoy increase flexibility, deeper stretches, and more restorative poses.

Yoga Strap

Transform Your Poses

Whether for the studio, gym, or home, yoga props have the power to truly transform your experience. Align has all the yoga props you need to enhance your yoga practice. Shop our products today.

Or if you want to join a class, we can help with that too. Located in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, our studio helps women connect with their bodies and reach their full potential in a tranquil and peaceful environment. Book your slot now.

Are you thinking of starting a workout regimen in Khobar? If yes, then you’re in the right place, and you’re certainly not alone.

While many women often find themselves torn between various exercise programs, and Yoga vs Pilates usually is a common comparison.

Read on to learn more about Pilates and yoga and which one you should choose.


Pilates is a method that relies on focused breathing and specific exercises to strengthen, stretch, and balance the body. It was developed by Joseph Pilates, an anatomist, to rehabilitate bedridden soldiers and primarily focuses on the core.

As you start a pilates session, you’ll need to control your breathing for core muscles to contract. From there, you’ll have to execute small movements targeting key stabilizing muscles on your back and core.

While you can perform Pilates on a mat, there’s also specialized equipment you can use. These include springs and levers in conjunction with your body weight. 

How Will Pilates Benefit You?

Given that Pilates is a non-strenuous exercise, it requires discipline for you to enjoy its benefits. These include

  • Boosts spine stability and posture
  • Improves flexibility
  • Better muscle balance on both sides of the body
  • Improves muscle strength and tone of core muscles (Lower back, buttocks, hips, and abdominal muscles)
  • Improves physical coordination and balance
  • Deep breathing boosts circulation and increases lung capacity
  • It helps prevent musculoskeletal injuries

With such a wide range of benefits, evidence shows that Pilates can help people with:

  • Respiratory conditions
  • Arthritis
  • Joint injuries and back pains
  • Urinary incontinence


While Pilates has only been around for about a century, yoga dates back several millennia. It’s an Indian philosophy designed as a gateway to spiritual enlightenment. However, it is the physical benefits of yoga that make the practice popular today.

There are five core beliefs upon which yoga is centered:

  • Positive thinking and meditation
  • Proper relaxation
  • Breathing
  • Exercise
  • Diet

While there are different forms of yoga, they all share key characteristics and deliver similar results. For instance, all involve specific movements and poses combined with deep breathing.

Yoga is fairly regarded as a body and mind fitness program as it combines mindful focus and physical activity.

How Will Yoga Benefit You?

As with Pilates, yogis enjoy plenty of benefits. These include:

  • Improved flexibility
  • Mindfulness and deep breathing help improve mental and emotional health
  • Increases muscle strength and tone
  • Weight reduction
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Protection from injuries
  • Improves circulation and cardiovascular fitness
  • Reduces musculoskeletal issues
  • It soothes the nervous system

Moreover, yoga has been proven to provide key health benefits as it helps with:

  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Chronic pain
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Anxiety

Differences Between Pilates and Yoga

As you’ve seen, Pilates and yoga are fairly similar. However, they also have some differences. For example, while deep breathing in yoga is aimed at relaxation, with Pilates, it’s primarily for reenergizing muscles. Also, Pilates focuses on strengthening the core, while yoga does not have a specific area of focus on the body.

Moreover, both exercises call for extreme focus and mindfulness. However, focus during Pilates is channeled towards the physical body, while with yoga, it’s directed inward.

Pilates Vs. Yoga | Which One Should You Choose

When it comes to Pilates vs. yoga, it’s not about which one is better, but the one you prefer or suits you better. Understandably, this may not make your choice any easier. That’s why it’s best to seek the guidance of a professional.

At Align, we offer both Pilates and yoga classes in Khobar. We have a team of experts in both fields who will guide you through your journey toward physical fitness. Contact us today to begin your journey toward health and wellness through yoga or Pilates.

When it comes to fitness goals, one of the key areas of focus for most people is the abdomen. However, effectively targeting the lower abdominal muscles is challenging, leaving people a bit frustrated.

But that’s not to say it’s impossible. While pilates is known for its focus on strengthening the core, it also has some exercises that can help you target your lower abs.

So, if you want to get your beach body ready, get your pilates ball for some exercises targeting lower abs.

1.   Stability Neutral Pelvis Marching

This exercise targets the lower abs by performing marching movements while lying on your back. The goal of using the pilates ball is to support your tailbone and increase focus on the lower abs.

To perform this workout, you’ll need to:

  • Lie on the floor with the ball directly under your tailbone (not lower back)
  • Ensure that you do not slouch for your spine to remain straight
  • While holding the position, lift your legs to a tabletop position
  • Rest your arms on either side of the torso and keep your head and shoulders relaxed
  • With the knees bent at a 90-degree angle, lower your feet one by one until they’re close to the ground

As you start, aim to do three sets consisting of five reps per leg.

2.   Tabletop Marching with Neck Support

Along with targeting lower abs, this exercise is also ideal for people recovering from scoliosis spinal injury or diastasis recti.

  • Lie down on the flow with the ball under your neck like a pillow
  • With your elbows bent outwards, place your hands on the ball on either side
  • Lift your legs to the tabletop position and keep your knees bent at 90 degrees
  • Lower your legs one by one towards the floor but not so far that you arch your back

As you perform this exercise, keep your spine and pelvis relaxed. This will ensure that the abdominal muscle controls the movements.

3.   Supported Lower-Back Marching

As you focus on lower abs exercises, one you need to include in your regiment is the supported lower back marching. With this exercise, you’ll need to:

  • Assume a seating position on the floor
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor with the knees bent at 90 degrees
  • While keeping your spine aligned, tilt backwards slightly
  • Place the pilates ball under your lower back
  • Raise your arms to shoulder length and hold the position
  • Use the ball for support and retain the position without arching your spine
  • Lift one leg until the shin is parallel to the ground
  • Lower it slowly and repeat with the other leg

As you do this exercise, ensure that you do not use the quads or hip flexors to lift the leg. Instead, let your abdominal muscles control the movements for maximum gain. Aim for three sets of five reps per leg.

Achieve Your Fitness Goals

If you’re like most people, you have a fitness goal that you think you’ll never achieve. But, it does not have to be that way. The secret to achieving such seemingly impossible fitness goals is exercising the right way and consistency.

At Align, we can help you with both. We have a team of pilates experts that will guide you on the best ways to target lower abs without compromising your back . Contact us today to book your pilates session at Align here in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

The pandemic has changed our way of living. Now, people tend to spend more time on their own instead of going outside and hanging out. They prefer to live in their rooms with blankets and mobiles on, specifically in winters.

Locking up yourself in a room is destructive for mental health. Our mind is designed to absorb and learn new things to grow. It adores varieties and change, not to be confined in a place. Doing so makes it numb and dumb, leading to unresponsiveness like depression, sluggish behavior, negative thoughts, anxiety, frustration, etc.

But don’t worry! This blog will discuss how you can enjoy your winters to heal your mental health while living in Khobar.

Family Trip to the desert

Saudi Arabia is a land of deserts. In summers, it is horrible to visit deserts in the scorching heat. Then why not head in winters? Yes, winter is the best weather for a trip to the desert with family. If sweeping lands of deserts with no boundary push you to go there, do not miss this chance in winters. Pack up some edibles, yoga mat, and get ready to go with an endearing outfit. 

Some agencies also take a trip to Shariqiah deserts. You can also hire them or go on your own. Al-Khobar safari is one of the rousing deserts to visit. An agency, “Palms Land Tours,” books your trip and grabs you with them by providing luxury facilities of eatables and transport facility. In Khobar safari, you can do:

  • Off-road activities
  • Air Guns Shooting
  • Sand Boarding
  • Henna tattoos for Ladies
  • Riding Horse and heavy cars/jeeps

Enjoying all these activities with your family will be a great relief for your physical and mental health. 

Exercise and Yoga

Living an dull life is the worst thing you could do to yourself. If you are the one who is struggling with this tricky life, you must change your routine and habits. Always remember:

 “Positivity is like a muscle: keep exercising it, and it becomes a habit”

Natalie Massenet

Thus, start practicing yoga and exercise in your daily life. Some of you may think it bland to do yoga at a similar place, and so forth. But hold on! Who is asking you to do yoga in the same spot every day?

Get out of your place, exercise, and do yoga in the open air. Go jogging in nearby parks.

Golden Belt Walk, Al-Khobar Corniche, and Dhahran Hills Park in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, are all-in-one places where you can get benefitted from every haunt. You can also plan a family and friends’ picnic here and do all the enjoyment without any trouble. The fleshy green grass and succulent palm trees soothe your eyes and mind. It also urges you to ponder about nature more and more, which dive you deep into God’s creation.

Outdoor yoga

Reading Books

Have you ever listened to the saying?

“Books let you travel without moving your feet.”

Jhumpa Lahiri

If yes, then you must be a book lover. Despite not being a book lover, it is still mesmerizing to read a book in a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere with birds chirping, air whispering in your ears, and winters’ sunlight tickling your soul and body.

This sensation is unforgettable and cannot be described until you feel it.

So, taking a sunbath on a beach with your favorite book will never make your mind and body tedious. It will be wholesome food for your mental health, helping it to unwind the beauty of your surroundings. In Khobar, Saudi Arabia, one of the most famous and finest beaches where you can relish your winters is “Half Moon Beach.”  The background of this beach will make you feel like a new person. Seize your couch, start book reading, and appreciate the beauty of nature!

P.S: You can also do some yoga and stretching on a beach. It will be invigorating.


A cool wintery breeze can cause cramping and tightening of muscles. This troublesome can be healed through playing sports as it relaxes the muscles and prevents weakening of bones and potencies. Movement empowers a positive impact on the mind. Playing sports offers you an opportunity to be present and in the zone. Choose what speaks to you; from Tennis, Paddle, Basketball, or Calisthenics. Golf World in Khobar is a delightful place to play golf.


I bet you, doing all the activities mentioned above will not let you brooked up. These will relish and rejuvenate you and give serenity to your soul and mind alleviating your mental health. By hitting the roads, you will feel the new journey of your life and think progressively to enjoy life to its fullest. Follow these workouts for once; you would get addicted to enjoying yourself every year with new hope and courage. In Saudi Arabia, there are a lot of zones to explore. Exploring is a never-ending process. Get up and know yourself, what you want to do, and start digging your likings but do not forget yoga and exercise in your recurring!

In recent years, there’s been a surge in people living and working in green spaces. For some, it’s all about the beauty of indoor plants, and for others, it’s just a hobby.

Regardless of their motivation, they all enjoy the benefits of keeping indoor plants. These include:

  • Better indoor air quality
  • Helps alleviate stress
  • Can help accelerate recovery from illness
  • Boost productivity

So, if you’re thinking about keeping indoor plants in Saudi Arabia, you may be on to something. However, you should know that plants need care, and you should prepare for it.

Read on to learn everything you need to know beforehand for your Khobar indoor garden to thrive.

Green vibrant leafs

1.   Get the Right Tools

While it’s not too much work, keeping indoor plants comes with responsibilities. To make this easier, you’ll need to purchase some tools. Great options to start with are:

  • Gardening gloves to keep your hands clean and safe when handling prickly plants
  • Watering can
  • Plant scissors for trimming
  • Watering bonsai and a spray bottle for small plants
  • Teaspoon to serve as a shovel
  • Kitchen tongs for taking cactus cuttings
  • Containers for your plants

2.   Determine the Type of Plant you Want

Indoor plants come in a wide range of species, sizes, and varying maintenance needs. Therefore, you need to choose plants that can thrive in Khobar and under the level of attention you’d like to give them.

While it’s impossible to have a self-sufficient indoor garden, some plants thrive with little care. These are ideal when starting out or if you can’t give too much attention to a plant. Also, consider the plant’s environmental needs, such as sunlight. This will determine where in the house you can position the plant.

Another critical factor is the type of plant. In this regard, you have options such as hanging, long trailing, and large architectural plants. 

3.   Get the Right Containers

Even if you buy potted plants, you may want to repot them after bringing them to your home. This is because commercial pots are often small and have little aesthetic appeal.

The container you choose will largely depend on the plant. Some of the containers you can use include:

  • Terra-cotta pots
  • Plastic pots
  • Ceramic pots

If a container becomes waterlogged, the plant may be at risk. So, ensure your containers have drainage holes.

4.   Find the Right Potting Mix

Should you choose to repot the plants, you’ll also need pot mixing. Contrary to what you may think, there’s no standard pot mixing. As such, you’ll need to find one that suits your plants. Your options include:

  • All-purpose mix- Can be used for most houseplants aside from hyacinths, tulips, and ferns
  • Cactuses and succulent mix- Contains more sand and stone to make it ideal for succulent plants

Tips for Keeping Your Indoor Garden Thriving

While the maintenance needs of indoor plants vary, there are some general tips that you should follow:

  • Learn to recognize when your plants need water
  • Be cautious of overwatering indoor plants as it’s more dangerous than underwatering
  • Know the ideal temperature, ventilation, and humidity of your plants
  • Ensure your plants get enough sunlight
  • Use fertilizer to supplement nutrient intake
Indoor plants

Unlock Your Full Potential

Indoor plants have become a common feature in contemporary decor. However, beyond increasing aesthetic appeal, they also have a good nourishing effect on your physical and mental health.

If you want to get more mental and physical nourishment, taking yoga classes in Khobar is an excellent option. At Align, we use Yoga, pilates, and massage to nourish the mind, body, and soul. In so doing, you can enjoy a calmer and more productive life. So, book your session today to unlock your full potential.

If you’re one of those who haven’t identified their passion yet, this one is for you!

First things first, be gentle with yourself. It’s okay that you haven’t “found” your passion yet, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it’s exciting; you have something yet to explore and look forward to. Imagine a stagnant life in which everything is already figured out for you, how dull!

We all go about life in our own timelines, a universal timeline is not existent.  Whether you start at 6 or 60 years old doesn’t really matter. It’s your life, your timeline.

Ronald Reagan is one of many examples. Reagan didn’t get into politics until he was in his 50’s, before that he was an actor. So, if he, and Trump, can develop passions in that stages of their life, then so can you!

Notice, I say “develop” not “find”. People tend to say, “find your passion”, that implies it’s something that’s hidden, and you need to search for it, and once you “find” it its immediately a passion. That can be misleading. Instead, we say “develop your passion”. Why develop? As discussed in the previous blog, it requires effort and dedication to turn the hobby/ interest into a passion. You ought to commit to turn an interest into a passion.

That’s not to say you should turn all your interests into passions, or you should have only one interest at a time. The contrary, the more interests the better.

“A man who limits his interests, limits his life”

Vincent Price

But to elevate your competency and perhaps enjoyment, you can choose one of your interests to turn into a passion. You could always develop more passions as you go along.

Here are steps to develop your passion:

  • Have an open inquisitive mind

Nothing is off-limits, the world is your oyster. If you wish you can be an astronaut. Why not! Try to have this mentality whilst you explore your options.

  • Test the waters

Once you think you have identified a potential passion, start testing the waters. Purchase the instruments you need. It’s the best investment you will ever make. Don’t be cheap on yourself.

  • Set goals but don’t take it too seriously

If it’s all going well and you can no longer sense time passing by whilst you engage in your passion, then it’s time for you to set more serious goals towards this. SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based goals. However, don’t let these goals hinder your enjoyment. The goals are meant to guide you, not destroy you.

  • Commit

Don’t be afraid to commit. Dedicate the time and effort required. It will flourish in due course.

  • Join a community that shares the same passion

Whether it’s an actual club or a few people who share your passion, you can all support each other and share experiences.

  • Enjoy the journey

Don’t get attached to the end destination, instead, enjoy the present moment. That’s where you will find most enjoyment and fulfillment, in presence.

There’s no right or wrong way, just remember to be gentle with yourself; there’s no point in letting your passion turn into a cause of misery. And remember your worth is not dependent on how good or competent you are compared to others. You are good enough.

We’ve all heard “pursue your passion” cliché speech way too many times. Some, went ahead and learnt to code and others played the piano a few times a week. And when asked ‘what’s your passion?’, they claim a passion for playing the piano. That’s furthest from what passion is. We tend to mix up between passion and hobby. Playing the piano a few times a week is a hobby. It’s only a passion when it has reached the level in which you suffer and struggle from playing the piano religiously.

The German word for passion explains this best.

In German, passion is “Leidenschaft”, which literally translates to “to endure” or “to suffer”. So, Germans perceive passion as a pursuit that entails struggle, and if left not pursued, it causes suffering as well!

Does that mean we ought to suffer in life?

Not quite.  Let’s take an example. A 13-year-old girl, who wakes up every morning yearning to surf the beautiful waves she can hear from her bedroom. That’s her first thought as soon as she opens her eyes in the morning and the last thought before she closes them at night. Her mind is constantly engrossed on surfing. So, albeit tiresome, she dedicates her days, weeks, and years to surfing. Waking up at dawn, going to school bushed, missing out on social activities, yet she becomes a top surfing professional and quickly makes a living out of it. The same scenario, but with another kid, whose parents weren’t as supportive and suppress the kid’s strong desire to pursue their passion, that person grows up to be unhappy, knowing that they didn’t pursue what’s in their heart.

The suffering doesn’t mean to live in misery, it simply means it’s not easy. No one simply stumbles upon their passion. You don’t “find it” you ought to “develop it”. There will be obstacles, there will be numerous failures, and times in which you question why you’re even doing this, but then you quickly realize you’re doing it because it’s worth it! Because you love it! And if you weren’t doing it, then that suffering would be greater than the one you’re experiencing now. And that’s what keeps you going.

Multiple passions?

Keep in mind, you can have multiple passions, or you move from one passion to another throughout life. That’s actually preferred; having multiple passions will provide you with unique perspectives and you are likely to have light-bulb ideas and bring forth new innovations.

What if I don’t have a passion?

Now, you might be thinking “what if I don’t have a passion?” You’re not alone! But that does not mean you never will; just means you have not found that interest that you are willing to develop yet. One day, you will find that thing you are willing to suffer for. In a way, you already have. If you love your family, partner, friend, you will do anything for them, you’re willing to suffer for them if push comes to shove! Then its within you! You are capable to sacrifice for the things / people you love, there’s no doubt about that.

In our next blog, we can dig deeper into how you can find and develop your passion! That flame in your heart that will wake you up in the morning. For now, just breathe and go with the flow. 

If you’re looking for a guided yoga practice, don’t forget to check out our Yoga classes at Align, here in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. With certified trainers who provide mind-body direction throughout the practice.

Young woman practicing yoga, doing head to knees, uttanasana exercise, Standing forward fold pose.

Forward folds, or Uttanasana in Sanskrit, is one of the most common asanas in Yoga practice. But why? What is so special about forward folds? And why are now neuroscientists urging us to do more folding?

According to Tara Swart, neuroscientist, medical doctor, a long forward fold is just what we need in our daily routine.

But first, let’s look into how to properly do a forward fold:

  1. Stand in mountain pose, with your hands by your side. Take a deep inhale.
  2. On your exhale, begin to hinge forward from the hips with a straight spine,if you wish, you can bend the knees, allowing your stomach to come to the top of your thighs.
  3. Allow the head to hang heavy, grabbing opposite elbows with opposite hands.
  4. Begin to shift the weight into the heels, as you tilt the hips upward and straighten out your legs.
  5. If your legs are straight without having to round your spine too much, you can reach for the floor with your hands, pressing into the mat with fingertips or palms. For a deeper stretch, wrap the arms around the backs of your ankles.
  6. Engage the fronts of the thighs to allow your hamstrings to release and start shifting your weight into the balls of your feet.
  7. Hold for up to 1 minute. As you inhale, work to lengthen the torso, lifting it slightly, and as you exhale, release, as you’ll be able to stretch even deeper.
  8. To come out, inhale and rise up with straight legs and a flat back. Alternatively, you can rag-doll up, one vertebra at a time, with chin coming up last.

So now, why are forward folds good for us?

It’s not merely a good stretch and a de-stressor, as Tara Swart explains, the longer you hold the pose the more that body gets into a rest-and-digest state which is necessary to lose weight! Yes, lose weight! Who could have thought that a simple forward-fold could contribute to weight loss?

Let’s get into the rationale behind this.

When people gain weight, people tend to do more aerobics and more weightlifting, but, as Swart notes,

“because it’s the stress hormone that’s trying to save us by holding on to belly fat, it’s really important to do exercises that reduce your stress.”

Enter: forward folds.

“It moves your nervous system into parasympathetic, not sympathetic, which is fight-or-flight,” she says, “and that can actually trigger your brain to release fat.”

So, next time you’re doing a forward fold, you can truly appreciate the multi-dimensional benefits of this asana. And remember, the longer, the better!

If you’re looking for a guided yoga practice, don’t forget to check out our Yoga classes at Align, here in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. With certified trainers who provide mind-body direction throughout the practice.

Yoga pratice
practicing yoga on yoga mat

Daily yoga practice has many benefits that extend way beyond the mat. You may already know that yoga is great for your flexibility. But did you know it has many other benefits?

It may surprise you to know that yoga has TONS of healing and therapeutic benefits to heal the body and mind.

If you’re curious about starting yoga as a daily practice, you won’t want to miss the information below! We’re sharing our top five healing benefits of yoga.

1. Yoga can be a daily mindfulness practice.

When you’re holding a pose or breathing into a deeper stretch, you become more aware of your body. Regular practice of yoga helps find awareness off the yoga mat. You will find that you are more aware of your own thoughts after a good yoga session. Your increased awareness helps you check in with your thoughts and feelings.

Yoga can definitely become a daily mindfulness practice. By allowing yourself to slow down, breathe, and be, you become more attuned to your surroundings and yourself.

2. Yoga can increase your flexibility and feel more comfortable.

Most people before they start practicing yoga, they would always shift in their chair to find a comfortable position. It was an endless routine. At the end of all the squirming, they are no more comfortable than when they started.

Then they start their yoga practice daily, and the pains and discomfort that used to make them shift in their chair are gone. Now, they can sit in any position. They realize now that their muscles were screaming for release.

The daily practice will help you to calm tight muscles and help you feel more relaxed on a daily basis.

3. Yoga can improve your posture and make you look taller.

How many times have you heard your parents say, “Stop slouching! Stand up straight.”

You would try, but you just don’t have the core strength to stand with perfect posture. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with daily yoga practice you can notice your posture improving.

If you’re really committed, you can also feel an inch or two taller.

4. Yoga can help you reduce your stress.

At this day of age, most people unfortunately experience stress. It is the era’s operating mode, so to speak.

With daily yoga practice, it can keep your mind calmer and quieter. Even if you get stressed about something, you will be aware enough to bring yourself back to your breathing. Magically, it goes away.

Yoga is so much more than exercise. It’s a spiritual practice. If you’re struggling with a stress-queen syndrome, we highly recommend a few weeks of yoga. It’ll change your life.

5. Daily yoga practice can make you stronger.

Close your eyes and think of a yoga instructor. I bet you were thinking of someone slender and svelte, right?

That’s because daily yoga practices strengthen your whole body. Most people think you have to go to the gym and lift weights to get a tight, sexy body. It’s not true.

Daily yoga practice uses your own body weight against you, so you’re always working your whole body to maintain a position. Give it a try!

Need Yoga?

If you’re looking to add yoga practice to your daily routine, check out Align yoga studio. We have different classes for all levels and experience.

We are your go-to yoga studio in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Get Aligned!

The majority of the world takes breathing for granted. It’s something that each person does naturally, and thus it tends to get overlooked as a focal point, misguidedly so.

However, being more conscious and present with your breathing will help you hone techniques that drastically improve your overall well-being. More specifically, experts cite breath rate as having links with physical and mental health.

Moreover, given that each person breathes every few seconds, it’s an act that requires much attention. This blog takes the previous sentence to heart, as it will explore important aspects of breathing:

The Importance of Mindfulness and Breathing

Breath control, or pranayama, is the fourth of the eight limbs of yoga.

While breathing just “happens” for humans, making crucial adjustments will help you get the most from this physiological function.

When it comes to breathing, less is more (as long as you’re not holding your breath or failing to breathe). With that said, the average 14 to 20 breaths per minute that most people inhale and exhale is shockingly high.

Taking 6 breaths per minute is associated with the most optimal results, such as pain management and cardiovascular health. 

Breathing and Emotions

There are many techniques suggested to breathing technique practitioners. Each one offers tons of mental health benefits.

Below is a list of eight highly recommended breathing techniques that you can read about more in-depth here:

  • Abdomen breathing
  • Lengthened exhale
  • Focused breath
  • Equal breathing
  • Resonant breathing
  • Yogic breathing
  • Lion’s breath
  • Alternate Nostril breathing
  • Guided meditation

As suggested previously, these methods all bring with them physical benefits. But a healthy body means a healthy mind, and vice versa.

Think about it like this: people’s breaths get shallow and rapid when panicked and anxious. Consciously taking the time to slow down your inhales and exhales, changing your breath rate. This will alter autonomic function and mood state. Thus, it can change your response to various emotions.

A Scientific Explanation of why Controlled Breathing is so Beneficial:

Your respiratory system holds a nearly endless amount of sensory receptors (in the millions, in fact). These all send signals to the brainstem from the vagus nerve.

By breathing fast, you activate the sympathetic nervous system because the brain is overworked. This leads to an increase in the following adverse reactions:

  • Stress hormones
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Muscle tension
  • Anxiety

Slowed breathing induces the parasympathetic response, reducing all the above symptoms while boosting relaxation, calm, and mental clarity.

Breathing is at the Core of Align Wellness Studio

Align’s entire existence is centered around the mind-body connection–which is also at the crux of breathing.

As this blog highlights, mindful breathing techniques positively impact the body and mind. This is why your breath is such a critical focus of our Yoga and Pilates classes.

With enhanced breathing and a better connection between your body and mind, you’ll live life on a whole new plane. One that’s rooted in balance, calm, and being present in every moment, so you can get the most out of your experiences.

Contact us today to inquire about our classes and take one more step toward improved wellness!

We hear “Mind-Body connection” all the time, but what is it? Have we unlocked it?

One great way to experience the mind-body connection is through exercise. Both Yoga and Pilates do the body (and mind) good.

Yoga and Pilates are excellent practices for the mind-body connection. The nature of Yoga and Pilates allows the practitioner the space to connect the mind with the movement; its not as effective if your mind is elsewhere.

Here are some reasons why practicing yoga and pilates is good for the body—and the mind.

1. Regular yoga and pilates practice improves your mood.

It feels good to get down on the mat and breathe out your stress. Yoga and pilates work hand-in-hand with breathing techniques. In that way, it has similar benefits to meditation.

Regular yoga and pilates practice can:

  • A decline in self-destructive patterns
  • Produce greater creativity
  • Provide emotional stability
  • Reduce depression and anxiety
  • Increase in relaxation

Who couldn’t lose a little stress, right?

So how many days constitutes “regular” practice? According to Runner’s World, only two days a week can show improvements.

2. Regular yoga and pilates practice releases physical and mental tension. 

Holding poses and using your breathing has a tremendous effect on our physical and emotional well-being. Yoga and pilates help relax tight muscles.

Creating a pattern of breathing in your yoga and pilates practice can also help you relieve mental stress from the day. Like other forms of exercise, it helps relieve pent-up energy.

One great benefit is that it doesn’t take a long time to feel the effects of yoga and pilates. Practicing a few minutes each day can help you calm your mind and stretch out tight spots.

Sometimes, you may need to use tools to help you stretch, but that’s okay. These practices have been used for hundreds of years by people young and old.

So, in other words, you’re in good hands. Every year, people young and old learn how to use yoga or pilates for a stronger body and mind.

3. Regular yoga and pilates improves mental and physical health.

There’s no better way to achieve improvement in both mental and physical health than exercises such as Yoga & Pilates.

Regular yoga and pilates practices make us feel better. We often feel more relaxed and calm. It improves our health and well-being. Daily practice forms a mind-body connection.

We make healthier choices and are more self-aware and attuned to our bodies; we become more mindful not just during the exercise, but in our life in general.

Most people associate mindfulness with meditation. One distinction is you can practice mindfulness in many aspects of your life. We can practice mindfulness as we walk, talk, rest, play with our children, or a workout.

Mindfulness improves our mental clarity and our immune system. It also improves the way we see the present moment, which is important for a healthy mind.

Regular Yoga and Pilates practice Does the Mind and Body Good!

The benefits of regular yoga and pilates practice are evident. Tons of research has concluded that yoga and pilates do the mind and body good.

It’s never too late to give yoga or pilates a try. Its benefits are for young and old, experienced and beginner, healthy and challenged.

Looking for a studio to practice yoga or pilates with emphasis on mind-body connection? Align is here for you!

Make mind-body connection a priority. Regular yoga and pilates practice can ensure vitality, health, and well-being. Align yourself.

Already a full-on yogi? No sweat. Check out our shop for the latest accessories for your yoga or pilates training.