x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Stretch a little: enjoy music, food and fun yoga style at the Westin

An uber-healthy celebration of music and yoga begins today at The Westin, Mina Siyahi in Dubai.

Focused on wellness, plus encouraging people to "find themselves" through meditation and other forms of therapy, the festival is the first of its kind in the UAE.

Practitioners and teachers have come from Europe, the US and Australia to take part in the three-day event, and will be joined by a host of locally based experts.

Creatures great and small

If you are new to yoga pop along and enjoy introductory and beginner-level classes tomorrow and Saturday. Young enthusiasts are also welcome, with special sessions for those aged 10 and under. The Yoga of Devotion Kids Club will be staged over the weekend, and a long list of activities will include art, story time and playtime on the beach. Nannies are welcome and spaces are limited, so reserve your place to avoid disappointment.

Listen and learn

Seven rooms in all will be dedicated to exercise; they will also be the venue for a series of lectures which are free to the public. Learn about the power of gratitude, how to find inner peace or simply meet and greet the international gurus on-hand.

Bring your dirhams too, for there will be an opportunity to buy some festive gifts at the Hanuman Marketplace, where everything from T-shirts to yoga DVDs and essential oils will be on sale.

Filling Buddha's belly

The organisers' words, not ours. To nourish your body as well as your mind, there will be plenty of food stands at the venue to satisfy your cravings - best of all, refreshments are included in the ticket price. Should you wish to chillax between stretching sessions you can also pay a visit to the Savasana City and Lounge for a quick cup of chai or a hydrating gallon of water.

Brilliant beats in store

Although the Grammy-nominated singer Jai Uttal was originally scheduled to perform at the event, a very cool replacement has been announced in the form of "fashion DJ" Pierre Ravan. He'll spin the decks and play "spiritual house" tomorrow night, but the fun starts at 9am with a Bhakti instructor from San Francisco leading a mass yoga class on the beach. If you want to be part of the festival's official opening ceremony, then make your way to the Westin on Thursday from 4pm to 10pm.

A three-day pass costs Dh650, a one-day pass is Dh460 and a Kids Club/day pass is Dh90. Food is included with all passes and Kids Club tickets. For more information visit www.dubaiyogafest.com