Dr Ghanshyam Sharma is coming back!

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YogaSpace will be hosting two wonderful courses in May with Dr Ghanshyam Sharma of Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute in India. Dr Sharma is a renowned Yoga Therapist, Ayurvedic doctor, Physio-therapist and senior faculty at Kaivalyadham.

YogaSpace Summer Courses:

  • Kumbakha (Pranayama) Level 1 – May 16,17,18
  • Yoga Therapy Level 1 – May 19,20,21

Each course has 3 levels split into three 3-day modules spread over the next few months.

Level 1 begins in May. Levels 2 and 3 will be later this year (Sep/Oct)

Course Fee is AED1800 per course for each level (discounted to AED5200 if paid in advance for all 3 levels) However, you can avail of the early bird price of AED1500 per course per level (or AED4500 for all 3 levels) by paying before March 20th. After completion of all levels, participants will be tested and certified to apply the principles of Pranayama and Yoga Therapy safely on their students and patients.

These courses are open for regular Yoga practitioners, healers and energy workers, Ayurvedic practitioners/doctors and Yoga Teachers. The programs delve deep into the topics of Breath work, Energetics and the advanced practice of Pranayama as well as Yoga Therapeutics.


Jaya Goyal Kumar

Founder | Yogaspace

M: +971 55 805 7415

W: http://www.yogaspaceme.com

Facebook: facebook.com/yogaspaceme

Twitter: @yogaspaceme

Sun Salutation Workshop

Set the scene, you’ve arrived at your yoga class the atmosphere is calm and relaxed. Your teacher guides you through a grounding meditation and centreing breath work, maybe a gentle cat cow to warm up the spine and before you know it you’re at the front of your mat waiting in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) before the Sun Salutations begin. Inhale as you softly raise the arms, exhaling you gracefully fold down over your thighs and what comes next can only be described as a blur, a messy transition, some foreign words and the feeling that you’ve just been transported into the washing machine on its spin cycle.

Does this sound familiar to you?

If I’m honest it wasn’t until I completed my yoga teacher training that I truly got to grips with the sun salutations.Previously I’d scan the yoga room seeing everyone swooping and diving from one pose to the next and think “do I really know what I’m doing here.” I always felt a little lost and that feeling of being lost in a group class can be overwheleming. So since my yoga teacher training I’ve been dying to do a workshop focusing on the salutations so that the next time you step into class you can swoop and dive with the best of them.

Here’s what I’ll be covering.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana) aligment
Break down of individual poses
Correct alignment for Chaturanga Dandasana to avoid injury
Correct use of breath
Sun salutation variations to suit different abilities
Sun salutation modifications

Where: Naya Yoga & Pilates  www.naya.ae

When: Saturday 28th March 1pm-3pm

How Much: AED150.00

LifePlus Detox – Latest Up-date.

It’s nothing short of a miracle! I feel like my body is a machine. 

Following on from the metabolic cure (detox) that I put myself and my long suffering husband through last November I would like to add that despite my peers objections neither of us has piled the pounds back on. 

Ok, so you’re probably musing that we’ve been extremely careful with our food intake and have been hitting the gym hard. I’d like to add here as a footnote that I always hit the gym hard – it’s part of my normal routine as you can imagine. However, when it comes to seasonal festivities I don’t hold back and neither does Mr. H. 

Akin to the rest of the world over December and January we enjoyed eating and drinking our way through to the New Year. I have to say I was a little nervous, a small voice (quite possibly my conscience) kept saying “don’t go undoing all that hard work.” Now to recap, as I’ve said in my previous posts, during the metabolic cure the body is given a new weight “set point.” This means that when you do indeed over indulged once in a while your weight wont fluctuate quite as badly and once you go back to your new way of eating the weight comes off very quickly.

Let me explain by taking you back in time to Christmas and New Year circa 2013… (Imagine wiggly screen and strange music here)

I piled it on during the holidays that year. January came and I went to my go to diet “Slimming World.” My weight had gone up to a whopping 72kg; I’d been 65kg the November before. That’s 7kg I put on in the space of 6 weeks and I know I’m not the only one who’s body is capable of doing that! I only need to sniff a mince pie to go adding on the pounds. It took me 3 months of dedication to take the weight back off again. 

Now, fast forward to December 2014. I certainly ate a lot of chocolate amongst everything else. My end weight after the metabolic cure was 60.5kg. I hopped on the scales again mid January and much to my surprise my weight was 63kg. I was preparing myself for a few weeks of careful eating to lose the access holiday weight. The good news! After only 3 days of returning to the sorts of foods I’d eaten during the detox all the weight came back off.

All the weight came back off after 3 days of returning to the foods I’d eaten during the detox!

To me that is nothing short of a miracle. For Mr. H it was nothing short of an annoyance as I spent the next ten minutes dancing around our apartment telling him how my body was a machine. 

Chicken Broccoli Burger

This tasty burger goes well with a mixed salad. My favourite is green salad with apple and walnuts and little balsamic lemon glaze*. The burgers can be prepared in advance and freeze nicely too.

(*Not recommended if you are doing the metabolic cure, if you are doing the cure then make a mixed salad out of the choice of vegetables listed.)


400 grams minced chicken (makes four burgers)

Half a head of broccoli

Bunch of spring onions

Heaped tsp mild curry powder

1 Egg beaten


  1. Put a pan of water on the stove and bring to the boil. Roughly chop the broccoli throw it in the pan and boil it within an inch of its life. Once soft drain, squeeze out the extra water and leave to cool.
  2. Thinly slice the spring onions (I used about a third of the onions leaving some of the greener bits for the salad)
  3. Mush up the broccoli into small pieces.
  4. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl; squishing the mixture up with your hands is best. You can add salt and pepper if you like but I found it tasted great without.
  5. Now, the mixture is really sticky but don’t worry. Divide it up into four lumps, place on a plate and cover in cling film and refrigerate. I like to refrigerate for a few hours or overnight as it helps the mixture settle.
  6. Cook on a non-stick electric grill (aka George Foreman grill or similar.) No oil needed. I cooked mine for 4 minutes on the meat setting and they turned out delicious.

Dear Detox Diary… The results are in!

I’ve just enjoyed my first detox free weekend (my husband calls it a “retox.”) There’s certainly some changes in my approach to food.

First surprise of the new detoxed me is that I’m happy to stop at just one piece of chocolate instead of devouring the whole family sized bar. Second – I can only eat half of the usual oversized restaurant portion of food and thirdly instead of opting for my carb and fat loaded favourites, fish and chips, creamy pastas etc, I’m craving fresh veggies and salads. More to the point, I’m enjoying eating the healthier menu options. I really hope this keeps up.


Start weight 66kg

End weight 60.3kg

Start BFP 25%

End BFP 20%

My fat mass was 16.7kg and went down to 12.3kg

Muscle mass stayed pretty much the same, losing only 0.2kg despite the low calorie intake (result!)

I lost 1.5 inch off my waist, 2.5 inches off my hips, and 2 inches off my thighs. These were the areas that I needed to lose from so I was really pleased.

Hubby did well too; he lost a total of 9kg losing on average two inches or more from problem areas.

I’ve had a lot of interest from people reading my blog about the detox, most asking for details on what food to eat. I’m not going to put up the details on line as it is a little more complex than simply cutting out foods. The Metabolic Cure should not be carried out without the correct supplements. If you would like more information about the detox then please contact me.

Dear Detox Diary – Part 2

Two weeks in with one week to go. This week I have had so many people commenting on my new body shape, it’s quite incredible. So far hubby and I have lost 1.5 inches off the places we wanted. Hubby has lost around 5kg in these firsts two weeks and I’ve lost around 4kg. I’ll post up the exact details once we’ve finished. The weekend was a struggle though, I’m missing my wine and chocolate. I was trying desperately to tell myself that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” but actually chocolate does taste that good. I wanted chocolate so bad on Friday that I mixed my evening choc flavoured protein shake with zero fat greek yoghurt. It went like cheese cake, it was great and certainly helped.

Wish me luck on my final week!

Chicken Curry

This fabulously healthy dinner is suitable for the metabolic cure and paleo diet. This recipe contains zero fat, carbs, sugar and dairy. It tastes beautifully fresh and divine. On the metabolic cure phase 2 this makes enough for 5 x 100 gram protein servings. For cooking without oil I use an electric non-stick grill and it’s brilliant.

What you need
 500g chicken grilled and sliced
 1 large onion sliced
 1 large onion chopped
 Bunch of fresh coriander – roots finely chopped, leaves seperated
 400g fresh or tinned chopped tomatoes (please check the label to make sure there is no added sugar!)
 Fresh ginger chopped (I used a good sized root about4 inches because I love ginger but please feel free to adjust to your taste)
 4 meaty garlic cloves crushed
 Chilli powder ¼ teaspoon (adjust to taste)
 1 level tsp cumin
 1 level tsp turmeric
 2 cinnamon sticks
 4 cardamom pods split open
 3 whole cloves
 3 bay leaves
 water
 Flat bottom pan with high sides

1. Place the onions, coriander roots, ginger, garlic and 250ml water into a food processor. Blitz on high as if you’re making a smoothy until the mixture is smooth. Place the mixture in the pan and let it come to a boil. Keep on a medium heat and continue to dry fry while stirring regularly for 5 -6 minutes or until most of the water has gone.
2. Add the cumin, turmeric and chilli powder and continue to cook for another 5 minutes adding some of the juice from the canned tomatoes. When the juice has evaporated add the sliced chicken and stir well to coat.
3. Next add the chopped tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, bay leaves and cloves. You should also add 200ml or so of water here to help combine the flavours. Salt and pepper can also go in now.
4. Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook until the sauce has thickened.
5. While the sauce is cooking take the rest of the sliced onion and place it in a pan of water, boil until it is soft and set aside.
6. When ready to serve add the soft sliced onion and coriander leaves to the chicken and plate up.

I served this up on a bed of crumbled cauliflower so that it fitted in with the foods allowed on the detox. For the paleo diet you could fry the chicken in virgin coconut oil to get your healthy fats in. For an all round healthy meal serve this up with brown rice.

Secret Tip… for an extra burst of heat try grinding on some Jamie Oliver Chilli Salt.

Dear Detox Diary…

I had all the best intentions of writing a short daily blog, but alas life got in the way. I am now a week into the Metabolic Cure (not a diet, we’re not allowed to use the D word). It’s a month long programme that re-sets all the nastiness we have done to our bodies over years of pumping it with too much sugar. The eating plan (not the d word) is doubled up with Lifeplus supplements to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need while your body burns fat. Now that statement is the big deal for me, this cure claims that you will burn away fat not muscle even though you are eating only 500-800 calories (the magic number of fat loss apparently) and you will not feel hungry. Sounds like a dream I thought, so here I am.

To recap:


While I was waiting for my supplements to arrive so I could get going these were two days that I was very much looking forward to. It was a battle of wills to consume an inhuman amount of food; I managed around 5000 calories on both days. The reason for this is to kick start the hypothalamus into overdrive making it into a fat burning machine. Most important was to load up on good fats; oils, nuts, nut butters, salmon, and avocado. I thought it was going to be easy but by day two I didn’t want to see anymore food. I felt disgusted with myself for cramming so much in and was very much looking forward to the rest of the month. The healthy fat consumption would help with the appetite suppression over the next 21 days (yes, the detox part is over 21 days as it takes this amount of time for the body to form a new habit).


Days 3 & 4 were much needed after the loading, I did feel sluggish, tired and headachy though – but not hungry! In fact I haven’t had any real hunger pangs all week. I felt a little light headed one morning but a midmorning green apple sorted that out. All in all I’ve felt more alert and have been sleeping like a baby.


Hubby and I both work pretty long hours (mostly passing like ships in the night) so cooking meals is always a real pain. However!! (I’m stoked about this bit) With a bit of careful planning on my side (gold star and halo please) it’s actually been real easy. There are two Life Plus shakes, breakfast and night time so all we had to worry about was lunch and dinner, two meals a day of lean meat or fish with certain salad items or vegetables. No cooking with oils though, they’re on the banned list – electric non-stick grill at the ready then! Meat is frozen into portion sizes for the week and just slapped on the grill as and when. That said, our first lunch was a disaster, tuna salad, I’m sorry but I just can’t eat Tuna without a heap of mayo.  Dinner was better, bolognaise with err broccoli. I’m now getting pretty inventive with the meals as I do find time to cook at the weekend (not being hungover helps) and I will post up some of my inventions so you can try 🙂


We’ve both lost just over two kilograms in the first week! And it appears that its fat rather than muscle with my Body Fat % coming down to 22% from 25%. I’ve lost two inches from my hips and waist which I was very surprised about and hubby has done well too losing an inch from his chest and waist.

All in all we’re most pleased with week one as we venture into week two! At this rate by the end of the month you won’t be able to see me when I stand sideways.


Apanasana (Knees to Chest Pose) & Pawanmuktasana


Gentle, soothing and nurturing, Apanasana.

Think about it, how often does this pose appear in our practice? For me, it’s every time, in my own practice, my group classes and for my private clients. Why? It’s a gentle and accessible pose for all. I enjoy using Apanasana as a simple warm up, easing into the right and left side first with a single leg option before bringing both knees into the chest. It gives time to check in with our hips; perhaps they are a little tight today. It softly opens the sacrum and relieves the lower back.  Apanasana promotes a healthy digestive system, easing tension in the digestive track, a handy pose to have in your back pocket during the month of Ramadan. Match this pose up with deep belly breathing and you have yourself a very effective abdominal massage as the belly kindly rises against the pressure of the thighs.

How to find the pose:

  1. Lie on your back with feet at hip distance legs straight or knees bent.
  2. Gently draw both knees in toward the chest guiding them with your hands.
  3. Breathe out and draw the legs in close and hold here for a moment or two to enjoy the sensation of massage into the internal organs. Keeping the neck and shoulders soft.
  4. Optional posture to relieve wind is to draw the chin in towards the knees on the exhale (Pawanmuktasana)
  5. You can also rock a little to relieve any lower back stress.

Le Meridien Mina Seyahi open air yoga and pilates



Sunrise Yoga Sunrise Yoga Sunset Pilates

What a fantastic place to teach! I was so impressed Core Fit’s newest location. They’ve teamed up with Le Meridien Mina Seyahi to bring you even more classes. The bottom photo was from my Sunday night class, 6pm Sunset Pilates. I worked those guys hard! But they didn’t mind though, just look at that sky.

For more details on class times please go to my facebook business page (linked into menu bar) or have a look at my upcoming schedule section for the classes that I will be teaching. Core Fit are hosting a whole range of exercise classes not just yoga and pilates but also spinning, body sculpt, body pump classes etc.