Review: experience a free yoga session at the Expo 2020 Dubai Water Feature

It's a unique way to take the plunge and do asanas by the waterfalls

The yoga session takes place within the Water Feature's structure at Expo 2020 Dubai. Photo: Walaa Alshaer / Expo 2020 Dubai
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If you've managed to visit Expo 2020 Dubai , you'll know one of the highlights is the Expo 2020 Water Feature. If you’ve already got your feet wet in the gravity-defying waterfalls, you might think that you’ve seen everything it has to offer. But you’d be wrong, because Expo 2020 has just launched morning yoga classes taking place within the structure.

The classes, which are available for women only, will be held every Monday from 9.30am to 10.30am, starting November 15. The best part? They’re free, as long as you have an Expo 2020 ticket. You only have to book a spot through the Glofox App, and bring your own mat and towel. Discounted valet parking is also available for all participants who sign up for a class.

Which is how I ended up hauling a yoga mat through Expo 2020 one brisk morning. With the weather cooling rapidly, this isn’t too big a feat, although if you’re planning to spend the day at the world's fair, take along a mat you’re not worried about toting around.

One of the better things about the initiative is that there’s absolutely no trouble finding it. Even with Expo 2020’s vast expanse, it’s easy to find the Water Feature, located between Al Wasl Plaza and Jubilee Park, and – forgive the pun – dive right in.

It's a great way to experience the attraction in a whole new way. Instead of being surrounded by flocks of families and tourists, it’s empty except for other participants. Be sure to get there a little early to set up your yoga mat towards the centre, close your eyes, and just take in the sound of the water falling from all directions.

Our instructor for the day – seasoned yogi Zeina Assaf – put us through our paces with stretches and vinyasa poses. Movements are slow and deliberate, while covering the most basic beginner poses (we’re talking upward/downward facing dog, tree pose and the forward seated fold).

Despite the cooler weather, it does tend to get hot because of the direct sunlight overhead. I cheated by finding a spot right against one of the speakers, letting the shadow fall across my face wherever possible. Plenty of others brought along caps or used towels to shield their faces from the sun while lying down in Savasana. And sunscreen is highly recommended.

A takeaway after an hour of stretching and deep breathing is that as graceful as it looks, yoga is hard. Assaf, who demonstrated the poses in front of the class, was encouraging while also cautioning participants not to stretch themselves too thin. She also kept up a stream of chatter - joking about how we’ve not reached Savasana just yet and suggesting easier alternatives for those who couldn’t figure out a pose. Despite it being a beginner’s class, you do end up sweating it out.

You might want to stick around after the class is done at 10.30am to watch the Water Feature come alive. Whether you dip your feet in the water or take a few photos as water elegantly cascades down, it’s a pretty unique way to start the day.

Monday; 9.30am-10.30am; free; Expo 2020; book through Glofox app

Updated: November 09, 2021, 3:26 PM