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Welcome to Gaia Retreat Center located in Ubud – the most desirable location in Bali and voted the friendliest town in Asia!

If you’ve been craving a change in your life and wish to give yourself a gift of personal growth & energy, then our tailored detox retreat packages and 5 day transcendental meditation private retreats are an excellent choice for your mind-body-spirit. At Gaia Retreat Center our mission is to establish a foundation that supports the energetic statement that the more you give the more you receive.

We offer 3 main services at Villa Gaia for you to choose from:
Detox & Yoga Personalized Retreat Packages

5 Day Private Transcendental Meditation Retreat

Host your Retreat / Training at Villa Gaia

The view from Villa Gaia is quintessential Bali. Think swaying palm trees and lush fruit trees line the edges of terraced rice fields that extend into the distance with a private stairway access to the rice fields and organic farm for wonderful morning walks.

From your front door of Villa Gaia, you can take a leisurely 15 minute stroll to town to a vast array of markets, shops & delicious world class restaurants including Locavore, Hujan Locale, Seniman Cafe, Seeds of Life, Kismet, Earth Cafe and a plethora of healers, spas, yoga studios and markets, easily found along the main roads of this small town.

Ngurah Rai International Airport (Bali’s international airport) is just 60 minutes away from our villa making it a relaxing destination to travel to. Exploring the island is a must and our friendly staff can arrange tours during your stay. Since Bali is a fairly small island, you can plan many exciting adventures and day’s trip around the island while you detox at our villa.

The grand entrance of the retreat center opens up to the marble and teak wood that has 8 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, private spa room with sauna and hot tub, full Western-standard kitchen, private catering kitchen, dining room, large screen projection cinema room, full staff and a beautiful infinity pool with decks and views to awe and soothe any wired soul to bliss.

Read more and how to register towards our retreats by clicking – HERE 


Heart Healthy Transformative Yogalates Testimonial in Dubai!


RESPECT. We absolutely LOVE it when our clients walk in and out of their Yogalates [Yoga and Pilates] Sessions in Dubai feeling transformed physically, mentally and energetically and a massive thanks to our movement specialist – Kim Danoher – for lighting up the positive flame in our client’s bodies and mind.
Kim and I have known each other for a while through Yogalates. I went to Kim this summer after finishing a 6 month programme of chemotherapy. My body was a mess! Examples included not being able to open a bottle, not being able to stand any longer than 20 minutes. Coping with an hours worth of pain across the my back after getting out of bed.

After 8 months of seeing Kim twice a week, I understand my body better than I ever have done which has not only allowed me to move without pain again but I have the strength to get into postures that I struggled with even before chemo and oh pregnancy!

Kim has patience, she was able to connect with me at time that I was very fragile but also gave me the push and confidence to help me get to where I am today. I cannot describe how integral she has been on my journey to restoration.

I have referred her to so many people who are in pain and I have every confidence that she can fix them. Although she is a yoga teacher, I think the skills, dedication and ‘inner geek’ in her makes sessions with Kim much more than Yoga. As you can probably tell, I have a lot to say about how fantastic Kim is!” Bridgett Lau Cooke



At Yogalates, we explore the layers of muscles that make up the core then work to build strength and tone in these muscles that translate into a fluid practice. Building greater core stability is the one thing everyone needs in order to progress in yoga from standing postures, side bends, balancing sequences, spinal twists, flexibility and chest opening exercises for a healthier breathing pattern and being able to move freely and expansively through everyday life!
Our sessions are friendly meaning, all levels and all walks of life are welcome. You’ll be offered modifications by Kim if a pose is new to you and advanced variations if you are a regular client.
We preach the outdoors and nature inspired activities at Bliss and invite you to be prepared to soak in plenty FRESH air and enjoy the sound of nature, sight of sunset, stars and the occasional full moon in all its glory.
However if it rains, we will take shelter in our cosy indoor studio [below]!

When is Yogalates?
Monday AND Wednesday

What to bring:
Yoga mat, water and your awesome self!

80Dhs for pay as you go – or – 600Dhs for a package of 10 sessions (valid for 3 months from date of purchase)
Please have the exact change ready in cash and payment is made on arrival.

*Yogalates takes place on the 7th floor, outdoor terrace overlooking the swimming pool.

*Showers/toilets are located on the same level as well as “Aqua Cafe” for coffee/tea/food if you wish to treat yourself afterwards or chill out on the 7th floor lounge area prior to your session.

{Attached is a map to Fraser Suites and exterior shots of the tower)

7:15 PM – 8:15 PM.
Please arrive at least 5-10 minutes to adjust your mat and settle in, peacefully!

Book online by visiting our Yogalates Sessions page over at: 

Dubai Raw Food Chef Training | May 5-10, 2017



Whether you’re an aspiring chef who loves to prepare meals for friends and family, are a professional chef wishing to expand your skills and portfolio, a health and wellness enthusiast looking to integrate the benefits of raw food into your diet or wish to overcome health challenges, allergies, digestion issues and fatigue by nourishing your body from the inside-out, we invite you to join us on the very first Level 1 – Graciously Green Raw Food Certification with Chef Mia hosted at the urban, hip venue of Tom & Serg in Dubai, UAE !

This course is a fantastic place to start learning how to implement creative and heart-healthy plant based meals into your daily diet.

Raw Food Salad in Dubai
Buddha Bowl Salad - Dragon Bowl Salad


–       Have a deeper understanding on *what raw food is all about* and the fundamentals on how to prepare raw food dishes

–       Learn about the nutritional & health benefits of a raw food diet

–       How to flavour balance

–       How to make simple soups, smoothies, acai bowls, breakfasts, main courses, raw noodles, pizzas, pastas, salads bowls, dehydrated foods and the art of raw desserts, including basic raw chocolates

–       How to take any dish and make a raw vegan version

–       Dairy free alternatives

–       Basic fermentation

–       Sprouting

–       Low G.I and sugar free alternatives

–       Superfood nutrition and practical application

–       Dehydration techniques

–       Food and personal hygiene in the kitchen

–       The raw food kitchen pantry and its equipment, and how to use them

–       How to style food for food photography

–       Empowered in the ability to produce delicious new dishes
Graduation Certificate – level 1 intensive immersion course completion certificate (enables you to access our level 2 intense immersion course for raw  / plant-based enthusiasts and business entrepreneurs)

Raw Vegan Golden Oats


  • Raw Food Chef Certification level 1 which will qualify you for level 2* training

  • Personal hands on training with Chef Mia

  • A take-home manual packed with: recipes we learn on the course and more; everything you’ll need to know about raw food preparation; and all of contents you will need for the course completion.

  • This course offers much more than just an understanding of how to prepare raw foods. With Chef Mia’s holistic background and raw chef business background, you get a glimpse into what this lifestyle is all about and ideas where you might like to next take your training, whether it be to feed your family healthy food or set-up your own raw business!

  • PLUS you will EAT all of the incredible meals, smoothies & desserts that we will all prepare together each day!  
Raw Zucchini Noodles with Cashew
Raw Plant Based Pizza Dehydrator in Dubai

5:30 PM – 9:30 PM

DAY 1.

Welcome + Introductions

Why raw and its principles

Food groups used in raw

Equipment, and how to use it – knife skills

Soaking & Sprouting

Recipe creation: Smoothies, Juices, Acai Bowls and Soups – 6 recipes

DAY 2.

Naturopathic Nutrition & Food Combining

Introduction to detoxing with raw food – Eating for health – acid / alkaline balance, good fats, high vibrational foods

Recipe creation: healthy breakfast items – 4 recipes

DAY 3.

Learn about gut health and how food really is preventative medicine

Learn the forgotten and traditional art of fermented foods and their benefits – 4 recipes

Recipe creation: sauerkraut, coconut kefir, vegan cheese


DAY 4.

How to use spices, low GI sweeteners, superfoods and other specialist foods

Flavour Balancing

Food Handling and Storage – food safety

Recipe creation: Italian & Asian themed main dishes + Dragon Salad Bowls – 6 recipes

DAY 5.

Dehydration – benefits and how-to dehydrate

Recipe creation: snacks, crackers, burgers & pizza bases – 4 recipes

DAY 6.

Raw vegan desserts – basic raw chocolates, energy balls, carrot cake & cheesecake – 6 recipes

Food Styling (food photography) – fundamentals to food styling

Graduation Certificate – level 1 intensive immersion course

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How to Strengthen our Alignment Cues in Yoga For a Fluid Practice | 100hr Hatha Yoga Teacher Training by Kreg Weiss in February 2017, Dubai


Dubai 100hr Hatha Yoga Teacher Training in February 2017 by Kreg Weiss



It is essential to build anything in life, first, from a steady and sound foundation. In the case of yoga, this foundation frequently is established from the functional points of contact with the earth (ie our hands, feet, pelvis etc). As we journey further into these poses, it can be easy to lose attention to those essential foundations. Even more common is for these foundations to dissipate and be sacrificed at the expense of aligning or increasing depth in the pose further up in the chain of joints.

It is standard in many teacher trainings to have a formatted series of ‘alignment’ cues that are applied in a generalized manner with assumptions that everyone aligns in the same fashion and, therefore, will benefit from those same cues. Besides lacking the appreciation that we are structurally different and require a vast array of options in which to align in the same pose, another key aspect often not addressed is the interconnectivity of the body. As Bernie Clarke describes in his book ‘Your Body, Your Yoga’, the vast interconnection of fascia and other tissues in essence makes us comprised of one bone, one muscle etc. The premise is that all of our tissues are united and, when we manipulate one joint, this aligning cascades throughout the entire body. To simply adjust and focus on a single joint (just because it is a standard way of doing a pose) and not take note of the relationship (cause and effect) it has through the rest of body is highly limiting both on the physical practice, but also on the more subtle practices within yoga.


A lack of attention to this interconnectivity can also be contraindicating (especially where we could do more harm than good when attempting to align a pose that appears to be potentially damaging). Example: a common misalignment in Warrior 2 pose is having the forward knee tracking inwards. The primary hazard is the unbalanced tension occurring from the four quadriceps that act on the knee cap (patella). The patella is essentially being ‘dragged’ into the lateral aspect of the femoral groove (a groove at the end of the thigh bone) by the outer quadriceps (vastus lateralis muscle). Over time, repeated drag in this manner can cause degradation of cartilage and cause inflammatory symptoms.

Knock Knee treatment.jpg

Therefore, the cue is to move the knee back over the center of the ankle and restore better tension balance of the four quadriceps on the knee cap. Question is: why did the knee track inwards in the first place (FYI – there could be many reasons why)? What if the reason the knee was tracking inwards was because the medial (inner) arch of the forward foot was collapsed? This would pull the ankle into pronation. The kinetic chain effect could lead to the shin bones and knee being pulled in medially (inwards). Simply moving the knee laterally back over the ankle would likely NOT correct the foundation problems and misalignment stemming from the foot. And very likely, without correcting the fallen medial arch, the ankle would undergo even more distortion (more pronounced pronation) as the knee moves laterally. For the sake of aligning the knee, the ankle and foot could then suffer. If we, instead, started with adjusting the foundation of the foot and ankle, it could readily translate into a more functional and automatic realigning of the knee.


Everything is interconnected. As we attempt to adjust, we benefit to ask ourselves what is the whole relationship involved. As the adjustment occurs, we again ask ourselves what is the cascading effect that has occurred and did the whole body benefit from this action. And within all these alignment explorations, always circle back to the foundations of the pose. Are we starting off well and appropriate in our unique foundation and are they being properly sustained as we journey throughout the rest of the body?

As part of our functional yoga anatomy and sequencing explorations, the 100 Hr Integrative Hatha Yoga Teacher Training in February by Senior Hatha Yoga Teacher, Anatomy expert & Kinesiologist Kreg Weiss from Canada, will apply these foundational and alignment principles and how to create multiple Hatha Yoga sequences with a solid and safe base to transition into a more fluid and injury-free flow.

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A Big Bowl of Light Zucchini Rice Salad!



Craving a nice large bowl of rice without the carb-loaded-coma-induced effect that comes afterwards? Spiralizing a large yellow and green zucchini into “rice” nails the craving and tastes amazing. Not to mention, engulfing numerous amount of vitamins and minerals with every bite. If you are based in Dubai and would like to order a Gefu Spirelli – simply drop me an email {yogalatesdxb@gmail.com}. Now onto the fun stuff, inspired by Ali of Inspiralized!

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The Importance of Core Strength in a Yoga Practice!


Yogalates Core Strength

If you practice Yogalates at Fraser Suites, you might have heard our instructors stress on “engaging the core” in poses when flowing from chair pose to plank. And have you noticed how as soon as you engage your abdominals, it helps you balance and transition into poses more effectively? That’s your core muscles speaking!

Why is core strength important in yoga?
A strong core stabilizes your whole body, both on your yoga mat and daily life and errands. When you neglect to work your core, you increase risk of injury, mainly in the lower back. For example, in Chair Pose, it’s easy to sit into this pose and direct all your weight onto your glutes. Great work for your lower body however, when you pull your belly in towards your spine, this takes a little bit of weight out of your legs, prevents any chances of a lower back strain while stabilizing your deep core muscles. So now the work is balanced evenly across your abs, back and lower body for a total workout.  A strong core also enhances grace and stability during simple transitions from Warrior 2, to extended side angle, and back to reverse warrior. In addition, core strength is required for arm balances and inversions like crow pose, headstand or forearm stand.

Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga in Dubai with Clara Roberts

The importance of core strength OUTSIDE of yoga into your daily life…

Our sweet corporate lifestyle might not be too sweet to our back as chances are, you spend a large time sitting in front of a computer screen or being on foot all day. Sitting and standing for long hours puts a lot of strain on your lower back, since your lower back supports the large majority of your weight. When you have a strong core, it helps protect your body from the wear and tear of sitting and standing all day. It allows you to also move with more grace and fluidity when you’re walking up the stairs or twisting to grab a box.

Next time you’re at Yogalates or any Yoga session, try to activate about your core muscles during each pose, and within each transition. Feel how it transforms your experience. Then, continue to think about your core strength when you leave the class to walk to your car and throughout your daily life because chances are, you will stand taller, move more fluidly and keep your precious spine supple and strong!

Join us at Yogalates in Dubai every Monday and Wednesday at 7:15pm
Click HERE to book your first session online

Fire Fly Yoga Pose Nico Luce

And if you are currently practicing yoga or an active Yoga teacher looking to take your offerings from good to great, I highly recommend joining Clara and Nico’s 100hr Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in Dubai on September 16-28, 2016 

The Habits of Yogis in the Wild {Infographic by Yogatrail}


In early 2015, YogaTrail ran a world yoga survey to get a better picture of the global yoga community. What are yogis around the world up to? What motivates them to go to class, where do people practice, and what role does yoga play in their lives? Well, many thousands of yogis have answered the call, and below are the results of the World Yoga Survey in a cool infographic format!

Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga Training with Clara Roberts in Dubai, May 8 -11


Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga in Dubai with Clara Roberts

It’s important to realize that “core” and “abs” are not one in the same. The abdominal wall—and its many parts—is only one piece of the core puzzle. Simply put, the core is made up of what we call the inner unit—our deep skeletal muscles that generally work involuntarily in a stabilizing role (for example, internal obliques, transversus abdominus and quadratus lumborum)—and the external spinal flexors (that is rectus abdominus, also known as the “six-pack” muscles and external obliques). Each muscle has a specific job, but they all perform synergistically to achieve the same goal: efficient stabilization of the spine as we move without pain.

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Building Powerful ‘Core Strength’ at Yogalates!



Yoga uses the power of the mind, body and spirit, with meditating, relaxing and flexibility being the main focus. In practicing Yoga, you move from one static pose to another, enhancing strength, stamina, flexibility, balance and mental clarity. Through developing a conscious awareness of the body, mind, breath and life force (prana), Yoga has the ability to be deeply relaxing and health enhancing.

Pilates, is a way to build strength in the postural muscles and prevent injury. Muscles that are too tight or too weak anywhere through the kinetic chain reflect a weak link in the system. Pilates can do wonders to help alleviate those nagging muscle asymmetries and improves strength, posture and coordination. In Pilates class, strengthening the core is the main objective. Each pose is combined with movements of the limbs, improving spinal flexibility, posture and alignment. Pilates is known globally as a system of muscular skeletal exercises that augment sporting activities, assist in injury rehabilitation and supports those with back problems through re-educating the body’s postural muscles to create a very safe and strong foundation for movement.

Although yoga and pilates have basic fundamental differences, they tend to complement each other, and that is where Yogalates comes in offering a middle ground, combining the best of both by fusing principles of core stability with the foundation of Yoga Therapy. It infuses a spiritual aspect that is the core of yoga class but not present in pilates class, yet concentrates on strengthening the core as in pilates class. While Yoga movements feel great for the body, the poses can be complex and challenging so we tune into Pilates for pelvic and spinal stability towards a healthier and safer practice. By fusing the best of both worlds, Yogalates supports the health of the human mind, body and spirit. Clients receive a double dose of core work as they transition in and out of poses.

A regular session of Yogalates will include Yoga and Pilates poses to build strength, stamina, stability and flexibility with strong emphasis on building tone in the deeper postural “core” muscles.

While Yoga and Pilates classes bring about great benefits individually, it is a great fusion that works your body from the inside out!

Venue: Fraser Suites tower located next to the GEMS Wellington School on Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai College / Media City.

Book your first session online at : http://www.yogalatesblissindubai.com


“I try to get outdoors as much as possible, whatever the time of year it is. Prior to heading out for Yogalates, I knew it would be blissful as promised. Yogalates is a powerful tool in my well-being kit and experiencing it in an outdoor setting makes it all the more beneficial.

Arriving without my yoga mat which I had forgotten at home, my worries soon left the building, so to speak. The atmosphere at Fraser Suites is one of friendly serenity, and the minute I arrived on the outdoor patio overlooking the pool I felt welcomed as always…the Yogalates Bliss experience I’ve come to expect from Noura and her fellow teachers was pretty obvious. I was immediately put at ease, ready to work my body and benefit from the group’s friendly energy of focus and equanimity. Our instructor took us on a flow of Pilates core-tightening moves which promote graceful movement, blended with the expanding, lengthening and strengthening benefits of yoga practice.

The cool breeze did nothing but intensify the experience. It was a kind of rush, and a rejuvenating high – you really do get the blissful outdoors experience!

Muscle-toning, stress-relieving, total body elongation and strengthening to its tiniest point, I will be back on the mat for more inspired movement, come rain or shine! This is a newly re-instituted gem in my feel-good arsenal – even more so because of the great people behind the service.
Thanks Yogalates Bliss!”- Heba Othman



Pleased to have whipped up just some of the benefits of Yoga & Pilates for you and why we preach fusing the best of both worlds at our weekly Yogalates sessions ~ enjoy our first and fresh new infographic! — at Noura’s Outdoor Yogalates in Dubai ~ Fusion of Yoga & Pilates