We all know the song and dance: we want to be healthy, but life makes it difficult. Even with Kuwait’s expansion of healthy eateries and the explosion of exercise outlets, people are still finding it difficult to balance their work and social lives with one that is more active. Some don’t have the financial means to fit it into their budgets, and don’t have the luxury of time to handle working out in between their busy schedules. So what happens? Many people end up signing up for an expensive gym, paying a hefty fee upfront, and having it take over their lives to get their money’s worth, or end up only going once or twice a week (if they’re lucky), only technically spending a small fraction of what they invested in.
That’s where Bader AlEssa and Anwaar AlRefae come in, as they know the story far too well. “It’s been solving a big problem for me, to be honest,” Bader says, “and I feel a lot of people can relate– which is why we started this platform in the first place.” Project 5 Miles (P5M) began three years ago as a regular running group that specialized in bringing people together to form a community outside of their working hours for the sake of finding healthier habits in their busy lives.
Today, P5M is still standing strong with seasonal activities such as running and outdoor circuit training dedicated to the community, but have also opened up a very special offering to the general public. Coupled with Anwaar’s online savvy to translate the experience into code which plays a vital role in bolstering an active lifestyle- and Bader’s skilled background in engineering and commitment to creating the community, P5M’s easily accessible, pop-up studio in Al Hamra Luxury Tower was born, offering yoga to the masses!
Why yoga, you may ask? “Yoga is a practice that I have a lot of respect for,” Bader says as he takes me on a tour of the space – a large room containing huge windows that overlook a breathtaking view of the city and the coast – something that is very well achieved with the space being situated on the 55th floor of the urban skyscraper. “I’m not necessarily skilled in it, but I’ve been practicing since the studio’s opening, and I love the way that it makes you rely on your own body with the minimal use of tools to achieve fitness. It’s definitely a different approach to strength balance and health – and it’s exciting!”
What’s even more exciting is the variety and location. P5M space offers all types of classes held by different yoga instructors in Kuwait’s active community to cater to that need. There are so many styles taught by freelance instructors who specialize in different practices. They teach classes from Ashtanga to Vinyasa, to gentle and more core-demanding flows, and there are even workshops! Sanaa, one of their instructors, teaches a different small workshop every Saturday, sometimes focusing on core, other times on handstands, making it’s all extremely beneficial for any person’s practice.
If you don’t fancy yourself a supreme yogi, don’t sweat it! The classes offered at the studio vary in level, as well as time. Our personal favorite: The early morning classes held on weekdays before traditional working hours. With the spectacular view the studio has to offer, towering over many in a structure towering at 413m high, yoga classes held at 6:15 a.m. twice a week during the week are expertly timed in tune to the sun’s rising from the east. We couldn’t think of a better way to start the morning. Bader’s personal favorite? “I think all the instructors are great, but Sara Al Sharif’s classes hit close to home for me: because she herself suffered the aftermaths of an accident before getting into yoga, her practice is dedicated to healing. I have lower back problems, so I find her classes in particular very beneficial for what my body needs.”
The P5M studio is accommodating to all your yoga needs from class type, targeting specific areas of fitness that you crave to fulfill, to incidentals. They provide mats, yoga blocks, straps and blankets, and even have a bathroom where you can change and freshen up before or after classes, making your overall practice less stressful. They also pride themselves further in accessibility and flexibility by offering the studio privately for uses beyond yoga. So if you’re a personal trainer that’s looking for a space to work with clients and have the tools to use, contact them for rentals. In addition to this, they’re looking forward to their expansion, and are currenty working on introducing an eclectic range of fitness outlets surpassing yoga. What’s next? Dance!
How to sign up? It’s extremely easy to pop into P5M for a class, just check out their informative website! Classes are as low as KD 5 in price, and are offered at reasonable hours throughout the day – even during busier corporate lunchtime. Just pick the class you want to go to, register and pay in advance, and you’re good to go.
We hope to see you at some of their early morning classes, early birds, as we cannot help but stress that the majestic sunrise coupled with your yoga practice is something you will not want to miss! They say that practicing yoga will lift you to a state of peace, relaxation and serenity, the basic components of Nirvana– nestled 55 stories in the air.
Are you ready to reach your better self through yoga? Sign up for a class today! For more information on Project 5 Miles, check out their website at www.project5miles.com to register for classes. Follow them on Instagram: @project5miles.