With its hectic traffic and heavy pollution, Cairo is definitely not easy on your nerves or mental health. Even if you sweat it out on a treadmill, a lot of pent-up stress can manifest itself in your tense joints, your hips and your glands.

Vinyasa yoga focuses on connecting breathing with movement in a series of flowing, connected yoga postures. The goal of vinyasa is to gain strength, flexibility and mental concentration as well as detoxification through the practice poses known as asanas.The flowing sequence of these poses is intended as a moving meditation, where you focus on your breath and movement and allow your mind to completely let go.

Vinyasa yoga is perfect for anyone curious about yoga but more interested in the stretching and sweating aspect of the practice than the meditation. You’d better be fit, though; because Jill Bodley at Reform Pilates in Zamalek will definitely work your muscles sore.

Having practiced yoga for eleven years, Jill is an affable and very capable instructor who will calmly guide you through the postures. Her laidback nature and clear description of the postures make it easy for beginners to transition into the moves while keeping pace with the more advanced yogis.

Jill usually begins the class with a few seated postures for warming up, where she encourages you to use the ujai, a relaxed diaphragmatic style of breathing through the nose, making an ocean sound at the back of your throat. Then you begin a series of sun salutations, with every set or two changed ever so slightly. Jill’s classes are never boring or repetitive because she always mixes up the routine. Between difficult postures, she’ll ask you to take a vinyasa if you want, which means going through the sequence of plank, cobra then downward facing dog, the latter being a particular favourite and is usually held for several breaths until you ease your body more into a deeper stretch.

Because the class is small with a maximum capacity of six people, Jill is hands-on and will check your progress by during every posture and either ease you into a deeper stretch or correct your hip or foot alignment.

Even if you have zero knowledge of yoga and its benefits, Jill’s classes will leave you with stronger muscles, less back stress and a newfound respect for yoga. No matter how fit you think you are, expect to sweat considerably and to feel your body trembling through moves such as warrior 3 pose or the triangle. Your steady cycle of breathing will provide you with a calmer mental state that will help you persevere through more complicated postures.

Towards the end of the class, Jill may ask you to try a headstand or a backward bend, and even if you’re still a beginner, you may find that your body is capable of much more than what you thought.