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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Nūn Center: Intense Yoga Classes in Zamalek
We have been a bit infatuated with Nūn Center in Zamalek lately. It’s such a calm haven amidst a bustling Zamalek, so we can’t help but visit every once in a while looking for escape. Last time we visited we had the Chi Nei Tsang treatment and this time we opted for the yoga class by Chirayu.
For all who haven't yet had the chance to fall in love with it, the centre is located in a villa in the closed down part of Shafik Mansour Street near Hassan Sabry Street. Go past the Dutch embassy and take a left before the shopping mall. Upon entering the street, you will notice the bright green and red logo of Nūn on the gate. Enter through the garden from here and take the stairs to the first floor. There are yoga classes taking place at Nūn Center for the entire day. It starts in the morning for all the early birds and the last class in the evening usually starts around 7.30PM. At the time of our visit, the evening class was extremely busy. We didn’t really mind though, because being yoga novices, this was a good reason to crawl away to the back of the room and hide behind others.
Chirayu is a very experienced yoga instructor and explains all the yoga moves perfectly before walking around and correcting your stance. Even though the class was very full, we didn’t feel missed out; there was still a lot of individual attention. The class started off with a few warm up exercises before moving onto the hard work. The class was varied and we didn’t get bored for a moment. We practiced a lot of different moves and in between them, Chirayu gave tips for when you want to work out at home. The class is pretty intense but very helpful. You will immediately feel more stretchy and energetic.
As a teacher, Chirayu is very attentive and immediately came to the rescue of this reviewer who embarrassingly fainted on account of feeling a bit light headed and nauseas. We were told this is normal during the first class and after a cup of tea we felt much better. At the end of the class there is a resting session per usual and you are wrapped in blankets so that you don’t get cold.
Unfortunately Chirayu is about to leave Nūn Center but we are confident that the teacher that will takeover will maintain Chirayu’s high standards. The 60 to 90 minute classes cost 100LE per visit which is very expensive compared to other classes in town. However, those who are even only a little bit familiar with yoga will notice the high standard..
In a city where, according to statistics, 80% of women have been subjected to harassment, it isn't the worst idea to take up self-defence classes. After all, it never hurts to be able to defend yourself from a possible attacker. Nūn Center in Zamalek understands the need for self-defence techniques and has started to offer these classes twice a week.
Each class is two hours long and is taught by Ahmed Kadry, who is trained in a variety of martial arts including traditional Japanese Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts. These sessions teach self-defence techniques that have been adapted to use in real life situations. Classes are open to everyone no matter what your fitness level or martial arts experience is. As well as picking up self-defence tactics, the class also makes for good excercise.
The two hours begin with a warm up of your all muscles to get prepared; special focus is placed on the wrists since they are used more excessively than usual. Apart from that you will also work on your balance. The next stage after the warm up consists of learning defence moves that apply to different situations. The first one shows you how to block attacks and escape efficiently and you are also shown techniques on how to free yourself should someone actually succeed in grabbing you. It was surprising to find out that with some techniques you can bring your opponent to the floor using just one finger!
The next segment of the class consists of practicing these newly learnt techniques with your fellow classmates and Ahmed himself. During practice, Ahmed continuously walks around to correct your moves and help you improve.
The best thing about this self-defence class is that you immediately learn helpful techniques which, if necessary, you could use immediately. During the class there are no breaks, it is a two-hour full-on workout. There are classes on Monday starting at 8PM to 10PM and on Saturday from 4PM to 6PM. You should wear a loose t-shirt as sometimes it’s necessary to grab each other in order to practice the moves. The classes are 100LE and you'll need to register beforehand by calling Nūn Center.
Ahmed is a very good instructor and is patient with teaching all the moves. All
in all, kudos to the Nūn Center
and Ahmed for offering these practical and genuinely useful classes.