by Dina Ghandour
  • 3 minute read
  • August 25, 2023
Exclusive: Dubai-Based Yoga Instructor And Wellness Retreat Leader, Dina Ghandour, On Mindfullness, Slowing Down And Listening To Your Body

I’m a 300-hour certified yoga instructor and have been sharing my passion for yoga, mindfulness and meditation since 2015 through group classes and world-wide retreats. In recent years I have also journeyed through all three levels of Usui Reiki Energy healing training, completing my Reiki Master course just this year which allows me to train and teach this beautiful healing modality to others.

Before diving into becoming a full-time wellness practitioner, I first entered the health and wellness space when I opened my athleisure store yApparel in 2013. It was a wild adventure leaving my stable career (and salary) in Public Relations to open up a concept store in Dubai, but for seven years this business was very much my home and my entry point into the wellness community.

While I would love to say that my experience launching my first solo venture was a straightforward path to success, this is a story of how I ran my business – and my health – into the ground.

We had a wonderful first few years being the only space in Dubai that sold funky yoga pants, cool patterned mats and the like. However, by 2020 and the height of Covid-19, sales were at their lowest. I was also in debt and began to manifest physical symptoms of burnout.

I can now see that I tried so hard to be “successful” based the expectations of society and family, and I did it at the expense of my mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. I neglected all the signs my body was telling me, and it was finally giving up. After the third visit to the emergency room – the last requiring an ambulance – I knew I that I needed to come to terms with letting my business go and to start putting myself first.

There are so many things I wish I could have told my younger self back then. I would have encouraged her to seek guidance and to lean on others for support. I would have let her know that it was ok to fail. I would have also reminded her that she only has one life and one body, and that nothing else was more important than her health – no amount of money or recognition or success could ever replace it.

The big lesson from this is: find out what personal wellness is for you, and then find a team of experts who can help you get there. Thanks to the therapists, coaches and healers who helped me recover, I’m now able to pay attention to my energy levels, my body and my emotions and I regularly tune in to notice any signs of when I need to slow down and prioritise rest.

Slowing down – and resting – can look like so many different things for different people. For some it might mean an extra hour of sleep. It might be saying no to new projects or social obligations. For others, it could be carving out time once a day or week just to do nothing. For the overachievers like me, I always recommend practices like meditation, yin or gentle yoga, as well as Reiki energy healing. We store so much of our stress, tension and worry in our physical body, so working with the body as a gateway to the cultivating joy and peace in the mind can be so profound.

With these experiences and new tools in hand and heart, I’m excited to see what else this new chapter of healing and well-being has in store, both for myself and for others.

Visit and follow @Wellnesswithdina on Instagram.

Images courtesy of Dina Ghandour

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