Ninie Ahmad: Off her yoga mat.

Her affirmations of staying optimistic especially when she's (upside) down.

Archive for the ‘I am’ Category

I am looking forward to renew friendships and celebrate love (albeit others) in 2010.

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What’s a better way to start a new year when

  • you are given the honour to be the maid-of-honour for your bestfriend’s wedding on the first day of 2010?

  • and when you see yourself with your other bestfriend (whom you were her maid-of-honour) gracing January issue of Harper’s Bazaar

For full interview, get your copy of January 2010 HARPER’S BAZAAR (M’sia)

My dearest Fara Dila,

Congratulations for bringing your relationship to another milestone. Having known (and having shared embarassing secrets with) you since we were 13, I am honoured to be a small part of your big day today!

My lovely Juliana,

Never have I met anyone who is only 43kg at her most pregnant and still looks smaller than me at six-months pregnant (yes, she was four-months along as time of shooting the article above)! My prayers go to for your second baby and I can’t wait to plan your baby shower again when you come back from Holland in February.

Nevertheless I have been a maid-of-honour for the SEVENTH time and that it’s not funny attending weddings and baby showers when I am single yet again, I am excited to witness more friendships rekindled, love celebrated and beautiful babies born in 2010.

Love and a blessed year.

My dearest Fara Dila,

Congratulations for bringing your relationship to another milestone. Having known (and shared secrets with) you since we were 13, I am looking forward to be a small part of your big day today!


Written by Ninie Ahmad

January 1, 2010 at 1:43 PM

I still don’t feel the difference of wearing RM5,000 dresses with Forever 21 ones.

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What happens when you put together

  • a bunch of yoga freaks
  • dress them in designer gowns
  • make them wear RM36,000 to RM200,000 timepieces on their arms (and ankles)?

These pages of Malaysia TATLER December 2009, I’m afraid.

[ Photos are property of The Gardens Mall & TATLER Malaysia. Any reproduction of any kind (online, print, mention) must credit The Gardens & TATLER Malaysia ]

Dresses from M Women, watches from The Hour Glass (exclusively at The Gardens Mall)

Dresses by BCBG Max Azria, watches from Calibre (exclusively at The Gardens Mall)

LEFT – Dresses by Karl Ng (on Atilia) & Alvin Tay (on Ninie) , watches from The Hour Glass, RIGHT- Dress from Tang + Co, watches from Zurich Timepieces (exclusively at The Gardens Mall)

LEFT- Dresses from Guess by Marciano, watches from Zurich Timepieces, RIGHT – Dresses by Karen Millen, watches from Calibre (exclusively at The Gardens Mall)

Art direction by Joseph Teoh, make-up by Geraldine Wong, photography by Aaron Lee. All  yoga personalities, arms, thighs and abs are from BE Yoga, Damansara Perdana.

Have a colourful, blessed and healthy New Year(s) ahead!

Written by Ninie Ahmad

December 17, 2009 at 3:04 PM

‘Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.’ ~BKS Iyengar

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I had an interesting long talk with a member of BE Yoga during a quiet class earlier this week. Her name is Sue Ng, her cheeks glow with pink happiness, her words are honest, her presence and speech are as eloquent as a beauty queen and we can’t stop chatting on our business similarities and hardships as she just opened her restaurant about the same time BE Yoga opened.

We were exchanging stories about yoga retreats in India  from what I read in Eat, Love, Pray spiced with secondhand experience from my fellow yoga teachers and her firsthand experience of having been to India earlier this year following this ‘dream’ she had one night.

She was sharing her share of ‘wanting to change‘ and ‘seeing the light‘ upon being there, as I shared my fear of, ‘what happens IF I don’t want to drive a car, wear fancy adidas yogawear and get married anymore?‘ upon returning back from India if I can collect enough guts to actually go to India (Mysore hopefully) in the nearest future.

We had a good laugh yet painful reality check as we traded and agreed on this irony,

  • Sue opened her restaurant and shortly after, developed gastric problem she never had before AND
  • I, opened a yoga centre and immediately after, my stress level shot so high that my body (immune system) is attacking almost everything I eat!

Given a choice now, I will be happier to stick to simply teaching yoga as when money is involved, it gets ugly.

Having announced that though, I would NOT trade this experience of having sold my car to keep BE Yoga alive, having sacrificed my dignity and sanity to ensure my team loves and looks yoga, having met wonderful people and angels in human form as I crawl my way up and struggle for another breath when I’m on the brink of drowning – for anything else in the world and I am very excited to face what else is lined up for me, BRING IT ON!

This tunnel I am still driving through still seems endless and so far, I am not sure if I have enough fuel to reach its end but I am sure I will still have my spine and my breaths to keep me alive.

This bumpy road (and expensive highway tunnel) will definitely make me a stronger yogi, a more humble yoga teacher and a better person when I do see the light and rainbow (in form of WETHER investment returned, being a personal yoga instructor to British rockstars ;D, getting to volunteer at a remote orphanage as long as I could OR even settling down as a mother with two beautiful daughters, I don’t know and get ever so curious) at the end, I’m sure.

I breathe this wisdom by one of the greatest yoga teacher in this lifetime (I hope I will be lucky enough to meet), Guruji Iyengar – everytime I feel so drained, tired and low

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”

and I move by the love and kindness around me anytime I feel I have nothing else to smile for.

Love, hope and optimism (for RM400,000 to fall from my sky this weekend).

Written by Ninie Ahmad

November 19, 2009 at 1:10 AM

‘I am optimistic and sentimental to the point of being annoying, especially to people who think that being cynical and cold is cool.’ ~ Yasmin Ahmad

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I meant to write another lenghty entry on my recent quest of becoming an Ashtangi but I was distracted by a lousy tribute show for the late Yasmin Ahmad on Astro Ria. I had to stop writing what I intended to write because the show (and other ‘tributes’ done by different channels) just did not do justice, not even close to what Yasmin had contributed to Malaysia and how she changed us all!

I, for one, chose not to blog nor Twit about her passing last month because everyone else was doing it (I thought I was playing Yasmin Ahmad’s faux-cool bit :(, read again post title).

But recently, especially tonight, especially now – I suddenly feel the urge to.

At first I thought I was furious at this pseudo-THS: Yasmin Ahmad show for using disappointing AF has-beens that do not live up to Yasmin’s contributions and for not being able to capture the ‘loss’ emotion and tragic sadness from the people they interviewed BUT then I realized:

I was mostly angry for it startled me – if Yasmin had directed this, I would have cried, teared up and most importantly, moved by now.

I am just angry for all of us wouldn’t be able to appreciate another simple yet most powerful masterpiece from an incredibly talented and from what I gathered, insanely humble human being we all knew as Yasmin Ahmad.

I have personally met Yasmin only once, during the media premiere of Mukhsin (2007) but we did communicate when Leo-Burnett (the ad agency whom she was their beloved Creative Director) contacted me to conduct yoga sessions at their firm and when I left a comment at her blog in which she took her time personally replying:

Ninie Ahmad commented…

Dearest Yasmin,

I love you.
And love is an understatement.

I admire you for making me not ashamed of having been going to the cinemas again to watch Malay movies (although I had to walk out on Senario The Movie and Jangan Pandang Belakang after 15 minutes. God knows, I tried).

I thank you for portraying Malaysia beautifully in your ads, for capturing beautiful Malay values in your movies, that I am not proud to say – most of the time more beautiful on silverscreen than what we know happening and for making lines from Malay movies memorable again.

I am a Malay Muslim (soon to be banned?) yoga teacher in KL that’s having the trial time of my life by MY own people that can’t seem to stop keeeeeeep telling me (in my blog) ways to ‘be a good Muslim’ by listening to our Muftis, to cover up, to not live with non-Muhrim when all I am trying to do is, to ‘be a good person’ with big dreams to make Malaysians look better and live longer.

(I am) On the brink of giving up ‘blogging’ (before I become the words they have been putting in my mouth), I thank you for lending me some strength from the meaningful quotes you often paste here, for your lovely words and wonderful insights and for many more inspirations you never know.

Thank you.
May God bless us all and forgive all cruelty we have done to each other.

Peace, love and light.

November 20, 2008 9:21 AM

Yasmin Ahmad replied…

gosh, ninie. i don’t know what to say. i wish i knew what rasulullah s.a.w would have to say about your yoga and my films. someone wrote on my blog that i had no right to utter the words “alhamdulillah” because i don’t wear the hijjab. i told them if i can’t say those words, than i can’t recite the fatihah, and if i can’t recite the fatihah, then i can’t do my solat, and if i can’t do my solat, i’d be very, very sad and lost.

why do they judge people so easily? do they think they will gain allah’s pleasure by condemning a fellow muslim like that? and why do they always comment anonymously?

oh well, allah knows best.

i read in al-baqarah that there will be many who will say they believe and worship allah, but in truth, they don’t. and they don’t even know that they don’t believe! na’uzubillah. was the koran referring to these people?

allah knows best.

November 20, 2008 9:46 AM

That very reply of hers lent me the strength to keep on fighting for my yoga when it faced the thoughtless tribulation late last year.

I am reminded and kept borrowing her last line of advice “Allah knows best” whenever I get asked, “How dare / come you are still doing yoga?”

For that, I am still here.

For her haunting & beautifully-written and love & kindness-laden movies, I am inspired to keep feeding my yoga classes with beautiful poses and love & kind words.

For her success of having proved (brilliant) Malaysian movies do not have to have Mat Rempits or Datuk’s second wives in them, I aspire to prove to the world that not all Malaysian Muslims do not exercise (BBC London reported ‘Malaysia bans exercise for Muslims’ on November 24, 2008).

Everytime I repeat reading her blog posts, I feel like quitting blogging altogether (in a good way!) for I will never be able to share and write as beautiful, as articulate, as honest and as humble as Yasmin did.

Everytime I repeat watching any of her movies, I immediately feel like I am already a better friend, a better family member, a better lover, a better Malaysian, a better Muslim and a better me.

For that, I will remember Yasmin Ahmad as a familiar stranger that has the biggest impact in my life  if not a cool big ‘sister’ (anak-anak Ahmad) I never have.

An excerpt from Muallaf (2008) that ‘Malaysia may never get to see’ and learn a lot from (I hardly get angry, but when Malaysians / Malays get generalized from some ignorant minority, my fuse blows):

“Did you forgive anyone that hurt your feeling today?”

LET’S DO THAT. Everyday.

LET’S SCAN AND FILTER OUR SYSTEM. Every night. So we would wake up the next morning feeling lighter and not hating the gift of living another day.

I am sure Yasmin meant that, for everyone to at least have thought of doing so – while she wrote the movie (I plead our government to uncensor Muallaf like how Yasmin would have preferred and begged for it to be shown in cinemas HERE).

‘It is in forgiving that we are forgiven’ ~ YASMIN AHMAD (1958 -2009)


Written by Ninie Ahmad

September 18, 2009 at 2:39 AM

I am grateful to get to work with Malaysia’s best (magazine, art director, photographer, make-up artist) and to get Malaysia’s best (yoga teachers) to work with me.

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I badly want to hug all my instructors from BE Yoga NOW for rocking this yoga in haute couture shoot!


Azmi & Matthew

Mikee & Lila

I know it is very unbecoming of a yoga teacher but Atilia and I have planned to kidnap these RM276,000 timepieces we are parading

Ninie & Atilia

and I also refuse to return this Karen Millen dress I am wearing. It is breathtakingly too pretty!

Karen Millen



Till I return to the ground and be down on earth again, take care you beautiful people!

Written by Ninie Ahmad

September 10, 2009 at 4:58 PM

‘I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become’ ~Carl Jung

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I had a dear friend at BE Yoga translated my numbers (birthdate), read my face and palms during brunch this morning.

Since I had them done (numbers, face and palms) a number of times before, pretty much nothing I have never really heard before.

I am

I believe that we all take charge of shaping our fate and determining our own destiny (believe, work hard, pray) ; but when we kept being told that we hold a master number and was born to inspire, I guess it just feels good and validated all over again.

Love and light.

Written by Ninie Ahmad

August 19, 2009 at 12:47 PM