Ninie Ahmad: Off her yoga mat.

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

Archive for the ‘I become’ Category

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 humbled and reminded that I am just human with tests of injury.

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In yoga class, injuries mostly happen because of wrongly set intentions.

Good yoga classes often start with the instructors checking if anybody has any injury or special request AND asking everyone to set good intentions, to dedicate their practice to someone (loved ones, someone in trouble) or something (world peace, etc) and to visualize exactly how they want to feel at the end of  the class.

..or if you try to look like Madonna at your very first yoga class!

As we are all humans built with integration of delicate joints, sensitive tissues, constantly regenerating new cells and yoga class can be one of the most-intensed workout most people can ever experience, risk of injuring oneself in a yoga class is definitely not impossible especially IF:

  • we arrive late to yoga class causing us to have missed the crucial breathing warm-up and sun salutations that are usually conducted first 15 minutes of a yoga class
    • to why, most yoga centres especially BE Yoga are strict on NOT allowing anyone to enter a class if they arrive later than 10 minutes of class’ start time)
  • we do not respect our body, our limits and our teachers
    • Cramps and unbearable pain are organic ways of our body telling us something is not right or our alignment is not correct that – if we go on, we will definitely injure ourselves
    • Our limits and maximum tolerance of stretching / holding our own body weight are not the same for everyone. The person in front of us in our yoga class is able to hold it longer / stretch it furthermight be due to they have been practicing yoga longer / more regular than us
    • Our teachers / instructors might have been practicing yoga 10 times longer than us / have taught a 1000 students / have a lifetime experience of yoga so whenever they say “Don’t turn your head around as you hold Matsyasana (Fish Pose)” or “Don’t hyperextend your knees in Uttanasana (Forward Bend)”, listen to them!
  • our intention to performing a pose (especially during advanced yoga classes) is not to better ourselves BUT to look like Jessica Alba or Cameron Diaz AND to show-off or to do it better / hold it longer than everyone else in the class
    • that is when, the pose comes with arrogance & hatred  side-effects instead of benefits & humbling effects

As a yoga instructor myself, as much as I can I use these reminders to remind myself whenever I join other yoga classes  or conduct my personal practice everyday. But sometimes especially when I am not centered, thinking of too many things at once or too tired, these reminders often slipped my mind.

That is why I usually get injured during photoshoot and public performances (as the intentions are obviously to show-off :()!

And errr, I injured myself again on Friday night while leading an introduction to Ashtanga class at BE Yoga. This thought was running in my head “Everything I do in this class will make me appear stronger on that cover!” as I demo asana by asana.

As a result, I pulled my upper trapezius (shoulder blade) and bracchialis (triceps) on my left while demonstrating Chakrasana Vinyasa (Complete Wheel Flow), I was not even warmed up as the rest of the class as I was showing it (off).

I went to an interesting Chinese chiropractor who performed some Oriental Tit Tar realignment for sports injury and applied some hot herbal medication on my back.

Inverted Anjali Mudra

I can’t even turn my head or look up and down (let alone do the pose above) as I type this :(. Wish me speedy recovery and remind me to take the rest I deserve, please!

Love and light.

Written by Ninie Ahmad

September 5, 2009 at 10:53 PM