Ninie Ahmad: Off her yoga mat.

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

Archive for the ‘I read’ Category

..then WE came to the end.

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Written by Ninie Ahmad

December 26, 2009 at 5:33 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 Eat, Pray, Love. And Yoga. At least five times a day.

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I might be the last person in the world to have only started reading Elizabeth Gilbert‘s best-selling and much talked-about memoir Eat Pray Love last week (I got it for my birthday from the fabulous Joseph Teoh), but really – how did you guys manage to read it without wanting to pick up / start / do YOGA immediately as you flip the pages?

Eat Pray Love

I laughed so hard at the ninth page as I read this,

I am alone, I am all alone, I am completely alone.

Grasping this reality, I let go of my bag, drop to my knees and press my forehead against the floor. There, I offer up to the universe a fervent prayer of  thanks.

First in English.

Then in Italian.

And then – just to get the point across – in Sanskrit.

..until I teared up and had to stop reading for a good couple of minutes for my stomach hurts from laughing so hard.

For a yoga teacher who has been trying to grasp as much Sanskrit (albeit, mostly of yoga poses) as I can, how can anything else be funnier than that?

And this book got me, when I got to page 27 (can you imagine my excitement, PAGE 27 on the book I got and read on MY 27th BIRTHDAY?) and I don’t think I breathed blinked at all as I read this,

..the old man asked me in person what I really wanted, I found other, truer words.

“I want to have a lasting experience of God,” I told him. “Sometimes I feel like I understand the divinity of this world, but then I lose it because I get distracted by my petty desires and fears. I want to be with God all the time. But I don’t want to be a monk or totally give up worldly pleasures. I guess what I want to learn is how to live in this world and enjoy its delights but also devote myself to God.

Ketut said he could answer my question with a picture. He showed me a sketch he’d drawn once during meditation. It was an androgynous human figure, standing up, hands clasped in prayer. But this figure had four legs, and no head. Where the head should have been, there was only a wild foliage of ferns and flowers. There was a small, smiling face drawn over the heart.

“To find the balance you want,” Ketut spoke through his translator, “this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart instead. That way, you will know God.”

Within those lines in this Book, what I have been feeling all my life – is worded almost perfectly.

With this gift of Yoga, what I have been wanting in my life – is achieved closer everyday.

I eat generously, I pray wholeheartedly, I love honestly, I yoga purely to prolong my life and extend the happiness I get to experience and give others – for as long as I live.

Love and prayers.

Written by Ninie Ahmad

October 18, 2009 at 11:30 PM