Ninie Ahmad: Off her yoga mat.

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

Archive for the ‘Interview’ 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!

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Written by Ninie Ahmad

January 1, 2010 at 1:43 PM

I don’t mind Quickie and I definitely don’t mind Celebrity.

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My Yogilates class at BE Yoga was recorded and featured in 8tv Quickie last week!

Julie Woon of 8tv’s Blogger Boy fame and the latest addition to 8tv Quickie family did join the class as well.

For those who missed it (and my Minnie Mouse voice on tv), I will be a guest on 8tv again today but with Celebrity Chat this time around.

Celebrity Chat is aired LIVE on 8tv from 2 to 3pm and my slot is at 2.30 – 3.00pm today (Wednesday, 23 December).

See me today(?)!

Written by Ninie Ahmad

December 23, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Interview: ‘Find serenity at BE Yoga’

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By Willy Wilson

At 27, yoga instructor Ninie Ahmad is all set to take over the world. Turning her love for yoga into a money-making business is what she aims for and she may well be on her way to achieve great success.

There is something almost otherworldly about Ninie’s BE Yoga Studio in Damansara Perdana. Part of it could be due to its stunning design, while the other could be because of its enigmatic owner.

The opening of BE Yoga, in May 2009 marked Ninie’s journey as a business woman. Together with her business partners and three yoga instructors, the petite lass established an exclusive yoga centre located at Metropolitan Square in Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ninie has an impressive track record – an 8-year teaching experience and a cult following that include who’s who from the corporate world to the entertainment industry. Her glowing reputation, along with her tastefully-designed yoga studio, spells success.

Breathing space

BE Yoga has a cohesive concept and is well-structured. It is a spacious 6,000 sq ft studio that occupies two shop lots on the ground floor of Metropolitan Square.

There is a reception counter, two large sitting areas, three big yoga studios, a mezzanine floor, two locker rooms and an office under the same roof. The space does not – by any means – feel cramped. In fact, the studio has an airy and inviting feel to it…plus, it’s also visually arresting.

“It could be because of the high ceiling concept,” Ninie says of her stunning yoga studio. The concept usually encourages peace of mind. It works well with relaxing hues, which is how things are at BE Yoga. Earth tone shades are used for the floor, walls and lightings making it easy for one to relax.

Added to this harmony of colours and design is the use of the five earth elements namely wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

“I wanted to have the five earth elements incorporated to the design because I believe the harmony of these elements help sustain and renew the energy of the people around them,” explains Ninie.

Each element is well represented: teak wood strips in the yoga studios represent wood, flame-like lightings symbolise fire, concrete flooring signifies earth, a sleek bronze interior embodies metal while a mini water feature with the iconic yin-yang symbol represent water.

The awe-inspiring modern interior gives a clean and minimalist feel. It is hardly ostentatious but you could easily find yourself drawn to its pristine serenity.

The Zen-like concept at BE Yoga beautifully marries the philosophy of yoga and design innovation.

Damansara Perdana: A prime location

Such tranquility and beauty come with a price. According to Ninie, the total cost for the renovation amounted to almost RM500,000. Apart from that, the monthly rental for such a prime location is equivalent to the cost of renting at least seven shop lots on the 10th floor of the same building.

View from the mezzanine floor (left), modern sofa on the first floor (mid-top),
rattan furniture from Barang Barang (mid-bottom), water feature and stairs (right)

 

But why would Ninie fork out so much money for the renovation and monthly rent?

“I would not have paid so much had I not believed it would be a worthwhile investment,” she says. Ninie maintains that what she offers at BE Yoga are not only yoga courses, but also a lifestyle service, especially for the yuppies who “are the ones with disposable income for lifestyle products and services.”

Ever the go-getter, Ninie is not one who does things without careful consideration. She’s done her homework and says that potential customers are typically young urban professionals who flock to the surrounding trendy neighbourhoods. Nope, she isn’t referring to Bangsar or Sri Hartamas.

“Thirty percent of my Facebook contacts, who fit my customer profile, live in Damansara Perdana,” she says. And what does that mean?

“Well Bangsar was the Beverly Hills of KL in the late 90s, as was Sri Hartamas in early 2000. But now it is Damansara Perdana that takes home the title.”

With the burgeoning responsibility of a yoga centre and million dollar investment, Ninie shows no signs of slowing down. She is already even planning for two new branches, one in Petronas Twin Towers and the other in Bangsar – to leverage on the professionals and old-moneyed market respectively. That’s not all. The industrious lady also wants own the BE Yoga shop lots. “I’m looking at buying the shop lots where BeYoga is now within the next two years.”

Great aspirations indeed.

( Source: Star Property )

Written by Ninie Ahmad

October 31, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Interview: ‘Ninie Ahmad: Being the best that she can be’

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SHAPE Cover NOVEMBER 09

Excerpt from SHAPE website.

Being the best that she can be

Petite Ninie Ahmad proves that size really doesn’t matter when you have the passion and belief to pursue your life’s calling.


BY WAN KER-HSIN


Not one to be discouraged by the National Fatwa Council’s recent ruling that yoga is haram or ‘unlawful’ for Muslims, or swayed from her passion for yoga, Ninie Ahmad, who is the official yoga ambassador for adidas Malaysia, has forged ahead with her dream to establish her own yoga studio.

HOW YOGA CHANGED HER LIFE
Athletic as a child, Ninie was disappointed when her love for staying active was hampered by the onset of asthma in her teens. Although her fitness wasn’t the issue, being asthmatic meant that competing in 100-meter sprint events was as far as she could go. “Any race longer than that and I’d get blue in the face at the finish line,” recalls Ninie.

Never having tried yoga until 1999, Ninie admits she had thought that the ancient practice was only for ‘older’ people. Her perception of yoga changed during her first class.“It was tougher than any training I had to endure as an athlete!” Now, she credits yoga for her improved flexibility, which has translated into fewer injuries.

Six months after discovering yoga and practicing it religiously, Ninie noticed another bonus: Her asthma was gone. “I’ve been asthma-free ever since!” Aside from its physical benefits, 27-year-old Ninie says that yoga has also helped build her self-esteem.

For full interview, get your copy of Malaysia’s SHAPE November 2009 out in newsstands today.

Written by Ninie Ahmad

October 23, 2009 at 8:51 PM

Posted in Interview

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Interview: ‘Getting to know Ninie Ahmad’

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MSN Life & Style speaks to Ninie Ahmad, yoga ambassador for adidas Malaysia.

Ninie Ahmad

By Flora McCraith

Life is a perfect balance for Ninie Ahmad. Together with Azmi Samdjaga, Asia’s most renowned Ashtangi, they’ve opened BEYOGA, a new studio in Damansara Perdana. With more than 200 yoga and Pilates classes on offer monthly, many taught by Ninie herself, she still finds time for a chat with us.

Tell us a little known fact about yourself.

People find it hard to believe that I was not at all flexible until I started yoga 10 years ago. I had always been an athlete and hockey player in school, so I was a pretty strong girl, but I had completely neglected the importance of flexibility. Strength and flexibility are on two very different ends of the health spectrum. To be physically fit, you need both. Yoga makes being both strong and flexible, inside and out – possible.

What made you get into yoga?

I developed asthma when I was 13 years old and it got so serious that I was being hospitalised twice a week until I turned 17. People believe that if you’re born with asthma, you’ll grow out of it as a teenager. But, if like myself, you develop it later in life, it will only get worse. Eventually, my respiratory problem restricted me from furthering my sporting activities, so someone suggested yoga.

I thought it was going to be easy, if not boring, for a sporty girl like me. I was literally dragged to my first class in 1999… IT WAS THE HARDEST WORKOUT I’D HAD IN MY LIFE! I was completely hooked. I started going for classes almost everyday and began to see the huge improvements in my flexibility. Within 6 months, my asthma had actually disappeared and it hasn’t returned to this day. On top of that, I stopped suffering menstrual cramps and found myself much slower to anger.

What fitness and health benefits can a newbie expect to achieve?

Personally, my asthma, gastric problems and migraines subsided after 6 months of regular practice. I had a student who had been trying to conceive for 12 years. Within 3 months of yoga, she was pregnant. Jessica Alba used a breathing technique called Kapalabhati to aid her child birth, instead of using an epidural. The founder of Bikram yoga had been paralysed at 18, but yoga actually helped him walk again! The physical poses and breathing discipline of yoga make us use our own body, mind and breath as a powerful healing machine. It’s so much more effective than expensive medicines and drugs, which aren’t organic to our system.

From a fitness perspective, yoga is the only discipline that incorporates ALL fitness aspects in one workout: strength, endurance, flexibility, cardio, balance and resistance, plus it also offers focus, optimal breath control and lifetime sustainability. Yoga also makes any man a better sportsman as it’s famous for its de-stressing effects and helping you stay focused.

What has been your biggest achievement so far in life, and how has yoga influenced that?

When I was 24, I published Malaysia’s first yoga magazine and was appointed Yoga Ambassador for adidas Malaysia. This year, I launched my dream yoga studio. Today (at only 27-years-old) I can proudly say I have been practicing yoga for 10 years and teaching professionally for the past 8 years.

Beyond these material achievements, I feel that my biggest achievements are being able to say: I am physically and spiritually happy and I continue helping change people’s lives and improved people’s health. Nothing makes me happier than hearing my students say they no longer suffer back pains, seeing them smile at the end of my class and witnessing my students succeed their first unsupported headstand.

What’s next for you?

BEYOGA will be expanding to two include to more branches in KL . I just want every Malaysian to have a taste of good yoga.

How do you deal with difficult people or personalities, or situations?

I live life according to this mantra: whatever you find useful on the yoga mat, apply it to life. I always say the poses are painful and challenging, but whatever doesn’t make you bleed or break bones, only makes you stronger. Difficult people and situations are like a challenging yoga class, it will pass and we will learn something from the experience.

Sell us to BEYOGA.

BEYOGA is run and owned by teachers whose core value is to inspire the public. We want you to know that it’s not just scary postures and intimidating breathing. It is essentially about the comprehension of love, compassion, knowledge and respecting your body. All BEYOGA teachers are Malaysia’s highest accredited teachers from world-renowned yoga schools of Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Anusara and other disciplines of yoga including Pilates.

Who are the inspirational figures in your life?

I admire highly successful personalities and business moguls that are still funny, humble, friendly and honour their own values.  Good leaders attract good energy and good people. I hear Tony Fernandez of Air Asia remembers all his employees’ names and birthdays.

In the yoga industry, I have lots of respect for yoga teachers who do not have to perform scary and out-of-this-world poses just to inspire or gain recognition. Without trying, they shine yogi qualities simply by saying kind words, respecting their own body and everything around them and practicing what they preach.

If it wasn’t for yoga, where do you think you’d be today?

I have always loved writing and drawing. My father used to be the editor for a big newspaper and my mother is still an English lecturer, but they insisted that I studied something other than writing or design. They actually wanted me to go into engineering or medicine!

After highschool, I was torn deciding what to pursue next. Architecture had always been my childhood dream, but I was also being offered a scholarship to study Information Technology. With a heavy heart, I chose the latter for my parents.

As it turns out, I have been able to marry my passion, my tertiary education and what I have always been good at in what I am doing now. I get to work and workout at the same time, I am pretty Internet-savvy for a yoga teacher, I am the architect for my business and I actually design and copywrite almost everything you see in BEYOGA’s website, buntings, posters and press releases.

What does being an ambassador for a brand as prestigious as adidas mean to you?

Being appointed to represent yoga and Malaysia for the biggest sporting brand in the world means the world to me. Some people even see yoga teachers as the highest physical and mental state of human form, so I bear the responsibility of  being ‘the walking example of a yogi’ in everything I say, do and wear, and am living-proof of adidas’ motto that ‘Impossible Is Nothing’.

What is one magic mantra we can all incorporate in our daily life?

Yoga reminds us that, ‘I go forward by going back, go up by going down, go out by going in and get by giving out’ and it allows me to let go of who I have become to be who I really am.

(Source: MSN Life & Style)

Written by Ninie Ahmad

September 28, 2009 at 12:52 AM