Ninie Ahmad: Off her yoga mat.

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

Posts Tagged ‘BE YOGA Damansara Perdana

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(?)!

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Written by Ninie Ahmad

December 23, 2009 at 1:22 PM

I don’t need long yet damaged hair to accentuate my femininity and I don’t see my body as a graveyard for dead animals nor dumpsite for empty calorie.

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I am NOT the type of girl that asks this type of questions:

    • Which dress do I look better in?
    • Does my make-up look alright?
    • Should I buy that pair of shoes or this one?
    • Would a MINI or a 4-wheel-drive suit me best?

I know my taste, I understand my body type and I respect myself enough well to not let others decide on what looks and feels good for me.

So when I still do get “Why did you cut your hair? You look so much better with your hair long..” and “Why do you look so skinny now? You lost so much weight since I last saw you?”,

it offends me a lot as I will never be heard voicing out, “Why are you so negative? You always sound more so bitter everytime we meet. What unjustice has the world done to you that you only see ugliness and the worst in others?

I have wasted too much time, money and energy in painstakingly blowdry, highlight, colour, relax, perm, be put toxic chemicals onto my innocent hair that I earn my right to choose to let it recuperate and heal for the next couple of years.

Hair spiked up for Tatler shoot

Big earrings always complement short hair

I have always weighed 42 kg and been a US size 0 and UK size 6 for the past 10 years and I know my body better than you do. I am  simply happy that I am strong enough to lift up my own body weight (and others), I don’t depend on unhealthy substance to enjoy life and that my body is not built of dead animals.

Lifting up Azmi in BE Yoga‘s Partner Yoga class every Saturday 4pm

Standing on my elbows for our Partner Yoga performance for Breast Cancer Awareness Karma Yoga

I am more than happy with my short hair and I know I am healthy with 13% body fat percentage. If you are not (happy with my hair and my body fat count, I mean), kindly exhale them now or hold your destructive comments to yourself forever.

I’m surrounded by liars everywhere I turn
I’m surrounded by impostors everywhere I turn
I’m surrounded by identity crisis everywhere I turn
I’m the only one who’s noticed
I can’t be the only one who’s learned

I don’t want to be anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately
All I have to do is think of me and have peace of mind
I’m tired of looking ’round rooms wonder what I gotta do
Or who I’m supposed to be
I don’t want to be anything other than me

~ GAVIN DE GRAW (I Don’t Wanna  Be, 2004)

Love, productive Monday and sweet November ahead.

Written by Ninie Ahmad

November 9, 2009 at 10:55 AM

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

I’d do whatever it takes, give (up) all I have to – to BE cancer-free.

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Last Sunday, I conducted my usual Karma Yoga (free class for public) class to raise awareness on breast cancer as October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

BE breast-cancer free with YOGA

I was grateful and blessed as the turnout was amazing (and almost everybody showed up in pink!). A number of our local celebrities did show up to support the cause as well including the usual Atilia and the familia Henry Golding, Yasmin Hani, Xandria Ooi, Aishah Sinclair and Stephanie Chai that is gracing the cover of Harper’s Bazaar this month with spicy Breast Cancer feature and fashion spread inside.

Henry Golding & Stephanie Chai

(L-R) Yasmin Hani, Atilia, Aishah Sinclair

Henry Golding getting 'plow'ed

As Karma Yoga classes held every Sunday at BE Yoga are themed, before asking the participants to set their intentions and dedicate their practice that day, I asked these questions with everyone’s eyes closed

  • Has any of us experienced breast cancer first hand?
  • Does any of us have immediate family member that have / had breast cancer?

to tailor-make my class whether the class should consist of deep twists to eliminate (physical / chemical / emotional) toxins that might trigger cancer cells OR ‘loving’ and heart-opening poses to expand our hearts’ capacity with love and support for our loved ones in times of trial.

Intention & dedication

(L-R) Yasmin Hani, Atilia, Aishah Sinclair

To my (not-s0-pleasant) surprise, out of almost 20 participants that day – a quarter raised their hands for the first question and more than half raised their hands for the second, BREAST CANCER IS NO JOKE!

No amount of yoga / exercise / fancy pink ribbons / expensive lingerie can help us if we call upon cancer by smoking!

Our lungs and breasts are so near to each other – the thousands of chemical and poisons (you know I am not making these up) in evil cigarette that are trapped in our lungs might trigger cancer cells that require just one stimulant for the cancer cells to be activated.

Socializing with smoke-stained breaths, growing old with blackened teeth and dying painfully slow with all sorts of cancer are NOT glamorous.

I love my lungs and my breasts. I know you do (love your breasts, I mean ;D) too.

I have successfully quit smoking and so will you.

Peace, pink love and healthy breasts this October.

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

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!

Handstand

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

Vishnumistrasana

Vishnumistrasana

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 praise Highest above for Malaysia(n) ground that grounds me down.

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PETALING JAYA, August 2009 – When you don’t drink, not in the mood to party and when you are never into conventional fireworks and hazardous noise, how else can you celebrate Merdeka (Independence) Eve? Ever thought of a free yoga class conducted by Malaysia’s yoga celebrity?

The founder of beyoga and also the Official Yoga Ambassador for adidas Malaysia, Ninie Ahmad said, she has been counting the days to 2009’s Merdeka Day to commence her free yoga class for public on Merdeka eve.

“For years, I have never enjoyed partying and be stuck in traffic jam everytime Merdeka and New Year’s eve arrive. I respect my body by not consuming harmful substance just to validate a commercialized celebration and I believe, many more KL-lites are in the same boat with me.”

Since beyoga opens to public in May 2009, Ninie has been conducting free yoga classes she calls ‘Karma Yoga’ every Sunday 10.15am at beyoga Damansara Perdana with help of her key teachers at beyoga.

“We call it Karma Yoga as it is our way to give back to the public of what we have gained from them. The teachers do not get paid for teaching Karma Yoga class as it is of voluntarily basis. However, participants are highly encouraged to donate any amount of cash as they join this class and all donations from our Karma Yoga classes are to be forwarded to a chosen charity body or non-profit organization we have pre-chosen for the month. For example, collection for the month of May and June had been proceeded to Rumah Hope, PJ and we have selected MERCY Malaysia to receive our collection for the month of July and August.”

Merdeka Eve Yoga
Ninie who also is one of Malaysia’s top female bloggers and has ‘pretzel-ed’ local celebrities namely Ida Nerina, Atilia, Ning Baizura, Jehan Miskin, Norazlina Redzuan, Wan Zaleha Radzi, Kavita Kaur and many more adds, “The best part about Karma Yoga class at beyoga is, although it is a free class, it is also the only class where we teach themed yoga.”

“Since all Mother’s Day and Father’s Day fall on Sundays, we did encourage public to bring their mothers and fathers those two Sundays. Instead of normal light stretches to warm-up, that Karma Yoga classes started with the teacher choosing a couple of participants to share what their mothers or fathers have sacrificed for them to raise them up.”

“Since 70% of the beyoga ‘s Karma Yoga participants are women, you could expect tears and overwhelming emotions filled the room!”

Merdeka Eve Yoga

“We first conducted the Karma Yoga class during Earth Hour 2009 where participants practiced yoga poses surrounded by tealight candles and be asked to take care of Mother Earth as much as we take care of our body and family.”

Ninie also shares, “For the past two months, I have been conducting my Karma Yoga slots with yoga therapy and poses that can help boost immunity system to fight airborne virus and common cold especially with the current H1N1 pandemic scare.”

“While we are all bound to suffer from occasional flu, yoga practitioners are less likely to come down with sniffles and when we do, we tend to have much faster recovery rate due to yoga’s known abilities to regulate the immune system, keeping it strong to withstand infection.”

Merdeka Eve Yoga

“Yoga’s stress-reducing ability is a primary reason to why yoga helps prevent if not cure common cold. Stress is a major contributing factor to catching a cold or flu as stress hormones cause the thymus to shrink in size causing it to poorly-function as a producer of immune cells.”

“For the Merdeka Eve Karma Yoga however, I plan to teach the class with yoga poses and flow that will help ‘free’ chemical, physical, emotional toxins that have been colonized and trapped in our system throughout our lives – in true spirit of ‘Merdeka’ (Independence), and maybe wear Jalur Gemilang coloured yoga attire that night!”

'Jalur Gemilang' Shoulderstand

The Merdeka Eve Karma Yoga commenced 10.15pm until 11.30pm August 30th, 2009 (Merdeka Eve) and beyoga conducts Karma Yoga (free class for public) every Sunday 10.15am. For more information on beyoga’s other Karma Yoga classes, visit beyoga’s website http://beyoga.my or contact beyoga at 03-7728 6182 / 03-7729 6182.

(All photos courtesy of Erica Wong)

Written by Ninie Ahmad

August 31, 2009 at 4:46 PM