Top 10 Inspirational Yoginis in Hijab

Do you need to be flexible to yoga? Do you need to be superfit or super lean to perform headstand and all those difficult-looking poses? The answer to all is NO. We are featuring yoginis in hijab across the globe and their lovely journey in yoga. With a common love in yoga, these 10 inspiring ladies from different ages and backgrounds share why they embark into yoga,  where they get their training from, their routines and their personal views on how yoga has benefited them.

For newbies and those who wanted to try yoga, you can learn from these strong and beautiful ladies. Just follow their instagram and nashatadotcom’s instagram for tips and updates.

YOGA IN HIJAB

Brunei ] [ Indonesia ] [ Malaysia ] [ Singapore ] [ United Arab Emirates ] [ USA ]

  • UAE : Nura Arabi
  • Brunei: YogaWithAmani
  • Indonesia : Lola Shariff
  • Indonesia : ErziYoga
  • Malaysia : Najwa
  • Malaysia : Nadia
  • Malaysia : Rita Rahayu
  • Singapore : Nura
  • Singapore : Farah
  • USA : Yasmin Essa

BRUNEI

Amani A. Muntassir, 30 @yogawithamani

~ Yoga is for everyone for all ages and different body types. You just have to start somewhere

Amani is a full time Biology teacher and part time yoga instructor in Brunei. She started yoga back in 2006 during her university days, where she set up a yoga club. Yoga is her way to release stress and she finds yoga to be different than other sports.  To her yoga eliminates all sense of competitiveness and comparing with others, while she focuses on herself, my own practice.

After completing 200 hour yoga training at Ubud Bali in December 2014, Amani teaches yoga. She is also a prenatal yoga teacher. Despite her busy schedule as a teacher, Amani teaches yoga three times a week at the studio. Other than teaching, she enjoys performing the yin style yoga and sometimes vinyasa or stronger yoga routines. Now, she joins her favourite international teachers online as ways to improve her routine.

AMANI IN FAVOURITE POSE : HEADSTAND

Amani in Favourite Pose : HeadStand

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INDONESIA

Lola Shariff, 39 @lolashariff

~ Yoga makes Lola happy and strong, and most of all to her, it is a never ending journey.

A self taught yogini initially, Lola started yoga when she had lower back pain in 2014. She joined yoga classes a year later and found improvements in her practice since, especially alignments. Lola works as a freelance subtitler, and she balances her time by attending classes twice a week at least, except weekends. She enjoys hatha, iyengar, power yoga, sometimes swing yoga and ashtanga. She practices backbends and handstands frequently at home.

LOLA IN FAVOURITE POSE : HANDSTAND

LolaShariff in Favourite Pose : HeadStand

Erzi, 31 @erziyoga

~ Yoga enfolded via Technology

A mother residing in Jakarta started yoga 3 and a half years ago when her sister took her to join a private yoga class. Since then, Erzi and friends have private yoga classes at sister’s house.

Yoga is a not a high impact activity and is an enjoyable journey. Despite gentle movement on a mat, yoga can make one sweat and build one’s energy, explains Erzi. To Erzi, yoga teaches her to breathe well and stay calm and relaxed in any conditions. Even though she has been learning yoga for more than 3 years, she still attends yoga classes at a studio and private yoga class once a week with her sister.

ERZI LOVES MEDITATION

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She starts her practice with meditation, minus chanting. To her, meditation connects her breathing with mind and that helps her improve her routines. She would then stretch her neck, arms, sides of my body, spine and continue to Sun Salutation A for 8-10 rounds before continuing to my peak pose of the day.

She advises other sisters to learn yoga online like Youtube, if there is no studio closeby. She shares that some of the well-known yoga teachers online has some beginner tips about how to get onto your mat while others have classes for beginners to intermediate level. She also finds instagram as a good channel to learn yoga.

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MALAYSIA

Najwa / Wawa, 31 @najwa.bulat

~ Learn from a qualified and professional instructors 

Najwa started yoga 17 years ago at a tender age of 14. She started yoga to improve asthmatic condition. Now, a Fitness & Yoga Instructor, Najwa finds yoga important to keep her improve body strength, maintain a lean body and to keep healthy & flexible. Most of all, the breathing techniques help cure her asthmatic problem.

Being a qualified Hatha Yoga Tutor from Slimhealth Aerobic & Dance Studio and a fitness instructor, Najwa’s routine is colorful. She urges beginners to learn from a qualified and professional instructor to reap the benefits of yoga so that you can get a lean, curvy and fit body.

NAJWA KEEPS A COLORFUL ROUTINE

Najwa

Here’s Najwa’s colorful routines that combines yoga with other types of workout:

1) Hatha Yoga
2) Body Weight Training
3) High Intensity Workout
4) Weight Training
5) Cardio Workout (Boxing+Aerobic+ Dance)

Nadiah Mohaizi, 36 @nadie_omgoing

~ You will be fascinated by what your body can do, and it comes a reminder to care for her body – a gift from Allah 

An engineer by profession, and certified yoga instructor, Nadiah started yoga to loose pregnancy weight. Yoga fits the need as she wanted something she could practice at home. She also finds yoga as a good weight training exercise as you’d need to do planks, lunges, inversion, and arm balances which are important for women to increase stamina and metabolism. To Nadia, yoga is not about the asanas (poses), but the journey into achieving them and to remain calm through proper breathing in maintaining poses. Keeping calm is important in her hectic daily life. Till today, she is fascinated by what her body can do and it serves as a reminder for her to care for her body – a gift from Allah.

NADIAH IN FAVOURITE POSE : forearm stand

nadiah 2

Like Erzi and Amani, Nadiah also uses technology to learn yoga at beginning stage. After which, she attended  Atilia freeyogafit class at KLCC. She took teacher training at MAYI to be a certified yoga instructor and now she practices Ashtanga at Mysoreroom KL in Binjai 8. She trains every other day for 10 minutes and suggests newbies to practice safe and find a good teacher to help with alignment and postures.

Rita Rahayu Omar, 41 @ritarahayuomar

~ Yoga is not a destination…it is a journey that enriches you every step of the way.

RITA feels happy when she is upside down

rita4

A mother of 4, a lactation consultant and an serial entrepreneur, Rita started yoga in 2011 when she was living abroad as an expat wife. At that time she had just lost her baby, and despite having support from husband and children she felt rather lost and depressed. She read a lot about yoga and was intrigued by it further after hearing friends talk about it. Soon, she hired a personal yoga instructor who came 5 days a week.

Rita emphasizes the importance of breathing techniques; the techniques that help achieve relaxation, mental clarity and eliminates stress , fatigues, depression and anxiety. She felt better and healthier after a few sessions and after 3 months into yoga, she was pregnant again and she continued to do yoga throughout her pregnancy. Her 4th baby is a peaceful, happy, yoga baby. He’s always wanting to practice yoga with Rita whenever he sees the mat!

Despite her busy schedule running her businesses Bebe Sachi and The KembaRA, Rita yoga at least once a day either in the morning or everning. She likes inversion poses because of its many health benefits. Among others it helps supply blood to brain, build your core strength and balance to our body.

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SINGAPORE

Nura Ahmad, 25 @yogawithnura

~ a fitness goal that became a self-growth and self-discovery journey

Nura started learning yoga at a young age of 17. She wanted to improve athletic performance and saw progressive results in stamina running long distance despite having asthma. She survived colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome in 2012.

NURA ACTIVE IN YOGA @ 6 MONTHS of PREGNANcy

Currently 6 months pregnant with her first baby, Nura finds pranayama (breathing techniques) and a quiet 15 minutes mindfulness shapes her to be better version of herself, discovering  weakness and grounding herself from pride.  She dedicates 3-4 times weekly of prenatal, hatha and restorative yoga while committing herself to do house chores. A committed fitness entrepreneur at @fitness4muslimah and a certified yoga trainer (Ashtanga & Hatha), Kids Yoga teacher and Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga teacher, she advises other sisters to just show up on the mat, no matter how you feel that day.

Nura loves all yoga poses and always balance her flows with standing poses for concentration and balance, twists poses for internal detoxification and help keep irritable bowel syndrome at bay, hip openers, backbends aka heart openers which helps her a lot in strengthening interpersonal relationship with students and loved ones. She loves arm balances such as crow, eight angle and headstands for core and grow her upper body strength after spending almost half of her years building endurance in lower torso for athletic performance in school.

Farah Lyna, 31 @farah.yuj

~ Yoga is non-competitive, so there is no need to feel pressured or exert yourself in a pose.

From running to yoga, Farah, now a yoga teacher, started attending yoga classes 9 years ago and only looked into yoga seriously in 2013. Yoga became a regular practice when her scoliosis started to cause numbness on left leg.She received training from Tirisula Yoga in Singapore.

Farah starts her morning training with some pranayama (yoga breathing exercises), followed by a few rounds Sun Salutations and simple stretches like forward folds, backbends, twists and a headstand. She tries to do  Ashtanga practice at least once a week.

To Farah, everyone has a unique body type and it’s important to work within own physical limits. Farah echos other yoginis reminders that with regular practice & patience, our body will get used to the routines. Yoga is a journey of self-discovery.

SELF DISCOVERY THROUGH YOGA

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Nura Arabi @_iChallenger

~ You won’t understand the gain that is waiting for you until you try it and judge from experience.

Nura Arabi, like other sisters in fitness found love in yoga. Nura is a physical education and health teacher and she teaches swimming and Zumba and she writes about  fitness. She started yoga in 2015 and practices twice a week since. She started learning yoga at a Yoga center, after which she learn via youtube videos at time of convenience.

To Nura, yoga is a good way to get deep into herself as it teaches patience, body awareness and improves muscular and mental strength.

Nura Arabi in Favourite Pose : Tripod Headstand

Nura Arabi in Favourite Pose : Tripod Headstand

USA

Yasmin Essa HC, AADP, 27 @ wellnesswithyasmin.com & @yasminessa

~ Yoga is an artistic form of expression
Yasmin started yoga when she was a senior in high school and has been into fitness since. She was the first female student trainer at Montclair State University, but it was after college her love for yoga grew. Yoga helps reduce pain she has on her back due to  idiopathic scoliosis.

After going to classes at studios over the years, Yasmin is now a self-taught yogini and a board certified Holistic Health Coach. She keeps her routine interesting combining different types of workout activities. She does a lot of strength training, some HIIT for cardio, and yoga for flexibility and lengthening all of which she shares on instagram

YASMIN GRADUATED FROM THE Institute for Integrative Nutrition

yasmin essa

Yasmin enjoys flowing from downward dog to plank to upward dog to child’s pose as it warms her body up for a more rigorous workout, or to stretch out.

She reminds newbies not to compare yourself with others and to focus on being most present in your own body, mind, and soul.

Chelsea, Wellness Blogger @ MuslimahHealthy.com

~ You can never  get bored with yoga

Chelsea started yoga in May, 2015 when she was traveling a lot and didn’t have access to a gym. She fell in love with it so much that decided to start a full-time practice. Chelsea finds there is always something to work towards whether it is more advanced poses, building strength/flexibility, or working on form and technique. A self taught and self-motivated person, Chelsea constantly progress and keeps pushing herself to get better and better in yoga.

She practices the Ashtanga yoga method, memorizes a sequence of poses and practices every day. Once she feels she has mastered a certain set of poses, she would move on add more into her routine until she eventually memorizes the entire Ashtanga sequence – around 40 poses. Like many of the other yoginis, Chelsea really love inversions and arm-balances because of the core and shoulder work she gets. Her favorites would have to be the forearm stand, handstand  and backbend.

She reminds other sisters not to be afraid about not being flexible enough or skinny enough and they are not important. Yoga is for absolutely everyone and it is a progression. Chelsea does many other types of workouts and finds yoga great workout. She actually needs to keep a sweat rag next to her mat during practice!

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What are you waiting for girls? Just get onto the mat and go through the beautiful journey of yoga. You can get a lot of help from these inspiring yogonis!

Global Fitness Call for Fitness Trainers

This year we are starting a program for all lady sports or fitness trainers who are helping many people out there to achieve their fitness goals.

Specially tailored for ladies only, Nashata’s Groovy Trainer program offers a full set of modest activewear with Groovy Trainer prints on each piece for FREE. The full suit comprises of black Iman sports hijab, Leia ultra top, and harem pants worth RM357 or USD89 (special printing inclusive) Yes, only selected Fitness Trainers get to wear the Groovy Trainer outfits.

Not only that, throughout the year, Groovy Trainers get 15% discount for all purchases at nashata.com and support from Nashata for their sporting or fitness program on our network of social media.

To qualify, one needs to be either a certified fitness trainer or associated with a fitness center, fitness organisation or sports group. We welcome trainers from all types of sporting activities to join the program. One could be specializing in certain type of sports like swimming, zumba, yoga, pilate or boxing.

So, if you are a sports or fitness trainer, no matter where you are, join the Groovy Trainer program and if you have an awesome trainer or know of one, please get her to embark into this program. To register, fill up  the form at http://bit.ly/groovytrainer by 31 January 2016. Announcement will be made first week of February 2016.

Groovy Trainer

Selected sports or fitness trainers get to wear the FREE full suit with the little prints (as below) on the sports hijab, top and harem pants. Be the Groovy Trainer and let’s make fitness a fun and healthy experience to our sisters.

groovy trainer

Groovy trainer prints on Full Suit

Questions can be sent to contactus@nashata.com or whatsapp +6012-3112489.

 

Women and Weights Part 2: Benefits of Strength Training

Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” –Rikki Rogers

Last week we debunked some common myths pertaining to women and strength training, as we learned to get over our fear of weights. We established that lifting does not make women look masculine, it doesn’t necessarily add on size, unused muscle cannot turn into fat, etc. This week we are going to explore the countless benefits of strength training and I will demonstrate why you should begin working with weights.

Pumping iron isn’t just for those meat heads in the gym trying to grow their biceps and squatting double their body weight. Resistance training comes with amazing advantages, helping to burn more fat, tone the physique, and providing a healthy and ageless body.

 

Burn Calories and Body Fat

Lifting weights is one of the best ways to burn off that unwanted body fat. As more lean muscle is built up in the body, the metabolism becomes faster as the body has to use a lot of energy to maintain that muscle. This increase in metabolism helps to burn more calories, not only during exercise, but while at rest as well. Once the body burns off more calories than the person is consuming on a given day, either fat tissue or muscle tissue will become the body’s new source of energy. With strength training, you are ensuring that the body is using up fat rather than muscle.

 

Gain Strength…Without the Bulk

Pumping iron doesn’t cause size in women like it does in men…unless women are trying to put on weight and follow a specific strength training and nutrition regimen for the sole purpose of weight gain. Women have much less testosterone than men which allows for a lean, feminine, and toned look rather than a muscular, bulky look.

 

Improve Bone Health

Women are at a higher risk than men for developing osteoporosis, as we not only start with a lower bone density than men, but we also lose bone mass faster as we age. Strength training has been shown to slow down this process. Bone health is so important for the adult woman, and weight training combined with dietary calcium might just be the best preventative method!

 

Build Confidence

Hitting the weights will not only help you to build confidence in the way your body looks, but also in your abilities in general. The gym is all about stepping out of your comfort zone, setting goals, and accomplishing what you never thought you could do. The gym brings out your true strengths, and this will shine through every aspect of your life.

 

Improve Cardiovascular Performance

Whether you are a runner, a cyclist, a sports enthusiast, or simply someone trying to improve their cardiovascular health, resistance training can significantly improve your performance. You can add weights into your cardio routine, separate the two type of exercises completely, or a mix of both. Strength training has been shown to improve speed, length of time one can perform an exercise, and reduce the risk of injury.

 

Strength training provides so many wonderful benefits and it a great way to add balance and intensity to your fitness regimen. While cardio is great for health and fitness, strength training can be that extra push you need to burn that last bit of fat, improve your body composition, and become an even healthier version of you.

Be Inspired : A Young Fitness Trainer Shares her Routine


Chelsea Panzarella, a beautiful soul born and raised in Rhode Island, USA. Raised with no religion but considered herself a non-practicing Christian. Alhamdulillah, she converted to Islam about 6-7 months ago. She is a fitness trainer.

We are honored to be given the opportunity to interview Chealsea where she shares her active lifestyle with us.

  1. What do you do before becoming fitness trainer?
    After graduating college, I took some time off before finding a job. I participated in a fitness competition and fell in love with the lifestyle clean eating and heavy weight lifting. I decided that I wanted to become a Personal Trainer to help inspire other to love fitness as much as I did.
  2. What motivates you to be a trainer?
    My own experience and love of health and fitness motivates me to be a trainer. I learned a lot about lifting weights and building muscle in order to lose and/or maintain weight. I’ve found that many women are scared of weights and have misconceptions of becoming too bulky. I want to educate them on the importance of both cardio and weight lifting. I want to inspire women to take control of their health in the right way!
  3. What does the training involve? biking? gym? Yoga?
    My training programs consist of nutrition plans and workout plans. Nutrition is based on whole, fresh foods and proper macronutrient balance (calories, lean protein, healthy fats, complex carbs). Exercise is based upon their fitness level, experience, and whether they workout at home or at a gym. It is typically a mix of weight training and cardio. I like to work with them to help them find exercises that they love because I want it to be enjoyable. My programs run 12 or 16 weeks in length, the reason being that I want it to become a lifestyle for them rather than a short term diet and workout program. I consistently communicate with clients and do weigh in’s every other week. Nutrition and workout plans change every 4 weeks based upon their progress. I also set up 1 month challenges in order to help people jumpstart their goals.
  4. Is it hard to get the Muslims to join your program?
    My businee is relatively new so I can’t really say for sure as I am still working on building that initial client base. I feel like many of the Muslim women really want to become healthier but they are confused about what health really means, or they don’t know where to start. I have a lot of people who ask for advice or about my programs but they have a hard time making that initial step and actually going for it.
  5. What is your opinion working out indoors and outdoors? Which do u prefer?
    For me personally I mostly workout indoors. I do a lot of heavy weight lifting as well as fitness classes like zumba, spin, and kickboxing so the gym is really where I get most of my exercise done. I also like the treadmill and elliptical because it allows be to do sprints without being able to slow down my pace. I do like to get outside once a week (when the weather permits) either for a distance run or a track workout.
  6. What is the obstacle of being a muslim trainer for you?
    The hardest part is not being able to show my progress. I think one of the biggest things people want to see in a trainer is that they are fit. I’ve had to find some new and creative way to post about my progress and knowledge. I have recently started posting some at home workouts which I think people are really enjoying!
  7. What is your daily workout routine like?
    As of right now I’m lifting 4 days a week. I alternate between chest/triceps, back/biceps, legs, shoulders/abs. Then I do 6 days a week of cardio. On weight days I do weights first then usually go to a workout class. On just cardio days I’ll usually do a HIIT (as shared below) workout.
  8. Are there any changes on your workout routine and diet after the conversion?
    A little bit but not too much. I’ve never been a fan of pork so Alhamdulillah that wasn’t hard for me to cut out! I’ve had to find some alternative ways to do some of the exercises I was used to because the new women’s gym, although it’s amazing, it doesn’t have all of the machines that a mixed gym would have. I’m still working on learning more about halal and sunnah foods, I have started eating a lot more honey and dates! I have also decided, starting this week actually, that I will begin to fast once per week. I need to prepare for my first ever Ramadan! I’ve also read that fasting has great health benefits so I’m super excited to implement this into my nutritional regimen.
  9. Do you take extra supplement for your health?
    I do take supplements but I like to keep them minimal and basic because nutrition is the most important part and supplements are only enhancers. I do, however, take multivitamins, fish oil, whey protein, and meal replacement shakes through Herbalife.
  10. Do you find the conversion helps you in terms of fitness?
    ABSOLUTELY! In so many ways I don’t know if I can write them all. Until I began covering up I never realized how much I was actually doing it for looks. Since wearing hijab, fitness is so much more to me. It is about feeling energized and accomplished, it is about inspiring others rather than just showing off, it’s about connecting with Muslimah’s around the world through health, it is about one day having kids and being able to keep up with them, and most importantly it’s about keeping this body that Allah has blessed me with healthy for as long as I can!

She delivers her training to clients online, so you can be anywhere, as long as you have internet access you are able to get Chelsea to guide you. This wonderful woman also shared a quick tip for workout. Simple, yet impactful.

 

Total Body HIIT Circuit

Key Points

HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a higher degree of interval training where one would perform short bursts of very high intensity exercises followed by a somewhat larger, smaller or equal period of active rest. HIIT training helps to improve cardiovascular health, metabolism, and intensifies the fat burning process.

This is a bodyweight workout that can be done outside, in the home, or in a gym.

You will perform 3 sets of the exercises grouped together. For example, you will complete each exercise in the first box once (25 bodyweight squats, 25 jump squats, pushups to failure, and 25 crunches, without rest in between…that equals one set. Go back to the top of the box and repeat 2 more times. Once you are done with the 3 sets you will execute 15 burpees.

 

THE WORKOUT

 

EXERCISE

REPS

SETS

BODYWEIGHT SQUATS

25

3

SQUAT JUMPS

25

3

PUSHUPS

TO FAILURE

3

CRUNCHES

25

3

After all sets are complete, execute 15 burpees

60 SECOND REST

EXERCISE

REPS

SETS

ALTERNATING STATIC LUNGES

25

3

ALTERNATING JUMP LUNGES

25

3

TRICEP PUSHUPS (hands under shoulders)

25

3

REVERSE CRUNCHES

25

3

After all sets are complete, execute high knees for 1 min

60 SECOND REST

EXERCISE

REPS

SETS

TUCK JUMPS

25

3

BURPEE SUICIDES (this is a burpee with a pushup at the bottom and a jump at the top)

25

3

PLANK JACKS (hold a plank and bring feet in and out like a jumping jack)

25

3

BICYCLE CRUNCHES

25

3

After all sets are complete execute mountain climbers for 30 sec

InsyaAllah, we will be getting more tips from her in the future.