Andin: A Real-Life Wonder Woman from Bandung

In 2014, Dr. Fauzia Adrini, better known as Andin, decided to join a marathon after seeing her friends posting their running results on Facebook. She started with brisk-walking, and now she runs marathon in various places. She was inspired to try out long distance running to challenge herself and also to improve healthcare. At the beginning it was tough and difficult for her because her body and mind needed time to get used to the precipitous training routine. Slowly she prepared herself to take on a full marathon. Nevertheless, she persevered. Now, at 44, she had undertaken a 44km marathon and has inspired many young doctors to participate in marathon. Apart from that Andin also grasped other sport skills from brisk walking to trail running, yoga, swimming, and triathlon.

Andin is a doctor/lecturer and a mother raising a family with three beautiful children, one daughter and two sons. Living in Bandung, Indonesia, Andin, may sound like an ordinary person busy living her life. However, self-driven by her own voice and passion, the risk and challenges she had went through is what separate her from her ordinary self.

This is a story that we all need to read to motivate ourselves to come out from our comfort zone. She taught us that one can simply become anything if we have the courage to pursue them. A few days ago, Nashata team had the privilege to interview the real-life hero. We received nothing but warmth and positive vibes from her sharing her story.
N: Nashata
A: Andin

“It felt so hard in the beginning.”

N. When and how did you start running?
A: In 2014, I saw many of my facebook’s friends posted their running result on their Facebook wall, and I thought it seems interesting to do that. Besides, when I was in high school, I love to do jungle-trekking and hiking with my friends. I want to continue to do sports as my routine activity like I used to and of course, I want to be healthy.
So, I started with brisk-walking with my husband. It felt so hard in the beginning. Gradually combined walk-jog and finally, within 2 months I can run 30 minutes without stop. I felt so great! From that moment, I do running as my morning activity, with my husband and sometimes with my friends. And also, I started to join many running events after that.

N: How often do you train?
A: 4-5 days a week to do running workout, 2 times a week doing yoga, 1 day a week doing cycling and core training everyday.

“I join yoga class for women, swimming at public swimming pool and doing core workout at home.”

N: Wow. That sounds intense. Where do you usually train?
A: On the road, at the jogging track. Sometimes go out of town to do trail running with friends. For cycling, I usually go cycling around the town with my husband and my friends. I join yoga class for women, swimming at public swimming pool and doing core workout at home.

Side note: Core strengthening is the ability to use core muscles such as torso, hips, lower back, abs, shoulders in all three planes of motion with force. The core is primarily responsible for maintaining dynamic balance of the body centre gravity.

N. What inspires you to run despite a tight schedule as a doctor?
A: To be healthy. Also I want to inspire my students at medical school, my patients, and Moslem women to do healthy life style.

N. Are you a part of a running group? If you are, what is the name of the group?
A: Yes. We have a running group called KedoDoRun (Kedokteran Doyan Run means medical personels who love to do running). That’s the running group consist of doctors, dentists and medical / dentistry students in Indonesia. Besides running, we often share information or do sports meetings.
KedoDoRun Running Group Indonesia

N. Do you cross train or perform other sports?
A : Swimming sometimes,but I do cycling more often. I do yoga two times a week. Yoga is very good for runners for strengthening and flexibility training because it’s useful to reduce injury and recovery after doing long run. I also perform core strengthening at home.

N. When is your upcoming event?
A: Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on Dec, 3rd 2017. I will join Full Marathon (FM) Category. This is my second event on FM category. Hopefully I can reach my personal best on this event.
On 2018, I will try triathlon event also because it will be interesting and my husband, also a triathlete, encourage me to do so.

N. How is your diet like?
A: I eat oatmeals with milk and fruits for my breakfast. I have lunch with usual meal but try not to have dinner after 6 pm. But, when I was in holiday, I often “cheat”. Hahaha I love to try local culinary so sometimes I give myself a chance to forget about my diet rule on holidays.

N. Describe the training process for a marathon. How did you prepare–both mentally and physically?
A: If you choose to join Full Marathon Category on an event, it means that you have to train 3-4 months before, 4-5 days a week. Not only running workout (interval, tempo, easy, and long run), also you have to do strengthening exercise (core workout) and flexibility (like yoga). So, you must make time to do all of them despite your daily activity as a mother, doctor and lecturer.
Sometimes, I have to skip some of my training due to my tight schedule in my office. So, I have to communicate with my coach in order to modified the schedule on that week.

N. What do you wear for your marathon run?
A: Marathon run is an extreme sports. So I have to choose comfortable and also syar’i outfit to cover my aurah. I’ve tried some of hijab brands, and the most comfy one is Hooda hijab. Other outfit which I wear is sports shirt (actually our running group shirt) and modified skirt (pants which look like long skirt.) Hopefully Nashata will produce modified skirt too for Moslem women who choose to wear a long ‘skirt’ for their sport activity. And finally, of course I will wear visor and comfy running shoes.

“I will choose Sibaha and Azza Toplectic for my upcoming triathlon event on 2018.”

N. Insya Allah, soon, we will produce long running skirts. What is your favourite Nashata wear so far?
A: My favourite product is Hooda Sports Hijab, I have some different colours of that hijab. And I will choose Sibaha and Azza Toplectic for my upcoming triathlon event on 2018.

N: Where would you suggest runners to go for a run in Indonesia? Tell us the nicest spots you’ve ever been to.
A: So many beautiful places in Indonesia. You have to try running at Belitung beach, doing trail run at Pulau Padar Labuan Bajo Flores.
For runners who like to join the running event, I highly recommend May Bank Bali Marathon.

“I have joined Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014, 2XU Singapore Marathon, Vienna City Marathon Austria 2016, Borneo International Marathon, Kota Kinabalu 2017.”

N: Have you ever participated a marathon in a different country? What was it like?
A: I have joined Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014, 2XU Singapore Marathon, Vienna City Marathon Austria 2016, Borneo International Marathon, Kota Kinabalu 2017. At Vienna, it was memorable because we were running along the beautiful Vienna city although it was soooo freezing. At Kinabalu, amazing city but felt so hard especially in between 30km – 38 km because I had to run at high inclination route.
Vienna City Marathon Austria Runners

N. What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running?
A: I feel fresh and healthier everyday. In an event, the time that you reach the finishing line is such an amazing feeling. Suddenly you just forget every pain and exhaustion that you felt during the race.
“Never do something too much, too soon or too long.”

N. What is your advice to other novice runners?
A: Do running gradually. Never do something “too much, too soon or too long”. It’s imposible that you can run 10km within 1 week if you have never run before. Running is a kind of extreme sport so you have to do it with preparation like (4-5 days a week, 30 minutes minimum), never skip the warm ups before workout and stretching down afterward. It is important so we can minimize injury risk.

N. What do you wish for in the future?
A: I hope more people would realize that being healthy by doing healthy life style is such a way to be grateful to Allah blessings.

N: Thank you so much for agreeing to do the interview with us. We gained a lot of information from your wonderful experiences.
A: Alhamdulillah. Thank you.

We have to start somewhere and keep training. Never stop training and let’s keep improving for fitness reasons like Dr.  Fauzia Andrini!

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!

The Weekend Runner: Snorkelling in Weh Island, Acheh, Indonesia

For this week, I swapped my running shoes with flip flops, packed my bags, and flew to Acheh. My main destination is Weh Island, a hidden Indonesian gem not known to many yet. This island is about 1 hour ferry ride away from the main city of Banda Acheh.

IMG_2674Upon mentioning Acheh, the first image that comes to almost everyone’s mind is the 2004 tsunami tragedy. Banda Acheh has made tremendous progress since then. However, the road to full recovery is still long for the locals. This boat was carried by the waves about 1km away from its dock and landed on a villager’s house.

 

Pristine, raw, and untouched, Weh Island is not for the faint-hearted or those expecting luxury. Instead, this place is suitable for those seeking an adventure of a lifetime. The amenities and infrastructure here might not be up-to-date, but the view is definitely 5-star worthy. Upon arriving, not wanting to waste another minute, we quickly changed into our swimsuits and head to Iboih Beach to snorkel. There are many spots on the island to go snorkelling, however Rubiah Island which is accessible from Iboih Beach, is recommended by the locals to have the best view of the coral reef.

IMG_2576It is adviseable to respect the local customs such as dressing conservetively, even while swimming. The Nashata skirt allowed me to move freely while snorkelling, while keeping it modest.

 

The next day, we explored the village and Sumurtiga Beach that was near to our hotel. Since we did not hire any guide, we just went swimming and did not do any snorkelling. Despite being close to the village and the hotel, the water was surprisingly unpolluted and clear but there were not many coral reefs since the waves are pretty choppy.

IMG_2569Our hotel might be basic, but the view is award-winning for sure!

IMG_2622The sea beckons for a swim. How can we say no to that!

 

Going to a country where life is tough makes you appreciate what you have at home. Despite all the hardship, there are hardly any beggers on this island, and only a handful at the harbour on the mainland. We were glad that we decided to travel here because we are indirectly helping the local economy and promote the tourism industry.

IMG_2570Despite all the hardship that they have been through, the locals here are friendly, hardworking, and pious.

For accommodation and arrangements, contact Freddie Santai Sumurtiga

P/S: Shout out to all full, half marathon, and 12K runners who have successfully completed the Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon! I spotted so many ladies who ran in a Nashata top/ hijab/ skirt-pants yesterday, thank you for your continuous support. Give me a high 5, sisters!

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Until next week,

The Weekend Runner