The Bliss­ful Yogi: Mus­fi­rah Asri

Shape (Malaysia) - - Get Fit | Movers & Shapers -

IIn a world where peo­ple tend to be wary of the un­known, Mus­fi­rah Asri is a breath of fresh air. Soft-spo­ken yet ar­tic­u­late, re­fresh­ingly open yet never over­bear­ing, she’s like everyone’s favourite sis­ter. More af­fec­tion­ately known as Mus, the 26-year-old agri­cul­tur­ist-turned-yogi from Am­pang gives us a glimpse into her life as a wife, mother and full-time yoga in­struc­tor at her home stu­dio, Flow­er­ful Yoga. How did you tran­si­tion from agri­cul­ture to yoga? “I went through about eight jobs be­fore sur­ren­der­ing to a stress­ful full-time po­si­tion, fo­cus­ing on the mod­erni­sa­tion of fish­ing ves­sels in Malaysia. I was six months preg­nant, so my hus­band, Na­jmy, and I de­cided that I should spend time on hav­ing a happy, healthy baby. Dur­ing that time, my prayer mat (se­jadah) and yoga mat be­came my sa­cred sup­port­ers.”

When did you start practising yoga?

“I started in col­lege when I was 18, on a ce­ment floor with no mat. I used my dad’s oldie-but-goodie yoga man­ual from the 80s. Even­tu­ally, Na­jmy (we were still dat­ing back then) gen­er­ously bought me my first mat from Tesco.”

What’s your work­out rou­tine like? “Ev­ery other morn­ing, I do 20 min­utes of yoga and 10 min­utes of med­i­ta­tion.”

Tell us about your diet. “Yo­ghurt and fruits! I eat very lit­tle rice, but I sub­sti­tute it with lots of veg­gies. The meat I con­sume is mostly or­ganic chicken. I don’t avoid any types of food be­cause it only frus­trates me. If I feel like hav­ing a cookie, I’ll take a gen­er­ous bite.”

Favourite yoga poses? “I’m a sucker for back­bends and splits! My all-time favourites are the dancer’s pose, king pi­geon and wheels. I’m also cur­rently into all the ba­sic in­ver­sions like head­stands, fore­arm stands and hand­stands.”

What goes through your mind when you’re do­ing yoga? “Gosh, I LOVE this!”

The best thing yoga has done for you? “It calms me down and helps me look at things from a broader per­spec­tive.”

Mis­con­cep­tions about yoga that you want to break: “I’d love to let my fel­low Mus­lims know that it’s per­fectly fine to prac­tice yoga for our phys­i­cal wellbeing. If the mantra chant­ing wor­ries you, you can al­ways sub­sti­tute it with your own re­mem­brance of God. Take only what’s suit­able for you and tweak what’s not.”

The world would be a bet­ter place if we could… just re­spect each other. That’s all I ask for.

How do you un­wind af­ter a long day? “I switch off all my gad­gets, read a good book, spend time with my hus­band and son, Rumi.”

Do you have any hid­den tal­ents? “I was a dancer, and I acted in stage plays dur­ing my stu­dent days. I can sing and play the pi­ano a lit­tle bit. My life­long dream is to per­form at a pres­ti­gious Parisian theatre one day!”

What are your fu­ture plans? I want to in­tro­duce fam­ily-friendly yoga at Flow­er­ful Yoga, where mums and dads, kids, and even se­niors can come over. Af­ter all, yoga is for all ages! I’m also work­ing on my up­com­ing e-book, Peace­ful Preg­gers. I’d like young mums and dads to know that you can have a peace­ful preg­nancy jour­ney, in­spired by prayers, yoga and med­i­ta­tion.”

I love my shape, be­cause… I am bruised, I am scarred; but all th­ese chal­lenges have made me even more re­silient.

Catch up with Mus on her blog (www. musasri.word­press.com) or In­sta­gram (@mus­fi­rah.asri).

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