The Blissful Yogi: Musfirah Asri
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).