yoga f.a.q

Your greatest yoga fear and doubts answered by our teacher, Ninie Ahmad-Forget.

Q: In 140 characters, what is yoga?

Love, timeless, cruelty-free, the technology of happiness, the only sport that works every muscle in your body & most complete workout ever. (Yes, I typed that on Tweetdeck.)

Q: I am not flexible and I don't think I am strong enough to carry my body weight on my hands! Can I 'do' yoga?

Don't worry! It is yoga that shall grant you that flexibility and strength you need. Just breathe, practice, practice, practice and in no time, you'll be splitting, standing on your hands or simply be at peace with what your body can do with yoga.

Q: I am a guy. Isn't yoga a girl thing to do?

You'd be surprised but rockstars Coldplay's Chris Martin, Maroon 5's Adam Levine and Hollywood superhero Jeremy 'Ari Gold' Piven swear by yoga to keep them in shape. Daniel Craig, Tobey Maguire and Brandon Routh were all yoga trained to achieve their James Bond, Spiderman and Superman bodies respectively.

Most 'stronger' yoga teachers are male too because men are blessed with 37 times more testosterone level than women and flexibility is a matter of frequent practice. But you are right about 'a girl thing to do' though, yoga class is the place to find girls with rocking triceps in ponytails.

Q: I have always been interested in yoga but I am afraid it will affect my religious belief.

A good and professional yoga teacher will not make you do or chant anything you are uncomfortable doing in a class (just FYI, anything Sanskrit does not necessarily mean it is religion related and Malay language vocabulary comprises of 80% Sanskrit words). Many people claim to be more spiritual, feel more alive and 'closer to God' post-yoga as consistent yoga practice often makes people count their blessings, appreciate every breath and realize their dependence on the source of highest light and energy.

Q: I have been lifting weights, running, kickboxing, swimming, playing soccer, Bootcamping, golfing, paragliding, and shark hunting and F1 racing. Sell me yoga.

Firstly, stop shark hunting. Please! And as hard sell as I may sound, yoga is the only workout that prevents injury, heals ailments and complements all your other sports activities. Most athletes claimed yoga helps them 'perform beyond their plateau'. In case you haven't heard, Ryan Giggs is 38 years-old and swears by yoga to 'have stretched his lifetime on the soccer field'.

Q: But yoga seems too easy for my liking. Will I even break a sweat?

Obviously you haven't tried Ashtanga Yoga.

Q: OKKK.. I've tried Ashtanga and now yoga seems too difficult for me! Will I ever be good at it?

It is hard not to fall in love with yoga once you found the right style for your personal goal. There are many different types of yoga, to name a few Jivamukti, Yin, Vinyasa, Kundalini, (all yoga is Hatha Yoga, by the way) with variation of orientations from yoga schools of Ashtanga, Iyengar, Sivananda, Bikram and Anusara. The key is - open your heart to trying different yoga styles until you find the one (or two) that suits your liking and the yoga teacher(s) that can guide as they inspire you.