Introducing the community blog interview where we will be getting to know more of you lovely people, our community. Starting with the one and only, Yasmine.
Meet Yasmine. The life of the party here on the MLPC. Yasmine has been part of this platform since the beginning, back when the world shut down its doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. Growing up in Kuwait, Yasmine was an old pal of Alex when they were both in Kuwait City. Alex was teaching at the only yoga studio at the time and that’s where the two met. Now they live each other’s opposite lives. Yasmine’s living in Montreal and Alex is in Abu Dhabi which is close to Kuwait where Yasmine’s family currently living. The same distance between Montreal and Toronto where Alex’s family is living.
Yasmine once described this whole quarantine as one long meditation. With her writer way of talking, contagious laugh, light and humorous personality. She is also the co-host of the Chaturanga podcast along with Alex. Alex was planning on starting the podcast for the longest time and found Yasmine to be the perfect mate to kick it off with in May. The two just have the best vibes and chemistry together.
Yasmine is a freelance writer with a busy schedule. I’m so grateful for the time she gave us and gracefully answered our first community blog questions. So let’s jump into it...
Hi Yasmine! Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who is Yasmine?
Yasmine: Please, Yasir! Call me Smee! I’m a quizzical, comical character, weird-laughing wordsmith, occasional yoga-doer, cohost of Chaturanga the Podcast (have you guys been listening to it?) and, as of late, the MLPC’s resident astrologist. [Oh yeah, make sure to send your birthday date to Smee to learn more about yourself. Join our WhatsApp group! Yasir]
What inspired you to start practicing yoga?
Smee: In life or in pandemic? In life, it was because my older sisters were both doing Bikram and they were both super hot and I wanted to look like them. (I was 16.) In pandemic, it was because I was about to lose my mind and needed to stop stress-eating chips.
Have you ever had any experience with yoga before joining the MLPC?
Smee: I’ve been in an off-and-on relationship with yoga since I was a teenager, and it ebbs and flows at different intensities and with different intentions. I’ve practiced Bikram, Moksha (which is basically the Lord of the Flies version of Bikram) Ashtanga, hyper-Ashtanga (known as “Rocket”) and nowadays, I find myself in a constant state of balasana because it’s just that kind of season!
Yasmine with her superstar
What’s your connection to the MLPC?
Smee: I used to go to Alex’s hot yoga class at Alive (yoga studio) in Kuwait. We did the whole “follow me on IG” thing and when I noticed she was offering a yoga practice during pandé two years later, I reached out in hopes of a healthy routine and a sense of community.
Did you face any challenges practicing during the month of October?
Smee: Oh, honey - how much time do you have? I guess my challenges have been alleviating since October - I’m showing up to my mat a bit more and I’m (fingers crossed) starting to change it up again. I’d like to get back to the level of commitment and activity I was at pre-Summer 2020: Taking risks, more challenging classes and practicing regularly. I’ve been the Homer Simpson of yoga lately, however.
What are the biggest benefits you’ve reaped from your yoga practice?
Smee: When I practice it enough and regularly, it helps me with my anxiety. It’s also taught me how to breathe. Before introducing a regular, pure-intentioned practice into my life, I didn’t know how to breathe and as someone with anxiety, it’s kind of important. Three years later, Ujayi breathing is something that comes very naturally to me.
What’s your favorite posture?
Smee: These days, it’s reclined butterfly or legs up the wall. We’ve also always been partial to a detoxing pidge (pigeon) and a good tree pose - she helps us stay grounded.
What’s your most difficult posture?
Smee: Crow - my Everest. Shoutout to half-moon and “sugarcane” too. Shakes fist in vengeance. In terms of (to put it politely) postures I “need the most”: crescent lunges and side planks.
What is your favorite type(s) of yoga? And why?
Smee: Gentle flow, all the way. You can just chill out and there’s a bit of room for some challenge in there, if you want it to borderline on a vinyasa flow. I also really like vin and yin - anything where there’s a balance between effort and chilling sounds great to me. Make it a hot class? Even better!
Any words of wisdom to those just starting out?
Smee: Give every new class, instructor or style of yoga three chances before you decide if it’s for you or not. You’re always going to be extra frustrated the first round, that’s just your ego, though and it’s perfectly natural. Also, be patient with yourself and leave behind all thoughts and expectations of yoga being an aesthetic. Don’t be hard on yourselves, mes amis! (Me too, though.)
Thank you Smee for the laughs! We are so over the moon happy you’re part of our community. Make sure to tune in to the Chaturanga podcast co-hosted by Alex and Yasmine.
Leave a comment or a question for Smee in the comment section below.
See you next time, may you all be safe, happy, healthy, and free.