If you've been practicing with us for even just a few weeks, then Yasir is for sure a familiar face in the MLP community. Having completed the April 30 day yoga challenge by surpassing the number of classes any other member had attended, it's no wonder he's taken it upon himself to archive the classes for our convenience! But there's more to Yasir than showing up on his mat 3+ times a day to twist, turn, balance and savasana - and he's graciously opened up, letting us find out!
Hi Yasir! Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who is Yasir?
Hi! I’m the guy who made it to most classes during the 30 day yoga challenge with the MLP. I was born and raised in the lovely city of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Soon after high school I did some soul-searching in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and a few years later, I returned to AD. I try to live my life differently, embrace opportunities, and keep an open mind. And in my being, in my becoming I lost those who I thought were close to my heart.
What inspired you to start practicing yoga?
Despite thinking [yoga] was too slow or too dull, I was always intrigued by it. I would frequent a meditation group on Saturday mornings, where this guy would talk nonstop about a studio I always wanted to check out. This guy, who soon became a good friend, was always praising a yoga instructor who sang at the end of her classes. One day, when he mentioned the studio was organizing a Make A Wish Foundation yoga donation based class and I thought it was the perfect time to finally take my first yoga class. It was co-taught by two instructors and was an enjoyable experience. That’s how I started my journey into meditation and soon after yoga.
What’s your connection to the MLP?
It was Alex, the founder of MLP. Her passion for yoga and well being drove me towards practicing regularly. Her genuineness in helping others and kindness is artistry. I’ve always been fascinated by those who have a deep passion for their craft. They inspire me.
How did you end up being so committed to yoga you made it to more classes than anyone else?
I became addicted to the feeling I got after every single class. The first week wasn’t challenging since MLP didn’t have that many classes and I was doing other workouts. Then, the second week started to get intense with many different classes and the introduction of many different teachers. I thought... “wow that could be another challenge, a challenge within a challenge - loves it!”I also wanted to see how much my body could take.
Did you face any challenges during the month of April?
Yes, I remember on day 10 when I thought I couldn’t do 20 more days. My whole body was sore. My mind was playing tricks on me. I couldn’t believe I would do it. That’s when I disliked my mat. That’s when I had to focus.
So, I got myself a new mat, which took two weeks to arrive but it was worth the wait. Sometimes you just have to change your conditions, which this practice teaches you to do. To not hide from negative thoughts and know they’ll pass.
What are the biggest benefits you’ve reaped from your yoga practice?
Having done almost all classes I learned a few things...
Turning up to the mat is fun.
Having something fun you enjoy to do on a daily basis will make the days go by.
There are no two days alike.
You’ll do it if it’s important to you.
The connection between my body and mind never been stronger.
When you do yoga, meditate, life coaching sessions you’ll benefit yourself and all those around you.
It’s really hard to miss the variety of teachers that bring a lot to the challenge.
Keeping yourself busy with this challenge is a good distraction from the news, Netflix, video games & going outside (this interview took time during the 2020 pandemic).
Better mood all day.
A sense of connection, with more than 250 members from around the world.
What’s your favorite posture?
My favorite posture has to be supported headstand. The second time I went to Alex’s yoga class I was able to do most of the poses except two, headstand and crow pose. However, it was the only post that resonated with me. I had to do.
After the first week of doing the challenge I was able to finally do it with many other poses like Grasshopper, Teaser, & Eight-Angle. Oh, yeah - and Crow.
What’s your most challenging posture?
[The posture] I’ve been trying to perfect for the longest time: Handstand. During the first couple of weeks I was training to achieve headstand but I switched my focus to my yoga practice. But a little fairy tells me that this might be the goal in May for MLP.
Any words of wisdom to those just starting out?
Yoga is a journey. Congratulations on starting it. As you go through it, you’ll start to achieve small successes, which will be your motivation to keep going.
During these difficult times, we are in a moment in history that we’re all experiencing together and this challenge unified us all to come together and form this beautiful community. Welcome to our community!
Will we be seeing you in as many classes during the month of May?
Of course. Now that I attended most classes in April, I will try to do the same for the month of May. That’s my next challenge. It’s not like I have anywhere else to go.