Nor Soraya Ghazalie

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Inner strength

Article from the Sun daily by Yeo Chia Hui (posted on 14th May 2015)

BY day I run my PR agency, and by night and early morning I try to do as much yoga as possible." That was how a fresh-faced and vivacious Nor Soraya Ghazalie (pix) introduced herself one weekday morning. While it must not have been easy to look that energetic so early, it's nothing odd for this 29 year-old mother who practises yoga at 8am every day.

Her consistent routine must have paid off as she is able to bend, twist and lift her body in ways that will strike one with wonder. Be that as it may, and contrary to the assured way that she was carrying herself, Nor Soraya confided that she used to battle self-esteem issues and would still be wallowing in it if it's not for yoga.

"Yoga taught me many interesting lessons. I used to have a lot of trust issues to the extent where I couldn't even trust myself. I always needed second opinions from friends – be it domestic issues or personal struggles, I couldn't take charge on my own and needed to be told what to do. It was only through yoga that I realise that I needed to trust myself and the more I can trust myself the more I can grow on the mat," she disclosed earnestly.

What do you mean when you say that you're a 'byproduct of Instagram Yoga'?

Three years ago, I came across an Instagram account that was doing this monthly yoga challenge. There was this picture with 30 different poses and I decided to give it a try. Although I was thinking of doing something about losing weight and getting active, I really wasn't looking up on yoga intentionally but you know how it's like on Instagram; you browse around clicking on hashtags then one thing leads to another. I started the challenge and from there the journey just happened because what I do is I take a picture of myself trying to do that one day a pose thing then I will upload it.

Did you attend any classes in order to do the challenge?

No, as it's not easy bringing a young child to a yoga studio. So, what I did was I tried looking up as much information as I could online. The person who posted the challenge also helped by breaking it down. For example, they will post a picture of the pose along with instructions. Hence, I tried to digest as much information as I could before my attempts. I was very fortunate in the sense that I grew up as a dancer so I have a bit of body awareness.

What is one important technique in yoga?

Learning to fall and to accept it. Many people are afraid of falling but it's really liberating. Falling gives you the wings to explore so many things and you may just discover the fun in learning to let go.

Yoga is deeply rooted in India, so have you ever thought of channelling Elizabeth Gilbert from 'Eat, Pray, Love' and maybe spend some time there?

It's an interesting question but the thing about going to one of the holiest grounds of yoga is that it's like going on a pilgrimage and I'm not sure if I'm cut out for it yet. Yoga is more than just poses as there are the eight limbs of yoga which teaches one to be morally right and such. But I'm a human and sometimes I'm still prone to judging others and questioning things so I don't know if I'm all that ready.

Any advice for someone who wants to learn yoga?

Ask yourself what you really want and do a bit of research. There's many free yoga classes going on in KL nowadays where teachers teach for free so try to go to those classes and see how it works out from there. And if you really think yoga is for you then stay determined and focused because consistency is the key.

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