Interview by: Soha Elshafey
Yoga isn’t just an exercise. It’s a chance! A chance to feel whole and let your body be in sync with your soul. Turing her passion to movement and health, Farah Nofal is now one of the most inspiring yogi in Egypt. We got the chance to chat with the beautiful spirit, Farah Nofal, and she told us how she got started and how yoga changed her life and she also spoke about yoga for beginners and about her healthy lifestyle.
Tell us what do you do and how did you get started?
I teach yoga and I’m also a health coach and a nutritionist. I believe in body movement. How it started? Well, I have always been into sports and movement, but my love for yoga specifically started by coincidence actually when I got injured. I started practicing yoga and then it was just love at first sight! It grew on me so much and it was sort of rewarding mentally, physically and emotionally. That’s why I decided to spread more of it all around.
What attracted you to yoga?
What attracted me to yoga was how much harmony it brings into someone’s soul and body. You start thinking in movement with the breath and mentally you are also there. So, it’s just like music! And it’s beautiful! The movement of the bodies are like waves! That’s one of the base things that attracted me to yoga and also the fact that it helped me cure an injury that I thought I was going to live with for the rest of my life.
What do you love the most about being a yogi?
What I love the most is the ability to serve people and spread awareness everywhere. I see myself as a server for my students and people around me. I’m always trying to shed some light and awareness onto yoga.
Do you consider yoga more of a type of meditation or exercise?
I consider it to be both. It depends on how much or what are you taking from your practice. If you are doing more body movement, then it’s more of an exercise. If you are meditating more, then it’s more of a meditation. But you can also have both at one. That would be a moving meditation when you are so in sync in your physical body as you practice. You become meditated as well.
What are some effective poses for beginners to try out?
I believe that the most effective poses for beginners are the simple ones. So, they shouldn’t be trying anything too intense. They should be going for something simple, something foundational where they are going to feel a lot without injuring or hurting themselves, such as simple hip openers, simple backbends or simple forward folds.
How can first-timers deal with muscle fatigue?
They can deal with muscle fatigue by just being gentle. So, their first class shouldn’t be anything that’s too intense. It should be really simple where feel movement, awareness and maybe some soreness the next day, but not too much soreness where they cannot walk or move and also too much intensity where they can injure themselves.
What is your guilty pleasure?
When it comes to food, my guilty pleasure is definitely ice cream or sugar in general! Unfortunately, I have a sweet tooth, but I try to stay away from that by going towards fruit. Like in summer, I always eating mangos because they really satisfy the sweet craving and they are also so good for you with moderation.
What kind of diet do you follow that complement your healthy lifestyle?
My diet consists of eating everything in moderation, so I’m not fully vegan and I’m not fully meatatarian. I believe I’m more of a pescetarian. I eat more fish than chicken and meat and I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits and some carbs every now and then. I try to get my protein from different sources. And healthy fats, of course, because they complement your diet a lot. So, it’s just a mix of everything. I believe that if you eat a little bit of everything, you’re going to be healthy and you’re not going to be abusing anything.
What is your second favourite thing to do other than yoga?
Dance! I love to dance! I’m not a dancer, but I love it. It’s a way of expressing yourself, a way of expression that just feels amazing. And it complements yoga as well!
What is your favourite healthy snack?
My favourite healthy snack would be a piece of fruit. Sometimes, I go for apples. In summer, I go for mangos and watermelons most of the time. Anything that is just accessible as a fruit. It’s satisfying and especially in summer, it’s very refreshing.
What is your favourite place to practice?
By the beach! Anywhere by the beach! It’s just very soft on the soul. It helps you become more in sync when you’re looking at that beautiful water and that colour blue. It’s just very peaceful!
What is your golden advice for weight loss?
My golden advice is finding a diet or a lifestyle actually not a diet that works for you. Trial and error! Try and if it doesn’t work, try something else. Keep exploring till you find the way or the approach to eating and food that works for you. Try to eat a bit of everything, but eliminate, of course, stuff that doesn’t work for your body. Just love food and see it as a way to fuel your body probably, instead of a treat or a vent when you’re not feeling well.