Free Shipping on all orders above Rs2999

Sale Live Now.

Nani's Subscriptions

Hassle-Free Solution to Childcare Essentials

Mind, Body & Soul: Ayesha Khawaja's Holistic Healing through Yoga

Mind, Body & Soul: Ayesha Khawaja's Holistic Healing through Yoga

Nani PK |

By Nyle Omar Mian

In her capacity as the founder of YoGlow, Ayesha Khawaja emerges as not only a corporate yoga teacher but also a holistic healer. With a rich background as an expert in health, nutrition, and meditation, her professional trajectory is marked by a multifaceted commitment to nurturing overall well-being.

Having undergone advanced training in therapeutic and restorative yoga, Ayesha is well-equipped to address the evolving demands of the modern workplace. Her extensive experience, coupled with international training, has enabled her to work with diverse individuals across age groups and abilities. Ayesha specializes in guiding individuals facing challenges such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression towards the path of holistic healing through the transformative power of yoga.

Recognized by the local media as a fitness and yoga expert, Ayesha has been featured on national and private electronic and print platforms. Her fitness and yoga sessions have garnered consistent acclaim, particularly from an international audience. Beyond her role as a yoga and meditation teacher at the National Defense University (NDU) in Islamabad, a corporate wellness expert at the Alternative Medicine Clinic, and a prolific writer contributing regularly to national print media, Ayesha has also earned the status of a sought-after media personality. Invited regularly by major TV and radio channels, she engages in talk shows and programs, sharing insights on fitness, holistic lifestyle, and women's wellness. A motivational speaker at heart, Ayesha inspires others to embark on the transformative journey towards a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

This new series of interviews by Nani aims to shed the spotlight on amazing Pakistani women who share their insights about work, motherhood, and more, providing a platform for their stories to inspire and empower.

Ayesha, can you elaborate on your approach to holistic healing through yoga and its impact on individuals with conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression?

Holistic healing is an all-encompassing approach to health and life that considers the whole person - mind, body, spirit, and emotions - in the pursuit of overall well-being. For me, it's much more than treating a specific disease; I believe true holistic healing awakens your inner healer to self-heal, focusing not only on healing the symptoms but also addressing the underlying causes.

Yoga means ‘to unite’ - in the modern world, it signifies physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental wellness. Research has proven that any disease is not only a physical result or manifestation; all these factors contribute to making us sick, and the cure lies in taking good care of all these aspects.

Arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, or any disease, including cancer, requires physical activity, exercise, yoga, and meditation for holistic healing. You can't treat one thing and expect the whole system to work at 100%. This doesn't happen. You can't just pop a painkiller or a supplement and expect it to overhaul your system. Take baby steps towards your long-term holistic healing. We are not only what we eat but also what we think and do.

How do you tailor your corporate yoga sessions to address the specific needs and challenges faced by individuals in a corporate setting?

My corporate yoga sessions are professionally designed to cover all the dimensions of corporate wellness: physical, spiritual, emotional, occupational, financial, intellectual, social, environmental, creativity, and cultural. I place a significant focus on short, 20-minute sessions where individuals can prioritize their health and wellness during breaks, addressing the challenge of finding time. A well-tailored 20 or 30-minute workout includes approximately 10 minutes of cardio, 10-15 minutes of yoga for stretching and healing, and 5 minutes of meditation to destress - offering an effective wellness plan.

It's crucial to elevate your heart rate, move around to prevent muscle stiffness, and meditate to declutter your mind and soul. I strongly recommend chair yoga in a corporate setting, especially if there's no gym facility available. It's both awesome and therapeutic.

I want to emphasize the importance of social wellness in a corporate setting - how you connect with people, your vibe, and your contribution as a team member or corporate leader all matter. 

In your experience, how does yoga contribute to women's wellness, and are there specific practices or techniques that you find particularly beneficial for women's health?

I love to say that yoga is for everyone. Pranayama, or yogic breathing, which forms the foundation of yoga, is extremely therapeutic. It regulates our hormones, calms down a racing mind, and alleviates stress, which is very common due to our hormones. It brings a glow to your face and detoxifies all our systems. Numerous yoga poses, such as the butterfly pose, fish pose, shoulder stand, headstand, and many more, regulate our thyroid gland and other female hormones. Strength, flexibility, and cell regeneration are natural outcomes of practicing yoga. 

Women, especially, love meditation as it brings tranquility, equanimity, and peace. It is equally beneficial for girls with PCOS, women experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS), or postmenopausal women. 

As a motivational speaker, what key messages do you aim to convey to inspire others on the journey towards a healthy lifestyle?

Happiness looks good on you! That is my message to everyone. At the end of the day that's what really matters. We all deserve to be happy. A healthy lifestyle is more than half the battle towards happiness. How long can you stay happy in a sick body or mind? The idea of health, happiness and wellness is relevant to all. We all are now focusing on self-care and self-love, even our songs are saying this now.

Working as a Yoga and Meditation Teacher at the National Defense University (NDU), how have you observed the impact of yoga on individuals within a professional and military context?

Working as a Yoga and Meditation Teacher at the National Defense University has been a truly enriching experience. I have the privilege of teaching women of all age groups, including young university students, newlywed couples, middle-aged moms, and postmenopausal women. Tailoring my guidance to address individual health issues in such a diverse group has been a great learning process for me.

I am particularly touched by the commitment of foreigner ladies, whose husbands are attending the NDU war course. Their regular attendance in the gym and passionate participation in my class speak volumes. The heartfelt feedback and appreciation I receive from them brighten my life and make it sweeter. It's especially rewarding when a lady shares how her health has improved after attending the class - those moments make me super happy, Alhamdulillah.

What initially drew you to the field of yoga and holistic healing, and how did your journey begin in becoming a celebrated corporate yoga teacher and motivational speaker?

My entry into the field of yoga and holistic healing stems from a personal journey marked by challenges. Genetic predisposition led to childhood bullying due to weight gain, motivating me to explore exercises, workouts, yoga, and diet plans in 8th grade. I successfully shed excess weight, turning my passion into a profession by learning yoga, physical training, and nutrition.

I got married at a very young age, went through many tragedies, including the loss of my daughter in a school van accident and my husband to a sudden cardiac arrest. Despite these hardships, I persevered, working as a school teacher before seizing the opportunity to become a yoga teacher at NDU. The struggles opened doors to guest appearances on TV shows, invitations to share my story on various platforms, and the chance to write health articles for magazines. I conducted seminars and workshops for the corporate sector and even ventured into acting, participating in a couple of dramas, an unexpected but delightful addition to my journey. 

Can you share a personal experience or moment that solidified your belief in the transformative power of yoga and holistic practices in your own life?

Yeah, that's a part of my heart that I'm most grateful for! One deeply significant aspect of my life for which I'm profoundly grateful involves my struggle with ‘Spinal Stenosis.’ Facing severe conditions at multiple levels, I underwent spinal surgery in 2018 to prevent neurological loss. Throughout this challenging time, all my doctors, including my surgeon and anesthetist, commended me for my strength and resilience. Their appreciation extended to the point where they suggested I join their team to inspire patients about managing diseases through lifestyle changes.

My students, too, find inspiration in my journey. One memorable instance involves a lady from Nigeria who joined my class after heart surgery. Not only did she recover, but she also developed a love for yoga and found inspiration in my story. These moments affirm my belief in the transformative power of yoga and holistic practices. While my kids top my priority

list, taking pride in their mother's struggle and achievements, these instances make life undeniably worth living. 

For women who are contemplating taking the first step towards a healthier lifestyle, what advice would you give them, and how can they overcome potential obstacles or hesitations? 

Taking the first step toward a healthier lifestyle is within reach for every woman. My advice would be to focus on willingness and motivation. Consistency is the key to success, and with an abundance of information, including diet and workout plans, available through various apps and research, it's easier than ever.

For those facing obstacles, even a brisk walk or following a Leslie walk on YouTube can be a great starting point. The key is to find an activity that suits individual preferences and health conditions. The journey to a healthier lifestyle is about progress, not perfection.

In your experience, what are some common misconceptions or barriers that women face when it comes to prioritizing their health, and how can these be addressed to encourage positive lifestyle changes?

I have seen women not really prioritizing their wellness, investment on health and wellness isn't a priority. Some women may hesitate to prioritize spending on health and fitness over cosmetics or fashion. It's important to emphasize that true beauty comes from within, and investing in health is an investment in oneself that pays lifelong dividends. Secondly, many women find it challenging to dedicate half an hour to exercise five days a week. Emphasizing the importance of time and effort as game-changers can help. Understanding priorities is key to achieving any goal in life.

Addressing these barriers involves promoting the idea that a healthy lifestyle enhances overall well-being and confidence. Encouraging women to view health as an essential investment, both financially and in terms of time and effort, can lead to positive lifestyle changes.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.