Noura Alfadl, resident Tate Wellness yoga guru has an astute understanding of yoga, as well as an appreciation of how we can tap into the practice’s many known benefits in our everyday life. She has now been practicing yoga for over ten years. Here, we interview her on all things yoga as she tells us how her journey began and what some of the key benefits are that come with practising.
Noura, tell us - why yoga?
I fell in love with the feeling of space and ease that it created in both my body and mind. It is now just my way of life. With a want to show others the benefits too, I qualified through the Triyoga teacher training diploma to deepen my knowledge and practice of yoga. I like to continually immerse myself into further learning. I also have a particular interest in women’s yoga therapy.
My journey into yoga has given me a much greater understanding of what it means to be in a healthy relationship with your body. It's a tool that is of great help on many levels. The aim of yoga is not just to have a supple body. It's a system that works on bringing flexibility, strength, and an overall sense of balance to the body and mind.
What’s for breakfast to set you up for the day?
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. It varies according to the weather and my mood/appetite. A favourite is a mix of oats and quinoa porridge with dried prunes and apricots. I soak over night so they are soft and juicy, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, a spoon of honey and a dash of cinnamon. Summer favourite is spiced up avocado with cumin, sumac, a squeeze of lemon and topped with fresh coriander leaves on wholemeal seeded toast. Most importantly is my elixir drink that has endless health benefits. Warm water, juice of unwaxed lemon and a bit of its zest, ginger, turmeric a dash of Himalayan pink salt and a touch of black pepper to boost the absorption of curcumin found in turmeric. You can't forget to squeeze some honey in too otherwise it wouldn't be the easiest to drink!
Can yoga help with pain relief?
It releases tension and help creates a sense of space and ease in the body. When the body relaxes, the breath flows, your mind follows the breath and as a result you quiet the activities in the brain and you allow it to rest so you can rejuvenate and restore. To have pain is not a natural state of being. Our bodies wants to be strong and healthy and free of pain. That's why it responds so naturally to any practice that aims to bring it to more alignment and balance. I used to get all sorts of chronic pain, especially around my shoulders and neck , I constantly suffered from headaches. This all eventually started clearing up after I started committing to practicing yoga
How often should we ideally practise yoga to reap the benefits?
Even as little as once a week will make a difference. When you stretch in yoga you don't only stretch muscles and tendons but you also stretch and revitalise nerves, veins and tissues. The movements and postures from even the simplest inversions and twists encourages fresh new blood to circulate and refreshes your organs, it helps get rid of stagnations and help with elimination of toxins stored in the body. The gentle back bends keeps your spine flexible and as they say your real age is determined by the flexibility and health of your spine. The rewards of practicing yoga are felt immediately and the more you do it the better and more rewarding it becomes.
Sounds wonderful! Can you tell us what your life mantra is?
A day with yoga is better than a day without.
Through Noura's private yoga classes with Tate Wellness, you can expect a deeply nourishing approach whilst finding true balance.