A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME
I am Subia; author, writer turned yogi. My life has two passions: The art of writing and the art of yoga. To unite the two as poetically as life will allow is my professional and personal aim.
I am a byproduct of an early childhood in Karachi, Pakistan where yoga lay quietly in the background. It’s where avid and novice yogis practiced their asanas at parks and in the open grounds of monuments and mausoleums. It’s where I remember hearing the ladies from the women’s club sipping chai in the cooler evenings; swapping recipes and discussing the best yoga postures for better digestion and a healthy glow. For the people in the region yoga is not a religious practice but is deeply appreciated for its healing. Yoga was always around, a thing observed but never realized. Ironically, it took me ages and across the world to the west to realize this eastern art.
I moved to the US at age 9 and immersed seamlessly into another unique culture which has become a part of my diversified identity. More specifically, growing up in progressive California, one’s natural focus is often on health, wellness and always welcoming new ideas. Living in California has been an immeasurable blessing, one I can count every day. I remember seeing kid’s yoga books at my elementary school book fair back in the late 80’s when yoga hadn’t made its way into mainstream and popular culture. What a testament of California’s forward thinking! This memory has inspired me to write my next children’s book so my two passions can merge.
Life continued with yoga in the background. In my late teens, I followed books again; borrowing a book on Avicenna (Ayurveda) to taking yoga in college for physical education credit; aiming for an easy A. To my surprise this yoga class was far more challenging than the 30-page sociology papers! Here I learned from my teacher that yoga was not supposed to be easy, it was to challenge the body and soul from the inside out.
Waving my white flag, I decided to focus back on writing. I wrote and continue to write for publications such as newspapers, magazines and marketing firms. After my husband and I had our two awe inspiring children I authored my first book, The Snackman and His Son. My daughter’s on and off struggles with anxiety drew me closer to yoga once more. We would practice pranayama to help her cope in difficult situations and marveled in her progress. Yoga’s healing was manifesting in my home and I was grateful.
When life presented me with seemingly limitless tasks of mother, wife and expert self-depriver. I started to lose myself. Women are often disillusioned into believing that if everyone we love is happy that we too are content. It was here that yoga emerged from the shadows it lay in my entire life. It would awaken with a “heart opening stretch,” and I would make my way back to my authentic self and it would begin with a single word: Alif; the word used by Sufi masters to signify the source, the divine; a force. Alif or the source of all is found only by reflecting on ourselves first. My deep admiration for the likes of Jalal-ud-din Rumi and Khalil Gibran and of course Patanjali, inspired me to look inside myself and find all that I needed. Slowly dusting off the book that was me and turn slowly one fragile page at a time. I made yoga my daily practice, waking up the corners of my body that waited patiently for an invocation. I began to meditate on solutions rather than problems while using a balance of reasoning and logic with that of compassion and love. Finally, tying it all together with journal meditation to unite my two forms of art. With these tools, I choose to deepen my knowledge of yoga by completing my Yoga Teacher training under the tutelage of Dr. Nancy Weil of the Yoga Education Institute in Westlake Village, California at the Health and Longevity Institute.
My yoga practice and teachings have taken me back and now take my students through the same silk road of poets, yoga practitioners, philosophers that have inspired me all of my life. Their teachings and my method of teaching transcends all borders. The belief: the body is a vessel and the soul the substance that pours forth. My Alif Yoga starts with the concept of one; Alif (source) leading to a purposeful journey of the joy of exploring oneself through patient and persistent practice of Yoga.