Saba Danawala has found her true calling in the work she does. Intrigued by the mysterious and beautiful process of birth, she went out of her way to understand the process like no one else. Her discoveries and passion to help the growing community of young mothers has translated itself into her passion project: Rise and Rebirth. This unique yoga experience helps women sort through not only their physical; but mental health conditions for the duration of their pregnancy and early stages of motherhood.
1) How did rise and rebirth come into being?
For years I was not sure if I ever wanted children. In response, all I ever heard was “haw haye” as if I was some sort of freak. I didn’t touch the topic and mostly avoided it – until I got married. I realize that the process of pregnancy and postpartum is quite scary. And the horror stories don’t help. I decided that rather than just listening to stories, I wanted to explore the world of birth more closely. With evidence from observing real labor (and so far, I have not fainted nor thrown up), and collecting data that backs best practices. I wanted to explore how women have been dealing with their pregnancies and coping with motherhood for generations; all over the world. I then wanted to combine this with factual evidence and take a more scientific approach towards the birthing process. It was in this exploration that Rise and Rebirth was born (no pun intended).In my prenatal yoga check-ins, women express similar feelings to the ones I had: not feeling as though they have enough emotional support during this overwhelming period; or feeling dismissed. And in many ways through them, I learned the power and gift of being able to nurture. We always talk about nurturing babies; but who holds and nurtures the mothers who carry them? And this is why I started Rise & Rebirth. So that it could be a space to nurture young mothers through this tough but beautiful time.
2) What are some of the qualifications and experiences you had to gain before launching a program
such as Rise and Rebirth?
I myself was born and raised in the US, but both my parents are from Karachi. I came to Pakistan only after I got married. Before moving here, I earned my master’s degree in public health (MPH) from the University Of Texas Health Science Center; and I’ve worked in the public health sector for almost 10 years on various health issues. But my passion has always been reproductive and maternal health. My first practicum was with a neonatal health intervention in South Asia. I am also a yoga alliance certified prenatal yoga teacher (RPYT-85) and a 200-hour teacher in hatha, Vinyasa, and Kundalini yoga from my home state of Texas! Currently I'm completing my training with CPPD London as a mental health counselor specializing in maternal mental health; and am seeing clients with clinical supervision.
3. What made you decide to combine yoga with mental health therapy?
Gradually more and more evidence has come about to point to a fundamental truth that we are only now starting to see: the body and the mind are not only deeply connected, but the body is an imprint of the mind. As well as all our past experiences, beautiful or painful. A job that focuses on both body and mind requires constant learning, exploration, and a deep understanding of what the body needs. I am still learning how to do this myself. My favorite work around this topic is by Bessel van der Kolk and the way his research has helped create the movement around trauma-informed yoga. I see yoga as a great avenue for connecting with the body, but it is by no means a substitute for the work that needs to be done in therapy. For too long, the conversational model of therapy has dominated the mental health space. It’s a pleasure to see more practitioners breaking that mold to incorporate more of the body.
4. Becoming a parent is a drastic life change. How do your classes help couples to prepare for this
Our classes help couples to build honesty with each other and actually acknowledge how they feel about the upcoming birth in a safe space. Being a parent is difficult on both partners and there are very few reminders that this is a team effort. These classes are about a relatively new change in our society- the involvement of the father. Fathers in our society have been seen with such a rigid lens during birth: to fulfill materialistic needs and leave the physical exertion to the woman. I find this more harmful than helpful, and it only perpetuates the stereotype that the birth process and childcare should be in the hands of women. I have even noticed two prominent scenarios: husbands who walk into my couples’ sessions are either very caring and want to support their wives. Or they are a little apprehensive and genuinely just need help and training on how to be there for their wives; that’s perfectly fine! The feedback I’ve gotten from these new mothers is that their husband’s constant reminder to breath, affirmations, and techniques of soothing go a long way in making the birth experience not a chore.
5. What are some of the best measures a couple can take to get into the right mindset to welcome
Acquiring knowledge and being open to the changes that take place in a marriage when a child is born. Couples must try to create the optimal environment for the baby even before it leaves the womb. Perinatal psychology points out how important it is to understand the circumstances around a child’s birth. So, a couple who prioritizes their marriage and builds that trust and team-effort- mentality is more likely to be able to cope with the difficult times.
6. In a country where having a mental health illness is heavily stigmatized, how do you manage to break the ice and make your clients feel comfortable?
It’s all about the relationship; building that trust, respect, and being able to hold space for our clients. I don’t care what swanky technique you’re using or what big words you throw out, clients must connect to us as therapists – and as humans.
7. What are some of the most common problems your clients face in maintaining a positive mindset and what is your advice to combat such problems?
The last thing anyone who is feeling low wants to be told is “be positive”. Nobody can be positive all the time. Even to get near that level takes a lot of mental effort and clients would have to reframe limiting beliefs. They often face some tough situations in their lives: a stressful job or education, no support at home from family, societal pressure to conform to, and so much more. I refrain from giving advice because each client knows their truth better than anyone else could. What I encourage is that clients should take it slow. One day at a time. They should be around people and things that can take them out of their minds and into their bodies. They should really embrace the concept of continuous “healing” rather than wanting to be “fixed”.
8. Can you offer any advice to new mothers who may be struggling with postpartum depression or
with maintaining a healthy mindset?
Seek outside help if you aren’t getting the support you need at home. You aren’t crazy and it isn’t all in your head. And to all families out there: postpartum depression is not made up. It can be experienced by mothers AND fathers (yes, you heard that right). It includes good and bad days, and it is not the same as baby blues, so please refrain from comments like: “yeh sab ko hota hai”. If your loved one who delivered anywhere from 0-2 years ago is exhibiting any of the following signs, please don’t ignore them! Fatigue. feeling sad, hopelessness, and/or overwhelmed, trouble sleeping and eating, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, losing interest in things that you once used to enjoy, withdrawing from family and friends no interest in your baby, thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby.
9. What are some of the physical benefits that yoga can provide for pregnant women?
There are so many! But above all, the biggest one I’ve seen with my ladies is keeping prenatal anxiety contained. Here are some of the others:
-Improved sleep. Rested mama = happy mama
-Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth.
-Acts like a relaxant to help the body undergo changes.
-Decreases lower back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath.
-Helps you focus on yourself and your growing baby without outward distraction.
10. Pakistanis often feel that mental health issues are more prevalent in western countries; having spent time in the US do you think there is any truth to this assumption?
There is no truth to such an assumption. It is extremely painful to watch families deny mental health issues. If we can’t even talk about it, much less report it, then we can’t have a prevalence rate either (thank you, public health degree!)
11. Who would you recommend the rise and rebirth programs for?
Prenatal/Pregnancy Yoga: For women 12 weeks along into their pregnancies
Postpartum Support Group: For women anywhere from 0-18 months after delivery
Mindful Yoga: Perfect for beginners, those looking to reduce stress and/or COMPLEMENTARY
psychotherapy, and postpartum moms
Labor Preparation Workshops: For couples wanting to work through the physical demands of labor.
TECNO offers Exceptional Discounts on Daraz Gyara Gyara
TECNO has collaborated with Daraz for their second edition of popular Gyara Gyara(11.11) sale. The sale will kick off at midnight on the 11th of November.
TECNO is also offering free gifts during the Countdown Gala starting from today 8th November on the biggest game show ARY Jeeto Pakistan. The show will be hosted by the famous celebrity of Pakistan, Urwa Hocaine. The show will have an exclusive game segment where the participants will be handed out free Spark 4 phones.
Commenting on the Daraz 11-11, General Manager of TECNO Mobile Pakistan, Mr. Creek Ma said,
“TECNO has already established its furthermost presence in Pakistan. The brand believes in being the most pioneer for the customer and promises to offer smartphones with the best features and specs in the future. TECNO will achieve new milestones, by offering innovative products online on 11-11 Daraz sale with free and discounted products for their customers who purchase at the TECNO flagship store on Daraz.”
The most popular TECNO phones will be available on incredible discounts during the biggest sale of the year that will continue for five days. These include TECNO’s recently released POP 2F, Camon 12 Air and Spark 4. TECNO is also offering Camon iAce 2 at an incredible price of 9,999PKR.
The 11.11 sale is the biggest event for digital shoppers. Last year, Daraz offered 3 million products for online users. This year it is being speculated that Daraz will bring 10 million users on 11.11 sale.
TECNO is one of the brands that concentrates more on bringing new and exciting ideas to keep its users entertained. So, once again, TECNO is offering discounts to its users on the biggest online sale of Pakistan. This is purely for users of TECNO because they deserve it.
Hello There!! Winter Makeup Trends are Here!!
Although the shadi season keeps going the whole year; November to January are officially considered the wedding months with a great hassle of how to dress up and look the best. Not just the issue of what to wear, people are highly confused about the type of makeup and look they should carry. The scariest moment at the time of the wedding is for the bride. Who would like to ruin their most important days without having at least the basic idea of makeup trends that are going on at a particular time.
Not only this, we all are keen to know what lip shades are trending this winter. Is it again nude, glossy, matte or pearl and frosted?
To have an expert piece of advice; we asked our two most important questions from our gorgeous professional makeup artists related to trending makeup this winter wedding season and we got some amazing answers.
Fatima Nasir – The Pro Queen
Perfect Wedding Look
Winter is notorious for drying out your skin, so make sure your skin is hydrated. A subtle smokey eye can look particularly gorgeous. Look as radiant as you feel on your special day with makeup that accentuates your happy glow. Add false lashes, play up the drama with shimmery eye makeup and highlighter that accentuates your cheekbones and will make you look lit from within.
Trending Lip Shades
Timeless and classic, a red lip has long been a favorite of the beauty world. A burgundy lip is foolproof in pulling off a beautiful wedding makeup look, and if you’re someone who has a bold, modern style, then this is a perfect option. In choosing the right shade, take into account your skin tone and whether you have cool or warm undertones – this will ensure you get the right color. Additionally, go for a long-lasting formula, so your pout is perfect all day.
Natasha J. – The Makeup Diva
Perfect Wedding Look
The perfect bride for me should be timeless. The barat look should have perfect harmony between old-world charm as well as modern glam. My go-to eye look for my barat brides is kohl-rimmed, smoked out gold glittery eyes with gleaming skin which looks lit from within. For a bolder look, I prefer a show-stopping red pout however for a more subtle look I lean towards a peachy nude lip. The hair should be minimal, styled in a bun to draw the maximum attention towards the makeup and the jewelry
Trending Lip Shades
1. Ruby woo by Mac cosmetics: Titled as one the best red lipsticks in the market. This bold red with an undertone of blue works beautifully on all complexions.
2. Uncensored stunna lip paint by Fenty Beauty is also known as the red which universally flatters everyone. Not only it looks good it feels super comfortable and doesn’t wear off easily.
3. Famous by Huda beauty: A gorgeous dark vampy red perfect for winter evenings or a night out
4. Cheerleader by Huda beauty: A perfect classic muted red, making it perfect for a day time look !!
5. Chilli by Mac cosmetics
One of my personal favorites by Mac is rusty orange-red that looks great on desi skin complexions and can be worn many ways !!
Fashion Extravaganza Experienced At FPW Winter/Festive 2019
The most grandeur fashion event of Pakistan ‘Fashion Pakistan Week’ showcased its second instalment of the current year ‘FPW Winter/Festive 2019’ last week in Karachi. The three-day fashion affair featured the top most cutting edge designers from Pakistan and abroad, who showcased their formal, semi-formal and bridal collections, highlighting the latest trends of the season.
From the array of 20 designers with their diverse collection, five came on the runway on day one, seven on day two and the rest eight on day three.
Prior to the event, Alkaram Studio hosted an exclusive sundowner in association with the Fashion Pakistan Council. The sundowner was a first look at the collection ‘La Vie En Rose’ with hints of pinks, blushes and corals in the chic and luxurious décor. The event also collaborated with Pink Ribbon Pakistan for Pinktober, in solidarity with the patients and survivors of breast cancer.
The three-day event was all about glamour and style. Outside the ramp area, the evenings began with the presence of renowned personalities from the world of Pakistani fashion and entertainment at the purple carpet in dazzling dresses and dapper attire. A Physiogel booth was also buzzing with celebrities, media, stars and fashionistas as the stylish and light-hearted actor, Ali Safina engaged the comers in conversations revolving around trends and their personal style. Many also experienced the glamorously decked up Chocolatto booth, ultimately walking away with picture perfect moments, decadent desserts and giveaways.
Day one was opened by Alkaram Studio who displayed inclusivity and diversity of cultures in an extravagant hour-long showcase of their Luxury Pret collection titled ‘La Vie En Rose’ using feminine blush tones, pink roses and an array of different techniques, which was followed by ‘Gul-e-Nar’ by Boheme, in which prints in the form of bandhani dupattas, traditional Sindhi fashion with a mix of modern techniques in prominent striking colours. Third show of the night was ‘Lost in my French Garden’ by Gogi Hasan Riaz, where sharp silhouettes, vibrant colours, and classic couture to flamboyant looks in silk, organza and old french embellishment techniques were seen on the runway. Tirana’ by Yasmin Zaman was a collection of deep colours and rich fabrics of Pakistani formal wear with loose jackets and elaborated sleeve details. The grand closing of day one was with ‘Mahnoor’ by Ayesha Farook, which featured flat braid work with a strong emphasis on gold and geometric designs.
Celebrity showstoppers started off with the Muneeb Butt and Ayeza Khan for Alkaram Studio, Saboor Aly for Boheme, Nimra Khan for Gogi by Hasan Riaz, Sarwat Gilani for Yasmin Zaman and Fauzia Aman for Ayesha Farook’s opulent closing.
Many prominent personalities attended day one, including Hajra Yamin, Azekah Daniyel, Alishay Adnan, Maheen Khan, Aamna Aqeel and key media personnel amongst others.
The evening of Day two of the event opened with Stella Jean, a Haitian-Italian designer who works in Rome and is considered to be Giorgio Armani’s protégé, unveiled her collection ‘Laboratorio Delle Nazioni’ meaning an Italian-Pakistan bridge which was a multicultural collaboration with the local artisans of Chitral, Gilgit and Hunza. Following that was an energetic fashion display by Humayun Alamgir with his collection, ‘Style Mara Tou Darna Kya’ that highlighted the bold, flamboyant designs needed in fashion. The Pink Tree Company showcased, ‘Color in Technicolor’ homage to old movies and the nostalgia that comes with it. Zuria Dor continued the bold take on fashion with ‘Centre of Gravity’, a mix of craftsmanship and the artistry of couture on rich, pure fabrics. Fifth designer of the night, Zellbury brought to the ramp their collection ‘Shahi Rendezvous’ which was a 21st century take on the bright flora and fauna of Mughal Art, with an emphasis on inclusivity and independent women. Splash showcased a global ‘Streetwear’ trend with their vibrant, funky, young designs perfect for the trend-following fashionistas. Fashion maestro, Maheen Khan closed the evening with a breathtaking collection titled ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something not so blue’ showcasing the intricacy of designs and bold colours perfect for the Winter season.
Celebrity showstoppers ramped up the style quotient, starting off with Karishma Ali for Stella Jean followed by the dapper boys; Shehzad Sheikh, Agha Ali, Fahad Mirza, Ali Safina and Asad Siddiqui for Humayun Alamgir, Navin Waqar for Pink Tree Company, Hina Altaf for Zellbury and Areeba Habib for Maheen Khan’s sumptuous closing.
Many prominent personalities were present on day two, including Momal Sheikh, Khalid Malik, Zara Noor Abbas, Sarwat Gilani and many Embassy Consulates including The US CG Robert Silberstein, German Consul General Eugen Wollfarth, Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvoste with his wife Lidia Pontecorvoste, Mike Nithavarnkis from the UK Embassy, key TDAP members and Zahir Rahimtoola amongst others.
The third and final day of Fashion Pakistan Week Winter/Festive 2019 concluded in a rather extravagantly ritzy manner where the last eight of the 20 designers marked the latest trends and must haves for the Winter Festive season.
Zainab Chottani commenced with an opulent collection titled ‘Khwahish’ which was a visit to an inexorable classical feminine personification of a majestic look with contemporary silhouettes. This was followed by ‘Darwaish’ by Huma Adnan who took inspiration from the pattern, prints, embroidery, vibrant colours that she sees every day. ‘Uraan’ by Nauman Arfeen illustrated the story of a man learning to let go of his son as he grows into an adult and gets married. ‘Limitless’ by Saba Asad unveiled the glamour of the new generation and ‘Talea’ by Shiza Hasan weaved in a myriad nuance of femininity, recreating a magical tale in fabric and bridal wear. Sixth designer of the night, Sadaf Fawad Khan showcased her latest bridal collection ‘Adam & Eve’ which comprised of an assortment of pastels as well as traditional colours that are forever classics. ‘Ishq-e-Raag’ by Ayesha Ibrahim juxtaposed the traditions of the Mughal with dainty details, soft feminine colours and a blend of traditional craft and modern sensibility. A head-turning closing show by Deepak Perwani’s latest bridal range ‘Shalimar’ ended the night on a high note.
Celebrity showstoppers further elevated the glamour on the ramp starting off with Mawra Hocane and Fahad Mustafa who walked for Zainab Chottani, Deputy Counsel General of USA Darian Arky and Noor Khan for Huma Adnan, Wasim Abbas and Ali Abbas, the father-son duo for Nauman Arfeen, Shaneira Akram for Saba Asad, Wasim Akram for Shiza Hasan, Hania Amir and Feroze Khan for Sadaf Fawad Khan, Sumbul Iqbal for Ayesha Ibrahim and Wahaj Ali and Sarah Khan for Deepak Perwani’s opulent closing.
Amongst the lit lighting and décor were famous faces with the likes of Fawad Khan who came out support his wife Sadaf, Physiogel brand ambassador Ayesha Omer, Asim Azhar, Nina Kashif, Sharmeela Farooqui and Sarwat Gilani amongst others.
The make-up maestro Nabila from N-Pro and N-Gents, styled the models and showstoppers with her signature finesse and style throughout the event.
Prior to his showcase, Chairperson of Fashion Pakistan Council (FPC), Deepak Perwani said a few words, “This is my last term as Chairperson of FPC and I’d like to thank everyone who supported me throughout my tenure and also the Pakistani fashion industry which is only growing by the day. I encourage all designers to participate in our elections next month.”
Fashion Pakistan Week Winter/Festive 2019 had many other names at the back like Nubain Ali as the show director, Production 021 as the official event management partner, Faisal Farooqui as the official photographer, and Talking Point as the official PR and Digital partner.
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