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Stepping into a Refreshing Lifestyle with Bisha Shabir

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Being one of the popular forms of exercise, yoga focuses on breathing, strength, and flexibility. It has innumerable physical and mental health benefits. Since 2012, the percentage of people practicing yoga has increased to a good number in adults as well as children. It encourages to exercise more, inspires to eat more healthfully, improves sleep quality and reduces stress levels.
In the time of this deadly pandemic, we all are staying home and searching for healthy outlets to survive. Through general research, it has been established that “yoga” is one of the trending activities that people are opting for in this situation to stay positive. Different experts are conducting online yoga classes and Bisha Shabir is one of them. She is the founder of a yoga studio called “The Yoga Wall”. Her tips are as interesting as her sessions to pull through this time in a productive and refreshing way.
We had a short conversation with the yogi and she definitely has important points to share.
Tell us about yourself? 
I first started practicing yoga in 2002 and taught for the first time in 2011; since my first class, yoga has always been a way for me to create greater physical space and emotional awareness in my body.
The joy I feel from teaching comes from being able to deconstruct physical postures and theories (traditional/contemporary) in a way to make them accessible to everyone. Yoga can look and feel so different to two individuals and it is empowering to understand what works for your body.  And that for me, is the foundation of self-healing.
I have studied anatomy and biomechanics in the context of movement as well as diving into work through understanding the nervous system and mindfulness practices. All these help bridge the gap between mind and body. Everyone and I mean EVERYBODY can practice yoga. You just need to figure out what that may look like for you and through this, I hope to inspire my students to develop long-term, sustainable practices for better health. Concepts of mindful-movement and therapies of the like support the development of yoga on and off the mat.
As a teacher, I am registered with The worldwide Yoga Alliance (as an E-RYT 200, RYT 500 and YACEP) and credit my teachers Holly Warren (YogaLondon), Jason Crandall (Vinyasa Method), Judith Hanson Lasater (Restorative Yoga), Tara Brach (Mindfulness Meditation) and Eka Ekong (YogaWorks). I am also fortunate to have studied with and/or influenced greatly by the teachings of Tiffany Cruikshank, Corrie MaCullum, Andrew McGonagall, and Celest Perera.
What exactly is “The Yoga Well”? 
The Yoga Well supports my dream to see the individuals depend on their relationship with their inner selves through practices that promote connection to the physical self and awareness across mental states. The human experience is a closed-loop, with the players being the physical body, the nervous system/mental space and our external environment. Mindfulness (awareness-based practice) helps the circulation within the loop to move smoothly.
The studio plays host to yoga classes, courses, free talks and by the end of the year, Yoga teacher training!
When did you realize you wanted to be a yogi?
A coach of mine made a suggestion that I add yoga to my training; I was 16 at the time and like most, I had preconceived notions on what the practice looks like.
I remember falling in love with yoga in my first class; since then, my personal practice has evolved and been a great influence on the way I view the world.
Teaching was happenstance- I was asked to assist in a workshop and then shortly after cover a yoga class. After that, as they say, the rest is history.
How do you keep yourself motivated for yoga every day? 
After experimenting with different ways, I figured that I am motivated by choosing smaller, shorter practices. This may range from laying on my back with props for five minutes in the day to a stronger, hour-long session. I discovered that the more planning involved kept me from getting onto my mat. So I choose according to my mood at the moment; what is calling out to me that particular day. I do have one requirement though- that I do something for at least five minutes a day.

This has been my personal experience but not necessarily how others may work. Some individuals thrive by setting out a specific time each day to do something on their mat; others need guidance in a class setting that may motivate them to practice regularly.
“Yoga doesn’t help you lost weight” – Your views? 
I think weight loss through yoga is an individual experience but cannot be marketed widely. Weight loss through yoga may be a by-product for some individuals but it is not guaranteed for all; burning fat is a metabolic process and while some people’s fat-loss is supported through a yoga practice, they are likely making other lifestyle changes to facilitate it.
I believe that yoga should not be approached as a means to influence the physical shape/outline/body fat percentage but to better understand what your mental habits are, how you move and how all of it reflects in your overall lifestyle.
It is important for me to reiterate here that yoga is a practice for the mind more than the body. Working in a physical way is a resource and tool to prepare the mind space.
Depression is home to the empty mind, what do you suggest for working women\men to do while working from home? 
I encourage everyone I meet to take some time to develop a short mediation practice every day. It takes five minutes to sit and notice your surroundings, eventually resting the attention on the breath to get you in the habit of meditating regularly. There are many helpful phone apps that can set you up!
5 general steps to stay away from depression these days? 
– Movement of any kind: yoga, training, running, climbing stairs, whatever gets your muscles moving. Remember to start small!
– Talk to people! Social engagement is important; it stimulates a safety response in our nervous system; thus alleviating stress and anxiety from being in self-isolation.
– Eat nutritious food; healthier food boosts your immune system, keeping your energy levels (and your mental state) balanced
– Take a pause every now and then. Just a minute or two to connect to your breath. Notice what it’s like. It’s depth; how it makes you feel. Is it full? Shallow? No matter what the reasons may be, simply notice what the breath FEELS like.
–  Similar to the breath practice, it helps to journal your thoughts a few minutes a day. Write about ANYTHING that comes to mind.
Are energies real? Do they really affect us?
You’ve probably heard the statement “your vibe attracts your tribe.” 
What we as humans project out energetically is what you bring back to ourselves. If you view the world through a guarded filter, you in effect, bring more of guarded energy to your life. If you view the world through the lens of understanding, compassion, you can better respond to challenges that arise.
How important is it to introduce physical activities in our routine in the current situation? 

There is an anatomical principle: “if you don’t use it, you lose it;” It’s super important for our muscle and mind memory to continue working, even from home. 
Movement and brain health are interconnected; doing something every day can reduce a feeling of restlessness. Our landscapes have changed drastically and the mind is still trying to catch up. By moving, you can bring back familiarity to your routine.
What has been your favorite spot in the north where you love performing yoga? 
I can’t choose one spot but I’ve had the pleasure of practicing outdoors in spaces with minimal human intervention. There is a certain peace and joy from being in an open space.
What are the 5 yoga poses that can help reduce stress and should be incorporated in daily routine?
1. Savasana (Corpse Pose)!
 It’s usually the last and final rest pose we practice in all yoga classes. A little tip though, you can practice Savasana on its own too! I teach restorative classes that only focus on different shapes of this pose and it’s incredibly grounding and stimulates a healing response in your body. It’s also very simple to do!
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
 Downward Facing Dog is incredibly therapeutic. It energizes the body through strength as well as stretches bigger sets of muscles.
3. Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall) 
Laying on your back with your legs elevated is deeply relaxing and soothes the nervous system. Great for those who have trouble sleeping.
4. Set Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge pose- best with props) 
Laying in the bridge, with support under your sacrum is quite comforting, You can add some stretch by straightening your legs forward.
5. Balasana (Child’s pose): 
Again, a passive pose to help you slide inward.

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Zubab Rana- The fashionista with an unmatchable screen presence!

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Enviable fashion sense is something not many actresses in our industry have been blessed with, but one actress who has impressed us with her fashion sense is Zubab Rana. A budding actress and a beautiful model, Zubab Rana manages to light up the frame every time she appears on our screens. From ramps to dramas, there isn’t anything the actress can’t do.

Born on 3 June 1998, the young actress started her career with Naseebo Jali in 2017 and received a nomination for the Best Soap Actress at Hum Awards right with her debut role. This doesn’t only speak of the actress’s mettle as a performer, but it also helped her make her mark on the small screen in a short period of time. She then appeared in Mere Khudaya and Bandish, and again received a nomination for the former as the Best Emerging Talent at the Lux Style Awards.

That isn’t all. We haven’t just seen the actress making her mark on the screens, but she has also stolen the show every time she has appeared on the ramp. She has established herself as a successful model and is renowned for her effervescent charm as an actress and a model, both. Having started her career as a ramp model, there is no denying her talent on the ramp, but what took everyone by surprise was her talent on the screens as well.

After her powerful performance in Rishtay Biktay Hain in 2019, we can currently watch the actress starring in Mehboob Apke Qadmon Mein, a drama that revolves around the power of black magic, Zubab Rana has been weaving magic with her performance in the play. She is featured as Sunaina, a sweet and innocent girl who is in love with someone and wants to stay happily with her love. Zubab Rana’s acting makes you feel for Sunaina and all the problems in her way. In every scene, she stands out with her phenomenal acting, making us root for her.

So far, Zubab Rana has done wonderfully in every drama she appears in. It looks like the actress is on the rise, and we can’t wait to see where she would be heading next!

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Ali Zafar foundation to distribute amongst Christian and Transgender communities

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On a tweet posted by Ali Zafar, he showed the conditions on the ground as he went live on Instagram with his team who was seen distributing Rashan amongst a Christian community.

Many celebrities have raised their voice to raise awareness in the Corona battle, however, Shahid Afridi and Ali Zafar take the lead in going all out in their Rashan Distribution campaign.

Ali Zafar had also posted a video a few days ago of a transgender “Julie” highlighting the plight of their community. “We must make an inclusive society where everyone feels equally empowered and a part of the society, like a petal in a flower. Only then we can get rid of the thorns”. the Singer Actor quoted whose foundation has so far distributed Rashan amongst almost 3500 families so far.

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This Social Networking App is definitely the New Thing in Town

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When boredom hits us hard, we all cuddle up to our social media accounts rooting around for something new and exciting. Right now, when the world has come to a standstill and people are ready to do anything to spice up their lives and when cooking, baking, watching, or reading looks so monotonous, we all are on the hunt for activities that put a little jazz to our dull days.

There are no real-life meetings, a cup of coffee, or a smoke break. All we have is our phone with the same contacts, plenty of work emails to respond, and some messages in the “other” section of our messenger. Some of us are so bored that we have gone through all those messages and some are on the verge of responding to those messages.


But, there is one thing that is keeping us occupied all of a sudden? As controversial as Tinder sounds, the long-lived thunder has been stolen by this new app called Bumble. You can either date or find BFF on the app depending on your preference. The dynamics of this app are slightly different from Tinder as it gives women the first right to make a move. Is this actually a conscious effort to change the patriarchy considering the fact women are entirely in control of choosing whoever they want to talk to and on the other hand, men do not have the option to initiate the conversation at all. This is probably one of the reasons for the app to flourish in a country like Pakistan where there is a pipping hot debate on feminism every now and then.

The main difference between Tinder and Bumble is the reliability of having a verified account. You cannot have an account on bumble without your picture and since the whole idea behind this app is about being kind, if there is slight misconduct from any party, the account gets suspended immediately for good and all. Unlike Tinder, Bumble gives you more details about the person in contact so, the swiping is not just about the looks here.


If we peek into the real world, there are very few opportunities to find friends or even a potential match once you are done with your school or college. Which means, a very little chance of getting your dupatta stuck in the button of his waistcoat. Such an app will put you closer to the network of a person who otherwise does not have the slightest chance of meeting you in real life. If not a match, you may end up finding some incredible friends that many people actually claimed to have found so. Hence, the dating pool is marginally better on this app.

The cons of having this app are “anything can happen”. Stay alert and know your moves. Don’t get caught into the traps of instant meetings or any kind of thugs disguised as a chum. Take time to know the person and learn about the similarities you have with them if any. These are the very basic tips that we need for any online encounter.
Although a lot of success stories have been witnessed through the app from outside Pakistan, the app is still less productive and less popular among the masses. It is either the pressure of being on a dating app or stigma attached to being associated with these apps. However, this pandemic does seem to change the whole narrative of online amity.

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