Meet Nadia Gilani, one of MFML’s newest teachers. We linked up with Nadia recently to discover her inspirations, her delights and why she loves yoga.
What style do you teach?
I’m happiest teaching dynamic practises because movement inspires me. Dynamic for me doesn’t mean throwing yourself around making crazy shapes btw. It’s moving and breathing with presence. Exploring edges and noticing when to soften too. Dynamic can be both gentle and strong. I always look at who is in front of me and make a call on what might serve them best.
What brought you to yoga?
It’s all my mum’s fault! She took me to a class when I was 16 and in bad emotional and mental shape. I really didn’t want to go but she won that argument. It’s lucky for me that she did.
Why do you teach?
I love sharing practises that help people feel good in their minds and bodies and better about their lives. That’s what we all want, isn’t it?
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Having somewhere to be.
What is your favourite way to unwind?
I like solitude; alone time. It doesn’t really matter what I’m doing. Could be pottering about quietly at home, lying down under a tree in a park or bouncing down the street to Drum ‘n Bass!
Recommend your favourite books ( 1 – 3 titles):
- Something old: The Passion by Jeanette Winterson – a lesbian love story that was def a formative read for me in my 20s.
- Something borrowed: And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou – a beautiful collection of poetry that I found on the shelf at home as a teenager and became instantly mesmerised by.
- Something new(ish): Good Talk by Mira Jacob – an excellent memoir on race politics in the U.S. with increds illustrations by the author.
What daily practice would make you feel better?
Going to bed earlier! I always plan to then end up having some bright idea about something that I get involved in. It’s a work in prog. I seem to need more the older I get and it never feels like I get enough. Or maybe I’m just being greedy! I really want to be ace at sleeping more. It’s a gift I want to get better at gifting myself.
Beach or Mountain:
Mountains; taller, wider, stronger, epic.
Cat or Dog
Dog, always. We have an understanding. Cats are nice to look at but I don’t really get it with them. They can’t seem to work me out either!
Rural or Urban
I love the idea of rural but I don’t think I’d survive out there alone so it’d have to be urban (with some rural nearby if that’s allowed?!)
Sunrise or Sunset
Both are special but dusk is my fave time of day so it’s gotta be sunset. There’s something about the moody dreaminess of darkness drawing in that clutches me by the heart.
Spring or Autumn
This is an impossible question but I’ll take autumn. It’s when I was born, I love the colours and can’t resist huggy jumpers.
Daal, because a bowlful will heal all manner of wounds. But I’d happily eat any half-decent South Asian curry (with loads of chilis) if it came with hot-off-the-stove rotis made by my mum.
More About Nadia Gilani:
Nadia Gilani teaches yoga because she loves it. She first discovered the practice as a teenager when her mum took her to a class in the 1990s.
Yoga hasn’t always been an easy ride. In fact, it’s been really hard at times, but somehow the practice has been a constant source of inspiration in her life over the years.
Simplicity is at the heart of all of Nadia’s teaching. The biggest motivation that inspires her teaching is finding ways to make yoga inclusive and accessible so that it can help people practise it on their terms and utilise it to make sense of their lives.
Her teaching style is contemporary, non-dogmatic and explorative. In her view, anyone can practice yoga if they want to – it’s down to the teacher to take a flexible, compassionate and intelligent approach to help students find what best suits them. Nadia is also a writer. Her first book, The Yoga Manifesto was published in 2022.