Hafsa describes how completing her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at Kindred was like a rebirth
YOGA TEACHER - Fitness Trainer - Reiki Master
Learn how Hafsa followed her intuition, cured her hormonal imbalance through yoga and created a full-time yoga and wellness career.
Before completing Kindred's 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training, she describes her mindset as hopeless and her life felt disastrous. Now she feels in tune with her higher self. She quit her corporate job and now runs a successful wellness business in Auckland.
Hi, I am Hafsa. I moved to NZ from Dubai 5 years ago. I came here for three months in 2016 to travel, but the universe had other plans for me. Now I live in Auckland and own a small studio space in the suburbs of Mt Roskill, Auckland, where I teach yoga & fitness classes.
Tell me how your yoga journey started and how it's evolved?
I started practising yoga when I was going through a difficult phase of my life. I was dealing with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hormonal imbalance & extreme weight gain. I was trying everything to get rid of PCOS, and then one day in Dubai, sitting at a beach, I saw a young woman doing a headstand. That was the first time I saw someone do a headstand; it made me think about our bodies are amazing things. At that time, I had no idea what yoga was, but I searched, and many videos of Sirsasana/headstands showed up on google. I started practising some poses at the park to get into a headstand. I was so adamant about learning these poses that I started practising every day. It took me three months to get into a full headstand, but I also learned that yoga is so much more than just a headstand or physical postures in those three months. I started seeing changes in my body & in my health.
Why did you choose Kindred studio to complete your yoga teacher training?
I knew deep down that I would take part in a Yoga Teacher training, level 1 (YTT1). certification but had no plans for when or where. I followed a few people on social media and saw them training in Bali or Thailand. Don't get me wrong, they all looked great, but my idea was relatively more straightforward, I wanted to learn the actual practice rather than going to a hyped-up luxurious island training.
I saw the teacher training Ad on google, clicked, and sent an inquiry. The studio looked simple and down-to-earth, a place where I felt I didn't have to be someone. At that time, I was recently diagnosed with a heart defect, and my visa was expiring in 2 months. My future was unknown, but my intuition said it was the right time and place. Chai answered all my queries, and in 2 weeks, I flew to Nelson for my training. That was the best decision I ever made.
What was it like learning with Chai and the Kindred teacher trainers?
It was amazing. I was hopeless with my life situation when I signed up for the training. I thought that my life was a disaster and there was no way out. I came back to Auckland full of life as if someone had just opened my eyes to real life. I learned so much about myself. I am such a fan of my supportive teachers and always will be. Bex’s energy, Rose's compassions (she was like a mum throughout our training), and Chai's broad experiential knowledge base made the whole exercise worthwhile. When I received my completion certificate, I hugged Chai and cried. It felt like a rebirth.
Which year did you graduate from YTT1? Since graduating, what have been some achievements you'd like to share?
I graduated in April 2019. Right after graduation, I started teaching yoga in a local gym. Soon I started teaching at more places after work. I also got certified as Reiki Practitioner & personal trainer after my YTT1 to fully immerse myself in this mind and body practice. In November of 2020, I took a bold step to quit my full-time corporate job and focus entirely on teaching yoga.
"The energy at Kindred is unlike any other studio I have ever been to."
What do you think makes a good yoga teacher?
Understanding that no one size fits all. Everybody is different. You must show your true authentic personality, show up with energy an true passion wanting to inspire everyone. A good yoga teacher is present, not "perfect." Teaching yoga isn't about trying to fit into a mould of what an ideal teacher should be. You're teaching to a room full of students who have different needs and intentions for practice, which may require you to wear many hats. Be open to what the students in front of you require and desire, moment to moment.
Tell me about your yoga business?
After I quit my job, I started teaching 6-7 group classes a week in multiple studios along with a few 1-on-1 clients. I taught across many studios & gyms in Auckland like Anytime Fitness, The Olympics, Champs Fitness, Health & Sports & Well Trained. I also became very active on social media to reach more people. I felt confident enough to start my humble studio for group yoga classes this year. During the lockdown, I moved to online courses, and now that we are in Alert Level 3, I am teaching outdoor yoga classes.
What words of advice would you give someone considering embarking on their YTT1 with Kindred?
Go with an open heart and mind without any expectations. Don't expect a significant sudden change. Give yourself time to fully embrace this experience and allow the universe to show you what you need to see.
I hope to visit Nelson sometime and practice one more time in front of the studio’s big windows. The energy at Kindred is unlike any other studio I have ever been to.