“When I step on the mat and look at it for a while,
I feel like – THAT is what love gives you – a sunset to play on!”
I connected with this beautiful and colourful yogi through the magic of the internet and Instagram!
We are so proud of her love and connection with our RR-OM mats.
A 23 year old university student shares with us her culture, how she came to yoga and why she passionately shares her journey on Instagram.
We are so excited to have e-met her and share with you our little chat with her over cyber-space!
She answered our questions through voice memos on her way to University or during her breaks.
We could hear her gentle voice, the birds singing in the background and songs of prayer from the Mosques that she passed.
It was a magical interview with a lovely human.
Now we are desperate to go to Morocco and meet her in person
and experience her country of colour!
Instagram Account: @_hananelazaar
Featuring our yoga mat: More Than Blush
As from this blog title, most people can guess that you’re from the beautiful country of Morocco!! Tell us about where you grew up, where you are from, and what life is like on that side of the world! 🙂 ?
Morocco is a beautiful land, I love the land so much! I love some cities for the feelings they give me, like Marrakech, Chefchaouen, Asilah, and maybe more for all of their COLOURS!I am part of a family of 5, my parents, my younger brother and sister. I was born in the East of Morocco, but when I was 5, we moved to the North, to where my mum’s family are from. There we lived in a village, in the woods, with rivers everywhere, mountains around us, and the beach a few minutes drive away. The time I spent in the North was heaven. From time to time, the life we had there haunts me now, as I want to go back to those precious moments! We lived there until I was 15, to move back to the East, which is where we are today. People in the East are very warm and friendly and I feel very connected with them here.
How did yoga come into your life? & at what age? You are only 23 and have such a beautiful practice!
It did actually come into my life, through my Mum and Dad, I didn’t have to search for it. My Dad was practicing yoga when he was younger on his own, from reading books and he knew a bit from when he was in France. Growing up, we had this library at home, and one of the books there that we liked to read, was a Yoga book written in Arabic. My Dad would read it to us, and I found the Asana names so CUTE, with names of animals and the tree etc. All those names with the poses were so exciting to me. I would then ask my Dad to show me the pose and say the name. So I discovered it and liked it as a small child and I would be like “DAD i can finally do the TREE!”I didn’t really practice as a child, but I definitely knew about it.
My mum had also brought back a book from France, “Hatha Yoga”, and I would always look at the pictures there. It had illustrations in there of an old lady that looked so young. And I would ask my mum “How can she look so young!” when she was obviously so old. “Look at her hair and her silhouette, she is so beautiful”. My Dad would say “Well, if you want to stay this young, you should go try Yoga”. Who doesn’t want to stay young!! Of course, I want to grow old and get white hair, but I want to grow old healthily, just like the lady in that book! So there were thoughts from childhood that stayed with me. So the older I got, I really felt I should give this YOGA a try! I just started practicing yoga officially 2 years ago, giving it my time, and involving it into my schedule. I see it now as something I NEED to do, not something I WANT to do, but something that is included in my schedule, just like sleeping or going to University. My practice is also part of my day. I knew yoga would help me to be not that lost in life, to connect my body with my mind. I am not taking yoga as a medicine, but it helps to be aware of yourself and what you are doing.
Just to give everyone the background story of how we got to know each other! I, was scrolling through Instagram and came across an image of you that made me go WOW and I immediately connected with you. 🙂
Your pictures definitely have a powerful impact and you are gaining a strong following through the platform of Instagram. Tell us about being an “influential instagram yogini”.
When I first got a message from Alessandra (@absmo) through Instagram asking to collaborate together, I directly went to her page to see her profile to make sure she wasn’t a fake profile of something. I immediately connected with the colours of her pictures, as they were MY COLOURS! I connected in a way where I felt myself in her profile. And I knew if this person in real life was in my city, we would be friends!
Regarding my personal Instagram profile, and being an “influencer”. I don’t know if “influence” is a good or a bad word, but I do not wish to “influence” anybody. I just wish for people to find themselves. To be “inspired” is OK! When you are inspired you nourish your soul, your brain and you heart. You discover more of yourself.I was and still am so surprised when people would write to me! I use Instagram to share and document my journey and to learn from other yoga profiles. I am happy when people DM and say they feel inspired! 🙂 I also started my Instagram profile as I wanted Muslim girls and Hijabis to go ahead and create their Instagram accounts and share their journeys without be scared. I think a lot of Muslim girls are scared, perhaps of society or perhaps of themselves. I am not worried of people’s judgements, and so I created this account to show them that I am also a simple girl, just like them, sharing my everything to the world and they can do it too, like me! 🙂 I am so happy every time I meet a yogini that is a Hijabi or Muslim girl from another part of the world, like Malaysia or Indonesia. I get to know them and become friends! I love that and I want that more and more. I joke to myself, and feel like making a funny and extremist Instagram post that proudly shouts out to all the Muslim / Hijabi yogis everywhere! I just want to show the world that we do yoga too!! My Instagram profile is mainly to INSPIRE 🙂 more Muslim women to not be afraid to try yoga, as there is nothing wrong with it! 🙂
From your Instagram and our chats together over the last 4 months, we see you are very much a home-body. Tell us more about your home culture and your preferred lifestyle!
I often refer to myself as a “house cat”!
Both my parents are Artists, and growing up I learnt to enjoy my small space, to enjoy my craft, read, dance or play with my parents and siblings. I enjoy sharing every moment with THEM. We all love to be at home and be together. We each choose not to “go out” much, we all have that one close friend that we like to hang out with, but otherwise we are usually hanging out together at home.
I don’t know if it is a problem, but I definitely know I am an “introvert” but I know I am also outgoing, when I get to know someone. I find it rare when I am able to connect with people. But I believe I enjoy more being with myself. I don’t consider this loneliness however. Its the opposite, sometimes when I’m with a group of people, I feel more alone. I see that my parents are each others best friend; they have each other. I learnt I have everything I need within my family to be fine, and I embrace it and enjoy it. I love a peaceful lifestyle and I don’t like anything stressful.
Your Turbans are absolutely stunning and we love how you wear so many different colours in all your photos. When it comes to combining it with yoga, Does it help with headstands?!?! or do you have to avoid doing poses on your head? I have definitely become obsessed and want one! You mentioned to me that you and your mum make and plan to sell them! Tell us more about where we can get your beautiful fabrics and items and what you will be selling and how can we get them?!
hahahaha….It looks thick, but it is a very thin fabric. It’s actually a bit hard to do a headstand wearing a turban, as you might not be able to put the point of your head on the right spot. What I find harder is doing yoga fully clothed like I do. For certain arm balances like crow pose, being fully clothed makes it really slippery. If you practice skin on skin, it helps you stick in that position better, and with being fully clothed is quite challenging, but I like to push and find my way eventually. 🙂
My mum has always been making clothes, I learnt from her and now we do that together for a living. We currently make clothes for family, friends and old customers from the North. We are now thinking of making an ONLINE shop together. I enjoy designing, doing a sketch and my amazing mum will put it into action! Soon I hope to provide clothing items for everyone on the internet. COMING SOON!!!!It is hard times for me at the moment, as I am so keen to have it come to reality and I’m working my hardest now to balance life and make that happen!
We also refer to you as RR-OM’s little “muse” because we just feel that your soul just matches with our “MORE THAN BLUSH” beauty. When we shared with you our Ombre Colleciton, we were so excited you chose and fell for the “BLUSH” colour!! Tell us about why you chose the colour, and how you find practicing with the mat?
MORE THAN BLUSH is my colour and the one I chose because, firstly I fell in love with the name. I “BLUSH”. I am a girl that blushes often. hahah.
The colours of your mat, also reminds me of the sunrise or the sunset here, which I usually try and watch everyday.The shades are OH MY GOD so beautiful and reminds my of my land – the land of Morocco. When I “step” on it, it doesn’t feel artificial either. It feels so NATURAL at my feet.
The first mat I got, was blue and slippery on the floor, but being my first mat and a gift, it meant so much to me! And so in the past years, I have been used to practicing on the ground and I still love to do that. I also remember trying another mat that LOOKS thick like yours, but its wasn’t as it hurt my head in headstand. Somehow that other mat hurt my head more than doing it on solid ground.
I was so excited to have my RECKLESSRED-OM mat. But honestly, with your mats, it doesn’t give me this feeling of pain at all and supports my head and joints on the ground completely. From changing my practice from being on the ground to being back on the mat, your RR-OM mats made me feel like I didn’t change much of my practice, with its earthly tones and natural feel. It remind me of sand and earth. Practicing on it is amazing!!!
The fabric you use for the top layer is one of my favourite fabrics EVER! As I make pants in the same suede-like fabric, and when I wear those pants together with your mat, it gives me a SUPER COOL GRIP!!
That’s myyyy MORE THAN BLUSH!!!
I also choose this mat over other companies because I love that Miklos and Alessandra are both ARTISTS and have a strong love for each other, I somehow get a sense of that in the design of the products and brand. When I step on the mat or look at it for a while, I feel like – THAT is what love gives you… a sunset to play on!And that it is a mat made by YOGIS to YOGIS, which is beautiful!!! I also want people to know that I am pretty picky when it comes to what items I choose to keep at home and for my practice. So the fact that I keep using and love my MORE THAN BLUSH mat tells you something!!! 🙂
In a lot of your photos, we see you in an empty room, with just a mat or carpet. Please share with people about your philosophy on home decor and how do you manage to keep it so minimal.
I decided for a few months now that I don’t want a “bedroom”. Maybe this is just a period of my life. Perhaps I sound like a extreme Minimalist, but I just felt like I don’t want to see any clutter around me anymore. I got rid of a lot of things…even my bed! I believe they had some energy that I no longer needed, or an energy that I should remove from my life. I went through the process of giving away things and burning some items, and it felt SO GOOD.
I am definitely not a person that likes to buy fancy things, spend money on expensive decor etc. I want to live simply. I feel sad for people that get lost on materialistic things. I am hungry for things that feed my brain and my soul, but not at all for materialistic things.
For all my clothes, I keep them all out of my room. I have given away most of them now but I store the rest in our basement.
Furniture wise, I don’t have any, not even the traditional fixed bed. I choose to sleep on the floor of my room. I don’t have a one fixed spot in the house, I just sleep wherever. These last few nights, I have been sleeping in the corner of my sister’s room. 🙂 I have a roll out mattress that I sleep on and love it. I don’t see my bedroom as an empty room, it is still my room, my space where I feel myself, I just feel FREE in that space now.
We would love to know more about your yogi life! How often do you manage to practice? Is it usually Self-Practice?
I wish I could be on the mat more than I am. It’s hard at the moment, studying from early morning to evening. But I manage to practice on and off the mat. I try to find time whenever, wherever, to do a flow. In the backyard, at university, in my room etc. I am a self taught yogi that has learnt a lot from other yogis on Instagram, books, yoga articles, blogs! I read everything that’s out there and i always ask questions where I can through the internet and there are a lot of amazing teachers that help to answer me. I find my own way really. Its not just in yoga, but also in life. I do some Islamic Meditation everyday as well, which I consider as part of my daily practice. 🙂
Most of us Yogis are also big foodies! Tell us about your favourite home cooked food items or places that you like to eat!! And if any of us do end up travelling to Morocco what local foodie item MUST WE TRY?!?!
Yes! haha… I am a big foodie!
I am a Pescatarian. I might look skinny but I tend to eat A LOT A LOT A LOT. I can never say “NO” to food! (Well, as long as its vegetarian or fish!)
But sadly, I am a terrible cook! haha… if i try, I burn things!!! 🙁 I like a lot of traditional Moroccan dishes and I am a big lover of drinking a lot of teas. But outside of Moroccan food, I really LOVE pizza, fish tacos and ice cream!!! 😛
I would recommend that you try the traditional dish of each city in Morocco, as each city is so different – ask and try even if some of them are weird!
Last question… another yogi question! If you had to choose ONE asana that is your favourite which one would it be and why?!
Oh! Such a stressful question!! haha. I would definitely go for CHILD’s POSE! As I will always be a child hahahaha…. but also because it is soooooo comfortable 😛
Also when it comes to the Islamic religion, in our prayers, we have this gesture which is almost like Child’s Pose. And it is a surrender. I feel like it is a relief to something bigger and greater than myself. And I love this feeling of surrender that this pose gives me in yoga and in my prayers, and I love how the two poses are so similar.
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