Life is beautiful for yoga instructor Nadia Narain
If feeling good means looking good, then Nadia Narain must be the most beautiful person in the world. Born and raised in Hong Kong, it wasn’t until the age of 19, when this yoga bunny hopped over to LA and began attending classes by guru Gurmukh Kaur...
When did you first get into yoga and what is it about yoga that you love?
I got into yoga when I was around 19. I was living in LA and a friend took me to a woman's house. She was teaching yoga from her living room and I took one class and I was hooked. It made sense and without sounding corny all I really remember was that I felt like I was "home", in the big sense of the word.
Why is yoga so important for the body?
It's a feeling. I can't explain it in words so easily. If you imagine the body is like a ball of wool, all in knots and you are trying to unwind the knots. That's what yoga does; it undoes you. It opens you. It softens and strengthens you at the same. You feel connected. And it goes deeper than the physical because it works with the nervous system and the actual flow of energy in the body.
How does it affect the mind and your sense of general well being?
It settles my mind. It grounds me. If you get your body in alignment and you get your living in alignment with your moral compass, it pretty much gives you a happier more peaceful way of being.
How does a healthy lifestyle relate to one's inner beauty?
Having a healthy lifestyle is sometimes, in my opinion, a bit misunderstood. Being healthy, to me, means being loving and kind to yourself and nourishing yourself. It's about being in harmony.
What is your life's philosophy?
I had to think about this when I was creating my brand of products and it got narrowed down to this "BREATHE, LOVE, LAUGH, BE KIND AND BE GRATEFUL" and I try and keep this in check. I would also add being kind to yourself or for lack of better words "loving yourself" and just trusting that the universe works in magical ways and, as the Dalai Lama says, "remember not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck"!!!
What would be your guide to living a beautiful life?
My top tip is to be grateful. When I focus on what I have and all that I have I feel pretty full and abundant, even if it doesn't always seem that way. It feels like everything is good. And I enjoy the simple things. When I focus on what I don't have and what other people have or compare to others, that's usually a recipe for disaster. And nothing looks good!
Who is the most beautiful person in the world and why?
Are you kidding? There's no answer to that! When I have all my girlfriends over and I look at them, to me they are some of the most beautiful women in the world. But that's because I know their flaws and have been there as they've cried, and held their hands whilst they've gone through the most difficult and wonderful times in their lives. When I'm in a good space and I look around, I see something beautiful in everyone. When I'm not in a good space and feel fearful, contracted and hard, I see flaws in everyone. It's all just a reflection of ourselves.
What makes a person beautiful?
Being kind and quirky and having an individual style makes someone beautiful to me. And if they are funny as well…that just nails it!
Is beauty only skin deep?
You can put all the fanciest creams on, makeup, and wear the latest fashion but if you don't like yourself, you're never going to feel good. My friend David Sims gave me the best two bits of advice on a shoot: "happiness transmits better than any technique" and "sexiness is all in the brain, Nads". And he's right! Once I got through the shock of everything changing I realised that I actually feel better and more beautiful now than in my 20's.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is something you feel, about yourself and about everything around you. If only we could see ourselves the way our best friends see us. Nature and animals don't look at each other and judge themselves or each other. They just are beautiful. The beautiful trees in the park as the leaves change, our sweet little doggies that snuggle up with us and love us adoringly. Our minds and our comparisons to each other and our desperate clutching to our youth stops us from feeling and being beautiful. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!
- nadia narain