Name: Maryam Asad Bakhtiary
Profession: Graduate Gemologist
Other interests: Traveling and living in different places, doing volunteer work, martial arts, spending time in nature and reading books.

How long have you been practising yoga?
13 years

What classes at Nilaya house do you attend?
I mostly do Iyengar yoga with all the wonderful teachers at Nilaya House and from time to time take other classes as well if I have time.

Why do you practice yoga? What benefits does it bring to you?
I started it as a way to be active but then it turned out to be a life saver for my mental wellbeing and now it’s a way of life. I don’t go a day without it. It connects me with my body and my emotions, aligning me with my higher self. When I step on the mat everyday I learn something different about life, myself, and the human experience.

What is your favourite posture and why?
Trikonasana. It activates the core, stretches and lengthens the spine, the side of the body and the deep lower back muscles. It opens the hips and shoulders and the chest expands; opening the heart chakra. The legs are working as well and the hamstrings are lengthened. The entire body is engaged.

What’s your advice for people wanting to start yoga?
Yoga is for everyone and all ages. You don’t have to be fit, flexible or young you can start at any age and reap the benefits in all aspects of your life.