Azgari Hasin, the CEO of Modern Herbal Group and Bangladesh operations for Sabina Thailand, as well as the Founder and MD of Madison Oliver company, has been practising yoga for over 13 years. Doing wellness retreats is her way of giving back to the community and helping people find their balance in a fast paced hectic world.
Shazia Omar is a well-known Bangladeshi novelist and development specialist, who currently lives in Dhaka and when she’s not working for the welfare of the ultra-poor, she works as a Yoga trainer at Cityscape in Gulshan Avenue. She has been teaching yoga for nearly 10 years now, and loves how it brings mindfulness among people.
The two phenomenal women have come together to organize a weekend yoga detox getaway at BCDM, Savar. The retreat will begin on Friday, April 20 and guests can spend an entire weekend there, rebooting and rejuvenating themselves. This week, Weekend Tribune had the chance to talk to the perma-positive Azgari Hasin about this amazing form of exercise and its benefits, as well as their upcoming yoga retreat in Savar.
Let’s start with your yoga journey, could you tell us when you first started and what first drew you to yoga?
I've been practising for over 13 years, while Shazia has been an instructor for nearly 10 years.
Yoga helps stretch the body and centre the mind which I find calming and soothing. Before we get into the benefits of yoga, it is important to understand what yoga really is. The word 'yoga' actually means union. It is a practice that connects the body, mind, and spirit through different body postures, meditation, and controlled breathing.
[caption id="attachment_260038" align="alignleft" width="395"] Courtesy
What inspired you to organize this yoga retreat and why did you decide on BCDM, Savar as the location of the retreat?
I've been to yoga retreats around the world in America, India, Thailand and Indonesia. I always felt that going away for a certain time really helped me to reconnect and reboot. Hence, I wanted to have that option available in Bangladesh for people who aren't able to travel out of the country for various reasons.
We chose BCDM in Savar as the location because it's super close to Dhaka and had the best facilities to offer.
What type of yoga will your guests be doing?
Mostly, Ashtanga and Hatha yoga. Ashtanga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures – a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. Hatha yoga is designed to align one's skin, muscles, and bones.
Moreover, there will be workshops on living healthy, lymph node draining, body brushing, attitude of gratitude, releasing dis-empowering beliefs, emotional freedom technique, busting stress, popping automatic negative thoughts, art of living – words of wisdom by Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and Iyengar.
How much does it cost and what is included in the itinerary?
The retreat is perfect for beginners and intermediary. It will cost Tk15,000, and includes relaxing transportation from one's home to the resort and back, accommodation, workshops, yoga/ boot-camp classes, detox meals and herbal vitamin supplements, gratuity and a goodie bag.
How do the mission and vision of this weekend getaway reflect upon your own values and life principles?
Our lives are full of distractions and disruptions. We have a thousand things on our to-do list every day. Staying balanced and focused becomes more and more difficult when you don't have mental space to evaluate your lives. I wake up every morning and make a conscious decision to be happy, content and kind. If my participants leave the retreat feeling more relaxed and grounded, I will take that as a big success.
This short weekend getaway is designed to take the participants out of their daily lives and into their own mind and body, far away from their daily work and responsibilities. It will enable all participants to relax the mind and body and reflect on their own well being.
What challenges did you encounter while organizing this retreat? How did you overcome those particular challenges?
The biggest challenge was explaining the concept to the resort who has never worked with this type of program. We were able to show examples from other countries to help them get on board.
What aspect of organizing a weekend getaway with yoga and meditation services do you find most rewarding and why?
The idea of helping people find peace and enjoyment in their lives is very rewarding for me.
Staying balanced and focused becomes more and more difficult when you don't have mental space to evaluate your lives
How does this yoga retreat aim to enrich the lives of its participants?
Participants will have the opportunity to do a full weekend of detoxing all major organs to flush out toxins that build up over time in our bodies. They will be practising yoga, cardio, boot camp style endurance workouts, yoga and life style management workshops.
No phones or junk food are allowed during the entire weekend.
Do you remember your first yoga class? Did it instantly inspire you to practice seriously?
My first yoga class was at my high school back in 2003, in America. I felt quiet challenged by the movements. I signed up for the weekly classes and here I am, still practising so many years later.
What is your vision of moving forward – say five years down the line?
In five years, we would like to be able to offer our participants yoga retreats in amazing destinations all across Bangladesh.