A Yoga Angel Sent From Above: Azmat Alibhai


Time to get your mojo back


I am someone living in Pakistan with a genetic neurological disorder that no one in the country seems to know anything about. My long awaited appointment with Dr Mughees Sherani finally arrived; what a fun guy, I thought to myself as he smiled while talking to me.

My major concerns were my faltering balance and inability to focus; then Dr Sherani talked about a girl named Azmat who had suffered a stroke and cured herself with yoga and meditation. Amazed by this revelation, I asked to see a picture of her. Azmat, it turned out, was the same über cool intimidating chick in the yoga class I had stopped going to a year ago because it became difficult to manage. Apparently Azmat was now seeing Mughees’s patients at home and working on their problems with yoga, breathing and meditation.

I walk in to an architect’s paradise and find my way to a lounge, patiently waiting for Azmat. She walks in dressed in the most fashionable gym clothes I have ever seen, at first sight I think to myself maybe she isn’t Azmat, this can’t be her, she’s fine.

As Azmat begins talking to me I am wondering whether she would be able to help me get back on the yoga mat. The following week I attend my first class and I am surrounded by some, who have conditions worse than mine, which motivates me further. With a handicap like mine, a regular yoga class just makes you uncomfortable and awkward because you can’t do most of the poses, which results in you sitting on the floor half the class. The best thing about Azmat’s classes is that she thinks about every person attending her class and whether they will be able to actually actively challenge themselves to get into poses. Don’t get me wrong; it does hurt, and it is hard, but I know I can do it!

When I told Azmat she was a ray of hope for every handicapped person that knew of her classes, she said that it was her social responsibility; yoga did wonders for her and she sees it helping other people too. I don’t know about you, but I hardly know such selfless human beings, people who have no prerogative and just do.

Azmat has treated a number of people from professionals to a girl as young as 13 years old – here is what some of her fans have to say about her.
“Yoga helped me become fully focused, truly refreshed my mind, body, heart and soul. My yoga instructor, Azmat, has been created to teach yoga and she does it beautifully. She has taught me some great yoga moves, breathing techniques and challenged the way I view yoga and my world. It’s like moving from distress to de-stress.”- Tushna Dubash, Engro.

“Yoga in the evening after a hectic workday not only releases stress but also super charges my body to spend quality time with my family back at home and hence be ready for the next [day’s] challenges. I have also noticed significant reduction in my knee pain since I started yoga with Azmat around 2 months ago. Strongly recommend Yoga to everyone in general and to the so called busy working professionals in particular for much needed physical & mental wellness to enjoy life at fullest!”- Ifitikhar Ahmed, Engro.

“When my daughter-in-law told me that I was going to meet a stroke survivor I was very happy – it’s very nice to compare notes.
When I met her I was shocked – she was beautiful and was wearing heels so what the hell! Stroke victims should have no balance, can’t walk, probably can’t sit with balance and no peace of mind. I was  angry and jealous. What does Azmat know? So I was cold and didn’t talk much. I cried and cried when she left.
Few days later I was told she wanted to teach yoga to people with physical issues – so my husband forced me into going and I loved her. I couldn’t do much but I tried. She is so gentle and soothing and there is pain in her eyes. I want to get well and for my brain to get well and clear. I want to live life again.”- Asma Usman, stroke survivor

“Yoga has helped me in numerous ways.  Both internally and externally, not only has it helped increase my lung capacity, it has helped my difficulty to breathe. Yoga has helped me relax and relieve stress and has improved my flexibility as well.  It has opened doors for me internally.” – Nadya Habib, 13.
“You have three choices in life. Give up, give in or give it all you have.”




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