Datin Lya Uzir: President of Persatuan Regenerasi dan Kelestarian Alam (REGENERASI)

Datin Lya Uzir, President of Persatuan Regenerasi dan Kelestarian Alam (REGENERASI)

I have always seen fitness as something that is essential to a person. Not only does it help keep you in pink health, it also helps improve one’s overall quality of life. And that is exactly what yoga and Pilates do for me.

I was introduced to yoga first before Pilates, back around 2000. During that time, yoga in Malaysia was still in its infancy. People were just starting to catch on, that it’s the next thing to dip their toes in with fitness. And right on cue, a yoga studio actually opened up nearby where I lived and I was definitely curious about the hoo-ha, so I signed myself up. I was hooked instantly, it’s different to what I’m used to, which was the more rhythm based, classes with music like body steps where it pumps your blood and adrenaline. With yoga, it’s more centred around serenity and tranquillity.

Each poses you do challenges you to achieve this. And my instructor at the time was so in shape. She was so proportionally sculpted and it lit a fire in me that still burns to this day. FYI, I still frequent to that yoga studio whenever I’m back visiting Malaysia.

Now I did mention that yoga helps guide you towards a state of relaxation, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy feat to achieve. It’s actually quite challenging to twist and turn your physique to fit each pose. And with some poses, you actually need to hold the position for up to five minutes! It definitely helps you build your muscles and sculpt a healthy body. And it’s not only for women. I noticed that men who practice yoga often, tend to have very defined muscles with a leaner look, compared to those that go for the lifting weights route at a gym where their muscles are more pronounced. And I’ve gotten my husband into it too!

As for Pilates, that came a little later down the line when I was more familiar with Yoga. Some studios started introducing ‘hot classes’, whereby they would turn up the temperature of the room as an added

“I am absolutely passionate about yoga and Pilates, I cannot pick one over the other. To me, they’re a set with one complimenting the other.”

challenge and trust me, you’d definitely be sweating buckets! And that trend finally reached a studio in Mont Kiara that introduced hot Pilates in their offering. The discipline itself is slower paced with less challenging movements. However, it does require more repetition. I realised that Pilates also demands more focus, where it challenges the mind and targeted muscles, all while holding your core.

That’s the difference and beauty of both yoga and Pilates. With yoga, all you need is just the mat and yourself. But for Pilates, besides the mat, you could also perform the exercise with assistance of a reformer machine.

Funny enough, it was through these disciplines that I was inspired to start REGENERASI in February 2022. It helped me focus my mind and put things into perspectives. I want to help guide the youths of the country, the young adults who have the potential to be leaders in any industry to tend to the future and help the guide the nation towards sustainability. There’s already good progress towards this. Late last year, REGENERSI signed an MoU with the Malaysian Timber Council to promote sustainable development among the nation’s youth. Additionally, REGENERASI also signed an MoU with Green Growth Asia Foundation to work together with an upcoming tree planting programme under the roof of Eco Schools in Malaysia, soon to kick off middle of this year. But we’ll save that for another story.

Back to yoga, I hope to retire as a yoga instructor with my own studio one day! And for that purpose, I will be going through a 350-hour training course in Western Australia this year and hopefully that’ll come nicely down the line. It was always something in the back of my mind but recently I figured… there’s nothing to lose, I might as well take a proper swing at it. Exciting times ahead!


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