NUSAYBAH BRAZZO writes about her journey that led to the discovery of Senaman Tua, an ancient Malay exercise which is an alternative to yoga.
LIFE is sacred. How can you gift yourself or a loved one? How do you take care of the body as your personal masjid you have been given?
The ancient Malays believed that the body would not be at ease either due to an improper diet or lack of exercise. We owe it to ourselves to take best care of what has been given to us, what has been taken away, and actively engage in self-development, management and healing. No doubt, during these unique times of the pandemic, pains – physically, emotionally and mentally – have increased. This year, 2022, is about redefining our habits and lifestyles, and moving beyond disease to transformative, everyday healing.
As Muslims, we know that we have the all-encompassing knowledge for the complete way of life but with this globalised yoga craze, it was wondered did we leave a stone unturned?
On this journey of discovery, Senaman Tua was revealed to the general public, from Malaysia, answering the call for alternatives to yoga as nations issued fatwas and educated communities understood that the root philosophy was not aligned to Islam.
Ancient Malay exercise is the closest English translation of Senaman Tua, as its movements are based on traditions dating back through the years. Senaman Tua starts from a sturdy base, with movements that are gentle and natural. Breathing too has an origin; for example, by concentrating on the navel. Senaman Tua has an objective and to pursue this journey, it begins from an origin.
During 2018, I learnt Senaman Tua from its founder, Azlan Ghanie, in Kuala Lumpur, under the instruction of my spiritual guide, Shaikh Aleey Abdul Qadr, originating from Penang, Malaysia. He advised me to learn this new methodology that was in line with Islam and Malay heritage in the Cape to benefit all people in South Africa.
I have specialised in Melayu culture having obtained three scholarships in Indonesia, mastering traditional dances, music, fine arts and the language. I have more than five years of working in fitness and 11 years studying and performing Indonesian arts. My classes provide a holistic, comprehensive dive into the everyday, traditional lifestyle by sharing anecdotes, words in the language, links to arts and spirituality, which leave you feeling calmly recharged.
Senaman Tua originates from the royal households of Malaysia. It uses a combination of Malay breathing techniques, stretching, movements from silat martial arts and Malay traditional dance, which increase blood circulation, strengthen joints, create a sense of calm, detox and stimulate healing. In this form of ancient wisdom, one is linked to an Islamic tradition and philosophy that can be akin to the modern globalised yoga, tai chi or body conditioning exercise (but nothing has been taken from them), depending on the demands of the practitioner. Participants become more in tune with their body, movement in relation to space, understanding themselves, how to heal pain, sickness and create a sense of well-being as well as spiritually nourished. One also learns the way of the Malay, which Malaysians exclaim with delight to re-connect to roots. Many come for the physical exercise but leave feeling spiritually uplifted, too.
Senaman Tua improves sleep, oxygen flow, blood circulation, joint mobility, offsets the aging process, muscle pain release, emotional relief, de-stress and healing. Senaman Tua is good for all age groups, children (helps with attention and behaviour), teenagers, adults and also senior citizens. It is good for those who do not have any ailments as a form of prevention, and those who are already ill, as a form of healing. It is unique in that it enables an underweight person to be sturdy and an overweight one to look smart by consistently practising Senaman Tua.
Nusaybah is an internationally qualified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Through reaping the benefits emotionally, psychologically, in strategic planning and other aspects of life as well as health and fitness with her passion for keeping fit, Nusaybah felt the call to share this knowledge as a career in her early 30s and found a natural flare for instructing group fitness.
‘Healing modalities’ is the unique opportunity to find out more about Senaman Tua and experience the collaboration with Reiki master, Clare Morris, in the beautiful tranquil and natural setting at The Source, Bishopscourt, on Saturday, February 5. On this afternoon, the facilitators will provide full presentations explaining each of their disciplines’ background, ancient wisdom and philosophy.
If you have seen Clare and Nusaybah’s work over the years, you will be brimming with questions; if it’s the first time, you will be deeply curious. Here is your chance to find out more and then try both in the practical segment! A once-off chance for submersing into other worldly cultures and healing your nervous system with artists that have each travelled over 30 countries to bring you this wealth of experience. A traditional Indonesian dish called ‘bubur kacang hijau’ will be provided during the break, allowing us to trace links to the local boeber recipe in the Cape.
Clare uses sacred sounds, scents, meditation, movement and intuition to channel a full sensory Reiki experience. She began her journey with Reiki over 15 years ago and has been training ever since. Clare has trained with international energy workers, renowned sacred sound therapists, and has done courses in trauma, the nervous system and neuro-linguistic programming. She is a Reiki master in Usui Reiki, Diamond Reiki, and Kundalini Reiki. She is also an intuitive guide for nature excursions and breath work. She has trained with high quality professionals from all around the world to be in service with an experience for high quality healing.
Usui Reiki is the original form of Reiki, which is an energy healing technique. It is able to alleviate disease by becoming connected with universal life energy through harmony and wholeness. It identifies with emotional, mental, physical and spiritual levels of consciousness by working with light, meditation, intention, frequency and laying of hands in different positions on the body.
Kundalini Reiki involves the awareness that energy follows intention. Attunements open up your energy centres to be a more powerful conduit of integrating a balance and flow between masculine and feminine energy. It is the union of balancing your being. Diamond Reiki focuses intention by working with the ‘three diamonds’ that connect one to the energies of Earth, Heaven and Oneness of the Heart. Energy is drawn from the energy centres of the body where these diamonds are connected to and expand throughout the body. This expansion strengthens the energetic body of the aura and connects one with Heaven and Earth through the centre of the heart.
We invite you to honour your sacred ‘yes’ by being in celebration of life that is the gift, through the healing modalities of ancient Malay exercise and Reiki. To book a ‘healing modalities’ presentation and practical on February 5, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 071 9414.
- Nusaybah also provides one on one personal training or classes across areas such as Athlone, Rondebosch, Salt River, Claremont, Sea Point and beyond, including virtually. Make contact if you are interested in initiating one in your area, personally or attend these sessions.