Saeeda Hafiz

Food. Yoga. Wisdom.

Saeeda Hafiz

 

It has been a pleasure working with Saeeda privately while here in Pittsburgh filming. Each day is unpredictable and I am not sure how I will feel and Saeeda is able to provide a customized class that fits whatever I need for that day.

I really enjoy doing yoga. It provides me with a good solid workout that energizes me while helping me to remain focused and balanced. Thanks Saeeda, you are the best!
— Salma Hayek, Actress
Saeeda is a Yoga expert who will give you a thorough workout according to your needs. The yoga she teaches reduces stress and can enhance your mental and physical well-being.
— William Richardson, M.D., Atlanta Clinic of Preventive Medicine
Everyone was very inspired by your teaching...
— Barenaked Ladies Crew
Doing yoga makes me feel like a better person. Physically, my body feels lighter and more graceful. Every time I do the postures with Saeeda, I try to imitate her flowing movements. At times, she makes me believe anything is possible. Mentally, I become calm and focus on priorities. The notion of control is realized as I balance or move closer to a goal such as reaching another inch. The positive reinforcement of creating a change in oneself influences self confidence in other areas of life. the least effort in yoga results in great benefits for me.
— Zed Armstrong, Filmmaker
Saeeda has built a wonderful following and gives individual attention whenever necessary.
— Eleanor Grigg, Personal Trainer, Peachtree Center Athletic Club
A yoga class with Saeeda is a great way to start your day.”

http://www.susanbeallor.com/about.html
— Susan Snyder, Artist
Most of Saeeda’s magic is the kind of gift that is intangible. But, having said that, I was compelled to generate a “left-brained” list of what sets her so far apart:

Each class is tuned to the needs of the students based on the time of year (and other factors I’m sure), creating a long-term journey through the seasons and through life
Each posture has an explicit counter-posture
The purpose of exercises is explained so that students can concentrate on what they (we) need to get out of it.

Underlying everything is Saeeda’s approach, starting out with her introduction that “Yoga is too important to be taken seriously” (which I have modified, substituting Yoga for work, boyfriends, art, literature; it’s a great exercise!). We shout “Caw Caw!” when we do the “crow,” “Ribbit!” when we do the “frog,” and someday I hope to do the “cow,” because I’ve been practicing that audio!

My experience leaving class is that I’m as light-hearted as if I¹ve been at a really good comedy show or a Broadway musical. Waking up in the middle of the night, I wonder for a while “Why do I feel so good?
— Kevin Woodson, Chief Flower Painter
I have been taking an introductory yoga class with Saeeda for several weeks. We meet once a week on Wednesdays, and I find myself looking forward to it every week. I have been trying to get in shape for several months, and it is a slow process. I tend to get discouraged about my progress, especially when I compare myself to others I see at the gym. Saeeda is an excellent instructor who always makes a point to show the easy, or at least easier, way to do things without making it seem like there’s anything wrong with not being able to do the advanced version yet. Her ability inspires me. She is clearly in great shape, and has incredible control of her body. I hope one day I’ll be able to do everything she shows us, but in her class, it doesn’t feel important that I can’t yet.
— Ingrid Biery
I have been doing yoga with the tape “Yoga for Daily Living” for several months. I use the tape 3 to 4 times per week.

While I wish I had the time and gumption to do 45 minutes of yoga daily, “Yoga for Daily Living” is something that actually lets me stick to a regular program because it is closer to 25 minutes.

I very much enjoy the flow of positions. The positions are ones I can do, without feeling impossibly over-challenged. Saeeda Hafiz is outstanding as an instructor.

Whether it is to get you started in the morning or [to] relax after a full day, I recommend “Yoga for Daily Living” highly.
— Mark Kamlet, Dean, Professor of Economics, Carnegie Mellon University
Over the years that I have participated in Saeeda’s Yoga classes, I have found her style of combining active yet disciplined postures with meditative contemplation to be both a needed and welcome counter balance to my work as a software developer as well as an inspiration for creativity.
— Jack Copper, President, Arcana Tech
Nothing extraneous, aesthetically and intellectually satisfying, a yoga class with Saeeda achieves a perfect balance of thorough physical workout and spiritual quiet and peace. Her generosity and devotion to the practice of yoga shine through every class - we are always here, now and always fresh, always original. To study with Saeeda is a pleasure and a privilege - she’s the absolute best.
— Catherine Gammon, Writer and Soto Zen priest
“Yoga is a discipline, yet it’s fun.”
— George Spalding, Mathematician, University of Pittsburgh
WEIGHT LOSS CLASS

I liked the format of this class. I expected another “diet” and was disappointed at first, but then realized I was learning to change my behavior and not just following the “unteenth” diet plan.

Saeeda was an excellent listener to all of us. She didn’t race through the material, but afforded each of us the opportunity to look inwardly in a public supportive forum and discuss our own issues.

Saeeda gave good suggestions for each of our problems. She had a very practical approach. She was never judgmental. She had great sound bites to help internalize her teachings.

The Weight Loss Class helped me to buy the one thing that money can’t buy and that is TIME.

Through the eating of whole foods, I got rid of all of my compulsive food cravings and found myself no longer obsessing about food. I found the time to do other things that I enjoy as much as foods.

I feel as though I got my life back without the endless doctors appointments that showed no results.

The whole foods way of eating also helped eliminate the many complaints I had concerning complaints I had concerning mid-life. I no longer suffer form the black moods that could come out of left field or the painful breast or that awful bloated feeling. My cycle has returned to a normal 26 days from one that could be as short as 14 days.

My skin has cleared up and so has my outlook on life.

Thanks Saeeda.
— Caroline Jean Acker Department of History Carnegie Mellon University
WEIGHT LOSS CLASS

There’s so much I liked about this class and the instructor. Saeeda is so knowledgeable concerning food, food interactions, vitamins (all the physical aspects) plus she is very wise, kind, encouraging and a wonderful facilitator. She imparted much information and made it possible for us to speak our stories. Saeeda you are a spark that doesn’t burn, but rather enlightens.

I enjoyed the classroom (space for writing notes and spreading out) as well as the size of the class. Even if there were a few others the size would still be manageable. I think when dealing with people that have “food” issues a smaller number (less than 15?) is preferable if a goal is to encourage a dialogue.

I’m so glad I took this class. Not only am I thinking about healthy food preparation, but I’m doing it. I never tasted kale before! I’m eating less meat. I’m more aware. That’s a good feeling. I always knew I had the right to choose, but now I’m putting more thought into those choices. GOOD SHOW!!
— Alexis
Saeeda’s yoga for daily living video is just what I needed to jump start my mornings. It’s been a godsend. After my morning of meditation and yoga, I’m ready to face the day. Thanks, Saeeda.
— Jonette Suitor, Entrepreneur
I didn’t expect anything from the classes. I was just curious what kind of exercise[s] were in yoga, as my friend liked the yoga exercise very much and advised me to try it. So I tried.

And was really surprised when by the end of our course I started to do a lot of different stretches and postures that I was not able to do before. I had problems with the balance, and now I feel I could do the balance postures better. Relaxation at the end of class is the greatest thing! I’ve realized that [when I do not do yoga] I miss it. It’s a good way to learn your personal abilities and what you can do with your body and organism!! Thank you Saeeda!
— Anna Koldiment
I am writing to express my appreciation of the classes I am taking with you at the University Center at Carnegie Mellon University. I find that yoga makes me feel profoundly peaceful, strong, relaxed in control, resilient, and whole. My body is much more flexible than when I began your classes at the beginning of January. I last studied yoga 15 years ago, and came to your class knowing some specifics of form and posture, but very stiff, barely able to bend over far enough to touch my ankles. Within three weeks, I could easily touch the floor with my knuckles. I greatly appreciate the range of levels you are able to accommodate in your class and I am able to stretch to my maximum in each posture, and as I gain flexibility each week, I can move further along in the more advanced options of individual postures. I feel healthier and calmer in my work and daily life as a result of my work in your classes. Thank You!
— Caroline Jean Acker, Department of History Carnegie Mellon University.
As always [Yoga Workshop Class] very thorough, [and] professionally presented. Well worth the money and time. Love you both. [Saeeda and Akshak] Thanks
— Vanessa Haigler, Physical Therapist and Personal Trainer.
Yoga gives me an opportunity to stretch and focus on self and body possibly the one opportunity to meditate totally during a class - breathe, body and time. Excellent.
— Carolynn Mann
Yoga deeply relaxes my body and mind. Even a few minutes a day makes a difference. With Saeeda, I’ve learned to take a more relaxed approach towards my practice. I’m not as dogmatic as I used to be about my approach and this has made yoga more enjoyable. Saeeda is the best teacher I’ve had.
— Geeta Kothari, Freelance writer.
I liked the emphasis on healthy and natural eating.

I liked exploration into the causes of overeating for each person.

I enjoyed finding out about the various healthy foods that I’ve never heard of before.

The teacher was nice and well-informed. I enjoyed having group conversations.
— Samer
Saeeda’s yoga instruction has not only brought my severe back pain under control, but has helped me to regain the strength in my arms and legs which I lost recovering from a herniated disc. I am back to practicing karate five times a week, and I feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Saeeda is truly a gifted, thoughtful, and kind teacher.
— Nicole Molinaro
I really like your classes, you’re a great teacher - so mellow and gentle, yet encouraging and challenging! I think they have really helped me to relax and to get more flexibility.
— Heather Scott
Thanks so much for the incredible contribution you made to my class and to me. I am hoping that this approach can be developed into something further, along the lines of a regular class — and will let you know how that goes.
— Carolyn, Research Fellow STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, CMU.
I enjoyed your class tremendously!! Thanks for inviting me.
— Velma
NUIN CENTER YOGA CLASS EVALUATION -

This is the first exercise class I have EVER looked forward to going to. It is wonderful. I like your voice, Saeeda, and your approach to the whole thing. I especially like how you mention the coming week and getting ready for it. I do wonder how many times a week a beginner should attempt to remember and practice the poses (or whatever they might be an approximation of). Maybe you could mention that in class next week. Thank you SO MUCH for offering the class at such a convenient location and making it so enjoyable. (I did take yoga maybe 25 years ago and was reluctant to taking it unless I knew the instructor was really good (as my last one was, I felt)... but then was just drawn to taking a chance on your class.. and you have exceeded my expectations. It is the best.) See you Sunday.
— Pam
I want to thank you for introducing the Omega [Institute] experience to me. If it wouldn’t have been for the brochures I wouldn’t have ever known that such a place and such a people exist! I was beginning to give up on finding people to connect with...now I have a new beginning. I went there just to relax and discovered soo much more.
— Chandra Dorsey
I met you on the cruise today and thought you were dynamic...I was really pleased to meet a woman of color that teaches yoga. I look forward to getting together soon. God bless you, and may you and your spirit become one. (referring to a speech presented by Saeeda on Holistic Living)
— Mabel Gail Ferrier
Thank you for teaching in such a great way. When I take your class I feel a healing in my dance worn body that goes deep into the muscles and joints. I also feel like dancing again. That’s the best part. Thank you.
— Daphne
I went to one of Saeeda’s classes last night. It was so awesome! Just wanted to thank you for the recommendation.
— Jamie Siegel
I love Saeeda’s yoga class. It’s the most smooth and meditative, yet deep workout I’ve experienced. The effect that her classes have had on my mind, my body, and my energy levels have changed my life. With gratitude,
Liz.
— Liz Berlin, Musician Rusted Root.
Thanks so much for giving us a little taste of the power and the beauty of yoga. Saeeda is a fantastic instructor and her class was wonderful! ...It would be wonderful to get her here [at CMU] once a week during the day for such staff as myself...With all the great fitness classes, it’s hard to fit work in!
— Cindy Koller

Copyright 2014. Saeeda Hafiz.

Photography - francesvonwong.com