My name is Sadaf Jamal. I graduated from University of Waterloo with M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Cell and Molecular Biology. I am the founder of Women’s Health, Wellness and Empowerment Non-profit Organization Move N Improve Canada. I am a Certified Yoga Instructor, Canfit Pro Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor Specialist; Fitness, Nutrition and Wellness Coach. Currently, I am a student of Muslim Chaplaincy, Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy at University of Toronto. I am a Spiritual Caregiver Volunteer at Scarborough and Rouge Hospital General Campus. Yoga is given a negative light among monotheistic faith based communities, that it propagates polytheistic faiths and rituals. I am a proud Muslim woman and I do understand the faith sensitivities of my community regarding Yoga. I have addressed the misconceptions about Yoga in Muslim communities in many conferences held by ISL, ANNISA organization, ICNA, AlHuda, IFT and Pearls of Paradise. Yoga is catching popularity among people as it connects body, mind and spirit. It increases flexibility and wellness. Its a safe and beneficial form of exercise for all age groups. Even children with autism, behavioral problems and lack of concentration are improving with Yoga. The very reason I became a Certified Yoga Instructor is so I can present it to my community in a form they can appreciate.
At Move N Improve Canada’s online and onsite classes, we teach yoga in a form that caters to the cultural and spiritual sensitivities of our community. No chanting, no rituals are taught but spirituality is not omitted from the practice. Our uniquely designed yoga flows improve flexibility, mobility, health and wellness. Special breathing exercises are taught to center the mind and increase mindfulness. Yoga connects body, mind and spirit. It increases concentration and focus. I also shared what the imams and scholars have to say about yoga taught by Move N Improve Canada. Check out Imam Ahmed Kutty’s (Imam at Islamic Institute of Toronto) Fatwa at http://truefatwas.blogspot.ca/2012/09/is-yoga-haraam-in-islam.html
Also, view Sheikh Yusuf Badat, Imam at Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Sheikh Ahmed Kutty’s interview on the Permissibility of Yoga in Islam at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj9RcrX0Lto
Don’t miss Sheikh Abu Hafsa Claire ‘s message about Move N Improve Canada. Click Here
WHY I ESTABLISHED MOVE N IMPROVE CANADA
Assalam -o- Alaikum/Peace be upon you all. My name is Sadaf Jamal. My own struggles of achieving health yet maintaining my responsibilities and spiritual values became my strength and inspiration to be the founder of spiritual, physical and mental wellness non-profit organization “Move N Improve Canada” in 2013. Before staring this non-profit program, my health struggles and my doctors pushed me to join a few yoga studios and gym. As a Muslim woman, I felt that NOT many places cater COMPLETELY to the emotional, cultural and faith sensitivities of women coming from various cultural backgrounds. Not every gym was a comfort zone that was free of stereotypes and judgments. Not every place provided multicultural women directions, gave them sense of community, offered a multi-faith prayer area, a place where ladies can keep an eye on their new born babies, a place where no man can just walk in to fix the lights during workout, a place of no judgment or no comparison or no I-am-better-than-U or look-at-what-U-wear looks. When I faced these challenges, I empowered myself first through education and provided women what I needed for myself by establishing Move N Improve Canada. My non-profit organization gained popularity among ladies of a variety of cultures and faith groups because it’s services are strongly rooted in the principals of RESPECT and catering to the differences in cultures and beliefs. I started getting help from like-minded women who saw the value in what I was doing. I built a team. Now, Move N Improve Canada’s team provides a comfort zone for women to achieve their health goals in an environment where they don’t feel judged, compared, criticized by others or intimidated by heavy gym equipment or expensive workout wear. We respect and accept you the way YOU are no matter which faith you belong to or what language u speak or how you look. Move N improve doesn’t promote any type of body image that is popular in the fashion industry. Rather its services help you be the BEST VERSION OF YOU. It turns your struggles to strengths. Its team provide nutrition coaching, onsite bootcamp classes/training in its studio, online Yoga classes, and offers many workshops on spiritual, physical and mental health promotion. It collaborates with Toronto Public Health and University of Toronto to bring culturally and faith sensitive services to youth. It is the recipient of many awards mentioned in the Home page.
Yes we all have work, we all have families, we might have kids and we all have responsibilities. Yes, we are all busy. But what is busy? Your body and your mind is busy and its taxing on your health. Your body is the only home of your soul. Big housees, great condos come after. Your body is actually the only place YOU WILL EVER LIVE. Then why not take care of it? Why not take care of your health? So u can do whatever you do in the BEST manner. Why do we have to give up our health to accumulate wealth? Ask an ill person the value of health!
I am a proud Muslim and with the best of my capacity I am doing what my faith Islam teaches me which is serving humanity. That’s why Move N Improve’s services are open to all women regardless of race, faith, culture, size and age.
Our beloved Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) advised us that our family has a right over us, our guests have a right over us and VERILY OUR OWNSELF HAS A RIGHT OVER US. So it is our duty to take care of ourselves not by decorating ourselves with expensive shoes, purses and clothes but by taking care of what’s underneath it, our body and our health. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU WEAR. If you won’t FEEL good, you wont look good. JUST LIKE THAT, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT U WEAR, if You Feel Good then you’ll look good!!!!!!
We hold spiritual, physical and mental wellness workshops and counsel women to be comfortable in their own skin, respect their body and increase self confidence. We emphasize on gaining health first and its a journey that uses up extra stored energy in our body! If u know what I mean! We emphasize on how u FEEL in your body THAN HOW YOU LOOK no matter what you wear. As females, we go through a lot of physical changes, be it stepping into adulthood or after having kids or facing limitations in our flexibility and mobility as we age. Move N Improve has been helping its participants face these challenges and concerns through its astounding yoga program providing health benefits. It’s yoga program does not propagate any faith. Yoga postures are used only for health benefits. Nasheeds and nature sounds are played at the studio for music. You are allowed headphones for your own music as long as you can also hear the instructions.
Move N Improve’s most popular service is its yoga program. Participants have seen increase in their flexibility, mobility, breathing capacity and over all well-being. Yoga has helped them increase concentration and deal with headaches, migraine, anxiety, depression and asthma. Many who prayed Salah on the chair, have started doing their Sujood on the floor!
My dear friends my message to you is that our health and our body are the most precious and priceless gifts given to us by our Lord. We do whatever we do WITH THEM. So be grateful for them. Cherish them. Beauty is not measured in pounds. Be the best version of you.
Keep moving. Keep improving.
Join our online yoga classes from the comfort of your homes.
Sadaf Jamal, B.Sc. M.Sc. Biology University of Waterloo
Masters of Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy Candidate:
Muslim Chaplaincy, Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy Student at U of T
Getting certified with College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
and Canadian Association of Spiritual Care
Nutrition and Wellness Coach
All the best wishes from Move N Improve Team.
Keep Moving. Keep Improving.