"I took yoga with Fatima at the UPenn gym and she is my favorite yoga teacher. From the first class you know that she is serious about her craft, but very sensitive to meeting people where they are in terms of experience and ability - and suggesting appropriate modifications. She is gentle with making adjustments, non-judgmental, and every once in a while erupts in an infectious laugh that puts everyone at ease. I highly recommend her. "
-L. Gibson, University of Pennsylvania
"I booked an hour session with Fatima to ease my way into Yoga. I have a lot of consistent problems with my body, she took the time to test the waters and help pin point my problem areas and then work with them. By the time we had finished we had nearly hit the 2 hour mark, I felt as if we'd just gotten started! The first thing I noticed after my one-on-one with Fatima was how light and joyful I felt traveling home. My body is usually a mess of tightly clenched muscles but our 2 hour session left me feeling like a well oiled machine. It was definitely a relief I haven't felt through my whole body in quite some time, my muscles seemed to relax and were finally working as a whole unit. "
-Fletcher Van Vliet, musician
"Walking home from my session with Fatima, I felt light and jubilant, happy and free, grounded in my body and at home in who I am. She is incredibly generous with her time and willing to pause for questions and adjustments. She had a thoughtfully choreographed sequence planned out for me, and her open and compassionate presence encouraged me to listen to my body and to ask for modifications if I didn't feel comfortable. Fatima listened to my body's wisdom and made adjustments without hesitation."
-Monica Fauble, educator
"Thank you so much for the private lesson. It was the first time I've ever had such individualized attention in in a yoga class and it exceeded all my expectations. There were a few stretches that I have taken and added to my normal stretching routine. This has given me a chance to target areas which previously felt locked up. Your mastery of what each pose should do and how it should appear would be noticeable, even for a novice.
What sets you in a league of your own is how you help people release and properly shape their poses. Sometimes the lesson needs to be more than imitating the teacher and following verbal instructions. When you assist a student, I feel as though you give them so much more insight when you place a hand on a area of tension and say "breathe into this spot," or "send energy here." These tips, which can only be applied on a case-to-case basis among students, speed up the learning process.
I know yoga is seen as many things. For me, especially since the onset of taking classes you lead, there is a new component to yoga I was not privy to before. I've learned more about my body and body language more than I have with other teachers. You have helped me to realize lessons like the flexibility does not come from the stretch, but rather what you can release or relax in targeted muscles. I can see now that almost all the muscles in the body are related and form one fluid machine when used properly and if the right training is applied.
I apply this fluidity to my movements in Muay Thai. Now I am more efficient at applying energy into a strike, or explosive movement. By showing me how to let go, and release parts of my body, you've helped me to become more elastic, which allows me to put more momentum into my movements.
In general, my posture has become, well, better, but easier! I do not feel like I have my shoulders high and my chest jutting out two feet in front of me, nor do I feel like I slouch nearly as much. These improvements show up around the clock really, whether I am sitting, standing, walking, etc. I suppose my shoulders have gone down and back, so now my posture resembles vitality, and alertness, but also relaxation. My posture resembles these traits because of your classes, and I can tell the feeling of general relaxation reverberates throughout my daily life because any body kinetics feel as if they require less effort. Thanks again Fatima, and I really appreciate how well you worked around my knee injury. I was having trouble flexing my quadriceps so normally that would put me out of commission, but you were able to work around that in the lesson, so I hardly noticed that my handicap was a hindrance to the class. I had a great time and it was the most insightful yoga lesson I've ever taken."
-Garrett McKay, graduate student
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