On the mat with yogi Mounira Bazzi
The name ‘Living Yoga’ says it all. Mounira Bazzi eats, breaths and sleeps yoga. You can find her everyday (except Friday) at her yoga space teaching an Anusara yoga class. This type of yoga is based on alignment of body and mind with a special attention to following the heart and an awareness of the energy flowing through our body.
With a mission statement that reads ‘to create awareness of the benefits of yoga practice’ you can be certain that ‘Living Yoga’ isn’t just another space you can practice your downward facing dog, but a place to buzz out all the daily monkey business and get your zen on.
When Mounira isn’t busy aligning her chakras, you’ll find her in a coffeehouse somewhere with a book in the one hand and a cup of tea in the other. And that’s exactly how I found Mounira at Maona. I, the yoga newbie, got to ask Mounira Bazzi a few questions, and this is what I found out about her.
Yogi Mounira Bazzi
TIA: How would you describe your life right now in a nutshell?
Mounira Bazzi: In this moment right now I’m just happy that I can live my life in integrity of what I love the most. That in itself is such a precious gift.
TIA: When did you step foot on your yoga mat for the first time?
MB: Well, I was a runner for 14 years of my life and I loved it. Many years ago I wondered into a yoga class of the wonderful movement teacher Bie Borms. Her classes awakened some kind of deep urge to explore the path of yoga a bit more.
TIA: Most yogis experience some change in their daily life because of their practice. Did this happen with you too?
MB: My yoga practice has brought me to a place within myself where I can live peacefully between the light and the shade. I believe the real practice of yoga starts the moment you step off your matt.
TIA: How did you roll into the project that we know as ‘Living Yoga’?
MB: I simply wanted to teach in a space that embodied all different parts of my journey so far. ‘Living Yoga’ is a labour of love.
TIA: You have been living in Antwerp for a while now, what has been your favourite memory in this city so far?
MB: I have so many nice memories! It’s very hard to pick one. I suppose the most beautiful moment has been the moment I realized I belonged in this city. Also, I still fall in love with Antwerp every time the sun comes out to shine.
TIA: How would you describe a regular day out of your life?
MB: I usually start my day with my early morning yoga practice. I enjoy my breakfast, followed by teaching my Anusara classes. Most afternoons you’ll find me studying and reading or meeting some friends for coffee. In the evening, I enjoy cooking my own healthy meals. Three times a week I also give evening yoga classes. As I am much of an early bird, I usually don’t go out late and turn in early.
TIA: Do you have a favourite moment of the day?
MB: Not really. Everyday I say to myself ‘Mounira, this will be the best day of your life’, even on days when I might be feeling scattered, hurries or tired. I remind myself of that simple truth. So my days are full of moments I welcome.
TIA: How do you experience life in Antwerp?
MB: I feel like I can be whoever I want to be in this city. It’s such a diverse city that you can experience lots of unique things. This city embraces individuality, but at the same time, you will never feel alone.
TIA: Do you have a favourite neighbourhood in Antwerp? Or any other favourite hangouts?
MB: I love the Zurenborg area for it’s beautiful architecture and cosy houses. The Groenplaats is also one of my favourites. If the sun is shining you can often find me in a park to relax. To have a drink I love to go to Maona or Copper. To fill my belly at lunch I go to the Biologische Dynamische Bakkerij at the Mechelsesteenweg.
TA: Where do you go for your guilty pleasure in this town?
MB: It’s a bit cliché but I love the fries at Frituur Nr. 1
TIA: One last question, if you would meet you’re future self right now, what would you ask her?
MB: I would ask her if I have used all my talents well and I hope she says yes!
Text by Ikram Annouri
Pics by Mounira Bazzi