Umana Noordeen is a trained physiotherapist from the Maldives, who has expanded her practice to become a certified life coach. With the purpose of bringing clarity, direction and positive support for her clients; Umana offers consultation services as a physiotherapist, life coach and a somatic intelligence practitioner.
Hotelier Maldives sat down with her to learn more about her work and the importance of mental wellness.
Hotelier Maldives: Give us a brief introduction of yourself and your work
Umana Noordeen: I am a fun loving, people’s person. I love being in nature, exploring new places and meeting and learning about people. Most of my childhood was spent in Maldives and most of my adult life in the UK.
Right now, I practice as a consultant physiotherapist, life coach and a somatic intelligence practitioner. I mainly work remotely and consult at different resorts in Maldives and where ever I am needed.
HM: How was your transformation from being a physiotherapist to a life coach?
UN: I have always been passionate about helping people, to better their lives physically or mentally.
Throughout my career as a physiotherapist, I had always had a knowing that the physical body and discomfort is also very much linked to something more than just an injury to the body. There has to be another element to it. Through my journey of self-discovery and healing, the answers to this question came to me, and the importance of self-care, in-cooperating healing from within became very apparent. So the transition to adding life coaching to my work came very organically. I was already coaching people through my physiotherapy practice, this just added an extra element with more knowledge as to how to do it better. The difference is, now I also guide people to finding answers on their own instead of me fixing them. I like to think of it as providing their soul a safe space to speak and use their own intelligence to grow and thrive.
HM: Tell us more about your self-discovery program. How important is it to discover yourself, to connect to your inner self?
UN: Doing things without knowing who you really are on the inside or what your soul craves to do, I say is like walking around with your eyes closed or going against the grain. You may notice that it’s like there is always some kind of resistance along the way. Life may not flow so easily or organically. Everything becomes a lot of effort, and I used to think struggle was a normal part of life. We don’t move forward in life with a flow, but more with what we think we should be doing.
So connecting with your inner self, is like dialing a call to your heart and asking what it would like to do, and then we can start clearing the path along the way to create and live a life we always wanted and deserved.
Doing the self-discovery process helped me realize what I truly craved to do, the type of lifestyle I wanted and many more. And I feel very blessed to have figured this out, because I am getting to create a life for myself now that I love and pursue my life’s purpose.
HM: Can you tell us about a client experience you won’t ever forget?
UN: It’s hard to pick just one. Every time I see a person getting stronger and stronger in themselves, digging deep to do the healing, so committed to get themselves out of a rut, starting to live life authentically just being their true selves, in their power, with no fear, it makes my heart well with pride and happiness. This is what makes my work so rewarding.
HM: What’s the best advice you received in your career?
UN: Be okay to do things badly. We are never ready, but we don’t know without trying.
HM: You had a Reset Retreat scheduled for March. Tell us more about this.
UN: The retreat is called Reset Retreat with Umana, and its purpose is literally to give yourself the time, space and support to reset yourself.
Here is a testimonial from one of the participants which help you get a better idea;
“If you are feeling a void or in need of direction/ purpose in life and if you are ready to tap into your emotions, become self-aware, and be inviting, open, and kind to people along the way, this retreat is for you. I cannot pinpoint what exactly it is during the reset, but you’ll come out feeling more secure and with a sense of belonging to a higher and larger cause. If you want the much required confidence and energy to procrastinate less and be a go getter or a change maker, this is for you. Umi will help you help yourself become a better version of yourself while supporting others reach their goals. You’ll find so many like-minded people and people going through different things that you know by the time you are done; you are not alone to face the world.”
We plan to run more retreats in the future, so those interested, keep an eye out for the next one.
HM: As a personal coach, you work with people around the world. Do you have any tips for people working with multicultural people?
UN: It’s about providing a safe space for the person, and that requires removing expectations. It requires awareness of your own thoughts and judgment and make sure you are clear of them, in order to allow the other person to truly express themselves. As we don’t know anther’s story, only they themselves are the keepers of their own story, all we need to do is be able to hold space for them with an open mind and heart. After all we are not separate, we are all connected, and we are citizens of the world.
HM: Our mental health is often overlooked. Do you see this changing over the years?
UN: We now know that our body and mind is not separate. For example, gut issues are very much linked to trauma and unprocessed emotions due to how the nervous system is laid out, and this list goes on. So it’s time western medicine also accepts that mind and body practices need to start working together for better health and preventative measures. Everything is linked!
And I am happy to see that, people are starting to become more and more of their own needs, including aware of mental and emotional needs compared to before, and there is a lot more support in mental wellness and complementary medicine in many different forms available nowadays , even remotely. So the world is shifting and I can see that in ten years’ time, combining western medicine with complimentary practices will become mainstream.