It has been widely agreed upon that yoga does affect one’s life, changing it for the better. The mixture of meditation and exercise is a philosophy which helps bring many people all over the world inner peace. The following women have turned their lives around with the use of yoga, so much so that they decided they won’t just practice it, but teach it as well.
Taking the decision to become a yoga instructor can’t be easy. For Diana Faaberg, a former Editorial Coordinator, it came naturally, “I wanted to take it to the next level and share my passion, make people fall in love with yoga the way I did”, she tells us. She quit the security of her 9 to 5 job and took off on a new journey. Farida Abou El Dahab, who used to work at her father’s business in the finance department, did the same and quit her job. Nerine Massoud, who works with refugee aid, decided to keep her day job, as did Soha Alaa, a dentist, and Mariam Bakry, an English teacher.
The Journey and People’s Reactions
All the ladies who took this step first went to India in pursuit of their yoga passion. Reactions varied for these ladies, “my family was very supportive; they saw how happy it made me”, Nerine tells. Diana’s family was also supportive, “my family and friends were extremely supportive, especially my mom, she’s my biggest fan”, she says. Soha Alaa met various reactions, “people thought it was strange, but they all supported it very much. It’s not common for someone to drop everything and stay in India for almost 20 days doing nothing but yoga”, she explains. While Farida had to convince her father of her decision, “it was a big deal. My father didn’t understand at first how I’m going to make a career out of it. He wasn’t OK with my decision at all, but he came around when he saw how hard I was working”, she says. Mariam also received mixed reactions, “some thought it’s silly to spend a whole month in India, but some were very supportive”.
Surprisingly, not all the ladies want to do yoga full time, “I love my job and I love doing yoga as something to kill the routine of my current job”, Nerine tells us. Soha feels the same way, “I love how my job and yoga balance each other. I feel like my job alone is nice but it gets boring and it’s stressful and yoga is the only thing that gave me balance”, she says. As for Mariam, it’s a possibility for her, but she hasn’t decided to do that yet.
There’s plenty of misconceptions that the Egyptian society has about yoga. These ladies are trying to fix that, “four years ago I thought yoga was a load of crap, until I went to my first yoga class and fell in love with it”, Diana says. Nerine knows that too well, “people initially think yoga is sitting cross legged and meditating, it’s an aspect of it but there’s more to it. I think now it’s becoming more popular and it’s nice that it’s picking up”, she tells. They even try to explain it one way or another to those who aren’t aware of it, “I would usually advise them to give it a try with a few classes. This is the best way to understand it, by practicing yourself”, Farida says.
“Letting go of that kind of security isn’t easy, but if you have the passion, I think that will support you just as much”, Diana Faaberg
“Go for it and practice every day until you feel you’ve come to a point where you can challenge yourself and become an instructor; it’s a very rewarding and humbling experience”, Nerine Masoud
“Whenever you want to do something, not necessarily yoga, doing what you want and pursuing something out of the ordinary for you is one of the best experiences”, Soha Alaa
“If you find something that you love and you decide to make it your full time job, keep practicing and growing so you always have something to share. If you do it with passion, it’s a non stop learning experience which is very rewarding on many different levels”, Farida Abou El Dahab
“Self practice is something that will help you look within. It’s about mind, body and soul”, Mariam Bakry
Diana has yet to decide where she will be giving classes, Nerine and Mariam teach at The Mala in New Cairo, Soha is working on composing her own program that she will call “The Full Yogic Experience”, and Farida Abou El Dahab will open her own studio in October.