Alia Sherif is a 26-year-old who discovered her ultimate passion -yoga- only 2 years ago. As a university student, she studied psychology and was always intrigued by the mind-body connection. While studying psychology, she was gradually becoming more and more attached to the gym and was taking her workouts very seriously. From falling into corporate life to transitioning into a full-time yogi, Alia shares with us episodes of her journey.
I love psychology and the way it gives me insights about the beauty and complexity of the human mind. I passionately wanted to work in that field, but wasn’t fortunate enough to find a job in any of the areas I desired. Like everyone else did at the time, I started working corporate jobs. Over the course of 5 years, I had been in and out of 6 different jobs and was never really happy or comfortable doing any of them because I knew this wasn’t what I wanted. At the time, I was very committed to working out and eating a balanced diet; I was going to the gym almost every day and had also gotten into triathlon training. Something was missing, though. I realized that I wasn’t paying any attention to flexibility training, so I decided to join a yoga class. I fell in love with Vinyāsa yoga because it got my heart rate up; I liked that it felt like a workout but still included the flexibility aspect that I was looking for. Around the same time, something just wasn’t sitting right with the stress of being unhappy and alienated in the corporate life, so I decided to quit my job and go on a soul searching yoga journey. I mainly wanted to go for the spiritual, transformative part but I fell in love with the science of yoga altogether. With no intention to teach, I took the yoga teacher training in the US, where I focused on my self-practice. A year later, an Indian guru was being hosted and delivering the yoga teacher training here in Cairo, so I decided to retake the 200hrs to refresh my memory and rekindle my joy of being a student.
I’m always inspired by the need and love for learning; I love gaining knowledge and being dedicated to mastering something. Now that I’ve become a teacher myself, I still attend classes and workshops so I never break that learning cycle. When I came back from the US, I was a certified yoga instructor, but it wasn’t until my second teacher training in Egypt that I started teaching. I’ve been a yoga teacher for a year now, and I’m still as devoted as ever to learning. I am currently working towards becoming a 500hr yoga instructor.
The Yoga Impact
Yoga simply taught me how to move. Back when I was a gym freak, working out meant dumbbells and kettlebells, but now my idea of a workout is completely transformed. I would’ve never imagined that yoga would be a workout in itself and that it would give me the same euphoric feeling I got from my usual workouts. To me, yoga is relief; relief from stress, anger, anxiety, and almost everything else. Every move rids me of trapped emotional baggage and stress. It isolates me from everything around me and uses up my entire concentration to focus on the flow of movements. Yoga has made me calmer and more composed in my everyday life, and I personally really needed that.
Take it from the expert
Don’t be intimidated by yoga, take your time, and never compare yourself to anyone else. Nothing comes easy, so start slow and steady. It takes time and practice before you see results, and everyone’s journey is different, so find a practice routine that suits you and gradually build your way up. Learn to appreciate your progress and make it a habit to practice every day. Try all sorts of different classes, and if that doesn’t work for you, practice online. There are channels and apps online for beginners that allow you to practice at your own pace, guiding you through every single pose. Yoga is a beautiful science that incorporates “a practice” that is suitable for everybody.