Founder of UrbanEarthlings Amira Ayman is a former architect and a current yoga instructor. Amira teaches yin, traditional power vinyasa, mindful/slow intentional flow, and a unique type of vinyasa known as Ladder Flow. To her, yoga stretches far beyond the mat; it’s the ethics, the behavior, the day-to-day, and the moment to moment. Amira’s story with yoga and conscious living started at the age of 12 and, in this interview, we follow her through an extraordinary journey of healing.
Growing up, I was a very athletic kid and practice was an integral part of my life. Up until the age of 12, I was doing ballet and it was pushing my limits quite a bit. During a particularly challenging practice session, an instructor pressed on my back while I was in a frontal split position and my back popped. After the incident, I was instructed to abandon all forms of exercise as not to aggravate the injury.
Little by little, my life was looking very different. My mom tried getting me into yoga at some point but I was by no means a fan. I eventually learned to live with the pain up until the age of 21, when the combination of being an architecture student and the injured back was intolerable. I traveled to Germany to perform a common back surgery that would remove the herniated part of one of my discs. After a very lengthy recovery, I still had back pain and my gut health was deteriorating so quickly I started suffering from collateral knee pain. After running some tests, I found out that my bad gut health had caused severe vitamin D and calcium deficiencies. My hair was starting to fall out as well.
Ages 21 through 23 were mostly bad health and gut pain. At the age of 24, I started doing very light yoga in my room, going behind my parents’ back and my doctors’ advice. At the age of 25, I went vegan mid-meal. I was scared of veganism because it was very foreign to me and I had no idea what I was going to eat, so I ended up eating the same thing every day for quite some time. My hair stopped falling out, my acne flared then disappeared, and my back pain got so much better. My 26th was a very harsh one both mentally and physically, but, luckily, everything starting coming together in the 2 years to come. I tried acupuncture for the first time and dropped processed foods and unnatural cosmetics during that same period.
At the age of 29, I founded UrbanEarthlings. UrbanEarthlings is my serving towards the community. It’s a project that is very dear to my heart because it grew out of love and a true need to find solutions. I launched UrbanEarthlings in April 2019 to help make some eco-friendly products more available in Egypt and to fund animal shelters, reforestation projects, grants for scholarships, and sustainable material research.
Today I’m feeling as good as I’ve ever felt, still on my journey of self-love and healing.
One time fixes are seldom the answer. I lived 10 years of my life thinking that the back surgery would fix everything only to find out that it did not. I am by no means advocating for veganism or yoga as the ultimate fix, I’m only sharing how they worked for me and I hope it inspires others to cultivate mind-body awareness. Always listen to your body and aim for a more intuitive living, however that journey may look like for you.