Salma Kordy is a 19-year-old student, yoga instructor, and model. After high school, she wanted to pursue a degree in sports science and nutrition abroad but ended up staying in Egypt and double majoring in integrated marketing communications and theatre. She accidentally got into modeling almost a year ago and is now a certified yoga instructor.
Why did you choose yoga?
Interestingly enough, I didn’t. I’ve wanted to be in the fitness and health fields ever since I was a child, but I was more into “rough” sports; I was particularly into CrossFit and wanted to become a CrossFit coach.
During my first year of uni I had a long winter break and wanted to do something productive with it, so I signed up for the 200 hrs teacher training. I took the training as a way to get into the fitness field. When I started the course, I wasn’t particularly interested in yoga and was actually quite stiff in terms of flexibility. Not so long into the course, I found myself slowly falling in love and improving by the lesson. I wasn’t very confident in my abilities after the course, so I didn’t start teaching right away. I preferred to take some time to practice for myself before passing my knowledge to someone else. I was also very convinced that, in order to teach, my technique had to be perfect.
When did you start teaching?
While I was still practicing my splits, I tore my left hamstring, which sent me back to point zero. It was at this point that I realized that perfectionism can be the enemy of success. I was putting off teaching to perfect my form, and I shouldn’t have. I quickly learned that it’s not about the teacher’s flexibility as much as it is about her ability to teach and demonstrate. I did physiotherapy for an entire month, and, by the time I was done, it was almost summertime. I didn’t start teaching until I went back to uni in September. I decided then that I was just going to go for it, and I started teaching; I was teaching and working on myself simultaneously, and I couldn’t be happier.
How did yoga impact your life?
Learning about meditation and mindfulness showed me that the type of sports/physical activity a person practices has a huge impact on their personality and their take on life. When I was doing CrossFit and rowing I was generally tense and aggressive; yoga made me a much calmer person and taught me how to always look at the bigger picture. I am now more mindful, more present, more accepting towards myself and others, I make better decisions, and am definitely more trusting. You can’t be on your mat and look at the person next to you. You learn to focus on your own progress, no comparisons.
What message would you like to send to everyone?
Slow down and focus on your breathing. If you don’t reach your goal today, you’ll reach it tomorrow. If you reach your goal tomorrow, you’ll find a new one after tomorrow; it just keeps going. No matter where you stand today, you’ll eventually get somewhere better as long as you work for it.
I would also definitely recommend yoga for those who haven’t tried it yet. Yoga isn’t just for stretching; it can be whatever you want it to be. Some yoga flows will help you lose weight and become stronger. Give it a shot and, trust me, you won’t regret it.