By Iman Sadri
June 15, 2019
It’s important in life to recognize one’s passions. It is with those passions that careers can be forged. If talent and hard work are combined with passion then great things are achievable. @SaminYoga is an example of an Iranian who has followed her passion in the form of yoga and she is making the world a better place because of it. She is helping others get into shape and live better lives due to her yoga prowess. To get caught up with Samin, we did a Q+A with her in Los Angeles.
Iman Sadri : Please describe your early life, education and bio?
Samin : I was born in Iran in the 90’s and that’s where I grew up and pursued my bachelor’s degree in IT. I started Yoga in 2011. I practiced yoga for several years before committing to complete a TTC (teacher training course) and teach yoga. I have studied Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin, Power, and traditional Hatha yoga. I received my Yoga Certificate in Mysore, India where I’ve also practiced Ashtanga Yoga at the birthplace of Ashtanga at Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI). My experience in India and Nepal played a major part in who I am today — from Osho Meditation at the Osho International Meditation Center in Pune, the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ashram in Bangalore, and the Vipassana 10-day Silent Meditation practice in Katmandu. I am now an E-RYT® and I am also the co-founder of the new Om Mani Padme Hum School of Yoga RYS® (Registered Yoga School). Additionally, I have been asked to join a highly educated and driven team in Borneo to launch Ayus Wellness, an experience company specializing in wellness journeys inspired by Borneo’s indigenous knowledge of nature, nutrition, and healing.
IS : What were the influences that made you choose yoga as a career ? Was there a specific reason or was it a series of events ?
The world can be a place of hidden meanings and symbols, when some see figures, I see metaphors. Growing up I would dream of becoming an Anthropologist, which may explain my deep love for history, old architectures, and ancient temples. That early interest contributed to my passion for traveling and world cultures — I always say that I didn’t choose yoga, yoga chose me… After graduating in university, I left Iran for South Asia to deepen my yoga practice as well as follow my passion for traveling. I absolutely fell in love with everything specifically the environment, emotions, gratitude, and deeper meaning. As a visionary I looked at it as a sign that this might be my mission in life.
You mentioned Nepal, can you talk more about it ?
Nepal was magical, working in Nepal was bliss and I am always grateful for my time there. After traveling across India, I had an offer to work in a wellness center in the Lazimpat neighborhood of Kathmandu. I couldn’t resist, Nepal was always one of the countries that I wanted to visit so I accept. And I also met my husband in Pokhara, Nepal.
IS : What are some of your favorite aspects of yoga?
Samin : I started with only Asana (physical pose practice) much like the majority of people. Moving forward I realized that yoga is so much more. Constant discovery and never looking for perfection are the most important aspects of yoga for me.
IS : What are some of your favorite positions in yoga?
Samin : I love any heart opening Asana.
IS : What are the common misconceptions of yoga?
Samin : Two major misconceptions of yoga are that it is exclusive to acrobatic unusual poses and that it’s an ascetic religious belief.
IS : How have you become so flexible?
Samin : People really love asking that and the answer is simple — practice, patience, and technique. This combination is the path to flexibility of the body, as well as, the mind.
“I always say that I didn’t choose yoga, yoga chose me”
IS : Is yoga big in Iran ? If so what have been some of the ways it has become popular ?
Samin : Yoga looks like it is much bigger then it was when I started. I know from the success I see from all the amazing yoga people on social media and the tremendous feedback our Om Mani Padme Hum School of Yoga has received just from announcing its creation. Today more people are attending yoga classes around the world than ever before. The global trends are pushing to become more mentally and physically healthy — Iran is no different.
IS : What more can be done to get Persians in yoga? Both in and outside of Iran.
Samin : I believe it all starts with raising awareness. In today’s world the massive effect of social media on our life is undeniable. In a world where people become famous simply through social media, I found it very important to show the differences between educational content and entertainment. I was offline for a long time but the lack of authentic sources encouraged me to start creating more content with the specific goal of making yoga and meditation more accessible to the world including those that have less representation and fewer training resources. Creating a high-quality, supportive and well-informed online community is our mission. We have high hopes.
IS : What percentage of men do yoga ? What are the benefits for the male physique ?
Samin : Yoga belongs to everyone despite age, race, gender, etc. We are all unique and so is our journey. What stays the same is the aim of yoga — self-awareness, mindfulness, wellness and balance.
IS : What are your future aspirations and where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
Samin : I hope that I am able to continue to do what I am doing now, and to make the world a better place even if it’s in the smallest ways. We will continue to build Om Mani Padme Hum School of Yoga TTC and branch out internationally. We have plans for an NPO that works to create a platform for sharing experiences and knowledge about mindfulness, consciousness and enlightenment. I will publish a book supplementing my yoga practice and another detailing my yoga journey. I will also continue to help develop and consult aspiring wellness and yoga-based organizations all over the world. Additionally, I would like to open a retreat center in the Southwest region of USA.
IS : Imagine you are 100 years old what are some more career milestones you would like to achieve ?
Samin : 100 is more than what I imagine for myself. I would love to be remembered as a dedicated mindfulness pioneer in the community.
IS : How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Samin : I use dreams and imagination to fuel real world actions.
IS : If you can give one message to our readers, what will it be?
Samin : First of all, I truly hope this Q & A inspires readers to take actions on their passions. I want to tell anyone reading this that there is no one better to help you than you. You just need to take that first step, mentally and physically, and you will receive so much more in return.
To learn more about Samin and her Yoga Career Visit :
Watch SaminYoga’s video on YouTube: www.youtube.com/saminyoga
Follow SaminYoga on Instagram and Pinterest @Saminyoga
Iman Sadri is the founder of The Persian Observer and LA Smile Magazine