5.7
May 23, 2019

How I Let Go of who I thought I Should Be & Embraced Everything that I Am. ~ Amina Taha

 

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Four years ago, I walked into my first yoga class.

It was a Hatha yoga class, and I remember the teacher’s voice so clearly.

I was in Abu Dhabi, and I had googled “yoga nearby” as I had just moved to the city. I was about to start my first full-time job. I had always heard about yoga during my studies and thought that it was super cool. But I also felt a hint of “oh, too bad, it’s too late for me to learn that.”

After my first class, I realized that if I practiced I would be able to do it.

What I didn’t know, then, was that yoga would teach me to breathe in the most difficult moments of my life. It would teach me to trust myself and love myself unconditionally. It would teach me that anything I had ever been outwardly searching for was already within me.
~

 

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Teaching yoga never occurred to me as a valid job when I was growing up. I had no interest in sports or movement of any sort.

But after my first yoga class, my curiosity kept taking me deeper into the practice, and I followed it along without any judgment.

I feel so grateful to be able to do what I love, but it required certain mental flexibility in order for me to go with the flow to get here. I had to let go of any rigid ideas I had about myself, or my body, or what I would be doing with my life.

I don’t think we are what we think we are. It’s common to pin certain qualities to ourselves. Like, I had grown up thinking that I was incredibly shy. I couldn’t speak in a room full of people. I wasn’t athletic. I was stiff. The qualities I pinned to myself were literally the opposite of what I do every day now.

If I had I stayed stuck describing myself with these adjectives, describing who I thought I was, I would’ve never experienced the joy and fulfillment I get by teaching yoga. I would have never had the opportunity to learn from so many different people.

Learning to detach from these adjectives is a never-ending learning process.

Next time you describe yourself in a certain way, ask yourself if you want to keep that description. Because if not, you can free yourself from it, and be whatever it is you want to be. You can freely explore whatever ignites a spark within you—without any judgment or made-up limitations.
~

 

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We can consciously direct our attention to something that brings us joy. Focus on that for the next two minutes. Notice how you feel.

We cannot choose what happens externally, but sometimes, when we redirect our thoughts in an uplifting direction, we can change how we perceive the external world.

Shifting my thoughts helped shift my life.
~

 

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Before every major decision I’ve made in my life—like quitting my 9-5 job to teach yoga, or moving to New York, or even starting to date my husband—I was told by well-intentioned people not to do it (accompanied by a list of logical reasons why I shouldn’t).

Looking back, I am so happy I never listened. Because those things have taught me the most about myself, and they have allowed me to step into the path that makes me feel happy and fulfilled.

If there is something in your life you know is right for you and you believe it with all your heart, trust yourself and go for it.
~

 

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~

author: Amina Taha

Image: Author's own/Instagram

Editor: Michelle Gean

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Rachael May 28, 2019 6:31pm

I love the quote, “I don’t think we are, what we think we are.” The words/thoughts that we have allowed others to use to define who we are…struggling with my own identity has been a life long task, but in my mid 40s I have somehow began to believe in who I am and have tried to dismiss all of the labels placed upon me by my family and peers. Good read…

Alexa May 28, 2019 11:04am

Love this. I think it’s so important to take the time to reassess who we really are, compared to who we have been told by ourselves and others that we are. We aren’t rigid beings incapable of change. In order to change we need to embrace and acknowledge the power we each have to manifest who we want to be.

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Amina Taha

Amina Taha found yoga at the age of 27 during the start of her career as a fashion designer. She was immediately drawn to yoga and how it taught her about her body and herself. She felt the calling to teach a year into her practice, and now continues to share her love for yoga through teaching workshops and classes worldwide. To her, yoga is about uncovering the infinite possibility within your body and mind. You can connect with her on Instagram.