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AMINA TAHA's Journey

Everybody started somewhere. In the My Journey posts we ask an accomplished athlete / star / thought leader how they got where they are now. We hope their stories will inspire and motivate you.

In this first My Journey post, we had a chat with Amina Taha who is an Egyptian yogi and artist based in Dubai. We hope you enjoy Amina's journey.
Amina Taha
Tell us a little about yourself :)

I live in Dubai, I am originally Egyptian. I am currently a fashion designer as well as a yoga teacher - I have an equal passion for both. I have grown up to love art, music, movement - and lately I have discovered a new passion which is yoga. It has changed my life in so many ways.

How did you get introduced to yoga?

When I moved to Dubai from New York, I had just finished fashion school and was about to start my first job as a designer. I was feeling very anxious and a little homesick, my country was going through troubled times and I didn't know where "home" really was.

I had found myself in New York and it was sad to leave. Decided to go to a yoga class out of curiosity and boredom while waiting my job to start. I was hooked. I was obsessed with standing on my head, and I was amazed at how every time I would practicd alone, my body would give in a little bit more.

This releasing of years of tension was so freeing for me - then I started to get even more curious about what yoga actually meant and how this journey goes deeper than standing on your head or touching your toes. It was an inner and outer transformation.

When did yoga get “serious”?

I started reading a lot about anatomy and watching so many different teachers, taking what I loved and what worked best for me in my own practice. I started also getting very excited and wanting to teach everyone whatever new pose I was learning myself.

I knew it was time to travel and learn more about yoga, and get my certification to officially be able to teach. I went back to New York and did my training. It was rewarding in so many ways. Now I happily teach everyday and I believe I was meant to do this! I get such a joy from it and every student teaches you something new.

Can you share your biggest challenges?

The biggest challenge for me was fear. As a child, I was NOT flexible. I was never strong. I had never done a cartwheel or a split or gone upside down. To teach myself this at 27 was a LOT of facing shyness, fear, lack of trust in myself. My yoga journey has taught me to believe in myself and let go of a lot of fear I was holding on to for so long.

How do you handle pressure?

I remind myself what yoga is about. It is not about competing or performing or being better at something or better than someone. It is about inspiring others to believe in themselves too. I believe that the human body is fascinating - it is a journey by yourself into yourself and you discover your capabilities and release tension in places you never knew you stored it in.

It's not to impress anyone and it's only for yourself. Sometimes I experience pressure on certain days where I feel stiff or sore, and I remind myself that I should try to let go of any expectations in my practice and let what is genuine unfold. And honor where the mind and body are today.

Can you share your thoughts on self consciousness ?

I experience nervousness in teaching a large class sometimes, that is because I am still new to it. I try to "make friends with my nerves" as our teacher has taught us and to embrace the whole process of it. Teaching is in itself an art, and comes with years of experience and practice.

Once I focus on the different bodies around me and what they need, I am no longer in my own head and I am more focused on why they are here and that they are seeking something that I ought to be aware of. This helps me get out of my moment of self-consciousness.

What was your most embarrassing moment (in regards to yoga of course ;)

Balancing on my left leg in balancing poses :) still working on it - it's not as smooth as the right!

How did your passion influence your life in other ways?

My passion has changed my life. It has affected my self confidence, my ability to speak up for myself, and to be more mindful.

What does your daily routine look like?

I wake up at 7 AM to have a few hours of my own practice, then I go to work at my fashion job from 10 AM to 6 PM (where I do a few handstands and headstands almost everyday in the middle of the day.

And what about flexibility training? Where does that fit in?

Flexibility is all about keeping the nervous system relaxed, for me. And the key to that is ONE thing! The breath. When my breath is calm and steady, it allows me to go deeper in my flexibility training.

I do not like any flexibility training that over-imposes strain on the already mobile parts of the body - such as our lumbar spine. I am always very careful and precise when it comes to alignment.

This is a lifelong practice and we do not want to stress our already flexible parts- what works for me is taking the flexibility to areas that are normally more tense or rigid - such as the thoracic spine in backbends rather than lumbar spine.

What works for me is taking it slow, one breath at a time, and consistency. Doing it everyday or every other day, and mindfully listening to your body.

What keeps you motivated?

Instagram offers a lot of inspiration for me, I love being part of a vibrant community and especially challenges are very cool - you get to take part in learning or teaching new poses to so many amazing people around the world. It is so inspiring.

I think what keeps me motivated is having my own practice and my own things that I am working on. Taking progress photos helps when you feel stuck because it reminds you how your journey has progressed and not to compare yourself to anyone.

What are your future plans/goals/dreams?

I would love to teach yoga all around the world. and to use this passion to spread yoga so that it is for everyone. Not just the privileged parts of society who can afford a yoga class and an expensive pair of leggings, but for everyone around the world.

Any tips for passionate yogi's starting out?

I think the most important is to not be attached to a certain goal and to not be discouraged or frustrated - but to be patient and honor your body where it is. We all start somewhere.

It only gets better from there, and you only get wiser. You need to not break in to the body, rather slowly uncover tension from it and overcome obstacles by getting stronger. Have a consistent daily practice, with faith that all is coming - and with love for the journey itself rather than impatience to get to the final destination.

Anything you’d like to share?

I think the most important is to not be attached to a certain goal and to not be discouraged or frustrated - but to be patient and honor your body where it is. We all start somewhere.

My website is and you can follow my yoga journey on Instagram @aminahtaha

Amina Taha

Egyptian yogi and artist based in Dubai

Instagram: @aminahtaha


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