Meet Your Coach Mondays - Samira

When did you start your yoga practice?

I started practicing yoga when I was 18. I used to work at a restaurant and worked out 5 days a week. It was then I developed a terrible nerve pain in my back from carrying heavy items overhead, and likely my workouts. I decided to take a yoga class in hopes it would alleviate the pain. Not only did it help, but also it unlocked physical abilities I didn’t know I had. Which transcended my life because I realized how many other things I could be good at that I didn’t yet know. Yoga got me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to be bolder. Walking in to that studio my life would never be the same. I fell in love and adopted yoga.

What’s one of your favorite classes to take at Aatma? 

Definitely Strength and Conditioning, it's been such a compliment to my yoga practice. Plus, I'm experiencing some muscle development that I've never felt before, which is really exciting! Train long enough and you think you really know your body; it's humbling to know there's always something new to try, some different way to cross train. 

You’re currently going to school.  Tell us a little about that.

Yep, basically a driving narrative in my life for the past 3 years. I am an interior design student at Bellevue College, and an intern interior designer for a firm in downtown Seattle. Between the two I have a pretty large workflow that never ceases to stop - but I love academia, again, the humbling experience of knowing you can learn and learn and still never know it all. It's pretty fantastic studying/working as a designer as well; not only is it creative and challenging but it enhances the lives of people who interact with the space after the work is done. It's a tangible reward. 

You are quite the outdoorswoman.  Tell us about your love of national parks and how many you have visited. 

My first national park visit was Arches and Canyonlands in Utah. I was living in Colorado at the time and itching for an exotic adventure. Upon seeing and experiencing these incredible landscapes it dawned on me that I didn't have to travel across seas to have an out of this world travel experience. I learned the National Parks are our crown jewels, preserving only the most incredible landscapes and historical places. I became obsessed after that and vowed to see all the US NP as my life bucket list. I honor that and since beginning my journey 4 years ago have visited over 20 National Parks, and over 35 National Monuments/National Historic Sites.  

By Vishal Punj

Vishal Punj is the owner of Aatma Fitness Studios, a full service boutique health and fitness club in the Center Of The Universe, Seattle.

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