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Rising Stars: Meet Shaeeda Sween

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaeeda Sween.

Hi Shaeeda, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My yoga journey was haphazard. You see it started with a breakup. The person I was getting to know for potential marriage broke up with me via text. To take my mind away from rejection, I turned to the internet.

That night, I came across a friend of mine doing a headstand online which caught my interest. I remember I tried to attempt a headstand, which seemed so difficult at the time.

After doing research, I realized that you have to do yoga and eventually you will be able to do a headstand. I practiced yoga preparatory poses for 5 weeks straight and then finally I was able to do a headstand.

After that, I got addicted to yoga because every week, I wanted to try new intermediate poses. I was learning so quickly that I decided to sign up to be a Registered Yoga Teacher under Aura Wellness. One year later, I graduated with the highest honors as an RYT 200hr.

Fast forward to 5 years later, now I’m hosting virtual workshops, and doing private one-on-one house calls.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
My yoga journey was indeed a struggle. It was smooth in terms of learning yoga and mastering the poses but the business side of it was difficult. I didn’t know anything about business.

I had no one to guide me. I was learning through trial and error. I quit my corporate job as an Executive Assistant thinking that the next month I was going to make a profit with my new yoga business.

It took me over 2 years to reap the benefits of my yoga. The struggle was real. So many days of empty classes outside in the park and at the studio. Financially it was a struggle as well as finding clients to commit to my class.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
My work, I’ll always say is a gift from God. I found my passion at 32 years old. A passion that incorporates the movement of my body. Some will say, you’re too old to be bendy or flexible, but with me, that wasn’t the case because I was determined. I am a Registered Yoga Teacher, at Vinyasa Yoga.

Yes, I do the slow pace, restorative yoga at times but I’ve specialized in flexibility stretches. I help beginners in yoga, dancers, other yoga teachers, and recently athletes to get flexible. I am known for my effortless ability to get into very intricate yoga poses that require a massive amount of flexibility and strength. I am most proud of my talent for flexibility, my talent for vinyasa yoga, and my talent for mindful breathing.

My talent makes me see age as just a number. What sets me apart from others is my advanced flexibility practices from someone who doesn’t have a ballet or gymnastics background. I learn everything after 32 years old. I inspire women who think they are too old or too overweight to learn yoga or become flexible to believe in themselves and know they can do it!

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
One of the things that stood out for me during the Covid-19 crisis is the rise of mental health problems.

A lot of people were dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and stress to the point of not functioning well. I hosted virtual workshops that provided that clarity of consciousness for students as young as 11 years old.

It was an important lesson learned. We need to take mental health problems seriously.

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Image Credits
Shaeeda Photos of Shaeeda & Bilal: credit to TLC

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