Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The yoga teacher

Story #3 – Alefiyah Siamwala

Alefiyah is my cousin, the future of India, a jewel in the rough you could say. Her energy, her grace, and her dynamism is what I see in almost all young women in India today. How do I even begin to tell her story?! A fashion entrepreneur, a freelance yoga teacher, a photographer-in-training; these are just her current pursuits! And she has many more experiences to boot while growing up in Mumbai.

When Alefiyah was in school, she was, in her words, "a complete introvert, scared of what people would think about her if (she) dared to open (her) mouth. She did not have any friends and had very low/no self-confidence. She did not participate in competitions and was in a state of depression by the time she reached the 10th grade". These are powerful words from someone who has shown her talent and her mental strength in many ways over the past few years....

The day she left school she promised herself she would completely transform herself. When she entered college, she pushed herself to be social. Her degree also gave her a platform to speak in front of audiences. She remembers a particular speech she gave on "The Girl Child”, to which she received a lot of recognition. With each presentation and each new event she organized, her confidence grew. 

Despite her new found confidence, she had to regain herself after graduation. Today’s young women are faced with an enormous responsibility to either get a steady 9 to 5 job, or get married. But there are so many options that they forego because of these boundaries. Due to many different reasons, Alefiyah was also caught in a vicious cycle and could not find a job that she could continue. She also could not find guidance on where to turn next in her career, and relied on friends and her mother for emotional support. She stopped attending events because she would be asked what she was doing.

Today she is happy to say she is a ‘multipotentialite’. We do not need “one true calling”; it is perfectly alright if we are good at many things. In her current pursuits, Alefiyah is able to be creative, and work on her passion for fashion, photography, yoga and writing. Yoga, she says, has brought her a peace of mind which was hard to find earlier, and teaching her clients has given her a contentment no job could ever give her. She has also started her own website and blog called “Trends and Trails” and is a co-founder of an accessory brand called “Threads and Stones”.

Her advice for the younger generation, "People who matter will support you no matter what, and family will come around if you show you love what you do. Go ahead and chase your dreams, live for your passion and make sure the person you look at everyday in the mirror is happy internally as well as externally!"

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