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Festival Spotlight: Vahid teaches yoga to help us unite

Vahid’s conviction is that yoga is to be used as a tool to bring us all together – to unite us. He believes that yoga can be used to “fill the gaps in which people think things are separate – whether mind and body, you and I, East and West.” What keeps him motivated to teach yoga is this lack of separateness – “it is all one.”

Vahid moved from Turkey to the U.S. in 2016 as a graduate student of mindfulness and meditation therapy at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. He chose MUIH for its holistic sciences, to study the healing techniques of the “Ancient East” and put them into evidence-based practices of the “Scientific West.”

In his undergrad education, Vahid studied Turkish to English translation. In the same way he sees yoga as a “bridge”, he saw translation as a bridge over the gap between languages. During his undergraduate studies, he started going to a hot yoga studio near his home, and a few months later the owners approached him about sponsoring him to take a yoga teacher training in Los Angeles and he agreed.

This yoga scene kept bringing Vahid back to the U.S. and he knew he would come to the States for his education because it was a more established field in the U.S. than in Turkey, and the more often he came to the U.S., the more he met people who valued yoga and meditation.

Vahid started his own company in 2019, Wellness Assembly Services, which includes services for mindfulness, team building, personal lifestyle coaching, and creating workplaces that boost employee focus, creativity and efficiency. He is still teaching yoga and meditation, and that’s how our co-founder, Wendy Chan, met Vahid. He was teaching a mediation class at the Kennedy Center.

Vahid’s approach to yoga is very much rooted in his belief that “the essence of you is the same as I,” he says. “Yoga, meditation and breathing are good tools to highlight the fact that we are all one.” This idea of unity and shared experience is very much tied into the mission of One Journey.

To those who have immigrated to the U.S. and are working to integrate into their new communities, much like Vahid had to in 2016, he says “focus on the similarities rather than the differences. We are all different but we are all the same. We like to think we all suffer differently. But our suffering is the same. Our joy is unique to each of us (whatever pleases you does not necessarily please me), but our sufferings are the same or similar. Our basic human beingness is similar and the differences go down the drain.

Vahid will participate in this year’s One Journey Festival on June 25th for the very first time. The event starts at 11am but Vahid will open our day with morning yoga at 10am. Vahid is excited to help us intention set for the entire rest of the day: “I’m excited to teach yoga and meditation to set good intentions and help our differences fade away. Focus us on our essence as human beings on this journey all together.”

To join One Journey and Vahid for yoga, RSVP to join us for this free all-day festival. In addition, Vahid has the first book of a series of short stories out on Amazon for purchase now, Lurking in the Parking Lot: Teachings of a Delusional Monk.


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