Ever since I can remember, a part of me was highly drawn towards a spiritual existence, but I lived unconsciously for most of my life due to my deep conditioning.
My turning point wasn’t some significant loss or tragedy; it was the opposite. After navigating life in America as an Ethiopian immigrant and overcoming the challenges of being a young black man in the inner city (Roxbury), I obtained my MBA and started a promising career. What I thought would be the pinnacle of my life had left me feeling wholly depleted, empty, and without a sense of purpose.
In 2016 I decided to give it all up, quit my job, sold my belongings, and started backpacking through Southeast Asia. Over the next three years, I was exposed to Buddhist and Yogic Philosophy. Through my meditation and Yoga practice, I have attained a sense of stillness and contentment that would never be possible through any external stimulations or achievements. The minimalist way of living abroad has also followed me back home to the US and has allowed me to live a life where I spend most of my time “being” rather than “having” or “doing.”
My experiences and spiritual practices abroad were something I wanted to share with my community. Upon reestablishing back in the United States, I decided that becoming a Yoga Teacher would be a great avenue to engage with my community. After receiving a scholarship from the Yoga Diversity Initiative (YDI), I attended a 200-Hour teacher training at JP Center Yoga in 2019. Since graduating in June of 2019, I have had several opportunities to be of service in low-income/underserved communities in Boston. I have taught in Boston public schools, Juvenile Detention Centers, and cancer survivors at Boston Medical center.
I am currently enrolled in an MPH program at Brown University with a concentration in “Mindfulness” and received my MBSR teacher training at the Mindfulness Center at Brown.
In collaboration with the Mindfulness Center at Brown, I am also working on initiatives to bring more diversity to the Yoga and Mindfulness space, address social justice issues, and cultivate a welcoming and safe space for people of color.