You’d think having a Korean mother and a Lebanese father would be enough of a mix, but add Iran on top of that, since we were living in Teheran for the first 16 years of my life.
In many ways I have been blessed with a wonderful scenario of experiencing totally different cultural views, beliefs and circumstances, but at the same time it has been challenging not being able to identify myself fully with any particular place.
Being a foreigner in my own countries can be strange feeling at times. I suppose you can think of it as adventurous and exciting, yet it is also frustrating not having a place to truly relate to as my home.
I believe this is where my yoga practice plays a fundamental role in my life - I remember the sensation when I took my first steps in yoga by following a lady on TV at the time when yoga wasn’t very popular – it felt like: ‘Ahhhh, this feels so serene, this feels like home.” Yoga quickly gave me a sense of belonging, a familiar space (in my mind) to go back to every day.
I had been practicing Ashtanga Yoga for many years before having a ‘real’ teacher and I didn’t know the do's and don'ts, since it had been a full-on self-practice-experiment until then. However, this is the true essence of yoga in my opinion. I fell in love with the practice and mostly with what the practice offered to me.
During this journey of self-evolution through life with the yoga practice by my side, there was no rush, no judgment, no negativity and surely no pressure involved, simply the pure bliss of curiosity and discovery.
It is interesting to notice how we identify ourselves in this multicultural world, the ‘where’ and ‘why’ we associate with a home. The word “home” connotes more than just a house, but how exactly do we determine where “home” is? In the words of poet Robert Frost, "Home is the place that, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." In short, “home” is the basic connection between you and the rest of the world.
Whenever I feel disoriented in some way I know that I have a state of peace that I can come back to. Isn’t that fascinating...? I found my home in a space that is neither a ‘real’ physical space, nor my place of birth, nor my ethnic backgrounds, nor my nationality.