Azita Nahai, Ph.D. is a compassionate voice for healing in this world. Deeply committed to peoples’ well being, she exudes understanding and acceptance when helping others overcome difficult life experiences. She sees progress and healing as something that is experienced one conscious breath at a time. We asked Azita some questions about her inspiring work and female body image. Her answers are BEYOND brave.
1. Name three things you like about the way you look.
My freckles, my nose (perfectly imperfect like the rest of me) and the crinkles along the corners of my eyes when I smile.
2. Name three things you like about yourself that have nothing to do with looks.
My sense of humor (well, at least I think I’m funny), my steadied commitment to growth and willingness to show up and try. My loyalty and dependability (I stick around.)
3. How often do you feel pretty?
As often as my Internalized Bully goes on vacation (I’m still working on sending her on a permanent one.)
4. We all struggle with insecurities. What do you struggle with most in regards to your appearance?
I worry that my butt is eventually going to sink down to the back of my knees – and at that point, I can only pray that it really is ‘all about the bass.’
5. In your opinion, what makes a woman beautiful?
Her confidence – feeling comfortable in her skin.
6. When do you feel most proud of who you are?
When I get to witness my clients’ and students’ transformative recovery journeys and relish in the purposeful outcome of our committed work together.
7. What are you most afraid of?
Oh, wow. I’m afraid of running out of time to help all those I can. I’m afraid that after all this time and dedication to healing old wounds and opening my heart, I still won’t find “Him”.
8. In my experience, self love is the driving force behind happiness. How do you show yourself love?
My Sadhana – my daily spiritual practice. I carve out time every day for meditation and prayer – to listen to the voice that doesn’t use words. It’s the most sacred conversation I have all day.
9. Who inspires you?
All of those who are afraid but do it anyway – the brave hearts who let their purpose burn brighter than their fear.
10. What do you appreciate more as you age?
Kindness and compassion – that empathic thread that connects us all.
11. More women should…
..avoid the word should. Should is an asshole.
12. What is more important to you today than it was 10 or 20 years ago?
Connection. Community. My “tribe”.
13. More women need to be inspired to age gracefully – what’s your advice?
On the heels of Amy Schumer’s brilliant “last f**kable day” sketch highlighting Hollywood’s sexist double standard on aging, take a moment to notice how that oppressive ideology pervades your world, and how you come to embrace or resist your age. Last I checked, women don’t have a ‘best if used by’ shelf life. And we have no intention of being propped up on any prized shelf. There is no expiration date on beauty and sex appeal. Our radiant, kick-ass Souls do not expire. Wherever you’re at, own it. Work it.
Remember that internalized critic is just fear – our fear of not being enough. Call out the fear and call in your tribe – those kickass reflections of you that are there to remind you of how awesome you are (spider veins, stretch marks, and wrinkles included.) Be kind to yourself and each other. Love the parts of you that are afraid, and support your sisters through our beautiful and mysterious, shape-shifting nature.
14. What do you do for exercise? Any fun workouts that you love?
15. Any hidden gems in your hometown or other that you can share?
The Teahouse in Santa Fe, New Mexico has my favorite assortment of teas and healthy delicious bites. It’s nestled in between Canyon Road’s whimsical art galleries. It’s my favorite go-to for a laid-back summer breakfast on the patio or a cozy cup of tea & homemade gluten free scone next to their kiva fireplace.
16. What is your Beyond Yoga must-have?
I LIVE in the Essential Gathered Legging.
17. Tell us more about what you do in your Trauma to Dharma™ work.
I’m a trauma specialist and Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher. Trauma to Dharma™ is an experiential methodology based on my evidence-based research that integrates a mind, body, spirit approach to healing trauma. I noticed there was a missing piece in my recovery – so, I created it. When people ask me what I do, I break it down pretty simply. Shit happens and will continue to. I help people turn that shit into fertilizer and grow. I meet people in the midst of their life disruptions and crises and help them transform their pain into purpose. There’s an opportunity for growth in every challenge we face, we just need to access our innate tools to unearth it.
Want to see inside Azita’s bag? Check out her Everyday Essentials.