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Yoga Stories


About Me

Zaina Budayr is a New York City-based yoga and meditation teacher with a passion for helping people in major cityscapes learn nurturing practices that can become tools to manage the stressors of everyday life. She is driven to help connect her students to tangible practices that can be used throughout their busy days, be that through movement, breath, or wisps of inspiration that she finds in the world around her.

Location: ONEYOGAHOUSE in Dumbo, Brooklyn
Classes: The Fiery ONE (Hot Yoga), The Aligned ONE, The Sculpted ONE

Video Transcript

Hi you guys! It’s me, Zaina, I’m a Vinyasa teacher at ONEYOGAOUSE, and I’m just super excited to share my yoga story with you and talk a little bit about why I got into it in the first place. I’m a big fashion person and I moved to New York to be in the fashion industry–and it literally was Devil Wears Prada, and I got my booty kicked. It was like this all the time. I had a friend that told me, “Z, you really need something, you look awful.” So she brought me to a yoga class.

I also always suffered from panic attacks and they would happen randomly. So, and of course I’m laughing about it, but you know, I never knew if the stress from my fashion career was going to trigger one. And after I went to my first yoga class, it was the first place I ever learned how to notice the pace of my breath, notice that I’m breathing or not breathing at all.

And it really gave me this awareness that it was less about the control but more about how I could embody myself and acknowledge when I started feeling a certain type of way. So it really gave me that space to fall back into, which is what I really try to cultivate in my classes – that you leave and you can go back into your life and feel that there’s just a pocket of space for you to step back into to have that overview effect… and through doing different breath work techniques… and you’ll find a wide range of that in all of our classes here at ONEYOGAHOUSE. I’ve been almost eight years right now without a panic attack and I now can feel in my body when I’m gonna have one and there’s certain postures, there’s certain ways I can breathe and just ground, and it’s really taken that whole fear, banked element of my life away. And so I think to me it really gave me my autonomy back.

Even though it can be so intimidating to come into a yoga class and feel like you’re not perfect enough and doing the moves and not flexible, at the end of the day, I really think it’s about just showing up, moving yourself around in time and space and then leave, knowing that you’ve carved out that space and a little bit of it stays with you. So I feel like that is why I love us building community and why I love us all teaching and processing together. And so if you’re ever feeling intimidated in a class or you know, if you ever suffer from anxiety, you can always reach out to any of us because these tools are just so powerful.

That’s what gets me so excited about it. So, I’d love to see you in class and learn from me.

So are there any other obstacles currently right now that you’d like to share that you’re dealing with?

Hmm. Right now, and I think it’s because I’m teaching a lot more, I’m feeling self-conscious in my own skin and in my own body. So for example, like the way maybe you as a student come into class and is like, oh, I’m feeling a little off today, when I’m teaching and I’m in front of big groups of people, I’m having to find my own practice to ground into myself on the days that I have to get up. And maybe I don’t feel that great. And that is actually such a powerful thing about our community — it’s that as much energy as sometimes you guys feel from taking a yoga class or from getting embodied on your mat, you equally give us as teachers energy back. And I can’t tell you how many times the ONEYOGAHOUSE community has lifted me up on the days that I’ve been going through personal problems or just feeling not that cute or gross in my skin or whatever that is. I would say that’s coming up a lot just because I’m having less time to practice myself. So it’s been something to navigate.

Even though it can be so intimidating to come into a yoga class and feel like you’re not perfect enough, and doing the moves and not flexible, at the end of the day, I really think it’s about just showing up, moving yourself around in time and space, and then leave knowing that you’ve carved out that space and a little bit of it stays with you.

And is there anywhere that you aspire to get to right now? Could be anything In yoga, just in life where yoga is gonna help you with that?

You know what, this is gonna sound like such a yoga teacher response, but I’m definitely afraid of inverting. I’ve had to work really hard at inverting and I can finally do, um, a headstand and I’m working on my handstand. But to me, inversion is such a deep concept because I think it’s also hard to change up your routine and it’s hard to like keep pushing yourself and to keep growing. And I’m working on growing my yoga business.

Like it’s hard in tarot. You have the hangman who’s upside down. So I always think of that in a handstand. It’s hard to get a new perspective to maybe carve out a new routine and to change your habits to get something new. So I feel like I’m always working on something and just like the hangman, I’m trying to constantly push my edge, whether it’s in a posture or like in my life to find a new thread and to keep pushing myself to find my boundary.

So if you see me in a handstand, just know I was really scared to get there. And then in everyday life when we are just not feeling our best or our thoughts are running like crazy.

Is there any specific tool that you use or that you do that helps you throughout the day that you’d like to share?

So I think the best thing to do, especially in New York City where we’re all just running around like crazy, I immediately find points of contact on my body. I have a teacher that always is like, you’ve got a handle on yourself.

So I find my points of contact, I close my eyes, and I take a deep breath in and out to ground so that then whatever is happening around me, I can figure out how I want to engage with it, how I wanna move around it. But I think first it’s like, oh, I’m in my body. Like, oh, I’m not flying ’cause I’m freaking out. I come back to the center and that’s usually from finding the touch of my hands, like on my heart, on my abdomen, and rooting down that way.


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