Hi, my name is Maryam Sharif. I lead therapeutic as well as energetic vinyasa (flow) yoga classes, including meditation and considerable attention to breathing and alignment.

While working as an energy system planner, I began my graduate studies in psy- chology to better understand the nature of mind.  I became fascinated with buddhist psychology and meditation to explore the relation between my thoughts, feelings, actions and relationships. In the meantime,  yoga satisfied my love of movement and need for physical fitness. Eventually I found Om Yoga center, the only studio in NYC that integrated yoga asana with buddhist philosophy and meditation, and where I received my first teaching certificate in 2001. Since then, I have continued to explore the effects of these practices on emotional as well as physical health; while teaching in New York and leading some international retreats.

Maitri is a Sanskrit word that refers to a way of relating, with an open mind and heart, with kindness. I think it is a prerequisite to the experience of yoga—a sense of wholeness in our lives and a genuine connection with others. Our yoga class is a time of self exploration. We welcome and soften into our experience as we move through the asanas with attention and precision. Free of judgments, we consider how we can find more freedom in our mind-body, and how our thoughts and actions hinder or contribute to our well being.

I think a consistent and mindful yoga practice can cultivate a more fearless and compassionate relationship with ourselves and others. It can also enhance our appreciation of life and all it has to offer. I am grateful to all of my teachers and students for inspiring me to continue learning and sharing.