Sameera Q., a proud Canadian-Muslim living in the Northern Virginia area, gains meaning in her life through yoga and her work in the fields of mental and sexual health.
MORE ABOUT SAMEERA
Sameera wasn’t born doing yoga. And it wasn’t until her late 20s when she has her first taste. Sameera has been active throughout her life, mostly through playing tennis, running, biking, snowshoeing, and hiking. But it wasn’t until 2012 when a friend suggested she try hot yoga that she actually did. And it fascinated her enough to keep going back.
By then, Sameera was a regular attendee at a local gym and the weekly Bikram classes she attended complimented her workouts. However, she was intrigued by this class called “Vinyasa Flow” yoga - otherwise known as Baptiste or Power Yoga. A few months later, she decided to give it a try. And the rest is history. She exclusively switched to taking vinyasa classes, twic a week, and loved the linkage of breath to movement, and not always predicting what pose was coming up next.
Sameera joined the Corepower Yoga community upon moving to the D.C. area from Canada in December 2015. She took a leap of faith and completed Corepower's 200-hour Power Yoga Teacher Training in the summer of 2017, and just surpassed her one year teaching anniversary. She is passionate about creating safe and supportive environments that allow everyone to practice their own authentic yoga on their mats. When she’s not teaching or yoga-ing herself, she enjoys the peace and tranquility of her home with her husband.
Professionally, Sameera holds a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University in Boston. She started her professional career as a direct service provider in school-based Occupational Therapy in Calgary, Canada, working with children with special needs. In 2008, Sameera was contracted to a mental health capacity building team within the Muslim community, serving Islamic schools and Muslim-led organizations. Her passion for universal and systems-based mental health education led her to transition into the Project Coordinator role in 2011, overseeing a team of four school counselors within twelve schools. From 2011 – 2015, Sameera led this school-based team to develop and facilitate Islamic sexual and mental health curricula in Islamic schools, mosques, community centers, and collaborating agencies.
Sameera joined HEART Women and Girls in 2012 and is the Director of Sexuality Education and Training. HEART is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sexual health and sexual violence awareness in Muslim communities through health education, advocacy, research and training. Sameera is incredibly passionate about integrating the fields of research, Islamic spirituality and sexual health into practical capacity building programs that are accessible to Muslim communities. Aspects of this work that are especially meaningful to her include youth and parent education, working with health-care providers and educators who intersect with Muslim communities, and creating developmentally appropriate and Islamically oriented sexual health curricula. Sameera moved from Canada to the Washington, DC area in late 2015, and worked full-time as an OT with D.C. Public Schools, while working on the side to build HEART’s presence in the area. She transitioned into full-time work with HEART in the summer of 2017. Over the past few years, she has facilitated workshops at the National Sex Education Conference; National Sexual Assault Conference; ISNA Annual Convention; and the APPNA Annual Convention. Sameera is the 2018 recipient of the National Women’s Health Network Barbara Seaman Emerging Activist Award. She is also incredibly honored to serve on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Sexuality Education (AJSE) from December 2018 - 2020.