Discovering Rumi Within Ourselves
When Tania Kazi gently leads modern spiritual seekers to dive into her Rumi Immersion workshop, the Pakistani-born yogi draws upon her own personal experience. A decade ago, the words and wisdom of the 13th century Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi mystic served as a lifeline to Kazi during a very dark time in her life. Now, once a month at Sonic Yoga, she shares with New Yorkers the knowledge, love, and compassion she discovered through Rumi that helped her survive.
YogaCityNYC’s Sharon Watts sat down with Kazi to learn more about her window on Rumi, Sufism, yoga, and how they coexist within the turmoil of today’s world.
Sharon Watts: What was it like growing up in Pakistan?
Tania Kazi: I was raised in a family where poetry, literature, and music were part of dinner conversation, part of our lives. No religious ideology was forced upon us. I was always told to try and be a “human being” first, and after that, subscribe to any religious point of view. The people of my province, Sindh, [primarily Muslim] are close to their Hindu neighbors, and so yoga was a way of life, not a practice.
SW: When and why did you move to the US?
TK: I came in 1997. In Pakistan I was a television news anchor, and here I worked briefly at CBS. But I found that my sense of self and inner compass would not allow me to be dominated by a broad sweep of prescribed norms.
SW: How did you end up teaching yoga?