We were lucky to catch up with Shereen Yusuff recently and have shared our conversation below.
Shereen, appreciate you joining us today. Let’s start with the story of your mission. What should we know?
I pray that I will be alive to see the day that every child in the world learns how to breathe correctly in school. In a world where children are being diagnosed with ADHD, and anger issues, every child and every adult should be aware of the benefits of breathing correctly, and the benefit it has on one’s temperament. I grew up playing sport and singing, and there is a very common misconception that athletes and vocalists do not have breathing related problems. This is not the case at all. Learning how to breathe correctly, shot up my productivity, allowed me to be more focused and helped me have better emotional management, A person’s performance also goes up significantly, both in their athletic and mental aptitude. Our ability to focus and concentrate goes up as well. It becomes very easy to change our state of mind, from being at work to spending time with our families. One can also cultivate a strong immune system. I hope the day isn’t far away that people first meet with a breath or a human performance coach before they go to a doctor or a therapist.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
By education I am an aerospace engineer. I worked in the oil and gas sector for 16 years through which I have had the good fortune of living in 7 countries in addition to the many countries that I got to visit. I made the transition to the public sector last year and I am currently doing my master’s in Public Policy and Administration and am expected to graduate in Spring 2023. I have done an internship in Houston’s Harris County under the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, worked for a short while in the Appraisal Review Board as well as have attended Policy Boot Camps at Hoover Institution (Stanford) and Witherspoon Institute (Princeton). I enjoy studying philosophy and am very interested in the topics of virtue, ethics and morality.
I became both an American and a Christian last year. Christianity has helped me further my understanding of the importance of living with faith, hope and charity and the incredible impact forgiveness offers to us in our day to day lives. It has also given me my identity of being a child of God first before anything else.
As a Human Performance Coach, I teach people how to experience the flow state and to stay in that zone through the modalities of breath, ice and movement. I am a certified Wim Hof Method Instructor and am also certified in two other breathing techniques called Buteyko and Oxygen Advantage. I do work with people in all walks of their lives as well as athletic based enhancement. I have coached professional athletes in Basketball, Tennis and Soccer and have worked with athletes in Brazilian Ju Jitsu and UFC.
I started off my breath journey at the age of 4 with my love of tennis. After playing semiprofessionally, I transitioned to other sports including running marathons, ultramarathons, ironmans, mountaineering and thru-hiking. During this time, I recognized how my breath really impacted my activities – whether it was to help get me into a flow state faster as well as gaining more energy when I was in very fatigued states as well as maintain clarity, focus, and fast decision making during my meetings at work. As a coach, I am able to very quickly understand the area that you need to focus on and help you get the most bang out of your buck in the limited time we have together. Most of the people I work with have a vibrant family life and in addition to being amazing at their career, they also want to be great spouses as well as parents. So, when you sign up for sessions with me, I help you become more excited about your life exactly where you are using the modalities of breath, cold. and both inner and outer movement.
In addition to doing group classes and workshops, I also teach privates as well as work with people in person and online.
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
There is an alignment between what I intend to give others through my coaching and what they report is their experience. When I coach others, there is a certain amount of vulnerability that is required to be able to go deeper into a person’s psyche, and I am usually very open with my own failures and successes that have driven me to consistently want to become a better version of myself. When I do work specifically with breath and ice, if the person I am working with doesn’t feel safe, it can be very damaging to them in the long run. I do my best to act with integrity and treat others’ vulnerabilities with dignity and respect. Most of my clients are through word of mouth, and I like to believe that the people who come to me are happy with their experience and hence share it with others.
I also believe I am really good at what I do. Everything I teach is based on personal experience, not on book knowledge. I have been on this path for 5+years now, and I have led periods of high stress and depression and anxiety in my own life, through which I used breath, cold and movement to help me work through these episodes. It thus becomes easy for me to break it down to others and make them realize they are not alone in their journey.
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
That religion is a man-made institution that needs to be abolished. I was an atheist for 20 years and I can very clearly remember telling friends of mine that religion was the cause for wars, and that religion was absolutely unnecessary. Well, I am humbled to say that life has taught me differently. Religion has given me a framework to go deeper in my faith and have certain standards to live by. I am more aware today, than I have ever been, of the impact my actions and words can have on others. I am also more compassionate to those who have hurt me, for I forgive them with the full knowledge that there are others I have hurt and never asked for forgiveness. I let go of things a lot easier now, and I go to sleep with a clear conscience knowing that I did my best to be the best daughter I could be for God. I don’t feel the need to compete with others or to set myself apart because I believe that God has made each one of us unique and my loss is someone else’s gain which in turn is a gain for mankind as a whole since we are all contributing towards the Kingdom of God. I also do a lot more charity and service work than I have ever done when I wasn’t religious. I find myself looking for God’s will in all that I do, and religion gave me the framework to learn how to do that. In short, religion has made me a more fulfilled, joyous and child like being. It has also given me an identity. I had all of these qualities to begin with however being religious was what helped me to go to the next level in my journey. If you had told me this ten years ago, that religion would make me a happier person, I would have laughed at you, and not even given a second thought to it.
- Website: www.suda-prem.com
- Instagram: shereenyusuff
- Facebook: @breathconductor
- Linkedin: Shereen Yusuff
- Youtube: Suda Prem Studio