Women in Bloom - Hala Okeili
Spring is a time of change and renewal, and Salim Azzam in Bloom features 7 women blooming in their respective fields.
Previously a corporate lawyer and today the founder of Sarvam Yoga, Hala is a dreamer and doer. Hala leaned into yoga to turn her stress and anxiety into peace and fulfillment, and then went on to spread this practice across the country.
What do you do?
Formerly a corporate lawyer. Today I’m a full-time yoga teacher. I am the founder of Sarvam yoga studios and school. We have two branches in Lebanon, and a yoga school that has graduated 90+ yoga teachers so far.
Why do you do what you do? / How did you get into it?
Spreading yoga has become my mission. When I was a corporate lawyer, I was pretty successful and made a lot of money. But I was extremely unhappy; I was very stressed and anxious, and I suffered from severe back pain. I added yoga to my life initially to get rid of back pain. But soon enough it transformed my life. It healed my back ache, made me a peaceful and fulfilled and content person. I wanted to give this to others.
What are your aspirations for the role of women in your industry?
My aspiration for women in the wellness, and specially yoga, industry is to do what they do because they truly believe in it not because it’s cool or trendy.
Let the love of transforming peoples’ lives be your purpose – not money, not fame. Also, I invite women in this industry not to compete but to complement each other and even to help each other. When your true goal is to change people’s lives, there’s no place for competition, only togetherness and growth.
What is a most recent win you had as a professional in your industry?
Opening a second beautiful branch for my yoga studio was a dream come true. This platform will allow us to spread more yoga to more people. Also, by the end of 2022 we graduated 90+ yoga teachers who will go out and spread peace into their own communities!
What is your favorite thing about spring?
Spring is always about renewal. New hopes, new dreams, new goals. It inspires me to dream again.
What does Salim Azzam mean to you and how do you engage with the brand?
Salim Azzam believes in his mission, and he makes me believe and dream with him! Being from the Mount of Lebanon myself and seeing Salim’s creativity and exceptional skill to turn heritage into a modern world fashion, is truly inspiring. When you believe in what you do, the sky is the limit. And I love Salim Azzam for that!
Hala wears Forest Tales Dress
Photographed by Mohamad Al-Rifai