Omid RoustaeiClinical Psychology Alumni/a
After majoring in Microbiology and Chemistry at Northern Arizona University, Omid Roustaei worked in the Biotechnology field for several years. Then he found himself facing a glass ceiling, layoffs, and relocations.
The most fun he’d had at that time was taking various cooking classes, so Omid decided to follow his passion for food and cooking and embark on a culinary school adventure. He quit his job in cancer research and became a certified graduate of the School of Natural Cookery, in Boulder, Colorado. “I quit my job and everyone thought I was insane, and while I was at cooking school I learned that my entire division in Biotech was laid off,” he recalled. “I had taken a risk and my leap of faith was validated.”
While Omid attending the School of Natural Cookery Omid heard the call of Ashtanga Yoga, and again decided to follow his intuition. “I learned more about me and my body in flexibility and stiffness; how I managed challenges and pain,” he said. “Years later, I was part of my yoga teacher’s first teacher training and became a yoga instructor. I was offered a position to teach yoga classes almost immediately. The calling was clear and I followed.”
Omid learned about the LIOS program in Clinical Psychology at Saybrook University when he was working as a personal chef, cooking class instructor, and yoga teacher. A friend asked him to write her a recommendation to the program, so he researched it – and was so impressed that he decided to apply too.
“Following that decision, I was faced with all these various coincidences; while standing in the grocery checkout line over hearing people talk about LIOS, hearing a radio ad for LIOS at 2 am, and randomly running into various therapists in training from LIOS,” he remembered.
It was as difficult as any path Omid had undertaken in his life.
“I was challenged and pushed to face my limits of comfort,” he said. But, “I had the privilege of connecting to my core faculty with the common language of yoga.”
After graduating “I immediately embarked on my private practice, and it took me a good few years to build my practice. There were many times when I was quite discouraged, but I continued until one day I finally met the requirement to become licensed,” said Omid. “Once I was qualified to work with insurance companies, practically overnight my practice shifted, changed, and blossomed.”
He’s also returning to Saybrook as a member of the faculty, but that’s been an easy decision. “When you graduate from a LIOS program you cannot exactly anticipate all the different possibilities and how they will manifest. I heard the call and the question for me was, if the call comes, can I step up to it? Now I am coming back to Saybrook and it feels like going back home again. Returning to where my learning, growing, and shifting took place. Now in my role as System’s Consultant, I support students who are going through the program and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity.”