As two immigrants from vastly different backgrounds and religious upbringings, Bassam and Mendel have developed a surprising and unlikely friendship since meeting in New York City nine years ago. Despite being raised in seemingly opposing cultures, Bassam, an Arabic refugee from Iraq, and Mendel, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, both found themselves at an Acroyoga class because of a shared love for movement. The two discovered an instant connection, forming a friendship that has only continued to blossom. Together, they’ve trained to become teachers as well as performance partners, finding their unique differences to actually complement one another. Their acts are known to be both passionate and playful, and beyond being wildly entertaining, they inspire others to pursue their dreams in the same way. They are proof of what can be achieved by setting aside where you come from and following your passions – especially when you are lucky enough to share the journey with your best friend.
“Drstadharmasukhavihari,” means to live happily in the present moment. Bassam has lived in five different countries and has worn several professional hats: software engineer, professional climber, yoga teacher, and acrobatic performer. He has finally settled down in Manhattan as a Vinyasa Yoga, AcroYoga, Aerial Yoga, and Thai bodywork teacher.
He started his yoga practice in 2009 while he was a professional climber in the Middle East. Like many, his practice started as a physical one, but in time it has become a spiritual path, a lifestyle, and a career.
Bassam’s classes focus on transitions & balance structure with improv, strength with flexibility, and breath with body. He is extremely passionate about sharing his knowledge. His mission is “Empower life change and inspiring connection through a joyful practice.”