January 24, 2014 | Jeem TV Interview

When I received a call from Al Jazeera’s production team asking me to be a guest on their family channel Jeem TV, I was a little taken aback. It was a bit surreal and very flattering to hear that news of The Curve had reached the Qatar based channel and that they were actually interested to feature our story!

The show that I appeared on was Noun, and it is a weekly live show conducted totally in Arabic and targeted at families and young girls in specific. The segment showcased female entrepreneurial stories from around the region in an effort to encourage young girls to dream big and work hard to make their dreams come true. I was really happy to be a part of such a show, because I believe that women are as capable as men to achieve success in any field they desire if they put in the work and believe in themselves.

Here is the clip of the interview and some pictures from backstage! A big thanks to the Jeem TV team for the opportunity and for their amazing hospitality.

Maya Itani Al Jazeera Jeem TV

Click for the video link

In the producers' room!

Maya Itani Jeem TV The Curve

Maya Itani Marwa Jeem TV The Curve


{Urban Energy’s Pre/Post Natal Fitness Classes}

pre natal

Photos courtesy of Urban Energy Fitness

As a newly pregnant woman, I have found that the most common advice is “don’t move too much, sleep a lot, and remember you’re eating for two.” While I’m sure most advice given to pregnant women is dispensed with good intentions, that specific combination sounds like a recipe for a health disaster, and it well and truly is!

Many people are under the impression that pregnant women shouldn’t exercise in order to protect their unborn child. However, the truth is that exercise during pregnancy actually helps you better manage labor and get back into shape more quickly afterwards. Studies have also shows that exercise during pregnancy may actually help in fetal development.

Laurence Arca-Bathe faced the same misconceptions about exercise during pregnancy when she was pregnant and found that trainers were too afraid to work with her for liability issues. Frustrated, she decided to take matters into her own hands and set up Urban Energy Fitness in 2009 to help expectant mums and women who have just delivered stay in shape. Today, the fitness company focuses on both pre & post natal fitness along with marathon training.

Photos courtesy of Urban Energy Fitness

Photos courtesy of Urban Energy Fitness

I booked my first prenatal fitness session today through The Curve, and as I exercised regularly before pregnancy and have stayed active throughout my first few months, I expected a prenatal class to be a breeze. What my mind hadn’t come to terms with yet is that my body is not capable of the same energy exertion now as pre-pregnancy! I was in for a shock.

The session that I attended took place in Safa Park, but classes are also available at The Palm Jumeirah. The instructor Zoe separated the women into pre & post natal groups as the exercises were different. She then guided us through several sets of circuits for the duration of an hour, which included squats, planks, lunges, deadlifts, and even kettleball swings! While she was extremely careful and aware of everyone’s personal situation, she definitely wasn’t lenient! I appreciated her attentiveness and the small class size, as it meant she was always double checking my form to ensure I don’t injure myself.

By the end of the class my legs were on fire and sweat was dripping down my face. I was really tired, but it felt SO good to do a full hour workout again, and I felt safe with Zoe’s supervision. What’s lovely about the class is the mix of women, as having new mums in the group also helps expectant ones have a goal in mind for post-pregnancy. If you’re a new mum, you don’t even have to worry about getting a baby sitter for the duration of the class. Bring your baby along and a member of the Urban Energy team will look after her along with the other children. That’s what I call amazing service!

{The facts}
Activity: Pre & Post Natal Fitness 
Provider: Urban Energy Fitness 
Location: Safa Park or Palm Jumeirah Park
Timing: Safa Park: Sun & Tues at 10:00. Palm Jumeirah: Sun 18:30, Tues 18:30, Fri 09:00
Duration: 1 hours
Price: 85 AED
Book it: Safa Park or Palm Jumeirah Park. A 10 session package is also available for a 100 AED discount. 

{Life Clubs UAE}

Life has a way of slipping through our fingers, with days merging with weeks and months. With our busy routines overriding the need for quiet reflection, it’s no wonder that we often remark “where has the year gone!”

One of my personal goals in 2014 is to enjoy each day more, and to be more aware of the passing of time. One of the ways I’ve decided to do that is to take more time to reflect on my life and assess where I am and which direction I’m heading. Lucky for me, one of our newest partners at The Curve, Life Clubs UAE, helps adults do just that.

Established in the UK by Daily Telegraph journalist Nina Grunfeld in 2004, Life Clubs now runs fun and practical workshops around the world that aim to help people get more out of life. Each 1.5 hours session has a different theme, but every single one encourages introspection.

The Life Clubs workbook

The Life Clubs workbook

I joined my first session in November and the objective was to learn to “use your intuition and visualise the future you want”. The atmosphere of the session is very casual, and nothing like group therapy as some people envision it. Dr. Samineh Shaheem, who launched and runs Life Clubs UAE, acts as a fantastic facilitator for each session allowing each attendee to share as much or as little as they are comfortable with. Through various exercises she pushes  each individual to be honest with himself without being intrusive.

2013-11-26 19.39.25By the end of the session, I was amazed at how much I had learned about myself and how useful it was to verbalize things that I already knew subconsciously about my life goals. After the session, I asked the other attendees whether they had benefited from the session and we all agreed that it was eye opening and definitely worth attending regularly to ensure continuous focus on our personal development rather than just letting the year slip away once again.

{The facts}
Activity: Life Clubs 
Provider: Life Clubs UAE
Location: Kawader office 2701, HDS Building, Cluster F, JLT
Timing: Each session is repeated twice a month under one theme.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Price: 150 AED
Book it

5 ways to keep your resolutions

After ringing in a new year, our thoughts become occupied with how we can seize the opportunities that the year ahead may hold for us. Many people make resolutions, while others are skeptical of the tradition and how realistic it is to keep them. When I got to thinking about my own goals for the new year, I found that there were common threads that tied together all the resolutions I had ever actually kept.

1. Make realistic goals
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you’ve never run a mile in your life, don’t vow to join the marathon a few months into 2014. Start small with a 5k and up the stakes from there if you feel inspired.

Also, I purposely use the word goals with myself because I feel “resolution” is such a daunting one. Resolutions sound like changes that require a complete overhaul in lifestyle, when for the most part people’s resolutions can really be categorised as goals.

2. Be accountable
My sister in law and her friends use a clever little technique for their goals which is to make them then document and share them within the circle of friends. Every few months the group checks in with each other to see how everyone is progressing. With this technique, you not only gain support but also feel a little bit more pressed to actually follow through.

3. Actually care about the goal
Don’t make resolutions for anyone except yourself. If your partner has been hounding you to lose weight, her intentions are most likely good, but if your heart isn’t in the battle it will take to shed those pounds then there is no way you’re actually going to put in the work. Choose goals that mean something to you and that you would actually want to invest time and effort for.

4. Schedule milestones
Most of us scramble to reach our goals somewhere in the tail end of the year, because this pesky little thing called “Life” got in the way. To keep on track with your goals, schedule milestones throughout the year and hold yourself to them. If you want to learn to play guitar, make sure you’ve hired a teacher by February, learned a full song by April, and maybe even played in front of people by June!

5. Have fun!
The reason I backed out of a lot of my year goals is because they felt like chores. While goals like quitting smoking don’t seem like much fun, there is always a way to spice things up and enjoy the process. Celebrate your first month of no cigarettes with an indulgent purchase, your 6 month mark with a fancy dinner, and by the end of a year you can throw a big bash to reward yourself for the amazing effort!

What are your goals for 2014 and how are you planning to stay on track? Share your thoughts with us!