{Monday Musings} From the Office to the Great Outdoors

Can your hobby become a full time career? This is a question we pondered a few weeks ago, and today our first guest writer for Monday Musings gives us another resounding YES. Circumstances pushed Noura El Imam, founder of Yogalates Bliss in Dubai, from a corporate role in marketing to a more ‘flexible’ career, and the results have been beyond her expectations!

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Waking up everyday to doing something that you love to do is a complete blessing, but it’s definitely not an easy ride. I took my 6 years background of marketing and business (with a sprinkle of psychology) and my passion for health, fitness and wellness to bring about Yogalates Bliss in Dubai, offering a fusion of outdoor yoga and pilates classes on the stunning private terrace at Fraser Suites where the ocean, stars and sunshine is our setting. I’ve also been hosting top caliber Yoga Teacher Trainings and workshops led by international Yoga expert teachers from the US, North America and further. Connecting with yoga experts registered teachers across the world to invite them to our sandy shores is such a rewarding experience when you meet the people who inspire you the most and even better, watching your trainees walk away as confident & happy yoga graduates (teachers).

Nour El Imam The Curve

I love yoga and pilates as my company represents, but I also balance it all out with more active hobbies such as horse riding, SUP, wall climbing, trekking, swimming in the ocean, and going for long midday walks with friends. I also love creating new recipes! It’s my therapeutic outlet and sharing it with clients through my food blog is very rewarding when they comment and recreate the dish at home. Photography is another passion of mine and recently I have started yoga photography snapping my trainees in visually stunning settings, poses to enhance their portfolio which has been received very well!

While I don’t work a strict 9-5, I make sure at this stage that I balance out my personal and work life in a healthy manner. I have to confess, I appreciate that my weekends are workdays in Dubai and vice versa. If I need to break at 1pm on a workweek and step out to the beach, it is nice and quiet!

Noura El Imam The Curve

I honestly believe that if you put your heart and hard work into your passion – you’ll get the rewards back when clients enjoy their experience with you, when other businesses want to collaborate with you, when a company wants to sponsor you for their brand, and when simply you wake up challenged with work which is what fuels real passion.

Noura El-Imam is the founder of Yogalates Bliss in Dubai, brand ambassador for eco-friendly Carrot, Banana and Peach yoga apparel and partners with Greenheart Organic Farms.

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July 24, 2013 | Dubai Eye 103.8

I got the chance to chat about lifelong learning and adult education with Zahra Soar on Education Matters on Dubai Eye 103.8. Listen to clip 1 & 2 on this link to hear the interview.

A Curve Experience: {One on One Guided Meditation}

Dubai is quite a hectic city, and it is easy to get sucked into the hamster wheel. While we all like to decompress in different ways, meditation is by far one of the best ways to relieve daily stress and keep yourself centered.

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Last week Salma El-Shurafa, a career and leadership development coach & entrepreneur, decided she needed a little zen and booked a One on One Guided Meditation session with The Third Eye center through thecurve-me.com. Here’s what she had to say about her experience!

Q: Why did you choose to try meditation?
A: I always wanted to try meditation classes. I was curious for the longest time “How beneficial is it really?”. I experienced it through some self-development programs I signed up for and it got me intrigued. Meditation is a great way of life and is an amazing way to get you focused, grounded and clear the clutter in your mind/body. It connects you to your being. I started to research one-on-one guided meditation class to get the most out of my session and to provide me the best techniques. I was happy to find it on your website and I couldn’t wait to try it.

Q: What was your initial reaction when you started the class?
A: I didn’t expect to find a center like that in the middle of bustling Sheikh Zayed Road! The center had a very friendly environment and I felt at ease.

Q: How was the instructor?
A: The instructor was really good and professional. He knew what he was talking about. He helped me understand what mediation is all about and the different types. He was very patient and went through everything step by step.

Q: Did you feel you benefitted from this class?
A: Yes I did. I loved it. I will start practicing more often and get the basics so I can sign up for the other types of meditation techniques.

Q: Would you go again?
A: Yes I would.

Q: How was your booking experience with The Curve?
A: It was straight forward and easy!

If you think you could benefit from meditation, check out the different meditation experiences on offer!

{The facts}
Activity: One on One Guided Meditation
Provider: The Third Eye
Location: Saeed Tower II, Sheikh Zayed Road
Timing: At your discretion. The center manager will call you with 24 hours of when you book to set up a session for you.
Duration: 1 hour
Price: 100 AED
Book it

A Curve Catch Up with {Holiztik.com}

There are days when we all have had enough of our jobs and wonder if there’s more to life than the daily grind. That question stuck with Timothy Bataillie and Elvin Demir long enough to convince them to finally trade in their comfortable, mainstream lifestyle for a less traditional one that was dedicated to yoga.

The remarkable improvement they’ve seen in their lives is now driving them to share their knowledge with others through intense workshops held quarterly in Dubai. We caught up with the couple and learned a little more about Holiztik.com and how yoga changed their lives.

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Q: You both had originally set off on different paths in life but decided to dedicate your time fully to yoga only recently. What brought on this decision?

A: It’s a few things that came together and made us decide to make the jump into the unknown.

Timothy was on a fast track career and doing splendidly according to the norms of modern society. Managing Director position at the age of 29, high-level salary and international lifestyle. But something just kept nagging: a kind of emptiness and a feeling of dissatisfaction in life. Is this really what life is about? What is the purpose? Where is the spirit?

Elvin was always better connected to her spiritual self. During her Masters studies in medical anthropology she also specialized in consciousness-studies. When she finished her masters, it was the perfect time for both of us to go on a quest of how we could build a life that incorporates more balance, spirituality and fulfillment. As we were already sold on Yoga, that seemed the most obvious path to explore. So Timothy quit his job and took a sabattical. Initially the plan was to do this for some months. Meanwhile going back to corporate life just doesn’t seem an option anymore.

Q: How has this decision changed your lives?

Well… big time, on many levels. And it is still changing every day. We are still finding out day-by-day where this is going. Health wise Timothy lost about 17 kg and was able to significantly improve and hopefully soon heal completely a chronic kidney disease that was declared incurable in the West. No drugs, just Yoga. Elvin stopped smoking after more than 10 years, feels and looks better than ever. Both of us feel much more solid in life, and have found a sense of peace in whatever happens. We feel that we are currently doing quite well in escaping the hamster wheel and building a conscious, independent and full life

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Q: You are husband & wife – has this shared love of yoga strengthened your relationship?

It has definitely strengthened our relationship a lot. As we are both much more in tune with ourselves, we are also able to tune into each other more easily. There is an increased awareness and ever more selfless kind of love between us.

Q: What is your vision for Holiztik.com? And what does the name mean?

Let’s start with the name, as that is very simple. It is just some kind of a phonetic writing of the word ‘holistic’.

Holiztik.com will most probably evolve to be a blog full of valuable information on how to integrate (tantric) Yoga into your life and use it as a powerful system to develop yourself in many ways beyond feeling good in your body. Many people struggle to find a balance between their spirituality and the material world. That is the field where we look for answers and share them. To develop personally and spiritually. Not by renouncing the world to go live in a cave, monastry or ashram but while living a full life. Our workshops will work around different themes related to this.

Q: Are your workshops only for advanced yogis?

A: No, definitely not. They are accessible for beginners as well as for people with quite some Yoga experience. For example in the Healing Yoga workshop we just did in Dubai there was both people with just a few months of Yoga experience as people who had been teaching Yoga themselves for quite some time. Because our style of Yoga is quite unique and hard to find in the West, all of them gave us very positive feedback and felt the workshop really taught them new things.

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Q: What can people expect from your workshops?

A: The answer to the previous question already gives you some impression. The workshops are intensive and you get a lot of info and practice in one weekend or day. Most people are amazed by the amount of background they get around for example subtle energies and chakras and how every asana is a way to create resonance with a certain type of energy and a certain chakra. Especially for people who have been practicing a more physically oriented style of Yoga, our workshops can give a whole new dimension. The idea is that people can actually build their own home practice with what they learn in the workshop. And as we plan to visit Dubai every 3 months or so with new workshops and modules that build on each other, they could refresh or add new things to their personal practice every time we come.

Holiztik.com’s final workshops kick off on June 27th, with yogis having the choice of either a one day immersion or full weekend workshop. For first hand inspiration, book your spot on The Curve and get up to a 20% discount!