Nura Ahmad is one busy bee; she’s a mom, a fitness entrepreneur and an AMANI (Assisting Mothers for Active Natural Instinctive) Childbirth educator. Her passion and zest for life led her to found ‘Lifestyle for the Active Muslimah’ in 2011, a lifestyle brand that advocates community, wellbeing and female empowerment. Armed with a diploma in Biomedical Engineering and a Business Management degree, she further pursued her learning in yoga (kids, family, prenatal, postnatal, ashtanga and hathaa, phew!). One of her life goals is to empower women from all walks of life towards holistic healing and wellness for self-betterment…and she’s off to a great start with her brand! Read on as we shine the spotlight on this creative and inspiring entrepreneur for this week’s Zahara Warrior.
Tell us 3 things about yourself.
I’m petite, ambitious and passionate!
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m actually a fun-size! I may look ‘normal’ in photos but I’m quite petite and sometimes I wear kids’ sportswear and shoes!
When women take better care of themselves, they can run the world and chase their dreams collectively to become the best version of themselves.
What inspired you to start your journey as a fitness mumpreneur?
I would say I was inspired by my bittersweet healing journey after I was clinically diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and first-stage colon cancer at the age of 21. I knew I needed to continue making progress to achieve my goal as a fitness mumpreneur. Having an abled body to be pregnant spurred me on to find alternative healing procedures and win my life back. I begun taking certifications in Stott Pilates, Ashtanga/Hatha Yoga, Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga and Kids and Family Yoga to achieve that goal. After I healed, I began guiding women from all walks of life towards their fitness/wellness goals and it felt a life calling.
I’m now a mum to my 3-month old beautiful daughter and I spurred on. I even ended my maternity leave sooner at 2.5 months just because I miss doing what I love!
Tell us more about Lifestyle for The Active Muslimah.
We’re a lifestyle brand that advocates community, honours wellbeing, inspires knowledge and champions sisters to always seek self-love and self-empowerment in what they do and who they become. Currently, our lifestyle brand comprises of services such as yoga fitness classes and events, entrepreneurial-related workshops and products for Muslimah and breastfeeding mothers.
We are working hard to grow our brand by offering self-growth-related online courses, WeBarre and WeYoga (mixture of yoga and WeBarre) fitness classes and useful podcasts in the near future. Insha Allah. We’re also publishing wellness guides in hopes of inspiring our sisters to honour womanhood.
Having an abled body to be pregnant spurred me on to find alternative healing procedures and win my life back.
As a Zahara Warrior, what advice would you give someone hoping to try yoga for the first time?
I love Yoga! I’ll Yoga every damn day when I can! My only advice is – set a goal first! The journey ahead will get easier once you continue to renew your goal, regardless on what you have on your plate! It has gotten me through the most challenging days of my 200-hour teacher training yoga certification courses during Ramadan and when I had to break barriers in the fitness industry as a practicising Muslim.
How did you overcome the difficulties you’ve faced starting your own business?
Before I became a mum, the difficulties I faced were mainly about finding a balance between my studies and business. I tended to favour one more than the other lol! Ever since I became a mother, my priorities have changed. I put Zia Sumayya first anytime, anyday! So the difficulties lie in time management and taking it easy on myself, especially when I work from home.
Work has to be on hold, while I put on my ‘cow-suit’ and feed my daughter the moment she wakes up from her nap! She naps fairly well but some days it’s harder to put her to sleep so I’ll babywear her and continue my work. That’s how I go by each day; one breath at a time.
The journey ahead will get easier once you continue to renew your goals, regardless on what you have on your plate!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Definitely owning a family-friendly fitness studio with my husband! Both of us are fitness professionals in different fields and we’ve been saving and planning for this since our courtship days! Keep us in your du’as, please!
What should every woman try at least once in her life?
Be comfortable to spend time by yourself! Pick a movie and watch it alone!
That’s how I go by each day; one breath at a time.
What is the proudest accomplishment of your life so far?
Childbirth! For all the things my body, heart and hands have worked, the best by far is experiencing a natural, unmedicated and gentle birth! It’s always been a dream since I was a teenager to be a mother and probably it’s because of that, I became an AMANI childbirth educator and junior doula in NUH.
What’s your favourite Zahara product?
My collection of matte lipsticks, but if I have to pick one, it would be the Girl Next Door shade! They’re beautiful for my skin and the fact that it’s halal and matte, I could kiss my baby girl without any stain!
Complete this sentence: A beautiful woman is _________________.
Someone who has good thoughts about herself and others.
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