Jana Khaldoun Alnaqeeb is a bit of an enigma in the best sense of the word. A unique and seemingly calming being with many varied and disparate interests, she can be hard to pin down. Having graduated from The American University in Washington D.C. with a major in Mass Communications: Visual Media, in 2003, she worked in a variety of different jobs and roles before eventually deciding to start The Yoga Center with her sisters, this last June. As someone who self-identifies as a generalist, she has many different interests and pursues them all with the same vigor. In addition to her role as owner of The Yoga Center, she is an activist, blogger, volunteer worker, photographer and self-educated scientist who is currently well on her way to becoming a yoga teacher as well.
When Jana and her sisters began down the path of opening The Yoga Center, they did so with the purpose and intent of sharing the gift that they had found for themselves, in this intersection where exercise and spirituality meet. Billed as the first and only specialized yoga center for women in Kuwait, they wished to share with the world how yoga had helped them in their daily lives, from aiding in coping with stress, to the flexibility of both the mind and body. As someone who is an avid, active person who only started doing yoga a few years back, it is safe to say that she is a strong proponent of it and eager to convert others to what she sees as a valuable tool in life-fulfillment. Additionally, they believe that yoga has a unique and inclusive ability to bring us all together regardless of our beliefs, habits and personality differences. By opening the studio, she feels as if they are actively spreading that good news to other new and potential converts.
When asked, Jana notes that part of what she loves about yoga is the fact that it is a rather slow process that can require a lot of patience and self control to perform and perfect. At The Yoga Center, they have found that the challenge thus far has been to educate women and men alike about the scientific and spiritual benefits of practicing yoga. To this point, she adds, “We think it’s a lifestyle which includes not only the practice of yoga but also the food you eat and the healthy choices you make in your everyday life.”
Also, since the founders themselves are part of the local community and thus facing many of the same stressors that many of their participants face, they realize the issues and problems that affect the current lifestyle options in Kuwait. Thus, far from being a removed idea or foreign concept that doesn’t help with your local daily concerns, they see The Yoga Center place itself as a retreat wherein you can escape precisely from the same local stress that they seek to also.
The center provides an abundance of options when it comes to yoga teaching, including amongst other things, a hot room, where people practice in temperatures between 36-40° Celsius. With an additional array of classes that vary from athletic and power to prenatal, there is certainly a bit for everyone. We sit down with Jana for this month’s up close and personal to see what makes her tick.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Reading a book.
What is your greatest fear?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My love for cakes.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Which living person do you most admire?
Oh, I have so many- Bjork, Lawrence Krauss, Ani Difranco, Richard Dawkins and many many dead ones.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Going on a mountain expedition.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Science, scientific and scientists.
When were you happiest?
When I am expressing myself without censorship and with complete honesty and also when I am trying to explain a scientific phenomena!
Which talent would you most like to have?
Teaching. I think being able to explain things very clearly and in the most effective way, is a true art.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
Being alive, really! What are the odds that out of millions of sperm that reach one egg that gets fertilized to become who I am in a universe that is 13.7 billion years old? I think THAT is the greatest achievement anyone can have!
Where would you most like to live?
Anywhere in Scandinavia!
The Yoga Center is located in Kuwait City, Burj Jassem, Al Soor Street, in front of Discovery Mall. Please visit their website for more information www.theyogacenter.me