Rawia Khansaheb, founder of Sol Pilates, talks to Emirates Woman about building a wellness brand and channelling your inner power.

Talk us through your career.

I started my career working as a visual communicator within our family business, but as soon as I saw the opportunity to add Pilates within the lifestyle sector of the family company, I took over the project and launched Sol Pilates in 2017.

What inspired you to launch Sol Pilates?

I had been practising Mat Pilates for years prior to starting Sol and I had reached a stage where I had a desire to work on machines and improve my Pilates practise. As I was looking for studios, I realised that we didn’t have a Pilates studio in our area and having to drive a few miles to get to my Pilates class was demotivating me. After speaking to my family and friends, I found out that they were facing the same issue and when the opportunity came up, we launched Sol Pilates Studio.


What is at the core of Sol Pilates and the DNA of the brand?

Our DNA is Pilates in all its forms. Our core is making clients aware of the importance of the balance between strength and flexibility, as well as good posture.

What is the hero exercise at Sol Pilates?

Primarily, clients come to the studio to join our reformer classes. However, the Teaser exercise is the signature exercise that often appeals to our clients, plus it is very Instagram-able.

You recently introduced facial yoga. What are its key benefits?

We recently hosted the first round of workshops in our studio, with Karin from Glowinface. In Sol, we believe that no muscles should be left unworked and that includes the much-ignored head, neck and face muscles. Face yoga has many benefits including reducing wrinkles, improving blood circulation, releasing tension and boosting energy.

How important is facial yoga in reducing signs of ageing?

In the long run, practising face yoga and working your face muscles will not only reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin, but it will also prevent the formation of new wrinkles. It helps lift for the whole face, plump the lips and cheeks, reduce the double chin and wrinkles on the forehead as well as between the eyebrows. The sooner you start practising facial yoga the better, but of course it is never too late.

How often do you practise Pilates and facial yoga?

I practise Pilates three times a week and I enjoy attending both group and private classes. I have incorporated face exercises within my skin care routine. I use my guasha twice a week and face yoga three times a week, allow two days of rest.

How is the Pilates culture growing in the Middle East?

In the past six years we’ve seen a gradual growth and we have recently seen a demand for Pilates. What is very important is that we have noticed how clients are more educated about what to expect from a Pilates class and that they are able to recognize the benefits that Pilates has added to their personal workout regimen.

This is The Skin Issue – what does it mean to be comfortable in your own skin?

For me it means to be yourself – the best version of yourself and know that everyone goes through ups and downs, even if they don’t show it, so don’t let your downs get the best of you.

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