Maya Saffron: Empowering Women Through Fitness

Maya is a qualified personal trainer and podcaster.  She has a wisdom and maturity beyond her years and is incredibly passionate and driven to empower more women to embrace their fitness goals.  I met Maya last year at a glamping fitness retreat and was super impressed with her energy and focus.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

My name is Maya, I was born and raised in London. My mum is Punjabi and my dad is from the Caribbean (Trinidad). I decided not to go to university and to pursue a career in Personal Training. I qualified as a Level 4, pre and post natal female only personal trainer and have established myself in this area.

I am also a trained sports massage therapist, however I didn’t enjoy the practise so refrained from developing this into a proper venture. My best friend and I have also embarked on developing a drink. It has been VERY tough, but we are almost reaping the rewards. I have also launched a podcast called triedit with Jade and Kedeisha – we discuss a range of issues, offering alternative viewpoints in depth.

What inspires you?

Progression in the most unlikely places. I love seeing hardworking people, hungry and determined. ESPECIALLY women and PARTICULARLY women of colour. 

What are the books you’ve given most as a gift? 

Eat Sweat Play by Anna Kessel

Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

What purchase of £100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months.

My Breville (smoothie maker) LOVE that it has a cap that you can use, to take your smoothie on the go (£30)! Also A totally natural deodorant that is free from paragons. (Native Cosmetics- $8)

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?

My most educational failures, have been when I have failed to recognise how best to act in situations. For example, in a meeting with a potential designer at the beginning of our branding process for our drink, she asked us what our budget was, I gave her a number and she quoted us a fee slightly higher than the number I quoted!

I think failure is DEFINITELY the key to success, however learning from and analysing the failure is the hard part.

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? 

“When your life moves at a very fast rate it is easy not to celebrate the small successes. When you forget to congratulate yourself at the minor milestones, you can begin to feel like you’re not moving forward, this can then dishearten you and you lose motivation and potentially give up! It’s always helpful to look back and remember how far you have come.”

In addition to this, if you are working towards a goal and have remained stationary in the process, by looking at this quote, it may trigger you to ask yourself why you haven’t moved forward and maybe look at changing something so that you can.

In the last 2 years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

Remembering that worry is a waste of emotion and energy. Also, not every opportunity is a good opportunity, be selfish with your time and think about who will benefit most.

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world? What advice should they ignore?

NETWORK LIKE A BOSS AND DO MORE THAN THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU!

Brush up on your people and social skills. Speak to everyone, you never know how they could come in handy! When I say do more than the person next to you, make every hour of the day productive as possible. On the train home read, at the gym listen to helpful podcasts. Instead of socialising with friends all the time, step out of your comfort zone and make friends with people from ALL backgrounds and ages.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? 

I’m a great believer in distracting myself from whatever is stressing me out. I try my best to accept that things are out of my power, my energy will be wasted trying to overcome the situation. 

I then try and and do something nice for myself, it doesn’t have to cost anything, it could simply be going for a walk in my favourite park, or calling a friend, or going to a friends house for a cup of tea and a catch up. I think that situations always seem better with rested eyes. It is A LOT EASIER SAID THAN DONE, but I have slowly started to get better at it and found it really helps. 

Tell us something that would surprise us about you? 

I hate partying. Whilst some people struggle with FOMO of events, I experience FOMO when I see people at book clubs, or having deep thought provoking conversations and food, or even just curled up in bed watching TV. That is my ideal!! 

Whats been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?

Having to strive to become self sufficient in every aspect of my life. I think the more self sufficient you are, the better you will do, as you are not reliant on anyone for their help, but it is VERY draining and never ending!!

What would be your message to the AWMB community?

As women we are already struggling under a multitude of glass ceilings, if you’re a woman of colour the glass only thickens… the only way to truly smash it, is to recognise each others value, uplift each other and join forces. 

You can get hold of Maya on her social media:

Insta: @mayasaffronhan

Twitter:@ptbynature

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