I can’t describe how nice it is to work alongside a group of women who support each other and enjoy seeing each other succeed in building their own businesses. I used to work for one of the worlds largest airlines and there I was a number. A pretty impressive number after 12 years of service but still just a number. Where as at Yogabellies I’m a name, a person, a mum, a friend, a colleague, and the list goes on.
I started up my own Yogabellies business after having my little boy and I didn’t want to go back to flying. Not that I didn’t want to go back to work but I wanted to spend time watching my son grow up. I bumped into a Mum acquaintance the other day who said to me ‘how’s your baby business doing?’ My baby business? I was a little confused as I’m a yoga instructor who specialises in post and pre natal yoga. Common mistake I thought until she continued with ‘I mean I looked a doing something like that, you know anything to keep me at home and not have to make me work after having my baby. But then I realised I had to go back to the real world as I needed to make money’. Well that’s where she’s wrong and on two accounts. Firstly you don’t need to go back to ‘the real world’ your world is the real world. You can do whatever you want and make it whatever you want it to be. And secondly you can build a very successful sustainable business doing what I’m doing or whatever your dreams are. I’m a strong believer in the fact that anyone can succeed it’s just putting your mind to it. So if you own your own business and you want it to work you do everything in your power to make it work.
I’ve done this and in under a year I’ve graduated as a yoga instructor (and a pre and post natal yoga instructor!) and set up my own successful business (for both adults and babies!) and I have to say all with a toddler who refused to go to nursery running around me. Anything you want you can make happen if you put your mind to it and effort into it. Oh and to add to that my fellow Yogabellies teachers voted me teacher of the month for August. So nice to be recognised and so motivating to be recognised by such an amazing group of women after my own heart.
So go out that and achieve your dreams. And if your expecting or had a baby and don’t want to return to your old job or style of work don’t worry there are so many new and exciting opportunities out there. Yogabellies was shortlisted in workingmums.co.uk as one of the top franchisors. Doesn’t mean to say everyone is a mum and I’m also not saying this is the business for everyone. But if you are looking for a change in career for whatever reason or maybe just a change find your passion and follow it. Today I got to wear my favourite good vibes t shirt as part of my ‘uniform’ (loose word here as I live in yoga gear) and I ordered a pair of pink unicorn yoga leggings on my business account just because I can. Do what makes you happy not what you think you should be doing and let that happiness reward you.
So my little toddler came and helped me teach my Yogabellies Mum & Baby class the other day. Being an experienced yogi (practising since he was 6 weeks old) he thought he would come and teach the babies a few moves. He did well and even worked his way in and out of downward facing dog impressing everyone. Well the mums really as the babies were busy rolling around looking cute. And this is when I realised my little one is no longer a baby and is now a full on little boy.
I looked around at the babies laying on the pillows waiting for their little legs and arms to be eased into different yoga poses (preparing them for crawling, standing and walking) and then looked at my little man jumping up and down, running around and flinging himself into his own poses. Not to mention flinging himself on top of the babies, my yoga doll, spare mats in the corner and basically anything he could find to fling himself onto. But what a sense of achievement came over me realising I was responsible for helping advance my little one and help shape him into this little boy, this crazy little boy full of fun and energy.
Now I’m not going to lie it did come to about half way through the class and I was sweating from running around the room trying to rein him back in. But who wants a sensible quiet child with no personality (I say this to try and reason with myself every day). It was the point where we were on the second round of sun salutations (one more to go) and I looked over to the corner of the room as it was suspiciously quiet and he had my aromatherapy diffuser in his hands. You know one of those things full of water and attached to an electric plug. Ok that’s cool just one yoga ninja jump over to grab it out of his little hands and hope the babies cry over his screams of a lost new toy.
So mum & baby yoga is a lovely way to provide gentle exercise and create a beautiful bond and create a happy free spirited little yogi. But I remembered why Flynn and I stopped going to our own mum & baby classes (not until he was an active 10 month old I might add) and practised at home. Saying that from our practise he can now do a mean downward dog, tree pose, standing forward bend and pigeon pose (even if I say so pretty impressive for a 15 month old) so we need to help all the other toddlers out there do this. So mum & toddler yoga classes are on their way to Glasgow Southside just in talks with venues and doing the class plans! Anyone interested in mum & baby and mum & toddler yoga drop me a line!
So something feels weird. I’ve just left the house with a small bag which I’m sure is even smaller than my baby changing bag. I’ve then got in a taxi, read and even replied to some emails. Then checked into a flight with minimal hassle and gone to the bar and had a glass (bottle) of processo. All in peace. I’ve boarded a flight sat down, had a glass of champagne and taken off. I realise what utter peace and serenity I’m in as I browse through the extensive movie list and pick one which I’ve tried to watch twice before and needless to say fallen asleep to both times within the first 10 seconds. Normally a trip away consists of days of endless list making and packing right down to the very last second before I leave the front door. This time I even taught a Yogabellies mum & baby yoga class in the morning giving the mums an extra work out of a round of sun salutations to energise the body on our extra early start. Extra early start to the day as today is the day I’m flying off to Dubai. Alone. Well when I say alone I mean with my husband and friends but I mean alone as in baby free and I’m not sure how I feel about this. I would like to say sad and teary and I miss him so much even on the plane. I wish but no. I noticed as we took off I just sat just reading a magazine. Yes a magazine! I hear all mums cry “what’s that??” Unless it’s mothers weekly we’ve all lost touch with reality, and when I say reality I mean what the celebs are up to these days. But I’ve had a weird feeling since I’ve left the house, a feeling that I’m missing something. You know that horrible feeling that you’ve left something important behind but you really don’t know what. And now as I take off I realise I’m missing bouncing a little boy up and down, up and down, on my knees whilst making him look out of the window to find something, anything to interest him to keep him occupied through take off. And that’s when it really hit me that this is the first and possibly the first (well I’ll see how this weekend goes) time of many of travelling alone. Again not alone I’m with my husband and friends but anything is alone to me now without my little mini me, full time companion attached to my hip, waist, neck or any where he can grab ahold of as he just loves a little cuddle… Uh oh ok I’m starting to miss him now.. So what to do but snuggle down watch a movie and enjoy some wine as how often do I get to do that these days. And then as the films coming to an end I just realise that I’ve been watching the hunger games mocking bird part 2 and I haven’t even seen part one yet…
When did this happen???!!! It used to be so easy to get Flynn down to sleep in the evening to go to bed. Bottle, bath, bed routine worked for months without a hitch. It was my only saving grace when I used to tell people how early Flynn would wake up in the mornings and they would be like ooooh that’s early you poor thing my little one doesn’t wake up until at least 7.30am. At least then I could be like oooh that sounds terrible how long it takes to get your little one down to sleep, ooooh poor you. But now I don’t even have that. Dammit.
So it’s the same routine just a little teeth clean after the bath and more of padded suit to wear. You’ve probably heard of those baby gro bags well they are fab. They keep baby snuggly warm, are easy to put on and you don’t have that constant panic of ‘have they gone under their blanket’ at 2am, 3am 4am and so on. But unfortunately our days of the gro bag came to an end when Flynn started to stand up and consequently fall down as he couldn’t keep his balance. Then he would proceed do the backward worm to the base of his cot where he would get stuck, sit up, and bang his tiny fists on the wood and shout mama into the camera for help. Lovely way to start your day at 5am. So we invested in a 2.5 tog suit, he looks like a mini Michelin man but it does the job. So now he’s able to stand up and sit down himself (thanks to ‘the suit’) before doing the backwards crawl to the end of the bed where he does the little fist bang and shout to mama in the camera, just because that’s what he knows to do. What baby wants to break their routine eh!
So anyways back to getting to sleep, you put baby in the cot and start telling stories until they get drowsy and drop off. It can now can take anything of up to seven renditions of ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ rather than just the one in the old days (by old days I mean like up until last week) and sometimes it was only up to the snowstorm part. Now those in the baby bedtime book know will know exactly how many seconds it takes to each part of the bear hunt and how many times you have to repeat it to get your little one to drop off. Trust me this book is ingrained in my memory with a stop watch attached to it. Now I get so bored after seven times I like to change things up and I switch to ‘We’re going on a bar hunt’. Yes this book actually exists, it’s VERY funny and oh so true! So he doesn’t even realise I’m still talking as by now he’s bored of bears and bars and sleep is suddenly more attractive (it is to me too right now too) and he’s dropping off. So you sneak away (but really you are sat behind the head of his cot, little does he know ha!). Oh no suddenly there’s a little head peering down. Damn. So this is where my (I like to say ninja) yoga moves come in very handy. Onto all fours, both feet back, into plank, down through chaturanga and back up into upward facing dog around the other side of his cot. I feel so fast and slick he can’t possibly have seen me. I would give the milk tray man a run for his money. Ok he’s back down, he must be thinking I’m sure I saw mummy but oh well probably not she must have gone to bed after all those boring stories. A few back strokes before I leave (he must have seen me doing this to the dog one day and thought hey that looks like nice as it really seals the deal on sleep) and that’s us. The end of the line he’s asleep. Yessssssssss.
Well mine and Flynns yoga classes every Wednesday are coming to an end. A very abrupt end. I used to love the days when I would take along a half sleeping baby to a class pop him down on the floor do a few yoga poses above him and every now and again look down check he’s still sleeping/ laying there/ smiling etc etc but now it’s all changed. Now he’s crawling (erm not to mention standing and thinking he can walk) it’s a totally new ball game. I sit there and engage in a bit of pre yoga breathing. Close eyes, breath in breath out, breath in breath out. Quick hold on, open my eyes where’s my son??? Arghhhh where is my son?? Ok found him, he’s on the other side of the room licking a radiator, ok fab he’s still in the room. As much as I love a bit of mother son time especially doing something we both love it’s not so relaxing anymore.
Baby yoga is an amazing thing in so many ways. For mum it gets you involved in some light exercise. New mums always want to shed a little post baby weight although never have the energy to do anything too hectic. Trust me I tried it all including both buggy pump and buggy fit. Yes two different outdoor park activities in the hope that one would be easier and make me look like a super model. But sigh no, they both left me wanting to curl up in a bush afterwards wishing my son’s blanket was a little bigger to wrap around me (maybe it would be after losing a little more post baby weight??) and his bottle was filled with nice warming tea (did I say tea I meant a nice warming Merlot) rather than quite possibly curdling formula. Also not to mention it’s a great way to meet other new mums and babies. So baby yoga a definite ‘must do’ not just for babies but for mums too.
But the benefits for baby are outstanding. Just the other day our son was dancing around his playroom (ok he was furniture walking past the TV) and I noticed just how co ordinated he was for so young. I know every parent thinks they have a child genius when they do something new (something a little like this “Omg he’s talking he just said mum, really he just said it mummmmmmm omg he’s actually talking!”). But no really the strength he has is pretty much that of Muhammad Ali (I know that after receiving a left hook to my eye this morning) and this strength surpasses both his dad and me so he must have got it from somewhere and he’s not been going to boxing classes.
So YogaBellies Mum & Baby classes opening soon in Glasgow Southside for all mums and babies from 12 weeks until mobile and by then I will aim to get toddler yoga up and running so there’s no abrupt end to their yoga class days!