For those of you who love a good Fierce Friday, you’ll have enjoyed the Sara Sandwich: 7am Fix, 10am Deep Core or 12:30pm Fierce Grace. Having celebrated Mothers’ Day earlier this month and currently launching our Off Peak membership (available to use for 10am and 12:30pm classes Monday – Friday, making it perfectly-post-school-run) we thought for this month’s Teacher Close-up we would catch up with our favourite yoga mama: introducing the fabulous Sara!
Sara, how did you first come to yoga? What about it made you stay?
“I first did yoga when I was at dance college back in the late 90’s and l didn’t like it! Then when I moved to London I tried hot yoga and everything changed. I just loved it and I ended up working in a studio just so I could do it as much as possible. For me it has been a real slow burner.
I have been practicing since about 2004 but at first it was purely the physical aspect I was into. The way I practice now is completely different.”
Tell us a little about your ‘yoga journey’…
“In 2011 I decided to go to LA to complete the Bikram Teacher Training. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. After practicing 2 classes a day for 9 weeks I felt like a shiny new being.
I taught my first ever class at Bikram Headquarters in LA the day after I graduated (talk about deep end!). They loved my accent so I got away with the class being 98 minutes long! I have been teaching full time since and I am so happy I had the opportunity to become one of the first Fierce Grace teachers.”
You have a dancing background; how does yoga work alongside your dancing?
“Perfectly! Yoga has kept me onstage keeping up with the young ones right up until I became pregnant last year.”
How old is your little one? How have you found motherhood?
“Cosmo has just recently had his 1st Birthday; he is the best boy. l am really lucky he’s just such a happy baby. I have found motherhood the most crazy, amazing, tearful and joyful time of growth.”
Did you practice during your pregnancy? How did you find practice and teaching after having a baby?
“Yes, I practiced and taught throughout my pregnancy and I loved it; maybe that’s why Cosmo is so chilled! After having Cosmo I think I did my first class when he was 3 months old and it was so hard! It was a strange feeling for me to have no strength. I had to build up really slowly and I learnt not to push myself.
In the early days with Cosmo we would do mummy and baby yoga every evening before bath time. It was really good for me to put some routine into place or the days can seem endless.
Practicing for me now is all about the stolen moments: 20 minutes before or after I teach a class or in the evening at home once I put him to bed, but when I do manage to get to a class it’s magical because to have that small bit of time to yourself is so energising in so many ways and I enjoy it and appreciate it more now than ever before.”
Has being a mum changed your dance/yoga schedule?
“Yes I have to plan much more now. As my family are all in Scotland my childcare is not around the corner, although I have some great friends who are like family to me. Teaching yoga is a great job as a mother as it has meant I am working but not full-time so I still feel like I spend most of my time with Cosmo. I am lucky that my parents are only 55 and retired so they are regular visitors to London.”
What’s your favourite pose and why? What do you find most challenging?
“It changes all the time and at the moment l think it’s Toestand. I am loving having the strength again to lift my hips from my heel. Standing head to knee is an all-time fav though because it takes ages to get and you have got to be up for it and even then when you get your forehead to your knee you might still wobble so you just have to laugh and try again.”
Any yoga tips for mums?
“I have three wee tips!
- Get a mat at home and practice with your baby. There are loads of classes on youtube. It’s not the same as coming to the studio, but in the early days it will get you stronger.
- When pushing the buggy, make sure you relax your shoulders. I have to remind myself all the time not to tense whilst pushing.
- Practicing in the studio a few times a week will allow you to just be you again. It’s one of the only places where you have to focus so much on what you are doing that you can’t think about being a mum; you need this for you body and your mind.”