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YogaBellies® awarded £30k! ................... 1


YogaBellies Docklands looking to employ teachers... .... 2

Pelvic floor made easy with Shalini….3



I can’t believe its Christmas next week where has the year gone?? I hope that everyone is feeling calm, content and prepared for the festive madness...and if not, I hope you take some time to relax and enjoy our magazine… Namaste Cheryl x

YogaBellies® win £30k from the Scottish Edge Fund! YogaBellies are delighted to announce the £30k award made to them by the Scottish Edge Fund on 9th December 2013. There were 21 recipients who got backing ranging from £15,000 to £50,000 with the judging panel for the third round of

Cheryl and Mike with Finance Minister for Scotland, John Swinney

the scheme including entrepreneurs Lord Willie Haughey, Marie Klin and Hermann Twickler as well as representatives from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Royal Bank of Scotland. After declining investment from Duncan Bannatyne, this offer will make a substantial difference to life at YogaBellies says Cheryl

All is KALM YogaBelliesKidz Event Join us in this unique and one off event, in which we sprinkle our yoga-bellies magic on your little monsters, take them on a wonderful Christmas adventure and put the tantrums and tears on hold for a while! Calm and quiet prevails…. ahhhhhh bliss! The All is Kalm event is being held at The Whiteinch Centre, 1 Northinch Court Glasgow, G14 0UG on 23rd December 2013. The event runs from 12pm-3pm and spaces are very limited so please book in advance to avoid disappointment by emailing or calling 07401610910.

MacDonald, Director Yoga Teacher at YogaBellies: “Mr Bannatyne was absolutely lovely and made us a very generous offer, but ultimately we understand how busy he is and really needed a business mentor who could spend a lot of time with us. Now that we have the £30k from Scottish Edge, we can employ a new Franchise and Operations Manager and recruitment co-ordinator to help our new and existing teachers grow their YogaBellies busiYogaBellies founders Cheryl MacDonald (see pink ness. This pyjamas) and husband Dr Mike MacDonald with also other Scottish Edge Fund winners! Hurrah! means that I

can focus on what’s important to me: teaching yoga and helping my teachers with their practice so that they can continue to deliver high quality and safe classes for our clients.”

Dear Santa , I’d like a new career for Christmas... Our next round of training starts in Feb 2014 with training in Glasgow and London taking place. We literally have a couple of spaces left on each training and many are fully booked!! We finish up for Xmas hols on Friday and we’re not back until 6th January so if you want to find out more visit our website to find out more about joining YogaBellies. Or alternatively email to arrange a chat with the lovely Josephine Hutton, our CYT from Newcastle and Recruitment Co-ordinator.

YogaBellies® for Pregnancy DVD The new YogaBellies for Pregnancy DVD was released in early Dec and we’ve already sold out of the first batch of 100! The DVD is available from our online store and also from Amazon in the next few weeks. The DVD was created as an accompaniment to our YogaBellies for Pregnancy classes so that our mums can practice in between their weekly classes. You can skip between the sections or play the complete practice from breathing techniques to safe for pregnancy asanas (postures) and Yoga Nidra and self hypnosis for deep relaxation. Please check with a health care professional before beginning any yoga practice while pregnant. To purchase the DVD from our online store, alone or as part of our Pregnancy and Birth Gift pack visit our online store.

YogaBellies Docklands looking to hire teachers! Sharon Osu, one of the first YogaBellies teachers to join the YogaBellies family, is now looking to expand and grow her business within E14. Sharon is looking for women who would like to train as YogaBellies teachers, but without the commitment of becoming a franchisee. You will receive full training in all YogaBellies methods and be provided with everything you need to teach YogaBellies classes. Sharon will take care of your marketing and bookings, all you have to do is share the YogaBellies love with your group on ladies. Sharon is keen to have one or two teachers ready to start training in Hackney Wick in February 2014, so if you are interested, please email for more information now. Sharon and Cheryl at OM Yoga Show in London this year :)

SHALINI KERR, Antrim Featured Teacher

I have worked as a Physiotherapist for the

past 14 years and it has only been through treating woman before & after birth and having the experience of my own pregnancies, that I really developed a passion to empower women on their health. Often mummies don't realise that simple yoga stretches, may eliminate uncomfortable musculoskeletal problems and make for a happier pregnancy!

Pelvic floor made easy The Pelvic Floor made EASY by Shalini Kerr, our fabulous CYT and Physiotherapist from Antrim, Northern Ireland gives us tops tips on the Pelvic floor. GET INTO POSITION Ideally pelvic floor exercises can be done in every day postures, but to start with, sit tall and lean slightly forwards for better feedback during the exercise. RELAX! Relax your thighs, your tummy and your bottom. Don't forget to relax your shoulders and your breath. FRONT MUSCLES – are around your clitoris, just below your pubic bone. Breathe in and as you breathe out, focus on your 'front passage'. On the next breath in, squeeze these muscles around your clitoris and then release when you breathe out. Don't hold your breath or the squeeze; just repeat the front passage lift 5 times following your normal circle of breath. BACK MUSCLES – are around your anus. Breath in and as you breathe out, focus on your 'back passage'. On the next breath in, squeeze these muscles around your anus and then release when your

breath out. Again don't hold your breath or the squeeze, just repeat the back passage lift 5 times following your normal breath and making sure your buttocks stay completely relaxed. MIDDLE LIFT – This is the big lift of the deeper muscles, also referred to in Yoga as the 'Mula Bandha'. Take a breath in and as you breathe out, bring your focus to the area in between the front and the back passage. Draw up this area on the breath in, lifting these muscles up high towards your spine. Breath out and release them down again. Continue to lift up the muscles on the breath in and release the muscles on the breath out. Repeat 10 times, following your natural rhythm of breath. BUILD UP MUSCLE STRENGTH As you get more comfortable with the exercises, you can hold the lift for longer (building up from a couple of seconds to ten seconds). You can also start the exercises with a warm up of 5 quick lifts and aim to practice the pelvic floor sequence a minimum three times a day. Pelvic floor exercises can be done at any time, e.g. when feeding your baby or toddler, when on the phone or computer, when in the car waiting for the traffic lights to turn green! Pelvic floor exercises DO WORK but if in doubt, contact your local women's health physiotherapist who can help.

My YogaBellies for Pregnancy classes are kept small so ladies can one to one attention. Each week carries a different theme and teaches new postures or breathing techniques, makes the classes interactive and fun. The lovely Savasana (relaxation) at the end is also a highlight for the mummies to be! I taught Pregnancy Pilates classes for a number of years but YogaBellies for Pregnancy has so much more to offer for the preparation of birth, labour and beyond. The New Year ahead 2014 will be a very exciting one as Antrim will be the first town in Northern Ireland to deliver the new YogaBELLES classes! There has been such a keen interest in Women's Yoga in Antrim and with four different classes to chose from, each woman will now be able to find a style of Yoga and Class that suits them. If you are interested in finding out more about the Classes you can contact me below or come along to our YogaBellies Antrim Christmas Party on Thursday 19 th December @ Stiles Community Centre, Antrim where you can meet other ladies, bumps and babies who have previously attended my classes. You can also contact me on 07736035185, email: , on facebook search YogaBellies Antrim

Namaste & wishing everyone a wonderful, joyful Christmas!

Shalini xxx

NEW YogaBellies classes starting in 2014! Can’t see your area here? Find out if there is a YogaBellies teacher near you by clicking here

Dundee—Hamilton—Bothwell—Docklands E14—Hersham—Bearsden—Glasgow South— Guilford—Hyndland—Stirling—Dunblane— Galashiels—Scottish Borders—South Manchester— Antrim—Edinburgh—Fife

WINTER FLOW … Sequence by Austen Todd, CYT Dundee Winter is a time for stillness and rest. A time for turning inward , reflection and quietude. At this point in the year, the short days with little sunlight can leave us feeling blue and in need of some tender loving care...... So, find fifteen minutes from your hectic day and take this time to relax and unwind with this beautiful, restorative, Yin Yoga sequence. Set the mood; turn the lights down low, fill the room with the soft glow of candles and burn your favourite essential oils. Begin in Corpse Pose (Savasana) ; Lying on your back with body resting gently on the floor. Take a deep breath in through your nose and as you breathe out, roll your shoulders back and down, allowing your tension to melt away. Bring a gentle awareness to your breath. Become aware of the rising and falling of your abdomen; the cool inhale, followed by warm exhale. Hello breath! Allow the tongue to relax and drop down and bring a smile to your face. Take this breath with you throughout you practice, maintaining that gentle awareness with each movement you make. Gently roll on to your right side and come up to seated with your legs straight out in front of you and with a slight bend in the knee. Move your buttocks out to the side; you will find that you are now resting on your sitting bones. Gently pull your navel back to your spine; inhale and roll the shoulders back, imagining that you have a piece of string coming through your head lengthening you up towards the sky. Place your hands on your mat and take a slight back bend, looking up to the ceiling. From here, take a breath in and on your breath out, gently hinge forward from your hips - maintaining a straight back. You should feel a stretch in your lower back, hips, buttocks and thighs. With each breath out gently draw your head further forward . Remain here10 -15 breaths sinking deeper into the pose. Come onto all fours and push the buttocks back over the knees, bringing the arms either side of the body, drawing the shoulders away from the ears and the head resting on the floor, into Child’s Pose (Balasana). Remain here for 10-15 breaths. From seated come into Butterfly (Baddha Konasana); bring the feet together so that the flats of the feet are pressed together and draw the feet as close to the groin as possible. place the hands on your mat and with the feet still together, gently lie back onto your mat. You will feel a deep stretch and opening of the hips and groin. Lie here in stillness, with your inhales equaling your exhales for 10-15 breaths.

Namaste , Austen xxx

Find out more about YogaBelles

Festive Cheers at YogaBellies! Some of our YogaBellies Mummies at their local Xmas Parties! Thanks to Jo Hutton and Audrey Victor and their lovely ladies for sharing these party pics! xx

What is YogaBellies Baby Massage and why is it so important? Infant massage is massage given to newborns and young infants involving tactile and kinesthetic stroke and rubbing as a therapy which has been proven to enhance their cognitive and physical development. Massage for infants helps to promote a sense of wellbeing for mother and baby among its numerous other benefits…

So what are the benefits of baby massage? Studies have confirmed that infant massage can improved weight gain in newborns; babies massaged regularly have shown better performance on assessment scales as well as better sleeping patterns, greater soothability and improved general growth and development. Additional benefits for babies include improvements in skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema when massaged with oils.

Benefits of Infant Massage for mums Emotional benefits have been cited with baby massage aiding the post birth bonding process by spending exclusive focused time with baby getting to know them. Massaging your infant can also help mum overcome a difficult birth which may have caused problems with the bonding process. Baby massage also helps baby adapt to their new environment and to become less sensitive to new stimuli. For this reason, baby massage is often popularly used to ease the symptoms of colic. During baby massage, mums begin to understand their baby’s cries and signals and to communicate with them through touch. Other advantages are helping to ease sibling rivalry by encouraging older children to become involved in the massage of the newest addition to the family. Symptoms of PND can also be eased by baby massage by helping mother learn to communicate with and soothe their babies, further aiding the bonding process. TRY THIS...The UPSY DOWN LEG STRETCHER helps to increase awareness of their body and helps to soothe and relax your baby. To carry out this stroke hold baby’s foot or ankle, and using the opposite hand stroke up the leg to the thigh and back down again. Feel free to change legs as often as you like as this helps to keep baby’s limited attention.

Pain...What Pain? A perspective from a Midwife and Birth ROCKS Mentor Nicola Bradley is a mum of three girls, RGN and Midwife based in the west end of Glasgow is one of the Birth ROCKS Mentor trainers. Nicola is a huge advocate of natural birth and loves working with parents using YogaBellies® bespoke birth preparation programme, Birth ROCKS to help them work towards the birth they hope for.

Nicola talks about the concept of pain in childbirth and why this doesn’t have to be the case… “Historically the Christian churches viewed labour pain as evidence of original sin; women were encouraged to accept their childbirth pain as redemption for Eve causing the fall of Adam in the garden of Eden. In more recent times pain was used as a tool by obstetricians to discredit midwives, as it was thought that obstetricians could shorten labours thus shorten the amount of time spent suffering in pain. Some argue that pain is intrinsic to childbirth and claim that in some cultures the process of birth is one of spiritual and redemptive in nature. Cultural differences will influence pain expression and perceptions of discomfort can be diverse; some women can be vocal and uninhibited, whereas others may appear calm and introvert. Women must understand that pain in labour is unique, as each birth is unique, it is a necessary and acceptable sensation that is not normally life threatening. Pain in labour is not a negative force to fight against, in fact it can be seen as quite the opposite ….. It is life giving and empowering! Women in labour may be scared, anxious, in unfamiliar surroundings and receiving care from a midwife that she has not met before. This can lead to a fear, tension and pain cycle which has no place in normal childbirth. Whilst in labour the body displays a sympathetic response to pain which increases heart rate and respirations as well as causing catecholamine secretions to circulate, resulting in escalating levels of adrenalin. Adrenaline reduces uterine blood flow which may in turn lead to a reduction in uterine activity. It also inhibits the production of oxytocin and endorphins which are essential in childbirth. It is important that during pregnancy women gain knowledge and create coping skills to help them work with pain. Women should understand that working with pain in labour allows pain to be purposeful.

By attending a Birth ROCKS course women will realise that they will be able to cope with the pain of labour through relaxation, utilising “birth tools” and engaging coping skills learned. Being prepared will allow the woman’s natural hormones to be released during labour which will facilitate a normal physiological birth. If a woman is relaxed and calm her body will release oxytocin, oxytocin encourages the release of natural pain killing endorphins. These naturally occurring endorphins perform like opioids to help cope with pain. Pain becomes a women’s power and strength as each time she experiences a surge she is one step closer to meeting her baby and realising that her Birth ROCKS! To find out more about Birth ROCKS please visit or if you want to find out more

YogaBellies Xmas 2013 Magazine  

Get your festive yoga on with our Christmas 2013 issue x

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