Have you ever felt like there aren't enough hours in the day? Between working, tidying up, meal prep, laundry, and trying to fit it all in, one of the first things new and expecting parents often leave off their daily to-do lists is care for themselves. Especially when it comes to exercising and relaxation. Although fitness should be a priority, it often gets pushed to the side, with typical excuses being that there aren't enough hours in the day.
Kelly Ann owner of Kelly Ann Yoga is focused on helping her clients who are new and expecting parents put an end to the stigma that their fitness and wellness needs are not a priority. With over twelve years of practising yoga and six years of teaching, she knows the power and importance of prioritizing your wellbeing, especially at a time when mental and physical health needs to be nourished. By catering her knowledge and classes to parents she is able to help many of them and their children spend quality time together and bond through yoga and mindfulness.
We asked Kelly to share her insight with us about prenatal and baby yoga and how she has adapted her business and classes to the current pandemic. Although unable to teach in the studio, Kelly has used the TeamUp Zoom integration to stay connected with her clients and provide them with the support they need from home. Check out our interview below to collect some tips and ways to empower your own clients in your online classes for new and expecting mothers.
What types of classes do you currently offer?
I am trained to teach classes for all ages. From birth to senior citizens. However, before and currently during the pandemic I have focused on teaching new and expecting parents, running women's health workshops, family yoga once a month, yin and hatha yoga. I teach on Mondays and Fridays, offering two different classes each, and a mum and baby yoga class at 10 am on Friday mornings and pregnancy yoga on Friday evenings at 6:30 pm. My workshops include awareness and education on the health around menstrual cycles, pelvic health, and how to recover your core strength, for before or after giving birth. I am currently teaching online and when studios are open, I run my classes at various local venues.
What observations have you made regarding your classes catered to new and expecting mothers?
When I arrive at class whether it is a pregnancy yoga class or a mum and baby yoga class, I often notice how tired, stressed, and worried my clients appear. However, by the time the hour sessions are done, and they walk out the door or exit the Zoom room. they look at least two years younger. The wrinkles smooth, their shoulders drop, and they radiate a sense of well-being and calm.
One thing about pregnancy yoga that I’ve always loved, is that pregnant women know how to move their bodies when they are encouraged in a safe way. All of the movements we do at pregnancy yoga really support their understanding of their body. When they build their trust in themselves, this confidence and inner knowing benefit them in pregnancy and labour.
How do you empower your students?
If they have one tool to take away from pregnancy yoga and mum and baby yoga, it is how powerful their breath is. It can ease pain, soothe discomfort, and boost energy. And babies really respond to their parents breathing. It really is a magic trick.
Have you ever been in a room full of 20 pregnant women? There is so much power and energy. I always say they should be the ones to go and change the world. How could you argue with a pregnant woman?
Have you ever been in a room full of 20 women AND 20 babies relaxing? I never would have thought that was possible before teaching yoga, but it happens regularly at my classes, and it is so peaceful and beautiful, and such an honour to share that space with mums and babies.
What methods do you use to encourage your clients to come to class?
Pregnancy and postnatally it is a very powerful, but vulnerable time in a woman’s life. Our yoga practice gives us the confidence to navigate these changes and uncertainties with knowledge and a deep understanding of our bodies.
It is important mentally to have a mindfulness practice and breathing practice in pregnancy and beyond, if you have this, you can pretty much do anything.
It is so important physically to maintain strength and help those everyday aches and pains. Being able to sort yourself out these days is vital. You don’t have to suffer from a sore back, or tight shoulders if you know how to work with your yoga practice.
How have you kept your community together during the lockdowns?
I am still keen to create a sense of community and support. We have time to chat, ask questions, share in the beginning. It is so important to feel welcome, to feel heard, and be comfortable.
We then have breathing or mindfulness time, followed by movement and relaxation. I record the classes and give them access for a week so that if a baby was crying or feeding they can go back and revisit when it is a better time.
Also, when possible we meet in the park, even just once a month. And have face to face contact. I’ve personally put people in touch, with permission following GDPR guidelines if I know they are near each other.
I also just say- really look at those zoom boxes! You might see someone walking down the street, say hi!
What advice do you have for parents that are struggling to balance raising their families at home and still prioritize their fitness?
It is super hard to find the right balance, I know that we are always re-evaluating here too! Get the kids involved if they want to be involved, it’s so good for the whole family. And make it a priority, if they see it is a priority for you, they will take that in, and their health will be important for them. You are setting a good example for them. Leave the guilt, you will feel better, and in turn, it affects everyone else nearby you!
How has your TeamUp software helped you run your online classes?
It has made everything really easy! Feels more organised, and I have more time to study, teach and practice yoga, what I love best! If there is a demand, I will definitely keep running online classes beyond lockdown.
What kind of feedback have your clients shared with you about your online classes?
I have received such wonderful feedback from my clients. Here are some standout quotes:
"I love your classes and even though sometimes I feel tired before we begin and wonder why I've arrived on my mat, I always come away feeling reinvigorated and much happier and fulfilled. Also, I feel I have to say your Zoom classes are excellent, and no they aren't like being at work all day, which is what I was worried about. They are a much more relaxed environment."
"I'm so glad I found your pregnancy yoga class that helped me so much. Then through baby and toddler yoga which Minnie has loved. Thank you so much, you've been amazing."
TeamUp tools and resources
If you too are looking for new ways to encourage your clients with little ones to come to class or welcome new clients and their children to class there are several TeamUp tools and resources that can lend you a hand.
Customer referral program
Using your customer referral program, moms and dads can be rewarded with class credit every time they bring a friend or family member to class. Your clients will love seeing people close to them in class even through Zoom, and you'll be able to share your services with potential new members. Your program gives you a new opportunity to build up your community full of people who support and care for each other in and out of class.
Give your clients advice on taking classes at home
While it may be challenging for parents to balance their fitness and parenting schedules at the same time while at home, there are many ways solutions you can provide your clients with to be able to do both. Check out these tips for giving and taking classes with kids to learn how to be the best teacher you can be for your clients needing a little extra patience, love, and motivation.
Introduce your clients to the family portal
Whether your clients bring their kids along to a class or sign them up for their very own classes, show them how easy managing their bookings can be using the family portal. Parents can sign waivers on behalf of their kids, pay in advance, and amend any and all bookings when they need a little more flexibility. They'll love that with the member app they can even manage their's and their children's reservations on the go.
Use creative tips to motivate
If your clients still need a little extra boost of motivation, use these creative tips to get them in the virtual door or physical door. From setting up a buddy system or group to connecting and checking in outside of class, go above and beyond supporting them at a time when they may need it most.
To find more resources to run both your in-person and online classes, check out our TeamUp blog for helpful tips and guides.
Thanks for reading!