Women are inspiring. Between raising children, handling work, maintaining their homes and finding time for personal time and growth. But with only 24 hours in the day, how do they do it all? We spoke to 3 of Jal Yoga instructors and here’s what they said.
How old are your children and when did you start teaching Yoga/Pilates?
Sarah: Isaiah is 3 this year and Isabel is 1. I started teaching Yoga this year.
Pearl: I have 2 girls, Ruhi is 15 and Maya is 20. I first started teaching Yoga 5 years ago.
Melva: I have 2 kids, Hana is 7 and August is 6! I started teaching Pilates the same time Jal Yoga started.
Why did you start teaching Yoga/Pilates?
Sarah: I have been practising yoga since 2011, and always enjoyed the practice. It is a time where I get my own space and I feel zen doing practising. I have always been interested in teaching Yoga, and I didn’t have the time to do it due to my full-time job. So, while my oldest started going to school, I had more time, so I decided to take up a Yoga Teachers Training Course.
Pearl: I am naturally flexible, so if I don’t stretch, it makes me feel uncomfortable. I first started going to community centres for Yoga classes. After practising and experiencing the benefits of Yoga for myself, I felt that it was too good not to be shared so I went to take up a Yoga Teachers Training course 6 years ago.
Melva: Back when I had a full-time job, I have been teaching Pilates to my family, friends and referrals for them. Also, I always love Pilates and it is a great workout for the mind and body. Teaching Pilates doesn’t feel like work to me at all.
What are the challenges you face being a working mom/stay at home mom?
Sarah: I think the challenges will be the energy needed. Apart from teaching, I will be at home with my kids. It is quite tiring as it takes a lot of energy from getting the kids to school, putting them to bed at night and bringing them outdoors every day. But somehow miraculously, whenever I teach. I feel refreshed at the end of the class. Also, in my previous job, I had mom-guilt quite easily, so I was always checking on my kids. After my 2nd child, I decided that I want to spend more time with my children as they are only young once, so I left my job to take care of them.
Pearl: It will be the stress from taking care of my kids. Back when they are younger, I will say it is sleep deprivation and mainly my life was not about me anymore. Because I am constantly with kids and doing everything for them. I don’t get to spend time with people of my age or much alone time. But I get to see the precious milestones of my kids growing up and I wouldn’t miss it for anything else.
Melva: It is difficult to be a working mom as we are held with many expectations and having to juggle our priorities. For me, the real challenge began when I had to choose between my career or family. My kids wanted to spend more time with me. So, after much consideration, I decided to leave my job to spend more time with them. Initially, there was a lot of internal struggle. After some time, I came to the realisation that there is only this short period of time to watch them grow and accompany them. Also, I told myself to let go and adjusted my mindset by focusing on the positive. Like how happy I am when I am with my kids
Do your kids take on your interest in Yoga/Pilates?
Sarah: They do! When I am practising at home, my son tends to follow along with me. My son can do a handstand when he sees me doing it and downward dog as well. My daughter is still young, so she just stays near me while I practice. I hope that my kids can practice Yoga with me in the future. Yoga is great for flexibility and will benefit their health greatly in the long run. Right now, I am teaching my son how to do a split. Also, Yoga is more than just the asanas, it is great as a way of life and self-development. It teaches you to be selfless and unconditional in your living.
Pearl: When they were younger yes. They will follow along with me, trying to imitate the poses I do. Right now, my older daughter is into F45 and Barre. My younger one is naturally sporty, she is into taekwondo, gymnastic netball, soccer and many more. She does Yoga also as she sees the benefit. She is quite athletic so she can be a little stiff sometimes. If she sees my practising at home, she will just join in and start doing Yoga with me.
Melva: They follow along with me on the mat when I am practising Pilates at home. They probably do it wrong, but I wouldn’t correct them. This is because I want them to have fun and think that Pilates is fun too. They can tell the difference between Yoga and Pilates! It is a good influence on them, and they know that I am physically fit. My kids are also very active like my husband and me.
Any advice for moms out there?
Sarah: My advice would be to really spend as much time as possible with your kids in their growing up years, they grow up very quickly! The nights are long, but the days are short, so treasure every moment with them even if they are driving you crazy because it is so precious! Having said that, it’s important to have ‘me’ time as well for sanity so always remember to set aside time to do something that you enjoy!
Melva: I think mothers are confined to many expectations. Sometimes, I feel like we need to think about ourselves and our personal interest before putting the responsibilities and expectations of others above our own. If your career is something you are passionate about go for it. If it isn’t, it is good to take some time to really rethink your priorities and make changes that balance your life more.
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