YogaBellies

A bit about Cheryl…

“I love teaching women yoga. YogaBellies is so much more than just a yoga class, we stretch ourselves – body, mind and soul – but the most important aspect, is women supporting women. Women undergo key
challenges in life: menstruation, pregnancy, being a new mother and menopause.

These times can be emotional and physically demanding times with huge adjustments. Women have become disjointed in their acknowledgement and acceptance of these stages, and the whole concept of YogaBellies is to allow ourselves to embrace and enjoy each new stage as it comes. To love being a woman and to enjoy the friendships and support of other women.”

Cheryl MacDonald BA Hons E-RPYT, founder and director teacher

About Cheryl Kennedy MacDonald

Cheryl MacDonald is a Yoga Elder and Yoga therapist, an author, a successful and ethical business woman (take a peek at Cheryl on BBC’s Dragons’ Den or on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ with Holly Willoughby), and most importantly, mother of one gorgeous little man. She has been practising yoga for 18 years and has trained extensively in yoga and antenatal education amongst other holistic therapies. Her skills and experience combined with her love of yoga and the belief that everyone can practice yoga, are the essence of YogaBellies®. Cheryl has worked with celebrities such as Kimberley Walsh (of Girls Aloud fame), Fearne Cotton and Catherine Tyldsley (Coronation Street) in birth preparation and on their yoga practice too.

Cheryl is an ethical, successful ‘mumpreneur’ and has been awarded multiple awards and accreditation’s including The Scottish Edge Award, three What’s on 4 Little One’s Awards as well as being finalist in Woman of the Year, Working Mum’s Best Employer and What’s on 4 Junior’s Awards.

Cheryl started YogaBellies® for women who wanted to practice and experience the many benefits of yoga, without it seeming too ‘mystical’ or unattainable whilst also wholly embracing the feminine. She started to teach classes specifically for women, mums’ and their children, so that they could grow to love yoga, connect with their true selves and to bond with each other. Cheryl has also gone on to create the Birth ROCKS Academy (affectionately known as BRA,) and PeaceLoveYoga Retreats, where she runs yoga retreats for women in Bali and Thailand.

Cheryl created the YogaBellies and YogaBelles style of yoga around the fluidity and flexibility of the female body and soul and also around the key life stages of a woman. YogaBellies® has grown to include a training faculty of teachers with a wealth of experience, including yoga teachers, doctors, midwives, massage therapists and chiropractors.

Cheryl on Yoga for Pregnancy and with Baby…

“I have often said that doing yoga with your child is the most yogic thing you will ever do. You may not complete all of the practice that you wanted to, because baby wants to feed or sleep or cry: I think this is a great introduction to motherhood and new mum’s very quickly realise its not all about them anymore. In our classes, we encourage mums to just go with it and accept what comes with the session. Acceptance is a big part of motherhood.

For me, perinatal yoga is not only about building strength and stamina for birth or learning effective breathing techniques, but about bonding with your baby (even in utero) and learning to accept your role as a mother. Our classes are so much more than yoga that’s safe for pregnancy: our sessions are an all-encompassing journey through pregnancy and birth guided by yogic principles.”

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I love teaching women yoga. YogaBellies is so much more than just a yoga class, we stretch ourselves body, mind and soul

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Cheryl’s Credentials

Cheryl was first drawn to yoga while studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree at the University of Strathclyde and has practised and taught yoga in Hatha, Dynamic and Ashtanga Vinyasa and Flow yoga styles amongst others, over the years. Cheryl completed her 200 hours Hatha Raja Yoga Teacher Training Programme with Chi Yoga School, trained by June Mitchell (classical ashtanga yoga) and Julie Hanson (seasonal yoga, tai chi and chi gung,) and Sue Wood (Traditional Chinese Medicine.)She also completed training with BSY (British School of Yoga.) She then went on to complete her RYT500 training in Singapore with Master Paalu of Tirisula Yoga in Singapore. She completed further advanced training in Yoga Therapy, Kundalini Yoga and Mindfulness Yoga & Meditation in Singapore. Cheryl is a Yoga Elder, registered with the Independent Yoga Network and also a Yoga Alliance RPYT 500 (A 500 hour experienced registered prenatal yoga teacher)

Cheryl was the first teacher in the UK to gain the prestigious Yoga Alliance accreditation of RPYT, and is also a approved antenatal educator and practitioner. Cheryl is the founder and director teacher at YogaBellies yoga school and franchise. Cheryl has taught hundreds of women through every life stage over her time as a teacher and has trained yoga teachers, birth mentors and baby massage instructors across the world. The YogaBellies courses and classes for women are an accumulation of Cheryl’s 20 years of yoga practice, experience and application.

Qualifications & Experience

Women's Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation

Cheryl has trained in and taught Ashtanga, Core, Seasonal, Vinyasa and Flow Yoga classes as well as Pre and Post natal classes over the years, and for a long time as free community classes. She is a Yoga Therapist and has completed her 200 hour and 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training Programmes, with many years of teaching following. Cheryl was also recently the first yoga teacher in the UK to be awarded (RPYT) Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher accreditation by Yoga Alliance, meaning that she has extensive prenatal yoga teaching experience and has completed advance training in this field.

Cheryl has also undertaken teacher training in Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga and Yoga Anatomy with the inspiring and world famous yoga teacher Sadie Nardini. Cheryl has trained over the years with David Keil, world renowned yoga anatomy and ashtanga teacher (David’s anatomy teaching’s are used as part of YogaBellies yoga teacher training core syllabus.)

She has also completed ‘With Child’ Pre Natal Yoga Teacher Training. In addition to this, has completed further Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teacher Training and Children’s Yoga Training (including Mum and Baby Yoga) with the British School of Yoga (BSYA.) She has also completed Advanced Post Natal Yoga teacher training with Francoise Freedman of Birthlight. Cheryl also studied to become a certified Transformation Meditation Teacher and undertook further training and gained certification on teaching Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, as yoga philosophy is of special interest to her.

Cheryl is a qualified Mindfulness-based CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapist) and has undertaken training with Tanisha Tankrika of Star of Ishtar of facilitating Red Tent workshops for women and also on the Maiden Mother Crone and Goddess archetypes. Cheryl’s work with women has now taken her to Singapore where she currently resides, growing the YogaBellies family from the East :)

Pre Natal Hypnosis, Birth Art Therapy and Childbirth Education

Cheryl is also a Master Hypnotherapist and certified HypnoBirthing and Childbirth Birth Educator (HBCE) with HypnoBirthing (The Mongan Method) and has written the Birth ROCKS natural childbirth education and hypnobirthing programme, accredited by IAPP. She has also written the highly acclaimed book by the same name, Birth ROCKS.
Cheryl has trained natural birth educators in the Birth ROCKS programme across Europe. Cheryl has also undertaken training with Pam England (author of ‘Birthing from Within’) on leading Birth Art sessions as a pre and post natal aid for mothers in preparing for and in reconciling any issues they may have surrounding birth.
Cheryl is a Gastric Band hypnotherpy practitioner working with clients towards positive health and wellness goals.

Post Natal, Infant and Children's Yoga Qualifications

Cheryl is a certified Baby Massage Instructor having gained certification through study on a programme by Teresa Kirkpatrick Ramsey, who is on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM.) She has written the YogaBellies Loving Touch Baby Massage programme and trained over one hundred baby massage instructors over the years.

Cheryl also completed Children’s Yoga Training (including Mum and Baby Yoga) with the British School of Yoga (BSYA.) and completed the wonderful ethical Children’s Yoga teacher training with Angel Bear YogaTM founder Christi Eley. Cheryl has full Disclosure Scotland which means she has been vetted and is authorized to work with children :) She has also gained certification in Exercise and Nutrition from James Watt College and is a qualified Emergency First Aider.

Writing about Women's Yoga, Baby Massage and Childbirth

Cheryl has written extensively on the subjects of yoga for women and during the perinatal period and her articles have been published in a number of popular publications such as The Green Parent, Juno, The Practising Midwife, OM Yoga Magazine, Yoga & Health Magazine, Mind Body Green to name but a few. You can read a selection of her articles online by following this link. Cheryl is also the author of best selling and highly acclaimed birthing book, Birth ROCKS, her book about a realistic and positive approach to birth and aid to the Birth ROCKS birth preparation course for couples.

Book exclusive sessions with Cheryl in Singapore

Limited one-to-one places available

Cheryl is currently residing in Singapore and has a limited number of places available to work one-to-one, with women and expectant parents. Cheryl offers bespoke yoga journey’s for women seeking to align their yoga practice and life goals. She also offers Birth ROCKS mentoring sessions for parents to be.