YogaBellies

Why YogaBellies was founded…

“I had just got married and had qualified as a yoga teacher. I was looking into having babies and knew I wanted to practice yoga during pregnancy. I was actually scared of giving birth, so I looked into hypnobirthing as well. The pregnancy yoga classes I went to were just awful. There were 50 of us rammed into a cold church hall and I’m pretty confident the teacher had never done yoga in her life! There was no atmosphere, nobody spoke to each other and it was truly painful. I looked into hypnobirthing too and although I loved the concepts, it just seemed very cheesy and not something that I could fully buy into.

I took my meditation; self hypnosis and training in sooo many other holistic therapies and I created YogaBellies and the Birth ROCKS Method. It was exactly what I was looking for – for ME – at that time in my life! I wanted a yoga class that wasn’t silent or intimidating. I wanted to learn how to practice yoga safely during my period, during pregnancy, with my baby. I wanted to do all of this and relax at the end of my working day!

I wanted to meet likeminded women going through the same things as me – easy going women, who like a laugh, aren’t holier than though, are trying to juggle all that life throws at them, but still retain their sanity and find a little bit of time to look after themselves. I wanted to be motivated to MOVE, to eat right, to get some sleep, to socialize, to look after my family, see my friends and show myself a little bit of love!”

Cheryl MacDonald, YogaBellies Founder and Creator of the Birth ROCKS Method

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What is YogaBellies?

The purpose and the reason why YogaBellies® exists – is to empower women to feel better! About themselves, about their body and their work-life balance – whatever that work is. We support women to live their best lives by teaching unique YogaBellies® practices in a way that’s accessible to everyone. We’re talking about yoga life skills you can use every day to relax, to stay calm, to feel physically and mentally better all round. To be a better person!

Being part of YogaBellies® means that your connected with an amazing global network of like-minded women, who want to support you and won’t judge you – because they’re right where you are too. It’s about waking up to the value of women supporting women, bringing back sisterhood as something that is absolutely essential for our well-being.

These are all of the things that are the foundation of YogaBellies®, so when we say that YogaBellies® is so much more than a yoga class, we really mean that!! It’s what YogaBellies® brought to our lives and brings to the lives of thousands of women now across the world every single day.

YogaBellies teachers love and live their work. We are able to tailor a complete holistic programme for your specific needs with your very own Mind-Body-ME programme (coming soon!) and we know and care for all of our clients personally. When you come to YogaBellies, you become part of a beautiful community of women supporting women, across the globe.

What Does The Name 'YogaBellies' Mean?

The name YogaBellies always gives way to much hilarity with people grabbing their ‘yoga bellies’ and laughing :) We love the name ‘YogaBellies’ but its roots actually have a much deeper meaning. The female ‘belly’ was once revered as a symbol of abundance and fertility which we still see today in ancient goddess statues and symbols. These images were part of the body of the Great Mother Goddess who gave life, and she nourished, protected and loved us – without reservation. These bellies celebrated woman’s unique capacity not only to take in nature’s bounty – but to revel in it. The ‘belly’ and therefore the ‘womb’ is what makes us women and by calling our collective YogaBellies, we believe that we are showing our love of all things feminine and that which makes us women.

YogaBellies style of yoga embraces what it is to be a woman and the feminine aspects of our mind and body with love and acceptance through every stage of life – through the life phases of maiden (menstruation), mother (pregnancy and post-partum) and crone (menopause.) The belly is home to our body centered wisdom – our gut knowing, our female instinct for self-preservation. At YogaBellies, you don’t need to have a flat tummy to enjoy our style of yoga, we encourage women to embrace their natural curves and to love everything about themselves that is strong, feminine, sensitive and aware. All women are welcome at YogaBellies regardless of age, size or shape: we are a community of women supporting women.

The YogaBellies Mission is To Move, Connect and Grow

To Share YogaBellies Life Skills:
We teach our accessible and unique yoga practices so that you can improve your daily life!

To Make You Feel Better:
Physically, Mentally and Spiritually

To Support:
To create and foster a community of sisterhood that you can rely on

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YogaBellies Teacher Training Standards Mean that You and Your Child are in Safe Hands

+ Specialist Yoga Teacher Training: Every Certified YogaBellies Teacher undertakes a minimum of 250 hours of rigorous, world-wide accredited training in their chosen path. Our teachers are specialist in their yoga teaching field. Our teachers are not only experts in yoga for women, but they are also fully qualified Birth ROCKS Mentors, who can guide you through the childbearing years.
+ On-going Teacher Training and Development: Every YogaBellies teacher undertakes regular professional development training and is kept up to date with the latest news and developments in their chosen field.
+ A Community of Women Supporting Women: We are in constant contact with our teachers meaning that we can assure you that our teachers continue to meet the professional and safety standards that we are known for.
+ You and Your Child are Safe with YogaBellies: Our clients can be reassured that they are in safe hands at this most important time in their lives.

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YogaBellies Teachers Meet Our Rigorous Training Standards

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Safety

A Certified YogaBellies Teacher must work safely with women and children, being respectful of their life stage and special considerations, and is encouraged and coached on how to do so by
YogaBellies on an on-going basis. (Ahimsa – Non-violence)

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Practical Skills

A Certified YogaBellies Teacher must possess practical skills appropriate to the style of Yoga/Antenatal Education/Massage she teaches and is continually advised and guided on their path as a teacher. (Satya – Truthfulness)

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Knowledge

A Certified YogaBellies Teacher must possess the factual knowledge and the self-knowledge necessary to provide YogaBellies classes and therapies effectively and safely. YogaBellies keep in constant contact with their teachers and provide the most up to date therapeutic knowledge and developments in the women’s health, perinatal and paediatric fields. (Satya – Truthfulness)

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Practice

All of the above must be grounded in the Certified YogaBellies Teacher’s dedicated practice in their yoga or therapy areas. YogaBellies ensure that our teachers maintain a regular practice in their chosen path through self-practice and self-development. (Svadhyaya – Self-study/knowledge)

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