Ten years with birthlight

Ten years ago I set up my own Birthlight Baby Yoga class, following the birth of my first child. This year I celebrate the 10th Birthday of my business.

The decision to train with Birthlight followed the wonderful home birth of my daughter Isabelle in 2004. My positive experience of a gentle and relaxed home birth was a result of attending Birthlight pregnancy classes with my colleague and friend, Melanie Hamilton Davies who gave me the knowledge and the confidence to work with my body through my first pregnancy and birth. From that moment I was hooked; there was no going back for me – I trained first in Baby Yoga, followed by Toddler Yoga (then SMART Yoga) and then the opportunity for me to train as a Tutor for Birthlight arose. So my little business, Tiddlywinks Yoga, grew and in the last ten years I have worked with many families in my own sessions; in nurseries; schools; children’s centres and in my local museum too!

As my business expanded so did my family and two more beautiful children followed. Over the last ten years my children have benefitted from Birthlight in the same way that I have – I have always been able to balance being a mummy (without doubt the most important job in the world) with working in a job that I love and achieve immense satisfaction from. Although dealing with the administrative elements of being self-employed is undoubtedly challenging at times, there is very little stress associated with the joys of yoga when combined with babies and small children!

Numerous babies have passed through my classes along the way, some staying just a few weeks, others through the months of their maternity leave, but plenty also sharing one of their most significant parenting journeys with me – from birth to the start of school. Each year I have waved goodbye to a little group of 4 year olds about to embark on the next stage. I feel blessed and honoured to have been allowed to share those few – but incredibly vital – first years of life with them and their families and send them off knowing that, as a Birthlight teacher, I have nurtured and supported their little bodies and minds in such a positive and gentle way.

As I enter my 10th year with Birthlight, my three babies are now at school and I am leaving the ‘baby years’ behind. Although frequently asked if I am ever bored of babies as my own grow up into gorgeous 5, 9 and 11 year olds, I am happy to say that my work with Birthlight is not yet done; supporting and nurturing young families is just as crucial now as it was 10 years ago and I plan to continue with my baby and toddler classes for a while yet. Nowadays I see myself rather as a ‘Mother Hen’ when I am teaching – the gap between my age and the age of the wonderful new mummies in my groups widens each year – but I am now able to guide and support them as they embark upon their own journeys into parenthood.

There are new and exciting prospects ahead as my own yoga develops further and I complete my 200 hour IYN adult training course in 2016. Yet Birthlight’s influence is always firmly in my mind. These new classes will provide me with the opportunity to bring what Birthlight has taught me, to nourish and nurture grown-ups of all ages, sizes and backgrounds so that they too can experience the joy of yoga.

Emma Philip
Birthlight toddler yoga tutor

 

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