I have been going to Rosalyn Griffith’s classes in East London for a few years now, since I had my daughter. Ros teaches Yoga and Pilates, and for a time I did both sessions back to back in one evening. Non Mama types were impressed. The Mamas knew it was ingenious way to get out of the bedtime routine.
Anyway Ros is warm and generous, and has a sense of humour. With two girls almost ready to fly the nest, she has a fair bit of Mama and life experience which I asked her to share in her own words.
1. I became a Yoga Teacher because….
I had fallen in love with Yoga! AND … how I felt after class; the wellbeing in my body; the sense of emotional release through conscious breathing; as well as the tradition and history of Yoga.
Attending my first yoga class was down to a recommendation by my osteopath – I’d torn some disk in my spine after a nasty fall down some stairs at my boyfriend’s. Following marriage, first daughter born and a move to East London, I found a regular weekly session to join, and my passion continued to grow from there. Four years later, my teacher said “Ros, you should seriously think about Teacher Training” – and I did!
2. The best thing about my job is
The People I meet!
Prior to teaching Yoga and Pilates, I worked in Sales and Marketing, so I’ve always been keen on Communication. While we now live in an ever-growing Technical Digital Environment, getting down to the mat and motivating my clients to Get back in touch with their bodyminds, through movement and mindfulness, is such an honour.
People find an ability to Open UP to me – and its a privilege for me to know how regular Yoga (or Pilates) really DOES make a difference.
Every day, I am sharing my passion, and to keep abreast of new ideas, I can think of nothing more enjoyable than Reading my Yoga books, Learning a new approach to a posture, maintaining my Anatomy knowledge, and generally increasing my skills base.
Obsession ?? What Obsession ?
3. Being a mother and a yoga teacher is great because
When the girls were younger, I could teach classes that fit in around their school day and their activities. I actually do pride myself on the fact that I put the parenting first and managed to be at the school gates mostly every day at 3pm. As their independence grew, then my teaching commitments increased.
YES – I have taken them to classes and asked them to sit at the back when they were unwell.
YES – I have rushed dinnertime and practically run out the door, to teach an evening session, and I have been lucky! My supportive husband has looked after our daughters while I was on Weekend Training courses and hurried home from work himself so that I could leave for evening teaching.
I’m also wondering if maybe I’ve been a better Mum due to being a “working mum” AND having Yoga in my own life. When I’ve felt overwhelmed and stressed-out, my practice has grounded me, especially ‘mindfulness’. Teaching Yoga gives me a strong sense of purpose and focus. I’ve always been very active in mind and body, and the responsibility of my vocation has channelled that, in a good way, even when feeling ‘below par’. When I’ve questioned my own abilities, as a mum, yoga philosophy has allowed me to regain perspective and know that I am Enough.
4. Being a mother and a yoga teacher is challenging because
It does mean SHIFTWORK ! That sounds idyllic, but at times, a Routine Day would be a blessing, especially when facing emotional highs and lows of parenting.
You’re often always “ON” – by that I mean – you are Ready To Deliver to your Class Group – which means, when you pop home after say, morning sessions, you know you do have to be ready to teach again, perhaps later on, so that time in between – well its not always “time off”…. perhaps there’s a Tesco Run, or a Wash to load, or homework to help out with.
You may miss out on that important evening conversation, when the family talk, and you are NOT there. Sundays ARE sacred !
Teaching Yoga is a Business. If you are committed to offering your clients a high-quality service, as I am, then you really are “juggling balls” 5 to 6 days a week.
Of course, At first, it was part-time, occasional classes, beginning with the local Adult Education Centre. Then, what becomes apparent, is that in the modern world, your self-employed status will only survive and be successful if you put more hours in to the Marketing Side of the business eg Websites, Social Media, Email communication, Posters, Banners, Flyers etc.
Managing TIME is key. And sometimes, that goes well . . . and sometimes not so well.
I have felt guilty when I have missed their evening school concerts, music performances and special occasions, due to my teaching commitments.
But – on the whole, I think I got the balance right most of the time.
Of course – the INCOME IS NOT GUARANTEED…. But again, I am fortunate. There are Two of us in a team, and as money does not rule my life, I am able to cope with the highs and lows.
5. My personal favourite yoga asana is
That’s really SO DIFFICULT to answer – but I love Backbends and heart openers so an expansive Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana) is great, as you are opening the hips too and with arms flying high to the sky, it’s so uplifting (especially as part of a Sun Salutation Flow)
AND I MUST ADD – “Savasana” the Relaxation Pose. The restorative benefits of conscious rest, 15-20 minutes just to BE still, restore and reconnect to yourself, mind-body-spirit– This is my “go-to” pose for download, and has kept me calm through many stormy emotional life-waves…
My top tips for helping mama #MamaStaySane;
You can find out more about Ros herself and see her timetable here.