When two friends connect over their shared love of Yoga, and creating more flow and freedom in their life as working Mums, it’s no surprise when they decide to join forces to create a business to support other Mums to benefit from the holistic teachings of yoga too.
Today we talk to Kate and Andy of YogaMamas.com.au who are at the helm of an inspired community of like-minded women on a journey to rediscover their true selves, while juggling Motherhood, work and everything in between.
Andrea (Andy) Broadbear
Kate: Married with one son – Cobi 2 yrs
Andy: Married with 2 kids + pregnant with #3 (Olivia 4, Jack 20 mths)
What do you do?
We are both Yoga Teachers & Therapists with a specialisation in pre & postnatal, and yoga for mums.
We are the Co-Founders of Yoga Mamas, an online community of like minded women using the tools of yoga to live in the flow of life, creating a harmonious mind body connection.
We are also busy mamas, juggling the demands of working for ourselves and #mumlife.
Q: What was your life plan when you were young?
Kate: Very different to what it is now! From the time I was about 12 I wanted to be a journalist. I would pretend to interview friends and family for news stories and then type them up on our computer. By the time I hit year 9 and undertook work experience my heart was set on Public Relations. I studied this at University and eventually started my own boutique PR agency in Melbourne. Growing up in the country I craved the city lifestyle. The hustle and bustle, the shopping, the corporate events etc and once there I honestly saw myself in that space indefinietly. Who would have thought that I’d now be at the opposite end of the spectrum working in holistic health?
Andy: Wow, so different! I wanted to be an actress growing up and dreamed of starting my own theatre company. I became a highschool drama teacher instead, which I loved, ran numerous school productions which satisfied my urge for the stage – turns out I loved running it more than being on it.
But, the life of a teacher is tough and the journey into motherhood gave way for a break. In the meantime I developed a love for yoga, did my teacher training to develop my own understanding and consequently my Yoga Therapy training many years following that. The rest just happened, I taught yoga, I met Kate, we instantly connected and YogaMamas was born, along with our children.
Unlike Kate, I grew up bouncing from city to city as a defence brat and now crave a much slower coastal life. I love my journey into the wellbeing space and whilst I may revisit school teaching some day, this is my haven.
Q: How have you faced adversity and overcome it? Tell us about it.
Kate: Mumlife has a way of throwing you almost daily curveballs but my biggest was pre-mamahood when I was pregnant with Cobi and at 20 weeks diagnosed with a very rare and potentially life threatening condition called vasa praevia. It ultimately meant admission to hopsital on bed rest at 28 weeks, an emergency c-section at 34 and apremanture baby in the special care nursery, coupled with a decent dose of post traumatic stress.
During this time I slowly lost my connection to myself and my recover was slow and tedious. Physcially and emotionally.
Andy: Could we call it adversity…I suppose. I just think the journey into motherhood was a massive learning curve and knocked me on my feet. I’m naturally a busy person, I love it, I crave it, I can’t help myself. Having kids meant I couldn’t do all the things I used to, or at least in the same way. It also all seemed to happen at once – having kids, then the yoga opportunities arising, a business opp with Kate – I wanted to do it all. Consequently I found myself agreeing to more than I can handle (well, I’m handling it, but #selfcare sometimes drops to the bottom of the list).
The challenge for me is working out that constant balance, which luckily is what yoga and YogaMamas is all about. So, in a way, I’ve found the business has actually helped me along the way.
Q: What was the greatest lesson you learned as a result of this experience?
Kate: To trust my intuition. I absolutely wasn’t prepared for the challenges, the self doubt or the overwhelem of the circumstances I was in or motherhood. But trusting my intuition and doing the best I can do in any given moment it revealed moments of love, gratitue and strength I didn’t know I was capable of feeling.
Andy: I’m like Kate, trust my intuition. But more than that, lead with authenticity and passion, not out of obligation. Life has very much become about priorities, learning what’s true to me, what serves me and my family first. Learning to say ‘no’, as hard as that is, at times has been a lifesaver.
Q: How has Motherhood changed you – if at all – and your approach to your business/career?
Kate: Oh my gosh it has completely changed me as a person and my approach to business. I have grown in ways that I never would have thought possible. At the top of my priority list sits family & self care. I also believe my values & beliefs have altered from pre baby. When I look at my little boy, I see how captivated he is by the smallest of things. It has made me far more appreciative of just how much of a gift life is and we shouldn’t waste it on feeding our egos with materialistic things or people pleasing.
Andy: It’s changed me heaps, and keeps changing me. I don’t know whether it’s with each subsequent child that I develop a little more but I feel like I’m actually coming into my own. I’m shifting from being a people pleaser to exploring what truly makes me happy and what I’m passionate about. I think when you become a mother you realise that you just don’t have enough time to live for anything less. Essentially your time is no longer completely yours, so it becomes much more precious. And if you’re taking time away from your family, from spending time with your little ones, you want it to be for value.
Q: For those reading this column that may be questioning their need to cultivate their best life for various personal reasons, what advice would you give them?
Kate: Follow the call for something greater. We often question whether we should take the leap to do certain things, or if we could be happier doing something other than what we are doing now. If that feeling is ever present follow it. In yoga we call this our Dharma, our life’s purpose that has a funny way of constantly showing up in various aspects of our lives, making us question if what we are doing now is right.
Andy: I think Kate and I sing the same tune here, and it’s something we’ve chatted about it length and essentially based the whole business of YogaMamas on. Be your true self and if you’re not sure what that is, then figure it out. Explore every aspect of your life and work out if you’re living authentically, are you doing what you want to do, are you people pleasing, are you living your truth. These aren’t easy questions, but I think when you journey into the realm of ‘creating life’ you start to re-evaluate your own.
Q: What is one opinion or common stereotype about working Mums do you find most frustrating and wish you could change?
Kate: I believe there is a sterotype around Mums who work from home. A belief of many that we have some sort of luxurious lifestyle because we get to be at home all day with our kids, when in fact the opposite is almost always the case. In between our usual #mumlife acitivites we are trying to grow businesses, practice self care and keep a household running smoothly. There are days when you’ll change the world and others you’ll barely get a load of washing on. It’s not lavish. It’s hard work.
Andy: It’s a stereotype that even hubby’s can’t always get their head around – what do we actually do? The struggle with the idea of a working mum or a “work from home” mum, is often it’s a LOT of work and not necessarily bringing in the big bucks. Or you may have returned to work and you’re actually just barely covering childcare. When you’re a mum it’s not as black & white as work equals paycheck. Often we’re working for other reasons – because amidst the demands of being a mum, we just want a little piece of the working lifestyle for ourselves. To share our passion and gifts, to keep our creative side alive. The challenge is trying to honour this side of ourselves as well as fulfill our roles as a mama.
Q: What would you like to see happen for women of the next generation?
Kate: I would like to continue to see women rise up to be the best versions of themselves. I am loving the women’s movements we are seeing globally during this time. Women, supporting women and coming back to this idea of creating a village.
Andy: I would like to see women supporting women, because at times we can be our own worst enemies. I want to see women take the pressure off themselves to look and act in a certain way. I want to see women have the opportunity and support to follow their passions both in #worklife and in #mumlife.
Q: What small actions do you take each day to cultivate your best life?
Kate: I practice yoga every single day. Whether it be a 15 minute physical practice, five minute mini meditation or breath practice, or simply bringing mindfulness to my daily activities. It doesn’t always happen but I try to incorporate some sort of self care practice is high on my list – reading a few pages of a book before bed, a coffee in the sunshine or a shower on my own.
Andy: This is a challenging thing to do, but something that I’m passionate about all women incorporating into their lives – #selfcare. I recently attended a yoga workshop on goal setting & intentions and walked away the most amazing tool. Write yourself a list (a long list) of tiny things that make you feel good and alive – they could be as simply as feeling sand between your toes. Every day, practice one thing from the list. This has become my daily ritual and it’s helping me take just the smallest moment out for myself, but making the biggest difference.
Hello Woman Rising is a new fortnightly column on Woman Rising Network celebrating working Mums and women living a heart-driven life. If you’d like to be featured, please contact Sian on email@example.com.