Ana Davis - Bliss Baby Blog
A journey back to Yoga and Ahimsa
This month Miranda Burne talks to Bliss Baby 100 hr Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training graduate, Kerry Solomon, to find out the profound influence this feminine-centred training has had on her yoga practice, teaching and motherhood.
“You can’t spend your life being scared”, says Kerry when speaking of living in Johannesburg, one of the world’s most dangerous cities. “I think that yoga helped me personally as it is great in situations where you need to be calm and grounded…it gives you a real at sense of equilibrium.”
Kerry came to yoga in her early twenties when she attended her first yoga class, which she found in the yellow pages. “There was no Google in those days, but I found a local yoga teacher and loved the very first class, I stayed with her for 12 years.”
Happy with her life in Johannesburg, Kerry had a regular yoga practice, two beautiful daughters, and a close circle of family and friends. However, her world was about to be thrown into upheaval as her husband was offered a job across the other side of the world in Australia. Within the space of six weeks, she was living in a new land, with a newborn baby, severed from her connections and country.
“I was depressed and did very little yoga practice.” Kerry said that during this time she became deeply separated from her yoga, just when she needed it most. She found it impossible to find an affordable yoga class in Sydney and also one that she liked, as she sorely missed her beloved yoga guru back in Johannesburg. Also the demands of raising a young family kept her in survival mode, with no time for the “luxury” of attending yoga classes or even sneaking in a regular self practice.
It was a couple of years later when she turned, this time to Google, to take the next step in her yoga journey.
Kerry decided that the Bliss Baby Yoga 9 day 100 hr Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training intensive sounded like the right fit for her, as she was desperately in need of some time out for herself. She was also excited by the prospect of deeply immersing herself in the sanctuary of yoga. With her bags packed, she headed of to the warm shores of Byron Bay with feelings of excitement intermingled with apprehension.
“I felt so far removed from the world of yoga. I was not teaching, I had no personal daily practice, and my attendance to classes was sporadic. I felt completely inauthentic.” Yet Kerry knew she needed an injection of yoga in her life, and after two babies of her own, was deeply drawn to working with women in this momentous stage of their lives.
Kerry describes the 10 day Bliss Baby training, designed by Ana Davis, as being transformative for her on both a professional and personal level. “It was amazing. It’s truly been a turning point in my life. I got so many take-aways, but for me the biggest take-away was ahimsa. Kerry said the yogic principal of ahimsa, or ‘non-violence’ , really became clear to her during the course. She learned how being gentle and kind to your self, on and off the mat, was hugely beneficial when managing the constant demands of motherhood.
Kerry was also influenced by Ana’s approach to yoga for women, as opposed to traditional yoga, which was originally designed for men. “She really opened my eyes to yoga that is more aligned to being a woman. It really came across to me for the first time how different it is and how we really need to be tailoring our classes to meet the needs of women.”
As the universe would have it, when Kerry returned to Sydney the illusive yoga class she had been searching for appeared at a very affordable price, and she began attending classes at Peace Yoga Love regularly. She also got back into the flow of a regular daily practice. No matter how brief, Kerry ensured she made time every day to do something for herself. And she’s become focused on incorporating ahimsa in her daily life. “It’s a work in progress, speaking to myself more kindly, when I make a mistake, not reprimanding myself, just learning and moving on from it. Being gentle with myself.”
Within a couple of months Kerry was asked to teach a class at Peace Yoga Love in Terrey Hills, where she now teaches hatha yoga. She also teaches mums-n-bubs and prenatal classes in Manly Vale.