Harnessing Creativity... with Yogamoo
As a Creative running my own business, I am able to create my own schedule. I’m a Portrait Photographer, but realistically, taking photographs and attending meetings is actually less than half of the work I undertake each week. I’m lucky that I can work from home, and with a quiet house it’s amazing how productive one can be. Whether I’m editing images, creating printed albums and artwork for clients, working on moodboards or just doing admin, it can be easier working alone. However, after a particularly busy day, it can feel like I haven’t achieved much, especially if I haven’t been out of the house.
And last year, as my workload built up, I found that despite having a clear afternoon in front of me, I wasn’t always as productive as I knew I could be. Which can be incredibly frustrating. Some days everything flowed, and I achieved so much, but on other days, despite starting several tasks, I was getting stuck on each. I realised on those days the tasks involved being creative, and when I had lots of my mind (and on my to do list) I was very unproductive. Whether with business or family life, my phone is always beeping with a what’s app messages, emails that need a quick response, and of course the time vortex that is social media, both for business and to keep up with friends. Working parents will understand the time juggle that is adding into the mix birthday parties, sports lessons, after school clubs, playdates. And then there’s the life admin… why does anything to do with utility or insurance companies usually involve 2 hours on a frustrating phone call?!
So putting all of that together, there can be little space in one’s brain for creativity. We need to make that space, because for those of us who use their creativity in our careers, especially in their own businesses, we need to be able to harness that creativity.
For me, the solution I’ve found has been Yoga.
Now, I’ve tried online Yoga courses and DVDs, and they can be great option if you’re very time limited, or don’t have local classes. But personally, I can’t fully switch off when I’m at home, interrupted by the doorbell, the beep of the washing machine, or the buzz of my phone. And with a variable schedule, I can’t always commit to the same time every week for a class. I need a flexible Yoga school, one that is positive and encouraging to everyone what ever their ability, and understands that we can’t always commit to the same time each week. For me, Yogamoo is the perfect option.
Yogamoo is based in Reigate and owned and run by wife and husband team Laurence and Phillip Turner. A combination of Laurence’s positivity, vast knowledge of the art of Yoga, clear passion in providing a positive learning environment and the love of a holistic lifestyle, teamed with Phillip’s expertise in marketing, design and technology is a winner. Providing a range of classes from Pregnancy Yoga to Mums and Baby Yoga, Power and Core Strength via Vinyasa, Restorative Yoga and courses for specific disciplines such as Yoga for Runners as well as private yoga 1-1 sessions, Yogamoo run classes in person from the studios in Reigate and also provide a range of online courses and DVDs.
I first found Yogamoo when I was searching for classes I could do with my youngest as a small baby, when my then toddler was at preschool. I came across the Mums and Baby Yoga classes, and from the very first class I was hooked. With some gentle Yoga for the babies as well as some stretching for us Mummies, Thursday mornings soon became my favourite day of the week. I’d never done any Yoga before, and the breathing exercises and the relaxing flow of the class was so wonderful, and different to any other Mum and Baby class. I carried on the classes for as long as I could, but with Benjamin becoming more and more mobile it was tricky. It was then that Laurence gently suggested that I come to one of her evening classes, when B and his brother were tucked up and fast asleep at home with my husband.
And that’s when my love for Yoga really started.
Over the last year, in the weeks when my diary was full of shoots and meetings and I was unable to make classes, I found I was less able to achieve clarity when I was working at home, and to some extent had less ‘creativity’. It took me a while to figure out why productivity was dropping, especially when taking time out from working seems a luxury and opposite to what I needed to be doing.
Yoga is the one time during the day when I put my phone down, leave my to do list at the door, and for that hour just focus on my practice and breathing, and just being. It’s bliss!
And seeing how regular Yoga classes, which provided both exercise and space to think were having a positive impact on both my physical and mental health, for me Yoga is no longer a luxury but an enjoyable, essential part of life. With the added bonus of time with other members before and after class providing an alternative to the water cooler chat that homeworking lacks, I no longer feel so remote. I am now working smarter, not harder, and feel I’m using my time more effectively. For example, a weekday lunchtime class focusses the day into two shorter blocks of time, whereas the Core Yoga class straight from the school run on a Thursday is a brilliant boost of energy. As an added bonus, the ladies and gents who attend the classes are all lovely and like minded, often working from home themselves. It’s a great positive community, brought together through our shared love of Yoga.
In fact, it was during one of the guided meditations in the Core Strengthening class one Thursday three years ago that my then clear mind was bombarded with positivity and the push to finally taking the plunge and start my own Photography business. I remember feeling so invigorated, because by clearing that space in my mind it allowed my inspired thoughts to finally be heard. The rest of course is history!
I’ll add now that I’m not being paid to write this article. From conversations with others, people are working more from home, and lives are getting busier and busier. Burn out is much more prevalent, but mental health often given low priority. We owe it to our loved ones to pause, and find ways to look after ourselves, so we can continue being the best version of us that we can be. We need to start allowing ourselves to do that, and in turn, we’re more able to deal with the curve balls that life throws at us.
And with a company like Yogamoo with Laurence and her team helping to support us to do just that, it’s time to spread the word.
With love, Rachel xx
For more information about Yogamoo, head to www.yogamoo.com