Teach Yoga or Hypnobirthing For a Career That Works Around Your Family
Nearly 10 years ago and then a mum of a four-year-old, ZenMuma founder Jackie Heffer-Cooke fell pregnant with her second child, and decided she was going to be brave, leave her career in TV and do something completely different with her life.
It wasn’t that she hated her job, it was simply that with a child going to school in September and one on the way she couldn’t see a way of continuing with her life in Norwich, working in London, and picking up her daughter from school every day. She could have chosen a nanny, or to move house, but a change of career seemed the best idea for her.
But what to do?
Jackie had always been drawn to using complementary health for her own ‘coping’ needs, and had already completed her MTI Massage Training. She also wanted to have a better second birth experience than the first, so had completed her Hypnobirthing Training. But how to actually make a living from it? Well, that was going to be a challenging task.
Jackie says “when I first wanted to set myself up as a pregnancy massage therapist and a Hypnobirthing practitioner I didn’t know where to start! I sat looking at my PC and eventually came up with a business name and slowly found my way around producing all the things I needed… leaflets, website, listings, a strong google rank.
I converted my home garage into a beautiful therapy space and set off on my new journey. I was one of the first Hypnobirthing practitioners and one of the first massage therapists specialising in pregnancy in Norwich, so my rankings for SEO happened quite organically, quite quickly. I will never forget teaching my first class in Hypnobirthing and being so incredibly happy when the hypnosis seemed to be working and the class attendees enjoyed the class. When I first started to get my positive birth feedback, well, that was the most rewarding feeling I had probably ever had. I had started my own practice, it was working, and I was hooked!”
After Sam was born, Jackie added Baby yoga and Pregnancy Yoga to her portfolio, with the aim of giving the pregnant women she was working with a more holistic experience.
“It was also a wonderful experience to train in these areas whilst Sam was still a baby! I got to try out all the baby yoga moves on him!”
Jackie launched the popular YogaBubs, baby yoga class Norwich, and quickly went from teaching one class a week to five classes a week around Norwich and Norfolk.
Jackie loves to see her mums after they have given birth and meet their new babies in her baby yoga classes. Jackie knows how important it is to find a group you can connect with as such a new mum…
“After having my daughter Megan I can remember feeling really lost, and not really knowing who or what to turn to. Going from executive producer to new mum was a massive change that needed far more processing than I understood at the time. Although you are totally loved up by being a mum and having a baby you love endlessly, no-one prepares you for the long lonely days, the frustration of ‘restraining’ an intelligent creative mind whilst sitting breastfeeding or mashing up sweet potato (only for it to be thrown on the floor) and the endless trips to the washing my machine. A loving mum I am, but a domestic goddess I do not pretend to be.
I guess when I teach pregnancy and baby yoga I am not just teaching breathing techniques to manage birthing, or exercise to repair post-natal pelvic floors, I am empathising, and listening, and providing a space to ‘hold’ my mums for an hour or so, a space where they can ‘hold each other’ too. Not in a big way, we don’t literally cuddle for an hour, but we’re there for each other in a ‘we understand’ kind of way. This in itself can be a tremendous support and comfort, a community of new mums, all reaching out to find a new parent pathway, all getting through on lack of sleep and shifting identities whilst attending to their new 24 hour demands.”
Jackie has found her own parent pathway too, by helping others she is, of course, helping herself and leading a life where she dictates her working career, rather than the other way round.
“I won’t lie, some days it is tough, increasingly so with constant new ways of being visible that take up so much time, and with success and financial reward comes marketing, and accounts, and newsletters, and website maintenance, it really is a never-ending job!
My friend Mark who runs a very big successful agency says ‘if working for yourself was easy, everyone would do it’, and he is right! But on the days when I am tired or fed-up I contemplate a life where I am working for someone else, and couldn’t pick up my kids from school every day, or couldn’t take the school holidays off with them to ride bikes, or build sand sculptures; it then becomes an easy decision and worth the effort. Likewise, I respect stay-at-home mums, but for my family, well I need to earn money to take holidays and provide clubs for the kids, it’s my choice to travel and adventure with my kids, so this is what it is, and when I think it through I do allow myself to be proud of what I have created and all I have achieved. Working for yourself is the only way to achieve freedom really”.
So, after nearly 10 years of teaching, Jackie is now ready to take the plunge and launch her own specialist yoga and Hypnobirthing teacher training school.
“At 45, this seems like a good point in my life to pass my knowledge on and provide a career for people that can work as well for them, as it has for me. We are teaching such important skills of breath, mindfulness and exercise. These are increasingly important and necessary health and wellbeing skills, that we need to use ourselves as mothers, but we also need to pass on to our kids. We have to show them how to cope with the brilliance but the confusion and stress of modern life, it’s our role as parents to be trailblazers, inspiring our kids to tap into their inner selves to find the strength to cope with the outer demands.”
So Jackie has given birth to a new business called ‘ZenMuma’. It’s a little tongue in cheek really, I’m not always Zen by any means, but with all my training, and daily practice, I do move towards it, and I use all the techniques I teach to keep myself as happy, content and sane as I can be, and I encourage my family to do the same. These techniques taken from yoga, mindfulness, meditation, positive thinking, self-hypnosis, they have been around for thousands of years! And they work, not just for me, but for millions of others. These techniques are now even scientifically proven. But don’t listen to me, try it out and listen to yourself! when you begin to practise and let go of old destructive habits, life just becomes lighter, easier, and yes more Zen”.
If you would like to be a ZenMuma Teacher Jackie is now recruiting. You can choose from Hypnobirthing training, pregnancy yoga, baby yoga or children’s yoga teacher training. Trainings are happening in Norwich (Jackie’s home) and in London, Brighton, and Thailand.
You can choose to simply do the training and start-up yourself – there is a module in the training which assists you in ‘how to start your own business’ – or you can become a licensed teacher under the ZenMuma brand, nurtured by the ZenMuma family. This route gives you everything you need to start your business! A web page fully optimised for SEO on the mother site, social media posts, leaflets, posters, roller banner, in fact, and in Jackie’s own words “everything I wish I had given to me when I started my own business”.
So don’t delay, sign up today, and receive your full certified training, which on completion means you can be insured to start teaching straight away! Plus lesson plans, a 70-page handbook, online classes to view, online classes to give to your clients, assistance with customer journey, and so much more
This could well be the first day of the rest of your life! Start today. BOOK HERE