I’m Kate, owner and founder of Peace At Last Yoga. Great to meet you. I’m a baby yoga, toddler yoga and infant massage instructor, and fully qualified level 3 adult yoga instructor. I came to yoga and massage through having my children and this is where my passion lies, which is how I stepped from a career as a marketing copywriter into an entirely new life path.
When I had my eldest daughter back in 2010 I found that I did not have the idyllic birth pool experience I’d hoped for. Far from it. Breastfeeding never really got started, I felt deeply overwhelmed, and I don’t remember at any point feeling like a competent parent. I felt like I was having to prove myself to every midwife and health visitor, telling them I felt “fine” - “great” even - when that was far from the reality.
I stumbled across an infant massage class when my baby was a few weeks old. I walked in feeling extremely nervous, plonked myself down on a mat, then pretended I knew what I was doing. Everyone else seemed so natural. I was not. Life continued in this vein for most of mat leave but over the massage sessions I got chatting to other mums, made some friends, had some coffee and play dates. If I hadn’t gone to that massage class, mat leave would have been deafeningly quiet.
When I massaged my baby she was calm. I was calm. I look back on those moments with real happiness. My now nearly 10-year-old still loves a massage.
Connecting with the breath
When I was pregnant with my second (and had a toddler and a full time job) I was referred to counselling following a complete meltdown at the midwife where I told her in no uncertain terms was the baby coming out of “there”. My first labour had been a nightmare of epic proportions. I’ll spare you the details but it was LONG and there were A LOT of drugs. Enough drugs to make me hallucinate that my brother-in-law was in the room dealing potatoes from his hat.
There happened to be a hypnobirthing pilot scheme being trialled and I was lucky enough to get onto it. I was introduced to guided meditation, rainbow relaxation and proper breathing. I practiced diligently, hoping it would work. I began to feel calmer about the prospect of birth. I found my voice, and I had power and control. During labour I genuinely felt so little pain that I was turned away from hospital and very nearly gave birth in the car park.
After that miraculous experience I was hooked. I continued my meditation practice and one day accidentally ended up at a baby yoga session. I turned up to a sling meet at the wrong time and wrong location (baby brain is real!). The lovely lady running the group let me join in. I’m not going to lie, it was a little weird. But my interest was piqued and I started practising yoga.
I practised hypnobirthing with my third pregnancy and once again had a quick, painless labour. I joined a baby massage/yoga course after she was born. I felt like I was finally getting to grips with this parenting thing (3 kids in) and one of the easiest ways to do it was to let go of expectations and breathe.
A new career
The year after my youngest was born I decided to retrain. I studied courses in baby and toddler yoga and infant massage. I completed a Level 2 in breastfeeding support and worked as a breastfeeding supporter helping mums to feed their babies and delivered antenatal sessions. I got my Level 3 in adult yoga and started specialising in postnatal women. In the near future I plan to deliver yoga for pregnancy as well as older children. I believe everyone can benefit from a little yoga.
My children are now 3, 6 and 9. We regularly practise yoga and meditation and while life is definitely not completely stress free - I do still have to get 3 children to school on time every day - I know how to stay calm in a crisis. My youngest child’s nursery teacher recently commented on how she’s one of the few kids in class who can meditate (because they teach meditation in schools these days, which is amazing) so starting early is a real gift.
Yoga, massage and meditation have changed my life for the better, and it’s my mission to pass these skills on to you and your little ones.
I hope to see you in class soon.