Navigating the intricate dance of life as a dedicated yoga instructor, a nurturing mother, and a business owner presents a unique set of challenges for Laura Dodd. Embracing these roles brings immense joy, yet finding the delicate balance for much-needed self-care remains a perpetual pursuit. Through meticulous scheduling, a commitment to well-being practices treated like sacred appointments, and a dedication to consistency and balance, the intricate tapestry of a life well-lived begins to unfold. We sat down with Laura to discuss this intricate juggling act and the importance of involving the next generation in well-being rituals, such as embracing nature and positive nutrition.
Balancing your roles as a devoted yoga instructor and a nurturing mother must be demanding at times. Could you share your go-to strategies for carving out time for self-care?
I love all my life roles; yoga teacher, mother, and business director, however it can be tricky to find the time for much-needed self-care. I schedule in me-time for my movement and other wellbeing practices as I would do an appointment in my diary, which really helps. Looking after my wellbeing and making time for daily movement is really non-negotiable for me. It’s so important to feel my best, so I can do the best in all I do, and all I do for others too. My wellbeing mantra is always balance and consistency; allow yourself some grace, for longevity and sustainability within practices, but whatever you do it must be generally consistent. Another strategy is to make wellbeing habits effective and enjoyable; it’s easy to find time to do something you love and much easier to fit in a short 20-minute meditation and facial massage before getting ready for school and the workday, than something more drawn out.
As a mother, what are some ways you involve your son in activities that promote his well-being, such as yoga or mindfulness exercises?
I encourage my son to be outside in nature as much as possible. We aim for generally positive nutrition (I can’t deny there are occasional slip-ups), as well as a positive relationship with movement and exercise. I believe wellbeing for children is also about their positive mental space; learning how to cope with different situations and life lessons with a balanced, happy, and healthy body and mind. This is setting them up for life, as much as more traditional wellbeing practices. I also feel that children learn from their parents, so if I choose to live a mindful, healthy life, I hope my son is learning that too.
In addition to yoga and mindfulness, what other activities or hobbies do you enjoy that contribute to your sense of well-being and happiness?
I am a huge fan of travelling, food, and wine. I love to travel as a family, and also solo for work (on retreat), for new experiences, cultures, and to meet new people. The list of other activities that contribute to my happiness and wellbeing is quite long, but a few features are Pilates, barre, restaurants with friends, family time, trying new things, sports, spending nature with my son and gardening.
How do you recommend busy parents find time for self-care and wellness practices while juggling their responsibilities?
The Yoga Class was born out of the need for busy people to be able to practice yoga, movement, Pilates, and meditation. We have so many parents within our community, as the App is a perfect place to fit in self-care and wellness practices, whilst juggling busy schedules. I honestly use it consistently myself, as there is always a class for however I am feeling on a particular day. It is really all about short format (10-45 min) sessions that are enjoyable, effective and can be done anytime and anywhere.
With a busy schedule, how do you manage to maintain a balanced and nourishing diet? Could you share some favourite healthy and quick meal ideas?
A cold-pressed, green juice is my favourite, quick and easy everyday go-to, which without I definitely feel less energised. A juice is the perfect and easy to pack in so many green vegetables each day. For easy and quick mid-week dinners, I make vegetable stir fries and curries, usually with rice, for a light, clean and nutritious meal. An online order from Abel and Cole, for their weekly veg box, makes this even quicker.
What are some of your favourite self-care rituals that promote both inner and outer beauty?
I am really into Face Yoga, which has just dropped on the App. Face Yoga and Facial Massage is a series of facial exercises and massage techniques, designed to improve the appearance of the skin. The exercises are based on the principles of yoga, as a mind-body practice. This practice helps reduce wrinkles, improve skin elasticity, reduce stress, improve circulation, and improve collagen production, by stimulating the muscles of the face. I feel this is a truly natural way to improve and reduce signs of ageing, boost confidence and incorporate a mind-body practice into my mornings daily.
The concept of ageing varies for each person. How has your perspective on ageing evolved as you’ve grown older, and what advice would you give to others on ageing with grace and confidence?
I was a model for many years, and it very much affects self-confidence, as you are judged purely on the way you look and can be highly criticised. However, now in my late 30s, a yoga teacher, a brand founder, and building a community- in many senses -with The Yoga Class, has brought me a feeling of wellbeing that transcends the way that I look. I think you look as good as you feel, and the key is being happy with who and where you are, as well as staying open to other people, yourself, life changes and of course, looking after your physical, mental, and spiritual health as best you can. The grace and confidence should come naturally from this place I believe.
If you could share one life lesson (be it about motherhood, wellness, business, or relationships) to pass on to others what would it be?
My favourite life lesson can really be applied to all the above things. Follow your dreams, work hard, and don’t give up. I believe in working hard for the life you desire, not settling, and executing it all with consistency. I am a huge fan of dreaming big and if you don’t see the options in life that you want, then know you can go out and create them.