Helen Macnair’s yoga journey began in London in 1990 in her early 20’s, she began teaching yoga in 1997 and is a registered senior teacher with Yoga Australia.
Helen was inspired by Frederick Leboyer’s ‘Birth without violence’ which she read as a child. During her first pregnancy in 1997 she discovered Janet Balaskas and attended ‘active birth’ classes.
Helen is passionate about the need for women to reclaim their birth experiences and loves working with women as they transition through this stage of life.
In 2003, Helen set up a government funded ‘Sure Start’ centre in South London, to support women during pregnancy and early motherhood. Working closely with local midwives, the centre offered pregnancy and postnatal support services including yoga, craniosacral osteopathy and homeopathy.
In 2005, Helen trained as a Doula with Michel Odent, the French obstetrician who pioneered water births and completed her Birthlight pregnancy and post natal yoga diploma with Francoise Freedman who confirmed her instinct to nurture women in pregnancy and to encourage a gentle, holistic yoga practice.
Helen has been a tutor for Birthlight in Australia, teaching pregnancy and postnatal yoga to yoga teachers and maternity professionals.
Helen moved to the Central Coast in 2007 with three children then aged 9 years, 2 years and 2 months. They had been in Australia for six months and like many families, left Sydney in search of a more affordable lifestyle. As much as Helen was loving the climate and beauty of the Coast it was a difficult time until she established her own ‘village’ and support network.
With this personal understanding of the challenges of early motherhood, Helen has continued the work she began in London here on the Coast; building community, connection and supporting women during this wonderful but vulnerable time.
Helen continues to study and is always learning. She regularly attends yoga training courses, workshops and retreats to deepen her knowledge and understanding of yoga, for her own personal practise and to share with students.
Helen runs a busy yoga studio with her friend and business partner, teaches weekly classes, runs retreats in Australia and abroad. As well as being mum to teenagers!
“Living and teaching here on the beautiful Central Coast I feel I have come home. I am blessed and privileged to be able to raise my children by the ocean, to continue learning and to share my yoga experience. Yoga has been a huge part of my life for such a long time. Through my practise and teaching I have met so many wonderful and inspiring souls, discovered myself and I am truly excited and open to the journey ahead…follow your heart.’
What’s in a name?
When Helen first moved to the Coast, her yoga business was named after her baby girl (now 13 years old), Rose Isabella. Rose is still called all sorts of combinations of Bella Rose, Rosie Bella, Rosie toes etc and simply ‘ROSE’ if her mum is running out of patience!
So ‘Bella Rose Yoga’ was inspired by Helen’s gorgeous daughter. As always, things change and evolve and the name became ‘Bella Mamma Yoga’ in honour of all the beautiful women Helen has met, and hopes to continue to meet, on this path.
What does the logo represent?
During her 20’s, Helen spent a year in India and Nepal and was drawn to the symbolism in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. The logo is a Mandala and represents the Universe. At the centre of this Universe is the sun and a heart full of love, the most important life giving forces.
Working with women during pregnancy, birth and early motherhood, developing awareness of the heart-womb connection and creating community is all about weaving a web of love and light. This work can only come from the heart.