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International Day of Yoga with Natalie Kreidieh

International Day of Yoga with Natalie Kreidieh

By Aya

Food

Today we gather to celebrate International Yoga Day and honor the remarkable Natalie Kreidieh. She is not only an extraordinary entrepreneur, owning a thriving yoga studio in Saudi Arabia, but also a a radiant soul who beautifully weaves the realms of motherhood and yoga. As we celebrate International Yoga Day, Natalie’s remarkable journey as an entrepreneur and devoted mother to two incredible boys fills our hearts with profound emotions. Let us embark on a brief glimpse into her story, where love, resilience, and the transformative power of yoga intertwine.

How did you first get introduced to yoga, and what inspired you to start practicing it?
Growing up, I experienced a lot of trauma. I often like to say, I am a victim of trauma (as many of us are). My mother wanted to help me and so she prioritized my mental health by scheduling me in for therapy weekly. Every few weeks, I would ask my mom to change therapists because I wasn’t feeling like I was able to connect – she would agree because she wouldn’t see any behavioral improvements. One day, my mother’s friend recommended Reiki, an energetic healing practice. Mom took me to a Reiki Master and I can truly say that is where my transformation began. After that, I stepped into a yoga studio and I found that this moving meditation was my medicine. The amount of emotional, mental, physical and spiritual transformation I have gone through, thanks to yoga, has been incredible!

What benefits have you experienced from practicing yoga as a mother?
As a mother, it has given me techniques to calm down when I feel overwhelmed or triggered. It has helped me sit with myself during the turbulence of motherhood and just breathe. It’s really a great outlet to release frustration. I often like to run to my mat to release suppressed tears. It is the ultimate ME-TIME!
And ofcourse, it has helped me stay in shape, because it is a practice I can do anywhere and at any time…I just need a mat.

How has yoga helped you find balance between motherhood and self-care?
My yoga practice is my self-care. It is my place to release emotion, to stay fit, to clear my mind and to have fun! I’ve also been able to create a great social life, thanks to the yoga community. As a mom, my yoga practice is also off the mat. When my kids are having a tantrum, I resort back to my breath work to stay calm then I teach it to my kids so that they can help themselves too!

Are there any specific yoga poses or sequences that you find particularly beneficial as a mother?
There aren’t any specific poses that I could recommend. Movement is medicine. Showing up on your yoga mat, moving your body intuitively and mindfully, inviting gratitude into your heart – these are the practices that I recommend. Many people that start yoga notice that they release a lot of stored emotions held in the body.Yes, our muscles hold on to memory and they hold on to stress. The more we move, mindfully, and the more we breathe, the more we release. Then inviting love into your heart and recharging using medicinal movement is key to your health as a human but more so as a mother!

How do you manage to incorporate yoga into your daily routine with children?
Yoga is a part of our home. My mat is set-up at the same place at the same time. Usually they are at school when I’m practicing but if they are home sick or if it’s the weekend then I do my practice within the chaos and it becomes one big beautiful mess – I love it.

Have you noticed any positive effects of yoga on your overall well-being and mental health as a mother?
Yes, definitely. The practice of yoga allows me to be mindful as a mother. I am present with my kids when I am with them, actively listening and learning from them. But more than that, yoga has helped me self-regulate. I get big emotions then I calm down and I apologize. My kids watch me self-regulate and they learn. I observe their breath when they are having a tantrum or when they are upset. Most of us breathe from our mouth especially when we are in a state of discomfort, simply switching to nose-breathing will take us from fight-or-flight to a more relaxed state. Lastly, I grew up as a reactive person. Yoga helps me observe the need to react and just sit with that discomfort and transform it. This is important for mothers to do especially when they feel overwhelmed. Being mindful also means understanding the trigger – most of the time it stems from our childhood, our mother…so when we heal, we are actually healing generational trauma.

Are there any specific breathing techniques or mindfulness practices that you find helpful as a mother?
Nasal breathing = breathing from my nose and not my mouth. Sending the breath into my belly then exhalinging out of my mouth, using sound to help release tension. I teach this one to my kids as “Smell the Flower, Blow the Candle”. I ask them to smell the imaginary flower, then blow out the candle. We do it for fun all the time so when they are upset I remind them and they can go back to it easily.

How has yoga influenced your relationship with your children and your approach to parenting?
Yoga is a way of life. When you are on the mat and you are struggling, how do you react to the struggle? This practice will help you with your anxiety, with anger, with your sleep, and most of all with how you approach situations. Sometimes on a yoga mat, you will be in a posture that is really uncomfortable but simply sitting in it and breathing through the discomfort helps you remember that everything passes. As mothers, our nervous system is constantly being triggered, so the only thing we can really do is find our calm in the storm until it passes. Motherhood becomes more enjoyable when we enjoy the ride (the ups & the downs).

What advice would you give to another woman that wants to start their own business?
My number one advice is to do something you love so you don’t have to “work” a day of your life. You will be able to produce something you love so it naturally flows from you. Your business becomes your baby, just make it something that you can lovingly fit into your life effortlessly. Every business will need you to put in the work, but if you love what you do then you will enjoy the ride. Keep it simple and allow it to fit into your life naturally. Also, involve your kids. Let them be your inspiration and your motivation, they are learning from you and they idolize you. Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.

What advice would you give to other mothers who are interested in starting a yoga practice?
You don’t have to be flexible to start yoga, you just have to be willing.
Anything is intimidating at first, but when you do something outside of your comfort zone, that is where the magic happens. Most importantly, if you didn’t enjoy yoga from the first time then try again with a different teacher or a different style. There are so many styles of yoga, and there is really something for everyone. Give it a try, and I hope it will change your life the way it changed mine.

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