Category Archives: Business

Ramblings about the business of Stretch NI

Stretching the mind – business promises

I attended a very interesting event with Bernadette Doyle’s Client Magnets this weekend in Dublin. It was called “Quick Product Profits” and it was all about creating and marketing products that could be sold online. It was fascinating. Not least the information (which was useful and if I apply it you will see a few online offerings from me in the future) but also the whole psychology around it.

It really stretched my mind to watch a master at NLP (neuro linguistic programming) in action and to see someone perform when they are surrounded by a bunch of ardent admirers – her “tribe” if you will. It made me want to surround myself with a tribe who are in congruence with my philosophies on life, love and the universe (or at least on yoga, Pilates and meditation!!) just to see how far I can stretch myself and my business.

So, I am declaring it today – on this day, the day that my beloved Uncle Jack has just died – that I will start taking myself seriously and will make a success of my business. Jack would have expected nothing less of me.



Structure for summer

I know that title sounds silly. First of all, it feels nothing like Summer at the moment and secondly, the last thing most people want to think about is putting structure in their lives. In fact, remember when you were a kid and school had finished and you had the whole L-O-O-O-N-N-N-G-G summer stretching out ahead of you and how cool that was? Well, in my case it filled me with anxiety. I liked the structure imposed upon me by the school bell and timetable. I disliked having all this time to do with what I wanted because inevitably I ended up wasting it and that always pissed me off. (Yes, even in primary school!)

I would start the summer off full of good intentions to read more, write more, catch up on school work, learn a new skill or language and then I would find myself going to bed later and later and therefore getting up later and later and not getting any of my grandiose schemes started, never mind completed! Well, I’m not at school any more but I have signed up to a number of online courses which means I DO have reading and writing to do, work to catch up on and  new skills to learn. But guess what? Just like 30 years ago I have started going to bed later and later and therefore getting up later and later and NOT getting my work done. And yet again, it’s pissing me off!

So I have a plan in place. And I’d like to share it in case it helps you too:

  1. I am utilising my 2012 Creating Your Goddess Year Calendar from Goddess Leonie Dawson to ensure that I can see what appointments I have each month all on one page. She also has little cute drawings on the planner and suggestions such as “Happiness Day” (5th June, in case you were wondering).
  2. I am then using her daily planner tool to break each day down into my 3 Most Important Tasks which I write into my own diary. Before it just had blank pages with the odd yoga or Pilates class scribbled in. Now it still has my classes written in, as well as other appointments and time it will take me to travel to/from each appointment, AND my 3 Most Important Tasks for the day.
  3. I also got a large 2012 Year Planner for my wall (they should be pretty cheap now, considering we’re halfway through the year) and I am able to see at a glance when I am on holidays, when I am teaching Pilates Instructor Training courses, whereabouts I am in my class schedule and when I am likely to overcommit myself so that I can avoid doing so and causing overwhelm.
  4. I like writing things down. So I also have programme plans etc. written down on flipchart paper and stuck on the wall beside my Year Planner. If you are not a writer you could always make much better use of your Smartphone’s scheduling facilities or Google Calendars. I just like to see what I’ve written whenever I want, without turning on technology. (I am hoping my use of different coloured pens prevents me from being called a Luddite by more technologically savvy friends).

So that’s my plan. More structure = less stress for me this summer. If I have structure I can rebel against it, like not do all three of my Most Important Tasks. If I have no structure I get caught in indecision and fear and get nothing done.

And considering I have a 2448 mile drive during my holidays I need structure to ensure I get where I need to go when I need to be there! I am combining technology (with GPS) with old fashioned methods (maps and asking people when we get lost) and this should be enough structure to get us moving without feeling like we are a slave to our schedule hence we only booked hotels for the start and the end of the trip, leaving us free to do what we want and go where we want within reason. But more of that next time…


Stretch Classes for New Mums

Now, I’m not a Mother. Nor am I likely to be. (It’s a long story that I am coming to terms with and I won’t bore you with it).

But I have a lot of pregnant women and new Mums come to classes with me.

  1. I get pregnant Mamas to the yoga classes I run and then I don’t see them again as they drift off into a world of sleepless nights…
  2. Or I get new Mums to the Pilates classes I run who are desperate to do some activity that their Doctor says is gentle enough before they get stronger and then I don’t see them again as they drift off into a world of kettlebells or cardio work…

So, how do I get new Mums to stay with Stretch NI? I am thinking of developing classes specifically for new Mums but I want some feedback on whether these would be attended.

I am also considering developing training for my Pilates Instructors as well as other Yoga and Fitness Instructors in order to stop the inconsistent advice from the fitness industry about what is after all a natural occurrence. I would like to know if Instructors are interested in working more specfically with this section of the community.

Do people want to stretch new Mums? And do new Mums actually want to be stretched??

Please let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below,


P.S. Just to illustrate this post I have included photographs of actresses January Jones, Alyssa Milano and Alicia Silverstone who all attended pregnancy yoga classes throughout their pregnancies. These well-known yoga practitioners are, of course, still attending classes even though they have had their babies and are no longer new Mums!

Jubilant Friday! Find out why.

Ok, so it is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. But that’s not why I’m jubilant this Friday. Instead it’s because I started my practice of meditation and morning pages today and I’m feeling all proud of myself for doing what I said I was going to! I hope that I continue to do these practices for the rest of my life! (BIG statement but I’m in a jubilant mood).

I am also looking forward to the long weekend and the good weather and the opportunity to create some more Youtube videos for your entertainment and education. Check out my Youtube Channel and have a look (and a laugh) at what I’ve done so far.

Chris and I are planning to do lots more videos like this as we drive across the USA on our Route 66 tour! So subscribe to my channel now and be the first to see them. It will be almost as if I was teaching you in Northern Ireland except I’ll be in California or Arizona or New Mexico or Illinois! And you might be on your holidays too but be able to have a stretch with me wherever you are.

Sometimes you just gotta love technology!


Day 22 of the 21 Day Yoga Commitment!

Day 22:

This day eight years ago I took a leap and proposed to my husband. And while we have our ups and downs he really is my rock and I can’t imagine life without him. So today’s post is all about taking a leap. I want to know what leaps you have taken today? Or in the recent past?

This past year has been all about leaps for me and my business. First, I leapt from teaching students into training teachers and I have worked hard to help nine brand-new Pilates Instructors start a new life. And I don’t say that lightly because teaching Pilates can be a whole new career for those who are interested. Imagine taking the leap yourself and earning as much in FIVE hours what you used to earn in 35!

I then leapt into having my own yoga studio in a Meanwhile Space in Lurgan town centre. I learnt a lot from that experience and was able to then leap into a partnership with Columbia Gym which has proven very popular with my clients and has attracted lots of new clients too. I am currently planning to leap into Yoga Teacher Training in Autumn this year so please let me know if you would be interested in this. I want to make sure I don’t spend too much time creating a kick-ass programme that no-one wants to participate in!

And, as for the yoga, today was all about leaps – leaping forward and backward in sun salutations and even leaping into hanumanasana (monkey pose AKA the splits!).