This article is an interview with our very own Eliza Hayward. Original post can be seen on the Beauty Food website.
We’ve curated a group of strong, thriving women in all areas in health and wellness – from fitness to beauty, to nutrition and coaching – to give you direct access to everything you need to thrive through these challenging times!
Influential yoga and meditation teacher, Founder of Divine Flow Yoga and Empowerment Coach, Eliza Hayward’s journey of self-discovery and personal growth began as a curious teenage student, where accessing yoga and meditation became part of her weekly ritual.
Eliza, mother of two, finds that yoga is a wonderful tool to weave in her passion of conscious motherhood and living. Realising yoga is a vehicle to gather and support the community, she share’s expression and celebrates this life changing practice with those who also seek and are curious about enhancing their lives.
Tell us a bit about yourself, where you live and who with?
Hello!! I’m both a wife and mother to (almost) two, as I’m currently 36 weeks pregnant with our second. We’ve just taken on the huge challenge of moving house! Talk about the ultimate nesting.. It really is a thing. I seem to find the biggest life challenges during pregnancy. During my first pregnancy, we built the stunning yoga studio we own and love today in Brookvale. My husband is my biggest supporter and best friend and during all these milestones, we always find our way to supporting and empowering each other. We have just moved into our forever home in North Narrabeen where we are pinching ourselves to call it “ours”.
When did you start Divine Flow Yoga and how did you get into it?
Divine Flow started as soon as I plunged into my yoga teacher training. I created an at home studio for friends and family as soon as I qualified (stretching 6 years ago now). This quickly expanded to outdoor class offerings and soon after the special search for our very first boutique yoga studio. The studio was born from a collision of having a true sense of purpose and desire to create a sanctuary for growth, transformation and healing. Fast forward to today where my husband and I built and designed the studio you see today, working with this shared passion of lifestyle, beach, surfing which flows into our yoga retreats bringing much joy to anyone involved. We are forever evolving and exploring the many ways to bring world class teachings and experiences that inform, inspire and empower people’s lives.
Sustainably made, our studio is designed to be a sanctuary for the soul and body. A unique space where a student is guided and supported with the tools to seek out the light, yet fearlessly confront the shadows. Within our beautiful white walls, our family run studio is a community, a collective that allows anyone to find their own unique ritual to steadiness through the practice of yoga.
What is your favourite activity to do with your gorgeous little one so far?
My favourite activity is taking Indiana to “messy play”, a creative world she can unlock alone with her eyes and hands. A pathway to exploration whilst getting messy without boundary or fuss. I’m mesmerised watching the new felt experiences as Indiana paves squishy goo around, or carves shaving cream down a long bench sheet (very therapeutic to watch), like one of those Japanese zen gardens! Overall, nature and craft are our favourite go-to options!
You mentioned you are pregnant with your second (congratulations!) – what tips do you have for expecting mums that want to keep up an exercise routine?
Aw, thank you! For me, movement is an essential part of pregnancy and general wellbeing, although building a strong intuition to what feels right and what does not is super important for an expecting mother. For example, I had severe morning sickness during both pregnancies so the idea of movement was largely placed on pause until I had my strength and energy back. Hitting that pause button can be a big one for most, so softening into your needs is my number one tip.
Secondly, find an exercise routine that brings you JOY, for me it’s ocean swimming and yoga! Both weaving in elements of mindfulness, breath expansion and awareness. Lastly, modify! There will come a time when your body changes, things get softer so listen to what you truly need and it might mean altering your exercise routine to something slower in pace or adding in meditations at night to down regulate your nervous system. No pregnancy is the same, with my first I was still doing regular vinyasa practices up until 38 weeks, but now.. I can only manage to roll around on my mat like a happy whale. It is all temporary!
How are you finding this lockdown? What is different from last time?
Third lockdown.. Here we are! With our business, I felt more than ready to support our members as we have built an online portal with hundreds of different yoga, meditation and pilates classes available to them. The team are refreshing and creating express classes to accommodate all and in particular the juggling parents that truly just need some time for themselves. Personally, the past few weeks were also consumed with packing and moving! So it is now that I can prepare to nest for the arrival of our next baby. I believe this time can jolt most, so a reminder to creatively think of ways to connect on a human to human level is also essential. We’re adaptable by nature but need soft reminders during these unsteady times to tend to our minds and wellbeing.
What are some non-negotiable wellbeing daily practices that you have in place that you’d recommend to anyone?
I have a daily meditation practice that is non-negotiable. It helps me to nurture my energy levels, to see and think more clearly in all day-to-day involvements. Not only do I feel grounded after this practice, it brings me a wave of ease by simply noticing moment by moment engagement with my toddler. I come back to my breath and it feels so damn good to simply notice my breath. Both my husband and I support each other to maintain daily movement and a meditation practice. It helps us to thrive, especially during those fast paced days.
What was the last book you read and what is your go-to recommendation?
I’ve just had two on-the-go! One being full of “ah hah” moments and the other page turner that was beautifully written and equally captivating. I’ve picked up The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary again (reading for the second time), for some more drops of wisdom as we navigate through toddler terrain and a book I absolutely gobbled up and could not put down is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Both I highly recommend.
What TV show are you binging right now?
Blacklist & Virgin River. I recently heard that watching a crime series like Blacklist is a means of escape and wonder to everyday reality – worth the escape, highly recommended! And watching a hopeless, easy romantic series like Virgin River brings a dependable and safe outcome – also sounds lovely before bed time.
Best beauty advice you have been given and go-to product for winter skin?
I was recommended the Gua Sha tool earlier this year (an ancient Chinese medical therapy technique) and brightening oil each day from Essence & Co. It has truly helped to reduce any fine lines, puffiness from pregnancy and dullness that winter can bring. It also boosts circulation & collagen production! The owner promotes a ritual around using this tool and doing this facial massage is effortless, but cultivates a mindfulness practice to your morning or evening routine. Indiana also loves copying me and says “Gua Sha Mummy”.