Yoga

The Search for “Support” that Shaped Charlotte Pop-Up Yoga

By: Natalie Fath

“Running While Nursing”


The twins. They came into my life and changed everything—my schedule, my sense of self, and most definitely, my body. In an effort to maintain my sanity, get back in shape and prove to myself that “post-baby me” was the same me as “pre-baby me,” I laced up my running shoes, squeezed into my old running shorts and tank and attempted my first jog at six weeks post-partum. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was, in fact, not my old self. I was slow, very slow. My days of running 10 miles for fun felt like a distance memory as I awkwardly and painfully half walked, half jogged on the greenway with toddlers scurrying past me and their parents offering me pitying smiles. Most notably, my own “twins” were definitely not themselves. I was still nursing and just…OUCH.


With dampened spirits, I returned home after less than a mile and promptly went online to Google “nursing sports bras” and “running while nursing.” It was a bit overwhelming. Then I remembered—there was that Facebook group for new moms I had just joined. So far, I had remained passively involved, reading in part fascination/ part horror about “lazy husbands” and pink milk. Maybe it was finally time to dive in with a question of my own.


Within an hour, I had a handful of bra recommendations (highly recommend Moving Comfort’s Juno bra) and exactly one offer for a running partner. What the heck, this girl was nice enough to answer my silly bra question, she must not be that awful. I asked her if she wanted to meet up in nearby Matthews to go for a jog and she accepted.


The day came and I was a bit nervous. I’m not in the habit of meeting up with strangers from Facebook, after all. My fears were quickly relieved as Christina showed up in her van with a warm and friendly smile. Our slow jog and chat revealed some important stats:




  • Christina: nurse practitioner, mom of 4-month-old twin girls and a 2.5 year-old boy, wife of an accountant and Chicago Bears fan.

  • Natalie: corporate PR practitioner, mom of 2-month-old twin boys, wife of a financial wiz and Green Bay Packers fan.


The football thing would be a challenge, but there was definitely friend potential.


At one point, Christina got a phone call (“was everything okay with the kids?”). She spouted off some brief instructions about a sippy cup and we were back at it. (Side note: I wouldn’t know until much later that the phone call was actually a planned “emergency” call from her husband in case she needed an out from the crazy Facebook mom!) We eventually parted ways and agreed we should meet up to run again soon.



If Only More People Did Yoga


In the months that followed, a beautiful friendship blossomed that soon included our children and husbands. (Our first meeting was on neutral territory—a Carolina Panthers game.) But as we both returned to work from maternity leave, life hit us like a ton of bricks. Exhaustion, stress and self-sacrifice were the name of the game. The need for very intentional self-care became increasingly apparent. My weekly yoga class at Okra had become my saving grace, and I invited Christina to join me. She attended one of Tai’s killer Jivamukti classes and she was hooked too. Yoga soon started to take an increasingly important role in our lives as we experienced the very real benefits of the practice—physically, mentally and spiritually.


As we shared about workplace pressures, we marveled—“if only more people did yoga.” We were convinced we would all be much happier and healthier and live more peacefully. And yet, in our small corner of south Charlotte and Matthews, there were no yoga studios. Time and proximity were crucial factors to enabling busy people (us included) to do more yoga. We decided to put our yoga teaching certifications to use and do something about it.



A New Business is Born


And so, two years after our twins changed our lives forever, Christina and I birthed Charlotte Pop-Up Yoga into existence to make the benefits of yoga more accessible to more people in our community.


Since June 2019, Christina and I have been popping up all over town. We’ve done bridal, private and corporate yoga. We’ve taught at coffee shops, juice joints, lakes and local parks. And we’ve met some amazing people in the process who have invited us into their spaces, shared their stories and blessed us more than we could have ever expected. We’re more passionate than ever about breaking down the barriers to practicing yoga, meeting people where they are and sharing in a mindful experience with our neighbors.


It’s been a whirlwind 2019 as we’ve learned this business of yoga and embraced our newfound joy. As we move into 2020, we’re excited to bring yoga to new places and help others in our community find the support we all so need.


 

To see where Charlotte Pop-Up Yoga is popping up next, check out CharlottePopUpYoga.com or visit them on Instagram or Facebook (@CharlottePopUpYoga).

Natalie Fath is a boy mom, wife, corporate public relations professional and co-owner of Charlotte Pop-Up Yoga with fellow yogi Christina Dunbar. As a volunteer with organizations that support trauma survivors, Natalie is passionate about using yoga as a tool to help others in their healing journey or to simply experience the many benefits of yoga in whatever way they need. Natalie enjoys writing, traveling, coffee and hiking. She’s excited to bring yoga and mindfulness experiences to unexpected places in Charlotte and beyond.

Mentions In This Article:

X
X
X
X