As a maternity photographer in San Francisco (New York and Seattle) and a mother,
I worship San Francisco prenatal yoga teacher and trainer Jane Austin. She is another rock star who I want to introduce on my monthly blog post featuring amazing women business owners who serve pregnant and postpartum women.
Jane Austin has been a business ally for almost 15 years. I consider a business ally someone who has dedicated their life and career to working with and caring for pregnant women, someone who goes above and beyond to serve this population of women. Pregnant women are sacred beings and should be protected and and nurtured as they are carrying the future generation. Jane has taken good care of my San Francisco maternity photography and family photography clients and me! 1) Tell me a little bit about you, where you are from, family etc. Also please tell us some of your important life philosophies and values.
I grew up in Ohio, number 4 of 5 kids. I’m the second of identical twins, aka “Baby B.” After college, Baby A and I moved out to San Francisco. After graduating with a liberal arts degree, the offer from our older sister to come to SF and live with her for free was the best offer we had. That was the summer of 1989, I’ve been in the city by the bay ever since. I spent a good chunk of the 90’s attending births as a doula and homebirth midwife. In 1997 I gave birth to my first child and embarked on my path of yoga. A few years later I had another baby and started teaching childbirth preparation and prenatal yoga classes. I loved being a midwife and being able to witness women stepping into the role of mothers was and still is awe inspiring. While I loved attending births, the “on call” lifestyle was a deal breaker for me. I was sad to leave that work but when that door closed another opened. I started teaching more and more prenatal and postnatal classes. After many years of teaching prenatal yoga, I founded a prenatal yoga teacher training called Mama Tree. Today, I train hundreds of yoga teachers a year to work with pregnant women.
2) Tell me about your business, how you got started and why you were drawn to this profession?
I came into teaching prenatal yoga from my own experience of practicing yoga when I was pregnant with my daughter. Like many women I spent most of my young adult life hating my body – my thighs were too big, boobs were too small etc, etc… and basically I spent a lot of time at war with my body. But one day, I was in a prenatal yoga class in a Warrior pose, and as I came into the posture, I just remember feeling so strong, so powerful and so beautiful. I didn’t know at the time but a seed had been planted. After I gave birth, I started practicing yoga in earnest. A few years later, I began teaching yoga. Teaching prenatal yoga was a natural extension of my love and passion for yoga and working with pregnant and new mamas.
3) What do you feel passionate about?
My work as a pre and postnatal yoga teacher and trainer is my life’s passion. I feel so blessed to love what I do for a living. I work with over two hundred mamas a week in my yoga classes. It is awesome! I do prenatal training in the SF Bay Area and nationally. I hope to take my training international in the coming years.
Yoga is such a powerful tool for self care. Moms need self care in pregnancy, postpartum and beyond! It is my mission to help bring yoga to mamas everywhere. A mama that nourishes and cares for herself is well suited to nourish and care for those in her charge. A few years ago I hosted my first Mama’s Self Care Retreat. These are now annual events I host with Stephanie Forster and Katie Cariffe up at Mayacamas Ranch. Our next one is May 27 – 29 (Memorial Day Weekend!). You can learn more about it at janeaustinyoga.com.
4) Please feel free to add anything else here which could include something that has influenced you in your life, any wisdom that you wish to impart that maybe wasn’t included in the other questions.
Last but not least, the love that I have for my husband and our kids fuels me every day to do the work that I do!