In this edition of Marvelous Mom, we focus on a mother who involved her children in her work and passion for yoga. We spoke with Angelina Liu who has been a yogi for over 13 years. Liu has been in Beijing since 2003 and originally comes from Shandong Province. She is a mother of two boys Oliver Alexander (age 9) and Tristan Peter (age 5). As an adult yoga teacher she wanted her children to benefit from yoga, so she started to study baby and children’s yoga abroad. After her first son was born in 2008, she founded Incy Wincy Kids Yoga. Instead of just focusing on her family she decided that children across China could benefit from this practice as well.
Yoga is an activity that has been practiced for thousands of years, though the exact history, and origin is highly debated. But, what we do know is that yoga is much more than just mastering poses. The first goal of yoga was to understand the world, but later the goal changed to be about self-enlightenment. In Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, the word yoga means “spiritual discipline.” Modern yoga consists of five principles: relaxation, exercise, proper breathing, proper diet, positive thinking, and meditation. These are all aspects that have the potential of benefiting a variety of people, young and old.
Her international organization, Incy Wincy Kids Yoga, has been a success since she founded the company and had taken it to many cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Since then, Liu has also been featured on TV and in newspapers. She currently is the Wake Yoga App children’s teacher and the main yoga instructor for CCTV’s Children’s Channel with a session that airs every morning throughout China.
Liu explains that juggling motherhood and owning her own company has not always been easy. When she founded Incy Wincy Kids Yoga, she focused on babies and toddlers, so taking her son to the class was a bit easier. But around the time when the company started growing, and she started to teach kindergarten and older kids, she also had her second son. She juggled her time training teachers, developing programs for kindergarten, and other school students, all the while breastfeeding her newborn. She could not spend as much time with her children as she wished, so she had to focus on the quality instead of the quantity of her family time. Now that both her boys are in school she does her best to only work during school hours so that she can spend the weekends and evenings with her family.
Both her sons have grown up with yoga since pre-birth, so yoga is is equally a part of their lives. Liu has been practicing yoga from pregnancy and never stopped. Liu even wakes up early to practice an hour of yoga before she wakes her children. The children practice yoga when they arrive at school as it’s a part of the curriculum at House of Knowledge (HOK), but on the weekends the whole family will practice together. Yoga is part of their lives, and being a yogi takes up a lot of Liu’s time, but she does her best to balance between work and family life. Often her children try to be a part of her classes as her older son can assist through being her yoga partner.
There was a period in her career when Liu felt guilty towards her younger son while he was still breastfeeding and she had to leave him sometimes to teach or train. After this she decided to hold back the growth of her company until both of her kids were going to school, but she is now back in full force.
While both her sons are not babies anymore, they still ask for baby yoga, and when she helps them move their arms and legs into various positions, they have a blast and laugh a lot. Yoga has been instrumental in helping to build their family bond through physical touch, trust practice, and her love and positive energy she passes on to her kids.
Photos: Uni You
This article appeared on p42-43 beijingkids November 2017 issue.
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