Super Mum: Jenny Stewart from Balance + Glo
Meet Jenny Stewart, qualified yoga teacher, Co-Founder of wellness platform Balance + Glo, and new mum to Freddie.
Jenny has been practicing yoga for over 15 years and since moving to the Isle of Wight just over three years ago, has embraced all things coastal and island-living.
We were excited to chat with Jenny for our Super Mum series. Read on to hear about her experiences as a new mum, tops-tips for mum self-care, favourite island eco-businesses, plus more about the exciting launch of Balance + Glo's new wellness series created and designed for new and expectant mammas, Bump + Beyond.
How do mornings look in your household?
Mornings now look very different to how they used to - Fred usually wakes up at 6am chatting to himself very loudly at the moment - luckily I’ve always been a morning person haha! Since becoming a mum, I’ve tried to keep some of my old habits intact like having a hot lemon water (brilliant for cleansing your digestive system first thing!) and getting in a little movement whether it be yoga or a bike ride if I can before the day truly even gets started.
Can you tell us a bit about your story and what inspired you to start your business here, Balance+Glo?
I moved to the Isle of Wight just over three years ago on a bit of a whim! My husband and I didn't know anyone here but fell in love with the house we now live in. I’d been feeling a little like we had just been crazily busy with our life - commuting for work, working crazy hours and not spending much time together plus we just always wanted to be by the sea and the island felt like the right place for us to be. In a bit daring move, I quit my full time marketing job and started teaching yoga full time on the island. We embraced island life from the off, making the most of the amazing countryside and beaches here - cycling, running, swimming, snorkelling, surfing and more and the island seemed to embrace us too!
I met my now business partner Evelyn at a yoga class and we started talking, one thing led to another and we ran our first Balance + Glo retreat in 2018 and since then the business has grown into a team of wellness experts across many different fields. It’s hard not to be inspired by the island - the crystal clear sea, the innate connection to mother nature, the space here as a sanctuary from our busy lives. I loved the fact that on my lunch break I could go for a sea swim, yoga on the beach or cycle along the coast road!
What are some of your favourite island eco businesses?
Island Refillery - an innovative zero waste doorstep delivery refill service. I love their ethos and the products are divine. We work with them now to provide all the toiletries for our island retreats.
Modern Garden Kitchen - A regenerative market garden on the Island providing fresh produce across the island. Owner Fran caters for our island retreats using all her own sourced fresh ingredients from the garden. Her food is absolutely incredible.
One Happy Yogi - these guys have created amazing yoga mats made from sustainable materials. And with every yoga mat purchased a tree is planted!! The designs are also by an illustrator based on the island.
I love that the island provides such a supportive community for entrepreneurs!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A magazine journalist!! So writing this feels like I’m reaching my original goal!
Which females inspires you?
There are so many! From famous faces to entrepreneurs and my friends and family.
Do you have a parenting style?
As a first time mum I’m learning the ropes so I haven’t adopted a style as such. We are just trying new things each day with Freddie and seeing what works for him and us and what doesn’t and taking it from there. I’m finding it’s important to go with the flow and be willing to adapt when you need to - all skills which I’ve also learnt on the yoga mat!!
Where is your fave place in the world?
My home on the Isle of Wight!
Although I am partial to the incredible views from Table Mountain in Cape Town, the crystal clear water in Greece and LOVE Chamonix in France where I met my husband - those mountain views can’t be beaten!
What has been your career highlight so far?
Launching The Online Studio last year during Covid and building such an awesome Balance + Glo community has been pretty incredible during a pretty dark and horrible time we built something which brought a little joy and light into people’s lives.
What do you love most about your work?
The sense of community that continues to grow with Balance + Glo. It’s been incredible to have this sense of family - with the team, with our members and with those who come to our retreats and events. Plus connecting with all kinds of amazing businesses and brands has been awesome too. That kind of support is invaluable and I’m forever grateful for that.
What are you working on now and what’s in the pipelines?
Currently we are working on launching our new pre and post natal wellness series called Bump + Beyond on The Online Studio which is super exciting. The wellness series we have created will guide you through both pre and postnatal exercises, yoga, meditations, breath work and educational videos from a field of experts including a qualified women’s physiotherapist to help you build confidence, gain strength and enhance positivity throughout pregnancy and beyond. Whether you want to learn more about what your pelvic floor is or connect with your bump or baby through a mindful meditation, stretch out your body during pregnancy or rebuild your strength post birth Bump + Beyond is for all stages & phases of your journey.
Can you share some of your self-care tips for busy mums to help unwind?
- Find some movement - I find stepping on to my yoga mat very therapeutic. The act of even doing this makes me feel calm and if you manage to move on your mat even better. My practise has definitely slowed down since giving birth but I’ve found the movement to me has become even deeper, more releasing and the ultimate way to unwind from a hard day. All of the yoga practises on Bump + Beyond will be 20 mins or less to help fit them into your day.
- Get some Fresh Air - even just stepping out the door for a moment or taking a walk with baby round the garden can feel rejuvenating. Spending anytime in nature is amazing for body and mind. If you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean then I find the sea a great calming place or if not maybe pop a calming ocean wave sound on your Spotify playlist and close your eyes for a few moments to imagine.
- Take a Moment to Breathe - Since becoming a mum finding moments of calm can be incredibly difficult. Taking a moment to just close my eyes and take 5 deep breaths can be incredibly calming - inhale through the nose for 3 and exhale for 6. Repeat 5 times.
What's been your proudest moment as a parent to date?
Just Freddie being healthy and happy! He also just started to say the word MAMA - which has absolutely made my week!!!
Yay! And finally, what's your favorite baby gadget which you could not live without?
Freddie’s bouncy chair! Guaranteed fun, easy to move around the house and you always have two hands free.