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Lake Mac mum ditches classroom to pursue ‘passion project’


A Lake Macquarie mum has ditched the classroom to pursue her “passion project”.

Now, during Mental Health Week (9-17 October), yogi Skye Freeman is asking local residents to take some “time out”, too.

The ex-school teacher knows the many benefits of yoga, and relaxation, after travelling across Australia in 2020 and navigating the challenges of the pandemic.

To help restore calm among the chaos and confusion, she started a service called Yoga by the Van.

And, the concept’s blossomed from there.

“I simply pulled out my mat, wherever the family pulled up our van, and began practicing/teaching yoga,” Skye said.

“Sometimes, it was with one person by the side of a road; other times to the dolphins on the beach.

“But, often, travellers in caravan parks or locals in small and remote towns would come along and join in.”

In fact, the former educator got so much joy from helping others that when she returned to Newcastle in 2021, she made the leap to start her own yoga business on the side.

That scenario changed this year… leaving the teaching profession altogether and turning her desire into a full-time gig.

Like so many people, Skye’s yoga journey is not an uncommon one.

“Initially, I chose to do it for me – to restore and come back to myself,” she said.

“Yoga was the time I took each day to reconnect and peel back the layers of years of a hectic lifestyle.

“I had experienced the benefits of it in my 20s and again with pre-natal yoga during my pregnancies.

“But, then I found myself in my late 30s, exhausted, running on the non-stop treadmill of life; juggling motherhood of young children, working as a teacher, renovating, ticking that next task on the to-do list.

“Life was all too consuming.

“I was constantly running from one thing to the next.”

Skye knows one of the barriers to attending more traditional yoga retreats can be time away from the family and money.

So, she is hosting two half-day retreats in Lake Macquarie.

“Grab you mum, sister, friend or colleague and take a much-needed end of year ‘time out’,” she said.

“For half a day, you can relax, restore with yoga and nourish with wholesome, locally-sourced food.

“And, the best bit, it’s right here on your doorstep.”

The retreats will take place at the Garden Suburb Community Hall on 30 October and 20 November from 9am until 1pm.

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