With the coming of her second child, yoga teacher Anastasia Shevchenko had to re-think her work. Read her story about bringing a big project to life despite a very small budget and lack of investors – while taking care of two small kids!
When life with kids make you change your plans
This story began last summer when our family got the good news: we were expecting! My husband and I wanted to have a second child, our 2 year old just got out of diapers, so we let the nature take its course… As I got pregnant, I realized that my life would have to change.
Before having children, I was a new yoga teacher, very keen to take on any teaching opportunity I got, even if it wasn’t well-paid, or even if it wasn’t paid at all for that matter! I just wanted to learn, to gain experience, to build on my resume… I started out, like most others, subbing classes for more established teachers and teaching at weird times that nobody else wanted.
With Liam’s birth, I had to become more picky, and frankly speaking, we could afford it. My husband had a fruitful work period, and I established myself with a small number of dedicated students who were happy to follow me from one rented space to another. At this point, I still liked to take some time in the evening away from the family for my work.
Changes had to be made
With the coming of the second child however, I had to re-think my work. I wanted to establish a way in which I could work more during the day or in high-intensity time chunks, work less, and be more recognized for what I do and how I do it.
And so, in the end of the summer 2017, the idea of the Berlin Yoga Conference was born. In September I put together a temporary website and outlined my vision, then approached the yoga teachers to see if the ideas resonated with them. I also started looking for a venue, which was one of the biggest challenges so far: Berlin has become very expensive and the venue costs a substantial chunk of my budget. In the end, I found an amazing venue that could not have been more perfect for the occasion – Malzfabrik. The people working there were very happy and supportive about the idea of hosting the Berlin’s first ever Yoga Conference.
With the venue finalized, by October a list of presenters was ready as well, with some basic notions about the programming and the business plan. In November, I approached important service providers for the next steps - the designer and the programmer - as well as the possible sponsors and media partners.
Creative ways of bringing a project to life
Why have I planned the Berlin Yoga Conference so much in advance? By now you know the first reason – because of my daughter who was born in the end of February. The second reason is simple – because I needed a lot of time to compensate for the lack of money. Planning in advance has provided me with enough time to come up with all kinds of creative ways of bringing this project to life despite a very small budget, lack of investors, connections, or a well-known name in the community.
So now, here I am, working full-time (without getting paid for this), while having a newborn baby, nursing her while doing emails, Skyping with people while she’s asleep, and taking her with me in a sling to business meetings – all of this before my 3-year old comes back from the day care and we spend some time as a family the four of us.
And the last thing: I manage to do my daily practice! At 20:00 when we put the two kids to sleep, I have that one hour to practice, well, usually while trying to catch up with my husband stretching next to me. Well, maybe it is not a traditional Ashtangi kind of way, but that’s what I can afford at this point!
Interested in the Berlin Yoga Conference? There is a chance to experience a little taste of it through the photos from the Pop Up#1:Meet the Berlin Yoga Conference or to come over (link to the program for the pop up#2) to the Pop Up#2: Berlin Summer Yoga Edition this August 18, 2018
Find out more about Anastasia Shevchenko
Photo Credits: Alessandro Sigismondi