Baby Classes Cheshire – MindBabySoul

April 19, 2023

Part Two of my spotlight on baby classes in Cheshire, Chester and Wirral! Each of these talented ladies have set up their own baby classes independently (so not part of any franchise), and it’s my pleasure to introduce the second – Fliss Johnson-Cooke, of MindBabySoul.

MindBabySoul yoga bag

I’ve known Fliss for a number of years now (our kids are similar ages, and I play in our local brass band with her husband), and it’s been wonderful to see her flourish with her new roles of Antenatal Practitioner and Yoga Practitioner. You’ll see from her responses just how passionate she is about both antenatal education and perinatal yoga in our part of Cheshire, but it’s only by trying out of her classes that you will really grasp quite how special these are. The Yoga with Baby class that I attended to take these images was one of the most chilled-out baby classes I have ever had the pleasure to witness!! A real testament to Fliss’s knowledge and dedication.

Grab a cup of something tasty and have a read of what Fliss had to say when I grilled her all about the background and aims of her wonderful classes at MindBabySoul…


yoga with baby on knee
mums looking at babies

How did you get here – what inspired you to set up your business?

Like so many other parents out there, and unfortunately the majority of the time we’re talking about women here, I realised that my chosen career wasn’t going to fit in easily with having a larger family. So after struggling to fit together primary school teaching and having two children, when I had my third child I started thinking about what else I wanted to do.

When attending NCT antenatal classes in Oxford in 2014, I was supported by my antenatal teacher to advocate for myself and found her support intrinsic to my very healing birth experience at home with my second baby; I started thinking ‘maybe I’d be good at that too’.

So I did! I was accepted onto the foundation degree to become an Antenatal Practitioner for the NCT. But what I didn’t know at the time was that as well as becoming an antenatal teacher I would simultaneously rediscover a deep love of yoga. As part of my foundation degree, I had the option to make up some of my credits by training as a Yoga and Baby Massage Practitioner at the same time as my antenatal training. BEST DECISION EVER!!

As well as being an antenatal teacher (which I love) I now also have my own business teaching Pregnancy Yoga, Yoga with Baby and Baby Massage (which I absolutely adore!). I kept myself extra busy over lockdown working on my 200hours Yoga Teacher Training, which I completed last summer.

I’m driven by my passion to help all new and expecting parents through yoga and evidence-based information – the maternity sector can be a scary place at the moment, and having a baby is one of the biggest life transitions anyone ever goes through, and I am so proud to be supporting people on their biggest adventure.

aromatherapy during yoga
yoga pose with baby

What makes your classes unique?

I’ve adapted my Baby Massage classes to cater for what I can see parents and babies need. A full hour of massage can be emotionally overstimulating for young babies. And mums, dads, parents, carers etc … they all need an opportunity to connect and form their own support networks. Each of my Baby Massage & More sessions has a 20-30 minute massage routine that’s easy to follow and repeat at home. This is followed by a sensory activity; and at the end I make sure there’s time to chat with a drink and snack for the adults while the babies have a feed or play on the sensory mat.

I also teach Pregnancy Yoga and Yoga with Baby at Aptitude Health and Fitness, a welcoming, friendly and independently run gym in Farndon. It’s such a beautifully inclusive environment with something for everyone, I really love holding my classes there. I also offer Pregnancy Yoga online; although this emerged out of necessity in lockdown, it’s actually the PERFECT place to do pregnancy yoga, relaxing in your own space and climbing straight into bed after – bliss!

How would you like mums/dads to feel after one of your classes?

This is quite an easy one for me! Calmer and more relaxed obviously (we’re talking yoga and massage after all!) But I mostly want people to feel empowered. I want parents to leave my classes believing in themselves that they can do it, seeing the support and community around them and connecting deeply to their own intuition. We’ve got this, maybe not all day, every day – but we’ve got this.

baby watching stretches
baby watching mum

What have you learned from the mums and dads that attend your classes?

Oh my goodness… so so much. I meet the most incredible people in my job and they inspire me all the time to keep doing what I’m doing.

What’s been the best comedy moment during one of your classes?

That’s trickier! There was one gorgeous baby who loved to play with my big mandala mat rather than the carefully chosen sensory toys – he would crawl under it and pull it over his head every week – so cute!

What would you like to be your superpower as a) a business-owner and b) a mum?

Do you remember Bernard’s Watch from CBBC? I need that watch!! A big part of my everyday yoga philosophy is to remind myself that I don’t have to do everything and be everything to everyone… but imagine if you could stop time for just an hour?! My house would be so clean for once.

lying down doing yoga
cradling baby doing yoga

How do you see your business in five years’ time?

I’ll still be here (hopefully!) doing what I do. I would love to branch out into mothers’ retreats, pregnancy retreats, that kind of thing. The NCT have really excellent CPD opportunities so I constantly feel like I’m invigorating my practice. I’m also continuing my yoga knowledge journey, working towards my 500hours Yoga Teacher Training – so yeah, always developing and growing as a person and professionally too.

What’s your favourite way to de-stress after a busy day of classes?

How lucky am I to do what I do?! It’s literally the least stressful thing finishing a class, such beautiful energy in the room, I usually leave feeling pretty amazing.

When I am taking some time away from all that background stuff that keeps a business going, I love to knit and sew, I go swimming a couple of times a week and also have my own personal yoga practice. I’m also a big fan of a nice hot bath.

downward dog with baby
baby laughing during yoga

What’s your ideal family day out?

I love a National Trust day out, always nice and chill especially if the little ones can take scooters. Or the beach in Cornwall is our happy place as a family too.

What are the best and worst pieces of advice you were given when pregnant, or shortly after you had a baby?

Worst: A Health Visitor told me if I stopped breastfeeding during the night my baby would sleep better…but I am trying to let it go – it was nearly 8 years ago!

Best: If it’s working for you, then you’re doing the right thing. All babies are completely different, there is no one size fits all, other people’s opinions are just that; THEIR opinions, so you don’t need to listen to unsolicited advice.

yoga pose with baby
warrior pose

Quickfire:

· soft play or cinema? – Cinema

· Hey Duggee or Bluey? – Bluey- it makes me want to be a better parent

· chocolate or crisps? – Chocolate, always chocolate

· travel or stay at home? – Travel, but always home in the end

· Insta or Tiktok? – Insta. Oh Tiktok, you mysterious beast, will I ever be brave enough. I think my kids might disown me if I go there, especially the 15-year-old!!

baby balancing on knees
leading yoga class

Thanks so much to Fliss for being so open and honest with all of her answers! I can personally guarantee that you will come out of one of her classes feeling waay more chilled than when you went in – even with a baby in tow!

You can find all the information for MindBabySoul online here, as well as on social media:

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