#BEYOUROWN MEETS LINDA WHITEHEAD
Linda Whitehead spent years of her life dedicated to climbing the corporate ladder and becoming a mum before she realised she’d lost her passion, purpose and true self along the way. A couple of yoga classes later and some of those layers she’d built up started to peel away, giving her a peep at who she really was again. And there began a deep relationship with yoga and meditation and a passion to be able to share these ancient learnings with people in a similar position to her.
Welcome Linda, thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, can you introduce yourself to us as the founder of Three Little Moons?
My name is Linda Whitehead and I’m a corporate executive, mum, yoga and meditation teacher and all-round juggler of life. I hold a high-pressure full-time executive role in the fast-paced corporate world, whilst doing my best to be a great Mum to my three amazing children and following my absolute passion and purpose – which is to teach yoga and meditation to everyone that needs it – men, kids, women, corporates, tradies….everyone!
As a business leader, what incentivised you to further your career as a dedicated yogi?
To be honest, being a business leader (in my corporate role) probably was the incentive to further my career as a yogi. I was struggling with the pressures of my full-time job a few years ago, commuting over 3 hours a day in and out of Melbourne city and I wasn’t doing a great job at the corporate role or the Mum and wife role. I was struggling – physically, mentally and emotionally. I turned to yoga as an opportunity to stretch the body after all those hours in the car and as a bit of escape time for me. What I discovered was not only my passion and purpose but also my saviour! Yoga and Meditation have truly changed the way I look at life, the way I react to things and has given me a reason to get up every day and keep going.
Who is the most influential yogi that you admire and why?
It’s so tough to narrow it down to one influential yogi. I have had the absolute privilege to be taught by so many amazing yogis and it is this gathering of knowledge and curation of my favourite bits into my teaching that has set me off in my own direction and helped me to find my authenticity and place.
My Mum is probably the biggest yogi influence in my life as her regular yoga practice was happening way back when I was a kid (in the early ’80s when hardly anyone did yoga) so being around her showed me that yoga was just a way of life and could easily be integrated without having to live in an ashram all the time. I’ve then had some amazing mentors and teachers – Sian Pascale from The Light Collective in Melbourne and Govind Das from Bhakti Yoga Shala in LA are some of my biggest influences over the past few years though – they have an amazing way of sharing these sacred, ancient teachings in a modern way.
As you represent wellbeing, connection, authenticity and inclusiveness with classes, workshops/retreats that are available for men, women and kids. Can you help us understand your business model and core ethos at Three Little Moons?
We are a brand that wholeheartedly agrees with the Dalai Lama when he said ‘The point of life is happiness’ and that ‘what unites all beings is their desire for happiness.’
However, we also recognise that life is not always all about happiness and sunshine. The reality is we have work commitments, we have family commitments, we get bogged down with deadlines and travel and we make mistakes and deal with big issues likes grief and losing jobs or separating from partners and all the things that life throws at us. So at Three Little Moons, we aim to share some of the tools that can help our community through the rough patches and help move them into a state of wellbeing and happiness. For those who are already there, we share the tools to help you stay there.
We provide classes, workshops, retreats and online videos that allow our community to experience these practices so that we can all develop physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually into a life of gratitude, balance, freedom and ultimately, happiness.
We are inclusive of everyone in all of our Three Little Moons classes and retreats – yoga is and should be available to all – and for men and children that need a more targeted focus to get them going, we offer a separate environment for them;
Yoga for Bros is our yoga and meditation classes for guys only. One of the extra benefits of our classes for guys is that at the end of yoga class, we all have a sneaky beer or kombucha and a chat with the other guys – helping us to build a community of support, connection and friendship which is an area that many guys struggle to find.
Pink Buddha Yoga and Meditation is our children’s program where we run 3 different Yoga and Meditation classes for our future generations – Tiny Buddha’s (3-5 years), Little Buddha’s (6-9 years) and Tween Buddha’s (9-13 years). We believe that if we can teach these children to integrate yoga and meditation into their daily lives from a young age, wellbeing practices will be more about maintenance in everyday life.
And then in my spare time (I’m not sure when that is!), my amazingly supportive husband and I also run a Yoga Retreat in Bali. La Balian Villa and Retreat is situated on the west coast of Bali in a gorgeous surf and farming village called Balian Beach. The retreat space is available for retreat leaders to book and facilitate their own retreats and is of course also the location for all of Three Little Moons’ Retreats. The philosophy around creating this space is very much in-line with the Three Little Moons brand – it’s a place where the most amazing personal healing work can be done from a wellbeing perspective, a place where you not only connect with yourself on a level you’ll never do at home but you also connect with the others in your group and rewardingly, the local community that we love in Balian. You’ll find La Balian to be the most authentic Bali experience you could have – no tourists and shops nearby, just pure bliss in the middle of a working rice field. And of course, everyone is welcome here – we host visitors from all over the world on all sorts of amazing retreats and we embrace them all!
So what we’re really aiming to do is to provide the tools that help our community navigate this big busy world. We know that not everyone can commit to a life of daily yoga to help bring them in a state of balance so we try to provide short videos, casual classes, retreats, workshops and other practices that can be inserted into their busy lives to provide some of that balance towards happiness.
What has been the most challenging yet rewarding barrier you faced and how did overcome it?
I believe that if you are going to thrive in this big busy world, you need the tools of yoga and meditation to help you get there. The problem is that the people that need it most (corporates, tradies, men and children) either don’t understand it or think it’s too woo woo for them. So the most challenging aspect of targeting these people in a yoga business is that they don’t know they need it until they’re so far down the unhappiness path that it’s a longer road to get them back on track.
The most rewarding aspect though is when you do get them to class or you get them to do some of our videos and you see reluctance shift into embracing the practice. I love it when my Yoga for Bros guys come along for the stretch and leave wanting more of the savasana or deep relaxation at the end. They say that the reason people come to yoga isn’t the reason they stay and I’m a great believer in that!
What support networks do you personally love and can recommend to other aspiring yogis out there to become part of?
A lot of my grassroots classes and workshops are done in the local community on the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne, Australia so local is a big focus of mine. I’ve joined an amazing support network locally that is made up of some inspirational local businesswomen who come together (physically and virtually) to share business advice and help each other out. They provide a great directory of these women’s business services and so I tap into them for help with financials, marketing support, whatever I need locally. Business Chicks in Australia is also an amazing support network that I’d highly recommend for an aspiring business leader.
On a broader level, I’m trying to grow more in the space of creating events and retreats for corporates, tradies and other busy people and for this, I get involved in online business support groups with global reach to find out what is needed and who else I could collaborate with to create presence in other cities, hence my involvement with #BEYOUROWN.
The best lesson throughout your career you have learned so far that you can share?
Don’t compare yourself to others. Nothing good will come of that and your authenticity will be lost. Be true to who you are and if you’re not for some people, that’s fine. Stay focused and you’ll find your tribe.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
#BEYOUROWN is all about following your calling and making it your own. It took me a long time to find my passion and purpose – I was unsure about what it was that set my soul on fire because it has been covered over with all of those years of climbing the career ladder, being a wife, becoming a Mum and so even when I did find yoga, I wasn’t sure how I could use it for the betterment of the world. Once I’d worked it out though, I knew I had to stay focused, I had to walk that path and I had to do it in a way that was true and authentic to me and my style. I couldn’t copy anyone else because that would not be me and if it’s not me, I can’t be passionate.
In which areas are you looking to grow and expand Three Little Moons in the next 3-5 years?
I really want to expand globally. I think that I’ve got this amazing model that I’ve tried and tested in a local community in Melbourne and online through social media and I’ve seen the benefits our programs have – but soon it will be time to take it to a wider audience. This will include an online community that will give people everywhere access to my videos with meditations and yoga classes for everyone – women, men and children. I’d like to host workshops and retreats in various cities around the world and of course, hold regular retreats in Bali for those that want a week-long program.
I also see myself as working with businesses on their wellbeing programs – giving them an online portal that their staff can tap into regularly and as needed to keep stress and anxiety in the workplace to a minimum.
Website link: www.threelittlemoons.com
Photo credit Sophie Timothy @sisterscoutstudio
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