Hi, I’m Cheryl Kennedy MacDonald!
With 25 years of experience in the yoga world, I've been fortunate enough to work with incredible women at all stages of life. In fact, I've guided over 100,000 women in the UK, helping them find balance, embrace pregnancy, bond with their babies, and navigate menopause symptoms with grace.
Throughout my yoga journey, I've developed a unique approach called The YogaBellies Sadhana, designed to provide women with a safe, therapeutic, and supportive environment tailored to their needs.
But let's not forget that yoga is more than just mastering poses—it's about learning to love and appreciate ourselves at every stage of life. My YogaBellies approach is deeply rooted in body positivity, self-love, and embracing our unique selves.
In addition to sharing the gift of yoga, I'm passionate about empowering women to build sustainable careers as yoga teachers. My experience in creating a successful yoga business allows me to share valuable insights, guiding aspiring YogaBellies teachers in building their own thriving practices.
As a result of my dedication, I've been honoured with awards such as LuxLife Most Inspirational Women's Yoga Teacher 2021 and The Great British Entrepreneur Award 2019. You may have even come across my work in ITV's This Morning, BBC Dragon's Den, or seen me teaching yoga to celebrities like Kimberley Walsh and Fearne Cotton.
How it all began...
I had just got married and was working as a business analyst and teaching yoga for friends at night: I didn’t think it could ever be my ‘real job.’ I’d struggled with PMS and heavy and irregular periods during my teens and twenties and now I was looking into having children and knew I wanted to practice yoga during pregnancy too.
I loved my yoga practice but I knew I wasn’t necessarily getting from it what I needed from it. My 6-day-a-week hardcore Ashtanga yoga practice had halted my periods and although I looked the part physically, my hormones were all over the place and I knew this could affect my ability to get pregnant too.
This is when I started looking at how yoga could be adapted to actually work for women: improve their health, balance their hormones, keep them fit and well… but at the same time embracing those cyclical changes and life phases… helping instead of hindering them. Yoga was originally created for young boys - not childbearing hips; breasts and pregnancy...
I knew that women needed a unique yoga practice.
I took all of my practice and training and I began to put these elements together to regulate my periods, improve my fertility and balance my hormones. When I became pregnant and then a mother, I continued this journey, exploring, trying for myself, and developing these practices for women. I incorporated holistic practices from many paths, all aimed at embracing our innate feminine power. These practices became YogaBellies.
After over 20 years of practice and 17 of teaching, I am now a Yoga Elder, specializing in women's yoga, health and sexuality, and have trained hundreds of YogaBellies teachers across the globe.
I created the yogabellies practice for myself and for all women.
I wanted to offer yoga classes that weren’t intimidating for women. So, I created them.
I wanted to learn how to practice yoga not just safely, but therapeutically during my period, during pregnancy and with my baby. So I did.
I wanted a yoga practice to enhance my life and make me feel better all week long - not to be a punishment to endure because I was trying to ‘be healthy’ or ‘look after myself.' I do this work for myself and for all women.
I wanted a yoga practice that filled UP my cup, rather than becoming just another thing I had to squeeze (reluctantly) into my day.
So I created YogaBellies®.
5 Fun Facts About Me…
I first discovered yoga when I was 10 years old. Checked a book out of the library and read the whole thing cover to cover. Little weirdo.
I’m Scottish but I don't like Haggis.
I have a love/hate relationship with Diet Coke and I've been tyring to give it up for around 20 years...
My favourite movie is Love Actually.
I get up every day and practice yoga at 5am but I won’t make you do that… unless you want to!