In this article, we’ve asked the amazing Ali Handley, our founder of Bodylove Mamas and Bodylove Pilates, and most importantly mama of three, to answer some questions about herself and her day-to-day as a successful businesswoman and busy mama.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (who you are, accreditation).
My name is Ali – I’m the founder of Bodylove Mamas and our in-studio experience based in Sydney, Bodylove Pilates. I did my pilates training and pre and postnatal specialist training in New York City under master trainer Erika Bloom. I’m a mama to Lyla (9), Henry (7) & Teddy (Theodora, 3). I’m a Capricorn and I take my martinis extra dirty!
Can you take us back to what inspired the creation of Bodylove Mamas?
I was living and teaching Pilates in New York. When I became pregnant and wanted to work out, I was shocked at how few options there were for me to get a quality and affordable workout. My first birth experience was not great so when I became pregnant with my son I decided to create a studio experience that pregnant and postnatal women could access anytime, to get dynamic and challenging workouts they could trust. I filmed my entire pregnancy and genuine day-by-day postnatal recovery. The goal of the platform was to provide workouts that strengthened and prepared women, so they could feel good throughout the course of their pregnancy, feel prepared for birth, and be supported during the postnatal recovery and beyond.
Who had the greatest influence on you?
My first boss, Erika Bloom was an incredible and knowledgeable mentor. I owe a lot to her and her training. My body and my authentic experience as a mother inspires, informs, and influences me daily to create content for my Bodylove Mama platform.
Take us through a typical day in the life?
I get up early. 4.55 am. I begin the day with meditation. I have been a Vedic meditator now for over 5 years and it is my non-negotiable start to the day. I don’t work in the studio every day so if I’m not there, I like to get some work done before my kids get up around 6.45 am and then it’s full speed from there. Breakfasts, lunchboxes, making beds, and getting the kids and myself out the door for drop off. My Teddy is with me Tuesdays & Fridays so we do swimming lessons and ballet depending on the day. My lunchtime is spent catching up on emails or maybe hosting a LIVE on Instagram and then before you know it, it’s pick-up time and after-school activities. I have carved out Tuesday night for me. I put dinner on the table and as soon as my husband walks in the door at 6.30 pm I’m out and off to a pilates class at Bodylove at 7 pm with my three best friends. We flow and we have a Thai soup. I can’t recommend it enough for Mamas to get out of the dinner & bed routine at least once a week.
If it’s a studio day I’m out the door by 5.30 am. Teaching or filming new content for the platform throughout the day – they’re always busy days but I truly love what I do so I always look forward to it.
What has been the biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
As a Mama, it will always be the ‘juggle struggle’. I truly love being a mum but I also love, love, love what I do. I want to be there for my kids and stay present when we are together. I love doing drop off and pick up, and all the activities, just call me mama uber! Now that my eldest is turning 10 I just do not know where the time has gone, so I am very well aware that the days are long and the years are too, too short. I want to savour it all! Equally, I want to move my business forward, give myself time to be creative, and support my team as we navigate new platforms, products, and content creation! I’m stripping things back this Feb, simplifying my life so that I’m not burning the candle at both ends, which makes the ‘juggle struggle’ more manageable! Waking at 5 am and meditating is the key to it all for me, and having wonderful friends around me who can share the load. It takes a village and I’m so grateful for mine!
What are you most proud of?
I am so proud of Bodylove Mamas. That sounds super corny but I am! My online community was my first family, way before the studios or the Academy it was Bodylove Mamas that inspired it all. I love being a positive part of the motherhood journey and am constantly looking for ways to meet your needs and I like to think we are doing that to the best of our ability. It’s about providing affordable access and safe workouts, as well as trusted education for this important time in women’s lives!
What does the future hold for you?
We are about to launch The Mama Project at the end of February and I am beyond excited. I always felt I was missing a huge chunk of the motherhood experience, so The Mama Project allows us to connect in the Preconception Phase, and importantly support women going through IVF and Assisted Fertility Treatments. The Mama Project is for anyone in their preconception phase, going through IVF or another form of assisted fertility. It is a mindfully created program that has been designed to empower women during their fertile years with education, movement, and mindfulness.
Ali Handley is a Certified Pre & Postnatal Pilates and Barre Instructor & mama of 3! The journey all started with Bodylove Mamas and quickly grew to two Bodylove Pilates studios (Woollahra & The Penthouse in Sydney’s CBD), and the Bodylove Academy. Ali is soon to launch The Mama Project, supporting women through preconception, IVF and Assisted Fertility.