Namaste! To Yogi’s (yes that is the nickname of people who practice Yoga), this phrase means so much. It means peace, love, spirituality, and calm. It means light and good vibes. All these things are how I feel when I’m around our Smarty Mom of the Week, Karey Tom. She embodies the practice of yoga with her infectious personality and great energy. Karey is beautifully quirky and artistic. She speaks to you as if you are the only thing that matters in the moment. Karey Tom lives the essence of Yoga.
I met this firecracker several years ago and I loved her from start. She just brings “good things”! She is so darn cool. After years of practicing yoga, Karey decided to spread the joy to children. Her company, Charlotte Kid’s Yoga, allows children to practice yoga in a fun and safe environment. It is brilliant and currently taking Charlotte by storm.
Smarties, meet the coolest, calmest chick ever.
Karey’s Smarty Mom Stats
Mom to: Evie (3)
Married to: Ray Tom
Years lived in Charlotte: 8 years this February!
What does yoga mean to you?
The connection of mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes this is as simple as taking a deep breath after someone cuts you off in a parking lot or sometimes it is taking a breath in a super challenging physical pose in class. It’s all about the breath!
When did you discover your love of yoga?
NYC 1998 at a local gym. I had just moved to the city and knew I needed something to challenge me physically to help me stay in shape. I had no idea it would help me manage stress through relaxation.
What inspired you to start your own business?
Carol Gadams (my power yoga instructor and business partner) helped inspire me to take Charlotte Kids Yoga to the next level. Carol is one of those moms that never stops! I am so blessed to be able to share this adventure with her. Together we hope to inspire children and parents to learn more about the benefits of Yoga.
What is it like teaching children yoga?!
It is a beautiful lesson in letting go! We spend hours planning classes and camps. Some days the children have a very different idea of what a class should look like and we do our best to listen to what the kids need not just what we had planned. Flexibility is key to working and living with kids!
How does Charlotte Kids Yoga give back to the community?
In addition to our classes and camps we offer Yoga Story Time at ImaginOn. This 30-minute class is a wonderful intro to yoga for kids and it’s FREE! Join every 1st and 3rd Friday at 11:30 am beginning February 8th.
How can children benefit from yoga?
Children benefit by having FUN! We encourage children to be free within our structured classes. Exercise, games, mindful eating and quiet time are important for a balanced healthy life. We encourage our little Yogis to crave a healthful lifestyle for years to come!
How can we learn more about your company and the practice of children’s yoga?
Visit our website at www.CharlotteKidsYoga.com to learn more about our concept and teachings! If we can’t help you, we will help you find a studio or class near you. The best way to learn about yoga is watch your children and pets. Let them teach you.
How do you balance being a mom and owning your own company?
Deep breathing and letting go of the idea of “perfection”. Amazingly helpful friends and neighbors are key. I’m not afraid to ask for help when I have a deadline!
When do you sleep!?
Sunday-Thursday we have a strict schedule of bath, books, and bed. This works for adults too! Turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed and enjoy a real book or magazine with paper pages.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as a mom?
My beautiful daughter, Evie. When someone compliments her manners it makes my day!
What is the most important lesson you have learned since becoming a mommy?
No one is perfect. We are all doing our best!
How often do you practice yoga?
Everyday! Yoga is not just physical exercise. It can be as simple as honoring a moment with mindful breathing or letting go of an annoying comment from a coworker.
How do you recommend starting a yoga practice for beginners?
There are so many ways to learn more about yoga. Most gyms offer some form of yoga class. You don’t have to start with a “101” or “Gentle Yoga” class. Instead, try intermediate and know there will be some things you can’t do. Part of Yoga is honoring your bodies limitations. It is very humbling! Check out sample classes on the Yoga Journal website. I love Stephanie Keach from the Asheville Yoga center and I highly recommend her DVD’s or a trip to her studio in Asheville.
Minivan or SUV?
SUV. I inherited it from my husband. I take responsibility for my super inefficient truck by walking or cycling whenever possible! I mindfully support businesses which are walking distance from my home.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Traveling around the world helping communities build strong kids yoga programs for underprivileged communities.
Favorite thing about living in Charlotte?
The weather which allows many beautiful walks along the Sugar Creek Greenway!
Could not live without my . . .