Meet our next Braavheart: Hayley Alexander. This beautiful soul with Australian roots is now located in Belgium with her family and a thriving business: The Yoga Factory. Where she creates unique and one of a kind pilates, dance and workout classes for the contemporary woman that wants to move her body and challenge herself continuously. To follow one of her classes is definitely ranked super high in our weekly me-time / workout moments. Meet the ravishing women behind and get inspired!
First of all, can you introduce yourself and what you do in a few sentences?
My name is Hayley, I’m 37 and I live with my daughter Billie Grace and my partner Bjorn in Antwerp.
I was born and raised in Australia where I trained to be a professional ballerina, moving away from home at only 15 to attend the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. After dancing I studied for a year to become a comprehensive Pilates instructor and I opened my own business, "Alexander Pilates" in my hometown of Newcastle at the age of 22. Since then I’ve also completed a personal training course, and 200 hr yoga teacher training in Bali.
10 years ago I moved to London for a new experience I was fortunate enough to teach Pilates and Barre at some amazing studios there including Triyoga (Primrose Hill) and Frame (Shoreditch).
I then went to Amsterdam for a year, and now I’m here in Antwerp!
I opened my studio YOGA FACTORY in October 2015. We specialise in Pilates, but also offer dance fitness classes, circuit training and of course yoga.
Do you have a quote/slogan where you live / how you stand in life?
I’m not into “quotes” much at all really, but I do believe that everything is put on our path for a reason. I’ve been through some extremely difficult times personally, but these have made me stronger, made me grow, and made me look deeper into myself.
How do you manage to maintain a healthy work/life balance?
I haven’t nailed this one, it’s a struggle sometimes. My partner and I are both business owners and we have no family around us in Belgium to call on for help, so the balance isn’t always right- but we try!
What is the ultimate relaxation for you?
Going home to Australia and being around my family, in our house, near the ocean. I feel completely at ease.
What brings you peace after a busy/hectic day?
Cooking a nutritious dinner for my family, with a glass of wine or kombucha (which I make at home). Followed by a bath with essential oils and epsom salts, whilst listening to a podcast or great playlist.
Objectives on a professional level?
I’ve never made a business plan. It’s not my style, life can’t be planned, especially at the moment.
I guess I just want to stay curious and inspired, so that I continue to learn, to become a better teacher and human.
If you could give a 1 (ultimate) tip to other ambitious women, what would it be?
If you’ve got the drive and want it, go for it! There is never a right time to start. I started Yoga Factory at 5 months pregnant- not the ideal time to be demonstrating burpees and sit-ups!
Which book do you think is an absolute must-read for our braavheart community?
‘The Seat of the Soul’ or
‘The Untethered Soul’ (2 different books for those in spirituality)
Also ‘In Defense Of Food’ by Michael Pollen- that book changed the way I thought about food in my 20’s. As he says, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” :-)
Who do you think should not be missing from our #Braavhearts section?
My friend Anati Rakocz. A mum of 3, one of the team behind Templa (luxury urban and alpine outerwear sold on Net-A-Porter amongst others) and one of the most generous and caring people I know.