The story of Marta
Yoga Nidra has been my savior!
The story of Marta - mother of 2, artist and vocal coach.
Name: Marta Parkman
Occupation: Singing pedagog, lecturer and artist
Family: Husband, two kids and a dog.
How did you first get interested in wellbeing?
I’ve always been interested in sports. As a kid, I was into horseback riding, football, and skiing. When I sold my horse and moved from the North to the South of Sweden to study performing arts, I started dancing. It was amazing to be around people who were into the same things as I was. But it also meant being in rooms with mirrors everywhere. Suddenly I was completely aware of my flaws and what I didn’t have when it came to looks and skills. Life was about having fun but also too much became about what I ate, how much I exercised and the lifestyle of “trying to be perfect”.
When I later moved to Gothenburg I exercised so much and didn’t eat as much as I needed. I was working as a group fitness instructor and danced at school 3-5 hours/day. I worked so hard, but it only ended with me getting heavier - both in my body and mind. I met my husband when I studied my third year in the ballet academy and I remembered thinking that now is the time to let go. I’m not going to think about what I eat or what I miss out of training when I’m with him. I wanted to feel pleasure. That was my turning point. Suddenly I felt lighter in my body and mind. My body was falling into what it was supposed to be instead of me fighting it.
After giving birth to two kids, I’ve really appreciated my body and what it can do. When my daughter was born almost 5 years ago, I decided to never talk bad about my own, or anyone else’s body in front of my kids. And that promise made me stop doing it completely. My focus these last few years has been to give myself the best conditions. I want to love my body and feel strong in my body and mind to be able to handle this life.
I work with my voice and know how much my well-being is connected to what comes out. It’s all connected. That is my main focus right now.
You’ve done some of the SoulWork programs, which ones? How did they serve you? Are you still doing any of the practices?
I tried some other online programs before but never got hooked. 21-days really got me! I’ve been taking a time out from the gym, and this was perfect for me to do since I can do it whenever I want, it’s time effective and I can even do it when the kids are at home.
After the 21-days program, I felt stronger and I reached my summer goal of running 10 k!!! After having our second child, I had some problems with pelvic pain and I had to run really slow, so it felt great to run and move with NO pain!
Then I did the transformation and it got heavy! I still love the 30-min workouts and the variations in movements. I’ve been following these programs like a slave but never felt that it is something I HAVE TO DO. I WANT TO do it!
The last weeks I’ve had a rather rough schedule, so I’ve mixed the workouts from different programs depending on my daily needs. I use the Restore & Rejuvenate program to settle and relax. The Yoga Nidra has been my saviour since I have had some problems falling asleep due to late work nights. Before the kids I liked to stay up late and feel the energy pump after a show but now I know I need that energy when they wake up.
Has SoulWork changed your everyday life? How?
Yes! I feel I have created an excellent habit for myself. A habit where I NEED the movement and it's easy to get it in!
Can you share with us a bit about your relationship with your own body and emotions? I know it’s a part of who you are, and when I see you nowadays you are so alive and radiant.
The last years I’ve had a pretty good relationship with my body, but I’ve been chasing energy. I was feeling really tired, and I tried a lot of different things to feel more energized. Everything from changing sleep patterns to raw food diet and so on. It’s easy to compare yourself to what other people do so I always have to make a note to myself that I’m gonna do this my own way so that bad conscious doesn’t get to me, even if that devil is often there to knock on my door. A lot of energy has been spent on me being frustrated, thinking about the injustices in the world and so on. When I met Johanna in November 2017, she shifted my perspective and inspired me to more SelfLove and PussyPower, which gives me so much more energy. I am truly grateful! It was time to let go again, and the release was there. It’s not about neglecting these feelings but knowing how to navigate them.
Can you share with us what happens in a typical Marta day?
Wow, I thought this was an easy question because when I think about my week, it feels like it’s mostly the same, but the days are VERY different. Let’s go for a Wednesday, these are my favourites :) I get up and get the kids to preschool. I always take time to be in nature, walking or running with our dog or doing a workout with her (agility). I try to follow this with a cold swim when I can. Then I do some work on the computer. I teach voice lessons from 11-2pm and then work on my own singing training. I pick up the kids and we do the SoulWork program together (more or less). Actually, it helps me to get in the same level as them. Also I notice that they either want to join me or they play on their own in the same room. We eat and do something together until it's bedtime. Depending on the level of fatigue or feeling in my body I either do some yin yoga/relaxation or watch a series after they fall asleep.
What are your plans for yourself in the next 2-5 years?
My plan is to keep on saying “YES” to what I am and who I am. I like structure and have always had plans, but I also think they have caused me too much frustration and the feeling of failure. I now practice thinking less and doing more. Setting intentions and trusting the process is hard but fun!
Any secret practices for the happiness you embody?
I think happiness and life force flow when you allow yourself to be everything that you are. Beautiful, ugly, goofy, vulnerable, sexy, tired, energised, soft, hard, the list goes on.
It’s so easy to get stuck in patterns and think you HAVE TO do certain things. My practice this year has been to take action on what attracts me whether it’s people, workouts, knowledge or forgotten dreams.
Any favourite wellness tools that are easy enough for us to copy-paste into our everyday lives?
For me, it has been to challenge myself with small things that I normally don’t do. My tip is to write down one small challenge for every week. Small enough to make it happen!
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Thank you so much Marta - you are a courageous force to be reckoned with! Your energy and truth are contagious.