By Amie Mignatti
Welcome to my monthly column about all things wellness and outdoorsy! I hope that you find some inspiration in this to get outdoors and get moving.
As this month’s focus is also on our personal journey to becoming an Über Mom, I’ll share my story. My journey began before I became a mother. I had been self-employed for three years as an outdoor educator for children and a yoga teacher. I had been working with children and parents for over ten years and decided to take the plunge and create my own business and lifestyle based on my interests and passions: nature, children, yoga, women and food.
Once I became a mother, I saw an immediate need for other moms to have healthy, home cooked meals delivered to their doorsteps, and so I created Amie’s Sunshine Kitchen, where I did just this. I started it when my daughter was 14 months old, before she was in Krippe. The business took off quickly (actually too quickly), and I was then faced with juggling the task of being a mom to a very young little girl while still teaching yoga and running the Englischfee (my outdoor business, and starting up a brand new business that was more than consuming me.
A few months into the Sunshine Kitchen, I received an email from an American woman in Italy who was moving to Munich and starting a group called Über Moms, the focus of which was to be on creating a community of working mothers with a great interest in sports and wellness. I accepted the invitation to join and began by offering yoga classes for mothers on the weekends. This was just the beginning of Über Moms, run by Jordan Saphir.
It was a breath of fresh air to meet other women who shared similar interests and who were also expats. I’ve done what I can to support the ever growing group of women who are on the road to self-improvement, health, sharing their stories and motivating each other.
After running the Sunshine Kitchen for about a year, I reassessed my life and personal goals, both as a new mom and as a business owner. I found that the Sunshine Kitchen, something I valued so very much, was also taking its toll on me: I wasn’t spending as much time with my family, I was constantly on the computer running the business, had very little time outdoors and just felt overrun. I put my priorities in order and realized that I must either jump in full on and let go of everything else or transform the Kitchen into something more manageable. I chose the latter and gave up the weekly delivery service and turned it into retreat based cooking (which has since sent me around Europe to beautiful places, cooking for yoga retreats).
I felt like a failure in some ways, but was also able to speak from my heart to members of the Über Moms group and found that I was far from a failure. I was praised for my decision, for realizing when enough is enough, and for upholding my personal principals and putting my family first. The positivity of the group and the support I received helped me to create space in my life for more things that I enjoyed, brought me more peace and stability while still being able to cook and be happy in the kitchen, just not on a regular basis.
I have watched the group itself transform, delving into many different facets of health and wellness, from women supporting each other, to running groups, triathlons, yoga groups and all around fitness classes. Many of us in the group are mothers, partners, daughters, business owners, work for companies, etc. and we are there to support each other. The lives we have chosen to lead are not always easy, but they are full of passion, drive, ambition and personal challenges. The support we give and get from each other keeps us moving forward, onward and upward. We are all Über Moms in our own right!
And now for my column…
As it’s springtime and the weather is warming up, we can take our workouts outdoors!
We have the absolute luxury of living in a beautiful city, full of nature and with truly wild nature just a stone’s throw away. Here is a list of things that you can do outdoors, either alone or with your family, to get moving.
- For the runners and bikers out there: the Isar has an amazing bike path that winds far south. You can be immersed in nature quickly if you start a run or bike ride at the Thalkirchen U Bahn stop. Just head south along the Isar, on both sides. The east side (where the zoo is) will bring you along forested jogging and biking paths for kilometers. It’s easy to feel like you are in another world. The west side (by the U Bahn stop) will lead you along the Isar, past enchanted homes and long stretches of pure nature. I’m constantly discovering new places along this route. In the summer, you can jump into the Isar if you get hot: there are fantastic swimming spots near Grunwald and beyond.
- For the hikers: the mountains are easily accessible from Munich. The BOB Bahn runs hourly on the weekends from Solln or Hauptbahnhof (during the week Solln is not part of the regular stops), and you can be at the Tegernsee/Schliersee (and beyond in Bayrischzell and Spitzingsee) in one hour. From the train stop, there are many hikes to choose from easy to challenging. There are some great books about hiking with children in the Bayerischer Voralpen. Give it a try! It’s so easy and so much fun!
- For the yoga lovers: you can always go to the Englischer Garten with a mat, find a shady spot under a tree and start your practice. If self practice isn’t your thing, there are many teachers who offer spontaneous (or planned, often weather dependant) classes outdoors. We have an Über Moms Yoga group. The Englischer Garten is a favorite place of mine to practice outdoors: the grass is so soft and there is a whole lot of space. The further north you go, the fewer people there are and the more space there is.
- For the workout queens: there is a great little Fitness Parcour directly on the Isar, just south of the Fraunhofer Ubahn on the east side.
- For the swimmers: open air swimming season is almost here! There are many pools to choose from; there’s definitely one near you, so get out and enjoy the sunshine, water and longer days. There are many lakes surrounding Munich, some within reach of public transport and bike (depending on where you live).
So, whatever your passion may be, may you find your way into the sunshine, into your body and into health and happiness.
Until next month!
Amie Mignatti is a free spirited woman with her feet on the earth and her heart in the stars. After traveling the world for many years, she landed in Munich where she wears many different hats: yoga teacher, nature coach, outdoor educator for children, English teacher. She also runs personal development courses for women in nature. She and her family are happiest outdoors with friends and campfires.
Check out her blog here.