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'People ask questions about our unorthodox lifestyle but it works for us and the children'

Belfast mum-of-four, Kim Constable, who is married to former Ulster rugby legend Ryan Constable, talks to Karen Ireland about yoga detoxing, healthy living and her no-rules household

Published 12/04/2016

Flexible lifestyle: Kim and her children, from left, Corey, Maya, Jack and Kai
Flexible lifestyle: Kim and her children, from left, Corey, Maya, Jack and Kai
Family bond: Kim playing with children Maya, Jack, Corey and Kai
Flying high: the children enjoy using their home exercise equipment
Party time: Kim and Ryan both love the chance to socialise

With four young children, a thriving new business and a hard-working husband with a hectic social schedule, fitting in an interview with Kim Constable (36) is difficult in itself.

We finally get to chat when dinner is on and, with three extra children in the house, her family are 'being entertained', allowing her to talk from her east Belfast home.

Kim is used to what some would term as 'chaos', but for her it is routine and normal. Life very much revolves around her children, Corey (10), Kai (8), Maya (6) and Jack (4).

She met her husband, Ryan (44), the former Dungannon and Ulster centre who is now MD of Esportif, a sports management company which looks after hundreds of high profile sporting stars including members of the Ulster and Ireland rugby squads, when she was running a personal life coaching business 12 years ago. A friend thought she could help him out and introduced the pair.

"I turned up at his door on a Tuesday night and introduced myself. Two weeks later I had moved in and two weeks after that I was pregnant. We celebrated our first year anniversary together with a mortgage and a three-month-old baby," she jokingly recalls.

Kim admits that although the pair were shocked at the pregnancy and the speed with which their relationship was developing, they were both delighted, too.

"Ryan was the first man I met where there were no games. He made his feelings about me very clear from the beginning and that was very refreshing.

"We both had the same values and approach to family. When I found out I was pregnant I couldn't wait to tell him as I knew he would be delighted, too.

After starting a family and ending up with four children under five, Kim never went back to full-time work.

"I did everything from portrait art to audio typing, just to earn my own money and work around the children. I just wanted to do something that was for me."

Kim says she and South Africa-born, Australia-raised Ryan have always had clearly defined roles within their relationship.

"He had a good job and went out to work to earn good money to run our home. But the family was my remit. We each trusted each other's decisions - it's the same now.

"We also make time for each other and talk about everything. There is a lot of socialising with Ryan's job, but we still make time for each other. We try to get weekend breaks together a few times a year and I believe that is vital."

Her latest venture outside of the home happened 'accidentally' when she went along to a yoga class to keep her mum happy.

"I've always been fit and healthy and worked out in the gym and loved Pilates. My mum kept on at me about yoga and, to be honest, I went to shut her up. I hated it. I hated the long poses and the stillness and didn't feel like I was working out at all.

"However, the next day I could hardly walk and was aching in places I didn't know I had muscles, so I thought this must be really good for me.

"I started watching YouTube videos and learning all I could about it. Then I trained to be a yoga teacher in 2014.

"I watched a video by Tiffany Cruikshank about detox yoga and was fascinated by it. It was all about using yoga poses to 'rinse' and 'cleanse' internal organs such as the liver and the kidneys."

Kim admits that before she became a mum, a healthy lifestyle wasn't always her top priority.

"I was a real party girl and loved being out and socialising. But, by the time I met Ryan I was done and partied out - I didn't want to do that anymore.

"I still loved socialising, though, and still do when we get the chance, and my drink of choice is gin. It is all about getting the perfect balance."

However, after the Christmas of 2014, Kim says she had 'over indulged' in eating and drinking and felt like a 'pig'. She remembered the yoga detox and decided to try it.

"The results were amazing and I felt incredible. I basically used yoga to squeeze my organs clean and allow new blood to flow. This was a quick and effective way to get the digestive system working again."

Such was her enthusiasm, it spilled over into her yoga classes and clients were asking to try the yoga detox.

"I started developing my own form of yoga detox and doing workshops from last September. I have done seven since then and each one has been sold out and even a waiting list. The response has been fantastic. People love it," she says.

Each workshop lasts two hours and takes place at David Lloyd gym in Dundonald.

"There is a huge demand now for the classes and the results can be seen immediately. And I have designed the programme to best stretch all the organs to rid the body of toxins and get the system working again.

"I also use Vita Coco at the end of each class and believe the electrolytes and potassium found in the pure coconut water can help to restore the body after an intense yoga session."

While Kim has found a source of equilibrium now, debate came in the household when she said she wanted the children to be 'home schooled' or 'unschooled', as she refers to it.

"I had researched unschooling, so I really knew what I was talking about. At the beginning, though, Ryan said he was against it. It has taken him a long time to come on board with it. In the end he knew it meant so much to me. It was the best decision for our family."

So, life in the Constable household revolves around the children. They wake up when they want to, go to bed when they want to and during the day they do 'life' with their mum.

"I can honestly say I love being with my kids. I prefer it when we are together.

"There is no such thing as an average day for us, but we do have our own form of routine. We get up and I do an hour of yoga every morning while they feed and dress themselves. Then we will have a second breakfast of poached eggs - and then the day will begin.

"I work on whatever they are interested in at the time. This can take the form of English, maths, history or geography. Then we have lots of outings and go to fun places and explore together.

"People ask a lot of questions about our lifestyle, but it works for us. My children are well-mannered and well-educated.

"My four-year-old can go up in a restaurant and use my bank card and pay the bill and come back to me with the receipt."

Kim is very vocal about her desire to bring her kids up in this unorthodox way and has even appeared on the TV programme Loose Women talking about it.

While the Constable household is anything but conventional, Kim says making time for every member of the family is the key to happiness - and she wouldn't have it any other way.

Kim's next classes will take place on Saturday, April 24 and Saturday, May 21. For further details or bookings log on to www.theultimateyogadetox.com. She is brand ambassador for Vita Coco

Belfast Telegraph

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