Today we’re interviewing Megan O’Neill a restorative yoga instructor. healer and reiki practitioner. Meg is also a lactation counselor, childbirth educator and works at Boston Birth Associates. She used to run Acelleron Maternal Health & Wellness in North Andover, which was a wonderful space where I took prenatal yoga and classes to prepare me for the birth of my son 3 years ago.
When Meg reached out to say she was starting a new business (Meg O’Neill Healing & Wellness), with the goal of teaching moms how creating space for healing, meditation and yoga can help them be the best mom for their family, I knew we had to feature her. I hope you enjoy our interview with this awesome mom!
Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I am originally from Long Island, NY. grew up in Babylon and decided to go to Merrimack for college. I met my husband at college and after a 2 year stint in Philadelphia I moved back here to be with him. We now live in North Andover.
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
What is your favorite family activity on the North Shore?
WE LOVE visiting Newburyport and Plum Island. We like to walk down by the water and get juice at The Juicery. Since it is the holiday season we also really enjoyed the Winterlights exhibit at Stevens-Coolidge Place and we love making gingerbread houses at Tastebuds each Christmas.
What is your favorite place to eat or shop on the North Shore?
Our favorite place to eat is Heav’nly Donuts in North Andover. The owner, Effie, has become a wonderful friend and her staff is so amazing with our kids. When I get to shop, which isn’t too often, I love visiting places like The Merry Lion in Wakefield. Such cute stuff for kids and moms!
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I don’t drink any coffee or alcohol! It can be done, mamas!
You’re a yoga teacher, healer and reiki practitioner. Tell us more about your background and how you got into this work.
I have had an array of careers that all lead me to where I am. I have been everything from the Dean of School to Director of Development for a homeless shelter for pregnant women. The common thread in all my jobs has been my passion for connecting with people.
Over the past few years I did a lot of work on myself that lead to profound healing. I suffered with postpartum anxiety and depression for about 6 years (I wrote more about that in a story for Motherly) and found that meditation, yoga and energy work really helped me find myself again. My husband and I signed up for a yoga teacher training last year and I said the whole time that I would never teach.
At the end of our training I was given the opportunity to teach at a retreat for moms and I realized that THIS is the work that I want to do. I want to help moms slow down, tap into what is going on inside and help them heal so that they can be the best version of themselves. I had been introduced to reiki as a young girl and it always stood out in my mind as something that was incredibly relaxing and I knew that it would be an amazing addition to my practice. I incorporate reiki into my restorative yoga classes and it has become something people love! I am in awe of the feedback I get after class.
Where can moms find you teaching locally?
I teach on Sunday evenings at 4:30 at The Energy Barre in Stoneham. I also teach on Mondays at 6:30 pm at C Wickson in Windham, NH. On Sunday, December 8, at 6:30 pm I will be teaching Infertility Support Yoga at The Energy Barre in Stoneham. This will be a beautiful offering for anyone on this particular journey.
One of the classes you teach is Restorative Yoga for Moms of Children with Special Needs. How did you come up with this concept and where can moms find this class?
I just wrapped up a series at A Moms Village that was called Restorative Yoga for Moms of Children with Special Needs. As a mom to a child with autism I know how important it is for us to carve out time to truly relax and give our nervous systems a break! A Moms Village owner, Cindy, approached me with the idea and I developed the class after a discussion with her. It was an honor to lead that class and I hope to bring it back to A Moms Village but right now we don’t have a date set. It is my goal to create more offerings around this very topic in the upcoming months. Moms of children with special needs need extra support and connection. This is something I am very passionate about!
As a self-employed, working mom, any tips for balancing work and motherhood?
1.) Hire help when you can.
2.) Be gentle with yourself. NO one has it all together.
3.) Come to yoga and clear your mind!
What is the best piece of mom advice that you every received?
Funny enough, this one comes from my husband but it is to always listen to your gut. We know our families best!
What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some me time?
I love attending yoga and healing workshops! Anything from sound healing to astrology. Love all that stuff!