The truth about self-care and pregnancy: the unexpected benefits of yoga and Pilates

14th March 2023

I completed my initial training in pre and post-natal exercise during my personal training diploma a few years before I became pregnant with my first daughter, some 22 years ago. Yet, even with all the knowledge I had, the specialist workshops and classes I gave and research I had done around the subject; when I reflect now, there were times when I didn’t listen to the deeper needs of my own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self.

I did all the ‘right’ things in terms of what I ate, I stopped drinking, I didn’t smoke, I exercised regularly and within recommended guidelines. However, my mind thoughts were still being driven by the ‘I’m capable’, ‘I can keep going’, ‘I’m strong’ mindset. I thought this was a good thing and made me ‘successful’. I proudly kept teaching multiple classes a week, including spinning and body pump… until, as it turns out, the day before I gave birth to my eldest – she was 7 weeks premature (unrelated to the exercise)!

Jazmyne spent the first 4 weeks of her life in hospital which meant I was ‘still able’ to go to my Christmas works do in London. I recall running for a bus to get to the train station and noticing that my stomach felt sore! Of course it did – I had literally just given birth a week ago! Yet my mind was thinking I could ‘carry on as normal’ because ‘I was fit and strong’ and had ‘bounced back really quickly’.

This is what much of our conditioning encourages us to do – carry on as normal until you notice something go wrong, if you are lucky enough to be in tune with your body to do so. Then fix what went wrong… if you can.

I have learnt to slow down the ‘hard’ way in life – it’s taken many years and a fair few big ‘wake up’ calls. I can see now that I didn’t take adequate maternity leave after my 2nd and 3rd daughters. By then I was running my own business in premises that included a health shop, café, therapy rooms and 4 Yoga and Pilates studios. At the time, my ‘I’m capable’ hat meant I juggled everything in autopilot mode.

I still have to watch myself slipping into old mind thought patterns of ‘striving’, ‘doing’ and ‘filling time’. But FINALLY I am so much more conscious of my conditioning and mind thoughts, that I am able to observe and manage them. It feels so truly liberating.

For me, this is one of the most valuable teachings we can deliver within a pre and post-natal setting. Of course, this is in addition to including exercises and asana that will be extremely helpful for the changing musculoskeletal structure, birth preparation and restoring the core and pelvic floor post-birth.

These are some of the reasons why I combine aspects of Pilates AND Yoga in the 3-day CPD Teacher Training for pre and post-natal clients. Each has so many benefits, however together they form a complete package!

In a very accessible and relatable way, we can teach students the art of truly turning within… deep listening, heart and belly connection, tapping into inner wisdom. In doing so, this gives women permission, not only to slow down and rest, but also to learn about and feel the benefits. Therefore, they feel ‘good’ about it rather than feeling they are ‘wasting their time’, which can be life changing for many.

Pre and Post-natal Teacher Training

If you are interested in teaching this very rewarding and important client group, then I would encourage you to join this holistic course. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! I bring 25 years of teaching and life experience to the training. 

I have had personal experience with incompetent cervix, abdominal separation, abdominal hernia, and pelvic floor dysfunction. So I am very passionate about educating women on understanding self and safe and beneficial movement and breath practices. Those which help both pre-empt and alleviate common health conditions associated with pregnancy and beyond.

This course for yoga and/or Pilates teachers can be taken as a standalone CPD course, or as part of your 300-hr advanced yoga teacher training hours.

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