Allison is worthy of the spotlight. She is a mom, wife, and all around super hero woman. She is here to give all you moms and moms to be her first hand experience of doing Lagree at Mantra Fitness before, during, and after pregnancy.
When did you start working out at Mantra Fitness? What drew you to the studio?
I started working out at Mantra in Tampa when it opened four years ago. I had done
traditional mat and reformer pilates for years but was looking for something different and more challenging, which I have definitely found at Mantra!
How long into working out did you get pregnant? Is this your first pregnancy?
I’ve had two Mantra babies: a two and a half year old and seven month old! I got
pregnant with my first baby about two years after I started at Mantra and then again last year. I worked out at Mantra throughout both pregnancies.
What benefits did you notice in your body from doing lagree? Better sleep? Easy labor? Less bloating? Etc.
I think exercising in general helped with my nausea. I also felt really strong during both
of my pregnancies and always felt in control of my body and my balance. In fact, my
legs and arms got stronger as my pregnancies progressed because of the additional
bodyweight I was supporting during my workouts. I think lagree contributed to an easier
pregnancy and recovery.
How was the Megaformer helpful in exercising while pregnant? What was your favorite exercise?
The ability to modify exercises on the reformer and the low impact workout made it
possible for me to continue to exercise throughout my pregnancies. My favorite
exercises while pregnant were wheelbarrow and spider kicks (and bear was the death
What was it like bouncing back postpartum?
Pregnancy isn’t easy and my body has definitely changed. I’m not sure if I’ve “bounced
back” and maybe I’ll never get back to my pre-pregnancy self, but I’m ok with that. I will
always look for ways to get stronger and hope that my dedication to exercise and health reflects positively on my children.
How did the ladies of Mantra Fitness help in your journey?
The instructors are knowledgeable and supportive and helped me come up with
different modifications throughout my pregnancies. It’s easy to get frustrated with
yourself when you can no longer do certain exercises but the environment at Mantra was so encouraging that I did not feel out of place even at 9 months pregnant!
Tips for future moms that helped you during your pregnancy.
Don’t feel like you need to keep up with the class or even with your pre-pregnancy self. Your body changes every single day and its ok to modify exercises or miss a class when you’re tired. Do what feels best for you. I’ve made the mistake of rushing back
into exercise too soon after having a baby, so my advice would be to take it easy – the
exercise or class will always be there when you are ready.
As Moms we’re busier than ever these days—working, planning, managing, and schlepping kids and jobs and errands and family. Where do we find a moment to ourselves...and what do we do when we get one??
Self-care is critical for everyone but especially for those who nurture others full time, like Moms. For Mother’s Day here’s a gift: simple and smart self-care ideas that will relax and restore us throughout the day:
BREATHE, REGROUP. Every day offers challenges, and some moments are worse than others. Before a stressful situation (interview, presentation, parent-teacher conference, etc.), take a couple of minutes to center yourself with deep-breathing exercises. Studies have shown that inhaling and exhaling, slowly and mindfully, can re-set and reduce stress levels through oxygen intake and focused activity. If you get more time, 30 minutes of meditation helps clear the chaos, too. The main thing is to stop and re-group. Deep-breathing, relaxing, slowing your pulse and your pace will work wonders. What’s more, a clear mind leads to better decision-making because you’re coming from a calmer, more positive place.
JUST MOVE IT. Physical activity is by far the best de-stressor there is, so when you can’t get to the gym, your five-mile run, or your Pilates class, just move it! Self-care is all about finding those moments throughout the day to make the most of what have, when you can. If that means walking to the store or, at least, parking a good distance away so you get a nice trek in, do it. Your brain and your body work together—a maxed-out mind needs movement so much more than a martini. Have the cocktail after.
SWEET DREAMS. Get enough sleep and the world is wonderful...right? Most of us don’t get adequate rest at night, and the lack of a good night’s sleep can negatively impact the next day. Figuring out the best time to get to bed means listening to your body and not pushing yourself past the point of exhaustion by trying to get every little thing done. A solid 7 to 9 hours of sleep is ideal, and putting yourself into a bedtime routine around the same time each night will set up an internal clock for your body—and your brain. That’s right, your brain needs rest, too, so put your phone away and get some zzzzzz’s
TREAT YOURSELF. Treating yourself like the goddess you are and making room for those moments that mean something to you—that’s the essence of self-care. If there’s a fragrance you like, a meal that’s special, or a Netflix you’re all over, treat yourself! The incredible truth is that the happier you are as a Mom, the happier people will feel around you. If you’re always doing for others and not yourself, you’re not playing the game right—and you’ll never win.
UNPLUG DAILY. We spend an inordinate amount of time on our phones and tablets every day, so it’s crucial to have quality, no-tech time with loved ones, and, even more importantly, with ourselves. The world is a beautiful place, best experienced live and connecting with it! Gardening, roaming, strolling by the sea—nature is the ultimate playground and not that difficult to find. Doing a creative activity like art or playing music also feeds your soul and guides your spirit to a happy place—it just does!
MIND OVER MUTTER. This could be the most significant aspect of self-care: how you talk to yourself. Do you take a negative approach to most things? Are you comparing yourself to others? Are you trying too hard to be perfect or have your kids be perfect? Are you saying kind and respectful things...to yourself??
When we are too hard on ourselves the message we send—and receive—is counter-productive. We don’t work faster or look better or are any more successful at an activity if we’re not enjoying our lives. In fact, all that negative self-talk creates more conflict, adding challenges we don’t need. How we feel about ourselves is in direct proportion to how we care about ourselves. What we think matters. Self-care is not a selfish luxury but a true reflection of our own value...and we’re worth it.
Being a Mom is rewarding, frightening, challenging, entertaining…work and more work. We never stop. We never want to! But taking time for ourselves where we can is critical to our physical and mental health. Motherhood is a crazy, amazing journey, and we need to remember ourselves the way we remember everything and everybody else, like other people’s birthdays and how much detergent to use, where the stapler went, the last time the dog got a bath, which kid is allergic to what...
Happy Mother’s Day to all the busy, amazing Moms everywhere....and, don’t forget: self-care!!!
MANTRA LOVES MOMS! That’s right, head into one of our studios for Mother’s Day specials....Feel the burn you love with Pilates and Lagree. Sign up and we’ll see you at one of our Tampa, Sarasota, and Orange County Mantra Fitness locations, where super self-care starts with sizzling classes for busy Moms. Love you Moms!!
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