It was such a sweet joy to spend time with Charlene in our little cottage hearing about her journey of becoming an instructor. How she worked hard to learn so much about how the body moves and how to improve that movement to gain strength, flexibility and endurance. Pilates felt scary in the beginning but she quickly fell in love with it. She has a heart to learn and grown. She gets all fired up for change. So she works to incorporate that into her work. She loves to grow in those scary times of change.
I giggle a little because things are about to change for them as a family too. One of the reasons I had asked her to share her story was because I have loved watching her walk through this pregnancy and be so committed to listening to her body. Challenging herself when needed and yet giving herself the space for her body to grow a sweet babe. I have loved doing life with her (and capturing these maternity photos) but I am also so wildly inspired by how she shares about this pregnancy.
She is currently pregnant with her 5th kiddo and they still don’t know whether it’s a boy or girl… I love surprises like that! And can’t wait to meet that sweet babe!
Here’s a bit of encouragement straight from Char…
“First, just keep moving! Sometimes that means simply taking a walk, finding a local prenatal pilates class, or even finding a gentle yoga video on YouTube! Do what you can, listen to your body, and respect what it’s telling you throughout your day.
If you were doing a certain type of exercise before your pregnancy, you may continue to do it until it doesn’t feel good anymore (pay attention to your body!). Use modifications as your pregnancy progresses. Don’t attempt to start a new kind of workout during your pregnancy. (i.e. if you weren’t a runner before, don’t decide to start running!)
Simple routine for any trimester to keep a strong core to support the spine, and a strong pelvic floor to prepare for labor and beyond:
You will need a large exercise ball and free weights (3lbs – 5lbs)
Straddle the ball so your feet make contact with the floor and your hips are not lower than your knees. Keep your pelvis slightly tucked to keep from compressing your low back. The ball makes it much easier to control the pelvic floor in this position.
2-3 sets per exercise, or listen to your body, you may need more or less
– Bicep curls – 10-15 reps
– Shoulder press – 10-15 reps
– Overhead tricep extension – 10-15 reps
Stand and place the ball against a wall. With the ball at about level with your lower back, lean your weight back into the ball, and stand with feet hip distance or wider. Walk the feet away from you, so that when you bend into a squat, your heels are directly under your knees. Again, keep the tailbone tucked under and hug your belly to you.
2-3 sets per exercise (listen to your body!)
– Squat parallel feet hip distance apart – 10-15 reps
– Squat parallel feet wider than hip distance apart – 10-15 reps
– Squat feet as wide as you’re able, feet externally rotated – 10-15 reps”
Her heart and her real life tangible encouragement to keep you moving through the season of pregnancy!
You can find her at @char_yoga
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