Pre & Post Natal Pilates

Pregnancy can be daunting for any first time mother. The physical changes to your body can cause a lot of stress for some women which is why it is important to embrace the changes going on in your body and to realise that getting uber fit whilst pregnant is not a priority. Rather, it is a time to understand and embrace the changes of whats going within, both mentally and physically, and how to care for your body by engaging in regular exercise and maintaining a balanced, healthy diet.

Pregenant Paola Dilanzo

Having three children myself, Sofia 14, George 8 and Rafferty 4 I know how important it is to exercise whilst pregnant and to maintain this after the birth. Quite often I am asked how I regained my tone, strength and my waist! The answer is simple: Pilates and regular exercise.

For me Pilates is one of the best forms of exercise for the pre and post natal woman. The main benefit of pilates is that it safely targets the exact muscles and functions that can be problematic during pregnancy and after birth. Doing regular pilates will help to strengthen your tummy muscles, which enables your body to cope better with the strains caused by the weight of your growing baby.

The benefits of Pilates Pre Natal:

Pilates improves your posture. As your body changes during pregnancy, your shoulders can become rounded as your breasts grow heavier. There is also excessive lower back arching as the weight of your baby increases.

– It will improve your core strength, especially the muscles around your pelvis and spine which are so important as your baby develops. This will help you to manage any niggling pregnancy backache and joint pain.

– Pelvic floor exercises are imperative for pregnant women – regular pregnancy Pilates sessions will encourage you to work the pelvic floor throughout the session. Pregnancy Pilates will also teach you how to relax the pelvic floor and how to use it during child birth.

– Pregnancy Pilates exercises will help prepare your body for the rigorous demands of labour. Circulation is improved and keeping the body moving can alleviate swollen ankles and other circulation issues during your pregnancy.

– Learning different breathing and relaxation techniques is a great benefit during the birth of your baby. Not only for the calming effect but also for the use of your breath during Pregenant Paola Dilanzochildbirth.

– Improving your overall strength and fitness during pregnancy is not only good for you but also good for your baby.

– Regular exercise during pregnancy helps relieve stress and can greatly improve your mood.

– Staying fit during pregnancy encourages you to stay toned and maintain a healthy pregnancy weight gain – which is important for your baby, as well as making it easier to regain your pre-baby shape after your baby is born.

After the birth the post-natal body needs rehabilitation. Although the body recovers naturally to an extent, it needs a little extra helping hand to regain pre-baby strength, tone and posture and to work on the problems encountered during pregnancy.

It is vital to understand that you need to “walk before you can run” (literally) after you’ve had a baby as certain exercises are easily performed incorrectly. The effects of this is:

  1. Damage to joints and the pelvis
  2. An increase an abdominal separation (Diastasis)

I have recognised in the past 14 years of training pre and post natal women that the most important, yet sadly neglected, areas of women’s health today is early post partum rehabilitation exercises. Generally, doctors don’t advise which exercises are to be performed and avoided.

I have seen many damaged pelvic floors and abdominal separations over the years post partum. Often women are unaware of the techniques to rehabilitate the body correctly.

It is essential to perform some simple exercises IMMEDIATELY after the birth and after the six week check up. Perform exercises which slowly strengthen and realign the muscles, putting strong emphasis on the core and pelvic floors. This should be done before you can start any rigorous exercise routine… if not you may encounter many problems down the track. (Such as constantly peeing your pants when you sneeze or still looking like you are 4/5 months pregnant a year down the line!)


I believe that Pilates is one of the best forms of exercise you can do whilst you are pregnant and after the birth. Myself and my team endeavour to keep the body strong, pain free and prepared for the birth and after the birth; we work towards a speedy recovery, rehabilitating the areas that were problematic during pregnancy. Once you have passed the recovery period we work with you to make you strong, lean and toned.

PBB offers hospital visits for the basic post partum exercises or home visits before the doctors 6 week check up. We can come to you in the comfort of your own home, either as a one-on-one or teaching small groups. This is is one of the most unstable times for the body. Poor alignment, weak and stretched abdominals and a stretched and traumatised pelvic floor.

screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-12-40-37My team offer nutritional advice and strongly advise against crash dieting! We encourage healthy eating for steady fat loss (without losing muscle) whilst giving you all the nutrients your body needs for breastfeeding and/or the demands a new baby places on the body. You’ll need all the energy you can get!

If you are expecting or have just become a new mummy, please get in touch with the PBB Team at veronica@paolasbodybarre.com or call us directly on 07713 745065.

 

PBB Interviews: Gerry Lopez

Paola’s BodyBarre is upping the number of classes we teach weekly at Kula Wellbeing in Clapham! PBB meets with Kula’s founder Gerry Lopez to find out more about this serene space in London’s bustle…

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1            What got you interested in wellbeing in the first place?

Yoga and meditation keen me sane. They help me to find peace within myself.

2            Who inspires you?

Albert Einstein. He is living proof of how imagination has changed the world. His humour also makes me smile.

3            How did you create Kula?

The goal was to make something out of the hobby that keeps me sane, but more importantly share the life-changing yoga therapy with others. I wanted to create a space where people could connect with themselves surrounded by people that share these values. This is what Kula is about! A space for you, where you can leave the world behind.

Kula in sanskrit means ‘a community of the heart’ – a community where people gather together to nurture themselves. Kula’s aim is to provide with you with an environment of love, compassion, discipline, hard work and fun.

4            Where did you study fitness and health?

I was trained as a Bikram Yoga teacher by Bikram Choudhry in Los Angeles.

5            How do you stay motivated?

By making sure I am enjoying what I do.

6            What are your favourite healthy spots in London?

I love spending time in Hyde Park… and of course Kula!

7            Which classes do you teach at Kula?

Bikram Hot Yoga is at our core. We also teach Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yoga, i-flo, pregnancy yoga, kids yoga and Paola’s BodyBarre!

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PBB Interviews: Joshua Clark

Paola’s BodyBarre recently started teaching classes at a beautiful new studio on Old Brompton Road. PBB met with Method Movement’s founder Joshua Clark to get to know him a little better…

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1            What got you interested in fitness in the first place?

I started my career as a professional basketball player and initially I wanted to know how to get the most out of my body to maximize my performance on the court. After a series of injuries, I decided to go to university full time to study Exercise Science. My initial goal was to help other Athletes, especially those returning from injury. 

2            Who inspires you?

Richie McCaw the All Black captain is a big inspiration to most New Zealanders. He epitomizes leadership, hard work and determination while being an absolute gentleman.

3            How did you create the Bondi Method?

The Bondi Method was created as a result of my last 10 years as a PT helping women lose weight in those problem areas, get fit, lean and healthy. The program is designed to make you strong and sexy and ultimately hold your own on Bondi Beach.

4            Where did you study fitness and health?

Auckland University of Technology was where it all started for me. However the learning never stops and I continue to grow my knowledge base as I and the fitness industry evolve.

5            How do you stay motivated?

I count my blessings every day. I take inspiration from all my amazing clients. But most Importantly I practice what I preach. I will never make a client do something I haven’t been through so I need to stay Fit, Strong and lean to set an example for them.

6            What are your favorite healthy spots in London?

C-press on Fulham Rd, the people in there are amazing, Squirrel in South Kensington, Zoe Stirling has created an amazing menu of healthy goodness. I also think Method is pretty cool… (so do we!)

7            Which classes do you teach at Method?

All the training classes have been designed by me. I teach a range of all of them and take part as a member in HIIT Method and STRIKE Method. Bondi Method is my baby and I do focus a lot on that program.

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It’s getting hot in here…

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Have you tried our Hot Barre classes yet? PBB is teaching a variety of Hot workouts throughout London and they hot the ground running from the day we launched! Here are a few reasons why you should get on-board the latest fitness trend…

  1. Weight Loss

Practising Barre & Pilates in a heated room increases your heart rate and metabolism. allowing your blood vessels to become more flexible and making your body burn some major calories! This in turn makes circulation easier and increases blood flow to the limbs, which leads to increased flexibility. The way you stretch and compress your internal organs and glands also stimulates metabolism so you are burning calories quicker outside the room as well.

  1. Muscle Tone

As with any PBB workout we are always focused on maximising your time in the studio; the combination of a pilates based workout and a Hot environment will help perfect your muscle tone. The classes we teach in our Hot studios all involve strength work, focusing on one muscle at a time, promoting a long, lean physique.

  1. Breath

With the added element of the heat, you won’t make it far if you don’t breathe deeply! If there is no breathing, there is no workout. It won’t take long before you learn to breathe in a full and controlled manner.

  1. Detox

Heavy sweating is known for flushing toxins from the skin, which explains some of our regular clients’ glow! The sweat and increased circulation are known to improve skin tone and minimise cellulite. Combining your Hot workout with skin scrubs and masks is a great way to complete the process.

  1. Flexibility

Even through your body temperature only rises 0.5ºC throughout your Hot workout, your superficial soft tissue structures (ligaments, muscles, tendons…) will warm up quickly and allow you to move further, deeper and further in all directions. Because your body quickly becomes warmed up there is less of a chance for injury too!

We teach our exclusive PBB Hot Floor Barre and PBB Hot Dynamic Pilates in four studios across London:

Tuesdays & Thursdays (9:00)

Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays (9:00)

Tuesdays (10:15), Fridays (12:30) & Saturdays (12:30)

Mondays (07:00 & 10:45), Thursdays (07:00 & 10:45 & 20:00), Fridays (07:00 & 10:45) & Saturdays (09:00)

PBB Interviews: Kimberly Parsons

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Paola’s BodyBarre has teamed up with Chef Kimberly Parson, author of The Yoga Kitchen, for a retreat in Catalunya this October. Catalunya is a region in the north-east of Spain, known for it’s good food, relaxing atmosphere and authentic Spanish attitude. This exceptional retreat will take place at Villa La Portella, near the town of Ponts. The Catalunya retreat is from Monday 17th of October to the Saturday 22nd of October.
Learn more about Kimberly Parsons, who will be cooking all the delicious meals while we are in Spain…

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-14-17-56What got you interested in cooking in the first place?

Being brought up in an Italian family means that food is never far from your mind. It’s such a part of life that I don’t think I could have escaped it even if I wanted to. My nonna was an inspiring cook and taught me from a very young age. From her kitchen I took my love affair for food into my own kitchen and have never wanted to stop learning. I just love to cook everyday!

Who inspires you?

I find all mothers incredibly inspiring. The love they carry for their families is beautiful and reminds me of my nonna and mother who are incredible women.

Why did you choose to team up with PBB for a retreat?

Paola and I have had very similar journey’s over the last few years with our businesses. In fact I did the catering for Paola’s launch event back in 2013. I have been incredibly inspired by Paola and how far she has come. I thought it was the right time for us to team up.screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-14-16-21

How do you stay motivated?

I stay inspired. I stay creative and connected to myself. In that place I can always stay true to what I want from life. I am naturally a very determined person and find great satisfaction in going and getting what I want. I want to be an inspiration for others to do the same so I make sure I always stay true and do everything from my heart where I feel integrity resides.

What kind of food does the Retreat Café offer? And what can we expect in Catalunya?

All the food at Retreat Cafe is made with love and designed to be incredibly delicious AND nutritious. I love creating beautiful food which is healthy yet feels incredibly indulgent and comforting at the same time. On the retreat you can expect the food to be energising, clean and perfectly balanced. You won’t feel deprived, in fact by the end of the week you will feel you have eaten better than you ever have before!

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To hear more about our Catalunya Retreat e-mail retreats@paolasbodybarre.com now!

Meet our Trainer: Harriet Heath

HARRIETHarriet has had a passion for fitness ever since she took her first dance class at 4 years old. Her positive attitude towards self-improvement and making fitness fun again makes her classes energetic and will leave you feeling better than ever! 

What got you interested in fitness in the first place?

I fell in love with movement at an early age, attending my first dance lesson at 4 years of age and I was always heavily involved in sports throughout my school life. I went on to train as a professional dancer and my passion for Pilates grew during this time, when I felt all the aches, niggles and pains that come from a gruelling training regime melting away through regular practise. I found that the Pilates method, along with my love for a high intensity, sweat filled workout was the perfect recipe for feeling strong, fit and fabulous! My health, wellbeing and fitness journey piqued after working for several years in the dance industry. I found that most people I met, throughout all areas of life, would put emphasis on what was “wrong” with their bodies – or what they “hated” about their physiques –  it just doesn’t quite sit right with me. I want to celebrate health, and focus on nourishing and caring for my body by embracing exercise as something that, I know, makes me feel incredible and keeps my body strong, mobile and healthy. I only have one to last my entire life, so I want to thank it and look after it!

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.49.55Who inspires you?

I get inspired by so much and so many people daily – people who do what they love every day inspire me constantly. People who continually strive to live a life doing what makes them truly happy and fulfilled. I have so many friends just like this so I feel ongoing inspiration from them. Also Cameron Diaz obviously – absolute babe!!

Why did you choose to teach at PBB?

When I was introduced to Paola’s method I was instantly hooked! It is the perfect fusion of my passions for dance, pilates and a very intense workout. It is a mentally and physically challenging session that leaves the body feeling sensational – working balance, flexibility and co-ordination, creating long, lean muscles whilst burning a shed load of energy. Classes are personable, fun, motivational and, of course, extremely sweaty. Paola and her trainers are so full of energy, knowledge and passion for what they do. You leave feeling 100% worked to your limits and 100% fabulous!

Where did you study fitness and health? 

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.50.31My studies started at The Italia Conti Academy in Central London, I then went on to further my professional dance training at The Broadway Dance in New York City where I learned more about my body and discovered Pilates and it’s amazing benefits. I danced professionally for several years whilst pilates, health and fitness remained a huge part of my life and I have now gone on to train with Body Control Pilates for my teaching qualification. I discovered that motivating and inspiring people to live an active and healthy lifestyle is something I find amazingly rewarding. This came from times of inviting friends to work out; making it a fun experience, as well as a social one, but most importantly a positive one! I have also trained further with Paola’s BodyBarre, studying her method in detail along with the ingredients that make it so special. I plan to constantly build on my qualifications and continue learning – Reformer Pilates is my next goal.

How do you stay motivated?

Everybody has slumps, we are only human, so for me, a number of things help me to stay motivated, the main one being thinking about how I will feel after my workout. I know that stress I have built up will be expelled and if I am feeling tired and groggy before the workout I certainly won’t afterwards! Also grabbing a workout buddy is one of the BEST motivations – I love working out with friends, you can bounce off each other and make it fun – I think a key factor is making your workouts enjoyable. If you enjoy it, you want to do it more! Varying my workouts also helps me, not doing the same routine day in day out, giving my mind and body some variety and always trying new things!

Which classes do you teach at PBB?

I teach all the Barre classes – Come and get sweaty!

Find Harriet @thehealthyheathlet_ on instagram!

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A Perfect Summer’s Day at the Daylesford Farm

When it comes to must-visit destinations, Gloucestershire doesn’t always spring to mind. However Daylesford Farm is worth the visit alone! In June I was lucky enough to be invited for a beautiful day filled with fitness, food and friends in Daylesford Farm. The beautiful farm, located in Kingham is just a 90 minute train journey from London Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 14.33.02Paddington.

From it’s beautiful rolling hills to it’s unspoiled village bursting with authenticity, history and calm, there isn’t much more a village could offer me to convince me to book a day-trip – except of course the beautiful Daylesford Farm, complete with it’s own spa, restaurant and all the amenities to go with it.

Over thirty-five years ago Carole Bamford and her family began to turn the land into the first sustainable, organic farming location in Staffordshire and then in the Cotswolds. Although the work began as a simple passion for real food and a desire to feed their children better, it has now grown into the Daylesford I discovered: a stunning backdrop to one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK, with a butcher, bakery, fishmonger, homeware and garden shop.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 14.28.45Through my day-long retreat I discovered the built-in spa, café-restaurant and well-being barn. We started the day with yoga in Daylesford’s beautiful reconverted barn. The Bamford Haybarn Spa, located within the Daylesford Estate, has a weekly schedule of carefully selected classes, workshops and activities. The trainers work on both physical and psychological sides to build awareness and bring harmony to the body. Our yoga session recharged my batteries and restored inner peace!

We then moved onto a beautiful lunch that we were able to enjoy in the amazing Farm surroundings. The Daylesford Farm’s food has an exceptionally short journey, as all the food comes straight from the farm to our fork. The estate has it’s own market garden, where you can buy meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables, a bakery with fresh breads, and a creamery where you will find cheese, milk and yoghurt. The on-site chefs use only the freshest ingredients, combined with simple techniques to bring out the natural flavours of our seasonal, organic produce.

The wonderful thing about the farm’s atmosphere is that you are able to see how the animals are kept, how the vegetables are grown and how the food is produced.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 14.29.30The best thing about the farm is that you don’t have to travel to it to enjoy the beautiful organic food. Daylesford Farm has a series of three shops right here in London filled with their fresh produce and homeware. These gems are located in Pimlico, Notting Hill and Marylebone and bring all the glory from the farm straight to your table. To top it all off the Farm stocks it’s a wide range of our award-winning organic produce, including our meat, cheese, soups, real meals, milk, bread, cakes, wine and a great range of larder essentials with Ocado, meaning you can order the Daylesford experience right to your doorstep!

Plan your visit to Daylesford Farm here: http://daylesford.com/
Or visit their London locations here: http://daylesford.com/locations/