If you’ve been following my mum life related posts, then I’m sure you read the blog post about how I got diastasis recti after having a baby. If you would like to find out more about it, then click HERE to read my first blog post. But it’s basically ab separation leaving you a post-baby belly pooch. So what did I do to fix it? Fortunately I didn’t have a very severe diastasis recti - only a few centimetres, but I could really feel it and also see it - you feel like you’re abs are not doing what they’re supposed to - they’re not holding your belly together and it feels like all of the contents of my stomach fall forward! And you can’t suck your belly in. If you have it or have had it, you know what I mean.
So after having a check up with a physician at Centro Mi Matrona in Marbella (3 months after having Amanda), I took the hipopresivo aka hypopressive or vacuum exercise classes once a week for 8 weeks. Hypopressive abs by definition consist of generating a hypopression in the abdominal cavity. They consist of a combination of series of postures and a special respiration (apnea), to elevate and activate the diaphragm. They really helped my diastasis recti and gave a good foundation to start working out again!
Then I joined the Pilates classes at Yogazone in San Pedro in the Aqua apartment building block - it’s such a beautiful little studio with super lovely people and teachers, who make you feel at home even if it’s your first class! Even though they don’t offer postpartum Pilates classes there, I spoke to both of the teachers (Tracy & Millie) and told them about my diastasis recti, so they guided me in the beginning and told me how to modify the exercises so I don’t make my condition worse. And after a few months I really felt the difference and I can see it too!
Pilates is such a great full body workout with movemenets that seem so easy, but once you try you can really feel the burn! Also you really use your core so much more than with any other workout. But besides the abs, Pilates classes also concentrate on posture, balance and flexibility. One thing that made me fall in love with Pilates is that it really makes you stop and think about what you are doing. You’re not rushing through pull ups or just lifting random weights. It focuses your mind, regulates your breathing and makes use of internal resistance - and that is an extremely powerful way to tone the body. Moreover, breathing performed in yoga and Pilates has been shown to cause a reduction in stress and blood pressure, as deep breathing encourages correct blood flow and helps with sleep. Another thing I love about the Pilates classes at Yogazone is that each class is different, since there are also various accessories you can use - from the block to the magic circle - so you will never be doing the same exercises every week. I would really like to thank Yogazone and both teachers and I highly recommend Pilates to everyone, whether you have diastasis recti or not. And also it’s an amazing workout for men, I mean, it was even created by a man!