Mother of two and larger than life character, Tasha Lawton (pictured), has presented on Yoga TV in Australia and also appeared as the Pilates ‘In Pregnancy Expert’ on the Lifestyle Channel’s Pilates TV series. Tasha has also demonstrated at fitness expos, and worked with pro AFL footballers in the area of sports coaching and Pilates training.
On the experience of providing Pilates training for AFL footballers, Tasha said she really enjoyed it. “They’re very hard working, they’re very committed, very focused and they’re also very aware of the huge benefits Pilates has for them. Injuries in football are common and Pilates is a great thing for them to be doing.”
These days Tasha is a stay-at-home mum delivering her own unique brand of Pilates training for pregnant women via a series of DVDs called Pregalates.
Tasha Lawton told Australian Women Online she filmed the Pregalates DVDs in Melbourne four years ago when she was pregnant with her son. “The basics of Pilates you adhere to but I have modified exercises where I feel are best for pregnant and post-natal women.”
Tasha says Pilates is fabulous for pregnant women. “As your boobs get bigger it starts to change your posture – some women get a little more self-conscious because they’re not use to having the bigger boobs and roll their shoulders forward. Pilates will keep your spine properly aligned.”
“Another benefit of Pregalates relates to your tummy muscles which are getting weaker as the baby is growing and putting pressure on your lower back. So a lot of women suffer with lower back pain during pregnancy because they don’t have the physical strength to carry the child and hold themselves properly,” Tasha said.
Not only does it keep the expecting mum fit, Pilates helps strengthen her back which in turn enables her to hold the weight at the front of her body, easing the pressure on her lower back.
The Pregalates classes also focus on the pelvic floor. “One in three women become incontinent after pregnancy. The whole purpose of Pilates with the breathing is that every time you’re breathing you’re connecting with your pelvic floor muscle. So after pregnancy you can cough, sneeze and laugh without fear.”
And for those of you who gave birth before Pilates was introduced in this country, the Pilates expert has this piece of advice: “It’s never too late, you can get it back,” said Tasha. “And it does wonders for your sex life as well!”
Pilates is proven to help keep your stress hormone levels low (cortisol). “Your cortisol levels during pregnancy are very high and by virtue of doing a Pilates workout, that automatically brings these levels back into balance,” said Tasha.
Tasha also points out that Pilates will help pregnant women to maintain their physical balance as well. “During pregnancy we all get a little bit wobbly on our feet because your points of gravity are changing – Pilates will help you maintain your physical balance.”
The classes also work on the transverse abdominus which is one of the muscles you use to push a baby out. If this muscle is strong you are more likely to have a smoother labour and faster recovery post birth.
“If you’ve looked after your body during pregnancy and kept it strengthened and toned, you will recover much quicker after the delivery,” said Tasha.
“It’s not about working out to the point where you’re sweating – it’s body maintenance. If you’re nurturing yourself at the time when you’re nurturing another little person that’s growing inside you, you’ll feel much better and more confident when the baby arrives.”
The Pregalates DVD set offers one DVD for each of the three trimesters of pregnancy and one designed to help mum get back into shape after the baby is born. The DVDs are available now from www.pregalates.com and cost $49.99 for the set or $14.99 individually.