The New Mama Body Reset

That’s right, vaginas and abs. These areas hold to key to a happy, healthy and dry life. (if you know what I mean, mama)

I’ve compiled the greatest little package for you to kickstart your movement practice. I believe that moving your body is the key to your happiness, and rebuilding your strength is the key to holding things together.

And all of that tied up with a pretty blue or pink bow means that you’re more free, strong and energized to take care of your new little bundle. And guess what! It’s only $11!


I’m a bit of an anatomy geek and I love educating women about their body, how it works and what’s holding what in place. SO, you’ll be receiving a fact and anatomy filled PDF with all kinds of goodies that you may or may not want to know about your body after baby. Don’t worry, it’s all good stuff.

I’ve also created a great video for you that teaches you the basics of Pilates and takes you through some great exercises that will help you get back in touch with your abdominals. Whether you’ve had a caesarean or a vaginal delivery, your abs probably aren’t what they used to be, so reconnecting is important.

Along with that, you’ll receive a wonderful interview I recently recorded with my friend, and former client and employer, Dr. Natalie Sampson, DPT. Dr. Natalie and I talked anatomy, and how to rebuild after baby. (of course!) She’s a wealth of information, you’ll love this interview!



And a BONUS! You’ll also receive a second video for when you’re ready to kick it up a notch!

So let’s break this down..

* A 15-minute Pilates Basics Video (you’ll feel it, don’t worry)

* An informative & anatomy clad PDF

* A 45-minute recorded workshop by Dr. Natalie Sampson, DPT (we get into some good stuff)

*A BONUS Pilates video to kick things into high gear

All of these goodies will trickle into your inbox in the next few days starting with today so that you can get your body moving!

Sign up here!


Have questions? Email me!

hugs & kegels,

The Pilates Mama


New Mama Bliss Found Here!

Hello, Mama!

A big congratulations to you on your sweet little bundle! It’s one of the most joyous times in a woman’s life, holding this tiny little creation that’s so soft and cuddly and smells so yummy- there’s nothing like it.

I adore sniffing new babies, they’re so sweet and new. 🙂

Caring for this little bundle is probably all you want to do, but I’d like to remind you, that caring for yourself is also incredibly important. You are your #1 asset and without taking time for yourself, you may not be able to give 100%.

I speak from experience. After delivering all 3 of my daughters,(via c-section) I took second place, and slowly, but surely, it took it’s toll.

I only say this in hopes of offering some encouragement through experience. However! you’re in luck, because there are now more amazing resources for new mamas- like this incredible packet.

You’ll have access to everything from fitness videos (that’s me!) to loving letters, to soothing meditations.

As a Pilates Instructor and a mama of 3, I know how important it is to reconnect to your abdominals to avoid any issues in the long run. Please enjoy the gentle, yet effective Pilates workout videos included in this magnificent package.


Take a look and grab one for yourself, you’ve earned it. You deserve it.

Sending you big love & hugs,

The Pilates Mama

P.S. Here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote called, There’s Magic in Movement, where I share more about recovery and strengthening my body and mind through movement.

What I’ve been doing for the last 10 years is raising my three daughters and teaching Pilates. There’s a magical healing that happens when we move our body. My work’s focus is to teach women that a workout is about more than just your body, it’s about being present and available for your family, it’s about raising your vibration and tapping your joy, that will expand to your family, your community and beyond.

When we feel good, and raise the vibration of our body and mind by creating endorphins, it creates a ripple effect, not just in our home but also in our community and beyond.
As a Pilates Instructor and a mother, I wanted to take the knowledge I’d gained and share it with as many women as possible. Why? Because in the last 10 years of solo parenting, moving my body has been my saving grace.


I hit a point in my life where I was sick and tired of living in Blahville– I wanted out. At that point I made a commitment to myself to increase my movement practice. I committed to moving my body a minimum of 3 times per week, and it was life changing.

I rediscovered my joy, I tapped my creativity, and I was hopeful for what was to come.
Think about it. When you’ve made the time to workout, haven’t you felt better for the rest of the day? Didn’t you have a more productive day at work or around the house, refrain from barking at your kids during the morning mad-dash to school plus send your hubby off with a smooch instead of a grunt? Most likely, yes.

Cut to today

I am committed to helping women find their strength in mind, body and soul. By offering Pilates via webcam, I can reach more women anywhere in the world in the convenience of their own home.

In addition to building their physical and mental strength, each of my clients is an active participant in the development of a Mat Pilates teacher trainer course that I’m calling Pilates with Soul.

I’ve partnered with the YWCA in Haiti to bring this Mat Pilates teacher trainer course to their students in hopes of giving them a trade so that they can generate income to sustain their families.

Pilates with Soul, in its entirety, is a Virtual Pilates studio that offers Private and Group Pilates sessions via webcam, a Pilates Mat workout video library, and a 6-week online movement and wellness program.

Being a first-time mama is an amazing experience. The New Mama Welcome Pack blog hop is a celebration of this life changing event! Follow the links to discover more unmissable advice, stories and essential tips. And if you’re a new mama who wants to rock motherhood without guilt, overwhelm or losing yourself, check out the New Mama Welcome Pack here.

New Mama Welcome Pack / Lotte Lane / Dreaming Aloud / Zhendria / Birthing in Conscious Choice / Natalie Garay / Eli Trier / Knecht Ruprecht / Lise Meijer / Naomi Goodlet / A Lifestyle By Design / Story of Mum / Like a Bird / Holistic Mama / Birth Geek / Joyful Parenting / Stroller Packing / My Healthy Beginning / Mums and More / Kate Beddow – Growing Spirits / Ellen Nightingale / Stacie Whitney / Maternity Leavers / Photography for Busy Parents / Close Enough To Kiss / Atelier Susana Tavares / Offbeat Family / Katie m. Berggren ~ Painting Motherhood / Winship Wellness Blog / Liberate From Weight / Jessica Cary / Art + Craft / Raising Playful Tots / Peaceful Mothering / Play Activities / Lauren Nenna / Nurture You / The Adventure Mama / Be Wise Be Healthy / b.a.d.momGoodmom / Doula in Your Pocket / Making Mom Strong / Adrienn Csoknyay / Joyful Parents / Alison Hummel / Simple Solutions for Photos / Lynne Newman / Euphoric Birth / Mumpreneur Mentor / A Walk in the Clouds / Parenting on the Fence / MiaMily

What is Pilates With Soul?


I adore Pilates, we know this, I’ve been teaching for many moons now. It’s helped me on so many levels, starting with giving me a job, to getting me back into pre-pregnancy strength after a 2 month hospital bed-rest stint and 2 cesarean sections, plus it’s been great for mental clarity.

You can read about how I rehabilitated after pregnancy here and here and how I went from Blahville to Hellyeah!ville here.

It wasn’t until I started my yoga practice that I realized I was missing something in my fitness routines all these years.

In Pilates, we talk about anatomy and how to heal physically; which muscles will help alleviate certain aches and rehabilitate a specific injury.


But in yoga, it’s more about the emotional and internal healing that’s associated with the movement and poses. That completely fascinated me and totally made sense!

More often than not, your aches and pains are associated to emotional healing that needs to take place.


One of the most interesting things I learned from yoga is that women tend to carry negative emotions in their hips. What?! The first few times I practiced yoga I found myself crying. Talk about embarrassing, but it was also extremely cathartic.

I walked out of those classes floating. I’m pretty sure I hugged my teacher after each class for a good week or two.

There’s important take-aways from both practices that I think everyone could benefit from. And that’s why I share what I know and learn with you here and in my online Pilates classes. You can read more about my classes and videos here.


Here’s my philosophy on working out:

It’s about more than just your body; it’s about creating a shift in your physical and mental wellbeing so that you can be more present and available to help your community and beyond.

When we have the awareness that not only does our workout practice benefit us and those around us in our immediate community, but that it also causes a ripple affect that goes so much broader-it’s world changing stuff.

And that’s what I’m aiming towards; world changing is the new black.  (Read more about my passion project here.)

And I believe that if we went into our workouts thinking that way, we’d be more enthusiastic about moving our bodies and more apt to maintain our health and fitness goals.

Let’s break it down.

Pilates With Soul is about:

*mind, body & spirit strengthening

*creating change

*going inward

*being present

*giving love

Can you be down with that?

How can you be more present in your life today?

Share with me in the comments below, then go and share this little nugget with your community.

Let’s cause a ripple.

Here’s to creating change,

The Pilates Mama

P.S. If you’d like to join me on a 6-week soul journey, starting Monday, February 3, 2014, read more about it and sign up here.

This 6 week Journey will be a great way to keep up that New Years momentum. It will include an inspiring workout video each week PLUS other bonus goodies.

And And AND! Not only will you be creating change in your own life, but by participating in this journey you’ll also be creating change in Haiti! That’s right! I’ll be making a trip to Haiti late February on a Health & Wellness Tour with the organization, Project: House of Hope. I’m so excited and I can’t wait to share more with you!

I can’t wait for you to join me in this double dose of change making!

Don’t forget to email me and claim your spot!

LA’s top Pilates Instructors


LA’s top Pilates Instructors

Hello friends + Happy September!

In addition to listing LA’s top Pilates studios, I wanted to highlight a few of my fave instructors. This group really knows their stuff; I’ve had the pleasure of working with all of them either as clients, fellow instructors or as my personal Pilates Instructor.

If you’re in the LA area, be sure to take a session with them!

Sending love,

The Pilates Mama

Guesting today on Diastasis Recti after baby?


Guesting today on Fit for Moms. Diastasis Recti after baby? Check out these basic exercises for strengthening your abdominals safely before beginning your regular workout routine.

Today Natalie Garay, The Pilates Mama, is here to talk diastasis recti and provides those of us who are dealing with it {here’s how to test for diastasis recti} with some basic exercises for our abdominals. These exercises are “beginner” exercises geared towards soon after baby is born or to get back on the workout wagon. She will be back soon to provide Fit for Moms with more advanced exercises as well.

You may remember Natalie from our recent {mom to mom} interview. I am so glad she is back to talk more on this hot topic on Fit for Moms.


For those of you who have discovered after having children that your abdominal wall did not completely close, causing a slight separate in the linea alba; also known as a diastasis recti; here are some basic and safe exercises to regain abdominal strength before getting back to your regular workouts. The first three exercises are very basic but very important to rebuilding a strong foundation after pregnancy.  The latter three are also basic but a little more challenging, especially with rehabbing a diastasis recti or after having a cesarean section.

Diastasis Recti Exercises




Simply and remarkably, you can strengthen your abdominals by just breathing.  Strong exhales contract the abdominal muscles, which engages and strengthens the muscles.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the mat and place your hands around your waistline.

Now you’re just going to take a deep inhale through your nose, then exhale through your mouth by making a ‘shushing’ sound, like you’re telling someone to “shush” OR a long ‘Ha’ sound like your fogging a mirror.  Either way is fine; just find the one that works best for you. By doing this you should feel your waistline shrinking because you’re contracting your internal and external oblique muscles.  These muscles fit us like a corset and when we exhale deeply it’s like our corset has tightened.  Do this a few times and feel your muscles tighten and engage.  Isn’t amazing that you can strengthen your abdominal muscles by just breathing?!

Kegel Contractions:

As a mom, I’m sure your doctor mentioned practicing your kegel contractions during your pregnancy. If not, get on it!  A kegel contraction is an internal contraction that will engage and help strengthen our transversus abdominus muscle.  This contraction is what you use when you have to use the bathroom really bad but you have to hold it. The ‘TA’ is an important muscle for supporting our low backs; it fits us like the lumbar support belts Costco workers tend to wear.  This muscle is very important when rehabbing after baby, especially in addition to having a diastasis recti. The great thing about kegel contractions is that you can do them anywhere, anytime. (I’m doing them while writing this) You may find them difficult at first. Maybe you can’t do it or maybe you can’t hold it for very long. Not to worry, they take a little practice. Start by holding them for 5 seconds then increase your time as you can.  Practice as often as you like.

Pelvic tilt:



Again, lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor.  Place your hands on your hipbones; by doing this you can feel if you’re transversus is engaging or not. Now tilt your pelvis as if you were tucking your bum, which will imprint your low back to the floor.  By using your breath and engaging the kegel contraction you are strengthening your abdominal muscles. You can practice this 8-10 times.




This exercises uses the hamstrings, glutes as well as the abdominals.  Focus on the abdominals and breath while rolling the hips up and off of the mat into a bridge. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet planted on the mat, hip distance apart. Take a big inhale, then exhale as you go into a pelvic tilt and roll up one vertebra at a time. Hold at the top for an inhale; then exhale as you roll down, again one vertebra at a time and focus on keeping the abs engaged.

Heel slides:



When done properly, Heel slides are very effective for strengthening the abdominals. Start by lying flat on your back, hands on your hip bones, knees bent, feet flat to the mat, hip distance apart. Inhale as you stretch one leg out on the mat, exhale to engage the abdominals and use the abdominals to slide the leg in slowly by dragging your heel along the mat. Alternate sides repeating 5 or so on each side. If you’re not feeling the abdominals working during the heel slide, try slowing down the movement and pay close attention to your breath and abdominal engagement.

Table Top Hold:



Lie flat on the mat and bring your hands to your side. Slowly bring one leg up at a time by using your abdominals making your legs into a tabletop. Hold for 1 minute to start or less if needed then slowly increase the hold time as it gets easier.  Make sure that the abdominals stay flat and that your back doesn’t arch as your holding your legs up.




Lie flat on your back and slowly bring one leg up at a time just as you did for tabletop hold. As you inhale lower one foot down toward the mat as if you were going to dip your toe into the pool. Exhale to engage the abdominals then slowly lift the leg back to start position. You can either alternate legs are do 8 repetitions on one side then move to the other side.