I'm excited to introduce you this beautiful and fit young lady being featured on our blog this week! Her name is Isabelle Laski. I met her through my sister-in-law, Julie, during our company launched back in May. I'm happy to find out about her new venture and I would like to share that with you, especially to our mamas out there who wants to be fit during and after pregnancy.
Question #1: Can you tell us something about yourself?
Isabelle: "Although I do work full-time for a food company, I find it hard to escape food. I enjoy cooking, looking up recipes and getting creative. For over a year, I’ve been on a pescatarian diet, mostly vegetarian so it has helped me to be more creative in what to eat. Cooking makes it easier to stay healthy. Dining out is interesting too since it helps me to explore and venture out to restaurants that offer more selections. Favorite foods include Indian, Thai and Italian. Right now, I love experimenting with ways to vegetarian-ize Filipino cuisine. My husband is luckily along for the ride.
Other interests include reading graphic novels, drawing, traveling and hanging out with my husband, my family and close friends."
Question #2. Why yoga or what inspires you to do this?
Isabelle: "I enjoyed yoga casually throughout my teen years but when I started to work professionally, I found it to be a blissful outlet. A few years ago, I really dove into yoga because of my then, very stressful job. I kept thinking, “It would be so wonderful if every person could have yoga in their lives”. It finally clicked that I could be one of those people to spread yoga. :) I went through training while working full-time and became very passionate to bring yoga to beginners, to people with high-stress lifestyles.
The type of yoga I normally teach leans more toward the gentle and restorative styles. This tends to be more approachable for someone who might be curious about yoga. I eventually wanted to also add prenatal to the styles of yoga I currently teach. Later, I went through prenatal yoga teacher training and kids yoga training.
In the years I have taught, I’ve led events for a community garden group, Argonza Cellars (a Filipino-owned Wine Company), and partnered with LoveMadeMeDoIt & Natural Feeling Spa for an all-women’s all-natural beauty networking event called “Clean Beauty”. I also host some events with We Olive in Pasadena.
My most recent event was a collaboration with KommonThread. We recently hosted a charity yoga class where the proceeds will go toward “Support Solutions LA” where they provide assistance to the homeless in LA. We will continue to host Bliss Out for a Cause.
I have a few other events/projects in the works with small businesses and not-for-profit organizations."
Question #3: What are the benefits of Yoga? Is this recommended to pregnant or new moms? Are there any risks or contraindications?
Isabelle: "There are many benefits to yoga but like any type of activity, it’s important to get them cleared by your physician. Every person is built differently and has gone through different journeys as in injuries, illnesses, etc. The first thing I tell students is to listen to their body and honor where they are. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. It’s important to be mindful of your body, what works for you and what doesn’t. Like anything in life, don’t force it.
With that said, there are many good reasons why pregnant mamas and new mamas dive into yoga. It can help alleviate a lot of ailments such as low back pain, it can help with proper posture during pregnancy, balance, assist with pelvic floor strength and awareness. Breathing is especially useful since it can help prepare with labor. When attending a yoga class specifically for “prenatal”, it’s also wonderful to have a sense of community with other pregnant mamas. It creates a lovely support system where women can talk to each other before or after class, share stories and ask questions. This is especially great for new moms! There are countless other reasons but these are among the many for pregnant mamas.
As for new moms, they want to get back into the swing of things. Yoga is fantastic as it can be gentle enough during postpartum recovery but can still build strength, stability and balance. Yoga can assist with pelvic floor strengthening as well. Mommy and me classes are great ways to squeeze in, not just time for movement, but bonding with your baby. And when baby gets bigger, family yoga classes are a fun way to help with development and also to bond with your kids. It’s especially helpful when you can’t always find a sitter to go to the gym :)"
Question #4. Can you give us some examples of yoga poses that we can do at home?
Isabelle: "In yoga, you can call them poses or asanas. Again, keep in mind of any maladies, aches and/or pains or previous injuries and proceed with caution. And please consult a doctor before beginning any physical activity.
- Hip Circles: You would stand on your feet, hip distance apart, tailbone pointed down toward the floor. Hands can be on your hips and you can start to sway your hips, move them in circles or figure 8s. This is especially great during labor as it creates movement and you can connect your breathing with the movement. Plus, it feels good. Try it!
- Chair Pose Against Wall: Again, this would be great during labor as well but even to build strength in your legs. You can press your back against the wall or even draw your torso forward. Your feet will be planted firmly on the floor. Your bend will depend on how far along you are or where your joints are. Remember, when you’re pregnant, that hormone, relaxin will make you super limber and flexible. We want to make sure you’re not hyperextending as this can create injuries. Take your time and ease into this one. You can take several full rounds of breath here (Deep inhales through the nose, exhales through mouth or nose). Even postpartum and beyond, this is a fantastic pose to try away from the wall as well. It builds a lot of strength and balance.
- One Legged Seated Forward Fold: If you’re familiar with this pose or something like it, the tendency sometimes is to force touching your toes. Instead, take a more passive approach to this. Allow the leg to extend and if it calls to you, perhaps bend the knee. The opposite leg can be bent with the foot closer to the body. Take your time walking the hands forward. Again, as I mentioned before about the hormone, relaxin when you’re pregnant, you will want to take your time and listen to your body. Find that sweet spot where you feel a stretch without forcing. This can also feel really great on the low back.
- Reclined Butterfly/Reclined Savasana: Props: Rolled up blankets/body pillows and anything you can use to stack. If you have yoga blocks, you can use it to support your blankets or body pillow. This keeps you from putting weight on your back if you’re pregnant. You can even do butterfly pose seated.
- To get into a supported reclined butterfly and/or savasana, you can stack your rolled up blankets or towels (like a big burrito) or take your body pillow, although blankets maybe provide more support. You can lean them on blocks as you see in the photo. Rest your back against the support.
- For butterfly, bring the bottoms of your feet together and allow the knees to open. If this is not comfortable, your legs can be bent, straight or you can slide a pillow underneath your knees.
To reach Isabelle for coaching, below is her contact information:
"As for yoga classes, we can do online classes if it makes it easier. Private sessions are limited to local pregnant mamas, new moms or families at this time. I can also book events with small businesses, organizations and not-for-profits.
I am a mobile business and I do this to be more accessible. I teach prenatal/family yoga/gentle yoga and restorative, mainly. In addition, I offer health coaching services. I assist people in changing their habits so they can eat better and have more energy to get things done throughout the day. Health Coaching can be done in person if local but can also be over the phone or Skype/Google Hangouts. It makes it accessible."
Thank you trenders for reading! If you'd like to be featured on our blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, Love Jezreel