We’re pretty familiar with pre and post-natal yoga classes, but what about upping the ante and opting for barre-based classes instead? Barre (pronounced as ‘bar’) uses a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and Pilates. It focuses on isometric strength training, where your body is held still while you contract a specific set of muscles combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements. Strength training is particularly beneficial for both pre as well as post-natal mamas.
Unlike most studios, Called To The Barre along Joo Chiat within the Katong district, combines both pre and post-natal classes as they want to create a nurturing environment where the two groups can share experiences and workout together. Classes are kept intimate, to a max of 6 persons, to ensure that everyone gets the proper attention. Lynn Soh, the owner of the studio, taught the class until she was 30 weeks pregnant and thereafter started teaching again 4 months postpartum. Being a mom and instructor, she has learned the importance of keeping active and fit during pregnancy, but of course under good guidance.
For pre-natal moms-to-be, classes are focused on breathing (to help in labor), alignment (to ensure that the back is not compromised as the baby gets heavier and tummy bigger), and preventive exercises for the pelvic floor as well as diastasis recti (separation of the abdominals). For post-natal moms, they will always be checked for pelvic floor health and diastasis recti prior to the session. While many fitness studios are not particular about this, Lynn feels that this is important. She mentions that most postpartum moms merely jump straight into a weight loss regime once their gynae gives them the go ahead. Without going through a proper check on their pelvic floor health and diastasis recti, these moms are at risk for a prolapse.
The studio encourages post-natal moms to have their little bubs in a carrier throughout the whole barre session. Apart from developing a stronger bond with their babies, the extra weight creates an added challenge to their workout – great!