What's the right way to do yoga while you're pregnant?
"Listen to your body; that’s number one. You don’t want to do any deep twisting when you’re pregnant — and there are a lot of deep twists in yoga, usually. But the basic idea is that you don't want to wring out your uterus." [Ed note: Now there's a disturbing visual].
Do you ever want to do something that would wring out your uterus?
"Yes! You want to wring out your center, it’s really great for eliminating toxins from your body. But you don’t want to eliminate things in your core when you’re pregnant, you want to keep them in there. So deep twisting is considered unsafe, and so is any kind of intense core work, really. I was starting from a place where my core was very in shape, so I actually stopped doing core work quite early in my pregnancy because I wanted my belly to relax to make sure I didn’t have any tearing of the muscles. Working your core properly can be great for learning how to push the baby at the end. Transverse abdominus, have you heard of that?"
"It’s a seatbelt-like muscle that goes across underneath your belly button. It's also called the spare tire or a muffin top, which are some terrible words that we don’t call it. I like to call it the transverse abdominus muscle."
I like that. It's much more body positive.
"Yes, it’s very positive. So that is a muscle you can strengthen while you’re pregnant and that actually helps during delivery."
What yoga positions do you specifically recommend?
"Half Pigeon is great. Any hip opener, and squatting is great too. Working into the backs of your legs, forward bends are incredible. As your belly gets bigger, you’re going to want to make sure you start separating your legs wider and wider. At this point I have to separate my legs pretty wide [laughs]. You’re carrying so much more weight compared to what you’re used to that the muscles in your legs and lower back and glutes are really supporting a lot more than they’re used to — that’s where a lot of the aches and pains come from."
So you’re still doing yoga regularly?
"Oh yeah, we did it this morning — I work out everyday."
What else do you do?
"I do a lot of Physique 57, ballet barre classes, which has been great while I’m pregnant because I am someone who loves to do cardio. I love to go spinning, I love to run, and now I’m swimming again which has been great, especially because you feel weightless. With Physique 57 it’s great because it’s these small movements, toning exercises that will make your body look long and lean and you feel very strong. But it doesn’t get your heart rate up as much as a spin class, which the whole point is to make your heart rate go up. If you get your heart rate up too much you’re putting your baby into distress, and you don’t want to do that."
Your skin looks amazing. Tell us your secrets!
"When you get pregnant, you want to stay as moisturized as possible. Your body is going through so many changes and surprises can come up."
"Dry skin, stretch marks, all sorts of different things. I think one of the reasons my skin has looked so nice throughout my pregnancy is that as soon as I got pregnant, I went out and I bought cocoa butter. My mother always told me I should buy cocoa butter when I’m pregnant, and I made sure I had all of the oils and lotions. One thing I didn’t think about in the beginning is what I’m cleansing myself with in the shower, and of course it was high quality but it did dry out my skin a little bit. You know when you get out of the shower and you feel a little bit tight? Well one of the incredible things about Olay's body wash is that it has an entire jar of moisturizer in it, so that when you leave the shower you don’t have that tight, dry feeling. And so my basic mantra for being pregnant is moisturize, moisturize, moisturize."
Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash with Shea Butter, $4.89, available at Drugstore.com.
Photo: Courtesy of Devries Global