More fun to­gether

You’re more mo­ti­vated to keep fit when you’re sur­rounded by fel­low mums-to-be. We suss out pre­na­tal classes, from yoga to barre and pi­lates.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - The Baby Years -

Times are get­ting ex­cit­ing for preg­nant women. While the gen­eral, well-mean­ing ad­vice for mums-to-be a decade ago was to lay off ex­er­cise and get plenty of rest, the tide has turned.

These days, so long as you have no pre-ex­ist­ing med­i­cal con­di­tion or any preg­nancy-re­lated con­di­tion in which your doc­tor deems you unfit for ex­er­cise, such as vagi­nal bleed­ing, ab­dom­i­nal pain, dizzi­ness or breath­less­ness, health and fit­ness pro­fes­sion­als ac­tu­ally rec­om­mend you to stay ac­tive through­out your preg­nancy.

Be­sides im­prov­ing your pos­ture and staving off aches and pains from loos­en­ing joints and lig­a­ments due to the surge of preg­nancy hor­mones called re­laxin, reg­u­lar ex­er­cise goes a long way to keep your en­ergy lev­els in check (less doz­ing off in the of­fice), re­duce swelling and bloat­ing, boost your strength and stamina (much needed when Baby comes!), lower your risk of ges­ta­tional di­a­betes, and even power you through a nat­u­ral de­liv­ery. Now, which ex­pec­tant mum wouldn’t want that?

Thanks to the grow­ing num­ber of pre­na­tal fit­ness classes in Sin­ga­pore, there are many ways to ex­er­cise safely dur­ing preg­nancy. From yoga to barre and pi­lates, these pre­na­tal classes are led by qual­i­fied in­struc­tors, who will pay close at­ten­tion to your form and spe­cific needs.

The class sizes are a lot smaller com­pared to typ­i­cal classes, so more move­ment space is guar­an­teed.

New­bies need not worry – the ex­er­cises are de­signed to be begin­ner-friendly, while ef­fec­tively tar­get­ing cer­tain mus­cle groups. Some moves will push you to per­spire, but you shouldn’t reach a point where you’re catch­ing your breath (if you do, it’s time to scale back.).

An­other beauty of pre­na­tal work­outs? You are en­cour­aged to rest or take wa­ter or toi­let breaks as and when needed. Con­sider these classes one of your best preg­nancy in­vest­ments, and well-de­served me-time.

BREATHE PI­LATES PREGGI BELLIES

Here, you will learn to strengthen the core mus­cles, which in­clude the glutes, ham­strings, quads, up­per and lower back, pelvic floor, deep ab­dom­i­nal mus­cles and chest, to help you gain body aware­ness and main­tain a proper pos­ture through­out your preg­nancy.

The ex­er­cises also work on im­prov­ing neck and shoul­der sta­bil­ity, to build the up­per body strength that’s nec­es­sary to han­dle a new­born. Props such as hand weights, fit­ness cir­cles and ex­er­cise balls may be used. Pi­lates re­former new­bies must at­tend a few pri­vate ses­sions to learn the ba­sics be­fore join­ing the group classes. It holds at least 12 pre­na­tal pi­lates re­former classes a week.

HOW MUCH $55 for a sin­gle class; $480 for 10 classes WHERE #09-33 Novena Med­i­cal Cen­tre; #13-02 Park­way Cen­tre; #01-04 Galaxis WEB­SITE www.breathep­i­lates.com.sg

YOGA PRE-NATAL

In an in­ti­mate class set­ting of up to five stu­dents, you’ll do poses that en­cour­age ease of move­ment, im­prove flex­i­bil­ity, and help you con­nect with baby. De­signed with be­gin­ners in mind, this 60-minute class is slow-paced, with an em­pha­sis on breath­ing tech­niques and restora­tive stretches at the end to re­lieve dis­com­fort and anx­i­ety. You’ll also learn ac­tive birthing tech­niques that will em­power you dur­ing labour. HOW MUCH $30 for a drop-in class; $140 for five classes

WHERE 28A Pagoda Street

WEB­SITE www.yo­gaplus.sg

HOM YOGA PRE­NA­TAL

No yoga ex­pe­ri­ence is re­quired for this hour-long class, which will take you through a se­ries of stand­ing poses, fol­lowed by restora­tive floor work that’s de­signed to stretch and strengthen mus­cles that are es­sen­tial for labour and post­na­tal re­cov­ery. The usual class size ranges from three to eight stu­dents. Bol­sters, blocks and straps are used to pro­vide com­fort and sup­port, and to deepen the prac­tice.

HOW MUCH $32 for a drop-in class; $155 for five classes

WHERE #06-12/13 Or­chard Cen­tral WEB­SITE www.homyoga.com

PLAT­INUM YOGA PRE-NATAL YOGA

If you’re look­ing for a mod­er­ately paced work­out to chal­lenge your strength, flex­i­bil­ity and bal­ance, this class will not dis­ap­point. In one hour, ex­pect to do mod­i­fied sun sa­lu­ta­tions and poses that will warm up your body and leave you feel­ing more mo­bile. Mod­i­fied in­ver­sions that are known to boost blood flow to the brain and re­duce stress, such as shoul­der stand, may be in­tro­duced un­der the in­struc­tor’s close su­per­vi­sion. While ex­e­cut­ing the poses, you’ll be trained to use uj­jayi breath­ing, a deep breath­ing tech­nique that will help you re­lax dur­ing labour.

HOW MUCH $85 to $105 per month of mem­ber­ship

WHERE #02-462-466 Sun­tec City Mall; #1109 and #13-08/09 Park­way Cen­tre; #26-01 West­gate Tower; #05-03 West­gate Mall WEB­SITE www.plat­inumyoga.com

COMO SHAMB­HALA URBANESCAPE PRE-NATAL YOGA

Whether you’re burst­ing with en­ergy, feel­ing tired or nau­seous, or deal­ing with back­ache and pelvic pain, you’ll en­joy this 75-minute multi-level class that of­fers suf­fi­cient op­tions for a safe and ef­fec­tive work­out that chal­lenges your strength, stamina and flex­i­bil­ity.

Ev­ery pose – in­clud­ing vari­a­tions – is clearly ex­plained and demon­strated. Much at­ten­tion is paid to pos­ture and align­ment, so you can be sure of do­ing the right thing. Through the knowl­edge­able pre­na­tal in­struc­tors, you’ll learn about your chang­ing body, and how best to sup­port those needs.

The props come in all forms – blan­kets, foam blocks, wooden blocks, egg blocks, straps, round bol­sters, flat bol­sters, birthing balls, wall ropes and chairs.

HOW MUCH $45 for a sin­gle class; $210 for five classes; $400 for 10 classes WHERE#06-01/02 Delfi Or­chard WEB­SITE www.co­moshamb­hala.com/ sin­ga­pore

PURE YOGA PRE-NATAL

The 60-minute pre­na­tal classes are de­signed to im­prove cir­cu­la­tion through­out the body, fa­cil­i­tate con­nec­tion with your baby and body, as well as pro­mote aware­ness of your pelvic floor area and strengthen spe­cific core mus­cles. Poses are suit­able for all trimesters, with vari­a­tions given to en­thu­si­as­tic yo­gis, first-timers and those fac­ing cer­tain preg­nancy-re­lated con­di­tions. HOW MUCH $53.50 for a drop-in class; mem­ber­ship rates vary

WHERE Level 4, Chevron House; Level 18, Ngee Ann City Tower A; #06-02 Asia Square Tower 2; #01-501 Sun­tec City Mall North Atrium WEB­SITE www.pure-yoga.com/sin­ga­pore

TRUE YOGA — PRE­NA­TAL YOGA

Gen­tle poses like cat-cow, bridge, but­terfly and mod­i­fied co­bra are done in this 75-minute class that’s meant to im­prove flex­i­bil­ity, as well as strengthen mus­cles in the neck, shoul­ders, hips, back, butt, knees, an­kles and pelvic floor to al­le­vi­ate pos­ture-re­lated aches dur­ing preg­nancy.

Through breath­ing ex­er­cises and vi­su­al­i­sa­tion tech­niques, you’ll emerge calmer and more men­tally pre­pared for de­liv­ery. Poses that re­quire deep twist­ing or ly­ing flat on your back are avoided. The use of props is en­cour­aged.

HOW MUCH $44.94 for a drop-in class; $401.25 for 10 classes

WHERE Level 4, Pa­cific Plaza WEB­SITE www.trueyoga.com.sg

THE YOGA SCHOOL PRE­NA­TAL

Its CBD lo­ca­tion of­fers an un­par­al­leled view of the city sky­line – made even more splen­did when you’re there for a class dur­ing sun­set. Pre­na­tal classes are of­fered dur­ing lunchtime (60 min­utes) and in the evening (75 min­utes).

With a class size of up to 20 stu­dents, this is a great op­por­tu­nity to hear and gain sup­port from fel­low mums-to-be. The poses are aimed at strength­en­ing your pos­tural mus­cles to min­imise preg­nancy aches and pre­pare you for labour. Breath­ing and med­i­ta­tion ex­er­cises are in­cor­po­rated to help you de-stress.

HOW MUCH $38 for a sin­gle class; $180 for five classes; $280 for 10 classes WHERE#39-01/08 OCBC Cen­tre

WEB­SITE www.yo­gaschool.asia

WEBARRE — WEBARRE PRE-NATAL

Even if you have not done barre be­fore, you wouldn’t feel out of place here. The in­struc­tors will ease you into the moves with de­tailed in­struc­tions, and ad­just the pace for first-timers. The hour-long class works you from head to toe by seg­ments: arms, legs, glutes and core, fol­lowed by a re­ju­ve­nat­ing cool-down.

Props such as dumb­bells, re­sis­tance tubes, re­sis­tance bands and preg­nancy wedges are used. The wedges are par­tic­u­larly ben­e­fi­cial for those in their sec­ond and third trimesters, to re­duce pres­sure on the body.

HOW MUCH $29 for first-timers; $43 for a drop-in class; $410 for 10 classes

WHERE Level 3, 86B Tan­jong Pa­gar Road;

Level 2, 5A Stan­ley Street; #02-01 School of the Arts WEB­SITE www.webarre.com

THE MOV­ING BODY GROUP PRE-NATAL RE­FORMER

To up the fun fac­tor, con­sider join­ing a pi­lates re­former class. Us­ing props such as foam rollers, re­sis­tance bands, weighted balls and pi­lates cir­cles, this 60-minute pre­na­tal class is en­gag­ing and ed­u­ca­tional.

You’ll do a mix of stretch­ing and strength­en­ing ex­er­cises with an em­pha­sis on the abs, arms, back, glutes and pelvic floor, to help you bet­ter sup­port Baby’s weight. Breath­ing ex­er­cises are done to ac­ti­vate the core and keep the ab­dom­i­nal re­gion sup­ple dur­ing preg­nancy.

Classes are lim­ited to six stu­dents. Those who are new to the re­former are must at­tend at least three pri­vate ses­sions be­fore join­ing the group classes, for safety rea­sons. HOW MUCH $49 for a drop-in class; $859 for 20 classes

WHERE#01-23/24 Robert­son Walk

WEB­SITE www.the­mov­ing­body­group.com

YOGA LAB PRE-NATAL

Per­fect for be­gin­ners, the 75-minute class fo­cuses on im­prov­ing blood cir­cu­la­tion and pro­mot­ing body aware­ness, while in­tro­duc­ing fun­da­men­tal poses such as war­rior, down­ward fac­ing dog and cat-cow, with mod­i­fi­ca­tion op­tions.

Props in­clude mats, blocks, straps and bol­sters. The sup­port­ive, non-judg­men­tal vibes makes it easy to re­lax and stay fo­cused. First-timers can en­joy a free trial.

HOW MUCH $40 for a drop-in class; $150 for four classes; $330 for 10 classes

WHERE Level 2, 10 North Canal Road; Level 2, 27 Boon Tat Street; #03-01, 135 East Coast Road

WEB­SITE www.yo­galab.com

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