Restore Your Core
Restore Your Core is a comprehensive, whole-body exercise program designed to help any woman with core issues such diastasis recti (mummy tummy); pelvic floor dysfunction including stress incontinence or prolapse; post-natal issues; and back pain. Ideal for post-natal women, the programme will help you regain strength, restore function and improve the overall alignment of your body.
Combining yoga and Pilates-based exercises with the fundamentals of biomechanics, Restore Your Core will help you to learn how your body moves, and how to improve how your body moves. As you find a new, improved way to move, your body will begin to re-pattern as you go about your day, NOT just during exercise – whole body healing 24 hours a day. As you become familiar with your body’s default movement strategies, you will begin to change unhelpful postures and habits such as rounded shoulders, abdominal sucking and pelvic imbalances.
Restore Your Core classes are carried out either as a short group course (either 4 or 6 weeks), or as one-to-one sessions. Each session includes breath work, corrective exercises and a flowing movement sequence. You will receive homework after every session, as well as useful reading material to familiarise yourself with the basics of healthy alignment and movement.
If you prefer to join the online programme, I will be happy to support you as you work through the 13-week programme at your own pace.
Please note due to COVID-19 restrictions all group classes are now being carried out remotely via Zoom, rather than face-to-face. Face to face 1-1 sessions will resume on Thursday 17 September, with Zoom 1-1 sessions also offered.
Thursday 19 September – 22 October BST BOOK NOW
**Please note there is huge demand for Restore Your Core courses and they usually sell out as soon as bookings open. If you would like to join my mailing list to be notified of upcoming course dates before they are advertised please do so here.**
Following the birth of my first child, I experienced a diastatis recti, an unnatural separation of the abdominal muscles. I soon realized that regular exercises, and in particular core strengthening exercises, where adding to the problem. I felt frustrated and helpless as numerous health care professionals gave me varying feedback, from being told my only option to heal was to have surgery, to being told it was ‘just part of being a mother’, I felt my condition wasn’t being taken seriously and was taking its toll on my confidence and my trust in my body. Despite being a movement teacher with years of experience, I felt afraid to move, had no idea what movement and exercise to avoid, and I mourned my old, pre-baby body. In my mission to heal my abdominals and restore function to my core, I set about on a voyage of discovery into the world of post-natal healing.
My first, and probably most shocking, discovery was how little support, knowledge and advice was available to women wanting to recover post-natally. I would watch women doing boot-camp style workouts in the park, their prams parked alongside them, and wince in the knowledge that they were working so hard but exacerbating so many issues such as pelvic floor weakness, diastasis recti, tight shoulders, and pelvic misalignment. Frustrated and determined to find answers, I discovered the work of biomechanic Katy Bowman, author of numerous books including Diastasis Recti, founder of Nutritious Movement and creator of Restorative Exercise. Bowman’s work focuses on the whole body, and the idea that correct alignment is absolutely fundamental and crucial to any type of healing.
I soon realized that core work alone wasn’t going to repair my diastasis – I needed to work on freeing my tight shoulders, realigning and stabilizing my pelvis, breathing optimally to reduce excessive intra-abdominal pressure, mobilising my spine to facilitate efficient movement, bringing space into my ribs and thoracic area so my breath could work efficiently and facilitate movement, rather than restricting it. It was the missing part of the puzzle I had been looking for, and I was excited at my discovery. Through patient and persistent corrective work, I began to see an improvement in my diastasis. My belly started to flatten, my shoulders became less rounded, my previously unstable pelvis started to feel secure for the first time in my adult life, my whole body felt strong and well-arranged.
And then I discovered I was pregnant with my third baby.
Determined to keep up the good work, I was terrified that my body would be broken and my abdominals would never recover. I wanted a programme of exercise that was safe, effective and that I could follow throughout my pregnancy to maintain my core function. It was during this search, and through the work of Katy Bowman, that I discovered the amazing Lauren Ohayon, yoga and pilates teacher, Restorative Exercises professional and creator of Restore Your Core. I sent a tentative email asking Lauren if her programme was safe to start during my pregnancy, and she replied right away. Her enthusiasm and positivity was contagious, and I signed up for the programme immediately. I worked through it daily for the duration of my pregnancy, intrigued to know what state I would be in following the birth. My baby boy was born at home, in water, following a quick, comfortable and mind-blowingly beautiful birth. A few weeks after the birth, I started back to some gentle breath work, gradually reconnecting to my core. Within 8 weeks, I had returned to the first phase of the programme, feeling strong, stable and with a new level of awareness about my body.
Fast forward one year, and I have now completed two full rounds of RYC, making new discoveries about my body and its movement habits along the way. My core is stronger than it has ever been. It functions efficiently and automatically when needed, without any bracing or bulging in my belly. My diastasis is closed, my alignment has improved, I no longer hide behind layers of baggy tops to hide my inflated belly. I can play with my children, run, jump on a trampoline, do yoga and enjoy life without any fear of peeing or leaking. To say RYC has changed my life sounds dramatic, but the words are an understatement.
In September 2017 I became one of just 10 people to complete Lauren’s RYC teacher training programme. The training gave me to the tools to be able to support women on their RYC journey, whatever stage of life they are at and whatever symptoms they are experiencing. In April 2019 I was appointed Director of Education for RYC, and now work alongside Lauren to train, mentor, support and educate our fast-growing team of RYC teachers worldwide. With teachers from India to Estonia; New Zealand to Canada, the RYC brand fast-becoming a leader in the world of movement, rehabilitation and women’s wellness.
RYC helped me to get my body back to wellness after 3 babies in 4 years. I am living proof that it works! I can’t recommend the programme enough, and I can’t wait to support you on your RYC journey into good whole-body health.