The Mama Method: An Interview With Lauren Weisman
As a pregnant woman, I am really digging the scene here in Los Angeles. There are so many services, restaurants and humans that are loaded with a plethora of things to offer, good eats and quality ideas for those "moms to be" who are looking for inspiration, support and community. Enter the beautiful Lauren Weisman: caretaker, dancer, actress and certified movement specialist. Originally from the east-coast, Lauren is the founder of The Mama Method: nurturing maternity fitness that focuses on self care through movement, specifically designed for pregnancy and new moms.We all know that LA is host to a mass of incredible workout classes and regimes, however, pregnancy is a special time both mentally and physically and during this time we have to become more mindful of how we move our bodies and expand our minds. It takes a certain someone to create a thoughtful and safe environment and routine that suits the needs of those who are growing (and taking care of) little humans. Well, look no further, The Mama Method is just what we need during this time! Lauren believes that "physical practice is a gateway to the deeper feel-good self love that we all aspire to attain - especially for pregnant women in such a critical, transitional time." The first time I spoke to Lauren I could instantly feel her uplifting and motivating radiance ~ she has a way to make you feel calmer and more connected which is so appreciated during a time when your body is shapeshifting by the day and there are so many uncertanties. Her petite frame is filled with loads of knowledge and wisdom for you moms and moms to be. Read on to learn about this vibrant babes method and get inspired to move your bod, pregnant or not!
The Vibrant Beet: Why did you start The Mama Method? Lauren Weisman: When I moved to Los Angeles from New York City six years ago, I decided to train as a doula. Both of my sisters were in the process of building families then so I assume in part I trained to connect with them. I also had always been drawn to birth and the amazing physical undertaking that we all derive from. But mostly, I was searching for a career that would allow for me to be truly kind to women - to help, to heal. Acting had not brought out the best in me in this realm and I was ready to heal that part of ME. I knew that I would be a much happier person if I was supporting and serving women. (Doula literally translates from the Greek to ‘woman’s servant’) But the life of being on call for births didn’t jive with my constitution (hats off to the INCREDIBLE force of women practicing this ever important service), so I combined my skill sets and started my business and I get to be a part of this awesome phase of pregnancy and new mommydome. One of my brilliant friends calls Mama Method “Level 10 connecting.” I have the privilege of entering these women’s lives at a completely critical and vulnerable time. I get to guide them through the most challenging and rewarding physical journey. Can you tell that I love what I do?!?
TVB: Tell us a little bit about why movement resonates so well with you and about your personal journey through this medium. LW: My movement background started with the very serious study of ballet as a young child. I was taught to use my body like an athlete, to understand that it was capable of being molded and crafted and worked upon. Then, as a actor, I learned to take the judgement out of that work and to allow for physical play. As an adult, I trained and certified in every movement modality I could, specializing in yoga and barre classes. I have been teaching around twenty hours of exercise a week for the past eight years (to both individuals and to groups) and I continue to learn just how valuable exercise is to vitality and yes, vibrancy!TVB: What sort of support and services do you offer to your clients? LW: We do everything from healing your pelvic floor to sculpting your arms, to connecting with your baby. I have clients who approach the work from “I want a tighter ass!” and I have clients who are ultimately there to work on self care because they know that that’s the lesson they want to impart to their children. From a practical perspective, what I teach is a mixture of barre, yoga, dance, HIIT, Pilates and ballet. It works.
TVB: What do you find are some of the biggest challenges that women face during their pregnancies? LW: Fear. When we are afraid we physically tighten and that mechanism is of course the opposite of the release we need for a successful and rewarding birth and beginning of life as a new mom. Lack of sleep, nausea, heart burn, leg cramps, sciatica and navigating through imminently changing life drama are some other challenges…just to name a few.
TVB: How can women better prepare themselves both mentally and physically for carrying a child, giving birth and postpartum? LW: There is so much that we can do to be the healthiest and happiest creatures possible. Diet, exercise, sleep and deep connection with loved ones are critical. But truly, you can’t prepare for having a child. Your whole life changes instantaneously. I think that’s the thing - to know you can’t possibly be ready for what awaits you and to somehow find comfort and excitement in the absence of preparedness.
TVB: Why do you think that it’s so important for pregnant women to keep moving their bodies throughout their pregnancies? LW: Oh my gosh. It’s so important for EVERYONE. But women going through such a huge bodily shift need in particular to stay connected to their bodies and their growing babies. You will absolutely feel better physically if you move. Plus, the studies on correlation between exercise and baby and maternal health are astonishing!
TVB: Often times pregnant women are discouraged from lying on their backs. Are there any modifications that you could suggest? LW: Yes! Lie on your left side instead. If you’re interested in the rationale, google "vena cava".
TVB: Should pregnant women do cardio? LW: Doctors should be consulted first but typically heart rate elevation up to 150 bpm is ok. You are your best advocate. When you get tired and cannot speak a sentence (I call this the ‘talk test’) you need to rest.
TVB: What are a few important practices that you teach your clients? LW: 1. Breath work, it’s your most fundamental and constant interaction with the world around you. 2. Stretching. It’s ultimately all about balance, so stretching is especially essential in the context of strengthening and tension.
TVB: Who and/or what inspires you? LW: So much! The women in my life? I’ll say them. I try to let them know often but it’s always worth hearing again! My husband too. He is astonishingly inspiring.
TVB: Can you share with us a few foods that you recommend to your pregnant clients? LW: Leafy greens and lean protein!
TVB: Can you share with us one of your favorite places to eat in Los Angeles? MM: Madcapra in Grand Central Market! The owners fit into that category of inspirational women in my life and it’s the most delicious!
TVB: What does living a vibrant lifestyle mean to you? LW: Resonating at your very best frequency, finding pride in your gifts and sharing them fully.
You can connect with the lovely Lauren via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Instagram: @mamamethod (highly suggested). Check out her website for more information by clicking HERE.
Thanks for the uplifting chat Lauren...and for all that you do for the moms of Los Angeles!