Friday, 29 November 2013

Belly Pilates - An Interview with Kelly McBride

The goal & passion of Belly Pilates is to teach holistic mind-body exercise & education that improves the overall health of the client, their bodies, & their lives. Kelly is dedicated to nurturing the body & soul to help you feel & look your best. Belly Pilates as founded with the goal of helping women feel strong, healthy, energized, & balanced through every stage of life.

I got the chance to interview Kelly and ask a few questions about what its like working with her clients... My interview was conducted by email as Kelly is located in Philadelphia area.

1. What's your favourite part about coming to work everyday?

Coming to work everyday is an adventure. Because I work with pregnant and new moms, I sometimes am treated to the unexpected. I never know who's gonna walk through the door and announce that they are expecting! I have had clients that have asked me to be their Birth Doula. Having a client ask me to participate in the birth of their baby is an honor. I have followed moms throughout her pregnancy, assisted in the birth of their child and have worked with them well into their postpartum recovery. I find every day to be personally and professionally fulfilling. So, my favourite part of my day is just showing up and being privy to the lives of my clients during this MOST special time called motherhood.

2. What can you teach your clients to do (for free) that would help them?
BREATH! What mom doesn't need to know how to take a good long breath every once in a while? Motherhood is challenging! Some days call for a time out. Whether it be a time-out to collect yourself when a rambunctious toddler is testing your patience or physically challenging yourself in an exercise class. Breath can focus the mind and fuel the body. Teaching moms how to breath is one of my most important tasks. Breath invites the body to respond in a way that will bring balance to muscles and relieve unwanted tension. Learning how to breath is a simple task that (believe it or not) takes practice. 
When teaching moms how to breath, I start with making sure they don't HOLD their breath when stressed or exerting. Bearing down into the belly is not effective or efficient in strengthening or maintaining core integrity. Breathing is essential in activating and repairing abdominals after baby (aka: flattening the belly). Breathing exercises can be done anywhere at anytime. Breathing is the first thing and last thing we do on this earth.

3. What's your favourite customer success story?

Five years ago, I started working with a mom of two very young children. She came to me soon after her second child was born. She was determined to reclaim her body and build strength before her next pregnancy. After about a year of working together, it was unmistakeable, her body had transformed. She told me that she was in the best shape of her life thanks to Pilates. She expressed to me that she felt lean, strong and more confident as a mother. AND, she was pregnant again!  She continued to work with me during her pregnancy and into her second trimester. With great sadness, she discovered that her baby had no heartbeat and she needed to terminate the pregnancy. Of course, my heart ached for her. When I asked her if/when she wanted to continue her Pilates practice, she said it felt good to move and so we did. During this sad period of time we gently allowed her body to heal. We worked slow and deliberately but I could see that there was something missing. I told her that I thought yoga would be excellent compliment to Pilates in the healing process. While she continued with me/Pilates, she also started a weekly yoga practice. I could see that she started to glow again and gain strength. In less than a year she was pregnant again. We worked together throughout the pregnancy and into her postpartum recovery. Her body bounced back quickly. She told me that there was something about Yoga that spoke to her. We had a long discussion about how moms need to be supported both physically and spiritually during difficult times. Addressing just the physical aspect of motherhood is doing a disservice to an individual. She thanked me for directing her toward Yoga. The combination of these two methods helped her recover from the most traumatic event of her life. She was able move forward and accept another life in her womb while being physically capable to do so. She continued with Pilates but became certified in Yoga. This particular client taught me a lot about myself: as an instructor, as a mother and as a woman. This is one of my favourite success stories because this client turned out to become my friend and my current yoga instructor. She now teaches Yoga to other moms about how to heal after a loss of a child. So, it's not just her success story but mine as well. This experience opened my eyes and led me to become a Childbirth Educator and Labor Doula.

4. Can you describe your PERFECT client?
I don't really have a PERFECT client. I work with moms before, during and after their pregnancy. In this special period of time, the body is ever changing, It's like chasing a moving target. Issues are addressed weekly and solutions can be found in the simplest of movements. So, the closest I can come to a PERFECT client would be one who is open to understanding how she can get to know her body better. Patience and self awareness through hard work and education can empower a mother to achieve her goals. Whether it be to have an unmedicated birth or simply "losing and flattening the belly", having an open mind and determination is essential. 

5. What questions do you get most often from clients?

"How can I lose my belly?"

6. Have you ever fired a client?
Surprisingly, no. I have never fired a client.  I have taken on clients before that I thought would not be a good fit with my teaching style. I always try to give a person a chance. It works out one of two ways for me. They either phase out on their own or I end up really liking them. Every mom deserves to be supported.

Thank you so much for your informative and touching answers Kelly, It certainly is great to learn that its possible to build that confidence back. How beautiful for you be apart of the experience. I hope it will inspire prenatal & postnatal mothers out their to give Pilates a try.

If you live in Philadelphia or Main Line Area and would like to speak to Kelly please visit and contact her via the website

In the UK check online for any local pilates classes for Prenatal & Postpartum. Gain back your body and your confidence. 

Disclosure: This interview is not a sponsored post and no money has been exchanged. All views and opinions expressed are honest and entirely my own.

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