The Secret of Leni Mex and Pregnant Yoga
Do you remember the phenomenon of the film and book, “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne back in 2006? (Spoiler alert – the secret is the law of attraction). Anyway, I was thinking about that book this past Christmas and randomly decided to take a yoga class. Those of you who follow my blog that I do yoga never. Anyway, who should be teaching the class but a tall Aussie woman who happened to mention that she was on the production team for the film “The Secret”. THE SECRET WORKS!
Leni is also a really good yoga teacher so I signed myself and husband up for weekly yoga classes this winter. I thought she would be a good person to interview not just for motivation and fitness, but also because she’s pregnant and can offer an interesting perspective…right in time for Mother’s Day.
Without further ado, here is Leni Mex, in her own words.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m an Aussie, living here in the states since 2006. I initially moved here with some other members of the production team, from The Secret. I am a yoga teacher, voice over artist, part time comedian, Mother to two beautiful children, partner to the most wonderful man I have ever met and soon to be Mother to one more!
I am an avid lover to life, meditation and the Law of Attraction. I also love sneakers and hip hop. 🙂
How long have you been teaching yoga?
I have been teaching yoga officially, for just over a year. Unofficially for much longer. 🙂
How is yoga beneficial for pregnant women?
Yoga is SO powerful and useful for the pregnant body. It strengthens your core and back, which lessons back pain and readies you for easy delivery. It helps with fluid retention so bye-bye just “accepting” swollen ankles are a part of being pregnant! It builds flexibility, so as you lengthen and stretch, you are making more room for your little one to grow.
Most importantly, it calms the mind. Wonderful when hormones are changing and there is lots to plan and adjust to.
Are there any moves pregnant women should avoid?
There is a lot of opinion out there about what to avoid. For me, I have found the best teacher is my own body. My belly let me know when to stop doing belly down poses like cobra.
You should be mindful of heated yoga, although other yogis I know, continued to practice this way and simply had a thermometer with them to ensure they weren’t more than 98 degrees internally.
Some people believe inversions, or upside down poses should be avoided; other yogis I know where in headstand the week they were due.
I have read that balancing postures should be avoided as pregnant women can become dizzy and fall. This hasn’t been my experience, but I have been balancing for a long time. Go slow; become intuitive, you have everything you need to know inside you!
If you are new to yoga, definitely go slow with it. I am not a runner and pregnancy isn’t the time I would attempt a marathon, but if my body was telling me to take a little jog, I would!
What was your role in the phenomenon known as “The Secret”?
I was on the Production team for The Secret. We were a core team who were there for every step of the project. I did many different things; helped cast actors, was active on set during filming, transcribed interviews with teachers and had a small acting role as “Good Day/Bad Day Girl.” I stub my toe and a few other things, about 22 minutes into the film. I actually broke my toe filming that!
Creating the film was an extraordinary experience. We visualized the success of the movie every single morning, together in the production office.
What is one piece of advice that you learned from “The Secret”?
It was making the film that I first learned that my thoughts were creating my reality. Or more accurately; my thoughts coupled with my emotions. Most usefully, I learned not to beat myself up for negative feelings. Instead of feeling like “Oh God, I feel insecure, I’m about to attract more reasons to feel insecure..” I have learned to gently distract myself and reach for the best feeling thought I can find. We can’t go from anger to bliss in 5 minutes. But we can potentially go from rage to hopeful that tomorrow will be better, then compassionately give ourselves a break and do something soothing. When we ARE happy, the MOST powerful thing we can do is milk it!!! Ramp that feeling up!!!
I do this all the time and I can say I am more consistently happy than I have ever been, even though I still have challenges in my life!
What is your favorite quote and why?
“Look for the butterfly.” It’s what I tell my babies all the time, to encourage them to be positive leaning humans.
How do you balance working with raising kids and staying fit?
I am very fortunate that my work is fitness based. I know some teachers who just teach, which is fantastic when you are wanting to adjust students, but often I will flow with the class and do all the postures. This is my way of getting a workout in! Some days I end up doing 4 yoga classes in one day! It helps students see what the alignment needs to be in a pose, if they are more visual than aural. Like everyone, I have days when I feel overwhelmed of like I am not striking a good balance and on those day, I practice what I preach; become totally focused on the breath and being mindful. I also meditate every morning for 15 minutes and this helps.
How can people reach you to take a yoga class?
You can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Facebook by searching for Yoga With Leni or Leni Mex, and see the page on my profile. I offer private lessons, yoga for businesses and classes in a Wellness Studio in the 78728 zip code.
One of the primary reasons I became a teacher, was to help people learn to love themselves. Yoga brought me home to myself. “Namaste” literally means “The divinity in me sees the divinity in you.” I see the divine in every student and I love watching students grow in self-love, through the process of yoga. When we breathe, when we slow down, when we come to present time, we start to feel this quiet powerful truth about how worthy and perfect we are. We wake up to our beauty, to the kindness of this Universe. The postures are all secondary to the core magic of yoga; the ability of your breath and quieted mind to transform you from the inside out.
Thanks so much Leni!
Lisa Traugott is a personal trainer, Mom’s Choice Award writer, original cast member of FOX/John Cena’s “American Grit” and has a monthly fitness column on Bowflex.com. She won Ms. Costa Rica Sports Model 2017 and her transformation story was featured in Muscle & Fitness Hers, Good Day Austin, Great Day Houston and Texas Monthly. She blogs at ShesLosingIt.com and is passionate about her clients.
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