Precious new life: Getting ready for the big day

Friends Jodie and Steph share their experience of how the UFIT Pre-Natal Program kept them in great mental and physical shape throughout their labour and into the delivery room. Each Saturday over 7 weeks they and other expecting mums were guided by UFIT specialists on everything relating to pre-natal fitness, nutrition, and meditation. Here is how it helped them.

What were your favourite parts of the program?

Steph: I liked the variety of sessions. I wouldn’t have taken myself to see a nutritionist or learnt how to meditate in pregnancy if it weren’t for the program. I didn’t appreciate or understand the importance of these areas and of some of the other topics covered until learning about them.

Jodie: I also liked the variety of topics and practical components covered in the course. I didn’t know what my limits were when exercising in pregnancy so it was good to go through that and things like proper technique when lifting and doing gym exercises with Holly.

Steph: Life is so busy. I would spend 5 days of the week carrying on as normal and working hard. It was nice to take the time out every weekend to focus on my pregnancy. It was a great way to connect with the baby and to meet other like-minded individuals in their pregnancies.

Was there anything you were surprised to learn?

Jodie: I found the talks on nutrition really interesting as I hadn’t realised there were certain foods that could prevent that feeling of nausea that comes with morning sickness.

Noa provided us with some great recipes that I continue to use.

Steph: I was surprised to learn what Women’s Health Physiotherapists do both during pregnancy to alleviate pelvic pain and immediately after delivery. It was good to know the service was there if we needed it.

Jodie, you’re a second-time mum – did you still find the UFIT Prenatal Program Beneficial?

Jodie: Yes! Firstly, it was a reminder of how the body changes in pregnancy and of the postpartum recovery. Secondly, I felt this program had a very different focus compared to the Antenatal classes that I attended in my first pregnancy. Other programs focus on the delivery, breastfeeding and how to care for your baby whereas this was more about the mother and how to maintain your health and fitness throughout your pregnancy.

Steph: The UFIT Program was unique in the sense it was very holistic – it was more about how to look after yourself which in turn will help your baby.

Have you kept in contact with the other participants from the course?

Steph: Yes, we see each other fairly often for walks.

Jodie: Most of the girls have posted a photo of their newborns on our Facebook group once they’ve had the baby which has been really nice.  

Would you recommend the UFIT Prenatal Program to others?

Jodie: Definitely. It is very different from other Antenatal courses out there and it was great that it incorporated both theory as well as practical sessions in areas such as yoga and meditation.

Steph: I have already recommended it to friends who have since participated in it and loved it! The information presented was relevant and concise and the presenters are all pre and postnatal experts – I wouldn’t have had access to this information and to these presenters if I hadn’t have signed up for the course.

The UFIT Pre-Natal program is a 7 week program by UFIT's pre-natal experts who will prepare you for a safe and comfortable pregnancy and delivery, and includes:

* weekly seminars from experts in nutrition, exercise science, physiotherapy and psychology

* weekly exercise classes by our physios, yoga teachers and trainers

* a pre-natal personal training session

* a pre-natal massage session

* a meditation session

* a pelvic floor muscle assessment 

* meeting others on the same journey as you. 





Meditation Old School - New Cool…But what is it really? | UFIT Meditation Teacher

 While most of the thousands of meditation practices and meditative science are derived from very ancient traditions, the art of meditation has enjoyed somewhat of a revival in recent years.

Wall Street, Fortune 500 and ASX 200 chief executives, along with popular celebrities and big hitters in the scientific community are "coming out" as avid meditators. The annual ‘Mindfulness Summit’ is supported and attended by top end CEO’s and political leaders.

Times Magazine recently featured a cover story on “The Mindfulness Revolution”, an account of the extent to which mindfulness meditation has re-entered modern life and the National Institutes of Health in the US predicts that by 2017 there may be more than 27 million American adults with a recent meditation experience.


Yet despite all the wonderful buzz, renewed interest and excellent research available there are still some firmly held misconceptions about what meditation and mindfulness actually are.

I find it useful when I start my courses or workshops to explain what meditation is not first. Once the preconceived ideas and misconceptions have been dispelled, then the student is in a much better position to explore meditation fully.

So here are the top misconceptions that I come across regularly:

Meditation is not a woo woo hippy activity for the few.

Meditation and mindfulness practices are used extensively in the medical and psychological arena for treatment of chronic pain, anxiety, depression and addiction. More recently and more widely it is also used in trauma and cardiac wards with amazing regenerative results, and therapeutically in palliative care and nursing homes.

Meditation has been a critical enabler in underprivileged schools around the world. It is a common practice in law enforcement in some progressive countries like Canada and is a key element of training in the professional sports arena. Canadian Police meditating before they start their shifts.

There is a plethora of empirical evidence, studies and research now that had followed and measured the different applications of meditation and the affects regular practice yields.

Meditation is not a religion… although most spiritual frameworks involve some form of meditation as part of the process of prayer, ritual or ceremony. The changes in brain activity and activation of the enteric nervous system enable feelings of deep connection, slipping out of time, acute awareness and bliss, which many people equate to a spiritual experience. 

Meditation is not about denying you body. Your body is integral to the process, however certain meditation techniques allow you to temporarily lose your association with the body in deep states.

Meditation is not clearing the mind of all thought… if you try this you soon realise that you’re on a hiding to nothing. The mind is thought. What it is about is drawing-in the dissipated mind and calm the mind/body system. It is not simply about relaxation. In fact the hallmark of meditation is that you are acutely alert, monitoring and observing your inner environment throughout your practice.

So what is meditation…really?

When posture, breath and mental point of focus are combine effectively brainwave activity and the central nervous system become coherent and synchronised. This alters the state of consciousness to that of a witness of your internal environment – the still steady observer behind the breath and the body and the feelings. When we dwell in this state often some amazing things start to happen in our mind/body systems…we regenerate physically, we have a greater sense of wellbeing, greater empathy and connectedness.

The physical changes that start to take place with regular practice, interestingly all combine to enable deeper and deeper meditation. It’s a natural virtuous cycle, that is, the more you meditate the more your system becomes enabled to meditate.

Meditation is the technique through which mindfulness is nurtured and sustained.

So what is mindfulness then?

Mindfulness is the ability to experience day-to-day life from this viewpoint of the witness. It implies “an attitude of curiosity, openness and acceptance of, rather than reactivity to, whatever is happening. Non-reactivity doesn’t mean not responding, it just means that we don’t feel so compelled to react especially without choice and discernment.” (Meditation Association of Australia)

There are thousands of meditation practices from all around the world and many different traditions, and they generally fall into one of five categories.

  •  Concentration Meditation
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Reflective Meditation
  • Creative Meditation
  • Heart-Centered Meditation

All of them require presence, attention and intention and at the outset when you are learning you always start with building your ability to concentrate the mind and bring it into presence. This is key and it is absolutely possible to strengthen the power of your mind to be present and to concentrate, by regularly doing it, just like exercising the body!

About UFIT Clinic

We are a collection of professionals from a range of different disciplines, working together to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to the treatment of our clients. 

Whilst all being experts in our own fields, we are humble enough to listen and learn, and work with each other to provide the best care for our patients. Staff professional development and further education is one of our guiding principals, and one which we are deeply committed to. Our services include; Physiotherapy, Structural Integration, Massage Therapy, Meditation, Performance Psychology, Nutrition and Podiatry & Foot Care.

About the Author

Dani Van De Velde | Meditation Teacher, UFIT Clinic
Book an appointment with Dani Van De Velde at the Singapore UFIT Clinic to learn how The Meditation Teacher can work with you individually or your company.