Marika Hart: APA-Titled Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist. BSc (Physiotherapy), MSc (Manual Therapy). Founder Herasphere
Hello and welcome to Herasphere!
My name is Marika Hart. I am a postgraduate trained physiotherapist, pilates instructor and mother-of two. I am super passionate about helping women feel fit, strong and healthy during pregnancy and beyond.
Oh and I’m a third Dan black belt in Taekwondo.
I taught pilates during both of my pregnancies and I think it is what helped me prevent some of those common niggling aches and pains. After the births, my recoveries were also pretty straight-forward, which I can’t help but believe was because I was so active and healthy throughout.
To be honest, I wasn’t always interested in working with pregnant women. I remember running pregnancy and mums-and-bubs hydrotherapy classes back in 2003 and they were great fun! But I never saw myself specialising in this field.
Of course, once I had my own children…it suddenly became so much more interesting to me!
In 2004, I started my pilates training and in 2010, I completed the antenatal/postnatal pilates training while pregnant with my second child. That is when my passion for working in this field really took off.
In London, I often spoke to women who had given birth. Not many had great experiences and some even had quite traumatic ones. Interestingly, I noticed that other women (myself included), who went to birth education classes that provided positive reinforcement and a strong community, had much better birth experiences. It made me consider: is there a role that I could play in promoting a positive birth experience?
When I moved to Perth in 2013 I saw a real gap in the market for high quality, appropriate exercise classes for women during pregnancy and beyond, so I started Dynamic Strength Physiotherapy.
The classes started out as pure exercise classes, but I soon realised that my clients wanted more. They wanted to be better informed. They wanted to have better births. So I changed up the program and introduced education segments to each class – and watched them go from strength to strength.
How are my exercise classes and videos different?
Well, the thing is … I don’t prescribe to one way of teaching as I believe that there is no “right” or “correct” way to exercise – there are just better ways of doing things, that do not put excessive strain on the body during what is already a physically demanding time. Although most of my classes are pilates- based, they are not traditional in any sense of the word because I am not traditional!
Yes, I love pilates. But I also love martial arts, strength and conditioning and qi-gong.
Oh and I’m nitpicky. I know from running classes what some of the common “cheat moves” are, so I will nag you. You’d be surprised what I can see from my computer… (Just kidding, I don’t have magic powers!). But I won’t let you do exercises which put too much pressure on your pelvic floor or which allow your tummy muscles to bulge.
I will however gradually load your tissues in order to help you build the strength you require for motherhood. When you become a mum, you will be lifting, carrying, pushing, dragging. There is just no way around it. You need good muscle strength and endurance in order to do these things. Good postural awareness and balance may also help prevent injury and discomfort, so they are definitely on our list of goals.
And…I like to have a bit of fun. Crack the occasional silly joke. Share my experiences (maybe some moments of TMI!). I care about my clients and want them to achieve their very best.