About Pilates and how it can help you

What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise system named after its creator, Joseph Pilates. He was a man truly ahead of his time, coming to believe that the ‘modern’ lifestyle, bad posture and inefficient breathing lay at the roots of poor health.

His method of Controlology (as he called it) used the mind to control muscles, in particular the core postural muscles that keep the body balanced and support the spine. Pilates believed that concentration and precision were needed to develop the body in a balanced way. Different from many exercise methods, the Pilates method encourages only a few repetitions of each exercise, keeping the focus on control and using the body efficiently using only the muscles that are necessary. By using the breath as a tool for movement the muscles are stimulated into greater activity and a natural rhythm and sense of ease is created.

How Pilates can help you…

In the hands of the right teacher Pilates truly is a system for every kind of body.  

My current clients have an age range from 11-92 years old!  Some are total beginners, others have been practising Pilates for many years.  Some are preparing or recovering from surgery, or have an illness or injury.  Some are professional athletes or dancers.  Some are high level businessmen or very busy mothers!

Everyone has their own personal goal, be it training for a marathon, keeping fit, or using their Pilates time as a space in their week for themselves.

There is no such thing as a typical Pilates person in terms of what they look like or how they move, just come and enjoy moving!

What can I gain from Pilates?

Pilates guiding principle is to gain control over your own body but it is much more than keeping fit or going to the gym as it is a true mind body exercise.

Regular Pilates practice very quickly develops greater strength and flexibility, co-ordination and mobility. It can correct imbalances and bring it back into improved posture, which is turn can alleviate many problems caused by overuse of joints and muscles. This is critical if you are serious about sport, dance or other movement disciplines as it can support what you do and drastically improve your performance. It can help you if you are preparing or recovering from surgery, or if you are pre or post natal. It can help you manage a whole variety of conditions. It can help you manage your busy lifestyle by giving you time out in your working week as it is rejuvenating for both the body and the mind. Pilates develops greater self awareness and some of the end results are not just physical but mental: self confidence often improves and people have a much better sense of wellbeing and calm. It is fantastic for body mind and spirit.

You may find that you start your Pilates journey with one of these goals in mind, however Pilates is addictive and you may find yourself reaping other benefits.

From my own personal experience and from working with clients I know that Pilates really can change your body and give you a much-improved quality of life.

About the Comprehensive Pilates teacher heritage and approach - my direct line back to Pilates himself

Joseph Pilates left a system of exercises and invented machines - the most famous being the reformer - that are still used today.  He passed these ideas onto a group of people called the 'elders' who include Eve Gentry, Carola Trier, Romana Kyrzanowska, Mary Bowen, Lolita San Miguel, Ron Fletcher and Kathy Grant.  The elders took the ideas of Pilates around the world and had their own interpretations of the work of Pilates.  As a result, different styles of Pilates have evolved.  My teacher, Alan Herdman not only Brough Pilates to the UK but learnt directly from Carola Trier. My style of Pilates comes from that direct lineage back to Pilates himself.

Comprehensive Pilates teachers are highly trained and skilled professionals and are examined and qualified in a very different way to the Level 3 standard from the fitness industry (although I have a Level 3 qualification too!). Comprehensive teachers teach a very different kind of Pilates from fitness based Pilates, which is something very different in its goals, approach and teaching style.

A bespoke, more mindful and intelligent approach to exercise

The Pilates sessions I teach are such that they can be adapted to fit individual needs, for those recovering from injury, preparing for surgery, to those wanting to get fit / stay fit to those who are very advanced movers.

Sometimes, it may be necessary to complete some private sessions before entering a group class - this is often the case if you are also working with a medical professional. 

Starting out

Have a look at the classes currently on offer, and decide which one you would like to join.  Before beginning any exercise programme check with any health professional you may have seen as they may want to give you further advice and guidance.

Many people that I see do tend to come to Pilates having been told by their GP, Osteopath, Physiotherapist or Orthopaedic Surgeon that Pilates will be beneficial to them.  If you are currently seeing a GP, Physiotherapist or other medical professional, or are over 65 it is crucial that you check with them that they are happy for you to practice Pilates.

If you are pre or post surgery you must gain clearance from your surgeon and physiotherapist to take part in classes and it is usual for them to explain to you what movements need to be approached with care or are restricted.

Pre natal clients - once you have cleared your 1st trimester you are able to join Pilates classes.

Post natal clients - for a natural birth you can resume gentle classes 8 weeks post partum. For C Sections you will need to wait a few weeks more as your body is recovering from what is a major surgical procedure. In both circumstances you will need a note from your midwife saying they are happy for you to exercise.

As there are so many Pilates exercises there is always a way that the exercise can be changed to make it enjoyable and safe for you to do.  For those of you with osteoporosis or osteopenia I additionally offer the Buff Bones® system which is designed for your needs specifically although it provides a fantastic workout for everyone!  Please see information on the Buff Bones® page about this innovative and globally renowned system.  

If you are unsure if the class would be the right level for you or your medical condition please check with me first.

Pilates Studio Classes, Corporate Classes and Pilates 1:1

Within the Pilates studio environment you will work on your own programme using all of the different pieces of large and small Pilates equipment.

Corporate sessions can be taught devising a programme specific to the needs of your workforce e.g.: stress reduction, wellbeing, postural (although all classes will have this focus you may wish to emphasise more of one element).

Please contact me directly about these classes and days and times.

Pilates Mat classes: book online, then turn up and enjoy!

My mat classes are no bigger than 6 in number – to ensure that you get the most from your session – there is no getting lost at the back of the room or being asked to skip an exercise.

Check the Make a booking page for the different classes available and when the next block starts.

If you have missed some of the block it is still possible to join, but you will need to contact me directly and you will receive your own unique booking link.

Please contact me with an enquiry as to your suitability for a class if you are unsure or would like further guidance.  In some circumstances it may be necessary to gain further medical advice or clearance and if you are over 65 you should definitely check with your GP. 

Once your payment is received your place is held in class and you will receive a medical form to complete and further joining details.

 

 

Bring your body back into balance and health; turn up and discover what you can do with a little time, effort and investment in yourself.