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Posted by on Jun 9, 2013 in Becoming a Teacher, Body & Mind, Business & Education, Featured, Pilates | 0 comments

The Pilates Journey

The Pilates Journey

Everyone has their own path to Pilates.  My path was indirect.  I was doing Iyengar yoga ten years ago, and kept falling over due to an inner ear infection.  I asked about the course where students spent most of their time on a mat and was told it was Pilates. I figured I wouldn’t fall over as much and decided to give Pilates a chance.

I  had only been sporadically practicing Iynegar yoga. I initially tried it after my daughter was born, 20 years ago, to re-acquaint myself with my body after childbirth.  My corporate career then took off and required me to work long hours and to work abroad for extended time periods.   My body was burning itself out.  It was sending me messages to slow down: anxiety, an ulcer and IBS.  I ignored it until I completely broke down.

Shortly after I left the corporate world, I started attending local Pilate courses regularly.  The instructor was excellent but taught up to 25 people in a single class.  There was no time for individual instruction, the priority was to keep everyone safe while doing the exercises.  My progress stalled as there were no intermediate  classes offered locally.  I decided to try the Body Control Pilates Studio in London.  They were often in the press and very well respected.

My first Body Control Pilates class was an intermediate lunchtime class.  I could see a much faster and in-depth improvement after a few sessions.  I liked it so much I decided to try a Pilates machine class, the Beginner’s Reformer class.  I’ve been doing both mat and machine classes regularly since then.

Eventually I had to consider what my next career would be.   I wanted to find a role that would not only financially support me, but also support me physically and emotionally.  I decided to become a sports coach.

I qualified as a Badminton England Coach and built up a portfolio of courses.  I realised that it would be very difficult to survive on only badminton coaching revenues.  Then I had the bright idea of becoming a Pilates instructor and I eventually earned my Body Control Pilates Mat Instructor award.

I’ve taken Pilates classes in London and New York City.  Sometimes the classes were in leisure centres and other times in specialised Pilates studios.  People naturally start chatting about why they came to Pilates.

Most people, in my experience, come to Pilates because they are broken.  They have back problems, injuries or are unfit.  Many are trying to undo the decades of damage due to dance problems, overwhelming family responsibilities, or stressful office environments.  Many others have back pain and are referred by their GPs to start a Pilates regime.  Nearly everyone, though, is surprised at the additional benefits of Pilates.

Not only do our broken parts begin to heal, but we find ourselves calmer, healthier and happier with our bodies.  You can see and feel how Pilates is acting on students and clients by observing them during class.  They seem focused and in their own internal world, aligning their body and mind.

As Joseph Pilates said, “Through the Pilates Method of Body Condition this unique trinity of balanced body, mind and spirit can ever be attained. Self confidence follows.”

Many of my fellow instructors, including myself, chose to become teachers because we experienced the transformative benefits of Pilates.  Teaching Pilates becomes a vocation for us to help others achieve the benefits that we have experienced..

I’ve met hundreds of Pilates practitioners.  I’ve yet to meet anyone who said that they came to Pilates for appearance’s sake or to acquire a celebrity “Pilates’ bum.”  People come to Pilates to heal.  What brought you to Pilates?

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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Q & A | 0 comments

Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers. We are very excited to launch this part of our website! We hope that you (teachers/teacher trainees and clients) will take advantage of the wealth of knowledge we have at our disposal and ask away. Please take into account that the questions should relate to Pilates in some way.  We offer you the knowledge and skills of our writers and promise to reach out to others to make sure your questions are responded to with best possible accuracy.  You can just send a general question and well will publish it with a response (questions will be published anonymously unless you request otherwise) or you can request for a particular person to respond to it and we will endeavour to reach out to them.

Ways to contact us:

Facebook or Twitter

or simply write it down here:

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Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in Beginners, Featured, Pilates | 0 comments

The Benefits of Pilates

The Benefits of Pilates

The Benefits of Pilates.   If you haven’t heard of Pilates, where have you been?!  Pilates is having its moment in the spotlight right now, with celebrities such as Madonna and Lady Gaga extolling its virtues and who can forget Pippa Middleton’s Pilates bottom?

So what makes Pilates so great and why should you do it?  

The thing that makes Pilates different from most other forms of exercise is that it is suitable for everyone.  Because all Pilates exercises can be modified, everyone is able to do them.  It is ideally suited to those who are recovering from injury or have specific health issues as it is a low impact form of exercise.  Pilates exercise will strengthen and tone the muscles, help develop core strength and improve posture.

Ten of the many benefits of Pilates include:

1.  Strengthens and tones muscles, helping to develop a strong core

Pilates uses your own body weight as resistance when working on the mat and the Pilates equipment adds resistance using springs.  The core muscles are the ones which keep us in good posture and support the back and the spine.  By developing strong core muscles, the muscles in the shoulders, neck and legs can relax more and all the muscles share the workload allowing for freer movement.

2.  Improves posture and corrects imbalances

Good posture is the result of a strong core and having good posture puts less strain on the body, joints and muscles.  Correcting any crookedness or imbalances by working the body evenly, Pilates exercise will straighten and strengthen the whole body.

3.  Often relieves or improves back pain and other aches and pains

By engaging the core muscles and teaching you breathing techniques, Pilates often relieves many aches and pains.

4.  Stabilises shoulders 

In today’s world many of us are sat for several hours at a desk.  This can lead to rounded shoulders and forward head position.  This will be addressed in Pilates and exercises will improve the position and mobility of the shoulders.

5.  Improves joint mobility

The range of joint motion will increase as the supporting muscles are gradually lengthened and strengthened.

6.  Improves balance and co-ordination

Balance and co-ordination will improve as the body gets stronger and any unevenness within the body is slowly corrected.

7.  Increases flexibility

By stretching the muscles in a controlled way, they will be strengthened and lengthened enabling you to increase the range of motion for each joint.

8.  Promotes mindfulness

Joseph Pilates said his unique exercise method is “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” In Pilates each and every movement is carried out with full focus on the movement.  Exercising in this way means you get the maximum benefit from each exercise and the Pilates principles of centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow are the key concepts used to integrate body and mind.

9.  Increases energy levels

Using the breath and exercises together, Pilates stimulates the muscles and releases endorphins, making you feel great and energised.

10.  Improves circulation 

Joseph Pilates believed that “every last atom of old air should be squeezed from the lungs” so that fresh, invigorating oxygen could flood the body by way of the circulatory system.  The breathing and exercises combine to help pump the oxygenated blood through the body and expelling the toxins.

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