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Posted by on Apr 27, 2013 in Reviews, Workshops, Workshops and Further Education | 0 comments

Pilates on Tour 2013

Pilates on Tour 2013

Balanced Body certainly know how to put on a show.  I went along to the reception on Friday to mingle with other Pilates teachers and the organisers of the event.  It really is a unique gathering as the teachers that attend are from all different schools of training and around 30 different countries. This is unusual in itself, as we Pilates teachers tend to stick with our training bodies to a greater or lesser degree and therefore bump into the same people at the workshops and conferences that we attend.  Being a teacher can also be a bit of a solitary occupation unless you work in a studio with other teachers, so it’s a great social event.

For the benefit those of that don’t know Balanced Body is a company that manufactures and supplies Pilates equipment and they also have their own education programme. They are based in the US and take their tour all over the world.  Pilates on Tour 2013 in London is the 3rd one in the UK but the 58th in the world.

Pilates on Tour is probably the biggest Pilates conference in the UK and they bring the lot with them, equipment and teachers. There are many fantastic workshops to choose from over the weekend and some pre conference workshops too  where you can get get more specialised training, for example, Core Align with Portia Page.  Highly respected teachers present a great variety of workshops from both the UK and USA. Its great chance to get pick up hints & tips and new ideas.

The Balanced Body crew are a generous bunch and there are a few freebees up for grabs, DVDs, Mats, bags & pens.  At the reception, snacks and soft drinks, wine & beer were all available.  You can also buy equipment as a discounted rate as well as books and DVD’s.

For information about future tours please click on the link.

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Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in Apparel, Fashion, Reviews | 0 comments

Monika on Asquith Clothing

Monika on Asquith Clothing


Today, I received my Asquith order which I am going to use during the annual Pilates on Tour conference this weekend, organised by Balanced Body








Can you tell what kind of wardrobe I have?? It’s all dark!

It’s a lovely and hot today so the first thing that struck me was how smooth and cool the material felt when I tried it on.   Secondly, how gorgeous is that navy shade?! The picture doesn’t show it well.

On trial I realised the Capri Pants were made of soft cotton fabric  while the Crop Pants felt much thicker and therefore kept everything together better (although the description states they are made of this same organic cotton). The third trousers, which I purchased previously, long with a tie at the bottom, are the softest and made of bamboo fabric, these tend to show most on a voluptuous person like me, which personally suits me least so the cropped and capri pants are a winner on both counts for me.

The navy fitted top is fabulous! Flattering seams on the sides of the waist, bra support, perfect length covering the belly and the hips.  This is really an excellent piece and I intend to order it in different colours as well.  Similar piece in the ‘supportive’ range is a camisole with fitted bra, also very comfy.

Asquith produced a very clever piece called the tube (like a mini skirt or a long fold over) which can be worn in various ways but mostly over the capri pants or normal length trousers. I like it very much but the colour choice doesn’t include any darks, which is the only one I would pick for it. I am hoping that maybe it will become available soon.


To contrast all that navy I bought a light, wavy top (Box T), two tone which is luxuriously soft and lovely to wear but unless you intend to draw a lot and a lot of attention it must be worn over another top, as it is practically see through.

I think Asquith clothing are making a great progress designing pieces that are now suitable for Pilates and yoga teachers alike.   Great stuff!

In the near future we will publish couple of blogs about the history of Asquith Clothing and the woman behind it, Alice Asquith; the second blog will be on types of fabrics she uses to create her lines.

Right now, you have a chance to have your say: what would you like Asquith to do so their range will be your number one choice of leisure and Pilates wear?

Me? Thank you for asking ;) I would like to see some thumb holes in long sleeve tops, 3/4 sleeve simple tees and a choice of trousers length ! offers discount of 20% to our readers, use this code if you decide to purchase:  PILATESTREE20.   If you are a teacher registered on please visit the forum to find out the teacher discount code.

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Posted by on Apr 7, 2013 in Business & Education, Owning a Studio | 0 comments

My Journey from Pilates Teacher to Studio Owner

My Journey from Pilates Teacher to Studio Owner

The thing about changing career midlife is that, usually, it will be to something you love.  That is exactly what happened to me, at the age of 35.  I gave up managing restaurants and retrained as a Pilates Teacher.  For the first time I found my niche.  Of course, when one’s dream comes true another starts to form immediately!  I started to dream about having a warm, light and large studio with a character and so began my search for a suitable premises.  Six months into my search I gave up on ‘light and large’ and just wanted a chance to see any premises.  A year into my search I realised that it  just wasn’t going to happen. Due to the need for a change of use (if a premises has previously been used for offices for example, a change of use is required), dimension requirements and financial restrictions it didn’t seem possible that I would ever find anything suitable. I could see my dream falling apart.

Fortunately, someone told me about an option of hiring a property consultant specialist who, for a fee, finds the property for you.  My hopes & dreams returned.  I met the lovely Lloyd Harris and gave him all my specifications.  A few months and many property visits later, I have found my property, even if it doesn’t necessarily look like it at the moment… (pictures attached)

There is still one obstacle: the dreaded change of use, for which, depending on the council, one has to wait from 4-9 weeks:( , nothing is quick.  Its a very tricky situation as I cannot commit to the lease until I know I have been granted the license and on the other hand I am expecting the Landlord to wait for me all this time without a guarantee of a tenant.  Frequently, one would be asked to pay a non refundable deposit to the Landlord to wait, but it will be a loss if the license is not granted.  What is a new entrepreneur to do? Risk it or not to risk it?

Anyway, while we wait for the license to ‘Pilates on’, there is some work to be done; some legal and some dirty!


To be continued……………


‘change of use’  – when leasing a commercial propery in the UK one has to trade under an appropriate License ie retail would be R1, restaurant A3, etc they will have different requirements in terms of what is required of the property and the person/company who uses it.  Here is a government guide

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Posted by on Nov 25, 2012 in Interviews | 0 comments

Interview with Madeleine Backlund of Backlund Pilates, London

Interview with Madeleine Backlund of Backlund Pilates, London

Madeleine Backlund, founder of Backlund Pilates, began her teaching career in 1992.  She has been at the forefront of Teacher training under the Pilates Foundation UK since 1997.  She was born in northern Sweden and has lived here in the UK since 1972

We got the chance to meet Madeleine at her Pilates studio in Fulham, West London.  He is what she had to say!


How did you discover Pilates?

I suffered from SI-joint dysfunction back in the early 80’s. I was living in New York at the time and got invited to try a Pilates class.  I went to a fantastic trainer who had this equipment, Reformer, Cadillac and chair and by taking classes with him we manage to sort my back out and strengthen my core.   I came back in 1984 and I was totally sold on Pilates and I didn’t think there was anything like this in London.  Then I found and advert in Harper’s and Queen about the Pilates instructor Dreyas Reyneke. This led me to Alan Herdman who continued teaching me Pilates for the next 5 years.  I decided to train with Trevor Blount in 1989. After my training at Trevor’s Studio I worked for him for 2 years and then I opened my first studio in Harley Street in 1993- 98  then  Hampstead 1998 -99. Then,  from 1999 onwards here in Fulham, SW London

What did you do before Pilates?

Well, I’m a qualified nurse but I never worked as a nurse here, only in Sweden.  I did all kinds of jobs when the children were small, I worked as a receptionist, I worked in Phase Eight.  I worked as a rep. I was a full time mum for many years; building a home and bringing up my children

Who inspires you?

At the beginning of my career Julian Littleford, Rael Isacowitz,  Romana in New York, Gold’s Gym and a girl called Cathy Murakhami and of course Alan Herdman as my first teacher here in London. These people made a mark on me.  Not to forget the many amazing instructors that have had the pleasure and fortune to work with over the past 20 years.

What about the future?

For the last 3 years I have been working towards providing my teacher training course.  This has now been endorsed by Skills Active. I am running my studio with 2 staff and also managing my Treatment Room here at the Studio where we offer alternative treatments; Massage, Osteopathy, Cranio-Sacral therapy, Reike etc..It is a full time job and more.

What do you to do keep in such great shape?


Obviously I do my Pilates, not every day.  Strict half an hour before my morning shift, 3 times a week.  Then I do one good long session on a Thursday or Friday afternoon.  I do lots of walking but apart from that, I’m not a swimmer, I don’t play tennis. I don’t have a car so I walk or march everywhere!.. I am also in love with ball room dancing…….

I used to go to to this really amazing advanced mat work class up in Covent Garden run by Miranda Bass, who is a great energetic teacher and it was fun to be taught by a different instructor.  Nowadays I don’t seem to have time venture out of Fulham during my busy week. I like to go find interesting work shops to go to that aren’t necessarily Pilates based, but always to do with healthy living and movement.  I thrive on studying and further educate myself…

What is your favorite Mat work exercise?

Hmm… Roll Over as well as Jack-Knife, I like the challenge to the spinal flexibility and the stretch in hamstrings and lumbar area… just love stretching the spine plus the focus of the ‘lifting’ of the ‘tush’, really gets those lower abs.

What is your favorite on the equipment?

Favourite equipment exercise is The Cadillac ; Springs and Trapeze…And the Push through bar…All the lovely stretches that this offers you…Cat, sitting, kneeling, standing..etc Roll downs …Bottom loaded sit ups and top loaded sit ups..etc..

What about food?

I’m have a very healthy diet, low calories, high fibre.  I spend a lot of time in South East Asia so I am totally addicted to that cuisine.. I am quite good at Thai stir fries and am pretty much a veg and salad lover.. Plus fish once a week and meat once a fortnight.

What do you do to relax?

Entertaining, being with friends, dancing,  reading, travelling, film and theatre,

That’s my chill out time.

What is your astrological birth sign? 

Scorpio with a Leo ascendant!




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