Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The #Grateful Post

I actually really like this Facebook tradition that my american friends keep, of posting something every day in November that they are grateful for as part of Thanksgiving.

My style is to do it all at once, but hey, I do like reading everyone's posts and being happy for the gifts they experience daily.

I'm thankful to be in a profession that not only affords me a good living, good health and good fun but allows me to work with and inspire others.

When I started out as a Pilates teacher, I didn't quite appreciate just how profoundly the work can change a client's life and how those changes could change me.  I'm grateful for every client that has come through the doors as they've all allowed me the opportunity to take something for myself, in terms of communication, empathy, joy and support.

Having the beautiful space to practice in is just icing on the cake (or whipped cream on my pumpkin pie, in keeping with the Thanksgiving theme).

So yeah, for me, I have a lot to be thankful for at this moment.  Let's keep it going.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

#Pilates Exercise to Love: Magician

If you are not standing taller after performing Magician on the Cadillac, you are not doing it right my friends!

I love love love this exercise.  It tones the abs, strengthens the back, and really works the bum and hamstrings!   

Taking Leg Spring Supine to a whole new level, it's as challenging as it is fun for the advanced client.  

If you love this one, just wait until you get to the super advanced exercises...


Monday, 4 November 2013

#Pilates Roll-Up. Yep, we love it.

The #Pilates Roll-up is a classical mat exercise that challenges the abs and is a great exercises to perfect coordinated breathing.

Balancing abdominal strength with spine mobility is essential - if this is the exercise that makes you swear in your Pilates class.  Yes, your teacher can hear you.

Instead of buying your lovely teacher ear plugs or therapy, here are some things you can try:

Try the same action but in reverse, with control.  Rolling down is a bit easier than rolling up.  Give it a try!

You can also then try rolling up, but instead of starting with legs extended like the handsome guy to the in the picture, bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.  As you roll up, extend your legs out to the end position.  Voila!  You'll be rolling up in no time!

Remember that forcing your abdominals to contract is not going to allow for the mobility that you need to master this mat exercise.  Give the modifications a try and let me know how it goes...


Friday, 1 November 2013

Love Exercise Again!

Why do you work out?

Most people head to the gym or go for a run when they feel they need to lose some weight or to tone up for a special event like a wedding or after baby.  But you hate running and going to the gym so you find yourself with a membership a few months down the road without much change in your weight.  What next?

I love London for a lot of reasons.  One of them is that there are endless opportunities to find fitness that you will -gasp- love!  From ballroom dancing to hula hooping to joining a frisbee club, it's all waiting for you.

If you're in an area of the world where there isn't as many opportunities, create them!  With social media outlets like MeetUp, you can create an event and like-minded people will show up to get fit.

There's no real prescription for fitness.  It's important to be as active as you can as often as you can and not make yourself or those around you crazy by doing it.  By starting out slow and doing activities that you love, you soon be looking for excuses to "work out"!

Fitness is not one-size-fits-all.  Find what you love and do it for fun.  You'll lose the weight and have a great time...

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Are Your Hips Ready for Ski Season?

I love this image of beginner ski students.  It really demonstrates how much strength and range of motion is needed throughout the joints of the lower body and in this instance, I'm looking at hips!

There are some great #Pilates exercises that will get clients slope ready in no time.

One thing to remember when training clients that ski is that they need this range of motion with strength, so we're not looking to increase flexibility of the joints for flexibility's sake but to work them within their current range to strengthen and then slightly increase the range as their flexibility improves.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

#Pilates #Exercise to Love: Bridging

Bridging is one of all-time favourite exercises.  What are some of the differences between the bridge we do as part of our #Pilates workout and the bridge that you may have performed doing #Yoga?

One big difference is that in #Pilates, we only lift to the bottom tip of our shoulder blades, whereas in yoga - now I have to be careful here because I cannot speak for all yoga methods, but in my experience the lift goes up to the tops of the shoulders.  

Try it both ways and see how our muscles work differently to support us in these similar, but still very different bridges!


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

#Pilates #Exercise to Love: Carola's Breathing

Ok, yes... so now that we're all over how blonde my hair used to be, we can focus on this fantastic #Pilates #Exercise. 

"Carola's Breathing" an exercise from Pilates' first protoge - Carola Trier, a german dancer who found her way to the US as a performing contortionist, met Joe in 1940 after injury.  Carola opened her own studio in the late 1950s with equipment that Joe either made for her or gave to her from his own stock of creations. 

Carola's variation of "Joe's Breathing" exercise on the the Cadillac uses the push-through bar rather than the roll-down bar from Joe's. 

For clients, I like to use Carola's Breathing as a warm-up for stiff bodies, who were sat at a desk too long.  I find it allows time to warm-up the body and to encourage movement and flow, right from the start of a workout.  Joe's Breathing I tend to use later in a workout and often times add some challenges for my clients by using handles instead of the roll-down bar or add single leg pulses at the top for healthy bodies.

For more information on the history of Pilates and the other Pilates Elders, who are responsible for spreading the love of this wonderful method of exercise, a good starting point is Balanced Body - http://www.pilates.com/BBAPP/V/pilates/origins-of-pilates.html

Friday, 18 October 2013

Cueing Concentration

I love this picture because it lists concentration at the top.  Often overlooked by teachers, in favour of cueing breath or to create precise and controlled movement - we don't allow for beautiful, glorious, silence! 

Concentration isn't going to happen with someone constantly chattering on about breath or controlled movements!  Concentration allows for that essential Mind Body link that helps us to carry-over our newly learned efficient movement patterns into day to day life.  

Allow space in your cueing for silence and your clients will experience a richer, lasting Pilates practice.


Thank You!

Thank you everyone for your support through the ups and downs of property hunting.  It took more than sixty (68 to be exact!) viewings and 12 offers to find 'the one'.   Your emails throughout the summer and the few of you that booked private lessons with me at various locations throughout London helped me to keep going to find this amazing space.  

As my thank you, we're going to be opening in November, with semi-private group classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at £20 per class.  Private lessons can be scheduled most any time at £50.  

Starting January 2014 we'll have a full schedule in full-swing and our new pricing will take effect.