Believe in yourself…..

So, as some of you are aware this winter is turning out to be one of the most amazing snowy winters in the last few years. It’s sad, that due to the pandemic, we can’t share the mountains with everyone this year but I had a thought the other day … that maybe our environment needs just a little bit more time to breathe. But that’s a different post and not what I wanted to share today…

I wasn’t driving when I took this photo!!

A couple of weeks ago, my little ski racer went off to some of her races and I stayed at home to look after the animals and of course to teach my wonderful pilates clients. The other job I had to do was snow clearing (something that Toby normally does) up at a house in Agy. Simple really except for the fact that he had to take the 4×4 with Lucy so I had mum’s little VW Fox (not 4 wheel drive) and it was forecast to snow the whole 2 days they were away – and boy did it snow!! Before they left I was bringing Lucy back from school and talking to her about the fact that I was a little worried that I’d get stuck, drive off the road or something similar. I had lost my confidence a little last year when the 4×4 ended up in the ditch at the end of the drive after trying to get out on a particularly snowy morning (turned out to be a mechanical failure – the drive shaft broke!). Anyhow, Lucy told me that I had nothing to worry about, I was a great driver and that I had been driving in the mountains ever since I passed my license. She reminded me of the stories I had once told her of the time I was driving my dad’s 6 series BMW around the moutains in a snow storm because he had a couple too many to drive – I had only passed my test 3 months before, he had no snow chains and it was a rear wheel drive!!! So, I thought to myself….if the 18 year old Karen can do that why is the 50 year old Karen worrying about driving around in the snow, I have 32 years more experience in driving in all weathers, so I should just get on with it. I did and it was fine – a little hairy around the corners towards the top!

My biggest question from this is why as we get older do we stop believing in ourselves? Why do we start to think, oh I cant do that or we limit what we do just in case something happens. It all comes down to our sympathetic and parasympathetic system really but can we overcome this? Well, I think the answer should be and has to be yes. Obviously, deciding at an older age to start doing something new that has the potential to injure you is different – but it shouldn’t stop you, it might just take longer. Fear is a natural response and is there to keep you safe but take little steps at a time and you can overcome this fear. As we get older we shouldn’t stop doing the things that we’ve always done – yes you can be more careful about things, we don’t bounce as we used to but never stop believing in yourself or your ability to do things. We all have the ability to live this life to the absolute fullest, don’t fear what you don’t know, embrace it and never stop believing that you can achieve more!

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

Thomas Edison

Bands, Rings, Balls and more….

SALE TIME!!

Now we’re back online and I’ve had SO many requests for where to buy the small equipment that we use in face to face classes I’ve decided to sell on some of my equipment in lock-down bundles, see below.  There is limited availability of rings and head cushions, so once these have gone these bundles will no longer be available.  However, if you want just a couple of items to add to your already full equipment bag then I am going to put a bulk order in from the separate equipment shown below.

BUNDLE 1 – Magic Circle, Head Cushion, Purple Band, Yellow soft ball, Franklin green ball = €38,50 ONLY 3 LEFT
BUNDLE 2 – Purple Band, Head cushion, Franklin green ball = €18,50
BUNDLE 3 – Foldable Latex free mat, Head cushion, Purple Band = €27,50

LIMITED STOCK AVAILABLE

Loop bands pair – 1 green and 1 yellow = €15
2.5m Stretch bands
Red (Intermediate strength) or Green (Strong strength) = €9
Soft ball 26cm Grey or Blue = €12
Franklin Green ball (pair) = €18
Pilates Ring = €27

ORDER GOING IN ON 13TH NOVEMBER AND PAYMENT WILL BE NEEDED BEFORE ORDERING. PLEASE SEND ME AN EMAIL WITH YOUR REQUIREMENTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

RED BUBBLE

No I’m not talking about a new type of Covid bubble but a great new initiative a friend brought to life during the first lockdown! It started with an original photo of the iconic mountain Le Criou with the Red Bubble of Samoens in the foreground and then transformed into a clothing and accessories line. It even includes a face mask!

The Red Bubble lift, the original 1973 lift in Vercland, was taken down at the end of last season and the bubbles were auctioned off earlier this year. They were tiny, uncomfortable but well loved and anyone who new the secret that they opened earlier than the larger and faster GME, would always use them to get them up the mountain first.

To find out more and to buy a little bit of history please click on this link SAMOENS RED BUBBLE

How can Pilates help my skiing?

Let me tell you….

Skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding sports and being cardio fit will definitely give you an advantage.  Preparing your body before you hit the slopes can help avoid injuries and falls, it can also help performance.  Doing Pilates combined with cardio and strength training will give you an excellent all round fitness ready to tackle your favourite (and not so favourite) slopes.

Pilates is designed to strengthen and mobilise your body and each exercise can be adjusted to meet your sport-specific needs. 

In the ‘Get fit for Skiing’ Pilates class, during the 10 weeks we have before the ski season starts, we will be focussing on exercises that will align and strengthen your body. By becoming more flexible and mobile you will reduce the risk of injury if you fall.

The knees, hips and ankles get worked hard on a day out on the slopes, a good range of movement at these joints is essential for you to have a great day.  Flexibility and mobility are also very important in the upper body, it can protect you from injury should you fall. It will also help you get up easier especially if you decide to go off piste and end up in the deep pow!

Pilates is no match for strength training when it comes to building muscle but learning how to engage and use your deep stabilising muscles properly through pilates exercises is essential for skiers and snowboarders.  Having a strong stable trunk while your legs and arms do the hard work means less unnecessary movement and more energy left at the end of the day!

All the Pilates exercises are designed to improve alignment, and many specifically focus on the relationship between the foot, ankle and hip.

So if youd like to help yourself enjoy your skiing and snowboarding more, sign up for my online ‘Get fit for skiing’ class starting next week and you will

✅ Strengthen your core muscles
 ✅ Work on your balance
✅ Develop your body awareness so you can ski in the optimal position
✅ Improve mobility to relieve stresses and strains in your body

CLASS STARTS
WEDNESDAY 7TH OCTOBER 10.15 – 11.15 (CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME) – FOR 10 WEEKS

PAYMENT OPTIONS:

€100 (paid in advance)
To pay by card send me an SMS +33643853359 and I will forward you a link

€40 p/m – Oct/Nov/Dec by direct debit
Click here to pay and save a space

GOLD PASS and ANNUAL PASS MEMBERS
CLASS INCLUDED

SILVER PASS MEMBERS
UPGRADE TO GOLD PASS FOR €15 MORE
and benefit from unlimited classes to include this one for the last three months of the year.

AFTER PAYMENT PLEASE REMEMBER TO SIGN IN TO THE CLASS USING BOOKFIT APP

This is an online class and all recordings will be made available at my members area on my website for you to use at any time should you need to miss a class or two.

Looking forward to seeing you all online!!

Get fit for Skiing!

To sign up and to receive more info click here – don’t wait, do it now and get your self ready for your next ski trip – whenever that may be.

I know that right now none of us really know what’s to come. Can we travel? Do we want to travel? Is it safe? All I know for sure is that pull and draw of the mountains is strong for many of us. So whether you are planning a ski trip this year or are going to put it off for another year why not join me in my online ‘get fit for skiing’ pilates classes which are starting in October and will be running through until Christmas.

Pilates is a fantastic way to strengthen your joints and increase your flexibility to reduce the risk of injury. Three of the main principles of Pilates are

Alignment
Breathing
Centring

All of these are key to a more pleasant experience on skis. Strengthening your joints in the correct alignment not only makes skiing more natural but will reduce the risk of injury. Learning to align your breathing with any sort of movement massively helps you achieve that movement in a more fluid nature with less struggle. Read my blog on breathing for more info. Learning to correctly use your core muscles will help you to maintain your alignment whilst skiing. All of these fundamentals when put together will mean you have more energy to ski for longer and further. You may find that the ‘red’ run you always dreaded is not so hard after all!

To sign up and to receive more info click here – don’t wait, do it now and get your self ready for your next ski trip – whenever that may be.

Pilates is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace and skill that will be unmistakably reflected in the way you walk, in the way you play, and in the way you work

Joseph Pilates



Get outside for a PILATES BRUNCH!

Start the morning off with a wonderful outdoor Pilates class – experience the benefit of exercises that help you move more easily, strengthen your core, improve your posture, increase flexibility, balance your body and much much more all in the beautiful surroundings of the mountains.

Followed by a delicious healthy brunch including fresh fruits, granola, yogurts, homemade jams, pastries, blueberry pancakes, fruity muffins, fresh juice and a little bit of Bucks Fizz for those who wish to partake!

To book your place just click below, let me know which of the dates you would like (or all of them) and I’ll send you payment details.

Just for me!!

“You are only as young as your spine is flexible”

Joseph Pilates
  • Have you ever thought that group classes just aren’t for you?
  • Do you love spending time outdoors, skiing, cycling, running, hiking etc but feel the ‘kiss of time’ when trying to do something you’ve always been able to do before?
  • Suffer with back aches?
  • Hips and knees struggle to get you down that black run?
  • Trying to live with old injuries that never quite got better?

Pilates is a fantastic way to support your love of everything outdoors and keep you moving. 

To claim your FREE ‘JUST FOR ME’ 30 minute private taster class click here and I will get you booked in!!

During your COMPLIMENTARY “Just for Me” 30 minute private taster we can start to:

  • Develop your body awareness so that you are working in your ideal position
  • Take our time to work on specific movements to balance your body and increase flexibility
  • Develop optimal muscle use to help prevent further injuries
  • Strengthen your core to improve your balance and performance
  • Improve mobility to relieve stresses and strains on your body
  • Reach your goals quicker

Be quick there are only 5 Private slots available

Time to think, reflect and educate…

Luckily for me confinement has not meant that I have had to give up working and in fact it has opened up new possibilities that I thought just werent there before. With this in mind I decided that during this time I would focus more on how I teach and educate myself through online courses and workshops that have been made available to me as a Body Control Pilates Teacher. In this way I will be able to bring even more knowledge and continue to evolve my teaching to help benefit all of my clients, old and new.

Last week I attended an online class and webinar called ‘Fearless Spine’ taken by Cameron Angus, a renowned pilates teacher, international lecturer, physio and all round awesome guy. If you’ve ever suffered from back pain you will know the fear that comes from doing a movement or NOT doing that movement because you know its going to hurt, in this way you have probably started to stiffen up your body by doing less movement, thereby increasing the fear of movement in your brain. Recently, I have suffered some mild discomfort in my back and I have had to overcome that very natural impulse of my body telling me not to bend over and pick things up or not twist around to see whats behind me. Its hard to overcome your initial impulse and I know that I am fortunate that I have had the education that becoming a Pilates teacher has given me. It turns out the pain in my back is actually referred from my hip and by doing specific Pilates exercises to help my hip, the muscles in my back have released and reduced the pain. The place that we suffer the pain is not always the place where there is an issue.

Your spines are NOT fragile they are an amazing structure that enable us to move in all sorts of directions. We need to keep them moving!!

Now don’t get me wrong there are certainly some medical conditions where certain movements are not recommended, ie osteoporosis and ankylosing spondylitis, to name just two, but one thing I know for certain is that for lower back pain, movement helps ease that pain.

Flexion/Extension/Rotation/Lateral flexion are all SO important for your spine and even better lets put some of them together in exercises. Lets get twisting, turning, bending and reaching in exercise classes whatever they may be. After all, in real life we dont do everything on one plane of movement. We need to be strengthening and challenging our bodies in all postitions while we are exercising so that when we do things in real life your body doesnt suddenly go, ‘oh no I cant do that or my back will hurt’.

Pilates is an amzing form of exercise that has the ability to lengthen, strengthen, mobilize, and free your body to move it in whatever way you want. My aim in my classes has always been to bring joy back into movement. So if you’ve been suffering in silence, get in touch and lets free your mind and your body and give it permission to move!!

“A man is as young as his spinal column….If your spine is stiff at 30 you are old. If it is flexible at 60, you are young.”

Joseph Pilates

Breathing….the essence of life and a fundamental part of your Pilates skill

Breathing is the first act of life, and the last

Joseph H Pilates

At a time when we are being hit with a virus that effects the respiratory system I have found myself focussing on one of the fundamentals of Pilates – Breathing. How I breathe and how I teach people to breathe whilst moving. Breathing is an automatic process that most of us dont think about however learning to breathe properly will not only improve your ability to do exercise but it will also improve the health of your lungs.

To breathe correctly you must completely exhale and inhale, always trying very hard to squeeze every atom of impure air from your lungs in much the same manner that you would wring every drop of water from a wet cloth.

Joseph H Pilates

If you come to my classes you will have heard me saying dont forget to breathe! Normally I say this when someone is holding their breath and going red in the face! Many of us hold our breath while doing exercise which impacts our ability to do the exercise. We may find that we breathe shallowly or much faster than we should. If we breathe shallowly we are using only a fraction of our lungs thus reducing the supply of oxygen and thus also reducing our energy levels.

Learning how to breathe correctly is one of the fundamentals of Pilates. Breathing exercises are also used in meditation and to break up a period of anxiety. Currently there are many people feeling anxious of what is to come so I thought that I would share a couple of exercises with you that you can do at home.

Scarf Breathing – you will need a chair and a scarf or stretch band.

  • Sit or stand tall and wrap the scarf or stretch band around your ribs – make sure that it is not too low and is spread over the backs of your ribs, crossing it over at the front. Hold the opposite end and gently pull it tight (not too tight)
  • Inhale through your nose – As you breathe in focus on the backs and sides of your ribs, where your lungs are located. Your lungs will gradually fill and expand your ribcage. Do not force this movement as it will create tension. Keep your shoulders relaxed
  • Exhale through your mouth – As you breathe out you will feel the air gently being pushed out fully, right to the bottom of your lungs. You should feel your ribcage beginning to close as your lungs empty.

Do not puff your cheeks or purse your lips during the exercise as this will create tension in your jaw, face and neck wasting energy. Also make sure that you do not over-breathe, it should be natural, easy pace.

Relieving anxiety – you can stand, sit or lie down doing this exercise, most importantly you should be comfortable. You may want to close your eyes (please make sure you are not standing if you do!!)

  • Inhale through your nose for the count of 4
  • Hold for the count of 4
  • Exhale through your mouth for the count of 6
  • Repeat as many times as you like

If you find it hard to inhale for the count of 4 you can change this to 3 and then exhale for 5. You will find the more you do this the longer you can inhale for.

My classes are carrying on over the internet through this time of lock down so if you are interested in joining any of them please contact me for more information.

Stay safe and well.

Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body

Thich Nhat Hanh – Vietnamese Monk

Pilates Classes to carry on…

In light of recent government decisions I have decided to change the way I run my classes. They will NOT stop but I will be teaching via Zoom, a video conferencing online service, for the forseeable future.

What does this mean for you?
You will need to sign in from home on your computer/laptop. I will be sending out meeting invitations to everyone.

How much will it cost?
Nothing more than your usual monthly membership

Will the classes change times?
My plan is to keep the same times as my current classes, I may even add some more times, subject to demand.

What will I need?
All you will need is a mat, or towel if you dont have one. Also if you use a head cushion normally a small folded up towel will work instead.

The class will of course be slightly different as I wont be able to correct any alignment issues however I know all your bodies quite well and I will be able to watch as you do the exercises. If you have any questions please do not hesiate to contact me either by phone or email.

If you are not one of my regular clients but would like to join in please contact me clicking on this link – CONTACT