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

Is it February already??

Did you start January 2020 with great intentions of signing up for Pilates and now its February – where did the time go?

Do you still feel stiff, have a sore back, tight hips, have problems with stability?

Its not too late to sign up to any of my classes:

Tuesday evening Mixed Ability – 6 – 7pm
Wednesday Intermediate Plus – 8.45 – 9.45am
Thursday Intermediate – 8.45 – 9.45am
Thursday Basic/Rehab – 10 – 11am

Contact me for more information on which class would suit you best.

New Class starting in JANUARY!!

Do you spend your days….

Driving a minibus?
Flying a plane?
Teaching in the jardin d’enfants?
Or just sitting at a desk?

Do you feel stiff, have a sore back, tight hips, feel like you’ve lost your core then you should come to my new AFTER WORK class.

Strengthen and stretch out before going out!

TUESDAY 18H – 19H @ CHALET L’ENSOLEILLE, MORILLON

For more information please contact me

P3Pilates and PBForme working together

Jennie and I have decided to collaborate and do something a bit different – a Spinning/Pilates class or Spilates or Spinates but definitely not Pie and Lattes!! We are very excited to bring this new class to the valley, we both feel that while we offer very different aspects of exercise there is no reason why we can’t combine our knowledge of movement and give you a little extra.

What to expect…..Jennie will push you hard on the bike for 30 minutes and then I will push you hard in a totally different way for another 30! At the end of the class you will have had an all round work out for both your body and mind.

image credit One Hot Yoga and Pilates

Pilates during the summer holiday season….

So maybe you are thinking… ‘What, I cant exercise in this heat??’ Why don’t you come along to my summer pilates classes in my cool home studio, fans provided if needed!! Also you can enjoy a refreshing juice after class to cool you down.

Next week it looks like we are in for a cool 27C, that will be baltic compared to this week, time to get the thermals out!!

Classes for the summer will be:

PART 1 – 3RD JULY – 18TH JULY

WEDNESDAY – CHATILLON SUR CLUSES
08H45 – 09H45  Intermediate

THURSDAY – CHATILLON SUR CLUSES
10H00 – 11H00  Beginners/Basic

PART 2 – 31ST JULY – 22ND AUGUST

WEDNESDAY – CHATILLON SUR CLUSES
08H45 – 09H45 Intermediate
10H00 – 11H00 Workshop – See blog for more info nearer the time

THURSDAY – CHATILLON SUR CLUSES
08H45 – 09H45 Workshops – See blog for more info nearer the time
10H00 – 11H00 Beginners/Basic

To book click here

Autumn Mornings

What a fabulous way to start the day with an early morning pilates class with a view of the mountains.

My new classes in Les Carroz started today, thanks to Book4Alps for the use of the beautiful Chalet Erica, it is such a lovely setting to work from.  I am looking forward to the next few months working here.

If you would like to join the class please do not hesitate to contact me

Quelle fabuleuse façon de commencer la journée avec un cours de Pilates en début de matinée avec vue sur les montagnes.

Mes nouveaux cours aux Carroz ont commencé aujourd’hui, grâce à Book4Alps pour l’utilisation du magnifique Chalet Erica, c’est un cadre de travail si agréable.  J’ai hâte de travailler dans les prochains mois.

Si vous souhaitez rejoindre la classe, n’hésitez pas à me contacter.