I have been practising Pilates for ten years after discovering it when I was suffering from chronic pain and awaiting a hip replacement. I had been practising feldenkreis yoga but had been advised that Pilates would be more beneficial because it would help strengthen my core and the muscles around my hips. I discovered a clinic near my work and started seeing a physiotherapist, having regular massage and attending 3-4 Pilates classes a week. It was life changing! The classes helped me build up my muscular strength, dramatically improve my posture, learn how to breath effectively and most importantly, better cope with the stresses of chronic pain. I hadn’t realised how much Pilates would teach me body awareness so that I could take what I learned in the studio and embed it into everyday life. Most importantly I really enjoyed the classes and however stressed I was when I entered the class I always came out feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. Thanks to a number of years of Pilates practice I went into the operating theatre to have both my hips replaced as strong as possible. I also believe it aided me during labour and helped me regain my core strength sensibly following the birth of my children. When I am not teaching or practicing Pilates I am being kept active by two young and energetic children. My husband and I enjoy food and wine. We used to enjoy sleep too but now we take it when it comes!
My own experience inspired me to train to be a Pilates teacher so that I could help others experience the benefits of Pilates. Following the birth of my first child I decided to take the plunge and after lots of research I signed up to do Allison Swan’s (founding member of the Pilates Foundation and Independent Pilates Teaching Association) Pilates Matwork Training. In July 2015 I completed the Pilates training course gaining a Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Pilates (accredited through the Central YMCA qualifications) and completed 594 hours of lectures, home study, practical training and teaching practice. This comprehensive training has provided me with a deep understanding of anatomy and physiology, health and fitness, Pilates matwork including Pilates original repertoire and more modern day pre-Pilates. It has also provided me with extensive knowledge of working with those rehabilitating, older adults and pre and postnatal women. My training covered many common pathologies such as unexplained lower back pain, whiplash, ankylosing spondyylitis, osteoporosis, arthritis, sacro-iliac joint dysfunction, spinal disc injury, thoracic spine issues, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, frozen shoulder, facet joint syndrome, spinal stenosis and hypermobility. It also covered how Pilates can benefit those living with breast cancer. My training and my own pregnancies also inspired me to complete Rachel Rafiefar’s Thoughtful Body Pregnancy and Postnatal Postgraduate Assessment in June 2015 qualifying me to teach pre and postnatal Pilates. Since I am finding working with mums so rewarding I have started studying for my Advanced CPD in Modern Post Natal Assessment, Core Restore & Functional Exercise Programming with Burrell Education.