In addition to providing classes for charity "City & Hackney Mind", My Local Pilates is now proud to announce its collaboration with Hackney's “Centre for Better Health”, by delivering quality, affordable courses to the local community.
From January 2016, we will offer weekly “Pilates for Wellbeing”: a gentle 50 minute class designed to promote mobility, tone and strength and provide relief from aches and pains.
The Centre for Better Health is a community-based charity that supports wellbeing and recovery from mental ill-health. The community hub is committed to providing low cost inclusive courses, classes and groups for all. This means that there are mixed ability participants with different paces of learning.
The centre is based on Darnley Road, in central Hackney, East London, just a short walk away from Mare Street and London Fields.
ABOUT THE CENTRE FOR BETTER HEALTH
We recognise a healthy community is an inclusive community in which individuals can live satisfying and hopeful lives and where there is no stigma about mental ill health.
To support wellbeing and recovery from mental ill-health.
To build skills, confidence and improve wellbeing
To encourage social engagement and participation
To make meaning of experiences, facilitate growth and progress towards goals
For more information about the Centre for Better Health, please visit their website here
For more information about the work My Local Pilates does with City and Hackney Mind, click here
Here at My Local Pilates we're delighted and super excited to be selected by Stylist Magazine to host a FREE Body Control Pilates taster class in honour of the second #ReclaimYourLunchBreak campaign! http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/reclaim-your-lunch-break/reclaim-your-lunch-break-stylist-free-events
When: Friday 27th Nov 2015 @12:30 -1:30pm
Where: Round Chapel Old School Rooms, E5 0PU
How to Book: email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Just in case you're still contemplating another working lunch, I'll put this across to you another way! #ReclaimYourLunchBreak
Hot off the press!! The VPHTHAC board kindly agreed to us overlaying the Old Gym studio floor with some wooden laminate. Thanks to a very good friend and my better half (who both gave up a precious Saturday), the end result is quite amazing: bright, warm, cozy, inviting, so smooth and so fit for Pilates! Check out the pictures below....
Needless to say, I had to repay the favour! Dinner and a bottle of Malbec at London Fields finest Argentinian Steakhouse Buen Ayre - at least I got to go too!!
If you haven't experienced the new look studio, do come along for a class soon!
It’s been work in progress for some weeks now, but finally (!), the new autumn timetable is here! There are lots of new classes to choose from (and more on these later), but my biggest news is that I’ve found TWO new venues!
I’m delighted to offer My Local Pilates classes at London Fields Yoga (Arthaus, Richmond Rd. Hackney, just off Mare St.) and Discover Children’s Story Centre, Stratford (on the High St). Both venues will launch in full swing with a series of FREE taster classes between Monday 14th and Friday 18th September.
London Fields Yoga is a beautiful, spacious and light filled studio. They’ve been kind enough to provide studio space for My Local Pilates to hold Pilates classes in the centre of Hackney. I simply love the location: a short stroll from Broadway Market, London Fields and the lido (where you’ll always find on a sunny day!), it’s housed in the same building as my very fave restaurant Raw Duck www.rawduckhackney.co.uk. The food is innovative and inspiring but the selling point for me is the vast selection of natural and biodynamic wine (untampered with and must for anyone that is otherwise wine intolerant – more on this soon!!). It’s also home to “Fix”, a Physiotherapy, Osteopathy and Sports Massage practice. These guys “fixed” me before I did Run Hackney last year so I highly recommend them! www.fixlondon.co.uk. In addition to daily yoga classes, London Fields Yoga also host a variety of holistic therapies from mindfulness meditation to massage. There’s also a sauna for use (I suspect between classes that’s where you’ll find me!). Yoga, meditation and massage is all bookable through their own website www.londonfieldsyoga.co.uk. For Pilates you need to book through me!
Discover Children’s Story Centre is a really unique space and aside from being the most imaginative, exciting and engaging centre for children (if you’ve got kids you should take them along!), they also house a number of awesome studios for public hire, including one with softly changing coloured led lights –Pilates is never going to seem the same again! It’s also right in the centre of Stratford, with its numerous and easy transport links and a stone’s throw from world class shopping, eating at drinking and nearby Westfield. Amongst my new 45 minute “classes for busy office workers” on offer at Discover, I’ll be holding a 45 minute “Pilates for Parents” class (bring your baby!); an open level class for mum’s, dads and anyone else left in charge of a little one for the day. It’ll be a great chance to come and see the centre and have a workout too!
Anyone that knows me well can vouch for my increasing obsessiveness to eat clean. After years of ongoing IBS and migraine, coupled with an eternity researching the whys and wherefores, I’ve finally come closer to understanding my body and its gripes! My own journey led me to a relatively unknown intolerance to sulphur and its derivatives (which for some poor souls can be a severe allergy resulting in anaphylaxis). I’ll say how I found out in another post (you’ll like the story I promise!), but for now what I'll say is that it’s frankly a right pain. Sulphur and sulphur containing substances are used to preserve pretty much most things that comes in a packet, tin, jar, bottle, vacuum pack. That includes “healthy” foods like organic tinned tomatoes, pulses, lentils, chickpeas and dried fruits as well as perhaps more obvious suspects like sweet chilli sauce, ketchup, jams, mayonnaise. It also affects wine, cider, beer, soft drinks, posh cordials… the list is endless. Thankfully mine is an intolerance, so ingesting these things isn't going to kill me, but within a week of weaning myself off Heinz Tomato ketchup (which has featured highly in my mealtimes since I was on solids) and some other higher sulphite-containing culprits I already felt like a different person.
I now work for myself which makes juggling Pilates teaching and eating clean a whole lot easier. I have tomatoes growing in the garden and can’t wait to make my own ketchup. My one weakness is still my sweet tooth, and a penchant for proper bread slathered in posh jam (yes I know it’s just sugar!!). I daresay I read this recipe somewhere but I’ve been mashing fresh berries together with a few tablespoons of chia seeds, so massive right now due to the high fibre, protein, omega 3 and anti-oxidative properties. This homemade “jam” seems to keep for a couple of weeks if refrigerated in a sterile airtight jar. It’s low GI and the Chia seeds are also a great way to help your body retain water and stay optimally hydrated since they absorb up to 27 times their weight in water, which can turn a soupy mess of crushed berries into something you can spread. It’s great served on porridge, Greek yogurt (the proper stuff, with up to 10.6g protein/100g) or my favourite; homemade sourdough bread. Try other fruit combos too - strawberries, raspberries, whatever’s in season!
With current courses drawing to a close, it's time to reflect on progress made over the past few weeks. I hope attending classes has given everyone a much welcomed kick-start in becoming more active and achieving health and fitness goals. I didn't want to finish the course without the opportunity to introduce the Foam Roller to my regular classes, so this week has included a lot of low-level stability work by incorporating the roller into the some of the basic exercises. I think you'll agree that Toe Taps are taken to a whole new level! I do also so enjoy Spine Curls with Feet on the roller - get that butt working! The next course will include a Foam Roller class too, for anyone that missed out!
In my last post I mentioned using the roller for myofascial release work, or self-massage. This has less to do with Pilates, but as a teacher with a bias towards recreational sports, I love to use and talk about it! Now there's no real scientific evidence that using a roller to release tight muscles or trigger points (knots) really works, but from personal experience (I tore my hamstring a few months ago playing silly party games!), daily use made a real difference to me, when nothing else was helping.
The aim is to use the roller (or a tennis ball or even a golf ball if you're tough enough!) to apply pressure to the muscle, in a slow, deliberate rolling motion in order to restore post-workout muscles to their original state; supple, tender, elastic (think about how you might bash a steak to tenderise it!) and ready to perform at a moments notice. The more it hurts the more you probably need it! With the roller you might have to contort yourself into a few strange positions to reach the part you want to. Now I'm not a massive fan of home-made exercise videos with step-by-step guides on what to do, for fear of promoting bad practice by the reader, but feel free to do a google browse (type in Foam Roller Exercises) for some exercises to try yourself. Reputable sites to try are running publications like Runners World. Just ensure you are rolling muscles and NOT over joints e.g the knee joint if you are rolling your hamstrings.
I use a high density EPP Foam Roller from Fitness Mad. It's 90cm long so good for Pilates and massage, but if you're only going to use it for the latter, you can get shorter rollers, and even versions with knobbles on which are amazing! (if you like that kind of thing). I do recall a teacher of mine telling me about a chrome roller (that's not a typo!) with a casing that goes into the freezer...hmmm..!!
One of my personal favourite positions is pictured here. This targets the ITB (not a muscle in itself) and the muscles that feed into the ITB, Gluteus Maximus (the buttock muscle) and the Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL). As a keen runner this is a must-do, as it can help to keep knees functional for longer! Again do a google search if you want to know how to do this.
If this interests you but you would really prefer some hands-on guidance, try my next Foam Roller Workshop - we cover both Pilates and a little Self-Massage. Just subscribe to my newsletter and you'll be informed of the next 2015 date!
It's been another fun week at My Local Pilates. We've been toning and sculpting with the Toning (aka "Magic") Circle, a great piece of classical Pilates equipment for toning upper arms, thighs, backs, bellies and bums! To my clients who haven't used the circle before I hope you enjoyed the classes - the toning circle is also a fantastic way of connecting to your centre; heightening awareness of the pelvic floor and a great teaching tool in correctly recruiting pelvic floor and abdominals. I do have these available to purchase if you wish to use one at home, just drop me a line!
So Rock and Roll...?!
My second "Pilates on the Foam Roller" workshop took place on Saturday at Victoria Park Harriers to a slightly dubious audience! Amongst my regulars were a couple of serious amateur cyclists and half-ironman (or woman!) in training. I know I'm an advocate of all things Foam Roller but it really is a fantastic way of challenging both athletes and the less-sporty alike. No matter how "fit" you are, you are just as likely (and sometimes more, if your sport dictates you working in an asymmetric manner) to have imbalances in the body which can result in a dominant and a weaker side, which may lead to problems later on. The most common reasons are muscular imbalances within the trunk and/or hips and both the spine and pelvis can be affected. The challenge is to identify if you are stronger or weaker on one side and if so by how much.
When we remove the support of the mat and lie supine on the roller, the very unstable Foam Roller can make simple exercises like Knee Folds and Leg Slides suddenly oh so challenging! For instance, doing several repetitions on the right leg before changing to the left will highlight which is more difficult and which feels more fluid and flowing. Knowledge is power. By recognising how you hold your body and whether you hold more tension in one side to the other can add wonders to your Pilates work on the mat!
If this all sounds just too scientific for a Saturday morning, there's one more selling point - less is more on the Foam Roller. All you need is to lie back, get into the "zone" and the roller will almost do the workout for you! We also did a few minutes Myofascial release or "Self-Massage" - probably the less said on this the better! Still, I'm keen to share the benefits, so more on this soon!!
Whilst a cool start to the week, My Local Pilates venues were hotting up nicely as both regulars and newcomers turned out in force for the start of new courses. A record number attended the Healthy Back course; I'm delighted that so many are facing pain head on by re-educating minds and bodies in a bid to combat a condition that's frustrating at best and distressing at worst. To find out more about the Back4Good program and Healthy Back group classes see About Back4Good and About Healthy Back.
After last week's amazing launch, Pilates at Chats Palace has officially begun! By Thursday temperatures had risen somewhat and beer gardens across Homerton and Clapton were calling out, so I congratulate everybody who came- we had a near 100% attendance!
Exercises performed in class are taken from a repertoire by Body Control Pilates. Whilst respecting the heritage of classical Pilates and the pioneer Joseph Pilates, my beginner/improver exercises are designed to be suitable for the modern body who spends much of the day sitting. That said, it's useful to be reminded of the end game (i.e. the classical work) and the exercises as they were performed in the day of Joseph. A fellow teacher shared this video and I'd love to share it with you. My added disclaimer is "don't try this at home" (and certainly not in my class!!).
On a final and personal note, teaching Pilates has become so much more than a means to pay the mortgage; it's a way of life that once embraced will influence everything you do. The way it acutely heightens your body awareness is astounding; the ability to move freely without tension and tight joints is almost an added bonus. To illustrate a point, I've recently begun rowing and can immediately appreciate the likeness of the mind-body connection within Pilates and that same mindfulness needed to row with perfect precision and alignment. Love it!! (and selling pitch over!!).
Welcome to my first blog post!
It seems only fitting that a new venue for My Local Pilates is celebrated by the beginning of my new blog. Last night saw the launch of 3 new Pilates classes at Chats Palace Arts Centre in Homerton, East London. A total of 34 Hackney residents came to try a class and to discover for themselves what Pilates is all about.
The atmosphere was as amazing as the venue itself. Classes took place in the upstairs mirrored dance studio, which benefits from a wonderful glass ceiling which creates a feeling of space and airiness and lends itself perfectly to pilates by creating a feeling of calm.
I thank everybody who supported me in this new venture, not least to the staff at Chats Palace who were so brilliant in promoting my the launch event through Twitter and Facebook. Thanks to everybody that joined in too.... you were all FANTASTIC and worked so hard. It was lovely to meet so many local people, with backgrounds as diverse as this small corner of Hackney. I hope today you are standing and sitting a little taller! You have already taken the first step to banishing your body of aches and pains so give yourself a pat on the back!
That's all from me - Friday is my own Pilates day, some well deserved "me-time" and a chance to relax, stretch, re-recuperate and re-energise for the week ahead. I'm also praying for the rain to stop as it's my final Learn2Row session today on the River Lea and I'm going to get very wet!