Category Archives: Pilates Classes

All news on classes at Pilates with Jackie

Spring into a new body……with Pilates

Well the spring is officially upon us, though I am quite sure the bad weather  is not done with us yet!  Looking out at all the blossom and having seen such a fantastic display of daffodils this year maybe I am wrong.  However with the spring comes the urge to purge…….bad habits, weight, clutter and lazy muscles!!  Well,  good news, Pilates can help with some of those.

Spring is an ideal opportunity to find a new fitness regime and what better way than to ease into it with a one-to-one session Pilates session in the comfort of your own home.  I can come a long at a convenient time and discuss what you think your problems are regarding exercise and your body.  I can run through  all your questions and fears and we can check out your strengths and weakness’s so we can get you moving in the right direction and strart re-aligning and re-shaping your muscles.

Spring time gives me a determination to get as fit as possible for those lighter evenings and the promise of some sunshine. The unburdening of all those winter jumpers  is like shedding your winter coat and becoming “leaner”.  Pilates helps with toning the muscles to become leaner and stronger, ready for the summer months when I can spend more time out doors………yes, even when the good old British weather doesn’t play fair.

Spring also is an invitation to start eating more healthily again.  I always struggle in the winter months because I feel I need to eat more to keep warm……a myth I’m sure, but my excuse and I’m sticking to it!!  I have my juicer out again and have really cut out a lot of sugar from my diet.  A difficult one for me as a real sugar-holic!!  I am also trying to increase my water intake and decrease the coffee, tea and …….gingerbeer!  I knew it was sugary but whoa, not that much!  Tying to add fresh ginger to my juicing and lemon to my water, great for internal cleansing and digestion.  And soon it will be salad season, and I can resist the pasta/potatoe urge for some greenery.  Love it!

So, hoping Spring is an incentive to you all too.  To get fit, ditch the sugar, and join a Pilates class!Downward facing Dog with Jackie Brealey

 

Welcome to Mr Pilates

The Pilates method practised by so many of us now in so many towns, counties and throughout the world all origionated because of one determined and special man, Joseph Pilates.  Mr Pilates himself was in fact German and born in 1880,  into a woking class famly in Dusseldorf.  There is little known about his family and childhood except for the fact he was a sickly child and reprted to have suffered from rickets, ashma and reumatic fever but by the age of 14 he managed to re-build his body enough to pose for anatomical drawings.

Joseph used the influence of a new awareness of health and exercise of the time to explore the physical effects of strength and gymnastic training on the body and mind.  He devised through his own transformation his method of mind/body training.  He came to England in his 30’s and worked as a circus performer and a boxer amongst other things, one of those being a fitness teacher to detectives in the Police force.

When war broke out he was interned but continued to expand his knowledge and fitness methods, practising on other internees.  And during this time he designed the “reformer’.  A machine to be used as a help to strenghten muscles with the use of pulleys and springs, helping work with assistance or resistance and  this machine is very much a part of the pilates studio world now and a brilliant aid to body fitness and alignment.

Mr Pilates was convinced there was a connection between poor posture, sedantry lifestyles and ill health, and studied many forms of exercise and fitness such as yoga, bodybuilding and even acrobatics to use as a whole body exercise experience.  The need to engage mind and body and use flowing movements and slower fewer repetitions can help you contol your body.    Used correctly and regularly it helps to re-align, reshape and repair bad posture, weak muscles restore a balanced and stronger body.

The most common phrase I hear when new clients either come to watch classes or when they watch me teaching them basic exercises in assessments is “oh you made that look so easy………..and it’s not is it!!”  No it’s not, I have been doing Pilates for 20 years and teaching for 10 and I still find certain things challenging.  Yes, injuries can make things difficult but with the right kind or re-conditioning at class or in a one to one session you can start to help make the changes you need in your body to get back to your best “you” physically.  No, it will not happen over night and you will have to work hard for it but with the right kind of direction from your Pilates instructor and a willingness to see it through then anything is possible.  Mr Pilates proved that in his own body and in all his students.  Photographs of his students before and after his teaching really do show incredible results in body alignmnent and muscle definition and strength.

Mr Pilates was certainly an inspitation to me and all my fellow instructors, and now to my clients too.  An inspiration to want to do better, to re-align, reshape and repair my body, and to keep going because even when I have made one target I know there will always be more challenges so i can set new targets.

Sadly Joseph Pilates passed away in 1967 from smoke inhalation whilst trying to save some of his studion equipment in a fire.  He was 87 and in great physical shape and I see no reason to believe he would not have gone on many many years more.  I have clients in the 70’s and 80’s who are amazing and have really increased their movement and strength as a result of their Pilates.  It is an exercise regime for all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels.  Joseph Pilates was a true inspiration.  Come and join me at a class or have a one to one and be inspired too.

high spine curl with arms extended and single leg extension

Pilates for runners

 

Pilates for runners

Why runners should do Pilates
We’ve got the lowdown on all things Pilates and why it’s so good for runners.

by Georgia Scarr

“What is Pilates?

Pilates is often compared to yoga, but they actually have very different backgrounds. While yoga is a centuries-old practice with close links to spirituality, Pilates is a mind and body conditioning technique developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. Classes feature exercises to improve core stability and encourage healthy posture. Various pieces of equipment such as stability balls, resistance bands, foam rollers and Pilates studio equipment, like Reformers, may be used.

“What we’re really trying to do is teach people how to move better,” says Lynne Robinson, co-founder and director of Body Control Pilates. “We have three fundamentals – the ABCs. One is correcting the alignment of the body (A), then working on your breathing (B) and centring (C), which is core stability.”

Why should runners do Pilates?

Core stability is essential for good running technique and to help avoid injury. “In terms of runners, sometimes a slight imbalance in the body will go on to create problems because it’s such a repetitive movement that you’re doing. Even a small adjustment in your posture or in your core stability can make a huge impact,” says Robinson.

What’s the difference between matwork Pilates and Reformer Pilates?

Both classes work the same muscles in the same way, but just with different challenges. Matwork takes place on the floor and can be done without any equipment or with small items to make it more challenging (such as balls, bands and rollers). Reformer classes use Universal Reformers (see one here). These are frame structures with springs and pulleys that provide resistance as exercises are carried out, and give a symmetrical grid to work in.

What are the benefits of each kind?

With Reformers, the closed chain environment provides a particularly effective workout. “We can really work on correcting hip, knee and ankle alignment, and improving the tracking of the knee”, Robinson says. “Particularly useful for runners with knee problems, we can focus on the vastus medialis obliquus, one of your quadriceps. Even though runners often get strong quads, this stabilising muscle can be weak. There’s also a Reformer attachment called a jump board, which is great for improving your running action.”

In terms of matwork, Robinson says the main benefit is “you can do matwork anywhere, in particular before and after your run. Unless you live above a studio you won’t have access to the equipment 24/7.” Additionally, Pilates accessories are widely available to buy if you wish to supplement your routine.

“With the Reformer, you probably get slightly quicker results than you will do just doing the matwork, however realistically most runners are not going to have access to a Reformer before and after they run. So, what they’ve got to do is come up with a few simple exercises to do.”

 

 

New Year, new start, new you!

Happy New Year to everyone out there.  I hope all those of you who were poorly over the festive season are all better  now.  All the decorations are down (even if not packed away)  and we are all ready for a positive January.   All those choccies and mince pies are eaten and  looking forward to new start with an exercise regime ready for a post Christmas body and a new you!

On a personal note,  my own 2016  had a negative start this week!!!.  Another vendor pulling out in exchange week……how unlucky can we be on the moving house front.  What did we do to deserve all this hassle with trying to buy a new home!  We are doing our best to keep busy and stay focused in the hope that this will all turn out for the best……eventually, but quite hard at the moment to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  So, only one thing for it, forget it, line myself up with more work, throw ourselves back out there and start having some fun.  We have been so long in limbo, we have foregone our social life somewhat.  We are now on house 3, so fingers crossed 3rd time lucky!

Pink mat with Jackie Brealey

And, throwing myself into work I am looking at running some more Pilates sessions in January, in Bagshot, Ascot, and Bisley.  Had some great holiday cover sessions at Pennyhill and the Berystede and and going to use my spare time to do a massive leaflet drop in Bisley, West End, Chobham and Lightwater, and the surrounding area to encourage those people who have thought about Pilates but not quite got around to actually doing it, to pick up the phone and join a class.  Good exercise for me amd hopefully bring some more bodies to the Pilates “table”.  Everyone needs a fresh, new start at this time of the year and what better way to kick off your 2016 fitness regime with a Pilates session or classes.  I know I am not alone in this as I have already had a lot of enquiries about assessements and class timeables.  We all need a little help to get motivated and what better way to do that than with a PIlates class.

Eagle radio had a successful Advent competition, with some great advertising for local business, me being one of them, offering classes or one-to-one Pilates as one of the prizes.  I am looking forward to meeting the lady who won all 24 advent day prizes.  Congratualations Claire.

Lets do it people, new year, new start, new you!!

Just want to wish my gorgeous hubby a very happy 7th Wedding anniversary.  Love you more than ever x

2015, last post …………

Well, it has been a hectic month or two.  I have been very remiss again with my updates.

Star Pilates with Jackie Brealey

We had our lovely American friend staying all November, consequently all our spare time was spent shopping and sightseeing with Marilyn.  And a great time was had by all!  I have spent more time shopping in November than in the the last 5 years……phew, the lady can shop, I was on my knees.  Talk about last post, last legs I think.  We did have a fantastic month though so i’m not complaining. We went for cocktails and a fab meal up the Shard.  The Christmas decorations were stunning and the food delicious, and we decided two sweets were probably enough between the three of us (we all have small appetites!).  Fell about laughing when they turned up and they weren’t big enough to feed a sparrow!!

December was equally busy, have to admit there was quite a bit of partying as well as working!  I had some great fun in the classes on the run up to Christmas despite quite a few being off poorly.  And I was lucky enough to be covering quite a few classes at Pennyhill and the Berystede.  2015, has been great year workwise, the cover classes and all my own clients. This is my last post for 2015 and I want to thank everyone for their support and attendance in this last year.  Love you guys.

Wishing everyone a great new year, and may 2016 bring you all the health and happiness………..and Pilates you could wish for. 🙂

Endings and fresh starts!

Well, it has sure been a rollercoaster year with highs and lows, excitement and dissapointment!  Hopefully coming up to the festive season we can we can forget about all the crap and stress ONE woman caused us for nearly nine months over our hopes to move house and truely move on!

It has been like a year in limbo, waiting for something that we eventually realised was never going to happen.  Why put your house on the market, spend 8 months going through the motions and then going to ground at the last hurdle!  Finally 4 days after our supposed exchange date she emailed to say she was withdrawing……no reason, no apology, no consience and no manners.  There really should be a change of law and practice in this country with house sales.  I guess I am naive enough to believe there is some good in everyone, I have amazing family, friends and clients and they all have the same values and morals as me and therefore I was shocked she could have been so aweful.  And so………

We have found another house, resold ours, everything is moving forward (hopefuly with no hiccups this time!)  Endings and fresh starts!

Pilates classes are all going fabulously……..that is mostly due to my great and lovely hardworking clients.  There have been some pretty horrible things going on in other people’s lives and my problems pale by comparison.  I am humbled by the strength and determination of some of my peeps to keep going when things appear so hopeless…..they know who they are and I I hope they are out of the worst and moving forward on more posotive notes.   It is very difficult not to be moved by other people’s plght’s knowing what they face and I hope in some tiny part I have been able to help with a shoulder, an ear and an exercise or two!  Love you guys, you do inspire me……..Endings and fresh starts!  Keep possitive!

Floating Arms with Jackie Brealey

It has been a pleasure to teach not only my own classes but so many cover classes at the Berystede and Penyhill Park.   And now due to a moving on of one of the instructors at the Berystede I am very privaliged to now have one of my own classes to teach there on a Friday morning.  I will still be available for cover here and elsewhere but it is great to be a permanant part of the team there.  Best of luck Gary for your future classes.  Endings and fresh starts!

And finally some Pilates news…….. I have had a suprise call from a certain local radio station about being part of their Christmas promotion.  Very excited about that, great advertising for me and I love the music they play!  Will let you know more soon……….Watch this space…….No endings but could be some fresh starts!!!

Keep up the good work Pilates peeps!!

 

Gently does it……..

Well, we eased back into the Pilates swing of things slowly.  Very slowly on my part after mislaying the key to the hall of my first class!  That is one of the problems of having a partly packed up house for moving!  Will this this house move ever, well…..MOVE!

My classes were all back to normal though some of my venues were swapped about a bit!  August is always a funny month,  both with clients and the school children on holidays.  School holidays always affect my lovely people with children as they sometimes can’t make daytime classes, and affects some of my Pilates venues as one is in  a Children’s Club hall and another does maintenance ALL August!  Very inconvenient!  I do try and remind my ladies and gents of the venue changes, however I still have people occasionally turning up in the wrong place!  Always sorted by a quick text or phonecall.  Brains always go on holiday in August too, and sometimes mine!!

I did say I would be lenient with them all and ease them in gently with slightly easier exercises, however I didn’t make it too easy.  Gotta keep them on their toes, and I did get a few text’s saying certain ‘things’ ached.  However One or two this morning said they felt fine after last week’s class…….so I soon fixed that.  Had them surrepticiously clock watching and wishing for after class coffee ‘rewards’.   That’ll teach you!!

It wasn’t all tough stuff though, this week.  I have been doing some foot and leg alignment work with the therabands, which I also ‘took’ with me to the classes I covered at the Berystede.  I like covering the Berystede,  the ladies and gents are so welcoming and always open to the challenges set by a slightly different set of exercises from a different teacher.  I have a lot of cover classes there this week and a lot more for the rest of the month.  I love my own clients but it is always great to meet new Pilates people and help with their particular body problems too.  Re-align, re-shape, repair really does apply to everyone in one form or another.  As tough or as gentle as you need it to be with your body.

high spine curl with arms extended and single leg extension

And……..Gently does it, doesn’t really apply to the rest of the week, hey people, you have had enough time for “gently”, so from now on, for those who want the challenge, it’s gonna be hard!

See you soon!

Pilates time is here again……

‘Hey everybody, I’m back!!  From the sunny Mid-West (America, not England, obviously)

We had a fantastic time on holiday,  staying with our very good friends Jerry and Marilyn in St Louis, U.S.A.  They were their usual fab hosts. After an unbelievable long travelling day with a 5 hour stopover wait in Chicago we finally arrived at 9 in the evening on 6th ready for sun , ‘floatin’ in the lake and  great company.  The weather was  pretty pants for the first 3 days and I was beginning to wonder if the weather was ever going to get better!!!  Then, the sun came out and we breathed a great sigh of relief and boy did the sun shine, it sure did get hot!!  It was very humid and sticky but where better to spend hot sticky days but on the lake, so we packed our cossies and headed South to the cabin close to Kinkaid lake in Ava, Illionois.  Well, the entire holiday was pretty much spent  in the water, consequently I now look quite pruney,  tanned but pruney!  I’m a raison!!

Needless to say we didnt get much Pilates time in or any other exercise for that matter…..well unless you call balancing on a ‘floaty’ for 6 hours a day exercise.  I will tell you that does engage the tummy muscles! But boy we did have some funtime…..and beer, quite a lot of beer, and soooo…… now I need to get my body back into shape! So:-

‘Pilates time is here again,  get into class and bring a friend,

It’s tough but fun and you know when

You’ve have a good class you’ll feel such gains! ‘

It is time to don that exercise wear, remember those Pilates moves and re-engage those abs!

Seriously Pilates people,  classes resume  next week starting Monday 9.30,  so see you all next week.  I’ll be gentle with you………….maybe…..

For those who did carry on Pilate-ing while I was away, highly commendable,  I hope the wee Pilate’s exercise routine I left with you was at least practised occasionally. And for those who didn’t….oh well, we can ‘re-intoduce’ you! Pilates peeps who come to class I’ll see you next week, and those of you who don’t, well, I hope to see you in the future.

Jak’s back!!Downward facing Dog with Jackie Brealey

 

 

Pilates exercises at home

A great week in class this week, although the weather did make it quite difficult to do anything too strenuous.  So i concentrated on standing, balace and footwork.  It meant we didnt overheat too much.  We did intersperse it with some classical exercises but the heat and dehydration did mean many of my clients had bad cramp.  Ladis and gents more fluid is needed when it is hot, and i don’t mean alcohol!!

So, as I am now away for a few weeks, my lovely ladies and gents will be left to their own devices!  I am sure there will be a few to busy or away themselves but for those of you wanting to keep in the spirit them maybe try Pilates at home with a few exercises every other day or a couple of time a week just to keep the strength and flexibility going.

Day 1.  Start with balancing on one leg and hold for up to a minute using the core, repeat with the other leg.  Side bends x 2 each side followed by standing arm openings 4 each side.  Then onto all fours and 4 repetitions each side of threading the needle followed by 4 cat stretches.  Onto the back and 10 spine curls.  Single leg stretch 12 repetions (reps), double leg stretch 12 reps,  Hip rolls 6 either side.  Turn over onto the front and 6 dart, followed by 6 cobra or diamond press.  Then onto the side for 8 side leg lifts on both sides. Back up to standing for 2 roll downs.  10 or fifteen minutes and you are set for the day.  A few exercises everyday will help keep you in shape.

Cat stretch flexion with Jackie Brealey

I will be thinking of you doing your Pilates exercises at home, hopefully some of you will do something!!

Well, that is me done for a couple of weeks now as I am off on holiday.  I will be teaching out in the USA as the my friend we are staying with has asked me to teach her a few exercisesto use regularly to improve her core stability and stregth and flexibility.  I’m looking forward to that, though I am sure we will still be chilling, swimming and filling with a few cocktails.

St Loius here we come!!

See ya’ll in a few weeks x

Highways and holidays

inside thigh stretch with Jackie BrealeyEvening all, end of another great week.  Well a great week Pilates wise……….NOT moving house wise.   Good thing it has been another busy weekor I may just have gone insane!  How can it take one solicitor so long to complete this, such incompetance!  Not my solicitor I might add, but our vendors.  With only a week before we hit the highway and head off on holiday to the U.S. it is incredibly frustrating to still not have a moving date!  He now is insisting his clients have somehow sent the documents somewhere other than his office.  It’s is enought o make you want to commit murder!!

Anyway rant over, my lovely clients have kept me sane this week with hard work and encouraging words….and even flowers, thank you Joy.

We had another week of footwork, with lots of glutes and (abs, obviously).  Had some good feedback from one of my ladies who has nerve damage in her back with the result of a dropped foot,  and all the work we have been doing has really improved her strength and movement.  It’s  good to know it is helping.  All the glutework will help re-align the body and in turn help reduce back pain.  Been quite amusing watching people trying to engage glutes without tucking their pelvis under.  I do love the concentration on the faces.

Four point kneeling with leg extension with Jackie Brealey

On a very positive note I have had a lot of enquiries on my website about classes and private sessions and introduced some new ladies to my classes.  In a traditionally quiet time of the year with the holiday season started  nice to know I am still busy, thank you people.

May have to think about starting a new  class!

Last but not least, I have had a number of emails about holiday  cover at Pennyhill and the Berystede…..and there was me thinking August was going to be a quiet month.  Love it, great to be busy.

Enjoy your weekend everyone.

 

 

 

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