Category Archives: One on One

Pilates for everyone

Toning circle Pilates with Jackie BrealeyWell, we have now been in the new house for over 6 months, and it feels like all the nightmare’s we faced in the whole process are far and away behind us.  We LOVE it here and I guess eveyone did tell us it all happens for a reason, and I have to now reluctantly agree, we did end up with the best of the lot.  So nice to be able to now  be making it our own (much decorating needed to bring it into this centuary, you would not believe the layers of embossed wallpaper) and concentrate on teaching more people Pilateswithjackie !!

It has been a difficult few months with family emergencies and many of my lovely people off with nasty bugs and now hoping that all this is behind us as the month progresses.

I have had a wonderful response to my website and facebook page and so many enquiries from people wanting to join “my gang”.  I have felt very privileged with all the compliments on how much my classes and 1:1’s have helped and although there are always people that move on for one reason or another I have increased all my class sizes and have a great full class at another school.  Massive thanks to Sabrina for ringing the praises of the Pilates effect on her body and encouraging the teachers to join her in a brand new class at the Hermitage school near Woking.

I have had more enquiries in December than ever before and again this last week, that I am beginning to feel I need more hours in the day to fit in the assesments……but hey I’m not complaining.

I also have a lovely husband and wife team I teach at their home.  It is a late session but I have to admit they are so entertaining that this matters not.  They are very competative, and funny but work incredibly hard and this makes it a joy to teach them.

My class at the Berystede is proving very popular with people fighting (metaphorically speaking – they don’t actually resort to fisticuffs in the hallways) to get on to the list.

We have quite a few more guys in the classes now and I believe the biggest improvements I see in bodies are usually in the guys.  The benefits far outweigh the ‘stigma’ of joining what most deemed to be a ‘ladies’ exercise regime.  They know know its not just for the girls, Pilates is for everyone!!

So people, expect more!!  We will see the return of the roller next week.  The toning circles have been fun this week, and mighty hard work.  Even my glutes have been complaining|!!


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

Re-alignment with Pilates in Surrey.

Well, i have to admit i have been very remiss of late and not blogged for a while!   I really shouldn’t worry as too little time to blog means more time teaching!  But i do like to keep you all abreast of what is going on.

I have had some lovely new clients over the past few weeks, some who I already knew and some who I didnt.  Aways great to know that when friends and aquantances start talking about body and health issues I can offer them some help and relief in the shape of a class or one to one Pilates training.

So many people seem to have back, neck and hip problems and even those who have started recently are already reaping the benefits of Pilates exercise for strengthening the core and becoming more flexable with tight muscles.  That is what is so good about the Pilates method,  you can do start to re-align bad posture,  re-shape “loose” tums and bums and repair (over time) bad muscle patterns right away.

Re-alignment, that is the key to good posture and less body problems.

I have also had had four new ladies starti over the last few weeks and they have now joined classes to get their bodies into Pilates mode and on the way to improvement.  I am very lucky to have such welcoming clients in my classes and they always make my newbies feel right at home and comfortable.

We have done a lot of footwork and tums this last week, I know because I have felt the work myself.  We have had more ‘flow’ in the classes this week which invariable means more work! Love it!

inside thigh stretch with Jackie Brealey
Thighs, legs and footwork

On the home front the house move is looking more positive,  although I am at complete odds to understand how on earth it has taken so long to get to this point and STILL not have a moving date.  Rubbish!  Don’t worry, though, I am not going far people, only Ash Green, so tripping back to Bisley, will not take me long.  Who knows I may be able to start a class or two Ash Green way!

Poor hubby came off (my) Harley 2 weeks ago, after a very scary problem with the front fender, he has a very bruised body but glad to report no lasting damage to his re-alignment!!……….though a fair bit to the bike!  I can help his body but the bike is way beyond my capabilities….that I will leave to the garage!

Hope everyone has had a great weekend and is ready for another great Pilates week!


Being strong … the face of adversity!

And so, a great week of ab work.  Really worked hard on trying to make strong transverse muscles in class and  I think we may do the same next week too!  Loved hearing “good luck with the ab work” as the early class left, to the late class arriving on Tuesday evening,  and Thursday’s early class all yawning on their way out…..noted by the late class!

Purple top with Jackie Brealey

Also on a weird note, pleased to clear up the ‘manic’ ticking clock problem at the early class, which caused some mirth.  Which in fact turned out to be the computer palying a childs game through the head set with the screen off!!

Very proud of all my classes and private people this week, well done everyone!  I am very lucky to have such a great bunch of ladies and gents to work with.  The dedication and determination of certain people astound me,  and invariably in those who achieve so much in the face of adversity!

I have a lady with MS who I really admire.  There is no such thing as ‘taking things easy’ in her book.  Despite the physical problems she lives with, she faces each session with a passion I have seldom seen.  She listens to everything I say and adjusts her body position regardless of how difficult this may be.  I love teaching her, and find she teaches me right back.  I learn about the condition beyond anything I was taught on any course and she inspires me to try and help ease the problems she faces in everyday life.  Classic Pilates is not easy or even possible in many MS cases, but the exercises can be adapted to try and help strengthen some of the muscles that don’t work the way they should, or just to ease the problems they face.  But often it is not just the exercise that makes us strong, sometimes it is an attitude and a strong attitude can help make a strong body!

I am humbled by her and she has now become a very good friend.  I love her company and her drive to make things work better.  She has a wonderful sense of humour and she puts life into perspective, if shecan be so strong in the face of her condition then who am I to complain about the niggles in my body.  Everybody needs an awe-inspiring client who makes their Pilates teaching an even better experience and although I know she would be embarrassed to hear me say it but she really is mine.


One to one and more!

Well, what a week that was.  Well done to all my clients for your hard effort this week.

Pilates classes included the new leg and core sequence, and judging by the grunts and sighs,  it’s all working you properly!

Update on my ‘fallen’ lady,  she’s very bruised and won’t be doing any ‘glute’ exercises for a week or two but feeling better, thank goodness.

I had a new Pilates client this week and we did a one to one before she joined into Friday’s Pilates class.
Good to see the class is expanding in numbers now, and if you know anyone who would like to join on a Friday at 10.30, then pass on my contact details.

Always room for more!