Tag Archives: classes

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

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. 🙂

Working hard at the development weekend!

Well as another weekend draws to a close, i’m left wondering where it went lol! Actually I did pack a fair bit in!! After a lovely full week of classes, and a new lady on Tuesday (whose name I will never forget as its the same as yours truely) good to see you Jackie! One client with a suspect broken toe and a couple with bugs……..yes the cold evenings are taking their toll! Everyone working hard …….as always…..And yes I too worked hard on Saturday morning! I’m sure all my people will be pleased to know I was working  my butt off in a class at the anual Pilates Body Control development weekend. I woke this morning with a aching glutes and legs! Yes it hurts me too when I do a whole class! Had a taste of my own medicine!  Also had 3 very interesting lectures on the benefits of Pilates as a tool to combat backpain and from a surgeon who operates on spinal problems. The surgeon was very entertaining, funny and very engaging. Usually my mind wanders but he really kept me interested, so much so I actually stayed beyond finishing time to watch a cervical disc operation on film! Not my thing normally (bit queezy usually) but it really was fascinating stuff. The guy really enthused abiout his work. But also great to know he respects the stuff we Pilates instructors are trying to do to help with back pain and movement. And good to see the problems that people cope with on a surgical scale so we are more aware of what we have to deal with in class sometimes,  and how we are working them.
Sunday morning and we met up on the bikes to attend a Bike awareness meet run by Guildford Fire Station. Slight hiccup with a couple of bikes, resilting in a broken thumb which needs surgery (not mine, phew). And daughters bulldog pup! She has returned home this evening so relief from the mad hairy one! Again phew!!

Guess not all working!  All work and no play makes Jak a very dull gal!
Off to bed now, ready for another Pilates week! Nght peeps 🙂

 

Downward facing Dog with Jackie Brealey

Pilates in the Press

Well hello everyone.

Hope you are all enjoying this August Bank Holiday weekend despite the weather which is only good for ducks!!

I would love to have been out and about on the Harley or in the garden but this dingy low pressure has really put paid to the summer hasn’t it!  So instead I have worked!  I have been covering classes at Pennyhill Spa and The Berystede over the weekend, and not minded one iota as we couldn’t ride out!  Love covering these classes, I get to meet lots of lovely new people ……and teach a few I already know.  They have really worked hard over the last four days and I have to say, “very proud of them”!

Classes have been quiet over August with so many away on their holidays (and a few”injured”).  Loking forward to seeing most people back a regular classes this week and I believe most people have returned from their travels.  For those who have been reguarly attending classes in August, it was business as usual and a lot of hard work………as always! Thank you for not making me Billy no mates in the the last few classes!

There have been a few articles in the press recently about Pilates.  Pilates to help the menaupause, Pilates to help back pain in the over 40’s  and Pilates for balance.  Always great to be endorsed by the press for Pilates exercise, particularly as practioners and knowing how much it has helped with so many body issues.  We have to remember how many Footballers, Rugby players and Tennis players who regularly practice the Pilates methodology and how it can help with alignment and repair in the body.

Side leg lifts with Jackie Brealey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a copy of one of the articles in Press written by Lisa Rapaport.

(Reuters Health) – Older women with lower back pain who add pilates to their physical therapy routine may see improvements in balance and reductions in fear of falling that don’t result from other types of exercise, a Spanish study suggests.

Researchers followed about 100 women aged 65 and older, offering all of them physiotherapy twice a week with 40 minutes of nerve stimulation and 20 minutes of massage and stretching exercises. Half the women also received hour-long pilates sessions twice a week.

After six weeks, the women who did pilates reported a reduced fear of falling, while the other women didn’t. Pilates was also linked to greater improvements in balance and reductions in back pain.

“Pilates exercises focus not only on physical but also on psychological development, and mind-body interaction is the main principal of the method,” lead author Dr. Fidel Hita-Contreras of the University of Jaen in Spain said by email.

Millions of people worldwide suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives, and the risk increases with age. Symptoms can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden sharp pain that makes it difficult to move.

Fear of falling is a major health problem among the elderly, associated not only with actual risk of falling but also with less physical activity, avoidance of daily activities, and lower quality of life, Hita-Contreras and colleagues note in the journal Maturitas.

Pilates uses a series of controlled movements to improve core strength, posture and balance. The exercises concentrate on strengthening muscles in the lower and upper back, hips, buttocks and inner thighs.

Although pilates is widely recommended by doctors and physical therapists as a tool to improve balance and reduce falls, few studies have evaluated its effectiveness in women over 65 living with back pain, the researchers note.

At the start of the study, the women were about 71 years old on average and generally within a healthy weight range. Most were married, almost half had at least some college education, and slightly less than a third were still working.

Researchers used a questionnaire to assess fear of falling at the start and end of the study.

To detect changes in balance, researchers gave the women a timed test requiring them to stand up from a chair, walk three meters, turn around, and sit down again. They also questioned women about pain associated with these activities.

The study is small, and the results may not apply to younger women, the researchers acknowledge. More studies are also needed to evaluate the long-term effects of pilates, the authors note.

Still, the results add to evidence that pilates can have a positive impact on balance after less than two months of workouts, said Cherie Wells, a physiotherapy researcher at the University of Canberra in Australia who wasn’t involved in the study.

“While improvements may be even greater with a longer pilates exercise program, women may find improvements as early as six weeks,” Wells said by email. “I would think, though, that it is important to maintain strength and fitness with ongoing exercise to prevent decline in the future.”

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1K2NNoa Maturitas, published online August 3, 2015.

 

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 for a healthy back

Pilates exercise promotes good back health, among other things of course! The exercises teach good alignment of the spine and strengthening of the deep postural muscles which when weak can cause pain in the back, neck and other joints.
Pilates improves strength, flexibility and mobility and can teach awareness of good movement patterns in the spine and other joints.
Classes once (or twice a week if you have time) can really benefit your body by learning postural awareness and building up strength in your deep core muscles. This strength and good alignment learnt form your Pilates exercises can then be taken away with into your everyday life, and decrease the chance of back pain in your work or leisure time.

Leg extension with Jackie Brealey

Individuals with significant back problems may benefit form several one to one sessions. This also may be the case with beginners, and while private sessions may be more expensive than a class, the time and money may well be worth the investment to tailor make the exercises to suit your problems and ability.
All in all, these principles of good movement patterns for the back and joints are taught in some of the simplest exercises of the Pilates method.
If you are interested in learning more then come a long to a class either before work or in an evening and i can help point you in the right direction!
You can contact me on my website here or message me on my pilateswithjackie Facebook page.
Kick start your healthy back program by joining one of my Pilates classes or in a one to one session.