Mat Pilates is a very popular form of exercise thanks to its many benefits.
These benefits include
improved posture, coordination and balance
stronger core and flatter tummy
reduction/prevention of back pain
reduced stiffness and increase in mobility and flexibility
helps prevent injuries
improved performance in sports or dance
many have noticed it even helps them sleep better!
How is Pilates different to other toning mat classes? At beginner class you will learn the principles of Pilates: control, body alignment, neutral spine, core engagement, llateral thoracic breathing, precision and flow. Practicing these principles while performing Pilates exercises makes all the difference. Pilates looks and feels easy when not done correctly. That is why it is important Pilates class sizes are small and the teacher goes around correcting. When you get it right you really feel the exercises working your deeper core muscles; transversus abdominis, lumbar multifidus and the pelvic floor. These are the important muscles for improving your posture, reducing back pain. They act as your very own corset giving your spine support (and help you get a flatter tummy!) Even after one class you will stand a little bit taller and feel more relaxed in your body.
You will learn classic Pilates exercise repertoire along with modern Pilates exercises. We also use small equipment such as Pilates circles, weights, balls of varying sizes, blocks, resistance bands, foam rollers and hedgehogs. In higher level classes you explore all the 34 original exercises Joseph Pilates created, and learn new combinations of classic and modern exercises. You can also challenge yourself with small equipment which help take your practice to the next level. We work on a certain sequence of exercises for about 12 weeks, and both the warm up and the exercises become harder as the weeks go by. This approach means you will thoroughly learn the exercises and can really feel yourself improve.
If you have no prior experience, Beginner level is for you. If you have taken classes before and understand the basics, improver or improver/intermediate level is the right choice. If you have taken higher level classes elsewhere, join the intermediate/advanced level. All ages are welcome, but we also offer age 50+ classes.
Working at your own level.Pilates is a very self-focused, non-competetive class in a supportive and encouraging environment. It's a time for you to connect with your body and make it stronger at your own pace. Pilates is taught by layering each exercise. This means you will always have the right amount of challenge, even in a mixed ability class. If you have limitations to movement, such as a shoulder injury or arthritis in your wrists, we will give you adaptations or alternative exercises. Do you suffer from back pain and stiffness? Want to improve your posture? Have no health niggles but want to improve your strength, mobility and flexibility? No matter your background or goals, Pilates is for you!
Who was Joseph Pilates? He created a method he called "Contrology", now known as the Pilates method, in New York in the 1920s. At its core is the idea of the use of your mind to control your muscles. This includes focusing your attention on the deeper core postural muscles that help to keep the body balanced and provide support for the spine. Pilates described his method in the following way: “Contrology is not a system of haphazard exercises designed to produce only bulging muscles". It is an exercise and breathing regime that “develops the body uniformly, corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit.” You can read more about Joseph Pilates's life and legacy here.
Barre: Feel graceful while working hard!Barre has become very popular in the last few years. Our 45min Barre class consists of toning and strengthening exercises for the lower and upper body done mid-floor and at the ballet barre, while also working your core using the principles of Pilates core engagement and postural alignment. We work on a set of exercises choreographed to uplifting and energetic music for approximately 10 weeks, and they get progressively harder. This means you get to learn the exercises well and can really focus on correct form and pushing yourself harder each week. We use weighted balls, resistance bands, balance training equipment and Pilates circles to add resistance and challenge to the exercises. The class involves no jumping, so it is well suited to people with joint problems. Our Barre classes have no mat element, the whole class is done standing. We focus on small isometric movements, so there is less of a cardio component. You are still very likely to break a sweat! We thoroughly recommend taking both Barre and Pilates as we have designed them to perfectly compliment each other. Barre focuses on toning your legs and arms while Pilates strengthens and shapes your core. You get to work hard in all our Barre classes, but vibe wise Anna's Barre classes feel rather intense, whereas Rachel's class is more relaxing and mellow.
Barre+Core: 60min full body toning class. Don't have time to take both Pilates and Barre? Barre+Core is for you! First we do a selection of Barre exercises mid-floor and at the barre. The second half of the class focuses on the core on the mat, not forgetting some upper body work as well. The mat exercises are a mix of classic and modern Pilates inspired exercises choreographed to uplifting and fun music. Barre+core is more energetic and faster paced than Pilates. However, 50+ Barre+Core is more mellow compared to the Tuesday class. You don't need prior barre, dance or Pilates experience.
Our Barre and Barre+Core classes are taught by Anna and Rachel, both qualified Pilates instructors with 15+ years dance experience.
Vinyasa Flow: Find your calm while improving mobility and strength. Maureen's Vinyasa Flow links breath and movement in a mix of strong dynamic posture sequences, ending with restorative and energising asanas. The class focus will vary each class. Modifications will be offered to cater for all levels and abilities. Find yourself feeling less stiff, standing taller and relaxed. Suitable for all levels, no previous experience is required. Maximum of 8 people in class, with attention given to each client. Mats and equipment are provided, but feel free to bring your own mat if you wish.
Gentle Stretch classes. We have both Yoga and Pilates inspired gentle and slow paced stretch classes, suitable for all levels. You'll first do either a Yoga or Pilates warm up to get the body loosened up and ready for the calming and relaxing stretches that follow. The Pilates Stretch class will also have a core strengthening component, although the focus in on stretching. You don't need prior Pilates or Yoga experience.
75min Deep Stretch workshops This relaxing evening workshop with Anna runs on a Tuesday or Wednesday 8.15-9.30pm, please check the Workshops section on the booking site for dates. Max 8 participants. We start with a gentle warm-up to prepare the muscles, spine and joints. In order to reach a deeper stretch, we then massage away tension and muscle knots using hedgehogs (soft half spheres with spikes); working on upper back, lower back, gluteals and hamstrings depending on the focus of the workshop that day. We then do longer developmental stretches to create length in the loosened areas we worked on. We use straps, circles, Swiss balls and blocks to help with the stretches. We also explore PNF techniques for stretching.