When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?
Being a Kiwi kid I probably wanted to be a sports star of some description. Certainly not a sheep farmer!!
What inspired you to become a Pilates teacher?
I enjoyed the graceful movement practice when I first tried Pilates and loved the strength it gave me. To me it was obvious how this exercise system could benefit so many people.
What’s your favourite thing about teaching?
Watching people improve their posture and move their bodies efficiently without any aches or pains.
What’s your least favourite thing about teaching?
When people think its just a stretching class, Pilates is soooo much more than that. It’ll look after your whole body.
What’s your favourite Pilates exercise? Why?
I don’t have a favourite..I have favourites! One of them being Teaser performed on the Cadillac. I like how strong it makes you feel and it challenges your control, developing coordination and balance.
What Pilates exercise do you like the least? Why?
Seal from the Matwork. I always feel a bit ridiculous rolling around clapping my feet together!
Describe your teaching style in less than ten words.
Relaxed, supportive and encouraging with precise movement cues.
What are your top three tips for a client starting out with Pilates?
Relax – Don’t tense up to move.
Breathe – Just breathe! Don’t get too hung up on the breath patterns at first.
Ask Questions – Always ask your instructor if you don’t understand the movement.
What are your top three tips for clients on progressing their Pilates practice?
Regular and consistent practice is important to see progress. Make sure your form is good and check in with your instructor regularly. Which leads to number 2, try to perfect an exercise before attempting the next level, this is what Joe Pilates would have demanded. And finally to help you get there ask your instructor about preparatory exercises to prepare your body for the more advanced work.
Who is someone who inspires you? Why?
Heather Swan. An Australian lady who took up base jumping to overcome her fears, very extreme but her courage and tenacity in this quest is amazing and inspiring. She has a book and documentary about her journey.
When you’re not teaching what do you like to do?
As I’m not native to this little island (I’m from New Zealand originally) I like to go exploring around the green countryside with my husband and dog in tow.
Tell us one thing we might not know about you.
It used to be part of my job to go and collect bags of blood from a hospital ward, bring them back to my lab where I’d happily play around with the blood spiking it with different drugs. In my white lab coat, with my dorky safety glasses on and pens lined up neatly in my breast pocket, a real lab nerd!