When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?
A business woman.
What inspired you to become a Pilates teacher?
My instructor encouraged me down the teaching route after I’d attended his classes for a few years.
What’s your favourite thing about teaching?
The ‘ahhhaaaa’ moments with clients.
What’s your least favourite thing about teaching?
If I’m teaching then I’m not practicing – I get jealous of the people in the class!
What’s your favourite Pilates exercise? Why?
The Teaser – I love anything that challenges my abs.
What Pilates exercise do you like the least? Why?
Leg Pull Front – my upper body strength leaves a lot to be desired (something I’m working hard on!)
Describe your teaching style in less than ten words.
Would one word do? “Empowering” – I like to think I empower people to take control of their own movement.
What are your top tips for a client starting out with Pilates?
1. Start at the beginning – it’s a very good place to start. I’m the competitive type, I like to be pushed (the tougher the better!) but Pilates is the one discipline where quality really does trump quantity. I did 2 beginners courses of 10 weeks each before I moved on to the next level which gave me a really good foundation for my Pilates practice. Regardless of fitness levels, start at the start. And don’t worry about rushing through the levels. Doing the basics right can be every bit as challenging as an intermediate class. Be patient – there’ll be plenty of time to push yourself.
2. Sweat the small stuff! Contrary to what might be the case in normal everyday life, it’s the small stuff that matters in Pilates – alignment, posture, core engagement, breathing, neutral pelvis… all the small building blocks that make it a discipline different to other types of exercise. It’s mastering all the small stuff that makes you sweat!
3. Choose quality. Don’t be afraid to ask to see your instructors qualifications. There are a lot of teachers out there, and you want make sure that you get the best – people who are committed to lifelong learning, and most importantly to sharing that knowledge with you.
What are your top tips for clients on progressing their Pilates practice?
1. Go back to basics. No matter how long you’ve been doing Pilates, it’s always good to get back to basics – whether that means dropping in to Beginner or Foundation class, or asking your instructor to pare it back in your own class. This could mean going back to the basic movements, or taking away additional equipment, just you and the Mat (or the Reformer).
2. Change it up – try different teachers, different levels, one-to-ones. My personal practice changed significantly when I started doing one-to-ones. I got a much better understanding of what I needed to focus on in my own practice.
Who is someone who inspires you? Why?
My Mum – she is the epitome of the ‘eternal student’. She was over 60 when she qualified as a Zumba instructor. How cool is that?!
When you’re not teaching what do you like to do?
I box a couple of times a week which I love but if I’m honest, I love sitting on my backside on the sofa doing absolutely nothing on the rare occasion I get the chance!
Tell us one thing we might not know about you.
I’m embarking on the 2nd leg of the Seven Summits Challenge – Mount Elbrus here I come!
I summited Kilamanjaro in October 2015, and am determined to get to the summit of the rest of them too. There’s nothing like a goal to get you motivated!