Getting to Know…James Hale

This is the next in our series of Getting to Know Your Instructor. Meet James Hale who is one of the recent additions to our team at Live & Breathe Pilates.

When you were younger what did you want to beJames Hale when you grew up?

A Scientist. I lived the dream, got my PhD in Microbial Population Genetics and Clinical Anatomy and then went back to retrain as a Physiotherapist. Which is now what I want to be when I properly grow up.

What inspired you to become a Pilates teacher?

Helping people move better. I have always been into moving well, as a climber in my own practice, working as a coach. This is what Pilates is about for me. Pilates has helped me learn so much about my own body and I want to help people see that our bodies are a work in practice and as long as we keep refining we’ll get improvements even if they aren’t immediately obvious.

What’s your favourite thing about teaching?

The look someone has when they see their own improvement.

What’s your least favourite thing about teaching?

Sometimes it’s lonely standing in front or a group of people leading a class. Thats why I prefer smaller intimate classes where I can get to know people and chat and interact with my students.

What’s your favourite Pilates exercise? Why? 

Seated bouncing on a stability ball. I challenge anyone not to smile when doing it.

Mat Series - Swiss Ball Bouncing

What Pilates exercise do you like the least? Why?

It’s one of the original exercises called the neck pull. It just seems like such a unnecessarily severe exercise.

Describe your teaching style in less than ten words.

Playfully challenging with focus on quality and beautiful movement.

What are your top tips for a client starting out with Pilates?

Be Patient – You will never master all the exercises especially the foundation ones. So be patient and enjoy exploring them rather than rushing to try harder ones

Be Accepting – Your body is as it is today. You might have been able to do an exercise yesterday but today you can’t, or the the other way around. This is normal and it’s what makes your practice strong.

Breathe – Everything is harder when you don’t breathe

What are your top tips for clients on progressing their Pilates practice? 

Ask a lot of questions of your instructors, understanding what you should and should not be feeling is essential to bettering your practice.

Try lots of classes and instructors, you might not gel with some instructors or types of Pilates but then fully blossom in another type of class.

Practice at home. You can’t expect results for work you haven’t done. Take a few minutes everyday to try some exercises.James Trapeze

Who is someone who inspires you? Why?

People Who work for MSF, Red Cross/Crescent and other organisations. While others rush to cause harm these people are often far away from home helping. It gives me hope.

When you’re not teaching what do you like to do? 

I like to Climb, Perform Aerial Trapeze and watch history documentaries.

Tell us one thing we might not know about you.
I’m suppose to have a Brummy accent but somewhere along the line it disappeared and only comes out when I am excited.