Hello!

If you’re a regular visitor to our blog, you’ll know I’ve taken the time to stress the differences between Pilates and Alexander 2 postYoga, debunk Pilates myth and explain the crucial differences between Pilates classes at a gym versus Traditional Pilates studio, so that you can make an informed decision about what best suits you.

Pilates is fantastic for improving and correcting posture problems. The Alexander Technique also helps to improve posture problems.

How can you decide between the two?

Traditional Pilates helps you to:

• create a balanced body, where all muscles work in balance, neither overworked or weakened
• build an awareness of your body movements to correct harmful habits
• build a strong core
• increase energy
• improve injury recovery
• develop flexibility

Alexander Technique teaches you:

• to change habitual movements in day to day life, correcting bad habits
• to release tension from the body
• how to improve posture

Choosing between Pilates and Alexander Technique ultimately depends on what body issues you need to ease or remedy. Injuries, limited flexibility caused by arthritis and a weak core are all matters that benefit more from Pilates practice. Whereas if you’re looking to learn how to use your body in a way that work with it, not against it, while releasing tension perhaps Alexander technique works best for you.

Thank you so much for joining me today. If you’ve got any questions about whether or not Pilates will be right for your needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Hello!

 

Today I want to talk to you about Sciatica. According to the NHS sciatica is pain caused ‘by the irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve.’ (Source). If you suffer from sciatica, you may feel varying degrees of pain or sciaticanumbness from your lower back right down to your feet, depending on the severity of your sciatic symptoms.

It is crucial to speak to your GP about the cause of your pain, as there could be differing reasons for the cause. Keeping active as much as possible helps to keep your back muscles healthy, as a strong core can help ease a multitude of ills, including sciatica.

This where Traditional Pilates can help alleviate your discomfort. I strongly recommend avoiding gym Pilates classes because, in cases such as sciatica, it is essential that your posture is assessed, and a routine of exercises is prescribed to you which compliments any existing prescribed exercises. As well as developing the strength of core, balancing your muscles, Pilates teaches your body awareness. For example, you may find that sitting for extended periods of time makes your sciatica flare up. Through Pilates practice you discover what causes the discomfort is how you sit, e.g. sitting with legs crossed and leaning forward slightly from the hips.

We regularly work with physiotherapists and other health professionals on a variety of issues, so if you want to do more exercises to strengthen your core muscles, improve your posture and increase flexibility you’re in the right place.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Hello!
I want to talk today about the serious condition of arthritis and Pilates. Pilates doesn’t cure such a condition, but it can help support your arthritic joints and improve flexibility.

Firstly, if you do have arthritis and want to try Pilates, speak to your doctor about your intent to get their OK and go to a traditional Pilates studio like ours. You must have your posture assessed, and routine tailored to you AND your arthritis.

Pilates with arthritis

Secondly I would strongly recommend that you only go to a studio for Pilates, not a gym class. As Pilates gym classes are one size fits all, you run the risk of a: not getting the full benefits or b: causing more pain to yourself. Pilates classes taken in small classes ensures that the teacher is on hand to always monitor your progress and ensure that you don’t push yourself too far.

For example, you have arthritis in your right knee joint. It’s very painful and inflamed, so you try not to lean on it too much, instead favouring your left leg. After a while, you may feel that your left leg is sore or ‘acting up’, as the muscles are overworked and compensating for the increased pressure. A tailored Pilates routine would strengthen the muscles around the right knee, make your aware of your habitual movements that were placing a strain on both knees, increasing your flexibility and energy levels.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, if you’ve got any questions about taking Pilates classes as an arthritis sufferer don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Pilates or Massage? What is better for back pain?

massageIf you suffer from a sore back, you probably promise yourself a massage to alleviate your suffering, soothe your muscle spasms and return you to normality. Massages are wonderful, deeply relaxing and a soothing treat after a hard week- but if you’ve got back pain they’re not ideal for solving the cause of the problem.

(Always speak to your doctor about why you keep getting back pain to check there isn’t a serious underlying reason.)

Back pain, which affects so many, is often caused by habitual movements that create pain and an unbalanced body. Massages temporarily soothe and ease discomfort, treating the symptoms, where Pilates treats the cause, undoing bad habits and creating a balanced body, helping to lessen back pain.

For example, you have a desk job, which keeps you sitting 8 hours a day, with your head down, creating tension across your shoulders and down your back. You assume this is the source of your pain. With Pilates practice, you would grow aware of how you walk; perhaps you lean forward slightly from the hips, which places more strain on your back. Maybe you’ll discover that your core muscles aren’t in balance, that the stomach muscles weak but back muscles overworked. Traditional studio Pilates, with a teacher that assess your posture before prescribing a routine to ease your back pain, is the long term solution to your back pain woes.

If you ever have any questions about how Pilates could help you, even if you have existing or old injuries, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

pilates dvdsMany people use Pilates DVD’s. Compared to a Pilates gym class, with their mat work focus, I can see the appeal of a Pilates DVD. No crowded, sweaty class, no blaring music, no changing rooms to deal with or all the mirrors – by contrast following a Pilates DVD in the comfort of your home is much more pleasant experience.

But it’s not a precise experience for your body.

Firstly, one of the fundamental principles of Pilates is precision. The movements are deceptively simple and require you to move muscles literal millimetres. Precision in Pilates is taught by hands-on teaching, and unlike a DVD, an experienced Pilates teacher will guide you through this process while explaining what you should expect to feel in the muscles. Pilates DVD’s are one size fits all, which isn’t effective if you’re trying to ease back pain or an injury.

Secondly, these DVDs can’t help you to create a body that’s in balance because they have to miss out on exercises that require specialist Pilates equipment, like the Wunda chair, like the Cadillac and the Reformer. These are large pieces of standalone equipment, and their use is part of a bespoke Pilates routine to create a body that works in energised muscular balance. Weak muscles are developed and overworked muscles are rested to gain the full benefits of Pilates.

If you’re tempted to ditch the DVD and try a class to reap the benefits, don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out how we can help you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hello!

Today I want to talk to you about the two main emotional benefits of exercise:

  1. Reducing stress and fatigue. Stress can make you feel like you have difficulty concentrating or sleeping well and include headaches (source)
  2. Increasing energy. (source)

emotional benefitsWhatever your job may be, whatever your responsibilities are, we all deserve less stress and increased energy to enjoy life. Many of us indulge in an evening’s binge watch of a box set as a way to relax, but lying on a sofa for four hours after a hectic day at work won’t make you feel energised the next day. Especially if you have a desk job!

You don’t have to run, get sweaty at a crowded aerobics class or endure a horrible hour waiting to use sweaty gym equipment.

Pilates is often labelled with Yoga as a ‘relaxation’ only exercise, but that is just one of the many benefits of Pilates.

The precision of the movements, the control and concentration required are an excellent way to work out your stress mentally and physically. Pilates is also wonderful energy giver, as you work little used muscles, increasing circulation, bringing your body into balance. Bringing your body back into muscular balance means that you’ll glide out of a workout, with your mind and body full of energy, and not in pain. That feeling is so much more valuable than watching an hour long episode of a court room drama on your sofa.

Thank you for joining me here today, if you’ve any questions about how Pilates could support you and your body, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Hello!

Today I want to talk to you about the essential benefits of maintaining strength. You might have heard the statistic that our bodies lose 1% of muscle a year after age 40. To preserve and develop muscle strength your immediate thoughts may be: ‘I’ll have to join a gym, lift weights, wait to use sweaty machines…urgh.” If the idea of blaring music in a crowded, sweaty gym makes your heart sink it doesn’t mean that you can’t weight train.

Allow me to convince you of the benefits of developing muscle strength.

  1. strengthYou’ll enjoy increased vitality, retaining the ability to do everyday tasks (like carry bags of shopping for example) and physical strength needed to prevent and recover quicker from falls and accidents.
  2. Working out offers your body an outlet for stress, aiding sleep and relaxation.
  3. Weight-bearing exercises, like strength training, helps maintain bone density and fights against osteoporosis.
  4. Healthy, active muscles help you control your weight more easily, helping to maintain an active metabolism, which fights against creeping weight gain.

Pilates is ideal for developing and maintaining muscle strength, safely and in the case of the Edinburgh Pilates Centre in beautiful calm surroundings.

To improve your muscle strength with Pilates, you must go to a traditional Pilates studio. Pilates classes at a gym by and large focus on mat work. To develop strength in a balanced way you need access to the full range of Pilates equipment, like the reformer or the Cadillac. Be sure to ask if they have these.

If you’re keen to enjoy some of the benefits from developing muscles strength get in contact.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.

Hello hello!

Today I want to talk to you about something that affects the vast majority of us.

Sitting PilatesSitting. It seems so harmless, but studies have shown that sitting 7 hours a day or more has been linked to an array of health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular as well as stiffness and postural problems. (Find out more detailed information on the health threats of sitting from the NHS.)

There are things you can do to combat the health problems that sitting causes, such as a getting a standing desk or switching your chair out for an exercise ball to sit on (which activates your core muscles). But if either of those items are unlikely to be allowed in your workplace, Pilates can help remedy the problems sitting creates.

For example, when seated working over a computer many people hunch over their desk, straining their spine, putting far too much stress on their disc. Hunching over a desk reduces the space their lungs have to breathe, meaning they can’t breathe as deeply and as a result have less energy. Pilates improves your posture and strengthens your muscles, giving your lungs the space they need to inflate fully. With Pilates you’ll learn how to breathe (as part of the Six Principles of Pilates), creating more energy.

If you’re ready to combat that the effect of your desk job, get in touch.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Hello there!

Thank you so much for stopping by today.

With regards to Pilates teaching, I wanted to share with you how to know if you’re getting the highest quality teaching that your body deserves.

  1. Does you Pilates teacher check-in with you at the start of every class? This is important because your progress High Quality Pilatesneeds to be monitored, celebrated and your routine (which should be tailored to your body) will need to be adapted as your body returns to balance.
  2. Does your Pilates teacher know what your goal is? Pilates is not a one-size fit all solution. If you want to improve posture, you’ll have a different goal from someone who is wanting to aid their recovery from a knee injury.
  3. Does your Pilates teacher know of any health concerns or injuries? I can’t stress this enough; a high-quality Pilates teacher will have assessed your health and asked about any injuries before allowing you to start.
  4. Does your Pilates teacher monitor you throughout the duration of your class? Pilates is about precision. You are making movements of literal millimetres, a highly trained Pilates teacher will correct your actions (as necessary) to ensure you don’t overstress muscles.
  5. Does your Pilates teacher explain what muscles you’ll be using and what to expect? Pilates brings your body into balance, bringing weak little-used muscles back to strength. It’s crucial that your teacher explains what you’ll feel, for example, you should expect to feel a muscle stretching but not to hear any tendons cracking.

If you have any questions about Pilates practice, why not get in contact with us?

Have a wonderful day!

Hello!

Thank you once again for joining me here today.

I wanted to talk to you about the power of a strong physical core. A study by Harvard Medical School in 2012 refers to your core muscles as “sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body…the necessary motions either originate in your core or move through it.”

Power of the CoreWhen your core muscles are strong and in balance they act like a muscular corset, protecting your back and creating a healthy posture. A weak core can be a source of potential problems, such back pain, poor flexibility, stiffness, poor posture to name but a few.

Your core is where all movement flows from; it is of crucial importance that it supports you in every aspect of your life. A genuinely strong core is so much more than a six pack. A strong core, the likes of which is created and supported by Pilates includes the muscles of your back (the transverse abdominis) and the gluteal muscle groups around your pelvis.

To enjoy the full benefits of a strong core, you must attend a traditional Pilates class, where you’ll have use of specialist Pilates equipment to ensure you develop ALL the muscles necessary for a strong core, not strong abdominals alone.

Do you feel your core could use a tune up?

Get in touch today, and see how quickly you could be feeling the difference.