Pilates in Spain 2017

Penny will be teaching again at the gorgeous Cortijo Romero, 12th August – 19th August 2017. Pilates twice a day, beautiful surroundings in the mountains of Andalucia, superb vegetarian food…. a great way to relax, meet new people and improve your Pilates practice. £660 for the week, includes everything except your flight. For more details contact Penny or visit www.cortijo-romero.co.uk

The courtyard

The courtyard

Article on Penny’s Pilates for Runners

Read the article here written by health writer Loretta Flockhart.

Antenatal Pilates

Pilates is a non-impact form of exercise which has become known for its beneficial effects on the spine and joints, helping to address back problems primarily through the strengthening of our core abdominal muscles. The role of these muscles is to stabilise our pelvis and lower spine, and when they are working correctly lower back pain is much less likely to occur.

Pilates is perfect during pregnancy, as the core abdominal muscles support the growing bump and help prevent the back from being pulled into a deep arch – which can lead to lower back ache. The pelvic floor muscles are also part of the ‘core’, and these are the muscles that are not only used to push the baby out during labour, but are also used as something of a trampoline by the baby whilst you are pregnant! It’s therefore important to keep them strong and supple.

As well as preventing back or joint problems, Pilates during pregnancy can provide you with an enjoyable and varied workout which will also focus on arms, shoulders, legs, bottom and thighs. Exercises are performed standing, sitting, on all fours and lying down (unless you are in your third trimester).

At Core Pilates class sizes are kept small – with a maximum of 6 in the antenatal classes. Any injuries or conditions are taken into account, and private sessions are recommended before joining a class so that any conditions can be discussed in confidence, your posture can be checked and you can be taught how to stabilise correctly.

The antenatal classes focus on exercises which: tone the abdominals and teach you to find your ‘neutral’ spine alignment (the healthiest position for the spine); stretch the lower back; strengthen the upper back, which is often pulled into a more rounded shape as your body changes; strengthen the gluteal muscles which help support the pelvis; stretch the calves, thighs and hamstrings; relax the shoulders; and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, teaching you also how to ‘let go’ of these muscles, ready for the birth. All exercises are performed with a focus on breathing, which brings relaxation.

In summary, Pilates during pregnancy will:

  • Support your lower back – and your bump!
  • Strengthen the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles
  • Improve your posture
  • Help with relaxation and breathing
  • Help to regain a flatter tummy after giving birth

Pilates in Winchester

Having taught Pilates in London, Surrey, Sussex, Italy and Spain over the last 8 years I came to Winchester in late 2011 to be with my new family and, after a bit of a break, started to think about setting up Pilates classes in my new area of Kings Worthy. Coming from a background of teaching matwork, machine-work, workshops and one-to-ones, with a variety of classes including Back Care Pilates, Pregnancy Pilates, Pilates for Runners and Pilates for Seniors, I had a lot to choose come when it came to deciding which of my styles to unleash on Winchester!

After initially taking over a ‘beginners / general’ class at Studio Yoga, Houghton, I decided to stick to matwork for the beginning ‘phase’ of my expansion into the Winchester area and soon after set up some beginners classes in Kings Worthy. Now that these have taken off (and have moved up to ‘improver’ level), the next step is to start some Pregnancy Pilates classes as there don’t seem to be many of these in the area. Pilates is so beneficial during and after pregnancy that I passionately believe these classes should be available to local women and in February 2012 I’ll be giving a talk to the local NCT.  Please see my article on Ante Natal Pilates if you would like to know more about this.

I also love teaching Pilates one-to-one and am now doing this for several clients around Kings Worthy and Winchester. The benefits for the client are so valuable. An initial consultation gives me great insight into the client’s needs, then a tailor-made programme is devised, and updated regularly.  Whether clients are recovering from an injury or just want to improve their Pilates and have their own specific programme, one-to-ones are very rewarding for both of us!

Being a Nutritional Therapist as well, which is a practice that treats the whole person rather than just the symptoms, I am often able to see where factors such as stress, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and even digestive problems may be impacting on a client’s back or shoulder condition. Many conditions, such as arthritis and osteoporosis, do well with a combination of both Pilates and Nutrition.

My plans long-term are to open a Pilates studio near Winchester, with machines, where  I can teach more one-to-ones and small groups. I love teaching on the Pilates machines – they expand an already extensive Pilates repertoire and can make the work-out either more challenging or more adapted to a client’s injuries or limitations.

Winchester is a great area and I’m already enjoying teaching here. I look forward to meeting many more clients in the months to come.