We offer a number of different classes at the studio, but they are all based on our ethos that healthy human movement requires more than just mindless exercise.
Pilates is a system of exercises using body weight and special apparatus designed to improve physical strength, flexibility and posture and enhance the mind-body connection. The system was developed by Joseph Pilates who was devoted to the ideal of a man balanced in mind, body and spirit. Depending on your teacher, their area of expertise or interest and who they trained with, you will find many different types of Pilates classes available to you, focusing on anything from low back pain or pregnancy to cross-training the elite athlete to improve core stability and power.
Pilates exercises have been modified, adapted and changed over the last nearly 100 years, so much so that the class you experience with one teacher in one setting can be vastly different from another teacher or studio. Most Pilates instructors are only qualified to teach basic mat exercises and you will typically find these instructors teaching other forms of exercise in the local gym and at church halls. Instructors (such as ours) who teach on the Pilates apparatus have undergone hundreds of hours of additional training and can only be found in dedicated Pilates studios.
Whilst Pilates mat classes may be the most common form of Pilates, particularly in the North of England, the entire Pilates system is best experienced when you work on the apparatus as well as the mat. We encourage you to develop a Pilates practice that incorporates the large equipment for many reasons, not least of which is that it accelerates your learning and develops better body awareness, strength and flexibility much quicker than on the mat. The apparatus sessions are small groups and are therefore more suitable if you have a particular injury/issue that you need to address (please check with us first). To join our large apparatus sessions, you will need to undergo either a one to one or introductory workshop.
Our Yoga teachers are not your average yoga instructors. Both Sarah and Kelly are also fully qualified professional apparatus trained Pilates instructors and Restorative Exercise Specialists. We bring correct alignment and safe movement practice to the yoga classes we teach to ensure a reduction in the potential for injury.
Wherever possible we encourage you to compliment your Pilates or Yoga practice with our restorative classes where we teach you correct alignment. This alignment can be carried across into Pilates, Yoga, Strength training and daily movement. It’s how your body is supposed to function.
Please note that if you have been referred by a medical professional, then a group setting might not be appropriate, so please enquire before booking.
We offer both contemporary and classical mat Pilates classes. Ideally your Pilates practice will benefit from both forms, and we advise you to try both. The classical mat repertoire consists of 34 movements which flow together to provide an invigorating but very challenging workout. Contemporary or Modern Pilates can be just as challenging, but typically involves movements and exercises that stem from the 34 classical movements and classes vary every week.
Classes are classified either Gentle (G), Moderate (M) or Vigorous (V), however one person’s gentle might be another person’s moderate. Who you are and what you’re hoping to get out of Pilates will dictate which is the best class for you and we advise contacting us before booking so we can help you decide.
If you are fit and healthy you are welcome to try any of our mat classes, however, to join an apparatus class with the large equipment or reformers, you must have undergone either an introductory session or beginners’ class. You can check the timetable for these or contact us if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
Both Sarah and Kelly have undergone the necessary training to enable us to teach apparatus sessions. The large equipment consists of the Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrel (there are others, but these are what we have at the studio).
Reformer classes are a good option if you’re new to the equipment and you want to a class that’s led by an instructor. You are all doing the same thing at the same time. However, if you prefer to work on your own body and what it needs, then the Apparatus sessions are the way forward. Mixing and matching mat, Reformer and Apparatus sessions is a good way of immersing yourself in the Pilates method and developing your practice. You will see the best results in terms of strength and flexibility if you practice consistently several times a week.
There are only 7 people in a reformer class and 5 in an apparatus class. We also offer duo sessions at an additional cost with a maximum of two participants per instructor.
To join an apparatus class with the large equipment or reformers, you must have undergone either an introductory session or beginners’ class. You can check the timetable for these or contact us if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
This unique workout combines the elements of Pilates, yoga, resistance training and ballet into a highly effective regime performed on the mat and at a ballet barre. The technique utilises the body’s own resistance in conjunction with weights, bands and small balls. The effect is a long, lean dancers body without being a dancer!
The low impact, total body workout lifts the butt, tones the thighs, flattens the abs and sculpts the arms, whilst protecting the joints. Small isometric contractions are performed and integrated with an interval training approach that burns fat and improves cardiovascular fitness. Posture, flexibility, stamina and core strength improve. The result is a body that is realigned, rebalanced and works harmoniously and efficiently.
Stretches are performed after each strength section of the class to ensure the muscles are re-lengthened to create a body that is strong without the added bulk of other regimes. This workout is suitable for everybody as various modifications are given throughout the class to suit the abilities of all students.
The high energy music makes the workout fun and enjoyable.
The 55 minute class comprises:
- Aerobic warm up in the centre
- Ballet inspired barre toning exercises to tone the thighs and lift the butt
- Free weights to sculpt the arms
- Floor work strengthening exercises to flatten the abdominals
- Final stretches to cool down and lengthen the muscles
What do you do all day? Are you sitting at a desk, commuting through heavy traffic or travelling long distances, vegging on the couch in front of the TV, ferrying the kids around? How much are you actually moving? You might be surprised to discover that although you’re busy and productive, you’re not actually moving all that much. All that sitting and driving, the sitting to eat, coupled with the stress and tension from your daily life affects how your body looks and moves. Our posture is affected, for instance, and we suffer tight rounded shoulders, lower back instability, flat lazy butts and hamstrings and calves that are too tight to yield.
In an attempt to “exercise” we will then take these tight tense bodies running or cycling or to some high impact classes and wonder why we are not getting better, or in many instances actually getting injured! Pulled calves, torn hamstrings, back pain, shoulder impingements…
These classes invite you to teach your body how to move well again. It’s time to really listen to your body be mindful and notice the signs and warnings it’s giving you. This is the start of a movement practice that teaches you how to align your body to get the most out of not only Pilates and Yoga, but also your daily movements and sporting endeavours. If your body is not aligned well, then you’re reinforcing bad movement habits that can contribute to or keep you in discomfort.
These classes are designated as gentle, however, they are not easy and you may find that your body in its current state lacks the strength in the underused muscles that we all have, and so it will feel challenging at times.
Restorative classes are largely based on the work of Katy Bowman and Nutritious Movement, and both Sarah and Kelly are currently just completing the three year Restorative Exercise Specialist course.
Our Yoga classes integrate our knowledge of restorative exercise into yoga asana, aiming to promote structural integrity, preventing wear and tear. Focusing on balance, co-ordination, strength, stability and building a holistic relationship between the mind and body.
Why are our yoga classes different?
Unfortunately many people suffer from chronic misalignment and damage in their bodies from wear and tear. These same problems translate to every movement they make throughout their day, week, year, life, and they are also brought along with them to every movement or exercise class.
Our classes blend Hatha Yoga, functional movement and corrective exercise based on a biomechanical understanding of the body, and the ancient wisdom of yoga.
These yoga classes can integrate seamlessly into your own yoga practice, no matter what style of yoga you enjoy.
If you are interested in being proactive about your own health and body, and want to move better and with more freedom, in a supportive healthy practice, gaining long term health and stability this could be the yoga class for you.
Our aim is to re-pattern the way you move, focus on alignment and nervous system balancing helping you to find transformation through restoration.
We incorporate asana or posture practice, with a watchful eye on alignment, vinyasa which is flowing movements ie sun salutations, pranayama or breath work and Savasana or relaxation.
Don’t think that you won’t be working hard though quite the opposite! Yoga is often seen as an easy gentle stretch, but we will be building strength, stability, endurance and stamina as well as improving balance, coordination and flexibility, you can’t achieve all that just by lying and breathing on a mat. You will work hard, you will get stronger and hopefully you will find a little more than purely physical benefits but you will never know until you give it a try.
Strength Training & Kettlebells
Coupled with Barre (which provides a cardiovascular workout), kettlebells and strength work rounds out the Pilates and Yoga movement practices nicely. It’s an empowering workout, especially for ladies who may have always been too frightened to pick up a heavy weight or swing a kettlebell in the the gym before. These sessions are taught by our Lead Instructor, Kelly, who has in the past both competed and coached CrossFit and has various strength and conditioning qualifications. The focus of these sessions, however, is very much on moving weight safely, and improving your ranges of movement so that you can remain injury free whilst doing strength work, either at the studio or on your own. If you want to learn to how to lift weights or use kettlebells, then this is the ideal class for you. Some weeks we might work on conditioning with the kettlebells, a vigorous workout that gets the heart pumping. Other weeks we will focus on lifting heavier weights for shorter periods of time to encourage strength development and stronger bones. You will NOT get big muscles nor finishing up looking like Arnie!