COVID 19 has meant massive changes to our lives and businesses this year - Pilates included. The necessary travel and movement restrictions have meant that all Pilates services have been required to close in order to minimise physical interaction and the spread of the virus.
But, as restrictions begin to lift some industries have been allowed to re-open, but Pilates is not one of them as our industry is currently classified under the 'fitness' industry rather than 'health'.
The Pilates industry is calling for reclassification to enable small group (Clinical/Studio) Pilates classes to resume. These Pilates classes offer much more than general fitness benefits and are easily able to operate under strict COVID hygiene regulations.
Below is a copy of a letter I have sent to my local MPs (Tim McCurdy and Helen Haines) as well as the Minister for Health (Jenny Mikakos), Minister for Industry Support and Recovery (Martin Pakula) and Premier Daniel Andrews. I would love you to also write to these MPs to raise awareness of Pilates, share how valuable it is to you and asking them to re-classify Pilates as a Health service and help get Pilates back up and running!
You are welcome to use my letter as a guide, but please ensure you include your personal Pilates story and the impact not doing Pilates has had on you.
"I am writing to draw to your attention a request to re-classify small indoor Pilates classes as an essential service and allow us to re-open in Step 3 of the recovery roadmap for Victoria. The Pilates industry’s peak bodies the Pilates Alliance of Australia and the Australian Pilates Method Association have been lobbying the Victorian Government for months on this issue, to no avail.
I teach small group (maximum of 3 people at a time) Pilates classes in Bright, north east Victoria – often referred to as Studio or Clinical Pilates. Pilates currently falls into the same category as larger gyms but offers much more than general fitness and exercise benefits.
I am asking that small group Studio/Clinical Pilates classes in Regional Victoria (particularly in regions where there are no COVID cases) are allowed to reopen in Step 3 following a COVID safe plan.
Pilates classes are an integral part of the health and wellbeing of many in my community, specifically:
Thank you for consideration of this request, I look forward to your reply.
Switching from our regular classes to online Pilates can be daunting (for both of us!) Continuing to move and staying connected are vital for our physical and mental health.
Following these tips to set yourself up for success with your online Pilates classes can make everything easier:
Please know that I am new to all of this too and welcome any feedback from you. Please be honest!!
Do you set intentions for the new year? I have to admit - I have tried in the past but given up after finding it incredibly hard to stick to whatever lofty goal I decided on!
A couple of years ago, I came across the idea of first reflecting on the year that was (other than just to be glad it’s over!!) before setting any new year resolutions or intentions and this has been a much more successful process. This has helped me unpack and discover what had been preventing me from achieving previous resolutions.
The new year is a perfect time to clean the slate and ‘start fresh’. But, to do this in any meaningful way we need to first take the time to review and reflect on the year that has passed. What went well? What didn’t? What were some unexpected delights? Challenges? This is no easy task, but I have found it so valuable for making lasting change. I highly recommend this for anyone who may be feeling stuck and about to make the same New Year resolution as last year.
These questions came from a podcast I follow with Katy Bowman of Nutritious Movement. If you'd like to listen to her and her co-host's reflections and intention setting for some inspiration, have a listen to this episode.
Completing and Remembering the Previous Year
Creating a New Year
So this summer, take the time to pause, reflect and review so you are better equipped to set yourself some powerful, relevant intentions for 2020.
Here's to a fabulous year!
It’s no secret I love using the foam roller – it’s a regular addition to many of my Pilates classes, and such a versatile and inexpensive piece of equipment. But if you are new to the idea of using a foam roller or haven’t used yours recently here’s 4 good reasons to give it a go!
Soft tissue release / massage.
Slowly rolling various areas over the foam roller is an excellent way to give yourself a massage, ease muscle tension and aid in recovery after activity. Great places to start are the thighs, calves and upper back.
Improve mobility and flexibility.
Using the roller as a prop can assist with deepening a stretch (for example the hip flexor stretch picture below). And, the snow-angel stretch on the roller would have to be almost everyone’s favourite!
The unstable surface of the foam roller means it is a fabulous way of adding stability challenges to the standard Pilates repertoire. Almost every exercise traditionally done lying on your back can be done lying on a roller – a sure fire way to get your core burning! And it doesn’t end there, placing it under your feet or hands while doing planks will take them to a whole new level!
I love using the foam roller to assist movement. For example when doing the thoracic rotation exercise Thread the Needle, using the roller assists deepening the rotation element.
If you’d like more tips and tricks for using your roller, come along to my specialised class all about the foam roller on October 12th. In this extended class, we’ll be using the roller to creatively release tension, add challenge and build awareness.
You will leave feeling like you’ve worked, stretched AND had a massage!
Sound like just what you need??
Simply email me here or give me a call on 0419 340 190 to book in. Places are limited so make sure you get in quick!
Dust off your foam roller and come along to roll with the flow in this extended class. We will use the foam roller to release muscle tightness and aid mobility all while flowing through a beginner-intermediate Pilates mat class. The foam roller adds challenge and builds awareness and you will leave feeling like you’ve worked, stretched AND had a massage!
$35* / $40
*earlybird pricing available til October 4th
2 hours of Pilates based movement using the foam roller.
All mats are provided - please BYO foam roller if you have one (I do have a few spares)
You are welcome to stay for a cup of tea, snack and a chat after class.
Please bring along:
A foam roller if you have one. You may also wish to bring a towel if you require extra head support and a drink bottle.
This class is suitable for all levels and to those new to Pilates, however if you are carrying any injuries, please let me know prior to booking.
Sounds like just what I need - how do I book?
Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 0419 340 190 to reserve your mat. Spaces are limited and this is a pre-paid event.
If you cancel prior to 48hrs of the class and you are unable to find someone to fill your place, you will receive a refund minus a $5 admin fee.
If you cancel within 48hrs of the class and are unable to find someone to fill your place there will be no refund.
If the event is cancelled due to lack of sufficient numbers, you will receive a full refund.
Balance is a vital element of physical heath. Falling or tripping can often result in pain and injury, but in the older population a fall can lead to a hospital admission and more serious health complications. Regardless of age for those of us living an active life, the importance of staying upright while running, riding or skiing is not to be understated!
So, here’s 5 tips you can do anywhere to improve your balance.
1. Mobilise your feet. There are 26 bones in each foot and each bone connects to at least one other. That’s a lot of joints. Our feet are designed to be mobile and deform somewhat to the surface they are walking on. Spending time on flat ground (and enclosing our feet in hard, stiff shoes) doesn’t allow our feet to move much. A few ways you can improve the mobility of your feet are
2. Strengthen your feet. This goes hand in hand (or foot in foot) with number 1. You are better able to strengthen the smaller muscles within the foot if the joints are mobile. Some exercises for foot strength include:
3. Improve ankle mobility. Most of us have spent years in shoes with a positive heel and sit a lot – both of which contribute to tight calves and reduced ankle range. By restoring mobility to our ankles, we are better able to react on unstable ground. One of the easiest ways to do this is by stretching your calves
4. Improve lower limb strength. Our legs are better able to support us if they’re strong. Exercises to strengthen your calves, thighs and the muscles around the hip will be beneficial in many ways, including balance.
5. Practise. Combine standing on one leg, or do calf raises while you’re doing something else, like waiting for the kettle to boil, standing in line or cleaning your teeth. Or practise walking along a line of tape on the floor, a row of bricks, a fallen log or even across the river on stepping stones!
Most of my Pilates classes will include at least one of the above elements, but if you are looking for a class dedicated just to balance then The Balancing Act Workshop is for you. I will be running one in the coming months, but in the meantime try these tips and let me know how you go!
The Pilates Industry has seen a boom in recent times and it seems that studios offering Clinical Pilates, Mat Pilates, Circuit Pilates and Reformer Pilates are popping up all over the place! So, what is what and which one is right for you?
It is important to note that all quality Pilates classes, will integrate breath, flow, alignment, control, spine articulation and whole-body movement into the class. These Pilates principles are what sets Pilates apart from other types of movement and fitness classes.
Clinical Pilates can often come under the name Studio or Small Group Pilates depending on what type of teacher training the instructor has done. These classes make use of the Pilates equipment and typically have a maximum of 4 clients per instructor. With the unique design of the Pilates equipment and a qualified instructor you will receive a whole body movement experience that both supports and challenges you. Each person has an individual program which is done under the support and guidance of their instructor.
Clinical Pilates is ideal for those who have specific movement needs such as those recovering from injury or surgery. Or you may have a condition that has certain movement requirements (such as osteoporosis or pregnancy), have a specific athletic goal or event coming up (such as a return to running) or simply wish to delve deeper into your body and the profound difference Pilates can have on it.
Before starting your Clinical Pilates program, you will have an individual assessment and at least one private class. This gives us the opportunity to design and deliver a tailored program that is specific to your goals and needs, and ensure you are comfortable and safe using the Pilates equipment.
Mat Pilates is a group Pilates class (surprisingly, on the mat!) of up to 12 people. The exercises are done lying, sitting, kneeling and standing as we flow and progress through class. We often use props such as bands, rollers and balls to add support and challenge. Many of the exercises can be modified to accommodate the individual, but these classes are generally better for those of you without injury. A weekly Mat class is excellent for those wanting to maintain their general strength, mobility and balance in a larger group environment.
This style of class is a higher intensity, athletic circuit style class using the Pilates equipment. This is a fun way to experience the Pilates equipment in a larger group environment – something different each week while still focussing on the Pilates principles. It is best for those free from injury.
With an almost limitless number of exercises and variations that can be done, the Pilates reformer is an amazing piece of equipment. Flowing through an entire class on the reformer is lots of fun which is why reformer Pilates classes are hugely popular in the cities are larger centres! These classes are essentially a mat class on the reformer – best for those without any injuries or limitations.
So, if you would like to get started with Pilates, you can find my Pilates class timetable here, or get in touch to book your first session!
And, for those of you who are still curious about Pilates and how it can help you I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, click here if you want to know more.