‘The Times’ article brings to light many problems in the Pilates industry. Always remember there is no negative without positive. There are always two sides to any story or divorce.

Read the article here and make your own opinion: https://www.thetimes.com/…/pilates-is-meant-to-be…

Since lockdown Pilates has gone viral with the rise of us all spending more time on internet devices. We are addicted to our phones. They have become a necessity rather than an accessory. Supermarkets, shops, airports and so many retail outlets now require booking and payment by card or phone only.

So, the term: ‘Reformer Pilates’ has sprung up all over the world and has gained popularity due to social media. (I used it myself years ago, now I hate it).

It takes one piece of the Pilates system and gives a series of exercise mainly taken from fitness, that may be Pilates inspired.

The reformer machine uses what’s called a tilting reflex, so it is more challenging on the powerhouse or centre because the base is unstable. Now a tilting reflex should not be used in isolation, this must be mixed with what is called a righting reflex which is stable suffice. All training programs should really be individual depending on surfice requirement. So, example an ice hockey player will require more tilting reflex than myself. Tilting reflexes can be better targeted if that is the aim and I learnt this from Paul Chek.

Paul Chek is the godfather of the tilting reflex used the Swiss Ball amongst many other devices for rehabilitation, to improve posture, to stretch, to improve athletic performance, to aid in digestion and to relieve anxiety.

So, what has happened???

Education providers plus the fitness industry of course have jumped on the band wagon of the trend and why not! Most teachers that I know have ‘NO’ background or knowledge in the full method of apparatus and have little experience in Pilates. All providers of equipment and training courses are supplying for the demand.

Is it the teachers fault?

Is it the big corporations fault?

So ALL teachers are doing their best and interpreting the work with the tools they have from the training qualification if they have one.

Remember everything is always evolving and changing in life. However, this is my experience after running studios across the North-west for over 30 years and being the first group reformer studio in The North-West.

I cringe at the way I used to teach but I was at the start of my journey. Once I became fully contemporary certified in all apparatus the windows of opportunity opened tenfold. I then went onto study many other holistic modalities in movement, diet, lifestyle and dissection which opened many more doors.

Anything taught in isolation is missing the bigger picture. It is like taking one ingredient out of a cake and trying to bake the cake.

Even though my home studio may just have reformers, it focuses on where the essence of move comes from and what can be done to improve the move and outcome.

Pilates hybrid Machines in gyms become damaged because the ropes are over shortened or the machine is designed for hard wear and tear.

The clients feel the burn and pull, but ends up not understanding the essence of the true work as the appendages do the work and little control comes from the centre.

We are addicted to cortisol and working out rather working in.

The fitness industry is confusing as it is supposed to be about health but most of the supplements, energy drinks, diet and lifestyles that are being sold have little to do with true vitality and spirit.

There have been many accidents in all industries and work sectors. The press will always publicise the downsides rarely the upsides, this is the same in Yoga.

It becomes extremely difficult for many Pilates studios and teachers (like myself) when big gym companies open. It not only takes many clients away, but it misleads the public into what the essence of what the reformer is.

Remember everyone is trying to do their best and every studio owner that I know is passionate about what they do, contributing to society, providing jobs and paying tax.

Now how can we all work together as better communicators and improve what we do??????

As we all know comprehensive teacher training whether its contemporary like me or classical like other schools is costly and not always feasible or accessible for everyone.

My prices reflect my training over the years plus the cost of the equipment plus overheads.

Yes, you will pay more to come to me than a fitness reformer class!

Yes, I won’t have a full timetable starting at crack of dawn as I am teaching balance and homeostasis.

And yes, I will move you slower and we will go for quality over quantity.

If we want to improve what we do as a movement community, we need to firstly change ourselves and become better listeners.

We need to look at the three sides of the coin objectively!!

Where I am now??

I take regular lessons in classical Pilates with a colleague of mine Alison Salmond. I have recently started back up my anatomy lessons with Julian Baker and I train weekly on my own gym and yoga practice plus try to eat as clean as I can. I am passionate about ecstatic dance as it gets me out of my left brain. I will regularly take you through ‘The Garuda method’ which is an ever evolving and changing integrating both brain hemispheres. I take an holistic approach to life and believe that movement alone is only one piece of the puzzle, this must be integrated with nutrition, sleep, breathing, hydration and mindset.

The best way to see if what we doing as a collective is working is to look deep inside. The governments of the world always reflect our shadow self (Carl Jung). We have more illness, disease, disconnection and poverty than ever before. Our food chain is poisonous and are lifestyles ever depleting. We can change all this by looking at where we spend our money, questioning health advice and becoming true adults by taking charge of our own beings.

We only have a name because we were given it!

We only have a belief because someone else introduced it!

My goal is to raise the movement industry in The Northwest (UK)and improve education in Pilates teachers. I am always encouraging teachers and clients to come to the studio or attend workshops or training, but few take the opportunity. I also constantly throw out lots of FREE stuff online, so everything is available for everyone.

Is what we are all doing correct??? The proof is in the person.

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” – Mahatma Gandhi