The classes are mat-based STOTT PILATES classes. The exercises taught in class are modified versions of the original exercises designed by Joseph Pilates (1880 – 1967).
All the exercises are low-impact and are performed slowly and precisely. This does not mean that they are easy! Often the more slowly you perform the exercise the more difficult it is!!
The class focuses mainly on core strength and stability. The deep abdominal muscles that attach to the spine are targeted as well as the more superficial abdominal muscles. This is one of the reasons Pilates is so beneficial to those with back pain as it helps to support the spine.
The class also focuses on spinal mobility and general flexibility of the body. This is another reason the classes are so good for those suffering from back pain, as the exercises help to mobilise stiff and painful areas of the spine, as well as improving posture and alignment of the whole body.
We use different pieces of small equipment in the classes, such as the mini-stability ball, Fitness circle, Foam Roller, hand weights and Exercise bands. This is to help challenge different muscles and areas of the body, as well as helping to keep the classes fun and interesting.
All of the exercises are modifiable so they can be made easier or more challenging depending on your current level of fitness allowing the classes to be suitable for most people.
There are many different styles of yoga. Some focus on the meditative/ spiritual side of yoga and others focus more on the physical benefits of yoga. Some classes are slow paced and some are fast paced, some have a strict sequence of poses and others are more flexible and creative.
The style of yoga that I teach in class is based on Vinyasa yoga. This style is more dynamic than some other forms of yoga. It strings the poses together to form fluid movement throughout the class. The poses are held for a shorter amount of time than some other styles of yoga (although we do take time in each pose to check we are in the correct alignment) before flowing into the next position.
Traditionally Vinyasa is considered a fast and physically challenging style, however the classes I teach have a slightly slower pace as I like to talk through each pose thoroughly to ensure everyone is in the correct alignment. This does not mean that the classes are not physically challenging, they just challenge you in a different way.
The poses performed in class will help to stretch and strengthen the entire body. This helps to counteract bad postural habits caused by sitting for long periods, and brings the body back into a healthier alignment.
The classes vary from week to week as I like to keep things interesting. Each class will focus on a particular aspect such as back extension or spinal rotation.
They are mixed ability classes where anyone is welcome regardless of previous yoga experience. Even if you have never done any yoga before (or any kind of exercise) then you are very welcome in this class. If you are more experienced you are also very welcome and options will be offered throughout class to challenge you if you choose.