Our Pilates teachers are Louisa Harris - who was personally taught by, amongst others, Lynne Robinson, (founder of the Body Control Pilates Association) and Sharisse Wainman – who is a Osteopath working at Leighton Buzzard and has studied Pilates at OCR. We are especially proud of the way that we’ve been able to develop our team approach to include Pilates. If you’ve seen one of our Osteopaths or Phsyiotherapists and you decide to begin taking Pilates classes, your instructor will be provided with guidelines based around your complaint and the treatment you’ve received. This, of course, makes it both safer and more effective than might otherwise be the case!
Pilates is a body conditioning method that works in a different way to other fitness techniques – by building strength from the inside out, helping to rebalance the body and bringing it into a correct alignment. The Woodside Clinic approach can be especially suitable to those with a history of injury or ongoing problems. You can be assessed by an Osteopath or Physiotherapist before attending and your programme will then be developed with your specific needs in mind and in a way which will be designed to avoid further injury.
Each programme focuses on educating the deep postural muscles which help to keep the body balanced and are essential to provide good spinal support. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breathing, alignment of the spine, muscle control and flexibility – all which are very important in helping to alleviate and prevent back pain.
Pilates exercises practised at Woodside Clinc are adapted from the ‘classical’ exercises developed by Joseph Pilates. These classical exercises are not always suitable for those who have a weakness or previous injury, so in order to ensure that you can work safely and effectively to gain the full benefits of Pilates, these classical exercises will be broken down in a way that is most suited to your personal needs and requirements.
Pilates is remarkably effective – and medically-approved. It is of an holistic nature, being based upon a well-constructed philosophical foundation. Central to the Pilates approach is ‘awareness of your own body’ and each and every exercise is built around its eight basic principles:
- Co-ordination (control)
- Centring (core stability)
- Flowing Movements
By working on the deep architectural structure of the body, ‘core stability’ can be achieved, and then maintained through increasingly complex movement sequences. Specific problem-areas can be targeted by an exercise, but always in relation to the rest of one’s body.
Your body awareness is heightened by bringing together mind and body – Pilates literally teaches you to be in control of your body, helping you to handle stress more effectively and achieve relaxation more easily.
Pilates can potentially benefit anyone, regardless of fitness level! Mat-work exercises have a great attraction in that they need no special equipment and are particularly safe for those with back problems.
Pilates may help to:
- increase and create balance between strength and flexibility
- find good postural alignment
- improve body awareness and aid focus and proprioception
- reduce stress
- teach good movement skills to our bodies
Our Pilates’ sessions have been introduced to help two groups of people – firstly if you’re someone who wishes to improve your posture and muscle control and secondly if you’ve had other treatment with us and wish to maintain and improve your mobility and ‘body control’. If you’ve already visited us for treatment, your therapist will discuss your case with the referring Osteopath/Physiotherapist before seeing you. This will ensure they are up-to-date on what would personally benefit you the most, as well as enabling them to discuss anything that might be best avoided in your case and at what rate they should be looking to progress you.If you would like to attend, there are a variety of ways in which you can access Pilates at our clinics. The following gives you some idea of what’s available:
A single (extended) ‘one-to-one’ session.
This will include a detailed assessment of your personal needs and the opportunity to tell your therapist what your expectations are. This approach is most suited to those with a limited budget who would just like to attend once to start with.
A short course of four “one-to-one” sessions
During 4 sessions you will learn to master the basics of Pilates and how to target the deep postural muscles in order to help change your muscle recruitment patterns and correct common muscle imbalances.
Pilates for two people.
This is ideal for a husband/wife, mother/daughter or two friends who would like to attend together. It substantially reduces the ‘per person cost’ and could be a very good way to motivate you! Additional sessions are available to those who wish to extend their course of Pilates. Even with just one visit you should be capable of mastering the basics safely and competently. Then, depending on how you’d like to proceed, we can help you to steadily develop your Pilates so you become more aware of your movements and more ‘in control’. Both the short and intensive courses of Pilates can be followed by further visits every 6-8 weeks. Alternatively your therapist can guide you regarding classes you could attend, provide a simple Pilates’ regime you can continue by yourself and/or recommend which book/video/DVD is likely to be best for you.
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable clothing such as jogging bottoms and a t-shirt. It’s best not to have any zippers or belts that could restrict your movement. Footwear is not essential- bare feet or socks are suitable.