Tag Archives: reformer

Taming the beast: intensely interesting+physically rewarding

In the background (behind me relaxing!) is a Reformer: the largest piece of Pilates equipment devised by Joseph Pilates himself and first patented in 1924. A slightly off-putting name! But please don’t let that put you off….. it is an amazing piece of kit.

I bought this beast in March 2014 during my training period. Having first used a Reformer two years before that, I found the experience intensely interesting and physically rewarding.

Some more perspective: I did my first Pilates class in 2004 and – at a career crossroads – decided to train with STOTT PILATES as an mat instructor in 2008 becoming certified in 2009. I became Reformer certified with STOTT PILATES in 2015.

So, I’ve been teaching group mat classes since late 2008 and teaching Reformer privately since for about 14 months.

I can honestly say that it has taken me a long time to assimilate all the training, knowledge and experience I have about bodies and movement in relation to the using the Reformer to teach Pilates sensitively on a one-to-one basis. I finally feel I have tamed the beast.  I have learnt how to be intuitive about how I use the Reformer with people who haven’t ever done pilates ever before.

Or whether to use it at all – often clients need to do nothing but lie in a supported position in neutral pelvis and neutral head and shoulder position for some time, completely relaxing all their muscles and ligaments, before they can move further. I have got wonderful tools to facilitate you in doing that (the Oov is my newest find….more later!)

Taming the beast that is the Reformer means really understanding the essence of each move….. not necessarily doing the moves as they appear in the training manual. It means moving according to each person’s innate needs. It means embodying not just my pilates training, but my knowledge of other wonderful movement patterns from the yoga and Feldenkrais worlds to really help people find their way to healthy movement patterns.

Come join me – connect to your body! One love.

From 1890 to 2015

2015-02-17 11.04.04 HDR2015-02-09 16.19.28

Just as healthy feet make for good alignment further up, so too will solid floor on this studio in the making. Renovation? Hmmm, more correctly, destruction and reconstruction to create a beautiful space for pilates at my home started on 2nd February. Very exciting. Also very disruptive and very dusty! But it’ll be worth it…….

Half of our old cottage (built around 1890) is getting a complete makeover to make a beautiful, well-insulated, well-finished private pilates studio. The sub-floor was laid on 6 February.

I have come a long way since I sampled my first-ever pilates class with wonderful teacher Marie Claire van Houten in the home of a lovely neighbour and friend (who is now a client) back in 2004.

My neighbour invited a few friends to try out pilates in her wonderful Georgian home. Apart from being an intense physical experience, the classes were very social – I loved the tea and chats that followed in the big country kitchen. My second daughter was only a baby at the time and I relished the social contact.

But, more importantly, a seed was sown in my head….. ‘I would like to teach pilates’. It would be a complete divergence from my career thus far. But I did it…. a lot of training, expenditure and practice later, and I am fully certified in STOTT Pilates for mat and reformer! I teach seven group mat classes each week and now plan to focus also on one-to-ones.

My new home studio will comfortably fit my V2Max Rehab Reformer. It is a hugely versatile piece of pilates equipment that can challenge the fittest of you, but can support and offer a safe way of strengthening to anyone recovering from injury or surgery.

I expect work to be finished by mid-March. Watch this space!


pilates reformer instruction

A ‘Rolls-Royce Rack’: new name for the Reformer?

pilates reformer instructionMy dearest OH [my husband] reluctantly took his first session of pilates on the ‘Reformer’ with me recently…. not him in the photo!

I know some people have no idea what Pilates is, never mind what a Reformer is. (Read FAQ for background info on Pilates itself.) But let me explain that a Reformer is a well-engineered machine where your body weight and controlled resistance from springs enhances the experience of pilates. The Reformer can make movement easier and safer if you are in recovery or are older, but it can equally challenge and achieve more precise muscle targeting if you are fit and strong. In short, the Reformer is an amazing piece of kit.

Anyway back to my OH….. he is an active, outdoorsy type. Unfortunately he is a bit overweight around the middle as he loves many of the wrong types of food and seems to have a slow metabolism. Perhaps this is why he has always disliked the name, ‘Reformer’? Does he object to the idea of his body being ‘reformed’. Maybe it reminds him of a bossy teacher in school, who knows?

Nonetheless, he was definitely curious when I took delivery of my brand new STOTT PILATES Rehab reformer in early April, and finally agreed to try it out this morning. The good news is that … yes, he liked it! He had thought it was some kind of torture machine (it does look a bit like one) and he was fearful of how difficult it might be.

After his first session, he has renamed my ‘Reformer’ the ‘Rolls-Royce Rack’. Good name or not?

‘Rolls-Royce’ because of the beauty of the engineering and the smooth movement of the carriage, and ‘Rack’ because of the way he felt it stretched his body – not in an unpleasant way.

We only had one little husband-wifey spat where I thought he was not listening and thus not following my direction, while at the same time, he said I was not being clear enough. [Note, I am still practice teaching.]

Let’s hope my dear OH grows to appreciate and to love the ‘Rolls-Royce Rack’. I feel sure he can ‘reform’ his body – stretch and strengthen, lengthen and balance – improve his posture and thus protect his hips and spine for years to come.

My pilates journey continues!