Space to Be

While we are social distancing due to the coronavirus crisis, many of us may be feeling anxious about our health, our families, our finances, our future. Exercise is known to be beneficial to mood, so Pilates can help. Some people also find that meditation is helpful.

I have just come across some free weekly meditation sessions, held on Mondays at 10am and 7.30pm using Zoom, by Andrea, who trained with The Mindfulness Institute.

To find out more, including how to join, click on the link below.

There are also mindfulness apps for your smart device, which are free or have free trials, including:

  • Headspace
  • Calm
  • Aura
  • Insight Timer
  • Smiling Mind
  • Stop, Breathe & Think
  • UCLA Mindful
  • 10% Happier

Free Stuff!

As a thank you to those who have signed up to continue with my classes during this period of social distancing, I promised some bonus material in the form of short videos, so that you can continue your practice at home.

I have set up a new pilatesbodyuk Youtube channel and uploaded my first video. It’s a standing workout, which you can access on the link sent by email.

Since these videos are intend to supplement the supervised practice that you do at my classes, I have made the videos unlisted, so they won’t appear in any public spaces. Please do not share the links.

As sent by email with some amendments.

12 Reasons Why You Need Pilates In Your Life

This article may date back to 2015, but it is every bit as valid today. I especially like thes quotes from Pilates expert Dawne:

“Pilates teachers are not appropriately qualified to diagnose or treat injury or illness. We can observe movement patterns, alignment, posture and stability to provide exercise programmes to help your overall physical fitness, but if you are having pain that interferes with daily life activities, you should always seek the advice of a medical professional before taking up any form of exercise – Pilates included.”

“Cross training with Pilates helps you identify weaknesses and imbalances to minimize risk of injury due to added load on dysfunctional patterns, for example. Think of Pilates as an education in how you move. If you take this knowledge and apply it to your other workouts, you’ll notice that you move better, and subsequently achieve better results.”

Read the full article on the Grazia Daily website.

About Zoom Video Conferencing

Zoom is an online video conferencing platform, see

To use it you’ll need a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop with a microphone and webcam.

If you want to join a meeting, you need only download the app, you do not need to sign up for an account. Click on the meeting link sent to you by your host and the relevant app will automatically be installed. If you’d like to download it in advance or on several devices, go to

Once you have the Zoom app, you can also join a meeting by entering the meeting ID and password. It’s helpful for the other attendees if you enter your own name, rather than leaving it as iPad or Android.

If you want to improve the quality of your video and audio, you may wish to buy a separate webcam, microphone or speakers. You can also use cables, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to cast to a device with a larger screen, such as your TV.

If you want to host a meeting, you must sign up for a package. The basic package is free, but has a limit of 40 minutes for groups. You can stop and start a new meeting to extend your time. The next level up has a monthly or annual fee and permits group meetings of up to 30 hours. Both allow up to 100 participants. Check the Zoom website for current plans and pricing.

As the host, it is up to you to start a meeting, then invite participants to join you by sending them the meeting link. You have more controls than the other attendees and there are quite a few options that you can pre-set or manage during the meeting.

There’s plenty of online help, see: goes online!

I taught all my classes as usual yesterday, 16th March. However, given the instructions that we have received restricting social contact, I have cancelled all my Pilates classes at the Village Hall with effect from today until the coronavirus crisis is over.

I plan to continue my classes online on the same days at the same times, starting tomorrow Wednesday 18th March at 6pm. We successfully tested the Zoom app yesterday during the 6pm class and it worked!

I have ordered a new microphone and webcam, but I am afraid that I was slow off the mark and am having to wait for new stock to come in. I will be using my phone for video and audio at first but I am not sure how good the quality will be until my new kit arrives.

Getting ready

In preparation to join my online classes, on your computer or mobile device, please download the Zoom Cloud Meetings app from your app store or You do not have to sign up to a free Zoom account, unless you wish to host your own meeting.

I will send a meeting invitation to each class by email. You should click on the link to join the meeting. If you have not already installed the app, you will be prompted to do so.

You will need to find a quiet room with good internet connectivity and enough space for you and your mat. If you don’t have a mat, I suggest that a carpeted room or a large folded towel would do. You can also use a folded towel or cushion to support your head. A theraband (or long belt or scarf) and tennis ball would be useful. I will avoid using other small equipment that you may not have to hand.

Since this is new to us all, please bear with me and be prepared to spend some time in getting organised during our first online class(es).

Small Print

I have public liability insurance which covers me to teach you as long as I can see you. However, it will not be the same as teaching you in person. You will have to take extra responsibility for: your surroundings; monitoring your body; and adapting the exercises as needed, especially if you have a medical condition, injury, or experience pain. Click to re-read the terms that you signed on your enrolment form.

I look forward to resuming my classes at the Village Hall in the future. Meanwhile, I think that this will be a great way of enabling us to continue with our Pilates practice.

As sent by email, with amendments re. Zoom.

Try Pilates this Year

With the imminent launch of her new book ‘Shape Up With Pilates’, Lynne Robinson of Body Control Pilates was featured in an article in The Times Weekend about why buff bodies are doing Pilates.

David Beckham, Andy Murray, Matthew McConaughey do it, as do Gareth Bale, Ryan Giggs, Diego Costa and Harry Kane.

The article goes on to describe how more men are waking up to the benefits of Pilates.

I now use it with all the players I coach as it improves their mobility and flexibility as well as their balance and strength. I get them to do 10-15 minutes of it every day.

Often I wouldn’t tell footballers that what they were doing was Pilates until they realised that the exercises were working for them.

Jon Ashton, Fitness Coach, Stevenage FC

Read the whole article in The Times weekend online or as a pdf.

A ‘Pilates-changed-my-life’ story

In a recent article in the Guardian, the writer describes how Pilates took her from crippling back-pain to amazing health. This didn’t happen overnight, but over a period of three years. Five years on, Pilates has:

  • made her feel happier
  • gives her a breather from everything else in her busy life
  • reduced her clothes size
  • made her stronger
  • improved both her physical and emotional strength

I turned 50 this year and yet, I feel indomitable, somehow: so full of energy, so avid for life, so keenly interested in everyone and everything. My mood soars.

Rachel Cooke

Read the whole story ‘Pilates-changed-my-life’ stories are annoying… but it did

Pilates celebs: Adele

Adele is one of the celebrities who have recently been in the press as having ‘become a fan of’ reformer Pilates.

The reformer is one of the large pieces of equipment invented by Joseph Pilates in the 20th century. The equipment has springs that provide assistance or resistance, depending on the exercise. In a Pilates studio, classes are usual one to one, so the exercises are tailored to your needs. If you’d like to try it, contact me.

Although it is credited with helping her to lose weight, Pilates does not usually lead to weight loss without a supporting regime of aerobic exercise and diet.

Read more on the Metro website.