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The Pilates Method was developed by Joseph Pilates (1880-1967). Pilates is holistic exercise that looks at the whole body rather than just individual muscle groups. Pilates is best known for the stabilisation of the torso - the so-called “core” or “powerhouse”. Strength is developed from the inside out, that is, postural, deep muscles are worked rather than just working with the global muscles. This is particularly useful for those with back pain as it helps the body to realign itself and helps anyone whose lifestyle or profession puts strain on a particular area of the body, be it the back, neck or shoulder girdle. However, this is not the sole benefit of Pilates. Pilates also emphasises elongation and length which creates space in the joints and thereby helps fluid exchange. Most importantly of all, Pilates is carried out with a high level of mental awareness which is important for changing habitual movement and postural patterns.
The original Pilates exercises are suitable for athletes, dancers and for anyone looking for high levels of fitness. Over time, however, the Pilates Method was modified and adapted taking account of the newer insights made in the fields of sports medicine and physiotherapy. A large number of adapted exercises (the so-called pre-Pilates exercises) were developed which are suitable for almost everyone, independent of their fitness level. The enormous diversity that was thus created allows each Pilates class to be modified to such an extent that it can be adapted to suit the requirements of anyone.
Kat has developed her own style of Pilates with a strong emphasis on sensation (kinesthetic awareness) and somatic education to engage the body's power of self regulation and encourage lasting change to habitual patterns. Her classes incorporate fascia release and fitness, as well as elements from Body Mind Centering, Yoga and other somatic movement systems, such as Feldenkrais, for example.
Kat is particularly interested in the effect of tension and stress on our bodies, especially on our muscles, fascia and nervous system. She has also worked extensively with clients following surgery and has a particular interest in adhesions, scar tissue and lymphatic flow.
Kat also teaches Yoga Flow classes. In her Yoga classes she loves to combine the creative possibilities of Vinyasa Yoga with the playfulness of Scaravelli and the precision of Iyengar. Most of all she thinks that Yoga should be joyful, a celebration of our life but also knows that Yoga can support us through those more difficult times. To find out more information, contact her.
What the Press says:
Link to Express newspaper article (opens in a new window)
Pilates, Fascial Release and Somatic Education based on Body Mind Centering – a particularly effective combination
In Fascial Release movements are adapted to release, re-awaken and re-pattern connections between muscle groups - the so-called fascial lines - and stretch areas of scar tissue and adhesions. Its ultimate aim is to develop structural integrity in movement and posture. A holistic and sensual approach that helps posture and improves functional movements and is useful in rehabilitation and general fitness training.
Body Mind Centering (BMC)* is an experiential bodywork practice that covers anatomical, physiological and developmental (including embryological) principles. BMC is based on the differentiation of the individual body systems, be it organs, bones, muscles, nervous system, fluids or endocrine system and on re-patterning developmental patterns. Differentiation and re-patterning can help us to initiate movement in different ways and help to change those patterns which create restriction and pain.
Fascial Release and BMC have wide-ranging application in rehabilitation. The latter is also very popular with artists, especially dancers and actors.
Combining these elements with Pilates exercises leads to a deep, inner understanding of those movements, thereby allowing change to happen from the inside.
As William Sutherland said: “Better to mobilize an internal force, than to use an external, inevitably blind, force.”
* Kat is a BMC somatic movement educator, a Pilates teacher qualified by the Pilates Foundation and a Level 4 British Wheel of Yoga Diploma teacher. Overall her trainings combine to more than 1500 hours of training (for comparison: a basic level training will be 200 hours whilst a high level training consists of 500 hours)