"You are only as young as your spine is flexible"

What is Pilates?
Pilates aims to strengthen the body in an even way, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and wellbeing.
Pilates exercises are done on a mat.

Pilates was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected.

His method was influenced by western forms of exercise, including gymnastics, boxing and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Pilates immigrated to the US in the 1920s and opened a studio in New York, where he taught his method –
which he called contrology – for several decades.

What are the health benefits of Pilates?
There are many reports on the health benefits of pilates.

Practitioners say regular pilates practise can help improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress and tension.

For elite athletes, including dancers, pilates can complement their training by developing whole body strength and flexibility, and help reduce the risk of injury.

Can Pilates help reduce back pain?


There’s some evidence that Pilates can provide pain relief to people with non-specific lower back pain. The exercises are effective, they are tailored to the individual and vetted by an appropriately qualified health professional.

Can Pilates help me lose weight?


Pilates is classed as a muscle-strengthening activity, which can help you maintain a healthy weight. Classes can vary in intensity: they can be gentle, or dynamic and offer a solid workout. If you want to lose weight, you’re advised to combine pilates with a healthy diet and some aerobic activities.

Can I injure myself doing Pilates?

Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise, so injuries are uncommon.

Pilates teachers aren’t medically qualified, But Diane does have a GP Referral qualification, Phase IV Cardiac rehab, COPD and Level 4 Back Care qualification , but she would still advise you to so if you’re recovering from injury, you are advised to check with your GP or relevant health professional on the suitability of certain exercises or movements before starting a class.

The background of Pilates

The Pilates Method represents a unique approach to exercise that develops body awareness, improving and changing the bodies postural and alignment habits and increasing flexibility and ease of movement.


The core fundamentals of the Method are based upon a thorough understanding of the anatomy of the human body. Pilates will create a comprehensive exercise programme for each person with the aim of restoring a greater sense of balance. It is this holistic approach that sets the Method apart from many other forms of exercise. Indeed, Osteopaths, physiotherapists and general practitioners are now recommending Pilates as one of the safest forms of exercise today.


It is beneficial for:

• General fitness and body awareness.slide-001-Pilates
• Pregnancy: Pre and post natal.
• Injury prevention.
• Remedial and rehabilitation work.
• Improvement of technique for athletes and dancers.
• The elderly.

Pilates helps to:

• Increase and create a balance between strength and flexibility.
• Create an awareness of and strengthen dynamic stability.
• Improve coordination.
• Release stress.
• Improve posture.
• Reduce pain.
Well. imagine an exercise routine that can give you a firmer flatter stomach, improve your posture, provide you with more energy and may even make you taller !imagine an exercise routine that does not involve mindless jumping around to loud, thumping music in order to achieve the benefits of great muscle tone. Imagine an exercise routine that provides you with the stretching benefits of a yoga class and the strengthening of a gym routine. Imagine an exercise routine that provides you with the control, balance and strength of a gymnast or a competitive athlete without a steamy ‘sweat’ session.

pilatesNow imagine combining all of the above into ONE exercise routine. The answer is Pilates.


The benefits of Pilates are immense and include:

• Less incidence of back pain
• Better posture
• Improved flexibility
• Lowered stress levels
• Toned buttocks and thighs
• Toned arms and shoulder area
• A flatter stomach and a trimmer waist
• Fewer headaches (where they are posture-related)
• More efficient respiratory, lymphatic and circulatory system
• No more unevenly worn shoes (where posture related)
• A better balance between strength and suppleness
• Greater strength and muscle tone
• Boosted immune system
• Increased bone density – suitable for Osteoporosis sufferers
• Greater joint mobility
• Better co-ordination
• Greater body awareness
• Fewer injuries
• Improved performance


Its success rate has brought it to the attention of the medical profession. Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Physiotherapists are now recommending Pilates as one of the safest forms of exercise available. The worlds of dance and sport have also taken a keen interest in Pilates, with many premier football clubs arranging classes for their players.

Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breath, and Flow
For many, these six principles are the foundation of the Pilates approach to exercise. Their application to the Pilates method of exercise is part of what makes it unique in the fitness world.

It is important to note that Joseph Pilates did not directly set out the Pilates principles. They are concepts distilled from Joseph Pilates’ work by later instructors. Because of this, there is not always agreement in the Pilates community about the order of the principles, the specific words used for certain concepts, or the number of principles. Nevertheless, you will find some version of the Pilates principles–similar to what I present here–to be part of almost any Pilates training program you pursue.

Joseph Pilates originally called his work “contrology.” He considered this to be a body/mind/spirit approach to movement founded on the integrative effect of principles such as centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. Whether one is working out on a mat or using Pilates equipment, like the reformer or cadillac, these basic principles infuse each exercise with intention and fullness of expression:

1. Centering:

Physically bringing the focus to the center of the body, the powerhouse area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. Energetically, Pilates exercises are sourced from center.

2. Concentration:

If one brings full attention to the exercise and does it with full commitment, maximum value will be obtained from each movement.

3. Control:

Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. No body part is left to its own devices.

4. Precision:

In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts, and trajectory for each part of the body.

5. Breath:

Joseph Pilates emphasized using a very full breath in his exercises. He advocated thinking of the lungs as a bellows — using them strongly to pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise. Learn more: Breathing in Pilates

6. Flow:

Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises. The energy of an exercise connects all body parts and flows through the body in an even way.
Pilates equipment, like the reformer, are very good mirrors of one’s flow and concentration as they tend to bang around and suddenly become quite “machine-like” if one loses ones control and flow.
Diane has brought the latest research and exercise principles to her pilates class.
She has years of expertise and a great deal of knowledge.
This makes her sessions safe and effective and her style of teaching makes the class relaxed and educational.

She delivers a balanced class as she is a level 4 low back pain specialist.


If you require any further information on PILATES, please do get in contact with us and we will happily answer any questions you have.


If you like what you have read and watched and want to join any of our classes, please go to our online booking system and register your place.



Christchurch hall
72 Abbey Road
LA14 5UB



01229 877770