Emma has been coming to my Thursday morning Pilates class religiously for a few years now. She mentions below her reasons for doing Pilates and I can attest to the difference it makes – in the time I’ve known her, her range of movement has improved dramatically especially in her spine which, with an increase in strength, is helping with her lower back issues. Over to Emma…

I started pilates to improve my core and support my back. I’ve had a number of issues with my back in the past and pilates has helped me understand how to keep it healthy and also that practising even when it’s sore (sensibly) can be beneficial rather than stopping exercise and seizing up! I started a very part time gardening job recently and honestly I don’t think I could be doing all that weeding without the weekly pilates!

One other benefit I get is that I get to mentally switch off for the hour as I have to focus on what I’m supposed to be doing. As a teacher Caroline provides great detail about how and why the exercise works that’s it’s impossible to worry/think about other stuff! (This is great and really useful).

My least favourite exercise comes to mind immediately, anything involving straightening/stretching hamstrings, especially holding legs up straight! I know it’s good for us but it’s painful! I like most of the other stuff we do, more recently the new shoulder opening stretches we did were great.

I definitely prefer a class, it’s odd because I’ve always been good at self motivating to do my own stuff like swimming and cycling, even aerobic dvd’s at home but for whatever reason I’m just unable to get myself to practice pilates at home, or do any sort of stretching which I really should be doing. I guess the personal contact is motivational. Though I did manage the challenge over Xmas holidays, but that was watching Caroline on videos!