Meet Michelle… Michelle is a regular at my Wednesday night classes and a member of Studio Scoop online.When Michelle first came to my classes she was aiming to address a specific injury and it’s fair to say (as she does below) she was a little nervous about causing more pain or aggravating the problem further.  Michelle came regularly and practiced with complete concentration, listened to and in fact welcomed correction but most importantly trusted the process.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, Michelle has attended classes regularly and with consistency and she has seen a vast improvement in what was a debilitating injury. Best of all, Michelle has managed to move away from her initial reason for attending and now comes to class because she loves it and is seeing other, unexpected benefits. I will let her tell you more…

Why did you begin Pilates?

I have always tried to be as active as possible, however just over two years ago, I had to have major ankle surgery.  I was in an ankle boot and on crutches for 10 weeks and during this time, I lost a lot of muscle mass in my leg.  This brought on a lot of pain in both hips and legs.   My physiotherapist suggested Pilates to build back my strength.   I will be honest – I was sceptical.   I have tried Pilates in the past, and ended up in more pain than I started with.  Obviously, further pain wasn’t of interest to me.

To my delight – I found Caroline’s class.   After 1.5 years of Pilates –  while I still have discomfort at times, the pain in my ankle/leg/hips has considerably reduced, and more importantly – I have become stronger and can see the difference in how my body looks and feels!

Do you prefer a class or to practice at home?

I prefer to go to class because Caroline guides us through each exercise with sound advice and encouragement.  The class enables me to take a break, relax and reconnect with myself after a stressful day/week.  In the morning, I try to practice the techniques we learn in class to stretch and focus on myself before starting the day.    The videos and the latest 5-day challenge during the holidays are my ‘go to’ when I want that little bit more.

Are there any unexpected benefits of Pilates? Have you had good results that you didn’t expect?

The unexpected benefits – Pilates has become a way of life for me and I LOVE IT!!!   I have reaped the benefits when I take a couple of minutes during the day to focus on my breathing or do some shoulder rolls which are always level with my ears.  It puts me in a better place mentally and physically.

Favourite and least favourite exercise?

Albeit hard at times – I love the leg and upper arm exercises (even when we use the ‘Magic Circle’ 📷) because I can see the results.   I really don’t like being on my stomach so I am not a fan of these exercises!

Do you have any tips for people who are just beginning pilates?

Try it – you have nothing to lose especially when you understand the right way of doing the exercises and most importantly – you find the right instructor! 📷

Why is pilates good for YOUR body?

Everything has improved – my strength, body condition and mental well-being.   You know you are onto a good thing when others notice as well, which is a great confidence boaster!