Pilates is My Happy Hour – What is Pilates and What Can it Do for You

Pilates is my Happy Hour

What exactly is Pilates and what can it do for me?


I get asked this a lot. Let me start at the very beginning.


I was born with a bad hip, a thing called hip dysplasia- very simply, it means my hip doesn’t properly fit into my socket. I was never really a problem until I started dancing. Then I became incredibly painful and my leg used to give way for no apparent reason. I was always falling over (non-alcohol induced, I promise!).


I started to practice Pilates many years ago to help build strength in my own hips, which it did. I also became completely pain free, something I realised I’d never really been. I noticed that my posture was improved and I walked differently- lighter and taller somehow.


That’s when I decided that, ‘hmmmm’ perhaps there’s something in this Pilates malarkey, and I decide to train to become a teacher.


The true definition of Pilates as defined by Joseph Pilates in his book Return to Life through Contrology (his original name for it, only after his death did it take on his name), presents his method as the art of controlled movements, which should look and feel like a workout when properly manifested.


If practiced with consistency, Pilates improves flexibility, builds strength and develops control and endurance in the entire body. It emphasises alignment, breathing, core strength, improving coordination and balance. And…yes Pilates can help you to lose weight (another question I get asked a lot, I wrote another blog post about that, you can find that here).


But…there’s something else, I’ve been thinking about this, and what Pilates truly is.


Yes, we look at alignment, posture and building stability, all of which are incredibly important – but what I think are much more far-reaching is freedom, hope, confidence and a greater awareness and appreciation of our own bodies.


I’ve been teaching Pilates for many years now, and I see people coming to me broken. They’re in lots of pain, they are scared – they’re scared of the future, they’re scared they’ll not be able to work anymore and they’re scared to move incase they do more damage. When in this situation you can’t focus, all you can focus on is the fear and the pain. There’s nothing else there, just desperation for something to help them apart from increasing doses of painkillers.


Being able to help give these people hope and just some small glimmer that there might be a different path, that they may be able to help themselves.


I teach a very specific system, not all Pilates teachers are the same.


My system essentially has 3 phases;

  1. Find and strengthen the inner core. (Awareness)
  2. Increase mobility and stability whilst engaging the inner core. (Stability)
  3. Build strength to support the rest of the body. (Strength)

My system has proven to work countless times over the years, and of course, I’ve honed it and improved it as I’ve learned and practiced more myself. Building awareness first through breathing exercises, confidence building and small movements is the foundation. Without the foundations correctly in place, your castle is being built on sand.


Everyday I get messages from folks that my system has helped;


I literally think you’re a superhero. Almost a year pain-free. You cured me. I’d rather give birth again than have back pain’ – Beth


Hi Jill, Just to let you know got a new hip 3 weeks ago and now walking on my own no aids. I thank god that I did Pilates, and strengthened my muscles hence the quick recovery. Anyone going for this op should do Pilates.’ – Julie


I teach a very modern version of Pilates with primal pattern movements incorporated. It builds on the traditional version but includes modern scientific research methods and adaptations. I also incorporate the integrated movement specialism and holistic lifestyle coaching that I learned from the esteemed CHEK Institute.


I look at the body as a whole. Often it’s not just about how you’re moving, but what you’re eating, your stress levels, hydration, sleep and many other things that are all contributing to the level of pain. Start reducing some of those other things down and you’ll start to see improvements.


When you come to private sessions with me we’ll not only look at your bio-mechanics and physiology, but also your lifestyle, nutrition, stress levels and any challenges or psychological issues that may be impacting upon your body.


When you come to classes with me, I can guarantee that you’ll have fun, you’ll be challenged (adaptation requires challenge, right?) and you’ll grow. You’ll grow stronger, more confident and you’ll grow to love your body and everything it does for you. Classes are an hour long and I teach a combination of moves that will challenge you on all planes of movement, and are designed to build strength and stability.
Personally, Pilates has not only given me the pain-free, ability to move well element. It’s also given me the freedom to step off the hamster wheel, it’s allowed me to make a life doing what I love and helping others, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.
We’ve all been given this space suit…let’s look after it, nurture it and continue to develop it. Helping yourself is not only better for you, but you’ll become a stronger, more interactive human – which is better for the planet, it’s called evolution.
Now, get up out of your chair and move!

2 thoughts on “Pilates is My Happy Hour – What is Pilates and What Can it Do for You

  • January 2, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    Cant recommend highly enough Jill’s classes…. not only are they a lot of fun, great music too, but the whole body (and often mind) has a total workout….I’ve been doing these classes (Pilates and Booty Barre) with Jill for a few years now and am totally addicted!

  • January 4, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Hi how much are the sessions and where are they and what time. Very interested I had hip dysplasia and hip pain constantly which is worse in cold weather. Thanks


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