"Pull up, pull in & breathe"


Published on: 01/02/17


I started my Pilates classes in August 2016 as part of my post-retirement activities and following an initial consultation and assessment with Emma R. This was extremely thorough and conducted in a most professional and friendly manner. Emma concluded that, in the first instance, the best course of action would be for me to have some 1-2-1 sessions that could focus on my specific and recurring neck and shoulder injury issues; essentially, the accumulated wear and tear of working on drawing boards and computer keyboards during my career as landscape architect.

In the event, my fortnightly classes with Emma J have worked extremely well. By good fortune we have a similar sense of humour and work ethic which makes the sessions both relaxed yet entirely focussed. In addition, when I received feedback from the local Musculo-skeletal Assessment Service about my neck and shoulder problems, Emma devised a complementary suite of exercises to work in tandem with those given to me by the physiotherapist. I invariably manage to do a combination of these every morning and a short relaxation ‘wind-down’ in the evening but more importantly, perhaps, I don’t feel guilty if I don’t manage or miss one; going instead with what my body tells me.

On the few times that Emma has been unable to take one of my sessions, either Pat, or Leigh, have done so. On each occasion they have been fully appraised of my history, what I did at the last lesson and what programme Emma has suggested for them to cover. This seamless continuity can only be achieved by good organisation and coordination and especially so as I understand so many of the team have been trained by Pat herself.

As well as Pilates I started taking singing lessons after my retirement and have been pleased, if not entirely surprised, at the ways in which these two activities have been mutually beneficial; where, posture, breathing and core support are critical to both. I have also found that the execution of each exercise can be found to have a natural rhythm too - like Life itself.

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