Barcelona Bougainvillea

 

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When I was younger, my sister lived on the island of Rhodes for 10 years, so every year I went to visit her. One of my abiding memories was of the amazing bougainvillea plants there. So, I promised myself that one day, when I lived somewhere warm enough, I would get my self a bougainvillea. That day has arrived. It’s the small things in life  that sometimes mean the most, the attention to detail that completes the picture.

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Mila Kunis Pregnancy Pilates

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Mila Kunis’ pregnancy seems to be the worst kept Hollywood secret. Whilst news she is expecting may have broken the hearts of millions of men, she is doing all the right things with her exercise regime. The 30-year-old was spotted leaving a Pilates class last week.

The actress, who is engaged to Ashton Kutcher, is rumoured to be having a girl, but of course we are not concerned with Hollywood gossip, we are concerned with the amazing benefits that Pilates can bring during pregnancy.

So why is Pilates such a great exercise system before, during and after pregnancy? There are many reasons, and I want to keep this blog short and sweet so for the benefit of those who are not so familiar with Pilates, I will try to briefly explain some of the reasons why Mila will benefit from her regular Pilates sessions.

The beauty of many Pilates exercises that can be used during pregnancy is that they can help with body awareness, they can help to maintain good posture, and they can help to reduce some of the typical aches and pains that most women will experience at some point. Pilates is just about the safest exercise system out there and because it can be adapted, it remains relevant and safe throughout all the stages of pregnancy.

It’s never too late to start either. Even if an expectant mum has never done Pilates before (or even any other form of exercise) it will still provide many benefits. Plus it can help to reduce the recovery period after baby is born. Pilates can and should be last form of exercise a pregnant mum does before the birth, and it can be the first exercises she does after the birth.

There are of course some serious considerations that any Pilates teacher should be aware of when instructing pregnant clients as the pregnancy develops, not least minimizing the time spent lying on the back as this can in rare cases cause nausea and dizziness. Supine hypotensive syndrome is where the weight of the developing baby can prevent normal circulation of blood which can in theory lead to a lack of oxygen which affects baby’s blood supply. Of course exercise should be stopped immediately if any pain or uncomfortable sensations occur. It’s also important to ask all the usual questions about health and previous issues/injuries rather than just concentrate on the fact your client is pregnant.

In my system Pilates EVO Pregnancy© (www.pilatesevo.com) the sequences of movements ensure that no more than 5 minutes is spent on the back at any one time. The NLP, mindfulness meditation and meridian aspects work perfectly in conjunction with traditional Pilates to create a full mind and body experience. I also teach how we can appropriately touch and instruct a pregnant client, and all the special considerations that must be taken into account.

There are of course considerations, and it is this attention to detail that makes professional Pilates teachers such experts. But this should not detract from the fact that Pilates can be totally safe during pregnancy, and it is the perfect way to prepare your body and mind.

I’m happy as always to chat in more detail about Pilates during pregnancy and Pilates EVO Pregnancy© so please get in touch via my website or Facebook.

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Kathleen Turner: Pilates helped fight rheumatoid arthritis

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It can be inspiring (if not a little tiring) to see an article about another actress with a flat belly that she has achieved through Pilates. My blog today is about a famous actress, but it is an altogether more inspiring story, and another great example of why Pilates has changed so many people’s lives. Kathleen Turner says it saved her life.

The 59-year-old was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1992 and has had 12 operations over a 12 year period to combat the painful disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints. The main symptoms are joint pain and swelling.  You can find out more by clicking on www.arthritisresearchuk.org.

Kathleen was told that she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair after she was reduced to shuffling up stairs on her bottom. However Kathleen, who is currently starring in the new West End production, Bakersfield Mist, says she maintains her strength and flexibility because she practices Pilates. ‘Pilates, baby! Twice a week. Pilates saved my life,’ the actress told The Times Newspaper in London.

Rheumatoid arthritis in women can be common for those in their late 30s and early 40s, after they have given birth. Kathleen was told by a physician that she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, but rather than accept the diagnosis, she fired that doctor and endured a staggering number of surgeries.

She shot to cinematic fame opposite William Hurt in the 1981 classic Body Heat, and over the years has proven her worth in films like Romancing The Stone, Peggy Sue Got Married, and even voiced the animated character of Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Now she is back on the stage and citing Pilates as the main reason why she can still act.

Another Pilates “good news” story. It works for Kathleen, and it works for over 11 million people who regularly do Pilates around the world. 

If you want to find out more about how Pilates can help with many different issues, then please contact me.

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Beyonce & Paul McCartney are Pilates buddies!

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It doesn’t get any more celebrity than this, Beyoncé and Sir Paul McCartney doing Pilates together!

Regular readers of my blog will know that as well as more serious articles about Pilates, I also write about famous Pilatistas. My opinion is that anything that raises awareness of Pilates can only be a good thing. In today’s culture, it’s a fact that many people associate themselves with celebrities. It’s not my place to argue the rights of wrongs of this, I just accept it as a fact, and if just one person tries Pilates because of one of my blogs, then I consider this to be a success. If you want a technical Pilates discussion then please click on the link above to my website or my Facebook link below and let’s chat…

So back to Beyoncé and Sir Paul McCartney. The two music legends were staying in the same hotel, the Four Seasons, during the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in California.

The famous pair were seen going through their paces at an LA gym, according to the UK press. It’s reported that they hit the treadmills and after some cardio, Macca, 71, and Beyonce, 32, did some Pilates before heading off for a run.

Celebrity gossip aside, this Pilates pairing shows the world exactly how great Pilates can be. Yes, men and women do it! Yes, old and young do it! Yes, you can do Pilates with a friend because it can be done at many different levels as it is possible to modify the movements to make them appropriate for all levels of ability.

It is clear to the world what amazing condition Beyoncé is in, and it is a good job Sir Paul is staying in good physical shape at his age after he added six more dates to the North American leg of his Out There Tour.

Celebrities, love them or hate them, they do sometimes show the world the possibilities when it comes to using Pilates. For that, I thank them.

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Pilates for the over 60’s? Susan Lucci swears by it

 

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As all Pilates trainers know, there really is no age limit to practising Pilates and the continued benefits it can bring.

A great example of this is Susan Lucci, A household name in the US thanks to a very successful career in TV , the sixty-seven year-old is still looking amazing.

During a conversation about the second season of the TV series “Devious Maids,” Lucci revealed her tips for staying slim, happy and healthy. Her biggest secrets? Hot water with lemon, and Pilates of course.

“Everything I do is Pilates-based, which is dancer strength training. I didn’t want to bulk up. I’m very petite, so Pilates is what dancers use and that was good for me,” Lucci said. “I try to combine some cardio, too, and whatever I’m doing, it’s all about the core and flexibility and balance.”

Susan was born in December 23, 1946, and is an American actress, television host, author and entrepreneur, best known for portraying Erica Kane on the ABC daytime series drama All My Children. Lucci has been called “Daytime’s Leading Lady” by with New York Times and Los Angeles Times citing her as the highest-paid actor in daytime television. As early as 1991, her salary had been reported as over $1 million a year.

Pilates is generally appropriate for senior fitness, and it is gaining popularity among senior citizens. The ability to modify the exercises to meet differing needs, along with the many benefits of Pilates, such as increased levels of strength, balance, flexibility, muscle tone, stamina, and well being, make Pilates an ideal senior exercise program. After all, Joseph Pilates practiced his method into his eighties. There are specific programs for the over 60s including my Pilates EVO Forever Young.

So if you are thinking that you are too old to start Pilates, then please think again. You are seriously never too old. Find a good qualified instructor (if you need any help with that then please get in touch) and get started right away. It will not take long for you to notice the benefits.

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Pilates EVO: The Past is Dead

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Since its birth around 100 years ago, the Pilates method has been modified and arguably made more effective by some distinguished presenters, but diluted and the basic principles largely ignored by less scrupulous teachers.

Pilates EVO© (EVO is an abbreviation of evolution) is like no other Pilates class you have ever been to. Developed by Chris Hunt Pilates in London, it takes Pilates in a new and exciting direction incorporating more functional training methods and movement patterns, whilst staying true to traditional Pilates principles.

Pilates EVO© expands the mind and body element of Pilates by incorporating Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Mindfulness Meditation techniques to maximise the psychological and physical benefits, improving concentration and making clients emotionally, mentally and spiritually fitter. It improves motor fitness such as agility, balance, speed, co-ordination, reaction time and power. Pilates EVO© also draws on the thousands of years of teachings from Kundalini yoga and meridian stretches to enhance the overall experience.

It has more flow and movement with sequences of moves made up from the sacred numbers 3, 7 and 21, and it uses unique, uplifting soundtracks mixed in London by DJ Shameless to enable clients to really connect with how their body is moving and working, giving a far deeper and rewarding experience. Most moves have different levels progressing muscular fitness using repetitions, range of motion, rate and resistance. This creates a system that will remain challenging to a wide range of training goals from elite athletes, people seeking everyday fitness, to clients rehabilitating following accident or injury.

This system increases muscular strength and endurance as well as flexibility, and helps prevent injury and improve performance with movements that are applicable to life and sport.

Pilates EVO© is more than an exercise system, it is a way of life. A way to maximise your potential physically, mentally and emotionally.

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Pilates helps Boston bombing survivors

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Pilates means many different things to different people. It changed my life by helping me to recover from a serious back condition, and for that reason I will always be passionate about it. As I tell me Pilates EVO students, I want teachers who teach from their heart because they believe in the system, not those who teach from their bank balance.

Pilates has helped to change many people’s lives, and this week it was reported that Celeste Corcoran is using Pilates to change her everyday life.  She is getting free Pilates sessions three times a week.

If you are not familiar with the name, Celeste and her daughter Sydney are survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings. In addition to having both legs amputated (one above the knee and one below), Celeste also had both ear drums blown out. Sydney, a freshman at Merrimack College in Andover, severed her femoral artery and nearly bled to death. While both women are healing, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Celeste has new prosthetics, but she needed a lot of strength both physically and mentally to move on with her life. About Pilates, she says “This is absolutely what I need in order to be strong and walk comfortably and to have my balance,” Celeste says. “Because my legs were taken away, there are muscles that I hadn’t used before. I wasn’t in the greatest shape. I noticed a difference almost immediately in my balance, like just standing. I believe that it’s absolutely because of Pilates.”

Pilates is the perfect rehabilitation technique because it not only gives many benefits including strength and flexibility, but it also teaches body control and muscle movement. In a rehabilitation scenario it can help to give people back control of their bodies and their lives. As it is not simply a hands-on method, it also gives people responsibility for their own rehabilitation. Whilst this may sound grandiose, I have experienced it first hand working with many clients via my organisation Pilates Rehab Limited so it is not inflated rhetoric.

I am always stressing the body control aspect of Pilates to my students as it saddens me to see some Pilates methods and teachers neglecting this crucial area. In my system Pilates EVO I use NLP and mindfulness meditation techniques to really enhance the mind and body experience for both the teacher and the student.

Pilates is not only celebrity pictures. It is a very real system that is changing the lives of millions of people around the world. I am very proud to be a small part of this global phenomenon and I will be forever grateful for the change in my life that Pilates bought about.

If you want any more information about Pilates, Pilates EVO or Pilates Rehab then please get in touch.

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