Pilates Inspiration – The Washington Ballet

Six professional dancers from The Washington Ballet demonstrate what they consider to be the most challenging moves in their repertoire and explain what makes them so difficult.  Look closely and you can see all eight principles of Pilates in action…



May 2017 Bank Holiday Timetable Changes

Two bank holidays in May mean there will be no Pilates classes at The Wellbeing Studio, Clevedon on the following dates:

  • Monday 1st May
  • Monday 29th May

For those affected by the closures, why not book in on one of the other ten classes happening at the studio during the rest of the week, if you find you’re free.

To close, a stunning performance by Imelda May from her new album released this month, Life. Love. Flesh. Blood.  Hankies at the ready, folks…



Pilates Inspiration – Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

Finnish photographer, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen movement-based images are beautiful.

Most of the photographs below are from her Coal Coast series, a culmination of Konttinen’s three years spent documenting life on beaches between Seaham and Hartlepool.

Her Step by Step project from the eighties explored mother-daughter relationships through a dancing school in North Shields. The book of the same name is said to have inspired the film Billy Elliot.

The last image of the girl on the space hopper is from her Byker project, a seminal documentation of the community of terraced streets in Newcastle’s East End, which were demolished to make way for Ralph Erskine-designed Byker Wall Estate in the 1970s.

Only one album to play at this time of year, Patti Smith Group’s Easter.  Have a relaxing long weekend.  See you on the other side.



National Stress Awareness Month

April is National Stress Awareness Month.  It has been running since 1992 and is a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress and how to prevent it.

Most of us will be familiar with the feelings associated with confronting a stressful situation, but when does occasional stress turn into a debilitating problem?

Common symptoms of stress:

  • rapid pulse and sometimes heart palpitations
  • dry mouth and sweaty palms
  • headaches
  • generalised anxiety
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite for food and sex
  • digestive problems
  • muscle tension
  • skin disorders
  • depressed immune system making us more prone to illness

Stress is often disregarded as merely a part of everyday life, a by-product of problems with relationships, work and money that is largely unavoidable.  Work-related stress is a growing problem in the UK with 488,000 cases – including anxiety and depression – recorded by the Health and Safety Executive in 2015/16.  It is clear from this that many people are becoming stressed to the extent it is adversely affecting how they think, feel and behave.

Pilates has an important role to play in managing our stress levels.  Attending a class can provide a place for the body to relax, rejuvenate and release tension. It also provides a space for the mind to focus on the present moment. The Pilates method of breathing oxygenates the blood, which triggers a calming effect on the brain. The breath timed with the movement, creates a physiological response in the body that naturally decreases our stress and anxiety levels.

If you’ve never tried Pilates, or haven’t been for a while, and think you might be suffering from stress, why not make April the month to come to Pilates at The Wellbeing Studio.  There are lots of classes during the week and at weekends, and at different times of the day to suit all types of lifestyle.  To arrange to attend, please contact me either by phone or email if you’re an existing client, or via the contact form if you’ve never been to class before.

To close, a chill-out track and video from Rhye…you might want to give the cigar a miss though…