DCRR, Pilates Foundation, YTTC
My proposition is to inspire people to experience healthy aging, improved movement and to become aware of how to bring balance, joy, laughter and grace into their everyday experiences. I do this by helping to guide them towards more awareness of mind, breathing and spirit.
Everyday activities at work and at home can have a long term negative effect on our bodies’ health and well-being, leaving us weak, with poor posture and prone to injury. Unfortunately, we often only become aware of the need to maintain our good posture, strength and flexibility, following an injury or period of illness.
Looking after our body’s well-being is essential to maintaining high performance at work and an enjoyable and healthy lifestyle. A short class once or twice a week can be the antidote to most common workplace ailments – it may be a cliche but “health is the true wealth”.
My classes are small (usually fewer than 12 students) and I teach intuitively, responding to students in the class, I start where I start and then see/feel what is needed for those attending.
I began my working life as a radiographer, having trained at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. I have worked in both Belfast and London. I now live in Newtownards where I have a small studio.
I have many years of experience in yoga, Pilates and somatics and it is this breadth and level of understanding of these methods that enables me to integrate the best of them. I teach privately as well as running classes in Belfast and Newtownards in the evenings.
My Pilates experience started in 1986 in London where I became a student of Alan Herdman, (a student of Joseph Pilates, the originator of the Pilates exercise technique) at Alan Herdman Pilates Studios. I qualified as a Pilates Instructor in 1990, taught at his studios for several years and also started my own mat classes.
Leaving London in 1997 I brought Pilates to Northern Ireland, starting classes in Bangor, Belfast and Newtownards. In 1999 I taught Pilates in the Body Precision Studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
I have studied yoga since my teenage years and it was also while living in London that I began a regular yoga practice. On returning to Northern Ireland I studied to become a yoga teacher with Marie Quail at the YTTC. Many aspects of Pilates come into my yoga classes which go beyond the traditional asana practice, adding challenge and fun.
I have also studied meditation:
In 1994-1995 – Theravada Buddhism – Anapanna and Vipassana Meditation
The Sayagyi U Ba Khan Tradition and International Meditation Centre, Splatts House, Heddington, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 0PE
In 1996 – Flower of Life Meditation Technique, Drunvalo Melchezidek
In 2010 I studied at the Yasodhara Ashram in Canada, Swami Sivananda Radhas’ teachings of the Hidden Language of Hatha Yoga.
I also study with Diane Long, a student of Vanda Scaravelli for 32 years. I travelled and studied with Diane in India in 2004 and 2005.
More recent training includes:
2014 Catherine Annis/Gary Carter – Scaravelli-inspired Yoga
2015 Katy Bowman – Move Your DNA/ Functional Anatomy
2016 Amy Matthews Yoga/Embodied Anatomy
2016 Liza Petersen – Hanna Somatics Movements Teacher Training
2018 Marc J Acquaviva – Scaravelli-inspired Yoga
2018 Pete Blackaby – Intelligent Yoga
I have also studied with Angela Farmer and Victor van Kooten, Sophy Hoare, Godfrey Devereux, Diane Long and Donna Farhi and I have been instrumental in getting four of these international teachers to come to Northern Ireland and give workshops and seminars highlighting their different styles and techniques.