PILATES EXERCISES for BEGINNERS

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I started attending aerobic classes to help to shed the weight I had gained during pregnancy. Many instructors back then (1989) were not qualified in exercise to music, were not members of REPS, and did not have have PPR licenses, or public liability insurance because they did not need any of that in those days. Practically anyone could start up a class and do what ever they wanted, and most instructors came to aerobics after their dance careers were over. I remember one particular class I attended where the instructor stood up at the front on one leg, with her other foot above her head and said 'now your turn' - and she meant it - I couldn't even lift my leg to hip height at that stage!

As I felt that I was getting nowhere with this type of instruction (I just felt intimidated), I decided to get fit and become an instructor myself, vowing to make sure that I always had a bit more empathy with my class participants - and never to lift my foot above my head!.

I became qualified in 1991 with the RSA exercise to music
course and began to teach aerobics at the local police
headquarters. I was quick to see that Step aerobics would be
a big hit - they said it would never take off - but as usual I
did not listen. I purchased 25 steps, hand weights, a stereo,
a microphone and a van to carry everything around in, and I
set up my own business. I held classes in school halls and
anywhere else I could find. Luckily it was very successful,
and I employed two other instructors to help me out. During
this busy time we raised thousands of pounds for charity  -
with the help of our class participants - running sponsored
step events at fetes, fun days etc. We even formed a step
display team.

As more and more large fitness chains opened in the area where I
lived, the demand for school hall classes began to dwindle so I
started teaching classes for them as well as running my own courses.

Over the years I have taught just about every type of fitness class,
including Slide, Body Pump, Spinning, Power Chi Yoga, Groove
and Stomp FX. Step and Body Conditioning were my favorites, and
I still think Step is one of the best ways to burn calories.

In 1995 I took my interest in Aromatherapy a stage further, and became qualified in Massage and Aromatherapy. I started another business working from home and in a salon as a therapist, and also studied for a further 3 years at college during the day, for an NVQ level 3 in Beauty and Holistic Therapies.

During my last year of college I had an operation which left me with very weak back. It was then that I was introduced to Pilates by a fellow instructor, she said it would help me to strengthen my entire body, particularly my abdominals and back, and help me to recover so that I could carry on teaching and giving treatments. She was right, Pilates really helped me, I became much stronger and my posture improved. Pilates exercises help to keep my back strong, because my abdominal muscles are also strong. I was so impressed with the results that I decided to become a Pilates instructor myself.

I took my qualifications at the Pilates Institute in London in 2001, and began to teach private beginner and intermediate courses, and Pilates on the ball. I taught Pilates for all the major fitness clubs in my area, and gained much of my Pilates teaching ability through working with large groups. Sometimes it was impossible to be 'hands on', so I learned how to get my message accross with good explanations and different visualizations. I also discovered that people learn best by being shown what not to do.

In 2003 I became Studio Co-ordinator for LA Fitness at a new club in the center of London where I ran the studios and taught classes. I also carried on teaching in my home town clubs and continued to run my private classes. Later I transferred to a club nearer to where I lived and became studio co-ordinator there until 2006 when my husband and I decided to move to the Spanish countryside to reform and old Finca.

I continued with my teaching and therapies at a much more relaxed pace, but after 6 years have now returned to the UK to open my own beauty salon in Chelmsford, Essex.
www.faceandbodybeautytreatments.com

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