Q&A with Lu
Lower back and pelvic conditions are my jam ; )
I have focused on this area of the body within my Pilates career and have had great results in people from dancers to trades people.
Before opening the studio in 2013 I had finished my study with APMA (Australian Pilates Method Australia) becoming a Pilates movement practitioner. I had the pleasure to work with many talented Pilates practitioners and health practitioners through out Melbourne.
One of my experiences was taking clinical Pilates classes for specialist musculoskeletal Physiotherapist Jenny Hynes at her then clinic in Essendon. Being exposed to Jenny’s clients, some with very complex musculoskeletal conditions was life changing. Her passion for lower back, pelvic girdle and hip pain completely rubbed off on me. I was hooked.
It opened my eyes to looking at this part of the body in a very different way.
In relation to your area of expertise, what are 5 exercises or stretches would you recommend a client does at home in between classes to get the most out of thier Studio class. (for strength, flexibility, recovery or maintenance).
Strength for backs – my tops 5 home exercises:
1. Darts or a dart variation (upper thx extension)
3. Plank variations
4. Chest lift or oblique chest lift with feet down. Depending on where the is pain in the back due to an injury or health issue will depend on what type of core work would be suitable.
5. Plies in 1st or second position – focusing on keeping a straight back and elongating through the crown of the head. Always lengthening!
What is your favorite Pilates stretch and why?
Ballet stretches on the trapeze table in the fluffies. The Trapeze table is just the best – it stretches the body so beautifully.
What is your favorite Pilates repertoire and why?
Argh, this is so tricky. I love everything from modified repertoire to really advanced work on the Wunda chair..The chair rep is probably my favourite because its bloody hard! Reminds me a bit of the vault in Gymnastics when I was a kid. Lots of balance and strength required.
If I had to choose I’d say single leg pikes, side bends, reverse swan, teaser and just too many to mention them all.
What is your background/education? What else do you do?
I am a trained remedial massage therapist and have just completed my
Myotherapy education this year, whoo hoo!
Myo has deepened my knowledge of the body so much further. I have found Pilates and Myotherapy are a match made in heaven.
How would you persuade someone who is in pain that has never done Studio Pilates that it will be beneficial for them?
People who have been in chronic pain for years have been debilitated.
They are guarded, scared and quite often not in control.
They can be so anxious they don’t know what they CAN do to make themselves feel better. It is our role as Studio teachers to gain the trust from each client. We have to know what we are doing and be confident in our skill set to be able to help them out of this cycle on the way to better health.
Once clients see the studio space and feel how calm it is we usually don’t have any trouble keeping these guys for life as well as getting them
out of pain. Pretty cool!
How do you explain the difference between main stream Pilates (gym or large group reformer Pilates) and Studio Pilates to someone who thinks they are all the same thing?
The key difference is we have a keen interest in helping each individual with their individual health issues and personal goals. Our training is extensive. We equip our clients with awareness and tools for life with one-one-one attention that they would never get in a large group class.
What are your favourite Pilates principals (precision, breathe, flow etc.) and why? How do you incorporate these in your own workouts?
I love breath firstly. Its is fundamental in how we connect the mind and
Secondly, precision. When exercises are performed with precision, they are made with intent and focus and moving mindfulness. 10 perfect ones
rather than 20 average ones any day. Pilates is always about quality of quantity.
Why do you love Pilates?
Because of the difference it has made to my life and other peoples lives.
I have dedicated my life to it. It is my passion and my pain!. Classical
Pilates (developed by Joseph Pilates) has such integrity and Contemporary Pilates is just so exciting. I love the variety and how it is constantly evolving.
I personally love how movement makes me feel – in my muscles, joints and organs – I could never stop.
I was that kid that was always doing hand stands or back bends where ever there was green patch of grass. I just do it in a studio now!
Whats the best thing about being a Studio teacher?
The relationship with the wonderful people you meet. Sometimes I get to keep clients in my classes for years! And sometimes it’s a short visit
before moving to a reformer class. Sometimes people come and go and then come back! where ever they are in their lives I meet them there.
It’s just so great to be able to provide a space to see people grow, whether it in be confidence or grow out of living in pain.
It’s just a wonderful feeling knowing you have played a part in the person’s week and they have benefited from it.