New Classes

New Class Blocks starting week commencing 5th August 2013


Posted by Christina on: Saturday, July 13, 2013

New Classes

So the new classes I am going to be adding are a wednesday morning Circuit Pilates class and a Friday evening open level mat class, both from Bury st.  If you are interested in either of these classes please call to book your place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment! More to follow...

Just created a facebook page for my business, please like and share with your friends to be kept up to date with all my pilates news www.facebook.com/christinapilatesgirl

Posted by Christina on: Sunday, October 07, 2012

Changes ahead!

The last week has been quite a week! They say change is good and everything happens for a reason and I would have to agree...

To keep you all updated there is going to be some changes in my schedule reasonably soon that will open up some more spaces on beginner, progressive beginner and intermediate small group classes running from my space on Bury St. There is only a limited amount of spaces, so please register your interest as soon as possible to be kept up to date on times etc.

Stay warm!

Posted by Christina on: Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Pilates and Skin Health Retreat

Yay, it's all confirmed. Myself and my good friend, Louise Thomas Minns will be hosting our very first retreat together. I am so excited as it looks to be a fabulous weekend, in a fabulous hotel in North Norfolk. You can find out more details from my News Page, but I also wanted to blog about my excitement about it!

Places are selling fast and we hope this will be the first of many.

If you have the inclination to enjoy a weekend of Pilates and a fabulous bespoke facial in a relaxing and cosy environment, don't wait to book your space!

Posted by Christina on: Monday, June 18, 2012

Barre Pilates

Apolgies for being so slack on updating my blog. I have no good excuses other than being incredibly busy and working on some exciting prospects for my business (watch this space!). I will try to keep my blog updated, but for now I wanted to shout about the Barre Pilates classes I have been teaching.

This class is a fun fusion class that combines, upper body strengthening, pilates mat work as well as plenty of time at the Barre to work the legs and bum. Great for toning and strengthening the whole body.

This class, unlike my other Pilates classes, is done to music and I am currently working on some new fun and funky playlists to get everyone inspired!

The clients I have doing the classes at the moment are loving it so much that they all want to do more classes. Therefore I am adding a few new classes, but if you are interested in a spot you better book it quickly as, with only four spaces per class, they will go quickly!

See you at the Barre

Posted by Christina on: Sunday, May 06, 2012

Happy Christmas and New Year and Exciting classes for 2012

Firstly if you are one of my regular class attendees, I would like to say a big huge thank you for your dedication and attendance to your pilates classes or private sessions, I hope you are feeling and noticing the differences in your body and enjoying your practice.

If you've just found my website or if you have been unable to make Pilates on a regular basis in 2011, don't worry you have a whole new year to make it up to yourself!

Firstly some news about my new and exciting classes!




Working on the deep core muscles with a lot of focus on the Pelvic Floor. Plus some gentle upper and lower body strengthening

Fridays 5.30pm - 6.30pm

6 wk course starting Jan 6th

(only 2 spaces left on this course)


Get back in touch with the core muscles to tone and strengthen your body.

Saturdays 11am - 12pm

6wk course starting Jan 7th

Max 4 people

SMALL GROUP CLASSES (replacing Cringleford)

Thursdays 7.30am - 8.30am

Thursdays 5.45pm - 6.45pm

Max 4 people, so book your space early to avoid disappointment!


A mix of ballet and Pilates, Barre Pilates is one of the most popular workouts in the States at the moment. This class is done to music and uses small isometric movements, mixing the fat burning of interval training and muscle defining benefits of isometric movement to leave the body lean, strong and toned. This class quickly and safely helps you reshape your entire body. It's non impact and is a full body workout that also helps improve your posture.

Mondays 10.30am -11.30am

Mondays 7.30pm - 8.30pm (only 2 spaces left)

Saturdays 10am - 11am

6 wk courses starting the week beginning 9th Jan.

Max 4 people per class, these classes will fill quickly so don't wait too long to book!

Please note: All classes are small group classes to allow focused attention on each inpidual and will be taught from my studio on Bury Street

If you would like to do 2 Barre Pilates classes a week to really get quick results, please let me know!


If you book and pay in full for 10 sessions before Jan 14th you will save 50 pounds. This offer only applies to a booking of 10 sessions not 6.

So if you've fallen off the Pilates wagon and were thinking about jumping back on, why not take advantage of this special deal to give you a kick start!

Have a very Happy Christmas and Jolly New Year

Posted by Christina on: Thursday, December 22, 2011

New York Daze - 9, 10, 11 & 12

It is fair to say that I packed a lot in to my time in new York and as per usual there was not enough time to do everything that I wanted to! It always feels like I over schedule myself every time but, as I always say I have learnt from this experience and will try and tone it down a bit next time....(sure, sure!) So Thursday was my second day in New York and I finally slept a little later than 5am, yahoo! I was ready to go and take New York! I started by catching up with a friend before taking a bikram yoga class in the flatiron district. No stranger to Bikram in london, I have also taken class in new york when visiting before however this was a studio that I had not been to before. Bikram yoga studios tend to follow a certain format but vary in their presentation, this one had a lovely light and airy feeling to it with views of the flatiron building out the window. Although I have taken Bikram many times, I thoroughly enjoyed this one because I felt like the teacher was very attentive to everyone in the room and I personally learnt a little more about my practice! Thurs afternoon/evening was spent catching up with people. Friday started with a Pilates class at 8am and what a great way to start! It was class at Real Pilates owned by Alycea Ungaro a Pilates great! The class was called Reformer for mat and taught by Daniel Lyon. This guy was upbeat and fun (great for an 8am class) but really knew his stuff! He's the author of a book called Pilates for men, I haven't read it, but have heard good things about it. It was a 45 min class, which was just right and I felt great after it, so after a bit of breakfast I was ready to shop! That afternoon I did another Bikram class at the same studio as the day before and felt like my body thanked me for it after! I rewarded myself for the two classes by having a lovely dinner out with some great friends. On Saturday morning I had booked myself on to my friends Pilates Tower class. Benjamin teaches at a studio called Henry St Pilates in Brooklyn. It was a lovely little studio with seven towers and that was it (nothing else would have fit!). A tower is a piece of equipment used in Pilates that is fixed on to a wall or can be free standing. It kind of looks like a bit of basic scaffolding with springs, straps and bars attached to it! It stands right in front of a raised mat. The class was great for me for two reasons, I love taking class taught by a fellow instructor and great friend but also because I have not worked on the tower before. I always feel that in my field of work the more you learn about different modalities, especially the ones that you are not used to working with, the more knowledge/information you gain to help your clients. The class not only felt great for my body and was taught by a fabulous teacher, but also left me wanting to learn more about working on the tower...watch this space! So that was it regarding classes. Saturday afternoon and evening was spent with friends who had flown in from Pittsburg and was a lovely way to spend my last night in the city. My last day was supposed to be sunday, spent having a lovely get together with family in Queens, which it was, but it ended up not being my last day! I am still in NYC! After spending 3 hrs on the plane last night it was cancelled due to technical issues! So I am writing from a hotel at the airport. On my way to the airport in five mins...departing take 2!

Posted by Christina on: Monday, November 14, 2011

Hello NEW YORK! - Day 8

I love New York. Although arriving at 5am in the morning off my flight from LA wasn't the sparkliest start to my morning.

The sky is blue and the sun is shining and I am very happy to be here. I am staying with my dear friend Benjamin Degenhardt (www.benjamindegenhardt.com) who has been teaching Pilates as long as I have, so he is joining me on my quest to try some new classes. I love to have a partner in crime!

So after going to a meeting early this morning myself, Benny and his partner decided to try Yamuna Body Rolling as it something we all had heard about but none of us had done it.

The idea behind it is that, using a ball placed under the body, we are able to use our weight as traction, allowing movement and release on the ball. After my two classes yesterday I was starting to feel that I had used my body and the muscles were shouting rather loudly, so the idea of releasing them and stretching out was really very appealing!

The studio is in the west village and is their flagship studio. It was a very quiet studio, probably because we were taking a class at midday, but there was a serenity to it. We were all given a selection of balls of various sizes and colours to use for different exercises. The teacher was a lady called Patricia and she led us through the exercises with clear concise instruction and a breakdown of why we were doing each one. If felt good and in parts very painful due my tired and tight muscles, but good pain that felt like it was easing my body.

My body felt a little more tension free afterwards and ready for some food! Which led me nicely in to LUNCH!

Posted by Christina on: Wednesday, November 09, 2011

LA Days - 6 & 7

Well, I have sat down to write this update to my blog many times both today and yesterday, but alas there just hasn't been the time!

So now, here I am at LAX airport waiting for my flight to board and finding that I have time to contemplate the last couple of days.

Lets go back to Monday. Monday was almost an exact repeat of Sunday, with the chilled out morning, light lunch and light shopping (well, it would be rude not to!) then finished up with a visit to a spa as had the night before. The only difference being it was a different spa but still just as fabulous! My great friend, who I have been staying with in LA,

Posted by Christina on: Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A day of rest back in LA - Day 5

I was just about to take the 'Matapalooza' class when I last left you and what a class it was!

Over 300 people taught in the same room by five fantastic teachers: Deborah Lessen, Michelle Larson, Rael Isacowitz, Jillian Hessel and Brent Anderson. What an experience, and the only way i can explain it is this; it's like being at a football game and everyone is cheering for the same team, a sense of unity and camaraderie because everyone is there for the same reason. There were points when it was challenging but that, for me, only makes a class better. After being taught for an hour and a half we were asked to come to our feet for a standing meditation. As we all closed our eyes and listened to the guidance, we were told to become aware of the ankles and then tap the left foot towards the right. Following that, raise the right arm up towards the ceiling....then out of no where music was turned on and we found that we had actually been tricked in to dancing. 300+ people all dancing! What an amazing way to finish the conference. I have photos which I will post on my return.

So Sunday has become the day of rest for me here in LA! I was shattered when I returned from the conference last night and still not feeling 100%, so I decided to listen to my body and let it have some time off, knowing that I will be pushing it when I get to New York in a few days!

The days activities went something like this, far too early wake up (please go away jet lag), followed by a lazy morning. Then on to the movies at The Grove (I love this place, but Santa's house up at the beginning of November?). To finish me off, a trip to The Beverly Hills Hot Springs (the only natural Springs in LA). This was a great way to end my day with a massage and dip in the oh so relaxing springs...while spotting few famous faces!

In bed at 8.30pm ready for sleep...what a rock star I am!

Posted by Christina on: Monday, November 07, 2011

Last day of conference - Day 4

When I went to bed last night, I wasn't feeling too good and waking up this morning with the same nausea doesn't bode well...however after a cup of green tea (luckily a starbucks in the hotel lobby helps me out) and a couple of grapes and I start to feel more human again! Luckily a cllass is not starting my day but a seminar. So the 2 seminars of the day are 'Pilates for the mature demographic' with Teresa Maldonado Marchok and 'Lifelong Pilates and the body & Pilates plus psyche' by the incredible Mary Bowen and are one after the other. Again both of these seminars are of interest to me because of how I can apply them to my own clients and practice and I came away from them feeling so inspired. Just having a break for lunch now (finally able to eat properly after the nausea has mostly gone) before the grand finale of the conference....my class of the day.... 'Matapolooza'! This class is a class for everyone attending the conference and being jointly taught by 5/6 great teachers, it will last an hour and a half. Really looking forward to it...but until then I shall sit in the amazing hotel lobby watching the black swans glide around the water feature (really!)

Posted by Christina on: Saturday, November 05, 2011

Desert Springs - Day 3

Wow! I had planned to get up at 6am to get ready for my 7am registration time at the conference hotel today, but unfortunately my body clock is working on a different time zone! A 4am start makes the day ahead feel incredibly long, but on this occasion I was inspired by all the learning I was going to be doing that it is only now, at 6pm, that I feel absolutely shattered and ready to collapse! I should mention that the hotel is an amazing setting for the conference, with lots of space and light, perfect for a Pilates! After registering at 7am, a spot of breakfast was called for to energise my body, not only for the day ahead, but also for my class of the day. The class started at 7.45am (no hanging around here) and was taught by a lady called Cari Rees Stemler. It was an intermediate mat class and a great start to the day, incorporating stretches to warm the body, with all the hardwork of Pilates! I really liked the feeling of the class as well as the flow thru the movement, which is always important to me. Following the class there was a bit of downtime to enjoy a bit of retail therapy at the conference sponsors stands before the seminars of the day began. The two seminars that I attended today were 'Business skills, savvy, and strategies for a thriving Pilates business' by Carol Appel and the second was 'First educate the child' by Brett Howard & Celeste Zopich. Both were very informative and incredibly interesting, especially the first with my current focus of opening my own studio!

Posted by Christina on: Saturday, November 05, 2011

USA trip - California Day 2

Coming back to where i left off. I did my first Kundalini yoga class yesterday at the Golden Bridge studio. Firstly lets talk about the studio, it was lovely! We walked in to the building via their cafe, which had the most tempting smells wafting from it, lots of veggie/vegan home made food to devour after class! We paid for the class and went thru in to a large high ceilinged hard wood floor studio, very inviting and light. The class itself was taught by a lady named Tej Kaur Khalsa, who allegedly is the lady who has spear headed the Kundilini yoga practice and teacher training in California. Kundilini, unlike the other types of yoga I've done, wasn't so much about dynamic physicality (as I mentioned yesterday). We started with breathing exercises and chanting and that seemed to be a focus throughout the class, with the chanting being done to music. Some of the exercises included chanting with movements, often repeated for between 5-10mins! As with alot of classes, I think you get the most out of them when you can close your eyes and just focus on what's going on with you rather than anyone else in the room, which isn't always easy when you dont know the movements or the chants, but I did my best! I came away from the class feeling really relaxed and centered and so rewarded myself with a yummy protein power smoothie! Moving on to today...well, no surprise, I am officially jet lagged! So I had a bit of a lazy morning and decided that I would do another yoga class before hitting Pilates hard from tomorrow. We went back to Golden Bridge for an express Kundalini class taught by a guy called Oliver, but had time for a quick and healthy soup & salad combo first. delicious. I have to say I enjoyed today's class more than yesterday, probably because I knew what to expect and I was able to focus a little more. After the class I went for a massage to try and iron out some of the kinks in my spine from traveling before heading off to desert springs for the PMA conference. I had hoped to register for the conference late afternoon, but unfortunately my predicted journey of just over 2 hours took over 4 hours!!! I didnt realize that rush hour is pretty much an all day affair in LA! Ah well, probably a good thing that I am now in my hotel room, exhausted, ready for sleep instead of up chatting....all that I'll be ready for tomorrow!

Posted by Christina on: Friday, November 04, 2011

Back to the USA for an abundance of classes and the PMA conference - Day 1

So i arrived in LA late last night and despite not having the best nights sleep (even though I hadn't slept for nearly 24 hours!), I woke up to beautiful sunshine and blue skies this morning and was raring to go!

After having a stroll on Rodeo drive and a bite to eat, I am now getting ready to try my first Kundalini yoga class Golden Bridge with my great friend Normandie, who has really fallen in love with the practice over the last few months.

As I have not heard much about this type of yoga, I am going in to it with no expectations and an open mind and will see what will happens! From the little that I have heard I think it will be a good class to do with my jet lag setting in due to the fact that it does not require huge amounts of physical exertion...which is a good job!

Also with my thoughts focusing on opening my own studio in Norwich soon, I will be looking for inspiration from this spiritual village (so named on their website, www.goldenbridgeyoga.com), as well as all the other studios I get to visit on this trip too!

Yoga mat ready and off I go...

Posted by Christina on: Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The focus I have to use when I am doing Pilates makes me feel like I am getting a brain workout as well as working my body! Is this normal?

Yes, absolutely! When you first start doing Pilates there is a lot to think about and that can feel quite overwhelming. I remember the first couple of classes I ever took,

Posted by Christina on: Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How important is the breath in Pilates? I find I get so distracted by trying to breath in the 'right way' that I can't do the exercises!

The breath work is very important in Pilates for a number of reasons.

1. Most of us don

Posted by Christina on: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stabilizing the core - Why it's important

There are three main muscles (or muscle groups) that are used to stabilize the core.

  1. The Pelvic Floor
  2. The Transversus
  3. The Multifidi Muscles

In the last decade or so researchers have found that these muscles working together act as a kind of natural girdle to stabilize the lumber spine (lower back area). Stability of the lumber spine area is crucial to lower back health. Disc herniations and constant lower back pain is usually due to weak core stabilizing muscles. Traditional ab work does not teach how to engage these muscles, so like anything else you have have to learn how to use these muscles separately so that they can then work together.

Firstly the pelvic floor:

This group of muscles is kind of diamond shaped with the top being at the pubic bone and the bottom being at the coccyx (tailbone). To engage these muscles you have to imagine pulling these two points together and up as well as imagining pulling the inner thighs together (without moving the legs) and up. This way you are pulling all points of the diamond together and up towards your belly button. Your bottom muscles should be relaxed.

Secondly the transversus muscles:

This muscle acts like a girdle as it attaches into your back and wraps around your middle attaching into the lower ribs of the rib cage and pubic bone at the front. When the transversus is strong it helps engage the more superficial abdominals as well stabilize the lumbar spine with the assistance of the multifidi (lower back) muscles. This muscle also helps when you exhale and will engage effectively when you deeply exhale while pulling the belly button towards the spine.

Thirdly the mulitifidi muscles:

These muscles are around the base of the spine and assist in stabilizing . As above when the transversus engages this usually activates the multifidi and together they assist the pelvic floor in stabilizing the core.

When all of these muscles work in unison with the correct breathing you will be able to stabilize your core, working with a neutral pelvis (allowing the spine to have all the natural curves) and work your muscles in the most effective way to strengthen and lengthen them.

Exercise to practice:

Sitting against a wall, with your legs out in front of you and your back in a neutral spine position, resting against the wall. Make sure your pelvis is right underneath you and your ribcage is relaxed, with your head resting on top of your spine.

Take a breath in, as you exhale pull the belly button towards the spine, without moving the back and changing any of the natural curves of the spine.

Take another breath in keeping the belly button pulled in, as you exhale this time imagine pulling the belly button towards the wall behind you, again without altering the curves in the spine. Inhale again allowing the belly button to return to the front of the spine (not relaxing the abdominals all the way out). Repeat.

Posted by Christina on: Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My neck always aches when I lift my head off the floor when I am doing Pilates. What am I doing wrong?

When curling the neck and head of the floor in Pilates, the correct positioning of the head is crucial and will prevent the neck ache you mentioned.

Too often we see people leave their head behind causing undue stress on the neck (see photo 1), or alternatively crunching the chin into the neck and compressing and overworking muscles in the jaw and neck (see photo 2).

Correct alignment of the head and neck will have the neck long with a natural curve, head above the sternum, and eyes focused on your belly button while your spine remains in neutral (see photo 3).

The correct positioning allows the powerhouse muscles to engage and do the work they are supposed to, instead of the neck taking over!

Exercise to practice:

Cervical nod, cervical curl.

I will break this exercise down into two parts.

Firstly the cervical nod is the initiating movement of the curl through the neck. So to start lie on your back, feet flat on the floor, knees up towards the ceiling. Looking straight up towards the ceiling, imagine you have a very long pencil on your nose!

Slowly nod your head moving your nose towards your body and imagine you are drawing a straight line with your pencil on the ceiling. Be careful that you don't go so far that your chin compresses into the neck. As you nod your head back make sure you bring your pencil line right above you, rather than past your eye line.

This should be a very gentle nod of the head with no tension in the neck and shoulders. Practice this until you feel the head moving without tightening muscles.

The second part of this exercise is the cervical curl, but this should always be preceded by the cervical nod to make sure the skull is in the right position before lifting it off the floor.

Start in the same position as before, lying on your back, knees up towards the ceiling, feet flat on the floor. Take a breath in to the back and side of your rib cage (posterior lateral breath) while keeping the belly button pulled in and up towards the spine.

As you exhale, soften the chest away from the chin and slowly nod the head down, then curl through the neck, lifting the head off the floor into the position as mentioned before. As you do this you want to make sure your spine remains in neutral and the belly button pulls in and up towards the spine. Hold it there while you inhale. Then exhale down, reversing the movement i.e. curling the neck down towards the floor with the head coming down after AND NOT dropping the head back. Repeat.

Posted by Christina on: Thursday, March 31, 2011