What is Pilates?
Pilates was created in the early 1900s by Joseph Pilates. He believed that mental and physical health are interrelated and created a method to coordinate the mind, body and spirit. He created a set of principles alongside exercises and specialist equipment to create opportunities for functional movement which he called ‘Contrology’. Over the years his work proved to be a powerful tonic to modern day life, which is becoming increasingly sedentary, and Pilates gained a reputation for physical rehabilitation alongside mental wellbeing.
At Soul Pilates, we align with the original ethos that Joseph Pilates created alongside the latest in movement science. If Joe was around today we’re sure he would constantly be striving to learn more so he could teach in greater depth, and we do too!
We run 1:1 sessions, which are predominantly used to support clients with on-going pain or health concerns, alongside small group specialist classes. We’ve gained a reputation for our excellent teaching standards which is something we’re really proud of, and as a team we are constantly learning and fascinated by the body and what it is capable of.
Our approach at Soul is to provide a mindful movement experience, as this connection of the body with the mind is a powerful medicine for many of our modern day health concerns. The power of movement constantly astounds us and our vision is to help our clients move better so they can feel better.
Pilates is endorsed by doctors, physical therapists, professional athletes and dancers around the world. Pilates is excellent for the rehabilitation of injuries and relieving chronic pain.
What is the difference between a 1:1 and a class?
Ideally we would see everyone for a 1:1 to start with, but we certainly would like to see you for a personal session if you’re currently experiencing physical discomfort, have an on-going condition (such as Parkinsons, MS), have recently had surgery or have on-going rehabilitation needs.
In these 1:1 sessions we really spend time getting to know you, your body and your history which is especially important for us to understand to allow us to support anyone working through pain. This is what guides us in terms of what movement we can teach you to really support your wellbeing.
We often feel like a detective trying to find ease and space in your body and also your mind and metal outlook. A session with us is more than just moving or a group of exercises done in a certain way. It’s a full body and mind experience, with the intention of helping you get to know and understand (and love) your body and it’s amazing potential.
In our group classes we really strive to provide as much of a personal experience as is possible in a group setting but can’t be as specific to individual needs as in a 1:1. That said, we aim to ensure everyone’s needs feel catered for and will tweak and bend a class towards who is there and not just rely on a group of exercises done in a certain order, in a certain way. We believe it is this approach which has allowed us to gain such a solid reputation for our teaching experience.
We only hire the very best and most highly qualified movement teachers who must continue with ongoing training following their initial teacher training. We also run in-house training to ensure all our teachers are guided by the same Soul principles so that every class you go to will have the same principles taught, albeit with our teachers free to express their passions and personalities so you get a fully rounded movement experience by attending more than one class per week.
What’s the difference between your classes?
Pilates Equipped Classes
These are our signature equipment classes at our City Centre studio. You will move across each piece of Pilates equipment (reformer, trapeze table, ladder barrel, chair, oov, spine correct and mat) during a class for up to 8 people. You will be working more independently than our other classes so you do need to have had a 1:1 or completed a Beginner Workshop so that you’re ready to join these classes.
We usually have a theme across a class with one exercise on each piece of equipment. Following that exercise you will then move onto the next piece of equipment in a similar way to a circuit class. These are some of our most popular classes as the feedback and support from the equipment is like no other movement experience. This might explain why we have people attending 3 and 4 times each week. Expect to feel longer, leaner but strangely more relaxed and calm at the same time. Tone and wellbeing guaranteed.
Pilates Matwork Classes
These classes take place on the mat with the support of the smaller Pilates props such as balls, bands, rollers and magic circles. Again we’ve created a signature style of Pilates on the mat so that you really do get a unique Soul experience in every class. We will work with you to learn strategies to move your body well and then challenge these strategies with mat based exercises. So long as you’re pain-free you can join these classes as a complete beginner. Expect lots of tactile and verbal cueing so you can find movement in your body you didn’t know was possible.
At Soul we’ve gained a reputation for our style of teaching functional movement which can be taken into all the other activities you love. We really wanted to create an experience taking the fun and challenge of the standing work you get in barre but still whilst staying true to our desire to teach functional movement which is based on how the body actually moves. Soul Barre is a fun, standing workout which will get your heart pumping, your legs burning but all with the aim of improved posture and wellbeing.
We all love a challenge and we love to get our heart rate up. But we kept hearing our clients talking about when they did high intensity work they would lose all the strategy they had learned in our Pilates Equipped and Matwork classes which inevitably led to discomfort, pain and even injury. So we created a new signature style of HiiT which blended in technique with challenge. Can you move mindfully whilst also increasing your heart-rate? We think so!
Soul Yoga: Intelligent Flow
Yoga is a beautiful practice but like all movement disciplines it can be hard to ensure you are in expert hands and being taught to move in a way which is truly relevant to you and your body. We also heard lots of our clients telling us our Pilates classes had enabled them to get back to and really enjoy Yoga again as we had taught them how to find the postures . So we decided to create our own version of Soul Yoga, a signature class of “Intelligent Flow”. A class where we bring the strategy and precision of Pilates into the flow and postures of Yoga.
What Makes Soul Different?
Our aim if for our ethos of mindful movement to seep into everything we do. We have built a strong community of long-term regular clients who have learned to love and appreciate their bodies, to feel calmer and clearer in their minds and to do whatever in life they wish to enjoy be that running, climbing or hiking. We work with you to create a personalised movement experience and we’d love for you to try this out for yourself.
Join our Soul Saturday Open Day on 25th January 2020 where you will find EIGHT free classes throughout the day from Pilates Equipped to Pilates Matwork to PHiiT and Soul Barre and to Soul Yoga. Just click here to find out more.
We’d love to welcome you so that you can learn to Move Better and ultimately Feel Better.
By Nic Lenny, Studio Founder