Why you need Lifestyle Changes

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Pilates is often championed by itself, but the truth is that a Pilates program is most effective when adopted as part of wider lifestyle transformation. Many of us have existing health concerns but have you ever considered that your symptoms could be trying to tell you that you need to rebalance say your diet for more efficient energy release?

So What are ‘Lifestyle Changes’?pilates-NORM-920x690

The term is thrown around a lot, but a lifestyle change is anything that re-evaluates and improves an aspect of one’s well-being (such as your diet or the amount that you exercise).

How do I Implement Lifestyle Changes?

Whether you’ve been meaning to start exercising more or eating healthily, implementing lifestyle changes is a commitment. Exercise, learning new relaxation techniques or just changing the kind of foods you eat can feel like a huge effort of energy, but having someone to guide you along the road to wellbeing makes it easier. An experienced professional is able to motivate you to achieve your goals.

Pilates and Lifestyle Changes

Pilates has helped countless people regain a sense of empowerment, by easing the symptoms of menopause and other imbalances. Those whose therapies work best are those who adopt related lifestyle changes that work towards the same symptom-eliminating goal as the therapy. If you incorporate changes for wellbeing into your own process, you are sure to see results.

Do you need help to progress towards being mindful? Contact Envigour Pilates to book an appointment.


Being Mindful: Pilates and Mindfulness

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“The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is complete co-ordination of body, mind and spirit” – Joseph Pilates

Pilates is a series of slow, defined exercises carried out on both the mat and resistance equipment.  The exercises should be performed correctly, taking the time to establish the technique rather than rushing through them.

Everyone who participates in a Pilates class knows just how much there is to think about; breathing, using the right muscles and relaxing the others, listening to the instructor and so on.  This can feel a little overwhelming at first but it is normal and will get easier as the body learns the new ways of doing things.  When you are thinking of all those things, you are in the moment, living it and doing it – there is no time to think of anything else…  However, by the end of your class, you will feel energised and calm.monica-mccarthy-2

The breathing method used in a Pilates exercise encourages relaxation and has been shown to improve moods and reduce anxiety.  Using the breath will activate and energise the muscles and as you bring your attention to your body, you will be able to execute the movements precisely, with control and mindfulness.

Mindfulness is an important state of being to strive for at all times. Mindfulness means being fully present in the moment, not projecting yourself into anticipated future fears or dwelling too much on any past disappointments.

Do you need help to progress towards being mindful? Contact Envigour Pilates to book an appointment.


Pilates for lower back pain (LBP)

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Back pain is a very common cause of disability and absence from work. Exercise is often recommended as a way of managing chronic LBP especially Pilates which is increasingly used by people with LBP.

So what is the effect of Pilates on LBP in terms of muscle endurance or range of motion? Pilates quite simply improves muscle strength, joint movement and balance. Strength, mobility and balance are needed when doing sport and leisure activities, as well as everyday living such at washing, dressing, shopping, working and being able to sit/stand with ideal posture.


People with back pain sometimes avoid moving and doing exercise due to the fear of making things worse, which can quickly result in the loss of muscle strength and joint movement. This in turn will have a negative impact on their overall health and wellbeing.

Pilates exercises can start at a very low level and progress to a much higher level of exercise and the role of your teacher is to educate and alleviate why you may have ongoing pain. Attending a class can help lessen any fear associated with movement, correct any poor movement habits and postures, and teach ways to improve how the body performs at home, work and in sport.

Being able to move more easily will help people to do activities to maintain and improve overall health and wellbeing.

Pilates is more effective than most other forms of exercise for those with low back pain that do pilates on a regular basis ; whether the exercise is delivered as a class or 1:1, any exercise to be beneficial needs to be started at the right level for the individual, and be repeated on a regular basis.

Remember, Pilates is one of the few exercise types that you can perform every day without the worries of over-stressing the joints, skeletal structure, or soft tissue.

5 benefits of ballet barre Pilates

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The Pilates fitness approach pioneered by Joseph Pilates has long been popular in the dance world. Ballet dancers practice Pilates because it develops core strength while promoting long, elegantly-shaped muscles.  Ballet barre Pilates is a hybrid form of Pilates practice that incorporates the barre (a stationary handrail that is used for balancing and warm-up exercises in ballet training) along with poses from yoga.


These are 5 of the benefits of ballet barre Pilates:

  1. Ballet barre Pilates is kind on joints

Many fitness approaches, including cross-training, are hard on the joints. Impact activities such as jogging contribute to joint degeneration over time, whereas ballet barre Pilates uses natural body resistance to provide a good workout that doesn’t place undue stress on the joints. This makes it especially useful as a fitness approach for dancers who wish to maintain and increase their mobility and flexibility.

  1. It offers a full workout

 The second benefit of ballet barre Pilates is that it provides a full body workout. Stretches are typically incorporated into classes to ensure that no single muscle group is overworked or inadequately warmed up.

  3. It can be modified for every experience level

Whether you have experience in ballet training or none at all, you can take part in a ballet barre Pilates class. Movements are small and easily learned but effective for toning, elongating the limbs and attaining general physical fitness.

            4. Exercises involving the barre increase core strength

Many exercises that involve the barre include corporate balancing and this helps to tone while building core strength. Building a strong core reduces your risk of injury through exercise, and has additional benefits such as improving posture.

             5.  Ballet barre Pilates combines the gracefulness of ballet with the fun                     of a workout

The steps and poses learned in ballet training are graceful and are excellent for developing good posture. Yet ballet barre classes offer the best of both worlds: The sleek elegance of ballet and the sociable workout of a group fitness class.

In addition to the five benefits outlined above, this particular type of Pilates fosters flexibility and yields rapid results. If you exercise two to four times weekly, you’re likely to see changes within a month (including improved posture, more toned thighs, arms as well as flatter abs). If you’re interested in finding out more about ballet barre Pilates, attend an introductory class this week.

5 benefits of Pilates for alleviating lower back pain

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5 benefits of Pilates for alleviating lower back pain

Lower back pain affects the majority of people – Arthritis Research UK suggests 4 out of 5 people – at one or another stage of life. Lower back pain can have multiple causes, from accidents sustained due to poor core strength to poor posture. Pilates is a holistic, therapeutic fitness system devised to strengthen tone and make the body more supple. When you perform the correct exercises, it also alleviates lower back pain.

How does Pilates relieve lower back pain?

The movement equipment and exercises that form the core of Pilates practice have been developed over decades. During this time, practitioners and health organizations have discovered that Pilates eases lower back pain and offers multiple benefits. The benefits of regular Pilates practice for those afflicted with back pain include:

  1. Unlocking lower back muscles

Pilates exercises such as bridge roll-ups work to loosen muscles in the lower back, while also increasing back strength and stability. Besides easing back pain, Pilates strengthens the entire back, producing lasting benefits.

  1. Improving posture

Keeping sub-optimal posture over long periods of time produces additional wear and tear on the spine and places undue pressure on the lower back. Pilates exercises systematically develop core muscle groups that support good posture. This relieves weight on the lower back, easing discomfort.

  1. Bringing the spine into better alignment

Spinal alignment is core to having good posture and weight carried evenly throughout the back. Performing the right Pilates exercises aligns the spine better through proper spine sequencing.

  1. Personalised back correction

 One of the major benefits of Pilates practice is that sessions can be scaled and adapted to individual Pilates users’ needs. Your lower back pain is specific to your own posture and other contributing factors, and your Pilates instructor can tailor your exercise plan to achieve the best possible results for your back.

  1. Increasing overall flexibility and strength

Because Pilates is holistic, it works the entire body, toning and increasing flexibility and strength. Balanced distribution of muscle tone and strength means that the lower back is not over-burdened and holding onto tension, tension that would otherwise lead to injury.

Are you ready to build a back for life? Contact Belinda today to find out more about classes.

 Envigour – Rent an intimate, quiet venue for your classes and workshops

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If you’re looking for a studio space to rent in Greater London, Envigour Studio in Woodford Green offers spacious and quiet facilities. Owner Belinda Moss has created a studio environment that is suitable for an eclectic range of uses. For your next intimate event, be it a meditation class or a small workshop, hire Envigour Studio and enjoy a light, bright and attractive venue. The studio is ideal for the following uses:

Individual training sessions

The studio (which Belinda uses to instruct Pilates classes) has a mirrored wall. This makes it ideal for individual training sessions where movements must be observed and corrected if necessary. If you need a venue to conduct individual fitness training in Woodford Green, the studio is a great match.

Meditation classes

A quiet and neutral space is important when learning the art of meditation. The light floors and walls at Envigour make it well-suited to relaxation. The venue can accommodate small, intimate meditation classes. There are power outlets that can be used for any accompanying audio equipment.

Small workshops

If you need to hire a space for workshops – from Alexander Technique to mindfulness seminars and everything in between – Envigour makes a self-contained, unpretentious venue. Remember to bring all necessary equipment you will need for your workshop.

Small presentations

The clean white walls of Envigour studio are perfect for displaying presentations using a projector. The space is intimate enough for there to be no need for electronic amplification. If you wish to host an informative and intimate evening for a small number of guests, Envigour provides a sound, centrally-located option.

Finding a venue for an intimate event in Woodford Green doesn’t have to be a headache. Whether you need a space for performing holistic treatments, a space for one-on-one fitness training or a space for an evening of educational exchange, make Envigour your preferred venue.

Pilates: The best exercise for mums-to-be

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Women’s bodies respond differently to pregnancy: Some mums-to-be gain weight all over while some only show a baby bump until much later in the pregnancy. Whatever your body type, however, Pilates is ideal if you’re a mum-to-be and want a gentle fitness approach that will not pose risks for the foetus.

Why should women practice Pilates for pregnancy? Ideally, one should start with Pilates even before pregnancy. Having built up a strong core means better posture and fitness. Many women, especially of slighter builds, experience back pain as a result of the extra weight carried both during and post-pregnancy. Pilates is a fitness method that helps to ensure you a sound back for life. Additional benefits for mums-to-be include:

  • Strengthening stomach muscles (which assists in supporting the extra weight as baby grows)
  • Reducing back pain – especially important since you will be lifting and carrying baby post-birth
  • Relaxation and controlling your breathing – both will help to ensure a smoother delivery

Is it safe to practice Pilates during pregnancy? Understandably, safety and avoiding personal injury or injury to the unborn is one of the largest concerns amongst pregnant women who consider joining Pilates classes. Pilates movements are typically gentle and highly controlled. However, to ensure maximum safety during pregnancy, only:

  • Take classes with a licensed professional who conducts classes for pregnant women
  • Do Pilates once you have informed your instructor you’re pregnant and how far advanced you are – this will help your instructor tailor exercises to your current state
  • Do Pilates as long as there is no pain – if you experience any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and consult your doctor before you continue with classes

Pregnancy is a joyous time that is filled with new developments. Make sure that you enjoy it to the fullest and safeguard your physical strength and health by joining a Pilates class that is matched to where you are in the pregnancy cycle.