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Ah April! - is it the cruellest month as T.S Eliot would have us believe or as Chaucer wrote, (or at least to paraphrase!)

"When April with his sweet showers has driven away the drought of March, and bathed each root with the rain that has the power to generate the flower; when Zephyr, the wind, with his sweet breath has inspired the tender buds; and the young sun is in Aries, then the small birds make melody, pricked by nature to sleep all night with an open eye, ... then do folk long to go on pilgrimage..."?

Such a lot to unpack in that opening to the Canterbury Tales and, clearly, Chaucer didn't live through the wet, windy and stormy March that we've just had and the wet, windy and stormy April we're having so far! BUT blossom and buds and flowers and more daylight and warmer weather and bird song and randy pigeons and holiday plans we do have at last! Hoorah!

We have made it through another Winter and it is SPRING, SPRING, SPRING!!! So as we cast off our Winter clothes and expose our bodies to the sun (cautiously, "ne'er (never) cast a clout (clothing) 'til May be out" as the saying goes), we can enjoy the natural energy this time of the year brings.

Chiswick Park is looking particularly beautiful as it bursts into life.

Have a wander around the landscaped grounds before or after your session;

stop on the bridge to watch the enormous fish in the lake,

and let us hope the Canadian goose, currently sitting on her nest by the waterfall, will have some fluffy goslings hatching soon.

Breathe in the air by the trees. Breathe in the air by the waterfall. Both trees and moving water give off positive energies and have de-stressing properties. So, a walk around Chiswick Park will give you a natural boost!

This is my clever and subtle segue into the topic of breathing, of which I have been studying a lot recently! What does Joseph Pilates have to say on the subject of breathing?

" Breathing is the first act of life, and the last. Our very life depends on it. Since we cannot live without breathing is is tragically deplorable to contemplate the millions and millions who have never learned to master the art of correct breathing. One often wonders how so many millions continue to live as long as they do under this tremendous handicap to longevity. Lazy breathing converts the lungs, figuratively speaking, into a cemetery for the deposition of diseased, dying, and dead germs as well as supplying an ideal haven for the multiplication of other harmful germs.

Therefore, above all, learn how to breathe correctly. "SQUEEZE" EVERY ATOM OF AIR FROM YOUR LUNGS UNTIL THEY ARE ALMOST AS FREE OF AIR AS IS A VACUUM. Stand erect again and observe how your lungs will automatically completely refill themselves with fresh air. ...

" ... "roll" and "unroll", your spine exactly in imitation of a wheel rolling forward and backward. ... It is this very action of "rolling" and "unrolling" that cleanses your lungs so effectively by driving out the impure air and forcing in the pure air as you "roll" and "unroll". Indefatigably and conscientiously practice breathing until the art of correct breathing becomes habitual, automatic and subconscious, which accomplishment will result in the bloodstream receiving its full quota of oxygen and thus ward off undue fatigue." ["Pilates' Return to Life Through Contrology" by Joseph H. Pilates and William John Miller]. Photo of Joseph Pilates doing the Teaser.

We focus a lot on breathing in Pilates - it is our first Basic Principle - and it's not easy! We do not learn to breathe when we are young and, unless we deliberately learn when we are older, our breathing habits can either not support our bodies and movement, or worse, hinder us, bringing stress, physical and emotional issues. Learning to breathe properly helps everything!

Bank Holiday Monday 6th May

We are open between 12pm - 3.30pm

12pm - Online Pilates Plus

1.05pm - Mixed Ability

2.10pm - One-to-One

Booking Policy

I have introduced a tick box 'Booking Policy' at the checkout, please have a quick look.

A class can be cancelled or rescheduled up to 24 hours' before by going to 'My Account'. All the sessions in the plan must be used before the expiry date. Any unused sessions cannot be carried forward.

Passes cannot be transferred or used by more than one person.

Only whole plans can be refunded before the plan is due to start.

Enjoy the rest of April - I think we can say it's been a bit cruel and lovely - bright, sunny, wet and cold! I hope your holiday plans are going well, whether you are going to Canterbury or further afield!

Don't forget to check 'My Account' for Loyalty Points to get money off your next pass. Refer your Family & Friends to get £15 off your next pass.

Take care. Keep moving. 360 Ribcage breathing - expand into your back and sides, it helps to release tension from your back because your ribs naturally move your back, reducing tightness.


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Updated: Mar 28

Great new! We are open on Easter Sunday as usual.

10am - Mixed Ability

11am - Essentials / Beginners

12pm - One-to-One

1.30pm - One-to-One

2.35pm - One-to-One


Don't forget the clocks go forward on 31st.

We are closed on Friday 29th March and Monday 1st April.

Open again on Tuesday 2nd April from 1.05pm.

Change in Class Descriptions

You may have noticed slight changes in the levels of the classes. This is to reflect the STOTT PILATES TM repertoire of exercises and give more idea of the structure and progression of their Pilates programme rather than the participants physical abilities.

The Essentials level will focus on the hundreds of exercises on the Reformer, Tower and Barrels which start the programme, and believe me, there really are hundreds when you take into account all the possible modifications there are on each piece of equipment and the addition of small equipment! Pilates is an exercise that really pays off to take the time to understand it as well as be able to do it - it really is the ultimate multi-tasking for your mind and body!

The Essentials is a great class for those who have never done Pilates; used Pilates equipment; have any issue or injury or just want a bit more time and space to process the physical and mental information in Pilates. It is for Beginners but it's not just for Beginners, sometimes it's really useful to go back to the basics because you will understand them more and get something new out of it. Pilates is an ongoing learning process (see how I resisted saying 'journey' - oh damn, I just did!): you will find things out about your body your body you never knew as your knowledge about it increases and your relationship with it changes. Pilates is about controlling your movements and changing your body - and that takes time, patience and self-awareness. We don't just want to do a gym workout on a Reformer, we want to use 'INTELLEGENT EXERCISE' to produce 'PROFOUND RESULTS' TM.

The Mixed Ability Level mixes the Essential and Intermediate repertoire of STOTT PILATESTM - hundreds more exercises and modifications. The Intermediate / Advanced class progresses into the Advanced repertoire. At Pilates Now! we always design the classes around the individual participants, so we take into account the specific needs, abilities, injuries, issues and experience of the 4 people in front of us. As instructors, we have been trained to work with individual needs, and as everybody is different and has different needs and abilities, our classes are always different. Variety is the spice of life!

In all Pilates classes and exercises we always focus on the Basic Principles of Breathing; Alignment; Focus; Flow; Concentration and control.

Pilates exercises progress in three different ways:

1) the breathing changes

2) the exercise gets harder

3) the choreography gets longer

Adding extra springs doesn't always make an exercise harder, (it's not like a gym workout)

often the lighter the springs the more the core has to work! The springs provide challenge and support, so the lighter the springs the more the body has to support itself.

Book your next class or 1-1 session on the


Buy your pass

Enjoy the Easter Bank Holidays. Find some time to focus on breathing, pandiculation, standing on one leg with your eyes closed and get some rest! And don't forget to Spring Forward on Sunday 31st!

Take care,


You are receiving this email because you have been in contact with Pilates Now!, however, if you no longer wish to receive the words of wisdom that take me ages to write, please let me know so I can take you off the email list. I'm human, not a robot and definitely NOT spam - the nasty internet variety or the tinned, processed meat!

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