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March News

March -

In like a Lion -

And Out like a Lamb!

as the saying goes. Let's hope the lion sleeps tonight! (In the jungle, the mighty jungle ...!) It's not always the case, of course, but it is exciting that the days are getting longer and we have more daylight to lift our spirits and drive the winter away!

If you are of the meteorological viewpoint, Spring starts on 1st March, so Hooray! We have made it through another Winter! However, if you are of an astrological nature and believe Spring starts at the Spring Equinox you have to wait until 20th March this year. 3 more weeks!! F.Y.I. The clocks change on Sunday 31st March and Spring Forward, so an hour less in the morning but an hour more light in the evening. It's also Easter Sunday this year, so more time, more chocolate!

I am so excited about the Pregnancy & Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist course that I have just started doing with the Core Exercise Solutions company and Dr. Sarah Ellis Duvall. I've hardly started and I am learning SO much, which I'm keen to pass onto you. The great thing about it is how far and wide the Corrective Exercise part goes - for example:

Posture - head forward posture (21st century issue!) creates weak muscles in the front of the neck and tight muscles in the back. The upper trapezius become short, rounded forward shoulder muscles shortens and tightens the pectoralis muscles, which leads to shoulder pain, mid-back & neck pain. The Pec minor contributes to a shallow breathing pattern which leads to increased tension and stress. The serratus anterior (SA) is a key muscle for balancing the pec minor and connecting the core to the upper body. Strengthening the SA helps reduce shoulder and neck pain. The question is - do you know where your SA muscle is and how to activate it?! Come to Pilates Now! and we can help you find it, use it, improve your posture & reduce upper back pain.

March is National Tremors Awareness Month.

Essential tremors is a movement disorder - a condition that affects the nervous system causing involuntary shaking or trembling. It is most obvious in the hands & forearms but can also affect the head, voice & face. It is often hereditary, with about half of people who have it inheriting it, but can also develop in later life. It probably affects about 5% of the population. At the moment there is no known cure, but treatments include Beta Blockers, MR guided Focussed Ultrasound and Deep Brain Stimulation (in which a probe is inserted into the brain and controlled remotely by doctors with iPads - all very James Bond-y!)

I attended the Essential Tremor Awareness Day in Bristol in February to hear talks from neurosurgeons about surgery and Karen Hull, a specialist neuro physiotherapist with special interest in movement disorders, including Essential Tremor, Parkinson's, ageing and strokes. Her talk was focussing particularly on balance.

As a species we are inherently unstable being on 2 legs and in a state of being unbalanced, which is one reason why we are so prone to falls. We all need to work on our balance, so how do we do it? To balance, we are working with 3 systems - postural control (our bodies); Vestibular (ears, knowing which way is up); Vision / proprioception - our position in relation to the things around us. If we can't see we use other things to compensate. In Pilates we work A LOT of deep muscles to keep the whole body strong, including the lower limbs, ankles and feet. A lot of falls happen at night in the dark when we can't use our proprioception, as prevention is better than cure, we need to practise balance.

To find out the level you need to work at try this exercise:

  1. Stand holding the back of a chair.

  2. Lift one foot off the floor.

  3. Close your eyes.

  4. Take one hand off the chair.

  5. Take the other hand off the chair.

  6. See how long you can stand and decide to put your foot down (don't fall, and be honest about how controlled you are!)

  7. Try the other leg and compare.

The stage you find the hardest is the one you need to work at.

Fortunately balance isn't rocket science, it just takes work! The great thing about it is the speed you can feel your improvement. Go on, give it a go!

This is a Facebook Post from Issy BG, my step-daughter, who is fundraising for the Teenage Cancer Trust and is looking for sponsorship. She was 17 when she was diagnosed with cancer.


In March this year, it will be 10 years since I was diagnosed with Leukaemia.

To mark this, Luke and I will be walking the South Downs Way - covering 100 miles in 5 days - to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The Teenage Cancer Trust offers unique care and support for young people throughout their treatment, funding specialised nurses, youth workers, and hospitals across the NHS. Without them, I wouldn’t have had access to lifesaving treatment at The Royal Marsden.

Hearing the words “you have cancer” is devastating but the Teenage Cancer Trust makes sure that no young person has to face it alone.

If you can, please take a look at, and share, my Just Giving page - any donations you can make would be very much appreciated."

It would be very kind if you could contribute to this very important cause. Thank you for whatever you can give.


We are a friendly bunch at Pilates Now! and we would like to be able to reach out to your friends & family to bring them into our happy group AND let them experience the joy that you feel after a session of Pilates (during the session maybe a different matter, but let's focus on the positive after-effects!). Word of mouth is the best way publicising the studio, so we would be grateful if you could spread the word of how fabulous Pilates Now! is! REFER A FRIEND AND GET £15 OFF YOUR NEXT PASS! (if they buy an Introductory Package or Pass)

March is a busy month so here are a few dates for your diary:

Friday 1st - St. David's Day - eat leeks and wave daffodils!

Friday 8th - International Women's Day

Saturday 9th - Maha Shivratri Hindu Festival

Sunday 10th - Mothering Sunday

Sunday 10th - Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan

Sunday 17th - St. Patrick's Day - look for a 4 leaf-clover & enjoy a pint of Guinness!

Wednesday 20th - Vernal Equinox - Spring begins! - Persian New Year starts

Saturday 23rd - National Rejoin March - Central London

Sunday 24th - Palm Sunday - Western Christian Calendar - grab a donkey!

Friday 29th - Good Friday - Studio is closed

Sunday 31st - Easter Sunday - Clocks go forward - STUDIO IS OPEN

Monday 1st April - Easter Monday - Studio is closed

Enjoy the extra daylight. Breathe deeply. Pandiculate. Karen Hull said we need to be willows and move with the wind rather than oaks and stay still. Move! Move! Move!

Take care,

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