This time last year I was at physio treating my slightly broken body from the first set of twins. My knees ached, my posture was out, my hips still hurt, and I had stomach separation, which coned if I tried any abdominal exercise. My very gentle move back into exercising was painful and uncomfortable. I had been so proud of my body for growing 4 babies; I was less impressed with how my body was coping post natally.
Physio’s will often use Pilates principles in their treatment approach, and the exercises I had to do at home were all Pilates based. My not so subtle physio who I love for her honesty, said to me “basically Kate I’m now giving you a 1:1 Pilates lesson every fortnight, why don’t you actually go to Pilates?!” OK, point taken.
Cue Claire Sparrow and Chapel Allerton Pilates. I’d rather naively thought of Pilates as something for ‘older’ ladies, a nice bit of stretching and standing nice and straight. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Claire is one of the leading instructors in her field, that good, she is currently travelling back and forward from the UK to the USA to work alongside one of the international Pilates Masters (who was trained by Joseph Pilates himself). Lucky for me, Claire and her studio are based right near my house. (Bonus!!)
I started to attend the Pilates Gym, you could be momentarily fooled when first arriving that the kit looks like something out of 50 Shades, with an array of springs, trapeze tables,
reformers and more. Shattering my first assumption of old ladies lying on the floor. Claire worked with me to develop a program to fix my postnatal wreck of a body – things were good and my pain, discomfort and overall posture was hugely improving (I didn’t really understand how, but it worked and I loved it!)
Imagine, Claire’s face when only a few months into my reformative body routine and I announce that I’m pregnant again and its twins (again). And so my postnatal plan was posted down the back of the radiator and replaced with an antenatal plan.
At 36 weeks with babies due induction any day I am still going to Pilates, both in the gym and to ante-natal classes where my bump makes even heavily pregnant women stop and look at me with their seemingly neat Malteser shaped bumps up their gym wear!
My heavily pregnant body is still having a hard time, and I do ache, but I am coping better than last time round and everyone is confident that it will put me in good stead for a better post-natal recovery.
Claire (and the Chapel Allerton Pilates team) you are the best, you regularly have to remind me to relax my jaw (to smile!) and patiently help me up moaning and groaning and lugging my huge body around but I love that you have been on this journey with me – I wonder how many women, given how good Pilates exercises are in labour have their Pilates instructor as their birth partner? (don’t worry Claire you are off the hook) but seriously there could be a business idea in there!
Claire trains Pilates teachers who form a network across the UK, so if you are not a Leeds lass, then they’ll be an instructor near you for sure!