Hassocks pilates

“Something’s got to give"

This week a client messaged me to say she had loads of work to do, and then used the phrase “Something’s go to give” so she was cancelling her class with me that week.  When I next saw her and we talked about it she said she’d had to cancel her swimming lesson that week too and that her 4 1/2 year old had had a terrible fortnight of poor sleep since the clocks went back too, while furthermore she said he has not slept through the night yet in his whole life, and she has been up with him every single night, her husband only did 1 night when their son was 18 months old and that’s it.

It got me thinking about why the answer to the problem of terminal exhaustion, work overload, and taking the brunt of the emotional load of the household is to drop what nourishes you and makes you feel like you - why is it not “please can you help me” to a friend, or “can you give me some extra time today by taking the kids in” to your partner?  Why is it that what gives is us? We have to be the one that yields to others, that bows to the pressures of the household, and capitulates without question.  I’m not suggesting we should never yield and should make our lives even more complicated by continuing on with all the plates we have to spin just so we are not conceding to others, however, we would have a greater sense of wellbeing if, as a result of asking for help and support now and then, we were able to have 1/2 hour of breathing time to do nothing, to keep consistent with our movement and self-care practice or take some time in nature to nourish our senses mindfully.  

I have seen and taught too many women over the years who have come to class literally on the edge, tense, exhausted and anxious, who burst into tears when they can’t understand instructions about exercises because their brains just can’t take one more thing.  These are women who have full time jobs and babies and toddlers to care for then something has tipped them over like managing their baby starting at nursery, a child with allergies having reactions, their partner away on business for 2 weeks, or a sick parent some distance away.  At times like that we need to be prepared to reach out, to have a friend, colleague or relative that we have set up in better times to give us support.  Try them out on easier occasions with plenty of notice, see how it feels to ask for help and their reaction to being asked, you can then create a network - a village to help you spread the burden when the proverbial hits the fan.

flower crown.jpg

You are the wonder woman who keeps the house together, don’t take that lightly, think as if you are the Queen, all those in your realm would do everything to keep you/The Crown working well for many, many years.  Wear that crown with honour your majesty!

Not just a spare rib!

Today I've been inspired by chats I've had with a few of my clients about how important the position of ribs is for working your abs more efficiently which relates to your posture and how you use your whole upper body especially in weightbearing but also in any lower body work to be able to align well for efficient movement and use of the connection between upper and lower body (pelvic floor and glutes most essentially).

In this video I talk through why rib position is so important, how to think about visual cues for correction, and ways to help your body work effectively over time to get stronger over time.

Let me know any comments or questions you might have, I hope you find this interesting.

Day 23 - Morning wake up with some cows!

Saturday, Day 23 - I decided today that training in the dark just wasn’t all that lovely especially not with the rising evening damp and the cold creeping in even as I moved.  So when I got up (woken by the Ginger Nut needing a wee of course), I threw on some shorts and a top and went to a little bit of space in the field next to our campsite which has some logs and a tiny bit of flat ground to play around on.  The cows looked at me very curiously the whole time, but I guess by the time I started on the circuit and was making huffing and puffing noises they thought I was one of them!!                                         

As I was at least a day behind on the schedule to complete all of my 12 week programme in 26 days, I chose to do the pilates and strength sessions from Week 11, and the circuit session from week 10 one after each other.  A nice mobile intro in the pilates, a pre-activation strength session and then I’m nicely warmed up for the circuit.

The pilates session focussed on a mid-range flow of movements starting from standing, going through down dog/plank positions, and then onto all 4s and finishing with side-lying glute work.  The initial flow in standing is the signature Garuda pilates moves which I find hugely beneficial for mobilising a tight and uncomfortable mid-spine/ribs, and therefore ideal for a 15 minute flow when waking up, it’s then brilliant to challenge the whole body all together to bring everything right in and re-connect.


The exercises in the strength and circuit were:
1) Down Dog scap press - in a dog position, shrug shoulders up to ears and then squeeze them back down to mid back
2) Single leg deadlift - stand on one leg, balance extending other leg up behind, core and all squeezed in to middle, then stand quickly with drive to upright
3) Forearm donkey kicks - down on elbows, kick 1 leg up keeping it bent in same as start position
4) Bench straight leg kickbacks - kneel on bench with one knee and both hands, other leg straight down to floor, kick that leg back until it is horizontal with spine


1) Push-up with alt toe touch - do a push up and each time touch outside of one foot with hand
2) Alt side lunge to jump - side lunge, then back to centre and jump up both legs, then swap sides
3) Side plank with knee tucks - side plank on your knee, then extend your top arm and leg, then pull elbow and knee to touch in front of you then extend back out - repeat either for half the time or do 5 on each side before switching
4) Ski mogul switch hop burpees - start facing off at an angle, hop switching direction 3 times, on 3rd, stay and hands down to floor, feet out to burpee and back in and jump, then do the switches again ending up facing the other way next time you do the burpee.
5) Glute bridge with alternating overhead reach - a normal glute bridge, with one arm reach overhead and to the other side of your body, come all the way back down before repeating and switching arms.

The rest of the day was spent with the kids messing around in the little stream at the campsite, building dams, chasing fish and making potions - I sunbathed, read my book, drank tea (then wine) and ate biscuits - bliss!!