What is Pilates?

Pilates is a movement and exercise system designed to build strength and increase flexibility, stability and mobility through awareness and practice.  It is a way of re-educating and re-patterning your mind and body by becoming aware of your movements, connecting with your deep muscles and addressing the movement of the body as a whole. The Pilates Method improves your overall functioning and health – not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. It is both gentle and challenging, focusing on moving easily, efficiently and pain-free.

Pilates is named after its creator, Joseph Pilates,and was first called ‘Contrology’. Whilst the exercises were originally designed for use on reformer equipment, he also published the ‘original 34 exercises’ as a series of matwork exercises that could be performed at home (Return to Life Through Contrology, 1945). These exercises have evolved and expanded over time, but based on Pilates’ 6 principles:

Breathing  |  Concentration  |  Control  |  Centering  |  Co-ordination  |  Flow

How can Pilates benefit you?

Pilates can benefit anyone and everyone. It is particularly great for:

  • those who spend lot of time sitting or repeating p
    articular actions
  • those in pain – including but not limited to back pain, hip pain, neck pain, shoulder pain
  • athletes and performers wanting to manage or reduce risk of injury and improve overall performance
  • those with physical conditions, such as scoliosis, hyper-mobility etc.
  • stress relief and relaxation.

My Pilates background

I originally trained in Leeds on an OCR Level 2 Pilates Matwork qualification in 2008, but recently retrained with Brigid McCarthy Pilates Studio in Edinburgh on the Fundamental Matwork course and am currently training on the Remedial Matwork course. Brigid was a founding member of Pilates Foundation UK, original member of Body Control Pilates and founding member of the Independent Pilates Teachers Association (IPTA), and has been training Pilates teachers in Scotland since 1998.

My approach to teaching Pilates is informed by my experience in dance, somatic movement (primarily Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals) and psychology. Pilates is a mind-body (somatic) activity and I am interested in the therapeutic benefit such a movement practice can bring. I became particularly interested in how the body moves and how making changes to how you move can help injury and chronic pain after I suffered a hip ligament injury which prevented me from dancing. I received little support from the medical system and so I began a journey of learning about movement from many different perspectives in order to help and educate myself. Pilates formed a large part of my recovery and continues to be the way in which I manage my hyper-mobile body. I therefore have a large interest in remedial work and giving people the tools to become aware of their movement habits, explore new possibilities and ultimately integrate new movement choices through Pilates and  Laban/Bartenieff Fundamentals.

See more: Private Sessions / Matwork Classes / <LBMS link>


“I found Julie’s approach to my individual physical needs respectful, sensitive and, above all,  effective.  Her explanations as she took me through the exercises enabled an on-going healing process.  The sustainable benefits of her interventions are felt each day. ” Susan, April 2018

“Julie is a fantastic tutor, insightful and patient, which means she was able to get the very best out of me. I would recommend her to everyone.” Gillian, August 2018