Alison Bray
Why Pilates? 

The older I get, the more I recognise how important it is to have a body that works as well as possible: pain-free, strong and flexible; a body that allows you to enjoy everything else in your life and doesn't restrict you from doing the things you need to do and love. Activities like gardening, running for the bus or even reaching for something at the back of a cupboard can actually become daunting for some, but regular exercise can hold back many of the problems that we can otherwise give in to. 

How I got into it.

When I discovered Pilates over 20 years ago, I was training as a dancer. I immediately saw lots of similarities with dance training. They both provide pretty much everything the body needs to be in perfect balance. All we need to add is a little cardio a few times a week and you have all you need for a healthy body. I signed up to Alan Herdman's course and I qualified in 2000. Since then I have been lucky to work with and teach a huge variety of people. I have taught kids and people in their '90's, people with injuries and challenging conditions and those without. I hear wonderful things about Pilates from people who do it regularly. It really does work. I have benefited enormously from it myself, of course. I still go to dance class and I occasionally perform as a circus artist. Whenever I've injured myself, I'll visit the physio or osteopath and then Pilates helps speed the recovery. 

Mat or machine?

I love machine Pilates. It offers a spectrum of possibilities so that we can make an exercise more or less challenging depending on what a client needs. The purity of matwork is not be sniffed at though. It's clearly a lot cheaper and you can do it anywhere (no excuses to slack off if you go on holiday!) Home visits are a combination of mat and small prop exercises (I can provide foam rollers, Swiss balls, small overballs and resistance bands etc.)