Selph Mat Pilates has been designed for all ages, body types and skill levels. Each one of our Yoga and Pilates Teachers, including Courtenay, focuses on practices to bring your body into balance and mind into ease.
You may have heard Pilates helps build core strength, improves flexibility and enhances muscle control – as well as toning the body. We sat down with Selph Mat Pilates instructor, Courtenay, to discuss her amazing vegan blog, her inspiration, family life and a few common misconceptions about Pilates.
What do you enjoy most about practicing Pilates? What are the benefits for you?
I’ma lot stronger since I started Pilates. I’ve become more aware of existing imbalances in my body and with Pilates I can work towards correcting these. I had to work on my pelvic stability after having 4 babies. And my balance and stability is now a lot better because of this. It’s also a great workout, challenging and fun.
What would you say to someone who says ‘Pilates is just stretching’?
Haha! Come to a class and find out. Pilates is hard work. It’s harmony of the body and mind using control and stability exercises to strengthen and lengthen muscles, and create mobility of the spine. It’s not just stretching.
What made you become a Pilates instructor?
I started Pilates when I had lots of injuries. I was a mess. With Pilates I got super strong. By this I mean functionally strong and injury free. And then I fell in love with Pilates and I LOVE to share it.
Do you need to be flexible to do Pilates?
Not at all. But what you’ll notice over time is that you’re flexibility will improve. I always had shoulder pain and in yoga my wheel pose was restricted.This was because my shoulder range and thoracic extension (upper back) was limited. With Pilates I worked on this, and now my shoulder range has improved and thoracic spine freed up, so my wheel pose is now so much better. Plus, my shoulder and upper back pain has totally gone. Joseph Pilates said himself,”You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions”.
Do you use any other holistic treatments to better yourself?
I see a physio when I need some manual therapy to work on tight muscles, and taping. I feel like this is a really helpful tool and at times totally necessary.
What style of Pilates do you practice, and why?
I practice mat and reformer Pilates. I’m trained in the Stott Pilates method, but tend to teach and practice a more dynamic and modern Pilates practice.
Do you do any other exercise? If so, do you find it helps you in your practice?
I practice yoga and also include some functional fitness. I do something everyday whether it’s yoga or Pilates at home or a tough sweaty workout. I always fit in some movement everyday. Pilates helped align my knees, I’m a little knock kneed. When I started Pilates my alignment improved and knee pain reduced, so I can run again.
Finish this sentence. Pilates has inspired me to…
…care about my body and be empowered to heal. Movement is medicine.
What does Balance mean to you?
Synchronicity of all elements working in harmony. Strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness for efficient and graceful movement.
How do Selph Pilates and Yoga work together to complement the body?
What I’ve noticed myself is my yoga practice has benefited from my Pilates practice.I’m a lot stronger in my core and glutes and can hold poses longer, and am attempting some more advance poses now because I’m stronger.
And also, my Pilates practice has benefitted from yoga, especially when I’ve worked really hard on my glutes, and then can stretch these sore muscles out during hip stretches. I have a new found love of the pigeon stretch!