Although having had a resurgence in recent years, Pilates has been an important aspect of Kirsten’s life from a very young age. As a professional ballet dancer, her years of rigorous training was accompanied by Pilates conditioning, which helped her body to recover, strengthen and realign between practices. After a neck injury in 2013 halted her career, Kirsten used Pilates’ rehabilitative aspects to assist the healing process. It was during this recovery period that she decided to leave the dance world behind, embarking on a new journey as a certified Pilates teacher.
Kirsten’s classes fully embrace the core principles of Pilates. A particular method of movement, Pilates was developed in the early 1920s by German physical trainer Joseph Pilates. He wanted to create a form of exercise that used the mind-body connection to retrain the body and improve everyday mobility. Harnessing this idea of mindful exercise, Kirsten focuses our attention on the intricacies of each movement to help us consciously target specific muscle groups. As with any Pilates session control and accuracy are important for optimum results, so Kirsten may use visualisations and physical assistance to help improve our form.
Commonly referred to as the ‘powerhouse’ of the body, Pilates aims to strengthen and stabilise the core muscles. An engaged core is crucial for efficient movement, flexibility, posture, balance, and strength, and by deliberately working the area, we’re also able to enhance our performance in other physical activities. However, a session like Kirsten’s—which incorporates movement that extends out from the centre—can also feel like a whole-body experience.
The breath is an essential aspect of Pilates and is something Kirsten reminds us to focus on throughout her classes. During exertion movements, she advises deep exhalation to activate the core muscles, promoting strength and stability as we flow between dynamic sequences. Though since this is a specific—and quite unnatural—way of breathing, Kirsten reassures us that it may take time to fully grasp.
As Kirsten knows from personal experience, Pilates is so much more than just a workout. When tailored correctly, it can act as a preventative and rehabilitative method for different types of injuries e.g. back, hip and neck pain. If you have a specific injury or goal in mind, Kirsten will create regimes aimed at assisting you on the road to recovery, modifying exercises to ensure accessibility for all levels. When healed, you can then join in on one of Kirsten’s group classes for a more general, rather than targeted, session.
For Kirsten, working with postnatal women is one of her greatest joys as a Pilates teacher. After experiencing her own body change during pregnancy, Kirsten was further inspired to help postnatal women regain their strength and nurture a positive sense of self. Pregnancy is a transformative time for most women, and can sometimes bring with it feelings of sudden identity-loss. But by creating a comfortable space where they can band together, Kirsten strips everything back to basics to help women build a strong foundation and reconnect to themselves.
With her positive energy and dynamic approach, Kirsten keeps her sessions light and fun. And whether you’re taking a morning, lunchtime, or evening class, expect the endorphins to kick in as you work both the mind and body.