Since June this year, some very strange-looking equipment has been arriving at 5/6 The Stable Yard at Woodhayes. These pieces of equipment with enigmatic names such as the ‘Reformer‘ and the ‘Cadillac’ use springs and pulleys to both assist and challenge movement, and are the foundation of the Pilates Method. Katharine Moran, owner and teacher at the Enlightened Body Pilates Studio, has been teaching Pilates since 2006, but for the first time has put down roots in a dedicated studio where she can specialise in using the Pilates equipment to tailor movement sessions to meet the needs of anyone, regardless of their physical fitness or age.
The Pilates equipment is still relatively little known, compared with its better known other half, the Pilates Matwork, which is also taught in small groups at the studio. The archaic-looking contraptions were devised by German-born Joseph Pilates as early as WW1 and he continued to refine his method at his New York studio, where he taught alongside his wife Clara from 1926 until his death in 1967. Contrary to what you might have seen in the UK press recently, with reference to a certain high profile footballer / designer couple, these are not “torture trapezes”! Far from it. The equipment gives a framework and support to your movement that makes the Pilates Method in its full form accessible to everyone. As you learn movements, the springs give you support to help you move efficiently. As you progress, the springs and pulleys offer resistance that can be tailored to suit your goals.
Many of Katharine’s clients (whose ages in recent weeks have ranged from 15 to 87) come for individual or shared sessions to address a niggling pain or improve their movement function in sports and daily life. Katharine has worked with people with osteoporosis, MS, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s and dyspraxia. Clients have included pregnant women, musicians, elite dancers and gymnasts, and a growing number of men of all ages, something of which Katharine is particularly proud – the myth of Pilates being a “ladies’ thing” is perhaps finally being dispelled!
Photography by Lydia Baker at Willow Studio in Sidmouth willowstudiosidmouth.com
Katharine’s goal in her work is to empower people to feel at home in their own bodies, whether that is through achieving more flexibility and strength, or through learning a new way of moving to address a specific goal.
You can find out more about Enlightened Body Pilates at the website www.enlightenedbody.co.uk or ‘like’ the Facebook page for news of new classes and seasonal offers at www.facebook.com/EnlightenedBodyPilates
telephone: 01404 548 349