Beyond Your Bump DVD Testimonial

A long time ago, before I had my my lovely boy, I had a lovely lady come to my antenatal classes. She sadly had a complication and  lost her baby in the second trimester. Then over a year later I had an email and this lady had bought our postnatal DVD. Excitedly I contacted her and she had gone on to have another healthy, happy baby. Here is her amazing review:

So I love your Dvd. The instructions are clear and the visual really highlights the areas you are talking about. It still gets across your lovely personality and after a hectic day or bed time it’s my wonderful calm time and your voice and the music really help. I like that I can choose different areas on different days, and also that you constantly remind us to pull in that core!

Pilates with Priya: Beyond Your Bump DVD Blog image

The only section I struggle on is the prone and as a breast feeding mum I found them a bit sore on my chest so some alternatives on those particularly tender days would have been useful.

I find the window really great for releasing my neck, shoulders and upper back especially after carry and feeding our lovely baby.

She is nearly seven months now and I’m finding your Dvd still has the right amount of challenge and really gets the right areas.  I was wondering in a few months when I’m ready to move on do you have any more DVDs to go forward with?

Wow. Pretty glowing review. In answer to the question at the end: Yes I have a normal Pilates DVD that you could move onto when you are feeling like you are no longer postnatal – it includes some curling up so is not suitable if you have a diastasis recti.

You can buy our DVD’s via Amazon or via our website.




Top Tips on doing Pilates at Home.

Obviously I’m a huge fan of Pilates, because of my job I end up doing Pilates 5 days a week and I have to say if I don’t do enough Pilates I soon notice the difference. Similarly if I do too much I also notice it! The trick is to find the right balance.

One of the questions we get asked is if 1 Pilates class a week is enough. In all honesty I would have to say probably not. However that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to quickly try and find a second class to attend. Once you know the basics of Pilates I would recommend you find the exercises that help your body and practise these at home. For example if you have sciatica a few shoulder bridges, CAT’s and a glut massage may help release and relieve pain. If you have recently had a baby then practising some pelvic tilts, hamstring stretches and chest openers will strengthen your pelvic floor, help with abdominal muscle strengthening and release those tight muscles.


Top Tips on doing Pilates at Home:

1. Choose exercises that you are confident at doing and you know you can do correctly. Good technique is important in Pilates, so ask your instructor to check the exercises you plan to try.

2. Aim to do a couple of short sessions a week at home. Try not to fall into the trap of overdoing it or you could end up with tight muscles in places you don’t want them tight.

3. Try not to just choose the exercises that you like, these will probably be the ones you are good at and don’t really need to practise! For example I’m not a fan of the Saw, but I need to do it!

4. Look into buying a good DVD that will talk you through the exercises and give you a range of moves you can pick and choose from or an all over body workout. Try my DVD for example.


Curl up not Crunch Up.

Curl ups or sit ups are a minefield. Personally I don’t think they are the worlds best exercise, there are far better exercises that you can do to work the abdominals and curl ups are pretty hard to perfect. However they are used in a lot of Pilates moves in conjunction with leg movements so it is good to get the technique correct.

Your upper abdominals should be used when you are doing anything in a curled up position in Pilates. To help you use these properly and not strain your neck you need to get the correct neck alignment. Start with a small chin nod, and then use your upper abs to curl up, never lead with your head or neck when curling up, instead think about leading from your breastbone with your head coming up second. Support your head in your hands with your elbows just in your line of vision.  Always keep enough space for a small orange between your chin and your chest. You shouldn’t  feel too much stress in your neck. It is certainly important to have a strong neck but not to the point of causing pain or any additional tension.

Pilates with Priya: Perfect Curl Up

Instead of crunching the abdominals focus on lengthening through the spine and keeping the waist stretched out. You want to curl up growing taller and then release the spine one segment at a time back to the mat.

You can always modify those exercises by keeping your head resting on the mat. Another helpful prop for people who are prone to neck issues is to roll up a towel to recreate your cervical spine curve.

(Thanks to Jo Fleet for letting us use this photograph).

Top 3 Pilates Errors and how to correct them.

3 Band Exercises to Tone and Tighten

Stabilise those Shoulders

Often in classes I come across people with tight shoulders, shoulder pain or can just see shoulders rising up towards people’s ears. It’s amazing how easy it is to start tensing in the shoulder region, I should know as I do it myself if I am not conscious enough. So I am often heard saying phrases like “Relax your shoulder” or “Draw those shoulder blades down in your back”. In actual fact the correct terminology is to “stabilise your scapulae”. Your Scapulae are the wing-like bones on your upper back, commonly called your shoulder blades. Stabilizing your scapulae is as important as contracting your abs during every exercise. This will help you avoid strain through your neck and upper shoulders.

When our scapula ride up or wing out to the sides, the shoulder area is less stable. Similarly, if you draw/squeeze the scapula together on the back this too is a less stable position than when the scapula are flat on the back with the shoulders drawn down in our favoured neutral position.


To find this shoulder position think about dropping the shoulders away from the ears and allowing the shoulder blades to slide down in your back. I like to think about them being down down towards the back pockets of your jeans. In fact this analogy has really help one of my ladies who suffered very badly from hunched shoulders, so hunches that she used to walk looking down at the floor. After learning where her scapulae should be  her whole posture has changed! Amazing.

It can be easy to start with the shoulder in this stable position but harder to keep them there when doing mat based Pilates. If you know you have a tendency to lose this position and tense up, then keep bringing your attention back to your shoulders. Have you tensed up? Think about not doing the move with your shoulders and neck but switching on your core more. It may also be that you need to decrease your range of motion in order to get the correct technique established first.




Bump to Birth DVD Review from EDM fitness.

Here is a lovely review of our Bump to Birth Antenatal Pilates DVD that I recieved from Victoria at EDM Fitness:

“‘From Bump to Birth’ was very easy to follow (even if you are a complete beginner at Pilates) and could be done at home when you have a quiet moment. You do not necessarily need any special equipment, but if you would like a mat, and a swiss ball, but you can still do these exercises on a chair!

The exercises are clearly explained, and you can work to your own ability and trimester as adaptations for easier/harder exercises are offered. The beauty of this DVD is that all exercises are suitable for the complete duration of your pregnancy, so you don’t have to worry whatsoever about if what you’re doing is ‘okay!’

I would thoroughly recommend this workout, it targets the main niggles that women get during pregnancy.. (e.g. lower back pain, stress incontinence, stress) as well as prepare you for birth and after delivery. The whole workout is just generally is very relaxing and gets you to take some time out in your busy day.

Highly recommended, quick, easy and cost effective way of regularly doing some core strengthening exercises during your pregnancy. ”

The full review is here.

Or go like them on Facebook.

Antenatal DVD Release: From Bump to Birth.

From Bump to Birth: Pilates can Help – Southampton Based Pilates Instructor Releases Antenatal Pilates DVD

We’ve only gone and done it, this week sees the release of our Antenatal Pilates DVD and it is looking pretty fabulous! The DVD was filmed when Priya was 18 weeks pregnant and the wonderful Alun Leppitt has done a fantastic job with directing and producing it.

F”rom Bump to Birth” is designed to help keep pregnant ladies strong, fit, mobile and toned throughout pregnancy. Suitable for all stages of pregnancy and also after giving birth this DVD includes seated, stood, side lying and hands and knees sections so you can dip into whichever part you fancy.

Priya now teaches 3 antenatal classes a week and sees a large number of pregnant ladies each week so really does know the exercises that help and are most useful.

Sat on Ball DSC_0884

Priya says “Pilates can strengthen your core, so supporting your lower back, aiding with pregnancy back aches as well as help stabilise the pelvis as the exercises I use also focus on the muscles in the thighs and bum, so we support below the pelvis.”

“Personally Pilates is essential for me in pregnancy, it prevent too much pelvic pain and back ache and ensures I stay fit and mobile”


The DVD is available from her website: or directly from the studio (, costing £15 if collected directly from the studio. Please do spread the word!



NCT Nearly New Sale and Us

Today we had a trade stand at the Southampton Nearly New Sale…. probably doesn’t sound that exciting, but it was the first time we had done something like this.

I’ll be honest….James did all the hard work, he got all the literature, DVD’s and forms together. I just turned up with a toddler and a smile on my face, did my thing of chatting, demonstrating moves and chasing a small girl around.

We’re such a small business, we don’t yet have lots of fancy giant posters, stands or amazing things to give away, but we do love to talk to people and help them. This morning it was lots of chatter about pelvic girdle pain, weaning and tummies!

As a result it looks like our antenatal classes will be full and overflowing, great news as a lot of our current mummies to be are about to give birth. I also sold a few DVD’s and hopefully we may have got some interested in our Weaning EBook – Baby Breakfasts.

A lovely morning, talking to lovely people. Thankyou to all who said Hello. The added bonus – meeting some of our Pilates babies and seeing their mummies!!


Pilates DVD will be ready next week!

DRUMROLL please………

Our first EVER Pilates with Priya DVD master has just been driven off to the man who will make it into many DVD’s and add all the artwork. It’s all quite exciting, in fact I’m having to make myself breathe and sit down with a cup of tea whilst I write this.

We’ve kept the DVD quite simple, like my classes, easy to follow, easy to listen to and perhaps even easy on the eye (that may be taking it a bit too far – it’s me on the DVD).

The DVD is designed for use at home in between Pilates classes, suitable for those with a little Pilates experience at a beginner or intermediate level.

It will retail at £12.50 for current studio clients (BARGAIN) or £17.50 for everyone else plus £2.50 P&P if you aren’t local.

I shall be adding a way to pay through the website and am taking pre-orders now.

Whoop Whoop!