Top Tips from our Teachers


Do some practice at home. Pilates is like learning a new language, the more you practice, the more you learn.

Now it is common sense that the more often you practice something the better you become at it. Therefore doing some Pilates practice between classes will help you massively. If you can practice lying in neutral and breathing, correcting your posture and a move that you enjoyed in class it will help. Check out our youtube channel for videos and sequences you can try.


Slow down and breathe, breathe, breathe. Pilates is a marathon and not a sprint.

Breathing is obviously something that we do all the time but we don’t always take the time to do properly. Focus on the breath going into your ribs, so they expand out to the side. The breath also expands your tummy and your back too.


I always talk about rib cage placement. In all posts avoid the ribs flaring out, instead bury them down towards your hipbones so the abdominals engage.

If your ribs flare up when you lift your arms or legs, concentrate on there being a heaviness on your chest and your core engaging more. It may also be you need to reduce the range of movement in your shoulders and legs.


Check in with yourself from time to time through your day. How are you standing or sitting? Are you shallow breathing? When you can only attend one class a week, it’s these daily tweaks that really help to make a difference”

A focus on your posture is so key. What you do in class is a tiny fragment of your week, so finding the posture cues you need to work on is totally crucial. Whether it is adjusting your head position or bringing your pelvis into neutral more often. It all makes a difference.

Why can’t I do a roll up? PART 2. Hip Flexors and Hamstrings.

The hip flexors include the deep muscle called the Psoas. This runs from the middle of your spine to inside the top of your thigh bone. It helps pull the spine up towards your legs. The other hip flexors are the ones you can feel in the front at then top of your hip. If you stand on one leg and hug the other knee into your chest you should feel them. So the hip flexors need to be functioning properly. Not too short and tight, not too weak. If you spend time sitting a lot in your daily life then these muscles may well be tight and weak!


Shortness in these can make it hard to move through your lower back. If you struggle to sit on the floor upright this could be the case. There are a lovely range of hip flexor stretches that will open your hips and make you feel less “stuck”.

For those people who find their legs lift off the mat as they come up, well that is probably down to your hamstrings, hip flexors and back. Your hamstrings help you keep your thighs on the floor and help lever the body up. If you can’t keep your knees straight in a roll up then it’s due to tight hamstrings.


The band is your friend. Get stretching your hamstrings daily. Open up your lower back in the rest position, in hip rolls and in hip flexor stretches. Find the part where you are tight. Now work on your roll down – going from seated down to the mat using a band around your legs going vertebrae by vertebrae keeping your heels heavy and stretching out through your legs and feet. Stretching the upper and mid part of your back is also useful and the Spine Stretch is often put at the end of a roll up for this reason.

And finally here is a get out clause for some of you…. I don’t tend to use this one in classes as I like people to try without having a reason why they can’t do something. However your body proportions do play a role, making it harder to master but certainly not impossible.


If you have a long torso then a roll up will be harder than a short torso person. You have more weight to lift up compared to the weight staying on the mat. Teasers however will be easier for you!

I also firmly think that for some people CONFIDENCE is the key. If you believe you can do something and are determined then you will get there!

Pilates : the overspill

Pilates isn’t just for the studio, the practise is meant to overspill into everyday life. If all you get out of it is a class that leaves you feeling you have worked hard, released tight areas, exhaled your stress and shifted your focus from life’s stress to your body, then that is good….. but you are missing the added bonus. Pilates is a discipline, so much like meditation or religion, it is meant to be practiced daily and to influence how you life your life. I’ve gone a bit deep there I know. So let’s unpack it a little.

Pilates with Priya: pilates-the-overspill


The Pilates basics include breathing, core activation, control, concentration, precision and flow. All things we need everyday.

Breathing correctly can help relieve stress and intra-abdominal pressure. Just the act of breathing alone can release tension, reduce anxiety and strengthen your core.

Knowing how to use your core will make everyday movements safer and protect your lower back. For example lifting a heavy load. If you have a solid understanding of Pilates you will naturally exhale on the lifting phase, engage your core and lift with good posture. Thus protecting your back, keeping tension out of your neck and shoulders and using the power in your legs and bum.

Rotating with good technique using your obliques can prevent twinges in your back and tension in the shoulders. Squatting or lunging rather than bending will ensure you use the global leg and bum muscles and not puts strain on the lower back. All techniques you can learn in your Pilates class.

The concentration use in Pilates can be transferred into your work and home life. Being able to clear your mind and bring your focus to your body, is a useful relaxation technique and can bring mental clarity. People often leave the studio feeling calmer, refreshed, less anxious and more in control of life.

I personally love the  control and flow in Pilates being able to go from one movement to the next using a natural rhythm and flow has a certain beauty to it. If you can apply that to the tasks you have to do in day-to-day life, life becomes more beautiful! It is something to aspire to. Flowing from one task to another, multi-tasking in a calm, concentrated manner and being precise in all you do.

Fadilates. My new Pilates concept.

The fitness world is evolving at a fast pace. There constantly seems to be another new fitness concept out or a new fusion franchise. Keeping up with all the new concepts is impossible. Some of them seem inspired and some incredulous!

I’ve often joked in classes that to make my millions I should start up my own fusion of some variation on Pilates:

Tropical Pilates – because I actually like the humidity and our studio often gets pretty warm.
Winolates – Pilates with a glass of wine, it could be a winner.
Barefoot Step – I’ve started teaching barefoot and love it (though I wouldn’t advise you do this until you are used to being barefoot and have built up to it).

Do you know the reasons I wouldn’t create my own fusion franchise right now?

1. I don’t have the time, if our studio is this busy teaching pure Pilates then something is working.

2. I believe in the pure form of Pilates too much. Joesph Pilates knew his stuff.

3. I’ve been around a bit in the fitness world. I’ve see fads come and go and throughout I’ve stuck to my guns as a freestyle instructor in aerobics, step and Pilates. Being free and able to adapt the class to suit their needs is key.

Yes I love adding in variations and using equipment to keep things fresh. Plus many fusion classes can be great, don’t get me wrong… But mixing 2 concepts together to create something new can also dilute things down. Something this can be great, not so for Pilates. I don’t want to dilute the effects of Pilates.
I also don’t want to be tied into teaching a certain way, using specific music, following a preset class or using a brands style. I love to learn from as many places as I can and am continually updating my repetoire and watching others teach so that I can bring new approaches, new descriptions, new variations and new thought processes to my classes. It’s not about 1 concept for me, it’s about translating Pilates to the people I teach in a way that helps them.

Fadilates: my new Pilates concept

Teach the body you have in front of you in the best way you know how.