With a family history of severe osteoporosis I decided I was at an age when I should be pro-active about fending it off. After doing some on-line research I decided that Pilates would suit me & fortunately found Edinburgh Pilates on line. I came as a complete novice and have to say that Karen is one of the most approachable, adaptable and enthusiastic people that I have ever had teaching me anything! It is never too much trouble to her to explain a position to you,until you master it. She has also had to be very adaptable as, after only three months, I suffered a back injury (nothing to do with Pilates & everything to do with thinking I’m younger than I actually am!!). Over the course of the next few weeks, Karen patiently went through various positions that would benefit me, assessing that I was comfortable every step of the way, whilst still teaching the rest of the class, who also had their own various problems. You never feel that you are floundering at the back of the class and you are never made to feel silly for asking any question or seeking any clarification on any position. She has helped me so much and I would have no hesitation in recommending her classes to anyone.
I started pilates with Karen last year, over 6 months ago now, and it is definitely the best thing I have ever done for myself.Karen is a fabulous tutor. Her attention to detail and individual encouragement in the class has helped me understand the core and improve my core strength. For years I have had lower back ,and more recent years, neck problems and her personal hands on approach has helped me understand my body and enables me to work the problem areas out myself but, knowing my limitations, ensures I’m working the correct muscles to ease the pain and maintain mobility. Thanks to Karen I have noticed a huge improvement in my posture and this has given me better confidence in my daily life and greater mobility to keep up with my 6 year old! Karen has a kind nature and very approachable manner and I would highly recommend anyone interested in pilates to come to her classes.Thursdays has become the best day of my week all thanks to Karen! My husband is loving the improved me too!!
Karen has been teaching me on a 1-1 basis for over 8 years and the benefits to my physical well being have been huge. Had I discovered Pilates earlier, I needn’t have suffered years of lower back pain and the cost of endless osteopathic appointments. Utilising my core has become second nature and my back is now protected at all times. I’ve had no serious pain in years, but if I do feel a niggle, I have the tools to address the problem at source, negating the need to take painkillers. Pilates, with Karen’s carefully considered classes, tailored for me, have given me back control of my body. I couldn’t be happier with the results.
My physiotherapist suggested I try Pilates to stabilise and strengthen my pelvis and lower back after a difficult pregnancy. I had very poor core strength, difficulty walking short distances and considerable pain during everyday activities.
After only 6 weeks of 1:1 instruction from Karen, I feel like a new woman! I am so much stronger; I’ve found muscles I didn’t know I had and learned how to use them to support myself correctly. Karen’s understanding of my needs and her thorough and professional style have given me the confidence to really go for it and the results speak for themselves. I am walking comfortably to and from school and even carrying my toddler without pain when I need to.
Karen’s explanations are easy to follow and she is a very patient teacher. As a complete beginner, my many questions are always welcome and I feel I have learned such a lot in a short space of time. I look forward to continuing in the group class now and would heartily recommend Edinburgh Pilates.
I’ve found Karen very approachable, engaging and encouraging. She’s sensitive to what my body’s able to do, and quick to accommodate any special needs. She makes the learning easy and fun. And I’m beginning to be able to use my muscles to help me get through my days more easily and comfortably.
Karen makes the class fun & takes time to tailor the sessions to suit you. She is vey helpful & flexible in her approach to you.
When I started my current job about 12 years ago I remember receiving comments about my upright posture, but now after all those years of sitting crunched up over a computer my shoulders had collapsed forward (for want of a better phrase!)
My sister had discovered the benefits of Pilates and worked hard on encouraging me to go but with a skin problem which often restricted my movement I didn’t feel up to it.
I then began to feel so still and unfit that I knew I had to do something. I found Karen after an internet search. Her replies to my query emails showed a caring person.
After a few weeks my sister visited, and as I saw her off on the train a text came through, “your posture has improved” – fantastic!
Lessons can be hard work and challenging but never more than you can cope with. Above all lessons are fun and time time always flies past. On driving home after one lesson I had to re-adjust my rear view mirror… I was sitting taller.
Karen’s lessons are excellent and have really been of great benefit.
What I like most about her sessions is the way she breaks every thing down, so you learn how to do the exercise and what the aim of the exercise is. She likes to make sure she’s getting a quality movement from you rather than how many you can manage, which is what I had thought it was all about.
If something has gone a bit wrong with the way I’m doing an exercise, she is quick to help out and won’t let me continue until I know what I need to watch out for and focus on. I’m nearly at the stage where I can spot some of my own mistakes and its a good feeling when it’s worked and I can notice the difference! There’s plenty of laughs in the sessions too.. does giggling use core muscles? hope so! she really seems to know how to get the best out of every one, it’s worked with me and I’ve seen it work on other new people.
Looking forward to another block and have also got my auntie interested in joining next session.
I first started group classes with Karen when I was pregnant with my third child, and then continued with one to one classes in the post natal period. Before my baby was born she was easily able to incorporate me into a group class, with the appropriate tweaks and equipment necessary for advancing pregnancy. The one to one classes after the birth have been excellent in regaining core strength, improving posture and generally stretching out muscles tightened by carrying children and car seats. I would highly recommend her to anyone,male or female, pregnant or not. Her beautiful studio is easily accessible and traveling from Morningside by car was no problem. As a mum of 3 herself she very much understands that sometimes things do not run to plan and that classes are missed. The fact that she allows you to make these classes up at a later date is tremendously useful, and exemplifies her unique and understanding nature.Thank you, Karen!
I started Pilates classes with Karen a couple of months ago after years of neck stiffness and lower back pain due to a busy job which involves a lot of travelling and many hours spent in front of a lap top each day. I have just finished my first block of one-to-one Pilates classes with Karen and am already noticing that I have less stiffness and more flexibility in my neck despite having to miss the odd week due to work commitments. Karen is a very patient and encouraging teacher who has really helped to motivate me and encourage me to believe that I can regain mobility.
I have tried group Pilates classes in the past but was never convinced that I was doing the exercises properly-Karen gives clear instructions and tailors lessons to suit my needs which is great. I will definitely continue with one to one classes with Karen and look forward to seeing further improvements over the coming months!
Maria Martin (50)
I have suffered from chronic back, hip and knee pain for over 3 years and to be honest I felt ancient! at 50 years old I thought my physical life as I knew it was over!
I’m a keen walker and spend a lot of time up north walking in the hills with my dogs for hours at a time. It seemed I could only manage half an hour before the pain kicked in and I would have to turn back and go home.
My physio Melanie suggested I try ‘Pilates’ and gave me Karen’s details, so with some reservations I got in touch. The setting is perfect for me, I’m no ‘high impact girl’ and lots of women in tight lycra displaying tanned bodies to pumping music scared me to death! No worries on that score, Karen’s classes are small, 3-4 max and personal, Karen is dedicated to your time with her and gives each of us the attention we require to perform the exercises properly for the best results.
I’ve also been taking circuit training sessions with Karen and feel sessions like these have been good for me, something I never thought I’d manage to do, getting the benefits of a cardio work out without agonising joint pain is what I’d been looking for, I discovered you don’t need to train to the point of exhaustion to feel the benefits! plus my physio feels it’s doing me good too!
The encouragement has seen me through some ‘Low points’, my confidence in my ability to attempt some of the more challenging exercises is growing, I’m stronger and I even remember to use my ‘Core’ during daily life. I think my turning point was when I decided to really invest in my health, buying clothes, bags, shoes and other luxuries have never been an issue but investing in my health always seemed to be last on my list.
It’s a big turn around for me and I am now reaping the benefits, after all, no point in buying beautiful shoes, if you’re not strong enough to wear them!! and show off a great posture! So if you are reading this, take my advice and give it a go, be patient and watch what happens, as the advert says, ‘your worth it’! Huge thanks to you Karen, couldn’t have done it without you.
Ann Craig (67)
I am a 67 year old woman who has been doing one to one Pilates Instruction with Karen for about 3 years now. I have a long history of lower back problems and have gone down many avenues to try to alleviate the pain, including acupuncture, reflexology etc, but nothing helped for any length of time.
I decided, on the advice of one of my daughters, to try Pilates, and it was she who “found” Karen for me. I had never done Pilates before so I felt more comfortable in a one to one situation. Having specific problems I felt they could never be dealt with in a class of 10 or more.
Karen took a full medical history before I started to pinpoint any specific areas that needed looking at and this is updated annually which is very professional.
Each lesson is specific to the way I am feeling on any particular day. My mobility has increased and my posture is so much better and I have learned what my core is all about. Pilates also helped me correct a bout of Plantar Fasciitis and Karen suggested it might be worth while having an MRI Scan for my lower back pain, since I had never had one taken. The scan revealed disc compression in my lumber spine, however, I was told that only surgery would “cure it”.
I wasn’t happy about going down that road, so I have continued with my one to one Pilates with Karen. I have learned so much from her, that I also do lots of the exercises at home. I have improved to the extent that Karen now has me circuit training, specific to my needs of course. Never thought that I would ever be able to say that!
I should also say, that we have fun and I would recommend Karen to anyone who is not feeling as young and as fit as they used to be!
A few years ago,when I was 63, I began to suffer back pain. I had regular sessions for about two years with an Osteopath who told me I had a Scoliosis, or curvature of the spine. Although her skill brought immediate relief after each appointment, the pain soon returned. On the Osteopath’s recommendation I saw a consultant at the RIE. After the x-rays, I had one shoe built up at the Orthotics Department as the Scoliosis was causing me to lean to one side, I also had Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy. These sessions were very helpful but I felt I needed greater understanding of how to improve the muscles in order to support my back. I had heard that Pilates could help strengthen the core muscles and I felt this might be worth a try.
I have now been working with Karen as a one to one for about two months now and I have a much better understanding of how I must think about my Posture. She has explained and shown me how the muscles on one side of my body have weakened. I am working with her to try and balance this out. The exercises we work on are done with a focus on mind and body control and afterwards, although I feel I’ve had a workout, I feel stronger and more relaxed. I think this is the way forward for me and I must work hard at it, as the discomfort I have experienced for years and years has prevented me from enjoying so many interests. It seems sensible for me, or someone in a similar situation, to aim to try and minimise the discomfort rather than aggravate it by allowing my Scoliosis to take over.
As a 66 year old with dodgy joints and family history of osteoporosis I approached Pilates with trepidation. I need not have worried, as Karen took a full medical history, and as the exercises became more challenging she was able offer alternative ways of doing them.
We are continually reminded to use our “core” muscles, so much so, that walking round the supermarket you think of them, and pull yourself up straight, instead of slumping over the trolley.
Karen’s classes are always fun, and a good workout! I have been attending her classes for over 4 years now and long may it continue!
I have been attending Karen’s Pilates classes once a week for at least 3 years.
There are only ever a maximum of 4 people in the class which is great as Karen can give us her undivided attention. Karen can go around us individually finding out how we are coping with the excercises and help correct or modify what we are doing to suit the individual. The ages and health of the class varies and Karen caters for all of us, tayloring what the individual can cope with. We all do the same excercises but possibly at different levels of complexity. This is one of the greatest benefits of the smaller class. Through Pilates I have rediscovered my core muscles and now find I correct my posture when standing or walking and I now no longer slouch. I first started attending Karen’s classes when I had spasms in my neck muscles and found it very difficult to relax them, through physiotherapy and pilates I finally managed to relax the muscles. I still have to use pilate techniques to help release the muscles occasionally if they tense up. As part of Karens warm up routine with us she always brings in the ones that help release the shoulder and neck muscles, I particularily like these excercises.
I can’t recommend pilates highly enough, it is low impact but gives your muscles and joints a very good workout.
My name is Susan I’m 28 years old and have been attending one to one sessions with Karen for a two and a half years. I had always suffered lower back pain which wasn’t helped by sitting long hours at a desk. I was seen by a physiotherapist who suggested Pilates as a way of strengthening my lower back and helping me with my posture and core stability.
The sessions Karen sets out for me have taught me how to do the movements in such a way that my lower back is safe. I found out that using my core muscles really did make a big difference to the way my back tended to feel, I became conscious of how I should be sitting at my desk in order to prevent the horrible discomfort I used to feel. Karen also gave me useful exercises which I can do at my work and these have made a massive difference to the way my lower back now feels. Thanks Karen for your patience and support.