Shirley’s Somatic Pilates classes have helped me feel more in touch with my body and become more aware of how I move and breathe and how the two are connected. Combining gentle and more “intensive” exercises and stretches and taking particular care of individual problem areas I think I have worked & loosened parts of my body I didn’t know existed! Some of the exercises have also been great as relaxing/de stressing tools.
I attended Shirley’s Somatic Pilates classes on a Wednesday evening for eighteen months. I have a family history of sciatica and the benefits of strengthening my back muscles were very noticeable after the Pilates classes. I also experienced well-being and relaxation after a lesson. I enjoyed the small friendly classes and the attention given by Shirley.
I have been to Shirley’s Somatic Pilates classes for the last couple of years and in that time have not only enjoyed the company enthusiastic, motivated and knowledgeable and I definitely feel that the combination of exercise, movement, and breathwork have improved my general posture and awareness of the body and muscles (ones I did not know I had).
I was very pleased to find a local Pilates teacher and very impressed by the information asked for in writing about my health before I could go along for my first class. I found the classes very helpful and not at all intimidating and whilst there were clearly different levels of people present Shirley gave us all equal care and attention. I enjoyed the classes and began to find my body could do more than I thought it could through gently following the exercises Shirley showed us and talked us through. It is clear how much Shirley knows about Pilates and the benefits and for those reasons she is an excellent teacher.
I would highly recommend Shirley to anyone wishing to try Somatic Pilates. She has small numbers in her classes which enables her to assist each class member with the exercises. Home practice is encouraged but not forced down your throat! Over the course of sessions the exercises become gradually more challenging but there are always a variety of options so that difficulty level can be tailored to the individual participant. Shirley is adept at balancing the different needs of each group member within her courses and seeks regular feedback on the exercises. Her approach is very mindful, teaching kindness to one’s body and helping to develop awareness of the body through movement. Her approach guides participants to gradually strengthen their bodies whilst developing flexibility and awareness. This has all sorts of helpful implications for looking after oneself on a day to day basis! I, like some of the other members of the class, became aware of parts of my body that I had neglected and / or that were out of balance. Shirley’s gentle approach and detailed knowledge of anatomy from her training and her own practice are evident during her classes and underline her competence to teach Pilates.