I first heard of Pilates in Frasers’ staff canteen in 1998 when the London rep was extolling its virtues to my boss. I scoffed, saying “It’s not as good as Yoga”, even thought the only time I’d heard of it before was on the free CD in my Special K cereal box (thanks Lynn Robinson!).

Anyway, my boss found a class in Glasgow’s Southside (to Carole Jacobs’ studio where I now work would you believe!?) but I stuck to my yoga class in Partick Burgh Hall with the elderly and very eccentric teacher who shouted at me because I fell asleep in savasana and snored a little. It was during my Finals. I was exhausted!

Soon, the boss and I parted company. In fact, Glasgow and I parted company and I moved to the Land Down-Under, AKA Australia, where I had an opportunity to experience some Yogalates in Byron Bay, Queensland. And that was pretty much that.

Until I left my full-time job to take my yoga career seriously and begin pimping myself out to local council gyms.

Unfortunately I kept getting knocked back: “We have a teacher and she’s ancient but she has the monopoly on yoga in this town”, “There’s no room for you here”, “If only you did Pilates instead.”

So, my cure for that was simple – get trained to teach Pilates as soon as possible. “How hard can it be?” I reasoned “It’s just Yoga with the Sankrit left out.”

Modified 100I trained as a Pilates Instructor in early 2006 and it soon became clear to me that I didn’t know my ass from my elbow! Literally! My Anatomy & Physiology knowledge was woeful as this was not focused on in my Yoga training. So, I later took a separate A&P training so I could feel a bit more knowledgeable about the body.

I found the more I taught Pilates the better my Yoga instruction was getting too. I had a clearer idea of what went where and how it all worked. Some of my best classes were when people came to Pilates first for slow core strengthening and body alignment and then moved into Yoga class for breath initiated movement.

In 2007 I went on holidays to the States where I was able to pick up some great books on Pilates and the more I read, as well as the more I practiced and the more classes I taught, the more I began to like this discipline.

However, I think Pilates and I really became friends during the delivery of the first Stretch NI Pilates Instructor Training course in 2011 and we now have a relationship which is on first name terms! He calls me Victoria and I call him Joe and he makes me feel lengthened and strengthened every time I practice.