Local resident Teresa Sedge has been a familiar face around Crowborough and the surrounding areas as a fitness trainer in the local gyms and health clubs.

After gaining many fitness qualifications Teresa decided to focus on Pilates because of the sense of connection it gave her with her body that other forms of exercise didn’t.

Teresa's Studio

Teresa’s Studio

In 2011 Teresa started her own Pilates Matwork classes at a local hall and now has her own dedicated Pilates Studio and Therapy Room in Connor’s Yard.  This has enabled her to hold more classes as well as a dedicated space for individual sessions and for conducting her sports therapy massage.

Whilst much of Pilates can be undertaken using exercise mats and props, Teresa is also delighted with the recent purchase of new specialist Pilates equipment enabling her to give her clients a Pilates experience beyond just matwork.

So, what makes Pilates different from other forms of exercise and just what exactly is specialist Pilates equipment?  There was only one way for The Crowborough Directory to find out so I put on my leggings and headed over to Teresa’s studio to learn more.

Pilates is a group of mat-based and equipment-based exercises developed by Joseph H Pilates in the early 1900s to encourage the body to develop balance (through core strength), flexibility and body awareness.  By using your brain to wake up the stabilising muscles in your inner core, your overall movement will become more efficient.

Teresa demonstrates the Cadillac

Teresa demonstrates the Cadillac

The first thing Teresa did was to look at my posture and from there she could ascertain where my strengths and weaknesses are in order to help me improve my posture.  It wasn’t just a question of asking me to move my shoulders back or move forward to adjust my position but instead for me to feel what the muscles in my core were doing to help me achieve a good posture.  I really had to think hard to focus on the right muscle groups to get it right.

The exercise equipment was certainly unlike anything I have seen before at a gym and I was very keen to see it in use and have a go myself.

The Cadillac was the first piece of equipment I tried.  It wasn’t as simple as just raising my legs but engaging the brain to focus on the correct muscle group before raising my legs.  “Anyone can put their legs in the air,” said Teresa, “but it’s how you do it that makes a difference.”

Teresa then demonstrated the Ladder Barrel making it look easy!  Getting the balance right and ensuring the muscles were working in the right way (Teresa can spot if you’re not using your core muscles) was easier said than done!

Teresa shows how it's done

Teresa shows how it’s done

It's not as easy as it looks!

It’s not as easy as it looks!

My introduction to Pilates by Teresa was a great experience and I learned a lot about it and the benefits it can bring.  It was not at all what I expected and I now find myself thinking about how the muscles in my inner core are working on a frequent basis.

If you’re looking to get fit but gym or aerobics classes do not appeal, give Pilates a go and feel the benefits.  Teresa’s classes are for men and women, young and old, and run Mondays to Saturdays in the morning and evenings. Check in advance as she only takes a maximum of 10 per class.  To contact her for further information on her classes, 1 to 1 sessions or sports massage, call 07921 226 349, email info@pilatesandsportstherapy.co.uk or visit her website at www.pilatesandsportstherapy.co.uk.


Featured in: Issue 63 – September/October 2015