Jyoti Pilates Blog

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Strengthen and Build Workshop

Saturday 15th Oct 2022, 11am - 1pm £22

Studio G25, St Margarets House, 151 London Road, Edinburgh, EH7 6AE

The role of Pilates in a strength training programme 

As we age, we lose strength and muscle mass, along with bone density. Each decade after the age of 30 we can lose up to 8% of strength, and bone loss begins from age 35-40. Simultaneously, our fat burning mechanisms are less efficient. 

Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to exercise in a way that will not only maintain bone, muscle and strength, but also help to build them; such as a programme that includes properly performed strength and resistance training, alongside movements that build bone density. 

You can’t lift weights without stability, mobility and “core” strength. Proprioception, the ability to sense where your limbs are in space and in relation to each other, is also key, and finally you need correct alignment and technique. These are all fundamental principles of Pilates, and are essential when adding weight to a movement in order to work effectively and avoid injury. 

If you are new to resistance training, and adding weight, you need to build up to it slowly, and this 2-hour workshop will be an introduction as to how to do this safely.  

We will begin with joint mobility and tissue prep work, which are essential to warm up, and then look at alignment and technique. 

We will then explore adding load to exercises with resistance bands and light weights, and learn exercise techniques that help to build bone. We will finish with a stretching sequence, essential after resistance work to ease muscle aches and keep tissues healthy. 

This workshop is suitable for all levels of Pilates experience, and whether you are already familiar with, or new to working with weights. Note we will NOT be lifting heavy weights! 


Beginners ABC of Pilates

Beginners Pilates Class

Date: Monday 7th September 2020, 7pm - 8pm

Location: Online via Zoom

Cost: £10

This one-off class is a great introduction to Pilates (and how a Zoom Class works and feels!).

Ideal if you want the opportunity to try Pilates before booking onto a block, are in need of a recap, or if you are still quite new to the method and want the time to go over the basics thoroughly.  We will look at some of the fundamental principles of the method - Alignment, Breathing, Concentration, Centring, Co-ordination and Relaxation and explain why these are all important and are the building blocks underlying every exercise.  You'll discover what and where your 'Core' is and how it provides you with stability and strength, as well as learn about the many benefits Pilates can bring.


The Benefits of Pilates During Pregnancy

Pilates is an ideal form of exercise to help keep you fit, healthy and confident throughout your pregnancy journey and teaches you how to maintain safe postural alignment as your body changes to accommodate your baby’s development.  

You will learn how to effectively recruit your deep core muscles to help support and protect your joints.  This is important due to the presence of the pregnancy hormone relaxin which is released in the very early stages of pregnancy (around week 2) and ‘relaxes’ the ligaments around your joints in preparation for the baby’s delivery.  Relaxin can be present in the body for up to 9 months after the birth, which may leave key joint structures like the spine and pelvis at risk of misalignment.  To counteract this, pre and postnatal Pilates carefully balances strengthening and stability work with stretching and mobility exercises.  

Of particular focus in prenatal Pilates are exercises that teach you how to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles which are put under a significant amount of pressure as your baby grows, and you will also learn how to relax them to assist during labour.  Specific breathing and relaxation techniques will help to keep you calm and rested and promote an overall sense of positive wellbeing. 

Postnatal Pilates is extremely beneficial in gently and effectively helping your body to recover after pregnancy and birth.  Exercises will focus on restoring abdominal function and repair, particularly if diastasis recti is an issue.  Pelvic floor strengthening will be addressed as will specific joint problems caused by ligamentous laxity such as pain in the lower back, sacroiliac joint and pubic symphysis.  Upper body stability and release are also targeted to help with the demands placed on it by feeding and carrying your baby. 

Class numbers are kept to a maximum of 6 to ensure a safe and effective practice in a supportive environment with careful consideration to each individual throughout the session and modifications and alternative exercises offered as necessary.  

Prenatal class: Suitable from 16 weeks to full-term. 

Postnatal class: Suitable from 6 weeks to 9 months post-partum. 

All participants must complete either a pre or postal natal PAR-Q health questionnaire in advance of joining the class and been given permission from their GP or medical practitioner to participate, with no contraindications present. 

The Pregnancy Pilates classes are taught by Julie Roberts, who is a qualified specialist Pilates for Pregnancy teacher with Body Control Pilates. 


Taster Classes at St Stephen Street

37 St Stephen Street

Saturday 28th December 2019

37 St Stephen Street Edinburgh

Come along and give Pilates a try over the Christmas break.  These taster classes are great if you are considering moving up a level of class and want to see what it is like, or if you have had a break and want to ease back in before the new term.  And also ideal if you are new, and would like to give Pilates a try before committing to a block! 

Go to the booking page to reserve your place.


Beginners ABC of Pilates 11-12pm £10

This workshop will take you through the basics - come and learn your ABC's of Pilates: Alignment, Breathing and Centring, and discover muscles you never knew you had!


Improvers 12pm - 1pm £10

If you have completed a Beginners block, and are thinking of moving up a level to Improvers, this class will give you a taste of the progressions as we work on improving your strength, stability, flexibility and co-ordination.

Intermediate 2pm - 3pm £10

If you have completed an Improvers block, and are thinking of moving up a level to Intermediate, this class will introduce you to exercises designed to challenge your co-ordination and build strength and stability, giving you a balanced and full body workout.



New Teacher for the Autumn Block of Pilates Classes in Stockbridge!

I'm very pleased to let you know that Julie Roberts has expanded her schedule at Jyoti Pilates, and taken on all of the Tuesday classes at 37 St Stephen Street.  She will be teaching the 12.30pm and 6pm Beginners, and 7pm Improvers classes.  She is very much looking forward to this and getting to know you.  She is a very patient, understanding and fun teacher, giving you a good workout whilst also making sure you are finding good technique and alignment!  You can read more about her below in her own words.

"I fell in love with Pilates when I started running and picked up a few injuries. My physio recommended I use it to help improve my core stability and to also help stretch and lengthen my muscles, which were a bit imbalanced!  Since then, I’ve had my own personal practise for over 10 years and in that time it has been a lifesaver for me, improving my strength, co-ordination and flexibility whilst keeping injury at bay. It has also helped me reduce anxiety naturally, making me feel my best from the inside out. I trained with Body Control Pilates in London gaining both my Matwork Certification and Register of Exercise Professional Level 3 qualification, and did most of my teacher training hours with Jyoti.  I am absolutely fascinated by movement patterns and love flowing movements so I always try and build a few sequences into class.  My favourite part of teaching is helping people understand how their body works so that they can move naturally and freely, and feel at home in their own skin.  My favourite Joseph Pilates quote is: “Change happens through movement and movement heals,” because I firmly believe Pilates is medicine for the body and mind!"


Fascia, Feet, and Footprints Workshop

JS Pilates 021920150412 173227St Margarets House

Saturday 3rd August 2019 11.30am - 1.30pm  £20

Fascia is the system of connective tissue that runs in continuous chains and spirals throughout the body, binding and separating organs, muscles and bones, and helping to create tensegrity.  When we move, the kinetic energy created is captured and recoiled with elastic force to enable a return movement that is relaxed, graceful and efficient. But if the fascia is tight or ‘stuck', or we are out of alignment, we lose that benefit, and this free movement is compromised. 

This workshop will explore different ways to release the fascia, and ease muscle tension, using small equipment and your hands, and incorporating this into pilates exercises.  We will begin with the feet, as pain and dysfunction in the knees, hips, pelvis, spine, shoulders or neck may originate in dysfunction or lack of mobility at foot level, which can also block free and efficient movement.  

Your feet have the potential for great flexibility, and the fascia tissue of the feet has many sensory receptors which can give your body so much feedback about your environment and where your body is in space, which impacts on how you move. By stimulating an area, we enable better communication between it and the brain, and this is particularly helpful for the feet, as they tend to spend alot of time in rigid shoes, walking on flat, hard surfaces, which makes them inflexible and unable to fully utilise this sensory system. 

We will work up the body, addressing tension in legs, hips, glutes, lower and upper back, shoulders and finally neck, which will allow you to find correct alignment more easily. This alignment will be of relevance in the last part of the workshop where we will explore your walking or gait technique, and how you can access the benefit of the recoil system of the fascia, for more efficient and easy movement, allowing you to float out of the class! 

This workshop is suitable for all levels of abilities.



New Beginners Class and New Teacher!

I am very happy to introduce our new instructor, Kayleigh Watts.  She will be teaching a Beginners class from Tuesday 13th of November at 7pm at the Stockbridge studio.  She is an incredibly kind and patient teacher, and explains everything very clearly so you will understand all the movements easily, and is an ideal instructor to start your Pilates learning with.  Read on to find out more about her in her own words.

'I first found Pilates in my late teens when searching for an exercise to help with lower back pain and knee pain, something I suffered with after dancing for 13 years. I began to read about all the positive effects regular Pilates practice can have. One week later I attended my first Pilates class and after one hour I was hooked. I knew then that my body craved movement. One year later and after a spontaneous move to Edinburgh I decided to retrain as a Pilates Teacher. I am now a qualified Body Control Pilates Matwork Teacher, Level 3, and am passionate about showing clients that Pilates really can help everyone and how regular practice can have a very positive impact on both the mind and body.'


Open Day and FREE Taster Sessions!


No. 37 St Stephen Street

1pm - 4pm FREE 15 and 30 minute appointments.

Places strictly limited so booking essential (go to 'book now' on the booking page of my website to see time slots and reserve your place).

Come and say hello, and try out Pilates in our taster sessions to feel its benefits as part of our Open Day in the Stockbridge Studio.

Or if you have ever wondered how your posture was, come and learn more about your alignment and how it can be corrected to benefit your health.

Suitable for all abilities.



ABC of Pilates Beginners Workshop

Saturday 3rd November

 11am - 12.30pm 

  37 St Stephen Street £15

This workshop is a great introduction to Pilates, ideal if you want the opportunity to try it out before booking onto a block or if you are still quite new to Pilates and want the time to go over the basics thoroughly.  We will look at the fundamental principles underlying the method - Alignment, Breathing, Concentration, Centring, Co-ordination, Stamina, Flowing Movements and Relaxation and explain why these are all important and are the building blocks underlying every exercise.  You'll discover what and where your 'Core' is and why it needs to provide you with stability and strength, as well as learn about the many benefits Pilates can bring.


It All Begins With The Feet

Workshop Saturday 6th October 11am - 1pm

St Margarets House, £20

Our feet work so hard for us on a daily basis, but they can be one of the most neglected areas of our bodies, barely even given a second thought; that is until pain occurs. What is your relationship with your feet? Do you even like them, look at them, let alone give them the attention and credit that they deserve? Or do you just quickly stuff them into socks and shoes and go on your way?

Your feet are an incredible feat (no pun intended!) of engineering; complex, delicate and strong. Not only do they have the ability for great flexibility, but they can give your body so much sensory feedback about your environment and relationship to the earth, which impacts on how you move. But if you spend most of your time in rigid shoes walking on flat, hard man made surfaces you can never allow your feet to achieve their full potential.

But it obviously isn’t only about your feet – that is just where it all begins. Your whole body can’t move freely and efficiently if your feet aren’t moving properly. Pain and dysfunction in the knees, hips, pelvis, spine, shoulders or neck may well originate in dysfunction or lack of mobility at foot level.

In this workshop there will be lots of gentle releasing, stretching, mobilising and strengthening of the feet. Then we will explore how our foot position when standing affects the alignment of the whole body, and how this impacts on our movement potential, ability to perform different Pilates exercises effectively, and most importantly on walking. Which leads us to the role of the hips and glutes, so they will getting attention too. You can expect to leave having had a full body workout and given your feet some much needed TLC, and with a programme to follow to slowly and safely build up to more barefoot time. The rest of your body will be grateful too! Suitable for all levels of ability.


Did the Flintstones Need Pilates?

Workshop Saturday 25th November 11am - 1pm

St. Margarets House, £20

Fresh. Whole. Varied.  All words you might associate with a healthy food diet, but they also apply to healthy movement.  So if your daily movement diet involved walking, running, squatting, climbing, swimming, carrying loads, swinging, fighting, always facing the unpredictable and centred around finding your next meal, Pilates was probably not so essential! Although I’m sure Fred would have loved a Spine Curl…

To achieve and maintain your full movement potential, what you do outside your weekly Pilates class  - your daily habits - are fundamental.  For example, sitting on the ground in different positions, a natural human thing to do, may have become uncomfortable and difficult if it is no longer one of your habits.  This is where Pilates can help.

This 2 hour workshop will explore exercises that enable you to gain the stability, control, strength, awareness and flexibility to move more fully, in lots of different, and new ways.  We will release and stretch areas of tension that might be inhibiting full range of movement.  Alongside some Pilates favourites, expect the unexpected as we put our Pilates to functional practice with movements that are fun, sometimes challenging and very different to your usual class. (Making flints not compulsory!)  This workshop is suitable for all levels.


New Teacher joining Jyotipilates!

The Autumn Term is on the horizon already, and although I will miss the (occasional) warmer days, I always love the turn of the season, and actually like that "back to school" feeling!  It feels like a time of year to focus on projects and explore new ideas.

So there are some exciting developments here, the biggest of which is that Susie Alexander is coming on board, and will be teaching 2 Beginners classes on Tuesday nights at 37 St Stephen Street, with new venues and classes on the cards for the future.  She is a fantastic teacher with a lovely friendly and sympathetic manner.  Read more about her below.

I will also be adding to my teaching schedule, with a 1pm Beginners class on Mondays at 37 St. Stephen Street, and will be available there on Monday afternoons for 1:1 sessions.  These are ideal if you want an hour tailored just to you, either to progress your Pilates to the next level or focus on any particular issues you have, and can be taken as a regular appointment or as a one-off to complement your matclass.


Susie AlexanderSusie

Susie Alexander is a Body Control Pilates matwork teacher with a passion for wellbeing, sport and healthy living. Firsthand experience of the positive effects that a pilates practice has on physical wellbeing, levels of energy and state of mind continues to inspire Susie to teach her clients how to move well. Susie believes that everyone can benefit from pilates; from long distance runners, to golfers and office workers. Susie has completed her Intermediate Matwork qualification and is certified in Pilates for Golfers and Pilates for Performance. She is delighted to be teaching at the St Stephen Street studio.


ABC of Pilates Beginners Workshop Saturday January 7th 2017, 11am - 1pm £20

Ever wondered what exactly Pilates is and whether or not it is for you? This workshop is a great introduction, ideal if you want the opportunity to try it out before booking onto a block; if you are still quite new to Pilates and want the time to go over the basics thoroughly or have been attending classses for awhile and want a refresher session. We will look at the fundamental principles underlying the method - Alignment, Breathing, Concentration, Centring, Co-ordination, Stamina, Flowing Movements and Relaxation and explain why these are all important and are the building blocks underlying every exercise.  You'll discover what and where your 'Core' is and why it needs to provide you with stability and strength, as well as learn about the many benefits Pilates can bring. The 2 hours will gently ease you back into movement after the Christmas break and maybe even kickstart some New Years resolutions!


Introduction to Classical Matwork Workshop Sat 22nd Oct 11am-1pm £20

Autumn has arrived and its time for another Classical Mat Workshop!  If you have been wondering what comes before or after the Series of 5 in the Classical Matwork sequence, or would like to spend a bit more time perfecting your co-ordination and technique, this workshop will delve deeper into some exercises you may be familiar with, and introduce some new ones. The 2 hour workshop will start with a warm-up to; then look at a selection of the exercises in depth (with modifications and preps for those not yet ready for the full versions) and then we will run the sequence in its entirety.

The Classical Matwork consists of a dynamic and flowing sequence of over 40 exercises, linked by transitional movements, with the rhythm of the breath integral to the movement and pace.  Performed from start to finish, it develops physical strength, stamina, muscular endurance, co-ordination, and physical and mental control. 

Participants should already be comfortable working at an intermediate/advanced level (happy rolling up!) and be able to take responsibility for their own body by modifying any movements that might not be suitable for them.


Release and Align Workshop Sat 23rd April 11am - 1pm

This 2 hour workshop will explain what good alignment is, look at how you can assess and check it in your own body, and learn how to recognise when you are in (and out!) of it.  We will look at some of the exercises we frequently do in Pilates, and see how these movements are also excellent tools to help you find good alignment and set yourself up in the correct starting position for other exercises (particularly useful if you practise at home). Then we will work on releases and gentle stretches for areas of commonly held tension in the body, that may be keeping you out of good alignment, such as in the neck, shoulders, back, hip flexors, hamstrings, calves and feet.  The workshop is suitable for everyone, whether you have done one Pilates class or 1000!

Cost: £20

Book through booking link on website.



Alignment is one of the key principles of Pilates, and correct alignment is not only fundamental to gaining results from your Pilates class or other exercise routine, but is essential to the optimal functioning of all of the systems of the body.

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Reclaim Your Lunchbreak! Fri 27th Nov 1 - 2pm

FREE introductory class held in conjunction with Stylist magazine and Body Control Pilates, at St Margarets House.

Come and make the most of your lunchbreak and find out about Pilates. The basics will be explored and explained, we’ll have a look at your posture  and introduce you to the foundations underlying Pilates -  Alignment, Breathing and Core Stability.  You’ll learn to connect with your body, and improve your balance and posture. Joints are gently mobilised, knots released, and you’ll gain the awareness to work your muscles in a deep and precise way.

Places must be reserved in advance through booking on my website.


Restore and Release Workshop Sat 5th Dec 11am - 1pm

I am running a 2 hour “Release and Restore” workshop to help you unwind your body and your mind and give you tips and tools to add a bit more active relaxation into your everyday life.

As my regular class goers will confirm, I love spiky balls, Hedgehogs and Foam Rollers, and could happily spend the whole class using them, as they are so beneficial in helping to release tight areas, so we will do lots of work with them, as well as gentle mobilisation moves, a detailed focus on posture and alignment and breathing and relaxation techniques.

Suitable for all levels.


Why the Relaxation Position could be your most Beneficial Exercise

Joseph Pilates based his method on key principles, from which Body Control Pilates include Alignment, Breathing, Relaxation, Centring, Concentration, Co-ordination, Flowing Movement and Stamina, and I will be exploring some of these in more detail over the next few blogs.

This month, I’m starting with one of my favourites, Relaxation.  Pretty obvious why I might favour this, as who doesn’t like to relax, but when you look at it more closely it may not be relaxation as you know it, and you will see how it can help you to build strength and allow your muscles to function optimally.

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The History of Pilates

Welcome to my first blog – I am hoping (and have good intentions!) to write monthly, on various aspects of Pilates as well as other health and wellbeing topics, so do let me know if there is something you are interested in and would like me to look into.

So you know what Pilates is, and all of the great benefits that it offers, but where did it start and how?

It has actually been around for over 80 years, and is named after its founder, Joseph Pilates.  He was born in 1883, in Monchengladbach near Dusseldorf in Germany.  Unfortunately he wasn't a healthy child and suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever.  But rather than allowing this to limit him, he set out to learn about health and exercise, and to improve his strength and fitness.

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