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By West Norwood Therapies Team, Nov 22 2017 09:00AM

The Pilates Education’s founder, Matthew Atwell, shares his experience of the recent launch of the Pilates equipment studio in West Norwood. The first of its kind in the area, and working closely alongside us at West Norwood Therapies, Matthew shares what you can expect from equipment classes in the new studio.

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Oct 18 2017 08:00AM

Pilates instructor Matthew Atwell interviews a pregnant GP client about her Pilates journey

Local GP does pregnancy Pilates

“Feeling the strain of breastfeeding postures in my body, and carrying a surprisingly heavy baby and toddler, plus returning to my desk based job all impacted on my body, and I needed help in ironing these issues out.”

Read the first in this exciting new collection of blogs written by The Pilates Education, where Pilates teacher Matthew interviews some of his students. Real People Do Pilates speaks to people from different walks of life abut how Pilates works for them. The first of these asks a local GP about her personal pre and postnatal experience in doing classes at The Pilates Education.


By West Norwood Therapies Team, Jul 19 2017 08:00AM

Our fantastic Pilates teacher, Matthew Atwell, shares the launch of The Pilates Education's new Pilates equipment studio opening in West Norwood (just next to WNT!) this month

In addition to our established mat class provision, The Pilates Education is thrilled to announce the launch of its new venture; West Norwood’s first Pilates equipment studio!

The new studio will be located within the premises of Access Storage on Norwood Road, the venue where our group mat classes already take place, making a complete home for our Pilates provision in SE27.

This is also the residence of our friends at West Norwood Therapies who already offer massage, acupuncture, osteopathy, nutritional therapy, plus yoga and hypnobirthing classes. Thus, the studio launch will further diversify our combined offering of holistic wellbeing practices.

Amongst others, the studio will house all core pieces of Pilates apparatus - the Reformer, Cadillac and Wunda Chair - which together provide powerful opportunities for mastering the art of Pilates.

Do not hesitate to get in touch to find out more about this new space, and the semiprivate classes taking place there.

We look forward to welcoming many of you to the new studio very soon.

Best wishes


By West Norwood Therapies Team, Jun 21 2017 09:00AM

The third in a series of blogs by our Pilates instructor, Matthew Atwell, exploring The Pilates Education's particular, focussed approach to teaching Pilates

This is the third in a series of blogs where I explore my ethos, looking at some of the personal and professional values that inform how I teach Pilates in my work at The Pilates Education.

A commitment to continued growth

This instalment will consider my commitment to continued growth in the practice and study of Pilates. I will explore the importance of this pursuit, as well as sharing experiences from my own Pilates journey and training.

As it is such an important area, I will continue to share more experiences relating to this in the next blog.

Nurturing passion impacts lives

Effective Pilates practice positively impacts a person's life, and the primary job of the Pilates teacher is to experience this impact firsthand. The deeper the teacher is able to immerse themselves in personal practice and study, the stronger the impact for the student.

My Pilates journey started in 1992 where it was part of the training I received at ballet school. At the time, I found the approach very dull, but the techniques accompanied me through my performing career in musical theatre, with the most direct impact seen in my work teaching dance which I did from the age of 19. However, it wasn't until I came back to Pilates in June 2012 that I saw quite how strong its influence had been in my teaching work.

Prior to embarking on my training, I came back to Pilates with a strong desire to prioritise its place in my own life; seeking to experience its benefits for myself first and foremost, and to cultivate its significance to me.

To mention just a few aspects, I experienced a mental focusing, physical strengthening and psychological rest through the practice of Pilates, while reconnecting with the athletic quality of work that I experienced as a young dancer. When I practiced, a deep part of me felt unified, which led to many transforming changes taking place in my life.

Through my performing career and subsequent work as a school teacher, I learnt that passion can die through lack of growth or input. As a teacher, I also saw that the learning outcome was more effective the further I developed my skills and knowledge.

This backdrop established a cornerstone value in my work, where my personal commitment to continued growth in the practice and study of Pilates is highly prioritised - a value I intend to model in the team that may develop as time unfolds.

In summary, the more I nurture my passion for Pilates, and the deeper I experience its benefits, the more likely my students will experience their own transformation.

The tip of the Pilates iceberg

My commitment to Pilates took an important turn in May 2013 when I decided to undergo my teacher training. At the time, I was still teaching in the musical theatre department at the BRIT School, and initially enrolled to learn the method more deeply for myself, rather than to teach it to others.

In many senses, the training I did stands out as superior to other courses on offer, delivering a comprehensive course that prepared me to teach mat and equipment repertoire up to an advanced level.

However, I now see substantial flaws in this type of modern training which rushes through repertoire and anatomy study in months rather than years. Life circumstances meant the process took me almost two years, but even then, the biggest thing I lacked through this kind of training was an experienced mentor to show me the way.

I feel the current day model is barely even a springboard into the true nature of becoming a teacher, and can fail to adequately support the student in grasping the tip of the Pilates iceberg.

I have since come to prefer an alternative approach in developing new teachers, more like that used by Joseph Pilates - the original inventor. When passing his method on to others, he taught with more of an apprentice/mentor approach. This echoes an idea mentioned in an earlier blog in this series, that one who has mastered an art passes it on.

While I believe that modern approaches aim to incorporate some qualities from this original method - such as the need to cover a certain number of personal practice hours, teaching observation hours, and teaching hours - they fail to recreate the depth of support and input afforded over time through a serious apprenticeship model.

Join me next time as I begin to unfold my own experiences of apprenticing; establishing support that has deepened my personal growth, and the effectiveness of my work with students.

Welcome to our blog where we share tips, advice and thoughts from our fantastic team of experienced practitioners

Historic blogs can be found on practitioner profile pages - they are a great way to get to know us!

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