All posts by Chris

Hello, so this is me. I’m Buddhist, vegetarian and very happy with life. I was born in East London on 14th May. The youngest of four children, I was interested in music, and sport from a very early age. As a boy, I played football for my County and I performed on stage in musical productions. I qualified to play piano and guitar, started writing my own songs and gigging solo and with different bands. My love of sport and fitness continues to this day with snowboarding, surfing, golf, tennis, scuba diving, mountain biking, running and rock climbing. I also love Kundalini yoga and meditation. I discovered Pilates over 20 years ago whilst working in the City of London as the Claims Manager for a Reinsurance Company, and it has been my passion ever since. My interest in Pilates began as a remedy for back pain, but soon grew into a passionate belief that Pilates can help many people, from those suffering through injury, to elite sportsmen and women looking for a competitive edge. I studied and qualified with Pilates Training Solutions. I gave up my high-pressure, highly paid job in The City several years ago and made Pilates my full-time career and my life. I now present Pilates and functional training all over the world, and I am the CEO of Pilates Life Solutions, Sport Core Strength and Pilates Rehab Limited. Check out www.chrishuntwellness.com for more info. I teach my own systems of Pilates; Pilates EVO®, Pilates Allstars® and Pilathai®, and my functional training system, bodyFUNC® across the world including Russia, Brazil, America, Germany, the UK, Poland, Spain, Latvia, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey and Greece. I’m still performing my music today, click on www.chrishuntmusic.com to see more. I also created Pilates Carnival. I was tired of commercialism, so Pilates Carnivals are conventions for teachers that are totally non-profit, designed to bring together the Pilates community. Any profits made through sponsorship or donations are given to local children's charities. I meditate at a local Buddhist Centre, and I still love to travel. During one of my visit to Bangkok, I qualified in Thai Massage. I raise money every year for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital by organising events such as golf days and concerts, and I ran the Sydney Marathon in 2006 on behalf of the charity. So, tell me about you.... http://chrishuntpilates.com/Bio.html

Where does fat go?

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My question for you today is simply; when we lose fat, where does fat go? Please write down your answer now, and no peaking at your colleagues answer.

The fact is that most people have no idea. Even the 150 doctors, dieticians and personal trainers in a recent survey shared this surprising gap in their health literacy.

The most common misconception by far is that fat is converted to energy. The problem with this theory is that it violates the law of conservation of matter, which all chemical reactions obey.

Some people thought fat turns into muscle, which is of course impossible, and others assumed it escapes via the colon. Only three of the 150 health professional gave the right answer, which means 98% of them could not explain how weight loss works.

So if not energy, muscles or the loo, where does fat go?

The correct answer is that fat is converted to carbon dioxide and water. You exhale the carbon dioxide and the water mixes into your circulation until it’s lost as urine or sweat. If you lose 10 pounds of fat, precisely 8.4 pounds comes out through your lungs and the remaining 1.6 pounds turns into water. In other words, nearly all the weight we lose is exhaled.

Does this surprise you? It surprises just about everyone, but actually, almost everything we eat comes back out via the lungs. Every carbohydrate you digest and nearly all the fats are converted to carbon dioxide and water. The same goes for alcohol. Protein shares the same fate, except for the small part that turns into urea and other solids, which you excrete as urine.

The only thing in food that makes it to your colon undigested and intact is dietary fibre (think corn). Everything else you swallow is absorbed into your bloodstream and organs and, after that, it’s not going anywhere until you’ve vaporised it.

So if fat turns into carbon dioxide, could simply breathing more make you lose weight? Unfortunately not. Huffing and puffing more than you need to is called hyperventilation and will only make you dizzy, or possibly faint. The only way you can consciously increase the amount of carbon dioxide your body is producing is by moving your muscles.

But here’s some more good news. Simply standing up and getting dressed more than doubles your metabolic rate. More realistically, going for a walk triples your metabolic rate, and so will cooking, vacuuming and sweeping.

Knowing where fat goes might not be the most important thing you learn today. But it might just help you and your clients understand the process of weight loss.

Most Medical Back Pain Treatments are Pointless

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In the news this week is the revelation that most medical back pain treatments are pointless. But this will come as no surprise to all us Pilates teachers and personal trainers out there. A University of Warwick report in The Lancet was reported this week in the UK press that millions of patients with back pain are being given pointless drugs, surgery and injections, with a third prescribed dangerous opioids (a major issue that warrants even Mr Trump’s valuable time in the US).The sad truth is that doctors prefer to offer useless and often harmful treatments rather than tell patients that exercise and psychological therapy are the only things that work for most cases of chronic back pain. Also, too many people wrongly believe the myth that rest is best for the condition, an international group of scientists has found.

Job satisfaction and a positive attitude are among the strongest indicators of whether back pain will turn into serious disability but their report, published earlier this week, says doctors are reluctant to discuss social and psychological approaches, preferring needless scans.

Back pain is the world’s leading cause of disability, with up to nine million estimated to suffer from it in Britain and half a billion worldwide, but a series in The Lancet says that it is routinely badly treated. In Britain one in seven GP appointments is for muscle and nerve problems, mostly back pain.

NHS guidelines recommend mainly exercise and therapy, steroid injections are increasing, as are scans that often lead to surgery, a fifth of which actually makes the problem worse. The fact is that the evidence underpinning these invasive treatments is very weak indeed, and they have harms. There are studies showing that a third of British patients with back pain are given opioids such as tramadol, codeine and morphine but that if anything the evidence is that [opioids] can end up making the pain worse.

About 24 million opioid prescriptions are written by GPs each year, double the figure a decade ago. UK Ministers have launched a review into concerns that patients are becoming hooked and suffering dangerous side-effects. Past studies have found that pills like paracetamol and ibuprofen barely help with back pain.

My opinion has been the same for many years; that our belief system and psychological state are important predictors of how severe pain is felt. Physical pain is inextricably linked to our overall health and mental attitude.

This of course all begs the question; why do doctors insist in making potentially wrong prescriptions, and why do individuals and business not pay much greater attention to mental health and positive psychological awareness and training?

Are you a Pilates grunter?

Are you a Pilates grunter?

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In a week dominated by “that” Puppy Pilates video (has the world really gone that mad?) I noticed another news story about celeb Kate Hudson and the fact that she isn’t afraid to grunt whilst doing Pilates.

Kate is well-known for being a lover of Pilates, and the story got me thinking about the effects of grunting during exertion. Am I sure that you have experienced this in Pilates classes and we are all familiar with grunts on the tennis court. So is there any scientific evidence?

Of course there is! Researchers in past studies have looked at the effects of making noise during workouts, with two of the most notable cases being a 2014 study (The Effects of “Grunting” on Serve and Forehand Velocities in Collegiate Tennis Players: O’Connell, Dennis G.; Hinman, Martha R.; Hearne, Kevin F.; Michael, Zach S.; Nixon, Sam L.) examining tennis players and a 2015 study (Effect of Vocalization on Maximal Effort Dynamic Muscle Performance: Sinclair Smith and Justin Smith) dealing with jumping distances. In both cases, results showed that grunts and groans boosted athletes’ physical performance.

“Most investigators believe that the deep breath with the momentary breath hold actually helps to stabilize the spine during heavy efforts,” Dennis G. O’Connell, PhD, lead researcher of the tennis study explained. The sound-emitting portion of the breath cycle comes from exhaling, and the whole process contributes to a controlled breathing pattern. “This serves to protect the athlete from injury, and subsequently provides a stable base of support for a powerful effort.”

From a scientific standpoint, the grunting noise is made as we exhale against a closed, or partially closed, vocal fold. The vocal folds, or vocal cords, refer to the two bands of muscle tissue that open into the windpipe. The vocal folds are open and relaxed when we breathe in, sometimes producing a rushing noise. But when the vocal folds close as we exhale you might going to hear some turbulence. Some experts say that we get an extra Ooomph by grunting that is probably related to a communication signal from the part of the brain that controls breathing to the part that controls muscle function. When we forcefully push air out, the brain sends information down to the muscles, which either excites muscle groups or decreases inhibition — or both. The result might be enhanced performance.

Because making noises can be so beneficial, some trainers encourage it during their sessions with clients. I have also heard it said that making noise helps students channel their frustration or pain in a helpful way and remain focused.

Of course on the flip side is that particularly noisy clients can be a big distraction for other people trying to focus in a Pilates class.

Personally, I do not encourage grunting to the PilatesEVO students and trainers here in Barcelona as for Pilates I do not think it is appropriate, necessary or conducive for the correct form. So are you a Pilates grunter? What is your experience and opinion? Are you a Pilates grunter? Do you encourage or discourage grunting, or do you not mention it at all? Have you had a particularly noisy client and if so, how did you deal with the situation? Please let me know by emailing me at chris@pilatesevo.com.

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez teach lessons about Hot Pilates

So this week we learned that Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez had a Pilates session together!! Wow, big news! But wait…. Before we dismiss this as throw-away celebrity nonsense, there are actually some good stories here. So what is Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez teach lessons about Hot Pilates all about?

Firstly, any time that Pilates makes the headlines is a good thing because raising public awareness is something that our industry always needs, even from the transient realms of pop stardom.

Secondly, for me a man doing Pilates and getting headlines is another step forward in the battle to show men everywhere that Pilates is for us too.

Thirdly I think it helps for the world to see that Pilates is for healthy, young people, and not only to be done after referral from their GP.

And lastly, I have always loved the idea of couples doing Pilates together. To share activities with your significant other (obviously we do not know if Justin and Selena are back together and let’s be honest, we really do not care that much….) is in my opinion something that is very healthy for any relationship.

So, from celebrity headlines we can take far more positives that you probably thought possible when you first saw this blog!

The title of this article is Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez teach lessons about Hot Pilates. So how is that possible? Well, the other thing worthy of note here is that the couple were reportedly doing Hot Pilates. This is a topic that I think needs some further thought. Unlike some, I am not against all new adaptations of our beloved Pilates system per se. The world is always changing, and to stay still is never such a good idea.  If I can see that a new idea brings something new and beneficial without compromising on the principles and qualities that we all know and love, then I am open to try it.

We have all heard of Hot Yoga, and many of us have had the pleasure of using a studio after a hot yoga session and having to open windows to disperse the heat and the smell. Pilates seems to be following with more and more hot classes springing up, but is there any proven benefit in exercising in high temperatures that make the body sweat? We have moved on from running in bin bags, but is hot exercise just the same but trendy because they do it in Hollywood?

Having looked at recent research, I have to say that it does not look good for exercising in heat.  Some experts say that it only serves to raise heart rate and blood pressure which for some people will be a lethal cocktail. A study in 2013 conducted by the University of Wisconsin concluded that the effort required to do a Bikram-style yoga class was all but identical to that required to do a normal yoga class (the exercise intensity was on average around 56 to 57% of maximal heart rate, which would classify both as “light exercise not dissimilar to a light walk). Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise said that the benefits of heat are largely perceptual. “People think that the degree of sweat is the quality of the workout, but that is not the reality. It does not correlate to burning calories”.

So if it does not burn more calories then what exactly does it do? There is some anecdotal evidence that saunas have health and stress-relief benefits and can help in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (click to read my article about Pilates and RA). But the importance of sweating can be overplayed. After all it is the body’s heat control mechanism, a vital means of keeping the body cool. It’s the evaporation of sweat that actually cools the body, and as we will all know from our gym experience, no two people sweat the same, but this is not an indication of their fitness or health. There is also no evidence that sweat purifies the body. Sweat comprises mainly water with some electrolytes. It’s the liver and kidneys that filter out the toxins, not the sweat glands. Research by the University of California found sweating eliminates less than 1% of toxic metals expelled by the body, so clearly sweating is by no means the most important.  It’s safe to conclude that sweat is just that, sweat, and nothing else.

From the traditional side of the argument, I know many yoga masters who have a great dislike of hot yoga. They say it drains your adrenals and kidneys. This is one of three subtle energies called ‘Ojas’. In Chinese medicine it is called your ‘Jing’ energy. You are born with this energy, and when you burn it up it is very difficult to get it back. When you drain it you get more paranoia, impaired energy level and quality. Actual Yoga is said to build this energy very slowly over years and years.

They also argue that doing asanas in extreme heat mean that muscles, which would in normal temperatures protect the joint from overextending, become atrophied. The extreme heat makes the muscles flaccid and limp, and then the movement of the exercises hyperextend the joint beyond its normal range of motion. This stretches the tendons and ligaments, instead of lengthening the muscle. This creates instability and weakness in the joint. As a result the muscles have to over overcompensate to do the job that the tendons and ligaments would normally do. The body becomes bendy, but not truly open and flexible and strong. It is good to practice in a warm room, a reasonable temperature of up to about 30 degrees, but to practice yoga is temperatures up to 40 degrees they argue is harmful, and absurd.

When doing Yoga asanas the breath is essentially the thread that ties all the elements together. In the ancient text, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, it is said, ‘the mind is the king of the body, and the breath is the king of the mind.’ So the breath is the master that controls everything – the body and the mind. This works as the nerves that run through the central nervous system are connected to the top of the nose, this point in Yoga is known as ‘trikut́i’. When you learn through your regular practice how to control the breath through the nose, the vital air will stimulate the nervous system so that it slows the rhythmic pulsation of the nerves and then the mind and the body will be at peace and calm. However, if you are doing postures in 40 degrees heat, then the density and atmosphere of the environment will make the breathing techniques used in Yoga asanas impossible. It is argued that the heated, humid and smelly atmosphere is a terrible environment to be in period, let alone do Yoga asanas in.

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez teach lessons about Hot Pilates, which side of the argument are you on? Do you have personal experience of hot Pilates or yoga? Justin or Selena? Are hot classes just another way to get people into studios? Does it really matter as long as people are exercising? I’d love to hear your opinions.

In my Pilates EVO teacher training I tell my students that they must never switch off from their intuition and be influenced by marketing ploys. I tell them to listen to their body. Your nervous system and your body are telling you all you need to know if you just take the time to listen. You’ll feel the truth there.

2018 How to keep your New Year Resolutions

Here we are, 2018, another New Year! It is and it should be an exciting time and a time to reassess our lives and goals. So, like every other year before it, on January 1st, millions of people begin the annual ritual of New Year’s Resolutions. Memberships at health clubs and diet programs soar, whilst sales of chocolate and alcohol decline. People take a long, hard look at their spending habits as they sort through the January bills following the excesses of Christmas. In this blog 2018 how to keep your new year resolutions we will look at some reasons why people fail, and give some tips that should help you to be more successful this time around.

Yet despite all the good intention, most people will fail at their resolutions. Come February, most New Year’s resolutions will be a dim memory. So, how is that that such apparently strong determination fizzle out so quickly? What can we do to increase the likelihood that our desire for change will translate into permanent positive change?

To do this, first we need to examine the psychology of the New Year’s Resolution. During the month of December people tend to overindulge in eating, drinking, spending money and neglecting exercise. Rather than moderate these behaviours at the time, we promise ourselves that after the holiday season is over, we will definitely take control. In the meantime, we give ourselves permission to overindulge without guilt. Our resolve is at its peak when we feel full drunk, or broke. It’s easy to think about going on a diet as we groan from a bloating holiday meal. It’s no problem to plan to quit smoking when we’ve just had a cigarette and replenished our nicotine level. At this point we feel confident about our New Year’s resolutions because we have not yet confronted any prolonged physical deprivation or discomfort.

In early January, we are often so sick of rich food and drinks, and feeling so sluggish from lack of vigorous physical activity that it’s not difficult to abstain from overindulgence. In fact, some people look forward to more structure and discipline in their lives. However, a few weeks into the new discipline, our appetites have returned, and we start to feel deprived. It is at this point that we are most at risk for reverting back to old behaviours.

Soon we start rationalizing that this is not a good time of year, what with cold weather and our numerous obligations. When spring comes, we’ll really get into shape. Thus, we make another promise to ourselves, and, now free of guilt, put off habit change for another few months. Chances are that when spring arrives, we will have another temporary surge of motivation, only to abandon it within a few weeks.

So why do people abandon their resolutions? One reason is that we become discouraged when results don’t come quickly enough, or when we find that we are not necessarily happier because of them. Behavioural change requires sustained effort and commitment. It is also typically accompanied by physical discomfort. For example, reducing food, alcohol or nicotine intake from a level to which you have become accustomed, results in cravings. Forcing yourself to get off your cosy chair to exercise is often difficult when you’re tired. And of course, it’s easy to procrastinate until tomorrow, so that you can rationalise not disciplining yourself today.

2018 how to keep your new year resolutions Tips

Therefore, if you are going to make New Year’s resolutions this year, here are some tips to maximise your success this time around.

  1. Examine your motivation for change.

Are you just feeling full and bloated at this moment? Do you have a hangover from last night? Did your last cigarette give you have a hacking cough? Or is there a more enduring reason for your desire to change? If you can’t think of a better reason than the fact that you’re uncomfortable at this moment, then you’re better off not making promises to yourself that you probably won’t keep. However, if you are realistic and accept the responsibility of discipline required for change, your motivation will be sustained long after the discomfort from over-indulgence has passed.

  1. Set realistic goals.

Habits and behaviours that are changed gradually have a greater chance of success.

  1. Focus on the behavioural change more than on the goal.

For example, if you decide to control your eating, your goal for the day is not to lose a specific number of pounds, but to stick to your program. Such focus on your behaviour will help you feel in control of your life. You will gain satisfaction from making sensible choices several times throughout the day.

  1. Learn to redefine physical sensations of discomfort.

Whenever we restrict ourselves, we have both physical and mental reactions. For example, a smoker feels bodily sensations when his nicotine level drops. However, he has a choice as to how he interprets these symptoms. He can define them as extremely unpleasant, or alternatively he can interpret them as his body cleansing itself of the drug.

  1. Make tasks non-negotiable. People who are most successful at implementing such changes are those who make their tasks non-negotiable. For example, if you debate with yourself at 5:30 a.m. whether you feel like getting up to exercise, you will probably opt for staying in bed for another half hour. But if getting up for exercise is no more negotiable than getting up for work, then you’ll do it regardless of how you feel about it. The same goes for organising your closet or taking charge of your finances. One can almost always find an excuse not to do these things. However, if you make a non-negotiable decision that’s based on a sound logical reason rather than on how you feel at the moment, you will be successful.
  1. Allow for imperfection.

No one is exactly on target all the time. In fact, you should expect to falter every now and then. If you give in to temptation, do not use this as an excuse to abandon the whole program. Learn from your mistake and move on.

  1. Do it now.

If you’re waiting for a more convenient time to begin behavioural change, it won’t happen. It’s almost never convenient to change ingrained habits. Now is just as convenient as any time.

Making changes to your life should not just be for the New Year. Try writing a 12-month plan. I will tell you why and how in another blog soon. Also, I find that doing quarterly reviews are much more effective than once a year resolutions, again I will talk more about that in my next blog.

I hope that this article 2018 how to keep your new year resolutions has helped you. I would wish you luck, but I don’t believe in luck; I believe in cause and effect. I also believe that if you want something enough then you will achieve it.

Happy New Year, let’s make 2018 the best year ever. It’s all in our hands. Let me know how you get on by contacting me on Instagram at thechrishunt and share your experiences.

 

 

Knees and fat: New studies Implications for Pilates

Knees and fat: New studies Implications for Pilates

Two interesting studies to talk about today. Neither are Pilates specific but both are very relevant and important factors when considering overall health and wellness and as such both are totally relevant to all us Pilates teachers.

The first topic is arthritis in the knees, something that all Pilates teachers see in a large number of our clients. Well the latest opinion is that it is a preventable disease rather than an inevitable consequence of wear and ageing, a study has concluded.

The condition is twice as common today as it was before the Second World War, according to researchers who put the increase down to lifestyle changes such as diet or footwear, as well as people getting fatter and living longer. Osteoarthritis affects 8.8 million people in Britain alone aged above 45. More than 18 per cent of this group have the disorder in their knees. Yet scientists who studied more than 2,500 skeletons, from prehistoric hunter-gatherers to the present, discovered that rates of osteoarthritis had surged over the past few decades after centuries of stability.

Daniel Lieberman, professor of biological sciences at Harvard University and a senior author of the paper, said that many cases could be averted if doctors could determine what had driven the change over the past 70 years. The researchers are investigating whether factors such as physical inactivity, diets loaded with refined sugars, the shoes we wear and even the hardness of pavements could lie behind the increase.

“Knee osteoarthritis is not a necessary consequence of old age,” Professor Lieberman said. “We should think of this as a partly preventable disease. Wouldn’t it be great if people could live to be 60, 70 or 80 and never get knee osteoarthritis in the first place? Right now, our society is barely focusing on prevention . . . so we need to redirect more interest toward preventing this and other so-called diseases of ageing.”

Three quarters of those with osteoarthritis say that they are in constant pain. Treatment is generally limited to painkillers or steroid injections into the joint. For severe cases, the only further option is an artificial joint. In 2015 people with the condition accounted for 98 per cent of patients having a first knee replacement.

Ian Wallace, the study’s lead author, visited collections of human remains across the United States to look for the glass-like polish that the condition leaves on the thigh and shin bones over years of rubbing against each other. Rates of knee osteoarthritis among the over-50s appear hardly to have changed between the native Americans 3,000 years ago and the inhabitants of Ohio and Missouri in the first half of the 20th century. After the war, however, they more than doubled. The trend, set out in the journal PNAS, remained even after the researchers corrected for age and body-mass index.

“There are probably a lot of contributing factors,” Dr Wallace said, “but . . . two conspicuous ones are physical inactivity and the abundance of proinflammatory foods in our diet — especially really sugary things.”

Philip Conaghan, professor of musculoskeletal medicine and a spokesman for the charity Arthritis Research UK, welcomed the study. “The more we know about what causes it, the closer we will be to finding more effective treatments and even a cure,” he said. “We absolutely agree that there should be more focus on prevention.”

To me this is yet another example of the fact that we can and should control the “aging process” to a much greater extent than most people believe. It’s much more about lifestyle than people think, and as wellness professionals we should be stressing that and treating our clients holistically. This is the principle of “total health” that I have been teaching in PilatesEVO for the last 10 years.

The next study deals with the mantra “fat but fit” and goes a long way to prove that it is a myth that doctors should no longer perpetuate, scientists have said. Research involving more than 500,000 people across Europe suggests that carrying too much weight is a cardiovascular problem in its own right and doctors should recognise it as such.

Nearly two thirds of adults in Britain are overweight or obese. About a third of them show no obvious sign of ill health, such as high blood pressure or insulin resistance, leading some experts to call them “metabolically healthy”. Advocates of the theory include the singer Adele, who said that she “would lose weight only if it affected my health or sex life, which it doesn’t”, to the UK medical regulator, which tells GPs there is no need to instruct people to diet or exercise more unless they exhibit serious warning signs.

An international team of researchers has found, however, that overweight people face a greater chance of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), which kills 73,000 people a year in Britain, more than any other condition. The researchers tracked 366,000 women and 153,000 men between the ages of 35 and 70 in ten European countries, including the UK, for an average of just over 12 years.

During that period there were 7,637 cases of CHD. After stripping out other risk factors such as smoking, diet and exercise, the overweight but ostensibly healthy people were still 26 per cent more likely to have developed the disease than those of normal weight.

Camille Lassale, who led the study while at Imperial College London but who is now based at University College London, called on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) to overhaul its guidance. She said: “Regardless of the measurements of blood pressure, blood glucose or cholesterol and so on, if you have a patient who is overweight or obese it is always wise to tell them to lose weight. It’s particularly relevant here because the UK has a greater prevalence of overweight [people] and obesity than other European countries.”

The study, which is published in the European Heart Journal, also shows that even though the “fat but fit” did not necessarily meet the clinical criteria for health problems such as high cholesterol or triglycerides, they still had higher concentrations of these chemicals than people of normal weight. This led Dr Lassale and her colleagues to believe that the effects of being overweight catch up with most people eventually. “We think what happens is when you classify these people as metabolically healthy obese they are on their way to developing metabolic abnormalities,” she said.

Metin Avkiran, professor of molecular cardiology at King’s College London and associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which funded part of the research, said: “This study conclusively shows that being obese increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease, even if they are otherwise healthy.”

Knees and fat: New studies Implications for Pilates
Nothing really earth-shattering in these reports as they really simply confirm what many of us already knew or suspected. Total wellness and health remain the key components to a healthy and happy life. Exercise and diet will remain the key building blocks, and us as Pilates professionals have our part to play not only in treating people who are suffering with various complaints, but also helping them to avoid future issues. We often only see people when they are in later life and much of the damage has been done, but still, if we only treat the symptoms that we see, then we are failing our clients. It is never too late to change and make a big difference.

Chris is a wellness and fitnesss consultant. He is also the creator of PilatesEVO, a system that uses meditation, NLP, meridians and other influences to help imrpove teaching quality and results for clients.

Pilates is Christian whilst yoga is not?

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A controversial title, but please let me explain the background behind Pilates is Christian whilst yoga is not?

It was any easy decision for the topic of my blog this week having read on the website of a UK newspaper the story that a church has banned yoga from its premises because it’s “non-Christian”, but it was still allowing Pilates, which presumably is Christian?

First of all, as with every news story nowadays, I checked to make sure it wasn’t “fake news” and it turns out that it wasn’t. The Church bosses said that Pilates is OK, but not yoga, which “might be seen to be in conflict with Christian values and belief”.

This got me thinking…. I have no intention of entering any religious debate, and while the local villagers say they will boycott St David’s Church, in Ceredigion, Wales, in protest, I was thinking more about values and beliefs. I have read thousands of times that one of the differences between Pilates and yoga is that yoga is more spiritual. In my experience, I think that the majority of Pilates teachers I have met would agree. Would you? I do not think it is so clear cut and here is why.

In the words of one Joseph Pilates; “Contrology is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities”.

So Pilates should be coordination of body, mind and spirit? Spirit? A small minority of people have criticised me for including mindfulness and spirituality in PilatesEVO saying that it isn’t “real” Pilates and one esteemed teacher once said to me that I was distorting the true Pilates method. Once again, forgive me but I beg to differ. I have seen hundreds of Pilates training sessions from many different schools and I have never seen any teacher training course and very few Pilates manuals mention anything other than the physical performance of the exercises. So who is the once distorting true Pilates, whatever “true” Pilates means?

I was inspired to create PilatesEVO and to include ideas such as mindfulness meditation, NLP and meridians by the idea of total wellness that Joseph Pilates talked about. It is impossible to have total wellness if we ignore the mind and spirit. My aim as a Pilates teacher is to try to help my clients help themselves to achieve their maximum potential. If we only think in terms of the physical, I think that then we are failing our clients.

My interpretation of what JP meant might not be your interpretation, and I appreciate that many people will never change from their idea as to what Pilates should be, and those people are probably scoffing right now as they read this blog (if they didn’t already stop reading at the first mention of spirit). But I am experiencing a growing number of open minded teachers who want to explore the idea of total wellness and go beyond the traditional beliefs as to what Pilates should or shouldn’t be.

I respect everyone’s opinion as to what constitutes Pilates because ultimately we all love Pilates and we are trying to help our clients to improve their quality of life. All I ask is that people repay the compliment and consider something different. After all, if you truly believe in what Joseph Pilates was trying to achieve, then you must believe that Pilates is “coordination of body, mind and spirit” mustn’t you?

No matter what your religion or Pilates background, if you are interested in learning more about PilatesEVO and how we apply principles including mindfulness meditation, NLP and meridians to the teaching of Pilates, then please click here to be taken to the PilatesEVO School website. You can also email the PilatesEVO School in Barcelona on evolve@pilatesevo.com. PilatesEVO is not only a standalone system of flowing sequences; the main principles can be used in the teaching of any Pilates or fitness class. You can study PilatesEVO online and learn how to add spirit to your Pilates teaching.

Thanks for reading. If you want to contact me then please email me on chris@pilatesevo.com.

Study PilatesEVO Online

<h1>Study PilatesEVO Online</h1>

www.pilatesEVO.com

Why study PilatesEVO online? We understand that not everyone is able to travel to our educations around the world. We also understand that not everyone can take two or four days away from their work or family.

For these people we have our PilatesEVO Online School. This gives access to everyone who wants to study with us. We offer online courses that can be done at home in your own spare time. The courses give full support and in-depth materials to help you achieve the qualifications, and once completed you will get the full PilatesEVO Certification.

PilatesEVO
You can read more about what exactly is PilatesEVO; how it can improve you as a person and as teacher, how you can use elemtns including NLP, Meditation, meridians and fucntional training to enhance your Pilates practise.

You can study two of the PilatesEVO three educations online; the Foundation and Advanced Educations. You can also study all the PilatesEVO specialist training modules online, and we also offer some workshops including how to market your Pilates business. Details of all the qualifications can be found on the PilatesEVO Qualifications page.

<h2>Study PilatesEVO Online</h2>
Online course materials include comprehensive study materials, videos and support from your PilatesEVO Mastertrainer. Some educations also include one-to-one sessions via Skype or FaceTime with your Mastertrainer, or with Chris Hunt, the creator of PilatesEVO.

The PilatesEVO Online School offers courses can currently be studied in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. If you want to study in a different language, please contact us.

It is easy to studio PilatesEVO online. Payment for all the PilatesEVO educations, modules and workshops can be made by Bank Transfer or PayPal. We offer instalments on some educations to make it easier for you to spread the cost. There are also discounts when booking more than one education or module.

As part of our commitment to the Pilates Carnival Foundation, we also offer some sponsored educations. Pilates Carnival was created by Chris Hunt to raise money for charity and give access to training to more Pilates teachers who may not be able to afford the usual cost. There are Pilates Carnival conventions all over the world where all profits go to a local children’s charity. No presenters or organisers make any money, and the cost for attending a weekend event with a full schedule of classes from international presenters is typically around 50€. If you want to apply for a sponsored education, then please email us at pilatesEVOschool@pilatesevo.com. You will need to provide a covering presentation as to why you should be considered for sponsorship. All applications are looked at by Chris.

For more information on how to study PilatesEVO online and all our PilatesEVO online school courses, please click on the PilatesEVO School web page, or contact the PilatesEVO School Team. We will be happy to give you more information about all of our courses and the prices.

Every journey starts with an intention, and the first step. You are about to take your first step on the journey to become part of the PilatesEVO family.

www.pilatesEVO.com

 

 

Pilates not painkillers best cure for back pain

Pilates not painkillers best cure for back pain

www.pilatesevo.com

It always pleases me to see Pilates making the front pages of the newspapers. So this morning when my copy of The Times was delivered I was very happy to see the headline ”Pilates not painkillers best cure for backache”.

The article began by saying that taking drugs for back pain is largely pointless, following an overview of research.

The study was led by Manuela Ferriera of the George Institute in Sydney. Her team analysed 35 trials involving 6,000 patients using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for back pain and sciatica. Only one in six patients treated with the drugs received any pain relief that they would not have got from a placebo. But that relief was so small that it made no difference to their lives. However, the drugs almost doubled the risk of problems such as bleeding and stomach ulcers.

Dr Ferreira stated that “back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is commonly managed by prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs. Our results show that these drugs only provide very limited short-term pain relief. They do reduce the level of pain but only very slightly and arguable not of any clinical significance. When you factor in the side-effects which are common, it becomes clear that these drugs are not the answer to providing pain relief to the many millions who suffer from this debilitating condition every year.”

Pilates not painkillers best cure for backache
Gustavo Machado, another of the researchers said “Patients with back pain should consider an exercise program to help them manage their condition. For example aerobic exercises, strengthening/stretching exercises, Pilates and core-stability exercises.”

Of course, all us Pilates people are reading this having known the truth for many years having dealt with thousands of clients. But it’s always nice to see it reported in the mainstream press, especially the quality press.

I have written before about similar topics before, and I think it’s important to stress again that the best remedy for a back condition and many other issues is not, as the report says, only one thing. Even doing Pilates alone, whilst it will without doubt improve the condition, is not the best way to get the maximum results for your clients. We must deal with any problem in a holistic way. I agree with the article that this must include Pilates/core-stability exercises and also cardio, but I would add another vital element; mental health. It is totally proven that pain is as much psychological as it is physical, if not more so. So my advice is to treat back pain with appropriate and varied exercise. But also use techniques such as meditation. This is the total wellness I refer to in my PilatesEVO training courses. It is why in PilatesEVO I teach about meditation as well as NLP, meridians and functional movements.

I’d love to chat with other teachers so if you have any comments then please drop me a line by clicking on www.pilatesevo.com or email me at chris@pilatesevo.com.

Chris Hunt PilatesEVOChris Hunt is the creator of PilatesEVO, and he also runs wellness educations and retreats at the PilatesEVO School in Barcelona and online.

What Is PilatesEVO

What is PilatesEVO?
Since its birth, the Pilates method has been modified and arguably made more effective by some distinguished presenters, but diluted and the basic principles largely ignored by less scrupulous teachers. Also, there are so many commercially orientated systems on the market today that tell teachers exactly what to do and when to do it, because they do not trust them to think for themselves. Welcome to a breath of fresh air; welcome to the world of PilatesEVO©.

So what is PilatesEVO©? Firstly, EVO is an abbreviation of evolution. It is like no other Pilates system. Developed by Chris Hunt in London and the PilatesEVO© School in Barcelona, it takes Pilates in a new, deeper and exciting direction by:

  • Incorporating more functional training methods and movement patterns
  • Using NLP techniques to engage clients and improve teaching methods
  • Using kundalini movements for flow
  • Incorporating meridian lines
  • Expanding the mind and body connection using mindfulness meditation to maximise the psychological and physical benefits, improving concentration and making clients emotionally, mentally and spiritually fitter
  • Using sequences of movements made up from sacred numbers
  • Using a unique soundtrack mixed in London

Despite these enhancements, PilatesEVO© still stays true to traditional Pilates principles (it is worth remembering that the accepted Principles of Pilates were not created by Joseph Pilates, but were introduced long after his death).

PilatesEVO© is a complete system in itself, but crucially all the ideas it teaches can also be used to enhance the teaching of any other Pilates method and any other Pilates class. The training includes how to deliver a Pilates class by using NLP nethods to make better teachers who understand their clients more. Connecting with clients on the right levels and in the right ways not only helps to retain them, but it will also ensure that their progress far exceeds training where there is no such connection.

Mindfulness with logo

PilatesEVO© is the only system in the world that allows its teachers to create their own exercise combinations, that if approved by Chris Hunt can then be introduced to the system worldwide. That is a massive change when compared to all other systems which basically tell the teachers exactly what to do and say. PilatesEVO© does not just tell its teachers what to do and when to do it as if they were robots; it actively encourages them to bring their own personality and ideas to the system and to thus create their own Universe. What other systems allows such freedom? What other systems have such trust in their teachers?

Pilates EVO© is a system that will remain challenging to a wide range of training goals from elite athletes, people seeking everyday fitness, to clients rehabilitating following accident or injury. The mind and body are inextricably linked; we cannot progress one without the other. PilatesEVO© is more than an exercise system, it is a way of life, a way to maximise potential physically, mentally and emotionally.

What is PilatesEVO? For more information on the PilatesEVO© School in Barcelona, online courses and our educations around the world, please click on www.pilatesevo.com.