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Jacqueline Fernandez loves Pilates in 2015

jacqueline fernandez pilates

Jacqueline Fernandez loves Pilates in 2015!

I have explained before that I am not obsessed with celebrity. I have never bought Hello Magazine. What I am obsessed with is Pilates. And whilst not every one agrees, it’s my opinion that if someone starts Pilates because their friend, neighbour, sporting hero or favourite celebrity does Pilates, then why not?

I’ve had comments about glamorising Pilates, about how privileged celebrities are, about creating false hope, even about living on a different planet… But I am sure that I live on planet Earth (most of the time) and so whilst I always respect everyone’s opinion, it is my humble opinion that these people are missing the point of my posts and they are taking everything a little too seriously. All I am doing is raising the awareness of Pilates. If you do not or can not understand that, then I am sorry for wasting your time and please do not read my blog today! :)

The actress posted pictures of herself saying that she is starting her 2015 with Pilates. I think this is a very good idea of course! On Monday I will post my diet plan for you to get fit and healthy in 2015. We can achieve anything we want to. Together we are stronger.

Chris Hunt is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises Pilates events, retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris Hunt, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris Hunt pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

VAT on Pilates: Tax judges refuse to bend rules

 

Pilates Rehab Road to Recovery Image

VAT on Pilates in the UK

www.pilatesrehab.co.uk

As a provider of Pilates services in the UK and in Barcelona, Spain, it is essential for me to stay up-to-date with rulings about taxation.

The industry has been waiting for a ruling, and this week that ruling was delivered.

The ruling this week by Tax Judges in the UK means that Pilates will contain to not qualify for VAT exemption.

You must register for VAT if you go over, or you know that you will go over the threshold of £81,000 in a 12-month period.

Some services in the UK are exempt from VAT, but Pilates is not.

If you’re a VAT registered business then you are essentially an unpaid tax collector. You have to add VAT at the appropriate rate to everything you sell (usually at 20%). This additional income isn’t yours – you’re collecting it on behalf of HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs). Every 3 months you need to pay over the VAT you’ve collected to HMRC. There are pros and cons about being registered for VAT. As the Pilates industry mainly deals with clients who are not VAT registered themselves, there are not as many benefits as other business may get.

If your PIlates business is based outside of the UK then VAT will not apply.

You can read more about the ruling by clicking on the link below. The Times is a subscription website.  I will post more details of the ruling as soon as I can.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/money/tax/article4278607.ece

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

 

 

Lucy Liu: Life balance with Pilates and meditation

Chris Hunt BLog Lucy Liu Pilateswww.chrishuntwellness.com

Lucy Liu: Good life balance with Pilates, meditation and diet

Over the weekend, as usual I was reading the Sunday Papers to see what is new in the world (I read the tablet edition during the week but on a Sunday I still go old-school with the printed edition). I read an article about Lucy Liu. I’m sure we all know Lucy, the actress and director. There are lots of articles about celebrities and I know that many of us do not find what celebrities get up to all that interesting. So why am I bothering to write today about Lucy Lui?

The reason is simple. I’ve read before about her philosophy on life and health, and this article further confirmed to me that she does know a thing or two about what she is talking (even if she is trying to promote a new book), and her philosophy has, in my opinion, a good balance.

About her training routine, Lucy says “I mix Spinning, running and Pilates. Pilates is great for posture. When you first do Pilates, you don’t feel anything and don’t know that anything is happening. As you continue, it really strengthens from the inside out. I like using a reformer…. the counterweight keeps me engaged.”

The things that people say about Pilates make me smile sometimes, but some of the things that Lucy say are close to the mark. So she has a good mixture of cross-training underpinned by her Pilates practise. Of course I like this, but I also like her newfound interest in meditation. This began when Deepak Chopra wrote an introduction to an art book she wrote. He asked her if she wanted to learn meditation from him. She not surprisingly said, “Absolutely.”

The advice he gave her was “Get in a comfortable seated position. The most important thing is not to judge your meditation.” This is one of basic principles of mindfulness meditation, no judging. Just accept your thoughts and your situation. This is the way that I teach Pilates EVO; awareness without judgement. Self-judgement or how we view ourselves tends to be negative for most people and this can erode self-esteem and be self-defeating. It is therefore very important in many aspects of our lives that we practise acceptance without judgement. I recently wrote in my article “Cindy Crawford: Pilates and self-image” about this topic as it is very important for many people to understand. If you have time and you are interested in this topic then please read that article. I also teach about NLP in my Pilates EVO course which in my experience is a great way for people to improve their self-image. I will be writing more about NLP soon.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

Cindy Crawford: Pilates and self-image

Cindy Crawford Chris Hunt Pilates

Cindy Crawford: Pilates and self-image

www.barcelonabienestar.com

An article about Pilates, one of the most famous models to ever walk the planet and self-image. Surely this is a contradiction?

It’s Friday so I have that Celebrity feeling again, my compromise after a week of serious blogs. I was very pleased by the response to my blog ealier this week about Pilates for men. But it’s Friday now….

I have explained before that I am not obsessed with celebrity. I have never bought Hello Magazine. What I am obsessed with is Pilates. And whilst not every one agrees, it’s my opinion that if someone starts Pilates because their friend, neighbour, sporting hero or favourite celebrity does Pilates, then why not?

I’ve had comments about glamorising Pilates, about how privileged celebrities are, about creating false hope, even about living on a different planet… But I am sure that I live on planet Earth (most of the time) and so whilst I always respect everyone’s opinion, it is my humble opinion that these people are missing the point of my posts and they are taking everything a little too seriously. All I am doing is raising the awareness of Pilates. If you do not or can not understand that, then I am sorry for wasting your time and please do not read my blog today! :)

So back to Cindy.  She recently said her age-defying beauty secrets include getting enough sleep, a sensible low carb diet and regular workouts that include yoga and Pilates. She also said not smoking, taking good care of her skin and being happy have kept her young-looking at 48 years old.

“I eat right and I exercise and I drink water. I try to get enough sleep. True beauty is the energy you give out, and that comes through being happy.”

Crawford is a long-time fitness fanatic and works out three to four days a week, combining cardio exercise, weight lifting, yoga, hiking, biking and of course Pilates. She mixes up her exercise routine to keep from getting bored and to make sure she works her entire body.

Despite being hailed for her stunning beauty, Crawford admits she has struggled with body image because she was always bigger than other models during her heyday. As she approaches her 50th birthday, Cindy said she hopes to come to terms with her body.

Unlike many celebrities, Cindy admits to having undergone a few cosmetic procedures (including Botox), but she says that said consistent exercise, eating well and having a positive attitude are critical for successful aging and true happiness. “If you’re happy in your life and you’re doing work that you like, that comes across.” she said.

Many might find it surprising that she struggles with self-image. But of course everything is relative. Whilst many might envy her beauty and see only their own faults, Cindy is no different. Many of my clients who come to Barcelona for fitness or sport holidays struggle with their self-esteem when to the outside world they “look” super confident.

So what exactly is self-image? Well, it’s the personal view (or mental picture), that we have of ourselves. Self-image is an internal dictionary that describes the characteristics of the self, including intelligent, beautiful, ugly, talented, selfish, kind, etc. These characteristics form a collective representation of our assets and liabilities as we see them.

Our self-image is a product of learning. Early childhood influences, such as parents and teachers can significantly influence our self-image. They are mirrors (ask Justin Timberlake) reflecting back to us an image of ourselves. Our experiences with others such as teachers, friends, and family add to the image in the mirror. Relationships reinforce what we think and feel about ourselves. The image we see in the mirror may be a real or distorted view of who we really are. Based on this view, we develop either a positive or a negative self-image. The strengths and weaknesses we have internalized affect how we act today. We continually take in information and evaluate ourselves in multiple domains such as physical appearance (How do I look?), performance (How am I doing?), and relationships (How important am I?). With a positive self-image, we recognize and own our assets and potentials while being realistic about our liabilities and limitations. With a negative self-image, we focus on our faults and weaknesses, distorting failure and imperfections.

Self-image is important because how we think about ourselves affects how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with others and the world around us. . A positive self-image can enhance our physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Conversely, a negative self-image can decrease our satisfaction and ability to function in these areas.

So how can we create a positive self-image? The good news is that self-image is not permanently fixed (but it not always easy to change). Part of our self-image is dynamic and changing. We can learn to develop a healthier and more accurate view of ourselves, thus challenging the distortions in the mirror. Self-image change is a process occurring over a lifetime. A healthy self-image starts with learning to accept and love ourselves. It also means being accepted and loved by others.

Body-image is part of self-image. Our body-image includes more than what we look like or how others see us. It also refers to how we think, feel, and react to our own self-perceived physical attributes. Body-image development is affected by cultural images and the influence of family, peers, and others. A positive body-image contributes to enhanced psychological adjustment (less depression, positive self worth, life satisfaction, less interpersonal anxiety, fewer eating disorders).

Distortions in our thinking contribute to a negative body-image. Again, body image is not fixed. Our body experiences change as we grow older, and each stage in our life is associated with body-image markers. Maintaining a positive body-image is a lifelong process. Changing negative body-image means more than changing our body. It means changing how we think, feel, and react to our body.

So back to Pilates. As teachers, we all know what an amazing physical and psychological effect Pilates can have on our clients and their own self-image. As much of the evidence to support the claims we make as Pilates professionals is anecdotal, I like a good scientific study. In May 2008 a study in Portugal tried to prove this. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of Pilates-based mat exercises on life satisfaction, perception of appreciation by other people, perception of physical appearance, perception of functionality, total physical self-concept, and perception of health status in healthy women. A trial was conducted in Evora, Portugal, in which 62 healthy adult women were randomized to a Pilates-based experimental mat group or a control group. Experimental group participants performed mat Pilates twice per week, 60-minutes per session. The study concluded that life satisfaction, perception of appreciation by other people, perception of physical appearance, perception of functionality, total physical self-concept and perception of health status may improve after 6 months of Pilates-based mat exercise.

But we knew that already. Today I am asking you to please share your stories of clients whose lives were improved by Pilates, not so much physically, but mentally.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

 

 

How we define ourselves: Tinder, Facebook and Kung Fu Panda

Chris Hunt Pilates WellnessAfter a week of writing (quite) serious articles about subjects like Action Bias and fitness, and why I think Pilates has been influenced too much by some Pilates educators who were former dancers, it’s the weekend so it’s the time when I talk more personally about life (and clearly write very long sentences…)

Before I begin, how many song titles did you get in my post last week?

Today I want to write about how we perceive ourselves, and how we present ourselves to others.

Social media and online dating has given us previously unknown ways to present ourselves to the world, and it fascinates me how some people do it. Maybe in a simple picture we can see how an individual portrays them self, what they think defines them.

For example, Tinder Man has recently had a lot of publicity. If you do not know what Tinder is, it’s a simple dating app where you are matched with people close to you by using a very simple set of criteria, and whether you accept the matches is pretty much determined by one picture and a simple swipe left for no or right for yes. Tinder Man has become famous by copying in his own style some of the funnier pictures that people use. And believe me people use very funny pictures of themselves. But it’s not just the strange pictures that people choose that I find interesting. I think it can be pertinent when people use pictures of their children, friends or their pets. As a way to introduce yourself to a potential partner, I think that a picture of anything or anyone that is not you is a rather interesting statement to be making to the world about yourself.

People define themselves by using very different things. It can be their children or dog, or it can be a club they support, a pop star they idolise, and sometimes by their partner. I am not criticising anyone, all I am suggesting is that my profile on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter is my profile, so why would I use for my profile picture anything other than a picture of me? That’s not being conceited or ostentatious, it’s simply my profile. My passport does not have a picture of a dog. :)

Whilst you will tell that I’m not being totally serious about the profile picture discussion, I have said before that for me the important question is “am I someone” not “am I with someone”. I meet a lot of people and I know lots of people are with someone, but I’m not sure they are someone.

Those immortal words uttered by Tom Cruise “you complete me” only serve to perpetuate the popular myth many people have that we need someone or something else to somehow complete us. Of course this is not and never can be true. The only person or thing that can “complete” us is our-selves. Even Kung Fu Panda learnt this with the Dragon Scroll that contained the secret of limitless power being a reflection of himself. Any other “fix” is a temporary band-aid to try to cover our inadequacies or issues. As we know, after a few showers, a band-aid will lose its adhesive and fall away to leave exposed the wound we are trying to hide, and so it is in relationships as well.

It also interests me how we create an image of our life using social media which is not always a true reflection of the life we are living, it’s only a glimpse. Often it an image of the life we want to have, but is not always the real life we are living. Of course it’s true as well that for every picture we post on Instagram, we live through 10,000 other life experiences that we chose not to share with the world. Would be get so many hits if we posted a picture of us crying or feeling sad, bored or lonely? No, let’s go for the one of us on holiday holding a cocktail and laughing with friends on the beach.

Talking about online image, having just flown from Barcelona to London, it always makes me smile at airports to see people standing next to the VIP lounge so they can post and tag themselves as being in that lounge. But then again, it’s also a little sad when people who are actually in those lounges post their location as some sort of status symbol? Well I’m here to tell those people that you are impressing no one, and if by chance someone is impressed, then they are probably not worth impressing.

People have lost their job, not new jobs, lost relationships and much more seriously caused upset and even suicide by using social media. Some people have also met their partner and shared a lot of love and happiness with their pictures.

We have power at our finger-tips like never before. I hope we use it wisely for good, never forgetting who we are.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

Storm Clouds over Barcelona

Storm over Barceloneta

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Not the sky you want to see at 16.30 on a Tuesday, especially for those people who are in Barcelona on holiday.

The lifeguards told everyone to get out of the water (they announced it in Spanish first, then in several other languages before English as understandably us English are the most dispensable), but of course some people ignore the warnings. Do they not watch the news about the lightening strike yesterday on Venice Beach which killed one person and injured many others?

A typical lightning bolt measures 300 million volts which is plenty enough to kill. You can become a target if you are in the sea in the same way you can be in the middle of a field, as the lightening will always take the path of least resistance.  

I’m home now waiting for the fireworks, the symphony and the deluge to begin.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

Chris pays 50% of any money made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness and selecting the “charity partners” tab. 

 

 

 

 

 

Barcelona: A runner’s dream

The Streets 1

www.chrishuntwellness.com

“I see drawings and pictures in the dirtiest of corners”: Van Gogh

Everytime I run around Barcelona, it gives me so many photo opportunities. For such a small city, it’s jam-packed with beauty.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

 

Frack off! The debate continues…

Yesterday the UK Government’s climate change advisory body said that in their opinion, the UK should push on with fracking. They dismissed claims by groups such as Greenpeace that fracking can cause damage to the environment.

What is fracking, and why does it create such strong feelings on both sides of the argument? Fracking involves drilling a vertical well to reach shale formations. When the shale is reached, the drilling becomes horizontal and water, sand and chemicals are pumped in allowing shale gas to be released. The pro-fracking lobby says that shale gas will reduce the UK’s reliance on foreign imports of fossil fuel and some say it will reduce household bills. They also point to the experience in the US where it’s claimed that emissions have been cut because it’s cleaner than coal. Greenpeace claim that gas and toxic chemicals used in fracking could contaminate water supplies and that exploding mineral reserves impairs efforts to cut emissions. But the advisory body are having none of that, they say “it just isn’t true that fracking is going to destroy the environment…”

So how can the two sides be saying what amounts to totally opposite points of view? Who is right? As usual the truth probably lies somewhere in between the two extreme arguments, and your point of view will be determined by the filter that you use to consider such issues. Everything we see in life, every decision we make is based on our particular filter which we create over our lifetime based on our experiences. This is one of the reasons why two people can look at the same event or issue and have opposite opinions. Of course our filter might not be pure, it can be tainted by greed, ignorance, ego, self-interest or many other things, but it is all that some people have. More about filters another time.

Back to fracking. I want to mention a recent study by Christian Klose, a consultant geophysicist, whose research in the Journal of Seismology identified 92 large earthquakes likely to have been caused by humans. Some he claims were triggered by water extraction (such as Lorca, Spain in 2011), others were caused by coal extraction (Newcastle, Australia in 1989 where 13 people died). Klose argues that the earth has thousands of geological faults under enormous pressure similar to those in a coiled spring. When humans pile up vast masses of water or minerals on the surface, or extract them from beneath, the weight of the overlying land can be enough to release that geological tension causing an earthquake. Sounds logical. In fact, Britain’s first exploratory fracking operation, near Blackpool, was shut down for more than a year when it triggered small quakes.     

There are more questions than answers when we talk about fracking. In my opinion it cannot reduce household bills and it can only ever been on a small scale in the UK because of a shortage of water and given where the shale gas reserves have been formed. This debate touches on such wide issues. You get much wider than the environment, emissions and future energy programs. And herein lies one of the reasons why fracking creates such an intense debate, with former Page 3 models willing to risk prison to make their point.

I remain uncomfortable with the process of fracking and doubtful over its long-term benefits when compared to the potential problems.  The UK needs to solve its energy issues, and I cannot help but look to the policy in Germany, but that is for another blog.