Success Stories

We pride ourselves on getting the best out of each and every client and get great results – see what our clients have to say

Pilates with Philippa has changed my life.  It has allowed me to become more flexible, have less back ache and given me a solid core strength.

The classes have allowed me to participate again in sports that I thought I was going to have to give up due to back pain.

Philippa is a brilliant teacher who gives everyone personal attention and never makes you feel silly for not being able to manage every exercise.

The two classes that I attend on a weekly basis are the two things out of my week that I never miss.

Claire Tavernor

My chiropractor recommended I come to the healthy backs classes following 18 months of treatment for lower back pain and sciatica, and over the past two years, I have enjoyed a return to a pain free back.  My overall flexibility and posture have improved as well.

The concentration on exercises specifically targeted to the problem areas, coupled with regular practice of key exercises, has undoubtedly shown the outstanding benefits that can be achieved by Pilates, particularly when taught in such a clear, considerate and professional way.

My chiropractor has commented very positively on the major improvements achieved.

John Lomax

I have been coming to reformer sessions with Philippa for about ten years (time flies!).  I had enjoyed classes and thought one to one would be more challenging and beneficial. I wanted to maintain fitness and improve posture and flexibility.

When I started reformer sessions, it was a revelation! You taught me to exercise one set of muscles without putting unnecessary tension elsewhere. You have helped me to understand how  mental tension leads to physical tension. This all sounds a bit serious, but there have been a few giggles as well!

I like having the exercises tailored to my needs and I always enjoy the session. I think my posture has definitely improved.

Sue Scrini

Philippa is an outstanding teacher, both when guiding an individual or a whole class. She shows endless patience, kindness and dedication to teaching Pilates effectively.

She focuses totally on whoever she is teaching, guiding them to develop this ability to the full, giving constant encouragement and constructive guidance.

Her knowledge and understanding of Pilates is deep and extensive, and her enthusiasm in helping others to enjoy and master the subject is inspiring.

I have no hesitation in commending her as an exceptional and inspirational teacher.

Eleanor Hanna

When I started attending Pilates class, I was already quite strong because of the physical nature of my work. However, I was very right side dominant to the extent that my right shoulder was lower than the left. I needed to be more supple and develop more equally to both sides.

I didn’t have reservations apart from being nervous about making a fool of myself doing a new activity in front of a group of people in the class!

From the first class you put me at my ease.  I even “borrowed” some of your phrases when teaching my horse riders! I wish I’d started Pilates much earlier as it would have been such a help with my riding.

Sue Scrini

I have suffered from a bad back intermittently since I was in my early 30s. Since starting pilates 3 years ago, I suffer less often and am much stronger and fitter. It has also helped my body shape and posture, especially abdominally. I have never been able to stick to an exercise routine but find doing pilates once a week manageable and very beneficial.

Jacky Gray

I have found Pilates challenging but I can tell it is benefiting me day to day, I don’t have any back pain since doing Pilates, I recover very quickly when doing activities that involve bending a lot. My stomach is considerably flatter and more toned and I have pulled fewer muscles when doing other sports.

Jane Heighton

Before I started pilates I was diagnosed with ME. I struggled with aching muscles constantly. Since going on medication and attending your classes, I have managed to get my body back under control and it helps me hugely.

I had no reservations at all because you came highly recommended. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your classes (so much so that I now do 2!), they are challenging and you change it up so it’s not always the same. I actually look forward to exercise. I don’t hurt and I am calmer once I’ve had a session with you. I also do the breathing exercises to help me relax when life gets stressful

Treva O'Brien

I would certainly recommend this class where each person can work to their own capabilities and learn how to safely exercise to improve their overall fitness

Libby

I have more flexibility and know what exercises are safe to do when my back feels sore or very stiff

Name withheld at request

I was certainly unfit and overweight. In the early classes, I wouldn’t even attempt roll-overs. I was very conscious of my body shape and felt very inferior to the other people in the class, however, it has been wonderful.

You have installed such confidence in my abilities and being part of the class for so long makes me feel as if we are one big happy family.

Obviously, it has made me so much more flexible and the improvement in my core stability has given me the confidence to join other classes, all of which has led to me being a much fitter (and happier) person. Who would have believed that 15 years ago!

Gill Lynn

Due to MS I am unable to do much aerobic exercise – Pilates has helped my posture and balance and strengthened core muscles. It has increased my confidence.

Sue Callinan

If you have a back problem, whatever your age, then give a healthy backs class a try. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

Name withheld at request

The class was great from the beginning. Fun to be there and I made new friends. I would definitively recommend these classes to anyone.

Kathy Lees

I am now walking a little straighter and am more aware of posture, balance and core strength.  I also enjoy being able to talk to others with similar problems,

Ruth Hollands

You were highly recommended so I had no reservations about doing Pilates with you! I enjoy the classes and do feel the benefit, which is obvious when I miss a class. At my advanced age and with a history of back problems, I think I have definitely benefitted from the classes. I do sometimes find some of the exercises a bit tough, but you always accommodate the exercises to fit the person’s particular situation.

Helen Welch

Before attending pilates classes, I was just walking for exercise.  Since doing pilates,  I am much more energetic and mobile, especially in relation to my back. I have had spinal surgery and pilates has helped so much to relieve back pain and tension.
The only reservation about doing pilates was would my back be ok, and to my delight, it has been great: far less sciatica and definitely more confident in my back’s strength, which continues to improve.
Working with you Philippa, and at times Helen, has been very enjoyable.  The class is a nice size and the other members friendly and supportive.  Also support from yourself when ever needed and encouragement without pressure. A lovely environment to exercise at Balance also helps to promote relaxation and wellbeing.
The best result for me most certainly is the increased mobility in my lower back.

Linda Kilby

Before starting Pilates, I had experienced severe back pain which started when I was expecting my first child. After my son was born I still suffered with back pain which continued for 10 years and at times I was in a lot of pain. I visited various professionals during that time, with little benefit from their treatments and it was the orthopaedic surgeon who suggested that Pilates may be helpful for me. I remember him saying how important it was to have strong stomach muscles and a good inner core strength. “This will give you your own corset for life and therefore it will help to support your back”. Those wise words have stayed with me all these years later as I now fully understand what he meant. It was soon after I had seen the surgeon that I came across a lady at my tennis club who recommended Philippa. This lady had similar back problems to my own and reassured me that Philippa really would be able to help me. I had got to desperation point as I had been in so much pain and did not seem to have been able to alleviate the problem.

I was a little nervous when I started Philippa’s classes as I had very little mobility in my spine and I was afraid to do some of the exercises through fear that I would be in more pain. As the weeks went by, I realised that Philippa would not let me do anything that would cause me any more problems. My trust in Philippa from those early days built quite quickly as I felt in very safe hands by someone who had the experience and knowledge from her extensive training to guide me in the right direction. I have not looked back and I have now been attending Philippa’s classes for 14 years.
Pilates is part of my life and it has given me an excellent inner core strength. I do sometimes have back problems but nothing like they were, and they usual subside in a few days. Pilates can take years to be able to do some of the movements in the correct way but it is an ongoing leaning process that makes it so enjoyable and also challenging.

I cannot speak highly enough of Philippa. It is so important to get the basics right in Pilates, e.g. the breathing, the neutral positon of your spine. I feel I have a very thorough knowledge now about Pilates because of the way in which Philippa teaches. During the classes my mind is totally focused on what we are doing. The breathing that is such an important part of Pilates starts to slow your mind so that you feel relaxed and ready to take on board what Philippa is teaching us.

I have never kept going with any other classes throughout my life for as many years as I have with Pilates and that is down to Philippa. Even though I am in my late 50s, I know that I am a lot more flexible and have a much stronger core than many people half my age. I will keep doing Pilates for the rest of my life!

Louise Duffy

Before coming to Pilates I was at quite a low ebb – I’d had a very inactive and difficult year due to surgery (two mastectomies, breast reconstruction) and a resultant frozen shoulder.   I needed to seek out safe and mindful ways to improve my fitness and wellbeing.  I took up Yoga and came back to Pilates at the same time and have been delighted with the way they complement each other and provide a framework for the rest of my week, both physically and mentally.

I find the focus on mindfulness and the emphasis on breath make the classes an all round experience.  The one best result I have got from attending classes is a confidence that I’m doing something positive for mind and body – a Monday morning class resets the balance of my life and starts the week on a really good note.  I always emerge centred and walking tall!

Name witheld at request

I was suffering from lower back pain and I had been seeing an Osteopath having put my SI joint out, resulting in a lot of damage to joints and muscles. The Osteopath advised trying Pilates.

I went to another class first but the teacher was not very good. I then went to Philippa’s classes. The only reservation I had was that I may not be able to do it, I had joined an Intermediate class and it was so much better than my previous experience of Pilates.

I enjoy the classes and they exercise mind and body. Philippa is always attentive so correcting any mistakes and always bringing new things to the class to challenge us. The classes make me focus and concentrate.

I am now free from any back pain.

Avril Bourne

Pilates with Philippa has given me flexibility, strength and stability, all of which help to get to the root causes of my back troubles, I cannot imagine life without this help, and am relieved to say that since I have been attending classes with Philippa, I have not had a reoccurrence of my back issues.

Nikki Dales

I had frequent bouts of back pain and was very nervous about exercising in case it made it worse. Consequently I was not very fit.  As the classes are progressive and the people in the class more or less stay the same, the exercises are able to be aimed at the level the group is working at and not to the level of the latest member to join. It also means that the group becomes a “whole” and we all enjoy working in each other’s company. This I feel is one of the most important elements in the way the classes are run, and I’ve not found any other classes which operate like this. I now regard myself as being fit and when I see other people of my age and how stiff and slow they often are, I know that it is thanks to Pilates and especially to Philippa’s classes.

Evelyn Wilson

My situation before starting Pilates was pretty terrible. I had had several years of back pain, intermittent to begin with but then more and more constant. I had gone to a number of professional people (chiropractor, back specialist, osteopath) who had been mystified and unable to help. Finally I found a really good physiotherapist who diagnosed a sacro iliac problem and worked on it for around 18 months (it really did take that long – all my muscles tendons and ligaments were wrong and the joint just kept slipping out of place.) At the end of which he said I was ready to try a beginner class in Pilates….so I went along to one of your summer holiday taster sessions and started that Autumn. (Not sure, but I reckon it was 13 years ago!)

My reservations were mainly around the fear that I might put the joint out again.  This has happened a few times in the 13 years, but not as a result of a Pilates class!  Also, I was worried whether I would actually be able to do it – at the taster session you said I had “no core stability at all” (I’ve never forgotten it!!) and when I started, there were quite a few exercises I couldn’t do at all (back extension exercises of any kind, for example, were just too painful.) I get a real sense of achievement every single week when I do these exercises now without too much difficulty.

I need the discipline of a class and I enjoy it so much that I can’t now imagine NOT doing Pilates. You keep us motivated and interested by making little changes in the routine and by really explaining what we are doing, all the time. I get huge satisfaction from the awareness of how much I have improved.

Yesterday, out of the blue, my husband said how good my posture is since I’ve been doing Pilates, but the best result probably for me has to be being able to bend and flex my spine without it hurting.

Celia

I started Pilates with Philippa about 8 years ago on the advice of my osteopath due to a lower back issue. He explained that I needed to improve my core strength to help slow down the deterioration of the problem with my back and aid recovery times. My back issue resulted in two to three weeks of virtual immobility when it went into spasm. He also told me that without Pilates, I risked ending up in a wheelchair which convinced me to give it a go. I have suffered with my back from the age of 33 and as I got older the incidents of spasm were getting closer together.
I was not sure what to expect and as I have never been into sport or formal exercise, I was very unsure. I started in a beginners class. Philippa made me feel completely at ease and took the time to discuss my back issues so that she could tell me when to take extra care during class. I wasn’t convinced at first that it was doing me any good, but within 3 months, I was completely convinced it was the right thing to do. We started very gently learning the basics and within a couple of months I could already feel an improvement in my posture and body strength. I found I could do more physically and had long periods of no problems at all with my back. I think this was because we learnt to use our core muscles to support the back and protect it when doing certain things like lifting.
Classes are very enjoyable, relaxed and informal but we work hard. The environment at Balance Studio is amazing, very relaxing and friendly. Philippa is an excellent teacher, she monitors us continually and makes sure that we protect our backs and bodies during the exercises. Whilst we do certain basic exercises all the time, the classes are varied and we concentrate on different areas of our bodies. After 8 years I can say that I am never bored, time flies and I always feel so much better after class than before. Despite the fact that my back is still deteriorating (with age no doubt), I firmly believe I would be in a far worse situation if I had not started with Philippa and cannot imagine a time when I will voluntarily stop going. My condition was always going to get worse but I have slowed it down by doing Pilates, I really wish I had started it earlier. The exercises and stretches we learn in class can be done at home. Philippa also explains why we do each exercise and what we will gain from it. I have implicit faith in her knowledge and experience. If I am having back pain I will still go to class, tell Philippa and she will then advise me when I should avoid a certain exercise or approach it differently. We all work to our own level and no-one is ever made to feel inadequate if their body can’t manage a particular movement.
I think the best results I have had from the classes are an improved body shape (which I wasn’t expecting), better posture and speedier recovery from spasms when they occur.

Jacky Gray