Announcing Balanced Fitness

Balanced Fitness with Lisa Hill sitting on a roller.

I’m excited to announce a change in my business name to better reflect all of my learnings around health and fitness from the past 20 years. Introducing Lisa Hill Balanced Fitness – a name which I feel encompasses my way of teaching along with the benefits I can bring to all of my clients and a new name that I’m really proud of.

When I started my career in the fitness world over 20 years ago, I hadn’t anticipated how much I would learn and change in this time. From starting out as a gym instructor, moving into the world of Personal Training, becoming a Pilates Instructor and then in the last two years, qualifying as a MELT Instructor, as well as attending at least one course every year for 20 years, my knowledge and experience has grown and grown and is still growing. I believe the day you stop learning, is the day you stop living. As I write this, I am finishing off my MELT Level 5 training, which means I am at the highest level in MELT and can I tell you it’s a good feeling.

So, what does this mean for me, my business and my clients? It means that every client I work with gets a balanced approach to their session, for me, it means I get to use over 20 years of experience when I teach and for my business, it means I know that I can constantly evolve and change as we continue to learn more about how our bodies work and function.

As Lisa Hill Balanced Fitness, I am offering weekly classes which combine all of the disciplines I teach. I have my own studio in Wokingham, Berkshire and I offer 1-2-1 sessions, MELT classes and sessions for Older Adults. I also offer classes at St. Sebastian’s Church Hall and since March 2020, I have been successfully running online Balanced Fitness, MELT and Cardio, Strength and Conditioning classes for my clients and all my clients get access to a video library of over 100 videos.

I am also very excited to be launching a new class in June, which combines MELT with strength work. As a MELT Instructor, I am very aware that we can be inefficiently mobile, if we are insufficiently stable. What exactly does this mean? If you are lifting weights or performing moves in the gym and you are not stabilised in your shoulder girdle or pelvic girdle, you are at risk of injury. By combing MELT with strength work, it means that I will ensure that you are using the correct muscles for the correct exercise.

To ensure that my clients receive this balanced approach to their fitness goals, I ensure that I get to know all of my clients individually and I achieve this by stipulating that before any new client can join my community they are required to have an introductory face-to-face session. Following this 1-2-1 session, I will advise the best course of action depending on each client’s unique requirements. These sessions take place at my studio in Wokingham and together we then decide if the client joins my classes or continues with 1-2-1 sessions. This is something both myself and the client choose together so that they get the option that is right for them.

This is such an exciting time for me and I am loving being able to combine all of my knowledge and provide a Balanced Fitness approach to my clients and this is why I am proud to be launching Lisa Hill Balanced Fitness. It’s a win win for me and my clients, as I know that I will continue to learn and develop and my clients will continue to have classes that are good for their mind, body and soul. If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please do get in touch.

Balanced Wellbeing and working with other Therapists

Balanced Wellbeing, joining of hands
I feel very lucky to be able to say, that I really do love my job. However, as the famous quote from English poet Jon Donne says “No man is an island.” I believe that is true of the work I do. I’d like to share the way I work with some other local therapists for overall balanced wellbeing.

As a MELT Instructor, I am able to help clients lead a more active and pain free life. I love seeing the changes that can be made to both my client’s bodies and their wellbeing.  However as we always say, MELT is not a cure and sometimes my clients will need to see other healthcare professionals to achieve the best outcome for their bodies and I am very privileged to work with many talented and experienced healthcare professionals.

When I first see a new client for their introductory 1-2-1, we will go through their medical and health history and this gives me the opportunity to talk to them about how MELT works, but sometimes, it can become apparent that the client may need help from another healthcare professional. This is the time that I can then recommend the most suitable person for them.

It is also very rewarding to know that a number of my clients are also healthcare professionals who come to my classes and will also refer their clients to me  for balanced wellbeing. By having clients who understand the science behind MELT, it does mean that once again clients really do get the best out of all of their treatments.

One of my clients, Barbara Gornall is a Cranial Sacral Therapist and I asked her how she feels MELT fits with her work. She told me “I absolutely love MELT! It has been life changing from being stiff achey and compensating for dysfunction in my body to being able to move better. I also feel it is the missing piece of the jigsaw when it comes to my clients. As a Craniosacral Therapist, I see lots of clients with tension and dysfunction in their body. I release that tension and improve function during a treatment, but it is important for clients to be able to help themselves between their treatments and I often recommend MELT. In fact, I am so passionate about how MELT links so well with Craniosacral Therapy, I am taking the MELT training, so I can teach these techniques to my clients.”

As well as Barbara, I also work with Sharon Cole, a massage therapist and EMMETT practitioner. Sharon is a great advocate of MELT and has referred some of her clients to me. She told me “combining MELT and Emmett, is the best of both solutions. By releasing the tightness and re-tensioning the whole body, it helps to alleviate pain and mobility issues.”

It’s great to have a directory of professionals who care as much as I do about the health of the people they treat.  Other therapists I work closely with include Sue Harrod, a scar tissue therapist.  Some of my clients who I have referred to Sue have seen greater results from their MELT practice as a result of Sue’s amazing work.  Sometimes, a client will require a hands on treatment and Amanda Waters of Back to Motion and the Wokingham Chiropractic Centre are always my first place to refer clients to.

I love the fact that I have a network of great people at my finger tips and it’s great to know that if I can’t help someone, I know someone who can. If you are wondering who I work most closely with, here are their details:-

Barbara Gornall – Cranial Sacral Therapist
Sharon Cole – Massage therapist and Emmett Practitioner –
Amanda Waters – Chiropractor –
Wokingham Chiropractic Centre –
Sue Harrod – Scar Tissue Therapist –
Amanda Morris – Massage Therapist and Reflexologist
Camilla Chawner-Davis – Holistic Therapist –

How great to be able to offer clients a balanced approach to their wellbeing. If you have any questions or would like to find our more, then please get in touch.

MELT Feedback – What’s everyone talking about?

MELT Feedback, Lisa Hill with client

I have been teaching MELT since 2021 with some amazing results for my clients. Having been a Pilates Teacher for 12 years, I felt it was time to add to my repertoire which is how MELT came into my life. As a teacher, I tend to attract clients who are either suffering with an injury, wanting to stretch more or become more mobile in their everyday life. Pilates has definitely helped my clients achieve some of their goals, but when I added MELT into my practice, it took both my teaching and my clients well-being to a whole new level.

So what is MELT and how can it help? I can talk for hours about how MELT is a game changer and how my clients are now able do more in their everyday lives, but I thought, why don’t I get my clients to give me their MELT feedback on what MELT has done for them.

So here is a small selection of the very many quotes I have been delighted to receive from some of my clients with their MELT feedback, explaining how MELT has helped them.  It may give you food for thought and perhaps whet your appetite as to how MELT can change your life.

“As a newbie to MELT with a number of injuries, I was unsure as to whether it could make much difference. However, with Lisa’s patience, great teaching and encouragement I’ve found that the classes really help me to align and relax which is pretty good in itself. This week I nearly didn’t go as the pain in my neck was so severe, but I did and despite not being able to manage half the moves I still got such relief from my neck pain and improved motion that I could hardly believe it. I’ve also noticed that my sciatica seems to have gone. Thanks so much Lisa!”

“I wish everyone could feel the benefits of MELT as much as I do.  My major breakthrough of being able to sit on the floor without feeling pain in my back, shoulders and neck was overwhelming! I have some ways to go before full mobility is restored, but I have hope now which I haven’t had in years. Thank you, can’t wait for the next class.”

“It feels so good to be able to participate in physical activity again after not being able to for 15 months.”

“In common with a lot of people I have mild scoliosis and problem SI joints. After leaving a job where I spent much of my day on a computer my body was in constant pain. Melt is a game changer. I found it different but have persevered. The realisation with Lisa’s coaching that smaller movements combined with a stronger core can be so powerful has me hooked. After classes my body feels aligned and pain free. I literally melt into the floor and several times have fallen asleep at the end. It is still very much a journey for me but it is one I want to be on.”

“I have had no knee pain for a couple of weeks now. Squats are easier and I am walking further and faster than I have done for months. Just brilliant.”

“It’s actually magic!”

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about the magic of MELT, please get in touch. You can learn more about MELT along with further testimonials here.









All you need to know about MELTing into Pilates

MELTING into Pilates

I am so excited to be launching my new face to face MELTing into Pilates classes in September as I know it will enhance my clients’ Pilates experience. This blog explains all about MELTing into Pilates and some of the benefits.

We have all heard of Pilates and the benefits that Pilates can bring. I have been a Pilates Instructor for over 10 years and have enjoyed teaching both face to face and online classes during this time. As a form of exercise, Pilates is a great way to help people become more aware of their bodies and to help mobilise and strengthen their joints and muscles. However, as a Pilates instructor I always felt there was a missing link, because although Pilates does help to make many changes, quite often injuries still linger and clients still have stiffness in their joints.

It is also a challenge for clients to “find their core” as it is a difficult concept to comprehend and requires the brain to be actively thinking about “engaging the core” which in reality is difficult to achieve. In my many years as a Pilates Instructor, I’m not always sure all my clients really understood this concept. Then, 18 months ago, I was introduced to MELT, through another Pilates Instructor. She suggested I train to become a MELT Instructor, which I did last September. When I began to MELT before I did Pilates, I was able to feel in my own body, that I was able to perform Pilates exercises with better control and connection by hydrating my body first, through MELT compression and lengthening techniques. Our connective tissue supports, protects and stabilises us. However, through daily repetitive activities, we are dehydrating our connective tissue. As our tissue becomes more dehydrated, we are not able to move as well as would like and our joints become stiff and achy. If we then try and perform exercise with stiff, immobile bodies, whether it is going for a run, cycle, playing tennis or doing Pilates, we will not perform as well as would like.

As a Pilates Instructor, I want my clients to get the best out of their Pilates session, so by adding MELT techniques to the class, clients will start to get more from their Pilates practice as there will be less wear and tear on the joints and less compensation. Compensation in our bodies is inevitable. Maybe you have an injury, or you have had an operation or you are suffering from a trauma, whatever the reason, the brain will always find the easiest route to perform a task. This then leads to more compensation and then could result in further injury. In MELT, we perform specific moves and exercises, which help to override these faulty communication paths, by reintegrating and re-patterning the neural pathways through our sensory nervous system. They are very specific movements, but once you learn how to do them properly, all movement becomes so much easier as the brain knows exactly what neuro pathway to follow. Having performed these movements on both myself and my clients, I can tell you it really works and then clients start to get more benefits from their Pilates classes as they are able to perform the Pilates moves with better form which in turn helps to improve spinal flexion, pelvic positioning and also improves overall core control. This is exactly what you will learn in my new MELTing into Pilates classes.

The combination of Pilates and MELT will also help to decrease the risk of spinal compression and fixation in the ribs which can then cause strain in the neck and low back, common areas of pain for my clients. Some of my Pilates clients have seen such differences in their bodies, they have been kind enough to share their experiences.

“I am so pleased to have found Lisa and her MELT classes. Lisa is a great teacher and MELT is making such a difference to my life. 2 months ago I was wanting to have another steroid injection in my knee to be able to continue with all the fitness activities I love. Thanks to the benefits of MELT I no longer want this. I can go on long bike rides with no knee pain and sleep without neck pain. Words can’t describe how good MELT is you really need to try it.”

“What can I say about MELT except WOW! I was slightly sceptical at first but after my initial session with Lisa I was amazed. I have now been with Lisa for about 8 months and I can’t praise her or MELT enough. 2 1/2 years ago I had a major shoulder operation which still niggled but completing at least one MELT treatment daily means I have little discomfort now, my mobility is improving and it doesn’t’ matter whether I only have time for my foot treatment I can feel the benefits in my shoulder too. Lisa is an excellent, enthusiastic teacher and knows when to add additional or increase moves to get more out of my daily practice. I would advise everyone to try MELT – it will change your life”

I can’t wait for you to join me in my new face to face MELTing into Pilates classes in September! The Pilates moves performed in class will feel more natural and clients will achieve better results as they will be able to achieve the actual intent of the exercise and feel the changes in the body. A list of classes and prices or to book your place, please click here. MELT does require you to use soft balls and rollers and I will be providing all the MELT kit, so you only need to bring yourself, a mat and some water. I can’t wait to see you there!

How have you adapted to change in the last 2 years?

Adapt to Change, Secret to Change Quote

What a roller coaster the last two years have been for everyone!  It has certainly been a turbulent time with everyone being affected in some way by COVID. We have all had to adapt to change to  accommodate this new way of living and I think everybody has had their ups and downs.

Pre-pandemic, I was running a successful Pilates business from my studio in Wokingham.  I ran small Pilates classes for people local to me and I loved it.  As I have mentioned in previous blogs, all this changed in March 2020, when we went into our first lockdown. It amazes me that this was 2 years ago. I think we can separate the last two years into pre-pandemic, pandemic and post pandemic with pre-pandemic seeming a lifetime ago.

As we gradually move into post pandemic, I believe we are still adapting and this will continue to happen, particularly with what is currently going on in the world at this present time. There seems to be so much uncertainty and anxiety around (to find out about my charity event raising money for Ukraine, please click here).

So what have I learnt from the past two years?

Firstly, you can’t stay static with your business. This new world is constantly changing and we have to move with it, even if it takes us out of our comfort zone. I can definitely say I’ve been so far out of my comfort zone over the last two years, I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be in my comfort zone! Going from face to face to online, was a big step for me and I can still remember my husband saying to me “Lisa, don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work, but at least you have given it a try”.  This gave me the sheer determination to make it happen and yes, we had some blips along the way, technology is not my forte and my husband who will admit is not the most techy of guys, became IT support overnight.  I sometimes froze, both in terms of IT and confidence, I have been known to swear and there have been times when pets or family members can be heard in the background! However, I have managed to build a business that is now predominately online and I love it!

Secondly, If you remain positive and have a keep going attitude, then people will respond.  Although, some days, it was hard to remain chatty and upbeat on screen, I did it, because I knew for some of my clients, my classes were a lifeline and they definitely didn’t want doom and gloom as they got this enough when they turned on the news every day. Keeping a positive mindset and surrounding myself with other positive people has definitely helped me through the last 2 years.

Coming in at number 3 in terms of lessons learnt – one size doesn’t fit all. What do I mean by that?  Offering lots of different options to clients has helped me to grow my business.  As well as running online classes, I also provide a video library with over 100 videos, which means when clients can’t make a live class, they can still do their Pilates workouts.  Clients are now wanting more face to face, so I have set up monthly Pilates Workshops at a local school, so I can then interact and see my clients and be able to provide hands on assistance.  As the world has picked up the pace, over the last few months, trying to get to a class in person, week after week is challenging, so by offering a face to face class every few weeks, they get the human interaction, but then they also have the convenience of hopping onto an online class that suits their schedule.  As we move forward, I’m sure my business model will continue to evolve.

My fourth lesson – I really love to study .  Throughout the pandemic, I was able to attend many online training courses to further my knowledge all from the comfort of my studio.  For those of you, who know me well, you will know I don’t like to travel, so being able to sit in the warmth of my studio, at the end of my garden has been a great plus for me.

During the pandemic, I also discovered MELT.  For me, this is many lessons rolled into one. Without the pandemic, I would never have been introduced to MELT, which has been life transforming for me and my clients. Before the pandemic, all the MELT training was in the US and as much as I would have loved to have done the training, it would not have been an option, so to be able to take all my levels of training from home has been amazing and I am loving everything I am learning. Studying and teaching MELT has provided me with a perfect combination with Pilates and as I continue to learn, my depth of knowledge grows, which makes me very happy. As more people learn about MELT and as my clients embrace it, then my business model will adapt and change again.

So, I think it is fair to say we have all had to adapt and change, but I guess as long as the world keeps changing, so do we.

I also think these quotes some up the last two years perfectly:-

“Change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

“There is nothing permanent except change.”

How have you had to adapt to change in the last 2 years? I’d love to know.

You Do You in 2022!

You do You T-shirt, Lisa Hill Pilates

What a couple of years we have had and the saying, “You do you!” couldn’t be more appropriate!  The  pandemic has been with us for 2 years, bringing with it turmoil and change along with a new way of working and living.  This is definitely true for my business.  Before the pandemic, I was running 18 Pilates classes and 1-2-1’s from my studio in Wokingham, Berkshire.  Once the doors were shut in March 2020, I began a new way of working by taking my Pilates classes online. I had no idea if it would be a success, but I knew I had to do something to keep my clients moving.  With ever-changing rules and lockdown restrictions, it has not always been easy, but as we approach March 2022, I now feel as though I have the business model that works for me and my clients.  Pre-pandemic, I think it would be fair to say that, Pilates was a face to face business. However the last two years have proved that anything is possible if you approach it with passion and hard work.

As with many businesses, we now have a hybrid way of working to embrace both online and in person. I feel really excited about my new way of working, which is predominately online, but I’ve now introduced face to face Pilates Workshops every half term.  This gives my clients the best of both worlds, the convenience and flexibility of online classes, but also the opportunity to join a class and allow me to provide hands on teaching and answer any questions, clients may have.  I think it is the perfect model. Couple this with a video library with over 85 videos available to clients, I feel I have all bases covered. With my online classes, I can do a lot of correction, but being able to adjust hands-on will allow my clients to understand where they may not quite be in the correct position. Having access to the video library means even when the clients can’t make a live class, there is no excuse not to do their Pilates 😀. I think it’s a win win.

The workshops will be run at Luckley House School in Wokingham (just around the corner from my studio) with ample parking.  The first 3 dates for the workshops have been set as follows, with more dates planned from September:

  • Saturday 26th March – 1pm
  • Saturday 14th May – 11.30am
  • Saturday 25th June – 11.30am

Places are limited to 20 people and you can book your place here.

My studio is now used for specialised classes and 1-2-1’s. I’ve also spent the last two years studying to further my knowledge and education. This has led me to setting up two Senior Strength and Stability classes for the over 65’s and becoming a MELT Instructor, which has allowed me to set up 6 week induction classes in my studio. Both have proved very popular and I love having people back in my studio.

Having a marketing background, I have always known how important it is to communicate with my clients and have an online presence.  The pandemic gave me the push I needed to have a proper website and also to spend resources on social media.  It was always on my list of things to do, but as we shift to an ever increasing online world, this has become a necessity, rather than a luxury.  I now have my own Google my Business page, Linked in profile and Facebook Business page and Facebook group. I also have a new website with a dedicated members area. I sometimes have to pinch myself, as I can’t believe how far I have come.

I now truly believe that the business model I have today, is the one that is here to stay.  As a one man band, it can be a scary place, but I have a great support network and amazing clients who have been loyal and stuck with me through the highs and lows of 2020/201. I’ve also got some catch phrases and I think they sum up both me as a person and Lisa Hill Pilates.  “You do you” and “What doesn’t challenge you, won’t make you stronger”. I am proud of what I’ve achieved and I’m so excited for the future. Thank you to everybody who has joined me for the journey, especially for the amazing support of the last 2 years.

If you have any questions, or would like to find out more about Pilates or MELT, please get in touch.

What is MELT?

MELT Feedback | What is Melt? Lisa Hill MELT Instructor Wokingham

Do you sit at a desk all day and then find you have low back pain or neck pain?  Have you ever woken up stiff and achy? Do you have a persistent pain or niggle that you put down to “one of those things”?  If that sounds familiar, then you might have “stuck stress” living in your body.  Over a period of time, this “stuck stress” or dehydrated connective tissue can lead to more chronic pain problems. Most of us live with some sort of pain, which we think we need to put up with. Maybe you’ve got carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, fibromyalgia, disc degeneration, osteoporosis, RSI, tennis elbow or you might suffer with neck or low back pain.

Becoming a MELT Instructor, has meant I can help clients as I’m passionate about letting people know they don’t have to put up with unnecessary pain.

So, what is MELT? 

It’s a question I get asked frequently.  This is how some of the MELT Instructors describe MELT:

“MELT is a gentle technique using soft rollers and balls to promote healing in your body.”

“MELT is a self-treatment to help your body prepare for exercise and heal faster afterward.”

“MELT creates better stability in your joints and improves muscle timing so movement is more efficient.”

“MELT enhances mobility and stability – especially important as we age.”

“MELT is a technique that’s easy to learn and helps you feel better, move better and age actively! It’s good for the body, mind and soul.”

You will see from all the quotes that MELT is gentle and is a self-treatment, which means as an Instructor, my job is to educate clients through my classes to then be able to practice the techniques at home. Cell dehydration is a daily occurrence, so by doing MELT daily, we can start to unstick the stress.

I also think this quote on the MELT Method website sums MELT up perfectly:

“MELT Method is a gentle self-treatment technique that enhances mobility, stability, and performance and is clinically proven to reduce persistent pain while easing the mind and restoring overall wellbeing” 

As I write this, I have just completed my first half term of MELT Induction classes and what a success they have been.  I began my MELT journey last February, when I started to attend some online MELT classes and quickly realised that I wanted to become an instructor as I felt it would complement my Pilates classes. I became a Level 1 Instructor in September 2021 and I’m so pleased I did, the feedback I have had has been really positive.  One of my clients no longer has issues with her ongoing tennis elbow, another client has said she is now sleeping so much better and a number of clients have said they no longer feel overwhelmed by life.

How do my classes work?

As MELT is so different to anything, my clients have done before, I run four face to face induction classes in my studio in Wokingham for six weeks, which allows me to teach all the techniques and moves, I studied in my Level 1 training.  This includes the hand and foot treatments using the balls and the lower and upper body sequences with the rollers. By being face to face, it means I can adjust clients with the positioning of the rollers.  However, if someone lives too far away to do a face-to-face class, I offer online 1-2-1’s. As it is a 1-2-1, rather than a class setting, I usually do two to three 1-2-1’s.

Once all my clients are up to speed on the moves and terminology, they then join my online classes.  At the moment, I am running two classes a week for 45 minutes on a Monday lunchtime and a Thursday evening.  You can find my MELT classes here.

I ran my first class and it was a great success. One of my clients said; –

“Oh my god! I had THE BEST night’s sleep in weeks; I feel like a new person this morning”.

Another client said she definitely woke up feeling less achy and stiff.

There are five levels of training in MELT and I have already started my Level 2 training which I will complete in May and then it’s straight onto Level 3 in the summer.  There is so much to learn and I am soaking up all the new information.  We use the analogy of a sponge in MELT to describe how we rehydrate the tissue by working fluid into a sponge, then, just like a sponge, once you’ve got it moist, you squeeze the sponge out so when you let it go, it can absorb the fluid more efficiently.  I feel as though my brain is like a sponge, as well, as I can honestly say I learn something new every day with MELT.  The MELT Instructor community is a great place to ask questions and learn.  I can then use all this new found knowledge, both as a MELT and Pilates instructor, so it is a win-win for my clients.

I love how MELT helps my body and my clients, but don’t take my word for it, here is some feedback from a couple of my clients who have recently started to add MELT into their daily routine.

“I have had a couple of MELT 1-2-1s and have been carrying out some Level 1 exercises for a few months. Within a few days I could already feel a difference and a couple of months on it has really helped ease my pain, and helped my mobility. Lisa is really thorough with her learning and passes on her newly gained knowledge so enthusiastically. She is a brilliant, patient teacher and also hilarious at times. I am definitely converted to MELT and cannot wait to learn new exercises as Lisa’s training develops. Everyone should try MELT with Lisa!”

“Just managed to stand while cooking and no back ache. I could cry; never felt this good since before I had open heart surgery in 2007. It is magic to not suffer from all the problems from cerebral palsy.”

If you would like to know more about how MELT can transform your life, please get in touch.


Celebrating 10 years as a Pilates Instructor!

Pilates Instructor, Lisa Hill celebrating

I can’t quite believe that it’s been 10 years since I qualified as a Pilates Instructor back in November 2011! It was a great achievement for me and I’m so pleased to still be teaching and watching my clients get stronger, flexible and more mobile with every class.

I feel it is a great accomplishment and something to be celebrated. It got me thinking, what are some of my highlights over the last 10 years? Here are 10 of my best achievements since becoming a Pilates Instructor:

• First ever Pilates class

Prior to qualifying as a Pilates Instructor, I had been a Personal Trainer for 10 years, so I was used to working with clients on a 1-2-1 basis. Teaching a class was a whole new experience and I can honestly say it was a completely nerve wracking experience. I think that first class was the hardest class I have ever taught, but once it was over, I knew I had made the right decision to become a Pilates Instructor.

• Every class is different

I know how important it is to keep the classes fresh and I’m so proud to be able to say that in 10 years, I have never taught the same class twice. We might do the same theme, for example, Posture Week or Stretch, Strength and Mobility, but I can guarantee that the class will be different in some way.

• Having my own studio

In September 2016, I made the decision to have a studio in my garden. It was a dream come true, my own personal space to teach my clients both in classes and 1-2-1’s. I loved my studio and the commute was so easy! 😀

• Fundraising event for CLIC Sargent

In June 2018, I held a fundraising Pilates day to help raise funds for a very worthwhile charity. So many of my clients got involved. It was a great day and we raised £2,615. I was so proud that day that we could help to make a difference.

• Moving Pilates online

Due to the pandemic, it was either sink or swim as traditionally Pilates is a face to face service, however, during the three lockdowns of 2020/2021, I managed to retain many of my existing clients and grow my business. I love the fact that now I can teach Pilates online and reach a wider audience. Moving online has been a revelation for both myself and my clients. You can read more about this in my previous blog.

• Still teaching some of my original clients

It’s hard to believe that I still have clients who have been with me right from the start. They’ve been with me as I have grown in confidence and experience and have also had to put up with the same jokes for 10 years. In fact, one of my clients recently said she knows exactly what the punchline is before I say it. I think it may be time for some new jokes in the next 10 years!!

• Seeing my clients transform

The main reason I became a Pilates Instructor was to help clients have a better quality of life. When you see someone, who has been struggling or had an injury and can start to enjoy life again because they are stronger, fitter and more mobile, it is one of the best feelings in the world.

• Every day is a school day

My clients all know that I love to learn. It has always been a passion of mine and attending courses and learning is so important to me. When I qualified, I set myself a goal that I would attend a course every year to keep my knowledge up to date and I love coming back to class and sharing what I’ve learnt. As I always say, “Every day is a school day.”

Nationwide and European clients

If you had told me 10 years ago, I would have clients from all over the country and Europe, it would have asked what planet you were from. The pandemic has changed all that. Since moving online, I can now take clients from all over the country and the world. Completely crazy, but it works and I love it!

• November 2021

People who know me well, know I don’t like change, so I think my biggest achievement and something for me to celebrate is that in 10 years, I have had to constantly change my business. From school halls, to my living room, to my studio, to online, I am doing a job I love, with clients I love and who knows where I’ll be teaching in November 2031.

Here’s to the next 10 years and beyond.  What are your memories / highlights from the last 10  years of Pilates? I’d love to know! If you’d like to find out more about my Pilates classes, I’d be delighted to hear from you.


Excited to introduce MELT!

MELT Method and Pilates

The two most common questions I get asked when I tell people I have recently qualified as a Level 1 MELT Instructor is what does MELT stand for and how did you find out about it? I’m actually going to answer the second question first.

How did I find out about MELT?  
It was actually through another Pilates Instructor, who I met on a training course a few years ago. We hit it off and kept in touch and then earlier this year, she told me she had qualified as a MELT Instructor and I should look into it. She also invited me to attend her online MELT classes, which I started in February. As soon as I started, I was hooked. As she had said to me it was the missing link when she was teaching Pilates and I totally agree with her.

As soon as the next instructor training dates were released, I had booked up for the course.  One of the benefits of the pandemic was all the training was online, which was perfect for me as I don’t think it would have been very easy to travel to the US for the training.  Online training suited me perfectly as it meant I could study in my own time, whilst still working.  I will admit, I hadn’t appreciated how much study there was, but I absolutely loved it and have learnt so much over the past three months and what I have learnt is helping me with my Pilates teaching as well.

After three months of studying and practising MELT, I became a Level 1 Instructor, which means I am now qualified to teach MELT and I can’t wait to get started with my clients.

What does MELT stand for?
MELT actually stands for Myofascial Energetic Length Technique, which won’t make a lot of sense to most people, but if I told you that the MELT Method is a self-care treatment that eliminates chronic pain, improves performance and decreases accumulated stress caused by the repetitive postures and movements of everyday life, that might make more sense.

The MELT Method was created by Sue Hitzmann, who in my mind, one of the most knowledgeable people, I have ever met.  Her enthusiasm and love of MELT is infectious and I can honestly say I have never learnt as much as I have done in the last 3 months about how the body works and how with specialised soft rollers and balls, MELT can make a difference.

What do the specialised soft rollers and balls do?
They help to rehydrate the connective tissue, also known as fascia, they rebalance the nervous system and they restore space to compressed joints.

As Sue says, this preventative, proactive approach known as Hands-Off Bodywork is a simple daily self-care practice anyone, of any age or activity level can use to effectively improve their sense of wellbeing and live a more active, healthy pain-free life.

By incorporating MELT into your daily life, you can calm the mind and ease pain symptoms, improve sensorimotor control and restore joint centralisation and stability, improve alignment and posture, flexibility, sleep and digestion.

In Level 1, we learn about the 4 R’s of MELT, Reconnect, Rebalance, Rehydrate and Release.  Each R has different techniques and moves and we learn how to put these into different sequences and maps to help our clients.

How does MELT fit in with being a Pilates Teacher?  
I have a lot of clients who come to see me in chronic pain, or they have aches and pains and want to strengthen their core and sometimes performing Pilates exercises is not enough to make the changes that my clients want.  This has now changed with MELT.  Any new client or 1-2-1 client who now visits my studio all start with a soft MELT ball and we work on their hands and feet.  This helps them to understand what MELT is about and it also highlights how important our hands and feet are to our overall health and how using the balls under these areas can help with neck and low back pain.  We always start with an indirect, before direct approach in MELT and I love seeing how using the balls can make such a difference to my clients.

It is important to emphasise that MELT is not only for people in chronic pain,  It is for everyone, because we all do repetitive movements daily whether we are sat a desk all day, have a job that involves a lot of standing or participate in sports, exercise or are suffering from an injury.

I cannot wait to start teaching MELT to both my existing clients and any new client that thinks they will benefit from Melting.  My job as an instructor is to help clients understand the moves and techniques, so they can do them at home. As I mentioned earlier, this is a self-care treatment and clients will get the most benefits if they melt daily,

How can I join a MELT class?
My plan for teaching MELT is to run face to face induction classes in my studio for 6 weeks for 5 clients. If clients can’t make a face to face class, due to geography, I will also do some induction classes online, Once my clients have done 6 weeks of classes, they will then be ready to move online to a class  and the next group of clients who want to learn Melt, will then join the next set of induction classes. You can book your place here.

What’s even more exciting, is there are 5 levels of MELT training and each training builds on the previous training so as I learn more, so do my clients.,  I am already registered for the Level 2 training which begins in February 2022..  I have always had a passion for learning and MELT ticks all the boxes.

What do my clients think?
As I have been studying and learning, I have been working with a couple of my 1-2-1 clients so that I could practice and get their feedback on Melt.  I have asked them for their feedback and this is what they have told me

“Following recent surgery on my spine and finding myself in no less pain, Lisa encouraged me to try the Melt Method of self-care.  I took Lisa’s advice and with her reassurance and guidance, I am now using the melt balls and rollers on a daily basis.  It really only takes ten minutes of your day once you get into a routine,  I honestly cannot believe the difference it has made to my body,  I am in less pain, I have more stability and my balance is improving daily.  I now have the confidence to increase my mobility through exercise which is having a profound effect on my mental health and daily living, even my husband now uses the MELT Roller every evening after work.  I don’t know where I would be without Lisa’s support and teaching… probably hearing for a fusion –but not anymore!”

“I was so excited when Lisa told me she was going to train as a MELT Instructor.  With Lisa’s great teaching I have not looked back. It can take as little as 10 minutes of your time to do either the Hand or Foot sequences and the benefits felt are really beneficial.  I even took the balls away with me when I went on holiday recently (it’s a small set of balls, with the biggest being smaller than a golf ball – but way softer and kinder!).  Lisa has also introduced me to some of the other techniques and sequences using the rollers such as neck tension release, SI Joint shear and a fabulous lower body sequence where we worked on the calf’s, and inner and outer thighs.  In MELT, we use soft rollers – so much better than the solid rollers we were led to believe were right for us. I have definitely felt the incredible difference that MELT can make.”

As a Pilates teacher, the best part of my job is when I see how it helps clients have a better quality of life, if you combine this with MELT, it becomes so much more powerful.I cannot wait to start teaching MELT and helping people.

To find out more about the MELT Method and the creator, Sue Hitzmann, please follow this link.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Embracing Online Pilates

Online Pilates

I don’t know about you, but I always feel September is the start of the year for me, rather than January, which I know sounds slightly odd as we head into autumn, but it always feels as though it is a new beginning, a clean slate, after the indulgences of summer and the lack of routine that accompanies these last couple of months.

This time last year, was a very new beginning for me as it was when I launched my website and really started to up my online presence, because even though I had been teaching Pilates for 10 years, I had never felt the need to be on social media.  The pandemic changed all that and as with so many businesses, I had to adapt and change to what is still now an ever-evolving world.

Reflecting on this last year, which included two lockdowns and so much disruption, it has definitely made me aware that change is now inevitable and trying to embrace it has definitely been a unique experience.  Before the start of the pandemic, I ran 18 classes in my studio each week. All my classes were full and I always had a waiting list, which is a nice problem to have, but always difficult because one of the best parts of being a Pilates Instructor is helping people, so I often had to disappoint people as I didn’t have the space.  Then on March 23rd, Boris announced we were going into Lockdown.

As I have already talked about this in a previous blog, all I will say is I was devastated.  I then made the decision to take my business online, teaching classes on zoom.  The first few months were a huge learning curve for both me and my clients, but then it all started to come together.  Clients started to tell their friends and family about my classes and I started to work with a fantastic lady called Lisa Vassallo of One to Three Marketing and she began to help me gain an online presence in the social media world.  Suddenly, I was on Google, or the Google as my mum calls it and I had my own Facebook Business page and a YouTube presence, I began reaching more people and as well as teaching clients in the local area, I gained clients from other parts of the country and overseas.   I also got nominated for Best Yoga/Pilates Studio in Berkshire and due to all the wonderful support from my clients, I made it to the last 5.  I didn’t win, but as a one-man band, I was so proud to have made it to the final and again without an online presence, I know that would not have happened.  It helped me realise that I can still teach a high standard of Pilates online.  It was a great boost to my confidence.

I can honestly say I absolutely love teaching online classes, I have always prided myself on knowing all of my clients and this hasn’t changed, as all new clients meet with me first.  If the clients are local, this can be done face to face in my studio or online, if they live too far away.  This allows me to teach the basics of Pilates and show modifications if any clients have injuries or other issues.  After 5 weeks, we then have another session so that I can make sure that no bad habits have been picked up and I always make it clear that they will get quite a few name checks in the first few weeks, so that I can make sure they know exactly what they are doing.  I have also had potential new clients join a class to watch how I teach just to see if online is for them. I could never have done that before, as there would have been nowhere for them to sit!!

When I taught in my studio, I always did short videos for my clients.  My son would help by videoing me using my phone.  It was a bit amateur, but it meant my clients had some exercises to do in their own time.  Once I set up my website, I decided I wanted to put together a video library so that my clients could access videos of varying lengths and difficulties, so should they not be able to come to a live class, they could still do some Pilates.  I had no idea, it would be so successful.  Over the summer, I had 1,000 views and only this week, I received a message from Vimeo, which is the platform I use to upload the videos to say I have recorded 141 videos this year.  My clients love them and I received feedback from one of my clients who told me that whilst she was away on holiday, she was able to use the library before going out for the day.  In her words, it was sooo good to be able to access the video library when away on holiday.

Talking of holidays, a lot of my clients have taken me with them over the last year, I have been to Israel, Greece, Yorkshire, Devon, Guernsey, Portugal, a campsite in Northumberland and many other locations.  It still blows me away to think clients can still attend their classes when they are travelling, another plus of online classes.

Other clients have told me how it’s so much easier to come online during their lunch break, or before work and they don’t need to worry about childcare.  I appreciate it can also be difficult if you are used to going out for a class, but I help my clients to schedule the classes into their week and make a commitment as if they were going out to attend a class.  Not always easy, but once clients are in a routine, it does work and on those cold, dark days in January and February, when you don’t want to leave the house, you just need to turn on your laptop and there I am ready to teach a class.

One of my clients lives in Yorkshire and he told me the other week, that whilst the pandemic has been difficult and challenging, one of the best things to have come from this time is attending my classes online.  That to me summed up this year completely, yes it has been a tough time, but the fact that I have been able to continue to a job I love to my both my existing clients and now many new clients from all over the country via a zoom link is something quite special.

I plan to continue with my online classes as they offer so much flexibility to a much wider audience. If you’d like to find out more or if you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  If you know somebody who you think might benefit, then please do send them my details.  Thanks to all of my gorgeous clients for their continued support. I couldn’t have done all of this without you!