My involvement in Pilates' exercise came about because of working at a major health club as a fitness instructor and studio manager. I knew very little about Pilates and decided to attend a teacher training course in basic mat work Pilates to find out more. The feedback from my exam success was that I had "encapsulated the very essence of Pilates". Whilst I was pleased to hear this, I had no idea what this meant and to be honest I wasn't sure that I wanted to teach Pilates as I struggled to fully understand it. At that stage, I had no idea that a future cycling accident would lead to a love and a passion for this amazing exercise technique and philosophy.
Having been an elite racing cyclist in my youth, I returned to the sport in later years and was involved in a cycling accident. My smashed wrist required 2 operations and 8-10 weeks in an external fixation. The prognosis was bleak as it was felt that it would be highly unlikely that I would regain full use of my wrist, and I was advised to consider a change of career. Reluctantly, I decided to leave my job but was determined not to leave the fitness industry completely. Looking back this was to be a turning point in my life.
I decided to specialise in Pilates and as I studied, I came to appreciate the rehabilitative nature of the exercises personally and I also started to understand the philosophy behind the technique. The precision of the technique suited my style of teaching and I enjoyed putting together movement patterns to create interesting classes. From my own experience of injury, I learnt how the body compensates to accommodate movement when injury is present and set about applying all that I learnt to my own personal circumstances. Gradually, my wrist improved and eventually I regained full use once more. I learnt how to tap into the potential and power of the mind to heal my body. My life has been enriched and is the better because of Pilates and I have discovered potential in me that I had no idea I possessed. Now, fully recovered, I enjoy helping others fulfil their potential and achieve their goals by helping them to understand the technique and its philosophy.
All Pilates' training was undertaken at The Pilates Institute in London under the supervision of Michael King.
The Pilates Institute Full Pilates Diploma (mat work and apparatus)
Supplementary Pilates Qualifications
Former Body Training Systems Instructor: BodyPUMP, BodySTEP, BodyBALANCE
I have never been “sporty” but have always loved exercise and fitness, being part of a health club and attending exercise classes. I started participating in Pilates classes and felt the benefits straight away. My muscles became stronger and toned, but I had stopped lifting weights, and my posture improved after years of sitting at a desk in an office. Not only could I see the changes in me but also in the other class members that I exercised with. As I attended classes and saw the enrichment my Mum’s (Bev Francis) teaching had on her clients, I realised I wanted to make a difference to people similarly.
I had always worked in an office since leaving school, but I longed to give up work and follow my passion for exercise and fitness. Fast forward 16 years and I am working alongside my Mum as a fully qualified Pilates modified mat work and reformer instructor. During Covid, I wanted to develop my learning and learn more about the fitness industry in the hope that I could help clients achieve their goals, whether that be developing strength, weight loss or continuing to improve posture. I completed my Level 2 certificate in Gym Instructing and Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training and have used what I learnt to develop some of the additional classes we offer.
I love that the style of Pilates we teach is suitable for anyone due to the modifications we can make to each exercise. It is down to these modifications that I could continue exercising and teaching throughout two pregnancies and recovering from a broken neck early on in my Pilates career.
Seeing the progress of our clients either in our weekly group classes or working with them in one-to-one private lessons gives me a massive sense of pride, and I couldn’t think of a better job helping people fulfil their body’s potential.
I have been attending Bev’s Pilates classes for the past 3 years and have been pleased with the improvement to my posture.
Thoroughly recommend doing the early bird Zoom class with Hayley. You feel set up for the day and ready for anything!
What a brilliant session Hayley led this morning. She had a real range of people there and was able to cater for everybody’s level of expertise.
Bev worked with me on a one-to-one basis to implement a suitable Pilates’ programme to improve my posture, build up my strength and alleviate the discomfort I was experiencing