20 SHOULDN'T BE OLD
In my 20s I feld old. I was crippled with low back pain. My back wasn't getting better despite many visits over years to chiros, physios and massage therapists. Together with unwanted weight gain, I felt hopelessness and my confidence nose dived as I contemplated my future.
FIT BUT UNSTABLE
I was fit but I lacked core control and core stability. It took me six long years to discover this after I started working with a sports physio in the late 1990s. He introduced me to Pilates and the latest research, at that time, from the University of Queensland in lumbar spine stabilsation training. This when I started working in back rehabilitation and I put it to the test on myself.
BACK TO STRENGTH
From here on I embraced the Pilates method. I experienced in my own body how the mind-body connection of the Pilates method was functionally able to correct and bring muscular balance into not only my body, but my whole life. What I learnt the most was that strength needs to be built from a solid and stable foundation that comes from the deeper muscles. This in turns allows your tight overactive muscles to let go and relax. The power of the breath should never be underestimated either. The breath connects your mind with your body and helps with so many injuries and conditions, together with easing pain and relieving muscle and and mind tension.
I have been fortunate to have been taught by some of the best Pilates teachers in the world, both 2nd generation Pilates students of Joseph Pilates himself - my full certification with Rael Isacowitz (Body Arts & Science, USA 2002) and additional training with Sarah Woodhouse (Fletcher Pilates 2010 & 2012) have instilled depth into my way of teaching.
IN MY 40s MY BODY IS MUCH YOUNGER
Today I get asked if I was a ballet dancer. Nothing could be further from the truth, it's just that my posture is very different now when compared to my 20s. I used to be tight and muscle bound from running and traditional gym-type resistance training. Pilates has given my a longer and leaner physique with graceful movement. My boyfriend calls it the Leona walk. I'm just applying what I preach to every person who comes in and learns my seven standing and centring cues, which make posture easy in everything that you do.
POSTURE IS KEY
Restoring optimal posture in sitting, standing, walking and whatever else you do, is key to getting you moving with better function and relieving pain. Believe it or not, good posture starts with your foot posture, otherwise what's the point of having a strong core without a stable base of support.
50 AND FAST FORWARD
What I see now in my mid-40s, is the importance of maintaining strength and muscle as you get older, especially if you want to slow down functional decline, stay lean and keep good health. But I'm not talking about your typical gym-type resistance training. Full body movement integration is paramount, as it takes in the kinetic link principle.
MAKE IT FUNCTIONAL
The kinetic link principle incorporates working the functional anatomical sling systems of the body, which are groups of muscle that love working together to provide active stability for all functional movements - walking, climbing stairs, lifting heavy objects and pushing shopping trollies for example. The body never works muscles in isolation. Rather the body brings together all the muscles required to produce efficient and coordinated movement.
Strength training must be functional and work the body as a whole to be of any real benefit. This means working the upper and the lower body together and not sitting on a bench or lying on your back to do an exercise. An example of a function and full body integrated movement would be performing a squat with an arm pull.
UNLOCKING THE KEY TO LEADING A HEALTHY AND INDEPENDENT LIFE
When people come in with pain and injury , my goal is to get them working towards functional strength and conditioning. This is essential for complete long term results and regaining confidence to do all the functional activities required to live a healthy and pain-free life. This is where I use Kinetic Link Training, but melded together with the Pilates principles of movement. It trains the body to overcome the biomechanical culprits that have caused injuries and movement dysfunction.
Some people say that I have x-ray vision as I continually correct small misalignments and strive to get a person's body working with optimal postural alignment from head to toe. I closely observe the whole body with each exercise and monitor for weak links or breakdowns in dynamic stability and postural control. The breakdown may not necessarily be at your site of injury or pain.
This is where movement precision comes in - people feel their muscles work a whole lot more intensely and in the right places. And that's important, ensuring that weak muscles are strengthened so that tight muscles can relax. When people start to move with ease, efficiency, strength and control, that's when your body starts seeing results. It could be:
elimination of your back pain, or
you stand better with gorgeous posture, or
you are able to sit without stiffness in your neck and shoulders, or
you can ascend stairs without your knees giving way or
it could be your ability to carry your grocery bags without struggle.
Whatever your problem is, the systemised Kinetic Link Training method of functional strength and conditioning will help you live independently and healthy for life.
AND ONE LAST THING
You can't out train a bad diet. What you eat determines your muscle quality and goes a long way to maintaining muscle health which at the end of the day it could be said that muscle governs your health and how well you age.
BAppSci (Human Movement) 1992
GradDip (Rehabilitation Studies) 1994
Certified Pilates Instructor (Body Arts & Science International) 2002
Certified Fletcher Pilates (Towelwork, Barrework, Mat work) 2010 & 2012
YOUR MIND + BODY FOR
ABUNDANT HEALTH & VIBRANT
We are more than just fitness. Our three-faceted approach to personal training integrates body conditioning, nutrition and mind-set. That's why we employ the intelligent and mindful body conditioning methods of Pilates and Kinetic Link Resistance Training, a new and cutting-edge form of highly functional weight training, together with scientifically proven techniques of Metabolic Nutrition and Intense Cardio Conditioning to help men and women of all ages achieve a leaner, stronger body and vibrant health...life-long.
Our customised personal training programs will help you achieve the long term goal of a conditioned, streamlined and efficiently functioning body & mind.
The combination of our unique personal training modes allows us to cover all spectrums of health and fitness.
That's the beauty of training at Body Life + Soul. We have the perfect solution whatever your unique needs are, whether you...
have pain or injury
want to lose weight & transform your body
require performance efficiency for your athletic endeavours
need to manage blood sugar levels, cholesterol or blood pressure
want life-long independent function and mobility with mental acuity.
Body Life + Soul can improve every aspect of your life!
The mind-body relationship lies at the heart of Body Life + Soul
"Body Life + Soul empowers you to take charge of your health,
fitness and wellbeing through correct and efficient exercise,
proper nutrition and mindful living...that's why you will
experience long-lasting and life-changing results".