Having been diagnosed with arthritis in my knees aged 70, I was faced with the frightening prospect of losing my mobility. The combination of altering my diet and regular Pilates classes has changed my life. Pilates has also helped enormously with chronic back pain due to bad posture. I can now walk 5 miles, no longer use pain killers and feel really fit thanks to Sonia's classes, which include personal help and encouragement.
Sue, age 71
Rosie, age 45
Since having my first child, I suffered ongoing problems with pain in my back and sciatic type pains down my legs. After a number of years with regular pain and varying medical advice, I was advised to try Pilates. My back progressively improved with Pilates. I no longer suffer pain in my back or legs. I have also discovered a whole sense of well being and an hour in the week, which belongs to me.
Nasreen, age 22
As a student I spent long hours writing assignments in front of a computer. I noticed tension in my lower back, and although initially apprehensive, but entirely fascinated, I decided to try Pilates Matwork classes at the gym. As soon as I started the classes, I became more aware of my body and learnt about different ways to protect my lower back. Sonia has taken me through each exercise with great care and attention, as well as answering any questions that I have had. I have learnt so much in such a short period of time and I practice daily to avoid any such problems in the future. Having attended both Mat and now Apparatus classes, I hope to continue as I have noticed differences in my posture and health already.
David, age 45
Following a seemingly comical but vey painful lower back injury caused by taking a chicken out of the oven, I joined Sonia's Pilates class on the advice of my osteopath. I have attended her Saturday morning class for over 2 years, where she delivers bright, optimistic, thoughtful and accessible exercises that have proved invaluable in terms of improving my back health, posture and general well being. For all those blokes out there who are in two minds, don't knock it until you've tried it!
Kathy, age 72
Suffering from long standing aches and pains in a number of joints, in particular in my hips and knee, I turned to Pilates for help. Now in my second year, I find that the classes have done wonders for me. I also exercise for up to one hour daily. I so enjoy the classes and the benefits they give me. I am mobile; it's a good feeling.
Clare, age 46
I have noticed a huge improvement in my overall posture, shoulder and back since attending Sonia's group classes and particularly after one to one Apparatus sessions. I have suffered from shoulder pain –inflamed tendons – and working with Sonia has enabled me to understand the reasons for this problem and how to resolve it. I am now able to swim regularly again without discomfort, following Sonia's advice.
Verity, age 34
Having had a very difficult pregnancy with twins resulting in a pelvic instability condition, I used Pilates Matwork classes to help me maintain movement and mobilise. One to one Apparatus sessions with Sonia really helped me manage my condition and improve my technique. Post pregnancy, the sessions paid off and I have no further pain.
Sue, age 53
I have a scoliosis in my thoracic spine, a protruding disc in my lumber spine and arthritis in my feet and hands. Pilates has been suggested to me on numerous occasions by the various back specialists and physiotherapists for as long as I can remember. I have been doing Pilates for many years with several teachers but never felt as 'looked after' as I have been by Sonia. In my opinion she is a quite exceptional Pilates teacher who has worked hard with me to target problem areas. What is even more amazing to me, is that I look forward to her class, because in general, exercise and exercise classes are not things I enjoy at all. I have noticed a real strengthening of my core and I am much more aware of my overall posture. I hope to remain in Sonia's class for as long as she remains teaching!
Vanessa, age 64
I had been going to your Pilates classes for a couple of months when I met up with some friends. They said how well I looked and commented on how much weight I had lost. I hadn't. Pilates had improved my posture and toned my body. It reminded me of the time when I had a massage and the masseuse said that she could always tell when a client had been going to Sonia's classes as their body shape changed and improved.
Jenny, age 62
I started Pilates with Sonia in my late fifties when the aerobic type classes I had been doing for many years began to cause problems for my knee. I also had a chronic ache and stiffness in my right hip. I had seen many different practitioners for both my knee and hip – physios, osteopaths etc – but to no avail. Within a month with Sonia both problems were resolved and have not returned.
I love the classes because Sonia is such an excellent teacher. She is able to instruct so clearly for each exercise thus ensuring that all parts of the body are in the correct position, as well as personally going round to adjust individual posture. Sonia knows every client by name and remembers exactly what their physical weaknesses are, enabling her to customise exercises for some individuals whilst teaching the class as a whole.
She manages to be both 100% professional and, at the same time, approachable and caring. I have recommended Sonia to many of my friends who used to come to aerobics with me maybe once or twice and then give up; they have all stayed with Sonia!
Ray, age 61
I started Pilates classes with Sonia in April 2009, mainly because I was suffering from sciatica. This condition had affected my mobility so badly that I was unable to walk for more than a few minutes at a time. The Pilates Matwork and Apparatus classes helped greatly and I am now able to walk with no difficulties. I do Pilates exercises every morning and evening and would recommend it to anyone with similar problems. Even for someone who doesn't have sciatica, Pilates exercises can help to protect against the onset of painful back conditions.
Since my son, Daniel (age 16), has been doing your exercises his back has got progressively better. We took him to see the osteopath last week and she was particularly impressed with your home exercises for him. His back has been much better and he was able to get through the remainder of his karate course uninjured and therefore gain his black belt. It meant so much to him to be able to take his black belt after so many months of uncertainty, and most importantly to be out of pain.