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By Bing Pilates, Nov 30 2016 01:52AM

Have you seen that funny YouTube video of Santa Claus on a Reformer doing Pilates? Now that we've accidently on very purpose got you thinking about Christmas, videos and Pilates, we might as well let you know some of our favourite Yuletide films...

1) Home Alone — some kids might actually enjoy the premise of Macaulay Culkin film: being left all alone in mahoosive house and devising ingenious ways to fend off a couple of feckless burglars. Okay, maybe not that last bit.

2) Nightmare Before Christmas — is it a Christmas film? Is it a Halloween film? Who cares? Tim Burton's tale of spindly Jack Skellington is still one of the best stop-motion animated films out there, over 20 years on.

3) The Snowman — not really a film in the filmly sense (it's only on for half an hour), but we defy anyone not to feel a bit miffed if they miss it when it's on TV. Which is, without fail, every Christmas.

4) Gremlins — warning: don't watch this film after midnight and don’t get wet. Hang on, we've clearly been watching it too much. If only they weren't so impish, they'd make great pets.

5) Santa Claus: The Movie — this film has something every kid wants every Christmas: lollies that make you fly. Though they don't quite explain how you're supposed to stop flying. Just ask John Lithgow in the film.

6) It's A Wonderful Life — yes, it is. Especially when your time-travelling guardian angel turn ups and makes everything alright for you. A black and white classic.

7) Elf — what's funnier than seeing a grown person prancing around the screen in an elf outfit? If that someone is Will Ferrell. Now that is very funny.

8) Muppet Christmas Carol — Dickens had to be in here somewhere. And the Muppets do it best.

9) Die Hard — it might not have Santa and elves and presents. But it does have a shoeless Bruce

Willis running over glass and bashing baddies. And it's got the late greatness that is Alan Rickman playing the most brilliant, stereotypical villain that you almost root for.

10) Bad Santa — Christmas might be for kids but this film sure ain't. Even Santa has his off-days. Or off-91 minutes at least.

Do you agree with us? Let us know if you think there are any other films more deserving to make the list...

By Bing Pilates, Nov 23 2016 03:53AM

We're sociable creatures, so doing Pilates in a group class is popular and . But to really push yourself in Pilates, taking some private lessons can be invaluable. Here are some reasons why...

1) They are as unique as can be — private lessons are designed with you, and only you, in mind. As soon as you're in the class, everything about you will be assessed to the nth degree. Any problems you have, for example a back strain, will be looked at in minute detail until a solution is found. So private lessons are especially worthwhile for people carrying injuries.

2) Boost your confidence before group classes — if you've never done Pilates before, it can be intimidating. Having a private lessons can help boost your confidence and teach you the main bits you need to know before joining a group class for the first time. You will feel more confident with the exercises, and be able to perform them properly in a group setting.

3) A wealth of knowledge is yours — your teacher is an Pilates expert. Fact. So while you have them all to yourself, it's the perfect opportunity to ask all the questions you wanted to ask in a group class but maybe were too shy to. It could be a small piece of advice you're after that could have a big impact on your whole Pilates experience. Use this time alone to really wring as much as you can out of your teacher. They won't mind.

4) Improve quicker — by working one-on-one with a teacher, you will receive a more detailed instruction than you would do in a group class. With this, you will be able to progress at a quicker rate into the advanced exercises and improve your overall ability faster.

5) Better convenience — with group classes, you are committed to the times and dates each class runs to. If you have a private lesson, you will be able to work out with your teacher when is convenient for you. You might not even have to leave your house if you can arrange for a teacher to come to your home (which lots of teachers do).

6) Motivation — a private lesson can motivate you in way that group classes can't. A combination of full attention on you and more detail from the teacher contributes to a more confident you. This in turn will encourage and motivate you to the max!

Another blog from us to you coming up very soon...

By Bing Pilates, Nov 23 2016 03:50AM

Yaaaaaaaaawn.... That pretty much sums up first thing in the morning, right?. It's normal to feel a little tired when you first wake up, but there are some ways you can help yourself feel a little bit better for when the alarm clock crows its unwelcome cry..

1) Prepare the night before — ten minutes or so the night before can save a lot of unnecessary faffing in the morning. Get tomorrow's clothes ready (remember to check weather report!) and make sure that you have something in for breakfast so there are no 'bare cupboard/empty fridge' surprises waiting for you. Seriously, a little preparation goes a long way.

2) Turn your phone off and leave it in another room — or at the very least, leave it somewhere out of sight. The temptation to check social media or emails is then, magically, gone until you're ready to start your day. Bliss.

3) Don’t open email until noon — kind of a follow on from the above. The world won't fall apart if you don't check your emails until noon. If someone really needs you about something urgent, they will call you (rather than email you). So just leave your emails for the morning and do whatever else you need to do.

4) Start with protein instead of dairy — cereal may be a very popular breakfast choice, but it’s not the best choice for the early hours. Protein might be a better choice. Try having a protein-rich meal like eggs instead. Your body will work harder to digest it, reducing that sleepy feeling, while providing you with the energy you need.

5) Lose the snooze button — how nice does it feel to bash that snooze button for an extra five minutes of sleep? We know. When your alarm goes off, though, it interrupts the REM cycle, and the repeated intrusions every five minutes or so only upsets your body’s natural rhythm. So set your alarm for when you need to get out of bed and resist the urge for a few extra minutes. It’s tough, but it’s better for you.

6) Get the right amount of sleep — this ties in with the first tip of preparing the night before. Even if you ignore every other tip, making sure you've had enough sleep will make you feel miles better in the morning.

Whatever your natural sleep pattern is, be it six or eight hours a night, or try as much as possible to stick to it.

Feeling refreshed? Good! Tune in soon for our next blog...

By Bing Pilates, Nov 2 2016 02:26AM

This whole blog might seem counterintuitive at first glance, us teaching class Pilates and all, but sometimes we know that every now and then you can't make it to a class. Don't worry, though, you can always do your Pilates at home (it's better than not doing it at all). So for when you can't go, here are the benefits of keeping you and your Pilates a domestic affair:

1) Set your own time — you aren’t restricted to class times, so you can start whenever you want (even 3am if you really must!) and go at it for as long or little as you desire. You'll also save time by not having to travel to and from your class.

2) Save the pennies — if you're paying as you go with classes, doing it at home means you don't have to spend any money on your workout.

3) No one else around — doing Pilates at home gives you complete privacy, which is great if you're new to Pilates and aren't overly confident doing it in front of other people yet.

4) Choose your own routine — you are own boss, so if there's a particular move that you want to practise over and over until you nail it, you can do it to your heart's content.

5) Team up – ok, I know we just said two tips ago that you can have complete privacy at home. But if you want, you can invite a friend over and do it together, which might give you that extra bit of encouragement.

6) I heart technology — put a bit of music on to set the mood. Or if you're not quite sure what routine to do, find a class on YouTube, for example, that inspires you for that particular day.

Of course, we always advocate the best way to learn Pilates is to go to a class regularly and have proper guidance from a qualified teacher. Keep a lookout for our next blog coming up soon...


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