Yoga and Pilates Classes Stratford upon Avon

A question I am often asked is ‘what is the difference between yoga and pilates?’  so I thought I would try and help to explain the differences although we do often find in classes these days there is most certainly a crossover between the two.   There are similarities between yoga and pilates, notably they both sculpt the body and increase flexibility.  Neither exercise will work the heart and lungs but they both add to an overall state of mental and physical wellbeing.

Yoga is an ancient Indian practise that dates back approximately 5,000 years, whereas pilates is an adaptation of it dating back eighty years to a German athlete, Joseph Pilates.  Pilates is a form of exercise and body sculpting whereas yoga focuses on holding a posture and connecting mind to body.  The breathing is different too with yoga focusing on inhaling and exhaling through the nose and pilates employing the more athletic mode of breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

I am delighted that some of you will be joining me Wednesday evening for Fitness Yoga.

Look forward to seeing you all,

Love Charlotte xxx

avocado for health

Evening everyone,

Are avocados just on trend or should we really be eating more of them ? I for one adore avocados but are they always on my shopping list because I am bombarded by images of them on Instagram and on cafe menus or for their silky texture, beautiful taste and health benefits?……

Here are just a few of the health benefits the fruit provides:

* Avocado oil is used to suppress and treat symptoms in people suffering from arthritis especially in the knee and hip area.

* Avocados have been proven to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol levels whilst increasing ‘good’ cholesterol levels.

* Besides the fact that avocado is highly nutritious, it can also dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plants that you eat by being incorporated into your diet.

* Avocados are associated with healthy ageing and longevity because of potent compounds that regenerate your body.

* Avocados are high in fibre helping to aid digestion, reduce risk of constipation and helping you to feel fuller for longer.

* High in ‘good’ polyunsaturated fat that can actually help protect your skin from sun damage and inflammation. Monounsaturated fats keep the top layer of skin moisturised so that it’s healthy and guarded from premature wrinkles.

* Folate in avocados helps you to sleep well and makes you less at risk from depression.

Avocados have many many more health benefits but the more I’m writing the more I want to go and eat one……so I’ll sign off here and look forward to seeing you ‘avo’ fuelled in classes this week!

Love Charlotte xxx

exercise advice

Evening everyone,

Most of us thoroughly enjoy listening to music but how many of us really tune in to how it can make us feel or affect our mood?  I spend a huge amount of time listening to music, not only when I teach classes but at home, when I’m walking or in the car.  I’m always feeling something from it or wondering how it will feel in a class.  So for me putting playlists together to exercise to is a hugely enjoyable part of my work.  I know many of you are music lovers too and I’m always delighted when somebody shares music with me or asks me about the music that I played in class.  During relaxation I always hope that the music calms your mind and body but also helps you feel truly present.

Studies show that listening to music at work can make you a happier, more productive employee and that listening and playing music reduces stress by lowering the hormone cortisol.  When people feel sad they often feel the need to listen to sad music, this is because it’s cathartic and can help people get in touch with their emotions and enable them to heal.

Listening to music also increases dopamine, this is the same brain chemical responsible for the feel good feeling obtained from eating chocolate, orgasm and runner’s high.  Playing music with others or enjoying live music with others stimulates the brain hormone oxytocin.  Oxytocin is sometimes called the ‘trust molecule’ as it helps us bond and trust others.

I’m sure you already know exercise can improve your workout,  not only does it act as point of focus taking your mind off your aches and burning muscles but often your heart will sync to the beat of fast paced music enabling you to train faster and harder.

So if you enjoy the music during class let me know and if you don’t then don’t because chances are it will have been well thought out and you’ll break my heart.

Looking forward to seeing you this week,

Love Charlotte

full moon workshop

Evening everyone,

I hope my email finds you well and you’ve had a great start to your week. It’s been a manic few months ( all good ) but finally the first workshop of the year arrives! ‘Over the moon’ will take place Friday 7th April at The Loft 6:30-8pm to celebrate the full moon on the 11th. The evening will begin with moon salutations to heat the body, followed by lunar inspired poses to help calm and restore. Ending in true Loftie style with a glass of fizz and homemade chocolate brownies!

A full moon can be a time of positive energy and new opportunities. It can pour down a huge amount of energy but you must be in a calm state of mind to receive a positive effect. Whatever is going on in your mind and body will be amplified. Some people even believe that the full moon is the perfect time to manifest dreams and goals. April’s full moon marks the arrival of the pink moon. Sadly you won’t actually see a pink hue, the pink moon was named by the American Indians after the pink flowers that appear in the meadows this time of year.

To book your space on ‘Over the moon’ contact Kate or myself, tickets are £20 and spaces are limited.

I look forward to seeing you in classes this week,

Love Charlotte xxx

yoga classes Stratford upon Avon

Hi everyone,

As we see Pilates, Yoga and simple stretch classes becoming more and more popular it’s a good chance to remind ourselves about the huge physical benefits. As you know I’m a firm believer in these classes aiding calm and clarity but why is stretching so important to us physically?

As we age our muscles tend to lose elasticity and we also tend to become more sedentary. We then end up in a bit of a catch 22 situation, the less flexible our joints become the less we move and stretch. Eventually, we get stiffer and stiffer, our posture suffers and our basic mobility.

So, you can allow yourself to spiral into inflexibility or do regular stretches to keep you limber and youthful. There are two elements to flexibility and suppleness. One relates to your ability to lengthen your muscles which you can improve through static stretches for example in a yoga class. The other relates to the range of motion around your joints which is improved by mobility exercises, such as those we perform in Pilates classes.

Regularly attending classes can keep you looking younger and feeling healthier for longer.

Looking forward to seeing you all.

Love Charlotte xxx

exercise classes Stratford upon Avon

Evening everyone,

So January is well and truly upon us, classes are busy and everyone wants to lose the Christmas poundage. In my experience, people often expect too much from themselves this time of year. Try not to think too much about the short term and think long term. Fitness and healthy eating aren’t short term goals.

Instead of visualising how you want to be in two weeks ask yourself how you want to feel in six months time, how you want your life to be / feel. This is far more realistic and achievable. Just making small changes initially can often be the best step. Set yourself achievable exercise goals. I see so frequently people starting a new exercise regime going from no exercise to 5 or 6 classes a week. For most this simply isn’t sustainable in the long term. So what happens? It all feels like too much and then people give up.

Starting a new exercise regime is fantastic but be realistic about how much time you can commit and how much you can physically do initially without being too exhausted to keep on top of daily life. Make small steps towards healthier food choices rather than strict diets that you can’t stick to.

January shouldn’t be a time for punishing ourselves, more about being kind to ourselves.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all this week.
Love Charlotte

health benefits of fruit

With the weather turning colder we need to up our fruit and veg intake to ward off winter coughs and colds. This week we look at one of my favourite fruits, the pineapple and why you should eat more.

1) Rich in fibre so helps to regulate digestion.

2) Contains calcium which makes bones and teeth stronger.

3) Prevents muscular degeneration.

4) Reduces arthritis pain.

5) Contains lots of vitamin C so good for preventing colds and coughs.

6) Tastes fantastic!

Look forward to seeing you all!

Pilates Classes Stratford upon Avon

So the holidays are officially over and we start to get back into the swing of work, school runs and the dreaded lunch box! Some of us may also have gained a few pounds with extra ice cream, wine and meals out. So don’t put it off any longer and get back to your class the first one is always the worst! Just in case you had forgotten why you come to Pilates let me remind you!

* Pilates trains the body as an integrated whole so it promotes strength and balanced muscle development.

* It increases flexibility and range of motion for the joints.

* Pilates creates strength without bulk.

* Develops core strength and promotes good posture.

* Pilates gets the breath and circulation moving and stimulates the spine and muscles.

* Pilates can help give you a long, lean appearance and help you move more freely and with grace.

* Finally, Pilates is wonderful for gaining clarity, relaxing the mind and general well-being.

I look forward to seeing you!

Love Charlotte

yoga relaxation classes Stratford upon Avon

I have been asked many times in the last few weeks about how we ‘just be’ or find ourselves ‘in the moment’. Whatever you wish to call it it’s a moment of total awareness, really connecting and feeling deeply. A truly wonderful moment of being completely present. If you have never experienced this it may read as mumbo jumbo or just a bit too spiritual but it’s not the case.

I used to be the person who couldn’t switch off or relax or tune in but I’m not that person anymore and I feel happier and calmer for it. How can we describe the feeling? For me, it’s a total appreciation of where I am at that time, what I’m doing and how my mind and body feel. It’s where the body meets the mind, everything working together and completely connecting. It can be a high maybe during a high-intensity class when, in that moment, you feel stronger than ever, euphoric, the fittest you could be. Equally, it can be during relaxation after a deep stretch when your body feels fabulous and the muscles are released of tension and joints are looser. Maybe just taking a walk or catching a moment with someone you love being with. It can take on all forms. I make no secret of my passion for teaching and I have been extremely fortunate to have experienced many ‘perfect moments’ or flashes of fitness magic as we sometimes call it. During relaxation, maybe after Pilates or Yoga you can find that special being completely present moment. I can’t tell you how to get there but I can tell you that if you really need it you will find it. In my opinion, you take what you need. More often than not it’s about timing.

We are forever changing and growing and therefore our needs change too. I have always believed that when people come to a class it’s short-sighted to think that they are just there for the exercise. We all have our reasons why we show up and that needs to be understood and respected. It’s not uncommon for people to cry during yoga and find a huge release. Whilst releasing our bodies physically we often release mentally too find that mind-body connection. If reading this you find it hard to understand or feel you have never experienced this it may be that you just haven’t needed it. If you need it you will find it.

winner Muddy Stilettos Warwickshire

I’m so excited to announce that The Loft has won the Muddy Stiletto’s award for ‘Best Yoga/Pilates studio in Warwickshire’.

It may have only been open for 18 months but we have poured our hearts and souls into it!

Thank you so much to everyone who voted for us! Keep feeling the Loftie love…

Lots of love,

Charlotte xx

WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY ABOUT ME

“Taking part in Charlotte’s classes is fun and inspirational. Charlotte has the loveliest manner and it doesn’t matter what level you are at you feel engaged throughout the classes. They are fun and relaxed whilst focusing on improving our fitness levels. Loving the online classes and can’t wait to join others when the lockdown is over. Thank you, Charlotte for keeping us sane and engaged with each other”

“Charlotte is the best. Her classes are for everybody regardless of fitness and always a good laugh”

“Since starting Charlotte’s classes three years ago, my body shape has changed and my core strength and my back are stronger. Charlotte’s classes are also fun, very well prepared with great music!!!! Highly recommended!!!!!”

“Just perfect classes so encouraging and excellent teaching”

“Charlotte’s approach to Pilates and Yoga is definitely to be recommended. Charlotte’s classes are relaxed, cheerful and encouraging, and you brilliantly leave the class with more energy than when you arrived!!”

“Fantastic fitness yoga with Charlotte this morning. Highly recommended for a motivational and professional instructor. Can’t wait for the next class!”

“Charlotte is a truly inspirational teacher who is so friendly and welcoming. The classes have a great vibe, the music is fabulous and the relaxation at the end is just the best…”

“Brilliant. Love my Tuesday evenings at the Rosebird. Best Pilates class I’ve been to!”

“The energy that Charlotte brings to her classes you can only experience should you attend either her Pilates or Yoga. Should you be lucky enough to get into one of her combat or HIIT classes you will experience an exhilarating feeling afterwards. Make no bones about it this instructor is five star all the way”

“Just had a taster of Power Pilates with Charlotte and it was AMAZING… can’t wait until next Wednesday to do a full class”

“Charlotte’s classes are truly excellent. Her Pilates classes are full of great content and always leave me feeling great, more flexible and really motivated. HIIT and toning classes are very energetic, lots of fun and you definitely get all those muscles working. You certainly feel like you’ve had a great work out. Charlotte makes working out/exercise fun and her classes just fly by. She has my highest recommendation.”

“All Charlotte’s classes are fantastic, they leave you feeling energised and happy! She always gives 100% and makes everyone feel special, even when she’s teaching from home! Thanks for keeping me vaguely sane at this mad time! Can’t wait to join you in your new classes”

“Charlotte’s positivity and enthusiasm are always fantastic but she has excelled herself during lockdown by adapting quickly to offer motivational Yoga, Pilates, Toning and HIIT classes online. Her classes give you a real boost, cater for all abilities but also challenge you to go further if you want to. She has kept us all going and kept our achy shoulders, backs and necks at bay during lockdown”

“Charlotte’s workouts are clear and easy to follow across the board. I particularly love her Power Pilates; really good strong Pilates and her yoga flow coupled with an excellent relaxation at the end. Highly recommended”

“I have been doing Pilates and Yoga with Charlotte for 18 months and enjoy the classes very much. Charlotte keeps a careful eye on you during the class to make sure that you are not going to hurt yourself. She refreshes the content of the classes all the time so it is never dull. She is professional, but also friendly and fun. I happily recommend her classes”

“I took Charlotte’s classes for a year and unfortunately had to stop due to work commitments, but no other exercise seemed to work for me the way her classes did. Since being able to rejoin I’ve felt fab! Not only a great fitness teacher but a super friendly, lovely person too”

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Pilates Instructor Stratford upon Avon
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Pilates Instructor Stratford upon Avon

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