“I started pilates because I was interested in finding some other sort of form of movement. It was actually Aligned for Life that opened up next to my studio, workplace and I thought ‘well that’s convenient!’. It started off as sort of an experiment of convenience and very quickly after a few weeks I noticed some rapid change.”
I suddenly felt like sitting at a desk was a lot easier when I had better quality movement. Then I had a strange turn which I didn’t know what it was at the time and I’d had an operation on my knee. It turns out I had ankylosing spondylitis which is quite severe inflammation of the joints and it was quite debilitating. Originally I was told to rest – which is exactly what you shouldn’t do! And then I turned to Pilates as not only a way to recover from knee surgery but also to work in turn to help my ankylosing spondylitis. Very quickly I realised that it was a way to combat a lot of the inflammation that I was having and a lot of the problems. I found when I wasn’t doing pilates, it was quite debilitating and quite severe, so it became an extremely necessary part of my weekly lifestyle and was doing 3 sessions a week- which for some people would get them quite far but for me was keeping my head above water.
There would be times when I would have to travel, be away or was sick and I couldn’t do it and I would go very downhill, fast. Pilates for me was an amazing way to combat this extreme stress on the body. Doing lots of other forms of exercise I realised that I had a really great balance and found things that were really working for me in Pilates that stopped me from having any anti-inflammatory drugs or anything that most people would prescribe for AS. Instead I found a great natural way of dealing with it.”