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RH+STUDIO | Pilates Studio : Pilates mat classes | Pre/Post Natal Pilates

Pilates is a great pre-natal workout and can be modified to suit each stage of pregnancy.
Pilates is also a perfect post natal exercise as it targets muscles that were stretched during pregnancy!

Q&A with Ruth!

When did you first become interested in Pilates?
What sparked that interest?

I first came across Pilates during my dance training at the Royal Academy of Dance college in London from 1995 – 1998.
What first struck me about Pilates was that it just felt sooooo good and right for my body ! I came away from class feeling lighter and taller and happy ! I could relate it to my classical dance training. It really helped me improve my technique and also prevent injury.

What is your own personal fitness routine like?

I swim 3 times a week for around 40 minutes, alternating between breastroke and front crawl. I do my own Pilates practise 2 or 3 times a week and attend another teacher’s Pilates class. I’m constantly learning from other teachers, plus it feels so good to be taught when you’re used to teaching so many classes !

What would you define as the most important benefit of doing Pilates?

I think the most important benefit of doing pilates is gaining an awareness of your body. Other important benefits are better posture, longer & leaner muscles and more zest for life !

How can we incorporate Pilates into everyday life and other fitness activities ?

You can easily incorporate Pilates into everyday life activities. For example with continued practise you’ll soon start to be more conscious about how you’re sitting and standing. You’ll notice more when you slump in front of your computer ! In Pilates you’ll learn about the muscles responsible for keeping good posture and start to use them. For example by learning to use your core and upper back muscles you’ll be able to keep your shoulders more open and spine more upright whether walking, standing or sitting.
Pilates is great for enhancing other sports techniques as you learn to use your muscles more efficiently.
Many students comment on how they now apply what they learn in Pilates to when they go for a run, carry their children, dance and even sleep !

Many people are accustomed to the traditional No Pain No Gain way of thinking when it comes to exercise. Does this apply to Pilates ?

I like to think of it as No pain all gain or less is more when it comes to Pilates exercises.
Although many students do feel like they’ve worked hard after a Pilates class and often feel various muscles aching the next day – all the exercises are done with precision, control and in correct alignment and only a few repetitions are performed rather than straining to do as many repetitions as possible and losing form.

“A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy callisthenics or forced contortion.” Joseph Pilates

What 3 tips would you give for leading a healthy balanced lifestyle ?

Taking up Pilates (of course !) but not just as an exercise… as a way of life. Actually this sounds more difficult than it actually is… once you get into Pilates you’ll start to integrate it into your life by being more aware of your posture and how you move. It has positive effects on you mentally as well as physically as it gives you that feel good factor and zest for life !
BALANCE between work rest and play. Making sure you set time aside to do something for yourself whether it’s something like reading a book, joining some kind of class or learning something new.
Eating a balanced diet & drinking lots of water … not restricting yourself from things like wine and chocolate cake but just not going overboard !
I know you said 3 tips but here’s an extra one – LAUGHING 🙂 It keeps the happy hormones flowing !

Joseph Pilates definition of Fitness :

” the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure “