Philip – Male  -  Age 56          

Attends :  Pilates mat work and apparatus

I used to think that stress was an excuse for not being able to cope with situations, claimed by wimps. Then a couple of years ago it hit me without recognising it. I also had a couple of sports injuries that I ignored and accepted as part of getting older. I had tried Pilates before, but in a general gym class where you were left to your own interpretations, also my perception of it, was that it was a bit girly.  However on advice from a friend I decided to try it again.

I chose ClairelouisePilates because of the down to earth view that Claire advertised on her website. Attending the mat classes confirmed my thoughts. Claire’s attention to detail set at the correct level for the individual is phenomenal. I believe that “if it’s worth doing do it right”, Claire is of the same mind-set.

Apart from getting a huge amount of enjoyment from the classes with friendly people, my stress levels are receding and I’m feeling more in control. I feel fitter, stronger and healthier, and now do mat class and apparatus class each week. Claire is a true Pilate’s professional and I couldn’t speak highly or recommend Claire Louise Pilates.

Names: Rosslyn & Colin.  Ages: Both 67  original injury/complaint/goal: Rosslyn - To help breathing.  Colin to accompany my wife   Pilates: Apparatus


My breathing was difficult due to constant infections following lung cancer.  It took me 3 years to build up the courage to contact Claire and arrange some Pilates sessions.  I could tell immediately that she was an empathetic tutor who could 'tune in' to how I was feeling and contour my sessions towards that.  18months later, I have chest infections much less frequently, my body is stronger and my confidence has increased such that I live my life more fully now.


I went along to pilates to accompany my wife who wanted to do Pilates.  However, I have gained much from doing it.  I lacked flexibility and now I am much more flexible than I was.  I enjoy the sessions when I didn't really expect to and can see the benefits to mine and my wife's life.Claire is a very uplifting person to be around and we gain a lot from her attitude.

Petrina : Original injury : pain in lower back/ shoulder general weakness & instability

My profession is very physical, I have to move bodies around and apply a lot of force through my body. Old injuries - surgery to knee and shoulder were starting to cause problems with the rest of my body. I would try to go to keep fit classes but would just get injured again. I found out about Central Pilates and got in touch, I have not looked back. Claire's knowledge is outstanding and her ability to personalise for each client is second to none. Her classes are always varied and you really understand what you are being asked to do and feel the results straight away. Highly recommended.

Name: Allison Lumsden   Age:45

Problem: Displaced discs in back and Arthritis in Lumber

Pilates: mat work

I started practicing Pilates 6 years ago on the recommendation of my GP after suffering severe back ache for a number of years. I have attended a couple of different classes and found them to be extremely beneficial for my back however nothing has helped me as much as Claire's class. She gives individual attention even though we are in a group and has helped me really target my weaknesses in class and with the exercises she has recommended I do at home. I have subsequently been able to come off some of my pain killers and I feel stronger than I have in along time.


Name : Julie       Age : 54

Original injury : Goal is to increase my core strength, improve my flexibility and calm my mind.

Pilates : Matwork

When I told a friend my Pilates goals she said it could be a metaphor for what I wanted from my life! I can see what she meant. When I joined Claire's Pilates classes, I had been through personal trauma; my resilience was at an all time low, I was wound up tight, unable to relax and my head was a dizzy whir of thoughts gone into overdrive! Claire's Pilates classes have been so healing, I think because she takes the time to understand each of her client's needs and tailors exercises accordingly. She really knows her stuff so is able to explain everything as we coax our bodies into the correct position, adjust our breathing and think about our posture - the slightest adjustment makes a massive difference! Within a few short weeks, I was stronger and more flexible and, because I needed to focus so fully on what I was doing, my mind felt calmer at the end of every class. For me, Pilates is like therapy!


Margaret Morris 64 : original problem :back pain and tightness, tight quads and arthritic knees

My daughter recommended that I take up Pilates because she found it helpful for her back problems.  I initially had a private assessment and then started in a beginners mat class.  I used to call it special needs because we were all ages’ shapes and sizes and we all had different problems.  However it was very friendly and supportive and I progressed to a more challenging class and I also started an apparatus class.  It has not been a quick fix and as with most things you get out what you put into it.  However Claire is encouraging and supportive and very good at spotting problems and creating a safe environment.  Now I am suppler, my back is stronger and my knees are more stable.  I notice the difference every day. When I develop a muscle strain or stiffness I have exercises and stretches I can do to relieve the problem.  I go to two classes a week( 1 mat and 1 apparatus) and I love it.  It is a work in progress and I am still improving.  I recommend Pilates to everyone.

Deb Edmonds  age 43.  Neck and back - disc slippage and degeneration

I contacted Claire following diagnosis from my consultant when the medical options I had for treatment were extremely limited. I suffered daily back and neck pain which had steadily gotten worse over a period of a 3/4 years. I had a few 1-2-1 sessions with Claire and noticed an immediate improvement. Claire set exercises specific to my problem areas and helped me with basic Pilates moves so I was able to join in her classes for Matwork. I continued to improve, so much so that I have now felt able to join a gym to do further exercise. Within a short period I have increased movement and don't feel as achy when I get out of bed on a morning. Claire is amazing and tailors her classes to your individual needs. With the help she has given me I can once again get on with the normal things I enjoy doing.  I just wish I'd seen her sooner.


Name : Evelyn       Age : 39      Original complaint: Back problems  

  Pilates : Apparatus

I used to get back pain and periodically would get back seizures. I was recommended pilates and joined Central Pilates Studio over a year ago. It has been really wonderful. Claire structured an exercise plan specifically for me - something I could manage with my lazy stomach muscles  and exercises that directly dealt with the problems I was experiencing. I really enjoy the classes whereas in the past I would always come to dread any exercise class. I feel more flexible and much stronger. My back is also so much better! I have even managed a house move and shifting lots of boxes and furniture without getting any back seizure at all. Something I could never have done in the past. I would recommend Central Pilates to anyone.


Name: Nicola    Age: 46

Original goal: to get fit and healthy again after no exercise for 16 months

Pilates: Apparatus

After practicing Pilates for over 14 years, a personal situation required my complete focus and I didn’t look after my own fitness and body for more than a year. On deciding to return to Pilates I needed a more personal approach to target my overall body fitness and confidence in my body once again.

I was thrilled to find Claire had set up her own studio and the direction of her expertise was a perfect fit for my fitness goals.

Thanks to Claire I have a new found respect for my body as I continue to become stronger and healthier.


Name: Donna Marley Age :43

Original injuries: Severe sciatica, bursitis and separated symphysis pubis

Pilates attending: matwork

Before starting Pilates I had difficulty doing normal, everyday activities, I was increasingly taking codeine to control the pain and I often had to take 2 or 3 weeks off work due to sickness. I started a beginner’s class with Claire 3 years ago, and I have never looked back. I can't remember the last time I took codeine! Pilates is now a part of my life, a life I certainly would not be living without the amazing work Claire does.


Margaret (Hetton le Hole) – (MS condition)

At the age of 40 I was diagnosed with Mulitiple Sclerosis, that is now 6 years ago. Like a lot of people with MS, I suffer with balance and low energy levels. I work full-time, run a house and have a family and like everyone else I want to be fit enough to be able to enjoy my life for a very long time to come.

I have never really been interested in exercise but knew I needed to do something as I wanted to be in control of my life and not the MS in control of me. A work colleague had a problem with her back and said that she had started Claire’s Pilates classes as they were specifically for people with problems, so I thought I would give it a go. This is the first exercise class I have been to where I don’t look at my watch and think, ‘are we not finished yet’, in fact I enjoy it so much I have never looked at my watch at all!

At my first class I explained to Claire why I was there, she very discretely kept an eye on me and rang me the next day to see how I was. Claire keeps an eye on all of her students, tailoring exercises to their fitness and needs but also encourages you to reach your potential. For the first few months my husband collected me after class as I was tired and did not want to be a risk to myself or others by driving home. I now drive myself to and from the class. My husband has even commented on my new found lease of life, when we are out walking he no longer has to push or pull me up banks. I do believe Pilates has helped me increase my strength, stamina, willpower and determination. We recently visited Whitby and parked at the Abbey, after a day of walking around the town I climbed the 199 steps back up to the Abbey refusing to stop part way, much to my exhausted husbands amazement!

“Thank you Margaret for sharing your story…….Claire”


Margaret’s success is down to her consistency and sheer determination. She attends a weekly matwork group and has been for over 2 years now


Jill Wheeler, 39 , Sunderland. (Osteopenia/Degeneration of lower spine)

After suffering from an intermittent bad back over a number of years, I was finally diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, inflammatory arthritis of the spine and osteopenia which was quite a shock, still being in my thirties. By the time I had an MRI scan 3 of the discs in my lower spine had completely disintegrated and a fourth was showing signs of degeneration. Faced with the option of immediate surgery, which carried a number of potential complications or a slow road to rehabilitation and disease management, I opted for the latter. After 8 weeks of complete immobility, my GP and Osteopath recommended that I try Pilates to help strengthen my core and back muscles to support my spine.

That’s when I met Claire, who I can honestly say has turned my life around by introducing me to and coaching me through my introduction to Pilates. Claire is a fantastic teacher. As an expert in rehabilitative Pilates, she completely understands spinal and associated conditions and adjusts her teaching methods accordingly.

Claire inspires confidence and although I was nervous at first, I quickly felt safe in her classes in the knowledge that she will ensure movements will not aggravate or exacerbate any existing problems. Claire is careful to personalise every Pilates class to ensure everyone is practicing within their own limitations.

I have now been attending Pilates classes with Claire for 8 months and I am fitter, stronger, more flexible and quite honestly feel amazing. But most of all, my back is so much improved and my posture so much better that I rarely suffer any back pain and can’t remember the last time I had to take any pain relief!

I would urge anyone with a back problem to give Claire a call, as Pilates under Claire’s expert tuition has really changed my life and given me the hope of a pain free future.

Jill’s journey of Pilates begin with Back care classes, progressed onto level 2 and now she workouts twice a week doing mat work and 1-1 or semi privates using the apparatus.


Judith Nicholson (Sunderland) Spondylolythesis

I was diagnosed with spondylolythesis approx 20 years ago, a condition which affects my lower back. I was told by one specialist that unless i had spinal fusion I would end up in a wheelchair. Another told me that if I had the operation I’d be more likely to end up in a wheelchair. Confused and desperate, I have tried many treatments/alternative therapies/medication over the years in an attempt to help the condition and try and reduce the pain but to no success. 4 years ago I finally decided to try Pilates. I started with private lessons and then progressed into mat work classes. I also have exercises I do at home. I now feel stronger and have alot less pain. every now and then I have a little flare up but I am able to address it with my home exercises