Pilates in 2011 – Book now!

  • Pilates class on Tuesdays, 9:40-10:40am – starting 11 Jan 2011, 6 weeks course

  • Pilates class on Thursdays, 9:40-10:40am – starting 6 Jan 2011,  7 weeks course

  • Fitness Pilates on Fridays, 10:00-11:00am – starting 7 Jan 2011, 7 weeks course


I always offer a free first class to new comers before signing up for a course. Please call or txt me 07976 183 158 email is currently down – to book your free session.

Courses run during school terms only (no classes during school holidays) and are held at St Andrew’s Church Hall, corner Finchley Road/Frognal Lane.

Please note that the Fitness Pilates class on Fridays is a slightly more dynamic class aimed and at healthy adults without any back problems.


I’m looking forward to welcoming you soon to one of my classes.



December 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm Leave a comment

Want to improve your tennis game?

Anyone who plays tennis knows the importance of agility, stamina and physical power.

Many high performance athletes now understand Pilates as an exercise method that helps them focus on developing balanced muscles for better breathing techniques, better posture, more power and improved spinal alignment.

A growing number of tennis players (past and present) practice Pilates to improve their muscle control and flexibility: Venus and Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Martina Navratilova, Pat Cash and Roger Federer.

A good tennis player is required to have strong muscle endurance, flexibility and proper balance in order to not only be quick to hit the ball but also to be quick in reaction and changing directions. Each game involves controlled twisting in the upper body, so that the player can make successful strokes.

Racquet sports like squash, badminton and tennis require players to use the same hand to hit the ball. Such one-sided movements create an unbalanced body that often results in over-use injuries. Pilates corrects over-training and helps you to rebalance the muscles around your joints, making them work effectively reducing the chance of injury.

Common tennis injuries include sprained ankle, shoulder pain, calf strain, stress fracture of the back and tennis elbow.

Avoid upper body injuries by building a balanced body with strength and flexibility in the shoulder muscles. Serious tennis players are often troubled by stress injuries in the lower limbs. Such injuries relate to the rapid changes of direction, sudden stopping and starting, and reaching for shots.

Pilates can help to avoid these injuries by improving the spinal alignment and by strengthening and teaching the correct use of the lower back muscles.

By adding Pilates to your training programme you can achieve the following:

  • Improve power of your strokes by strengthening the core muscles
  • Improve your body balance for quick reaction
  • Improve your muscle control to prevent over-use injury
  • Improve flexibility with a more balanced body
  • Improve strength and rotation of the shoulders which will add more power to your serve
  • Reduce back injury by increasing the flexibility of your muscles

Consistent Pilates exercise keeps your core muscles strong and gives you more powerful strokes and endurance for your tennis match. Pilates also helps to create a better connection between body and mind.

Pilates will give you that extra edge on the court.

November 24, 2010 at 11:33 am Leave a comment

Looking for that special Christmas present?

Treat someone with a SäntisPilates gift voucher this Christmas. It makes a perfect present to somebody who is interested in Pilates or who would like to give it try. Or perhaps there’s somebody who is looking for a gift idea for you….

SäntisPilates gift vouchers are nicely presented and are available for

  • 2 Pilates Matwork Taster Sessions

Ideal for someone who would like to try Pilates in a group environment.

Redeemable at my weekly Pilates classes at St Andrew’s church hall in Hampstead. Check out the timetable here.

£15 – for 2 classes (special Christmas offer) 

  • Pilates Matwork Course

For someone who has some Pilates experience and who would like to attend a weekly class.

Redeemable at any of my 7-weeks Pilates group courses at St Andrew’s church hall in Hampstead.

Check out the timetable here.

£60 – for 7 classes (special Christmas offer)

  • 2 Private one-to-one Pilates Matwork Sessions

This option is ideal for a beginner or someone who wants to achieve a certain goal with a tailor made program (e.g. improving lower back pain, improving strength, flexibility and mobility etc) to a mutually agreed time and place.

£80 – for 2 private sessions (special Christmas offer)

The SäntisPilates gift card will be sent to you or if you wish I can send it directly to the person of your choice. To guarantee delivery by Christmas please place your order by 13 December 2010 latest. All vouchers are valid for 6 months.

Please email me for more information.

November 20, 2010 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

New Fitness Pilates class on Fridays

There are still places available at my

new Fitness Pilates class

on Fridays, 10-11am, at St Andrew’s church hall.

This is a slightly different class format compared to my other Pilates classes at the same venue. Fitness Pilates is a more dynamic full body workout but still based on the Pilates principles. This class is aimed at healthy adults. Should you have a back problem or any other physical issues/difficulties this might not be the right class for you.

If you are familiar with Pilates you will recognize similarities and differences in my new Fitness Pilates class.

As you probably know in Pilates ‘neutral spine’ and ‘core connection’ are very important. In a Fitness Pilates we won’t be focussing that much on neutral spine and core. Also, in Pilates we very often isolate a movement or a body part; in Fitness Pilates I want you to move your body as a whole.

Still, you will come across some classical Pilates exercises or maybe a variation or modification of them. We will still follow the Pilates principles like concentration, breathing, flowing movements, precision and control.

Also, in each session I include some functional exercises. Functional exercises are exercises that involve training the body for performing the activities in daily life better and work in the 3 different planes – sagittal plane, frontal plane and transverse or horizontal plane.

I hope I made you curious enough to sign up for a free trial class. Please book in advance.

November 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

Pilates Breathing

I came across the following article about the Pilates breathing technique and I find it explains the Pilates breathing perfectly.

“To breathe correctly you must completely exhale and inhale, always trying very hard to “squeeze” every atom of impure air from your lungs in much the same manner that you would wring every drop of water from a wet cloth.” Joseph Pilates

Pilates breathing has many benefits that our typical breathing does not give us. Most of us tend to breathe very shallow breaths; we take short breaths from the top of the lungs and then don’t expel them completely. This means that the body’s pumping system by which oxygen is flushed into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide is flushed out, is not working efficiently. This type of breathing increases our adrenaline and stress—it is fight or flight breathing. Learning to breathe correctly is one of the best methods of stress relief and it can work instantly. Pilates breathing relaxes tension in our bodies, gives us a better exchange of oxygen, and engages our abdominals.

Proper posture is also important in correct breathing—if the shoulders are slumped or your chin tilted back, your airway is not fully open and the muscles that control breathing won’t be able to stretch fully. Keeping the spine long and straight will prevent the ribs from collapsing and the spine from bending forward.

Stand in front of a mirror to check your breathing. As you inhale through your nose, there should be no upward movement of your shoulders or tensing of the neck muscles. As you exhale through your mouth with relaxed lips, your shoulders shouldn’t pull downward, your spine should stay straight and long, your collar bone shouldn’t move and your neck should remain free of tension.

The Pilates Inhale: Breathing in through the nose warms the air and filters it through the cilia (small hairs in the nostrils). The breath then moves through a series of branches (bronchioles) that looks somewhat like an upside down tree. The diaphragm is at the base of the rib cage at the thoracic area. As we breathe, the diaphragm contracts and relaxes. The Pilates breath tries to get the diaphragm to move across the ribs, going downward during the inhale, allowing space for the air to fill the lungs. It looks like a sling or a hammock attached to the ribs.

The Pilates Exhale: Stitching the ribs together in Pilates breathing causes the diaphragm to move, like an arch, up. This forces the air out and contracts the abdominals connected to the ribs. The inhale also gives you a great stretch of the muscles in-between the ribs (intercostals).

Full Breathing: As your breathing improves, you will feel the muscles between the ribs stretch on the inhale and the abdominals contract on the exhale. Over time, you will also feel your abdominal muscles working when you inhale, by keeping the abdominals connected as the breath goes out into the lungs and rib cage.

Breathing during Exercise: Often, in exercise, we should breathe out on exertion or effort. You may have heard people say “exhale with exertion.” In Pilates, the breath can be a little different. Many forms of Pilates have the breath coordinated with the movement of the spine. For example, Stott Pilates notes, “during exhalation the rib cages closes in and down while the spine flexes slightly. For this reason, an exhale is suggested to encourage spinal flexion. During inhalation, the rib cage opens out and up while the spine extends. An inhale is suggested to encourage spinal extension…”

The most important thing is to remember to breathe. If you get confused don’t hold your breath—keep breathing. Always begin the breath before the movement.

Principles of Pilates Breathing

  • Do not hold your breath—keep your breath flowing
  • Inhale through the nose to cleanse air
  • Do not let shoulder rise on inhale
  • Breathe into your back and sides of ribs
  • Exhale through the mouth with relaxed lips, don’t purse your lips
  • Relax your jaw and tongue, neck and shoulders
  • Exhale completely
  • Hollow abdominals, pull naval to spine on exhale
  • Zip or stitch ribs together on the exhale. Try zipping down and zipping up
  • Try to breathe at least five seconds each way
  • Exhale to flex/round spine
  • Inhale to extend/arch spine
  • Exhale to move legs and arms away from body (typically in mat work, varies)

Simple Breathing Exercises

Notice Your Breath Pattern. Sit, stand, or lie on a mat; notice where your breath goes. Place your hands on your rib cage, under your chest. How do your ribs move? Is your breath in your chest, ribs, or belly?

Balloon Breath. Sit, stand, or lie on a mat. Imagine you have two balloons encased in your lower rib cage. As you inhale try to fill up the balloons. As you exhale try to get all the air out of the balloons. Feel the balloons deflate, and then fill them right back up with your inhale. Make sure you feel your balloons fill out to the sides and backs of your ribs.

Face Down. Lie prone (face down) with hands under head, nose hovering above mat. Inhale into your back. Exhale: pull naval away from floor, about the size of a marble. Pretend you are pulling a marble up off the floor with your belly button. Do not use your bottom or your back, just your abs.

Scoop it Out. Lie on your back with your legs bent, feet on the floor. Place your hands just below your belly button. As you exhale try to move our abs away from your hands. Inhale into your ribs and back, try to keep the belly from rising, instead pull the belly button in and up, feel the ribs stretch your diaphragm out like a hammock stretching further and further from each end.

“Even if you follow no other instructions, learn to breathe correctly.” Joseph Pilates

Be patient and keep up with it. You can practice your breathing any time of day, anywhere. You will discover a benefit just from improving your breathing technique.

Source: http://www.pilates-trends.com/pilates_breathing.html


November 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

New Pilates courses starting in November

Book your place now!

There are two classes a week, starting on Tuesday, 2 Nov/Thursday, 4 Nov 2010.

It is a 7 weeks course running until Tuesday, 14 Dec/Thursday, 16 Dec

  • Tuesday, 9:40 – 10:40am
  • Thursday, 9:40 – 10:40am
  • St Andrew’s church hall, corner Finchley Road/Frognal Lane

Please book your place in advance as classes tend to be fully booked. If you’re new to my classes you get a free trial session before signing up for the course.

***New Fitness Pilates class***

Free introductory class on Friday, 5 November

This new class will have a bit more of a fitness aspect compared to the two other weekly classes.

This Fitness Pilates class is aimed at healthy adults at all ages and fitness levels and will run on Friday mornings from 10 – 11am at St Andrew’s church hall.

All classes run during school terms only.

If you haven’t done Pilates before I highly recommend to book a couple of one-to-one sessions before joining a group class.

For more information or to book your place please email me or call/txt 07976 183 158

October 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

Pretty in Pink….

Pink Pilates Friday

On the Pink Pilates Friday we raised £160 for Breast Cancer Care with a free & fun Pilates session in Hampstead/London.

Most people had already left when this photo was taken; but I think you can tell we had a good time… Many thanks to those who participated and contributed so generously!

October 17, 2010 at 9:59 pm Leave a comment

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Pilates Sessions in London/Hampstead

SantisPilates is based in northwest London.

My Pilates Matwork classes are aimed at busy mums who deserve an hour of mind & body awareness after dropping their children off at school and who want to develop strength and flexibility.

If you are looking for Pilates Matwork classes or private one-to-one sessions in Hampstead/London NW3 please contact me via email sabine@santispilates.com or call 07976 183 158.

Sign up for a FREE Fitness Pilates class

My new Fitness Pilates classes on Fridays have just started. There are still places available. Book your free trial session now!

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Dear Sabine,

I benefit so much from your classes. Your instruction is always knowlegable and helpful. Even in a class setting you are able to give indiviual attention to everyone.
Having moved from London, I can see physically how much I benefited from your classes. I am hoping that I will be able to find a pilates insturctor as wonderful as I had with you.
Thanks again,

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