Izi Friend

Pilates instructor

izi friend pilates
Izi found her love of Pilates when she was working in finance in London and hurt her back whilst in the gym. She went to many different practitioners who all helped her but nothing felt like it gave her the answer and confidence that she needed to get moving every day. She then started to attended local Pilates classes and this is where it all began.

Having completed her Pilates Matwork training with the Pilates Foundation she hasn’t looked back and teaches people of all ages, shapes and abilities each week.

She is passionate about teaching who is in front of her, rather than being stuck in the book. Her approach takes in to account how people are feeling on the day, how people think about and respond to their movement and what each individual needs.

Izi has a keen interest in the benefits that Pilates has on your mental health and how it can help to improve it. This can be through the focus on breath work, working towards a more open posture or guiding people to have the confidence in getting their body moving.

Pilates has allowed her to achieve things that she once thought were impossible such as climbing Volcanoes in Bali, completing outdoor swimming races and tough mudders.

What does Pilates mean to me?

To me, Pilates isn’t just an hour on a mat once a week. Or a six pack. It’s not doing the most complicated exercise because I’ve seen it in a magazine. It’s a tool for people to use everyday, to keep them moving and give them confidence to do so. We’ve all been in pain at one stage or another. Maybe you’re in pain now and have some fear attached to moving that joint/muscle/area?

I found Pilates because I hurt my back. I went to physios, osteopaths, chiropractors and anyone else I could find. They all helped and they were all amazing but I needed something that I could integrate in to my life day to day - to give me the awareness of how I move, to notice where I hold tension and what I can do to help myself. I realised I couldn’t take them everywhere with me! I found it very easy to give someone else the responsibility of my pain and fear but in reality I didn’t have the relationship with my body that I needed to achieve my goals.

I needed something that gave me confidence to move because my brain was telling me otherwise.

For me, Pilates is a tool kit to working out what I can do for myself when I need it. It’s a chance to play with movement and detach myself from fear related to it. It’s fun, it’s a challenge and it has given me the freedom to hike up (nonactive!) volcanoes, do tough mudders, participate in outdoor swimming events as well as plenty of others things that at one time I imagined I would never be able to do.

For some it’s allowed them to get on the floor to play with their grandchildren, to feel more balanced, to have a full nights sleep because they’re more comfortable or just simply to build up their strength and stability to be able to do everything that they want to be able to do.

Who should do Pilates?

Or should I rephrase that – who shouldn’t do Pilates.

Over the years that I’ve been teaching I’ve not found one person that shouldn’t do Pilates. Pilates has no boundaries. I’ve taught children, teens and currently my oldest client is 95. There are things that she can do that some 50 year old’s I teach can’t!

I teach for those in front of me. There are so many ways that it can be adapted to suit everyone and anyone. Whether it’s a seated class for those that can’t get on the floor or I have to give someone a variation of an exercise, it can be accessible to everyone. You can’t lie on your front – you can do something standing instead. It hurts to put weight through your wrists if you’re on all 4’s? We’ll work away around it.

I tend to theme each week but I’m always flexible as to how we get there. It might mean that I have a plan for the class, everyone comes in with bundles of energy and we end up somewhere totally different to where I intended but that’s the beauty of it. It means that no two classes are the same, it keeps me thinking and makes it more interesting for those who are attending.

Come and give a class a go – if you’re a bit apprehensive about joining, just remember.. your future you will thank you for it!

I’m always happy to have a chat with anyone on the phone before you join a class so I can better understand your needs and requirements.

Pilates and Mental Health

Over my years of teaching, and through my own practice, I’ve noticed that there’s a strong correlation between the way that people hold themselves and how they are feeling. You’re stressed and under pressure – you might feel like ‘you’ve got the weight of world on your shoulders?’. I can take a strong guess that you’re going to be holding tension in your shoulders and may be in discomfort in this area. Lower back pain – do you feel unsupported?

Pilates can benefit your mental health in SO many ways. Below is just a handful of ways in which it can do so:

There’s a large focus on your breath and breathing. The way that we breathe can have a huge effect on the way we feel. Next time you aren’t feeling so great, notice your breath. My guess is that it will be quite short and shallow? Take some long, slow deep breaths and observe how your mood can be transformed.
You build a stronger relationship with your body. You learn what likes to move and what doesn’t quite so much. You find your boundaries and then you can play with them.
It helps with your posture. Next time you’re feeling a bit uncomfortable, shy or anxious see if your shoulders are rounded, you’re clasping your fists and are a bit more closed off to the world. We work to keep you open which can not only transform how you hold yourself but also how you feel about yourself.
It gives people confidence in themselves. You will quickly work out which exercises and movements feel best and be able to do them when you need them at home. This can be the difference of a day feeling not so great.. to feeling like you can take over the world!
Pilates is fun. They say that laughter is the best medicine and I couldn’t agree more. There are moments that your full concentration is required to work on the precision and control of the moment and then moments when laughter is the answer!

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Clinic map

The Perrymount Clinic
Unit 5
Hurstwood Grange
Hurstwood Lane
Haywards Heath
West Sussex
RH17 7QX

01444 410944

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