Category Archives: Wellbeing

Beginnings and Endings

Does something have to end in order for something else to begin? I have been lucky enough to have time to read a few different books in my pile of possibilities this Summer. One day in August when the rain promised to fall for the whole day, I gave myself the gift of that one whole day and opened a book which I devoured from cover to cover, from the beginning to the end. What absolute delicious luxury! Purring cat on my lap and an enticing book on my knee! This particular book was a Vintage fictional tale ‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith (later of 101 Dalmatians), which seemed to end with a new beginning like some real-life stories often do. I finished a book yesterday which I did not enjoy so much – another highly recommended book depicting the intertwining of families, acquaintances and events through 3 or 4 generations which sought to show the recurring cycles of life and the blurring and recurring of sequences, good and bad.

As August with its Summer promises fade into the opening September, I started to ponder about endings and beginnings, beginnings and endings. It seems sad to let go of the days that have passed, but we have to make space for the here and now and for whatever lies ahead although it does no harm to pause and reflect…it’s like punctuating a sentence so that we can make sense of it.

So let go of something, take a deep breath, and consider the possibility that there are no beginnings and no endings, but there is NOW, and we are in it, and it is wonderful.


I was minded to consider the kindness of strangers today, in particular the people who stopped to help me when I had a car accident just before Christmas – the man crouching beside me while he telephoned for help, the young woman who whipped off her jumper and dressed me in it like a baby, and the witness who stopped and gave me his details…people whom I did not and will not ever know, who responded to the human urge to be compassionate and to care for someone who needed them.
The Prayer of Loving Kindness from the Buddhist tradition has been translated/interpreted in different ways but the basic tenet remains the same and echoes other religious and spiritual teachings.
If you can find the time, take a moment to consider these simple phrases:
To yourself: May I be well, May I be happy, May I be free from all suffering
To someone you know: May you be well, May you be happy, May you be free from all suffering
To someone you don’t know: May you be well, May you be happy, May you be free from all suffering
To someone you find ‘difficult’ or hard to get along with: May you be well, May you be happy, May you be free from all suffering…
I am so grateful for the loving kindness I experienced. I hope I would respond in a similar way if faced with such a situation.

New base in England

I have started teaching private lessons and small groups by appointment in and around my new location in North Cambridge. I can travel to you, or you can come to me. I specialise in back and joint problems and issues following illness or injury, where a class would not be a suitable environment to begin to exercise – although it is certainly possible to progress to a class if you wish to do so in the future.

Centred Self Retreat December 2012

The Second Centred Self Pilates retreat which took place in December last year focussed on ‘Backs’.

We explored the spine and its components, learning about how things ought to be and what can go wrong.

We then tried different strategies for dealing with back issues including strengthening exercises, stretches, releases and walking well.

Three things you can do to help your back are: 1) stretch the calf muscles, 2) reduce shoe heals to a minimum, and 3) swing your arms when you walk!

New Retreats and Master Classes planned

 Following the success of the first Centred Self Pilates Retreat, Andrea is planning further Retreats in the Autumn.

The first day of the series will be entitled ‘Posture Matters‘. So often we are told to improve our posture, but what exactly is ‘Posture’? How do we get one? And why does it matter? There are important bio-mechanical reasons for  developing good posture and we will discuss how this can be achieved.

The next Event will focus on Back Issues, and will include a workshop led by a friendly local physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath willing to share their expert knowledge and experience with us on the day. After a class and workshop in the morning, we will hope to go for our usual walk in the afternoon and conclude with a stretch and breathe relaxation session.

We will ‘Walking for Wellbeing’ in November, and discuss how we walk – a relatively simple thing, you might think, but it is actually a very complicated process that can kill or cure various other ailments, aches and/or pains throughout the body.

Further Retreats will be ‘Focus on Feet’, and ‘YogaPilates Fusion’.

Please enquire via the Contact page to register your interest in finding out more about any of these events.


MasterClasses in Pilates will take place on various Saturdays in Newport Village Hall.

The Classes will be Intermediate level and therefore fast paced and challenging. They are open to all ages and abilities, but participants must be free from injury or restriction, and some Pilates experience is preferred. Classes will conclude with a stretch and relaxation and will last for up to 90 minutes.


Beginner workshops on occasional Saturday mornings – please enquire for details.

Are you new to Pilates? Are you curious to know what it’s all about? Come and dip your toe in the water and find out more. Workshops are aimed towards those recovering from illness or injury and also for all complete beginners who just want to get started.


Please enquire via the Contact page to register your interest in finding out more about any of these events.


Please note: All programs are subject to change.

Centred Self Retreat

Last Sunday we held our first ever Centred Self Retreat which was enthusiastically attended by 12 ladies and one gentleman! We spent the day in the beautiful and tranquil setting of the Abbey Barn at St Mark’s College, Audley End, Saffron Walden.

The day began with a Pilates class, followed by a discussion on feet, gait and walking well. We enjoyed a lovely lunch sitting outdoors in a rare glimpse of English Summer (well, it wasn’t raining which was great!) and then we all went for a walk to practise our ‘pushing back’ and to enjoy the big outdoors. After tea and cake, the day concluded with a stretch, breathe and relaxation session.

Everyone seemed to enjoy their day out and we will definitely be doing it again! Do get in touch if you’d like to hear about future events…