You can train to be a Pilates Matwork teacher at York Pilates Space.

If Pilates is your passion and you love to work with others, our MK Pilates Matwork Teacher Training Diploma will give you all you need to begin your career. Look in the ‘teacher training’ tab on the menu for all our upcoming dates and fees.

Patricia is a member of the MK Pilates International faculty and at York Pilates Space we work with Michael King Pilates Ltd to give you a complete and comprehensive grounding in teaching Pilates Matwork. After completing all three of our MK training stages and being assessed by MK International you will be awarded the MK Pilates Matwork Diploma, which is recognised in Pilates Studios aound the world.

A lifetime’s work isn’t learnt in a weekend…..our Diploma courses give you 96 hours of face to face tutor time. You will also take extra time to work at home on your assignments and to participate in practice classes, including classes arranged at our studio, with real clients.  Because we know that learning to teach Pilates well is a big commitment, this year we have arranged the modules to take just one day of your weekend, rather than a whole weekend away from home. This gives you time between course dates to complete your assignments and digest the work, and doesn’t take over all of your precious weekend.

From my years of experience as a tutor and assessor in this industry, I know that many students want to gain their qualification as quickly as possible and get out there to teach. I also know that they will never excel if they rush through a quick training programme without having time to learn, absorb and experience the work in their own bodies. Much better to slow burn and really get to know your subject, than to spark out through lack of confidence. Our MK Pilates Mat Teacher Diploma will give you support in your teaching practice and  confidence  to build your own business, whether that is teaching a few classes to friends, travelling the world with Pilates, or opening your own studio.

Barre Classes at York Pilates Space

We are proud to be the only studio in York to bring you the Michael King Barre class. On Saturday mornings Georgia Issitt ramps up the fun with her Barre class at 10.45. Our MK Barre class is a dance based exercise to music class (choreography you can follow!!) using the traditional ballet barre for assistance. You will have a steady paced workout out and a great  stretch too.

We reckon if you are going to do a dance based workout, you need a dance trained teacher.

Here at York Pilates Space our teachers are all intensively trained through MK Pilates International, and that’s a lot of specialist training. Georgia has 12 years of dance school training under her belt, besides being a MK Pilates Teacher and a YMCA level 3 personal trainer. She’ll make sure you are having a good time and improving your technique too.

If you haven’t tried Barre before , get in touch to save a place.It’s pay per class.

Core? What Core?


I often get calls from would be Pilates students who have been referred to my studio by their physiotherapist. When someone comes along for a private class I always ask why they would like to do Pilates, what has brought them here? Invariably the reply is “I need to strengthen my core”.

A common misconception is that the ‘core’ is the abdominal muscles. Well, ok, you could call that area the core area but it’s a little more complex than that. So lets get this straight: doing crunches, sit ups and planks will not necessarily improve your core. You will more likely be relying on the shoulders and the superficial belly muscles to achieve the exercise whilst the deeper muscles don’t even get a look in. We don’t need to ‘strengthen ‘ the core, rather we need stability in that area, and that’s a different thing, a lot more subtle.

The core muscles are team which support the structure of the skeleton, rather than the more superficial muscles which move us around. Your sit up muscles are not your core muscles, and in fact doing sit ups will most probably weaken your core by causing you to push out the or brace the abdominal area. (aarg! I hate bracing….stop it right now!! )

Sometimes we refer to these deeper muscles as postural muscles, they have the role of maintaining a stable posture in the spine and pelvis giving the arms and legs an anchor from which to move. The muscle fibre structure is different in postural muscles than in the global muscles which move our limbs. Global muscles consist of a mixture of types of muscle fibre that can fire up quickly to create movement but will tire in time. Through exercise global muscles can be trained to perform better, becoming explosively stronger for jumping, kicking, sprinting or weightlifting; or gain endurance so that an activity can be performed for a longer period of time such as training for a marathon, or increasing the length of your bike ride to work without feeling so tired.

Our postural muscles however, need to have a quality of endurance to continue providing support for the axial skeleton, the spine and rib cage, the pelvis, the skull. The shoulder blades also need to be stable. These areas of our body are what form a stable base for any movement to occur in our arms and legs. With a stable core, the limbs are much more effective and will become stronger and more efficient. Thats why Andy Murray and lots of sportsmen and women do Pilates.

The 8 principles of Pilates all serve to develop a stable core. First concentrate; First think of precise alignment; lightly activate the centre muscles; breath; isolate your deep core muscles;
challenge your position with flowing, coordinated movement and rhythm; be controlled but relax, theres no struggle in a Pilates move. Before the word ‘core was invented Joe Pilates called it ‘the Powerhouse’. Everything starts from there!

Body, Mind and Soul: Pregnancy and Pilates

Body, Mind & Soul: Pregnant mums rush for Pilates

Patricia Issitt

Patricia Issitt

First published Monday 19 January 2015 in Health, Beauty & Wellbeing by Patricia Issitt

Is there something in the water?

Since the beginning of this year, we’ve been inundated with pregnant mums at the Pilates Studio, all wanting to improve their fitness during pregnancy.

The answer to “should I exercise during pregnancy” is a most definite “yes!” so long as your midwife and GP don’t advise against it. There are some pregnancy conditions which require special care from a health professional.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists state that there is no evidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes in women who exercise during their normal pregnancy

They also state the benefits of exercise; reduced fatigue; reduced swelling of hands and feet; less insomnia, stress and anxiety. Exercise helps you to avoid excessive weight gain and regulate blood sugar levels.

A pregnant body is special and very different to a non pregnant co- exerciser. If you choose to attend a class, your teacher should be knowledgeable about this.

Your body is creating more blood plasma. The volume of plasma starts to greatly increase before red blood cell production can catch up, leaving you feeling exhausted in the first few weeks.

Your hormone system releases Relaxin into the body creating laxity in the joints enabling the body to adapt to the growing foetus.

You will become more bendy but also more prone to joint injury. Your body is demanding more oxygen, and has more carbon dioxide and waste products to get rid of so you get out of breath and pee more! And as your baby grows, your posture changes, with a greater curve in the lower back.

The sacroiliac and pubic joints in the pelvis become softer, and more prone to aches and pains.

My main objective for my pregnant Pilates client is always to improve joint strength and stability which counteracts the over stretchy-ness that can cause ongoing problems.

The typical backache and carpal tunnel issues of pregnancy can be overcome by learning Pilates stability techniques. Of course we spend a lot of time exercising the pelvic floor muscles in preparation for labour and practising breathing techniques to help with relaxation.

During pregnancy, remember, stick to maintaining your fitness rather than pushing yourself to work harder. If you don’t normally exercise, start getting out for a brisk walk, 20 minutes a day. Because of changes in the body, some exercises are a no-no.

High impact jumping exercises, excessive weight bearing on the wrists such as full press-ups over stretching and holding stretch positions, excessive twisting of the torso will all contribute to joint damage. Lying on your back to exercise should be avoided after 16 weeks.

Fitness in pregnancy is all about preparing the body for the tough job of labour and, helping the body return to normality after the birth.

Don’t enter for a marathon, or even for that twisty-turny high impact dance class. Instead look for a specialist educator who adheres to RCOG guidelines and has a specific training in looking after pregnant mums. Your body will thank you for years to come.



York Pilates Space: what they are saying!

Clients at York Pilates Space always say such good things about Pilates. here are a few of them…

Sue Bos  said: ” Pilates has made a huge difference to me – my back is stronger and more reliable. I am amazed at what I can now do after years of back problems”

Bernie Cullen said: ” Thank you for being so dedicated to your work, it has made such a difference to my life “

Trudi Bailey  said:” Following abdominal surgery and rehab on a long term knee condition, I joined a Pilates class to try to put my body, especially my core strength, back together. Three years later, the last 2 of which have been with Patricia at York Plates Space, I am far stronger and more flexible than I have ever been. My posture is much straighter and I am more conscious of how I sit – at the desk, in the car and when relaxing. You can apply the principles in everything you do – I employ the techniques when swimming, cycling, walking, even when standing in a queue. It’s surprising how a small adjustment in how you align your head, or hold your shoulders can impact on your height and posture. My whole body has toned up, but without creating bulging unsightly muscles. Pilates is great for your posture, your figure, your inner and outer strength. And it’s fun! “

Margot Beaumont said: ” the biggest THANK YOU for being the best teacher – so kind and patient….(pilates) has changed my life so much. “

What has learning Pilates done for your life? Let me know!

What’s new at York Pilates Space?

Our studio classes have got a new buzz!   Students at our York pilates studio have been having a great time this week on their new Pilates Arcs. The arc is such a simple concept: like a small half barrel that you can sit on, lie on, curl over or lean on;  it helps us to access stubbornly inflexible muscles and joints and coax them into life and gets us working with deep strength into our core muscles. With a little support from the Arc you find yourself able to perform those crazy moves that seemed previously impossible! (Paul, Hugh, Andy….awesome helicopters!! Who knew?!?!)

Watch out for upcoming Arc classes on the timetable at our City of York pilates studio…