1.What is the Story Behind Rye?
One needs to only open their social media feeds to be inundated with infinite images of exotic, pristine retreats where one can be with nature and be whole again. But these retreat locations are often remote, expensive and let’s be honest, in reality, not all of us are able to take huge chunks of time off from the world to detox, meditate or spend weeks at a retreat. As life changing as these experiences are, the problems and stresses of daily life tend to reappear once we return home. Long-term this isn’t really feasible nor is it entirely healthy which brought me to – How can this experience of health, fitness and wellness be brought to you on a daily basis without seriously damaging your bank account? That’s how RYE was born. Retreat Yourself Everyday! I wanted to create a space where people could come for just an hour and feel wholesome in all aspects of their bodies. RYE Pilates became the studio space where physical injuries were healed, minds were soothed and their souls were placed at ease through physical and mental ‘workouts’ and left feeling refreshed, recharged and revitalized. Further I wanted to arm and equip people with tools and techniques which they could then implement at home and in their daily lives to keep those stressful and overwhelming aspects of life at bay. To retreat yourself, or to simply treat yourself everyday does not have to be extravagant or take up vast amounts of your time. Little measures of RYE is all you need for that upliftment.
2. What differentiates Rye from other Pilates studios?
RYEpilates is a private studio and is strictly one on one instruction. It allows me as the tutor to personalize the regime specific to the person and his/her body in front of me and develop them to stronger, fitter, healthier levels at their pace. I used to teach commercially previously and whilst there is a charm to the energy of 15 sweating, pulsing bodies I was never able to devote the kind of attention I felt necessary for optimum health progress to the class-takers. What also differentiates my method and instruction is my background. I am a fully qualified and trained Emergency & specialist medical doctor from the UK and then I spent nearly 4 years studying OsteoNeuroMyoFascial techniques and works which are extremely new in the field of Sports and Rehab medicine and have learnt how to apply this to movements in Pilates. Most studios and instructors in the country come from BASI or STOTTS school of pilates which I often find problematic in that there is a risk of causing further injury and strain to the practitioner. OsteoNeuroMyoFascial pilates based on the emerging research from noteworthy names like James Earl and Thomas Meyers offers extremely groundbreaking relief and rehab to the workouts and feels sublime to the one practicing it. In my training I have had the privilege of traveling to Zurich, London and Houston and ‘gel’ with other body workers in this field who have further enriched me through their backgrounds in CranioSacral therapy, Kinesiology and Osteopathy. I also have had the immense honor of being personally trained my Mary Bowen herself, Joseph pilates’ last surviving Elder and I feel the sum total of the education I’ve had enables me to delve deep into bodily tissues and mindful connections and assist/help the person who comes to my studio
3. What do you offer at the Rye Life studio?
Of course classical pilates will always be on the menu 🙂 All the classical moves devised and practiced not just by Joseph Pilates but also his team of Elders (eight of them in total) on the various pieces of equipment including the Reformer, Cadillac, Ladder barrel, Spine Corrector, Ped-I-Pull, Chair and mat are of course staples in the ‘diet’ offered at RYEpilates. But because it’s a private studio it allows me to create and go places where perhaps traditional practitioners are restricted or limited. Based on the body attending a class we create contemporary moves using Pilates equipment which are inspired by Yoga, Ballet, Barre, ordinary gyms and crossfit workouts. It really allows us to challenge the body in infinite ways and the result is always a stronger and fitter being. I also have been trained in Hypnotherapy by the incredible Dr. Brian Weiss and sometimes when we encounter physical blocks which may require attention to the “mental or emotional wall” blocking it, I utilize hypnotherapy to overcome the hurdle for my clients and patients. No two hours at the studio are the same and I base my 60 minute sessions on what the client wants and how he/she is feeling ? Sometimes they’re exhausted from work and aren’t able to perform at a fast pace and so we take it down a notch but keep it just as intense so that even without having moved very much, their heart rates are pacing and they’ve broken a sweat and yet not felt overexerted. That’s the advantage of personalized pilates
4. What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?
Quite honestly I don’t have one. I love it all and more ! My favorite exercise changes by the minute and my love for each of the pieces of equipment grows daily. I love whichever move I’m doing and that is usually chosen by my body. Sometimes my feet require attention and at other times my pelvis is craving a release from having sat on a chair in the hospital clinic chair morning. But if I were to pinned down to choose one I’d opt for the Spine Roll Down. Easy, basic and the holy grail of pilates YET you’ll be shocked at how many instructors teach it incorrectly. The Spine Roll Down is THE foundation (I feel) from which every other move from beginner to advanced is founded upon.
5. In your studio, you use the NeuroMyoFascial Contrology Pilates method… please explain to us what it is and what’s it good for?
Actually I’ve taken it a step further in that what I teach now I call it OsteoNeuroMyoFascial. Osteo stands for bone. Neuro is the nerves and nervous system of the body. Myo is the latin word for muscle. Fascia is the sticky glue (literally and metaphorically) that holds all of this together AND apart in Tensegrity (that word comes from Tension and Integrity where all structures are held together in tension but held apart in that they all maintain their integrity of shape and form). Traditional and slightly dated pilates only looks to muscular contraction to achieve movement and flow. But today thanks to Thomas Meyers, Bruce Lipton and James Earl who’ve all done intense and immense research in fascia, we know that the body cannot (and should not) be isolated to achieve a movement ; when that happens it results in injury and strain. The body must be allowed to distribute load both of itself and that which it takes on (can be tangible or even mental/emotional) throughout so that no one limb or area is bearing the brunt. A easy quick example of this is how today, because we sit at computers and lead extremely stressful lives, you’ll find our shoulders being lifted high up out of their sockets and reaching the ear lobes. Shrug them back down and take a load off ! What I teach at RYEpilates allows for people to not only feed good and maintain balance and posture in the studio but also take it with them back into their worlds and distribute the load they encounter. They can RETREAT themselves even away 😉 Movement is taught differently at RYEpilates and the body is asked and showered with love and affection and only then does it yield favorably. Forcing it into shapes and contorting it into poses enhances strain and results in a tighter and more stressed body.
6. Tell us a funny story that you’ve encountered in your journey with Pilates.
Laughter truly is the BEST medicine and it is something I encourage every second/minute whilst I’m teaching. I adore my patients and clients and routinely laugh with them through our workouts .I am quite goofy by nature and love telling stories and the goal is to have my clients giggling and chuckling because there is nothing else that can release and relieve the body like a good laugh. Try it ! Right now if you just even smile you’ll notice how it makes the head, scalp and face lighter and more airy somehow. I think the funniest story for me is how I came into this field of OsteoNeuroMyoFascial pilates. Its funny with a dash of cosmic divine energy because I was meant to meet with a prof from another traditional pilates school on one day and my professor from this school the next. The traditional method prof asked to postpone the meeting to the week after so I met my Prof first and once I’d heard how she was a previous traditional pilates student and how after 10 years of training hadn’t really felt her body truly till she’d encountered OSteoNeuroMyoFascial work I was sold. It’s funny how life works out right 🙂 ? Some things are meant to be
7. What are your top Pilates tips?
Be patient. Stop trying to compete with people in your class and/or on social media. Your body has been through a journey that is entirely unique so please allow IT to guide and lead you. Find an instructor with whom you can develop a solid rapport because pilates shouldn’t be something you HAVE to do but rather something you WANT to do. You should look forward to it and the feeling of being lighter, airier, springier after your class. And finally allot just 15 minutes of your day to do some quick pilates stretches, moves and exercises at home. You will not believe how much it’ll positively affect your mood and health. Like our old man Joseph (Pilates) said, “you are only as young as your spine”
8. How did practicing Pilates affect your life and well-being?
In more ways than I can describe ! I had the misfortune of sustaining some pretty nasty injuries in my early 20s. I had torn the meniscus (cartilage) in my right knee and torn (minorly) an interspinous ligament between my T7 and T8 vertebrae which caused the disc to bulge slightly and compares a sensory nerve. Pain had really decreased by quality of life and had robbed me of health in every sense. Pilates gave that back to me and made me stronger than even before my injuries. Today if I can deadlight my own body’s weight in the gym it’s because of the time I devote to pilates. Also pilates came to me at a time when my personal life went through much upheaval and turmoil and the hours I spent in and around pilates equipment quickly became my Zen Zone and where I could regain control and stability of my thoughts and feelings. I always use what Pilates gave me as inspiration to pass it on to as many people as I possibly can. It’ why I teach despite a full time job at the hospital 🙂
9. What are your aspirations for the future?
I wish RYEpilates could become a commercial chain where I could have 5-6 trained OsteoNeuroMyoFascial experts working one on one with patients and clients simultaneously and the energy and vibe in the studio is just buzzing with knowledge and education and breakthroughs. I want very badly for more people to join this work, especially doctors like myself because there is SO MUCH to be gained from this work in terms of therapy. In my head I constantly dream of all the people I’ve met in Zurich, the UK and USA coming together under one roof and bouncing off ideas and energies of, about and through fascia. I also would love to train people myself to become teachers in this field because I hope to take this work to as many people as I possibly can before my time is done 🙂