I have been learning Pilates with Jules (Joyce!!) Hardman for the last four years. I am nearly 73 and very active, playing tennis up to five times a week, golf two or three times a week and going to a personal trainer at a gym once a week for an hour. I still play over 70’s hockey for the North of England, I row at home, go to Intermediate Pilates and HIP Pilates once a week each and, according to my physio, whom I see fairly frequently, generally abuse my body.
Be that as it may, I don’t listen and I thoroughly enjoy Pilates and HIP with Jules and attribute my continued and improving ability to move freely and quickly to her. I suffer various aches and pains, as most of us do, but these are almost eradicated as I get better at exercising and improving my strength, flexibility, coordination and core stability.
Both disciplines are all about controlled stretching and flexibility added to the core strengthening purpose of Pilates. I am more aware of what I can do now and can identify what parts of my body are ok and those that need help.
I am also very lucky to be in a class for both disciplines with Jules and collectively, a group of attractive, chatty and friendly girls (not forgetting Chris!). We have fun at the same time as we work hard. Unfortunately my hearing isn’t as good as it used to be and I miss many of their little gems of wit and wisdom having been banished to the far corner of the room!
No matter what your age and exercise ability, I wholly recommend both the disciplines of Pilates and HIP, especially with Jules – she is very good at demonstrating how the moves should be done and knows individual limitations. I love it.
“I have been attending Jules’ Pilates classes for a number of years and I consider them to be an integral part of my physical and mental fitness program. Jules continually strives to keep the classes interesting and challenging and provides us with different equipment and exercises. It is rare to find an instructor with such a genuine desire to improve clients’ well-being and ensure that they gain the greatest benefit from their Pilates classes.”
“I started Jules’ pilates class after having my baby and was looking to strengthen my core through exercise suitable to undertake 10 weeks post-partum. Jules’ classes are well-structured, different each week and well-explained. I had previously participated in other pilates classes, but after doing Jules’ beginner course I realised the importance of mastering the basics before moving onto the more challenging pilates exercises. I like how Jules uses the different pilates equipment to vary her classes and introduce her clients to different ways of modifying the basic exercises. I always feel energised after my pilates classes and I know the exercises have been essential in stretching out my tight leg muscles from running (and running after a toddler). As you can move up the various levels of classes, I feel Jules has something to offer for anyone interested in pilates; from novice to experienced.”
“I have been attending Jules’s Pilates Classes since the beginning of this year and I have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions. Jules very professional and conducts her classes to the highest standards. She is constantly observing her students and correcting moves and positions when necessary. She always correctly demonstrates each move and ensures the students understand what is required. At the beginning of each session she always enquires if anyone has specific problems that she should know about.
Her administration of the paper work is exceptional and students are contacted regularly to keep them up to date with what is happening.
This is not to say that the classes are not lighthearted and the ladies (and Gent) enjoy some banter with Jules which is always amusing. I have attended other Pilates classes in the past but have never had such a professional teacher or felt the benefit of the exercises to the same extent.
I look forward to attending many more of her classes.”
“Monday morning Pilates – it is the one thing that up-lifts my spirits. Who can honestly say they love Mondays, but Pilates with Jules makes that possible. Since attending Jules’ classes my posture and core have improved and I have even lost inches from my waistline.
What more can you ask from a Monday!”
“I have been attending classes with Jules now for about 3 years. I initially went as I have problems in my lower back and hip areas and as a result this was starting to affect other areas of my body. Pilates has helped with strengthening these areas as well as improve my core strength and balance. I always leave classes pain free. Together with clear, precise instructions from Jules I also immensely enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, and the social aspect of the class is a bonus!”
“I took up doing Pilates because I had a problem with my knee. Pilates has helped me enormously and it keeps me flexible and supple. Classes with Jules are great fun and she is a super teacher.”
“I signed up with Jules Pilates because I wanted to improve my posture and stretch away several tightness problems. Jules classes are perfect! She keeps them to a size she can ensure everyone is exercising properly, the routines are varied with an assortment of aids, ie stretch bands, foam rollers and spiked balls. Classes are fun and yet Jules is always professional. Also, importantly, Jules herself is lovely, easy to approach and always ready to discuss any body fitness issues you may have. I highly recommend.”
“I joined Jules’s class hoping to become a bit fitter and the class has greatly exceeded my expectations
I thoroughly enjoy the session, feel much stronger and more supple because of it and miss it when we have a break
Jules is very professional and an excellent teacher but she is also friendly, very kind and endlessly patient.
I would thoroughly recommend her classes.”
“I started from scratch in pilates classes with Jules nearly 2 years ago. Jules is highly professional, kind and ensures that everybody in the group feels supported. Pilates has increased my flexibility considerably and I leave each class feeling the benefits. I enjoy every class and I highly recommend Jules as a teacher.”
“I have been going to Pilates classes for several years now. I enjoy the classes very much as they are small and therefore we are able to receive individual attention. I decided on Pilates classes after I turned 70 as I enjoy the controlled and gentle but precise movement of the discipline. Jules is very careful to make sure each individual is executing the movements in the correct manner and helps every person as they need.
I really feel that Pilates is a great discipline for the achievement of good breathing plus inner body and muscle control and I would certainly recommend it as a healthy option.”
“Even though I have back problems I feel safe with Jules. I know she’ll make sure I’m performing the exercises correctly to target the muscles I need to strengthen. She is precise and will correct my positioning even if I am only slightly out of alignment, so I know I will do no harm. I am proud to have progressed from the beginner’s class to the advanced class over a period of six years. Although I have had a few health issues recently, Jules has been accommodating, fitting me in classes appropriate to my fitness level that week.”
“I’ve been to several Pilates classes over the years and always enjoyed it.
The beauty of Jules’s class is that because the numbers are limited, we get her concentrated attention which is important to make sure that we are aligned properly and therefore getting the most benefit from the exercises. I’ve been to other Pilates classes where there were probably four times as many people which meant that most of us were probably not even doing it correctly.
Jules is a perfectionist, but she also has a wicked sense of humour which makes the hour pass very enjoyably. I’ve met some lovely people and it has become one of the highlights of my week.”
“I took up Pilates in order to attempt to keep as supple as possible. Jules’ classes are excellent:
– her classes have the right number of pupils in order to give plenty of space for exercising and to enable Jules to give individual attention to pupils;
– the exercises are designed to treat all parts of the body; and
– Jules takes into account any injuries/problems a pupil has and will modify or give an alternative exercise.
The atmosphere is friendly and I always look forward to Jules’ classes as I have definitely benefitted over the number of years I have been attending.”
“I have been attending Pilates classes with Jules Hardman for the last 2-3 years. Having suffered from chronic back pain off and on since a fall in the gym at school, (many years ago!) I was initially recommended to visit a Chiropractor who certainly solved the pain initially but a few years later when the pain returned he advised that the problem was more serious and referred me to a neurosurgeon who told me that I required a discectomy. This was nearly thirty years ago. This was successful but I have occasionally had sciatic flare ups and on visiting my chiropractor again, after initially easing the problem, he said that he highly recommended Pilates to help. I took up his recommendation and enrolled with Jules Hardman over two years ago. I still get the occasional flare up but I am in no doubt that the weekly classes are helping to keep this problem at bay.”
“I had done Pilates previously but my gym closed down and needed to find somewhere local. I am delighted that l found Jules via a google search for classes in the area.
I had had a shoulder operation prior to joining the class and have found it most helpful encouraging me to get full movement in my arm.
I have been enjoying the classes with the expert advise given at all times. Can’t wait for the classes to become more challenging.”
“I have been one of Jules clients for just over a year. My aims were to increase my core strength and flexibility as a key part of an overall improvement in my fitness. Jules’s Pilates classes have significantly helped me in all these areas and have also as a welcome side effect drastically improved my performance and ability in my other fitness activities. Not only that but the classes are thoroughly enjoyable and something I look forward to doing. There are of course other alternatives, but if you want to learn Pilates properly and practice it with accuracy then Jules classes are the only ones to choose.”
Mark Edgeworth, Alderley Edge
As days draw shorter and the cold increases, the lure of our Winter retreat in Western Australia continues to be irresistible. Squash, golf and the beach beckon!
One day in 2008 was no different, a game of squash followed the next day by 18 holes of golf.
Waking up the next morning I could not move, my back was in agony and it was the following day before I could even get to the Chiropractor. I had listed to 45 degrees and was seriously worried as to whether that was the end of my life as I knew it.
I had intensive daily treatment until the time to return home.
I continued my treatment of Physiotherapy but was advised to take up Pilates as well. Do real men do this? I asked myself. But advice is there to be taken so I took it up.
Since then, whilst I have had a few twinges, my back is now manageable. I have learned the real tenets of Pilates………strengthening the core muscles and improving flexibility.
I have been to Jules’s classes from day 1 and have found her to be an excellent teacher and someone who clearly loves her job.
“I started Body Control Pilates with Jules about a year ago in an attempt to improve problems with years of chronic low back pain. I’d never done Pilates before so I started in a beginners group and am now attending an intermediate class.
The difference in my day-to-day life is amazing. I can now enjoy all the things back pain was preventing me doing such as horse riding, going for long walks and working a 12 hr nursing shift and being pain free at the end of it!
The classes are very friendly and the hour flies by. I have never looked back.”
“I started Pilates classes in January 2015, mostly triggered by having had open-heart surgery and a defibrillator fitted in autumn 2012.
I felt I was losing flexibility in my upper body, and was looking for some exercise to help to alleviate the problem.
I have found the classes really useful, with a good range of exercises to improve balance, core body strength, and flexibility.
The 1-hour lesson seems to fly by, and is quite taxing without physical discomfort.
“I have practiced yoga for many years and honestly only took up Pilates with Jules two years ago to support and encourage my fourteen year old daughter who I felt should take up Pilates to improve her core strength and posture. I felt that starting Sophia at a young age was important.
Pilates is a very different discipline to yoga and took me a couple of blocks of classes to get into it. I persevered to support my daughter and because I liked Jules and thought she was an excellent teacher. Thank heavens I did because I progressed from Beginners to Intermediate to Advanced all within the first year and I absolutely love it!
Pilates has given me the best core strength and stability that I have ever had. I still run religiously and practice yoga but Pilates has strengthened my lower back and given me defined abdominal muscles.
Needless to say Pilates has given me amazing core strength in a very short space of time and I wished I’d discovered it earlier in my life (Sophia is almost seventeen now and still practicing) but it’s never too late to get fabulous abs and an amazing teacher helps!”
“I have been having Pilates lessons with Jules for 5 years now & I love it. Every class is different & Jules is very enthusiastic about doing new courses & training so brings lots if fresh ideas to the lessons. Since doing Pilates my body shape and posture have noticeably improved & my back pain reduced significantly.”
G. Irvine, Osteopath
“Classes with Jules are amazing! Yes, she works you hard but the benefit you feel is worth it! Having been a dancer then going to a sedentary desk job with a long commute my body was not in a good way. I suffer from lax ligaments and if I miss a class I really notice! Her classes are calming and welcoming but what I like most about Jules is how she develops the exercises over a period of weeks. You never feel like something is impossible because she builds you up to everything slowly and, most importantly, safely. Jules explains exercises really clearly and is hand-on in making sure you are doing is correctly to gain the most benefit. After a year of classes with Jules I am stronger and able to understand what I need to do to manage my pain. I highly recommend trying Pilates with Jules!”
“Since taking up Pilates I have noticed a real difference in my riding. I attended the classes Jules specifically held for riders and these have helped me to become more evenly balanced in my body and more aware of how to isolate movement in my limbs (which enables me to independently use arms and legs whilst riding). My core strength and posture have also improved allowing me to sit deeper in the saddle and use my seat more effectively. The exercises helped me to lose tension in my back and shoulders, and consequently my horse responds with a much more relaxed set of paces. Jules is a great teacher as she ensures that everyone in the class is doing the exercises properly and will come round and make adjustments as necessary. She is also very good at responding to people’s individual needs. I would highly recommend Jules to anyone who wishes to improve their riding!”
“I started Pilates in January in addition to physiotherapy following a spiral fracture of my lower left leg. The break left me with restricted movement, numbness and loss of balance and Pilates has helped and is still helping my recovery. Because of my 3-month disability I also suffered with back and hip pain and this has also been controlled with the classes. The exercises are not too energetic yet really work your muscles improving movement range, posture and coordination. As a bonus the classes are enjoyable and relaxing.”
“I first started Pilates lessons with Jules 18 months ago, at the recommendation of the physiotherapist I was seeing at the time following an acute lower back problem which has now resolved. Since then, I’ve continued the lessons as I enjoy them so much and always feel great afterwards. The lessons help both with specific stretching, strengthening and postural improvements, plus give a general feeling of wellbeing. After a day’s work in a busy office I usually arrive at the lesson with general neck and shoulder tension, which by the end of the lesson have completely gone. I also find the lessons with Jules very relaxing, informative and friendly.
I have learned that accuracy is important with Pilates exercises to ensure correct alignment and therefore benefit; Jules explains and demonstrates the exercises clearly and ensures everyone in the class is performing the exercises safely and accurately, making individual adjustments where necessary and giving an alternative exercise to anyone who has any difficulty or limitation due to either a past or current injury or problem.
Jules also offers Pilates classes for specific sports and I have enjoyed and benefited from her Pilates for Skiing classes, which helped both during skiing due to improved posture and balance; and also before and afterwards with skiing-specific stretches.
I would highly recommend Jules’ classes.”
I’d recommend Jules’ Body Control Pilates classes to anyone. She is patient, explains movements brilliantly and I look forward to how I feel after each session.
I arrive at class every week with some level of discomfort that’s built up over the week, but I know that I’ll leave the class feeling amazing.
All I need to do now is practise at home!