Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Pure Pilates Ilkley

Post is pinned.Post has attachment
We had 5 fabulous days with Mary Bowen at Pure Pilates in Ilkley. Over the preceding weeks I had kept blinking every time I looked at our online schedule and saw 'Mary Bowen' listed as an instructor in my studio. It was such a WOW! Some of our clients were lucky enough to secure a one to one session with Mary. All available places were snapped up, we had to have a waiting list!

And then: 
We had 'An Evening with Mary Bowen'.

It was such a great evening. She was at all time inclusive, straight and honest, said it as it was. At times we grinned, then chuckled and we often outright belly laughed at her tales of Joe & Clara Pilates and the people she has known throughout her life.

Chef Bruce D'Aloia pulled out all the stops creating 'canapés' out of this world. He always surprises!

And then:
Two whole days of teacher training and we learned, we giggled, we laughed and came away with a whole lot of thinking and planning!

She made it all seem so simple - mind you she has been doing it for longer than most of us have been around! At 85 she is one hell of a lady. We can only envy her her stamina and wish we had all known her when she was young.

A Truly Awesome Lady, and the Capital Letters are meant!

The studio is back to normal duties already but it has been such an experience. It was like saying goodbye to a best friend when she left for down south on Monday!

We will do this again!
Mary Bowen at Pure Pilates Ilkley
13 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Just launched new range of bamboo Tshirts. Sizes small, medium and large. Colours Eggplant, Denim Blue and White. Available at studio now, online soon!
9 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Well done Nicky! 2H 57.15! Makes all that training worthwhile!
2 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Well Nicky is through 35K still on target for a sub 3H time. The home stretch is there now.
3 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Our intrepid teacher Nicky is at it again. London Marathon day! She is through 15K and on target for a sub 3H time.

'I'm going to be running the London Marathon 2016 in memory of my Dad and to raise funds for the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Anthony Nolan are a charity dedicated to saving the lives of people suffering from Leukaemia by finding matching donors to patients from their register who's only chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant.

They have the most successful stem cell register in the UK, but for every person they help another one misses their chance.

By donating today you will help them try to achieve their goal of saving each and every life!

Thank you ever so much and truly appreciated as always.


Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Here's the link:
4 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Pilates Teacher Training Workshops

Now into her 80′s, Mary Bowen is one of our true Pilates treasures, Grand Master Pilates Elder, Wit, Humorist & Story-teller extraordinaire, Jungian Analyst, Cat Woman, a true character and “eternal child at heart.” 

On Friday evening 18th September we are hosting “An Evening with Mary Bowen” from 7.00pm. This will be an inspiring and entertaining evening, I promise!
Drinks & Canapes included (3 CECs)

Saturday 19th September Lifelong Pilates & The Body from 9.00am – 4.30pm Lunch included (6 CECs)

Sunday 20th September Pilates Plus Psyche from 9.00am – 4.30pm Lunch included (6 CECs)
PMA approved CEC’s

Prices: An Evening with Mary Bowen £50.00
Lifelong Pilates Workshop £250.00
Pilates & Psyche Workshop £250.00
Discounted price for both Workshops £485.00
Early Bird Discounted Price for both Workshops* £465.00

*To qualify for this early bird discount, workshops must be booked and paid for by 1st September 2015 (Payment can be made by phone using debit or credit card or by Bank Transfer)

To book your place at any of these workshops, or wish more information, call Pure Pilates Ilkley on +44(0)1943 608244, email through our contact page or email directly to

Visit for more information.
6 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
When Kirstin first asked me, to write my own experience of Pilates when she opened her Pure Pilates studio in Ilkley back in 2010, I was a bit concerned – what on earth could I say without it being a very long, boring “war & peace” – not to mention more than a little prejudiced.  After all, she is firstly my daughter and then my best friend. But as she is also my trusted Pilates teacher, and as I have been helped so much by her personally and by Pilates specifically, I had to agree.

My first port of call in helping me decide what to write was the diary I had kept off and on since that Christmas in 1995, lots of entries in the first year to sometimes just the one update. I just can't believe it will be 20 years this year! Wow!

So to the relevant bits. I was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer in the December of 1995 and had further surgery in January and April of 1996.  By the June of 1996 I had developed 2 badly frozen shoulders – so much so I had virtually 0% movement in both, and was in a great deal of pain.  After  months of daily physio and 2 shoulder operations in December 1996, I was finally fit to drive at last and returned to work on a part time basis in January 1997. It had been a long year!  I continued with physio & hydrotherapy for almost 2 years.

So where does Pilates fit in? We need to move on rapidly to 2003.  I had gained by now about 60% movement; I could get my arms, with some effort, to horizontal.  So many things I frustratingly couldn't do - reach the top cupboards in the kitchen; put something in the plane overhead locker - but there were compensations, I did have abs to die for – they were doing all the day to day work my shoulders and arms couldn’t!  Just try getting out of a low settee without using your arms – you will quickly understand what I mean!  I could do a version of the bicycle crunch, sitting on my bum cheeks and have a long conversation with Kirstin at the same time.

On a visit to my dancer daughter in London, I was at last persuaded to try the Method for myself at the Pilates training studio where she was now working as Technical Instructor, Pilates International with Heather & Martin Sampson.  I do have to say at this point I was petrified. Over the previous 7 years I had learned to live within my limitations and also what to do / or not to do to avoid pain.  My fear of that pain was greater than the fear of the cancer returning, well, except at the time of imminent annual checks!  Crazy person I know but fact!

It was a challenge, not just for me, but also for the studio, and a great test of Kirstin’s nerve – I was her Mum! Funnily enough, because I trusted Kirstin and she had such faith and confidence in the two people she had brought me to see, I trusted them implicitly.

It was a difficult first morning, but after assessment of my entire body, some specific exercise, adjustments, more exercise, some thinking time, more adjustments to my body and the exercises, all I could think of was “This Pilates and these people walk on water!” for each time I tried an exercise I could do more!  

Could it really have been that simple? In a morning they achieved what surgeons and physiotherapists could not, even after years of treatment.  All it took was an extraordinary wealth of knowledge, experience, faith and confidence.

Sounds easy doesn't it? Instead of barely horizontal, I was able not only to raise my arms above my head for the first time in years, but I was also able to take my own weight, just a bit. It was such a high!

At the end of the day this was the email I sent home to my husband who had assumed we were having a girly weekend! It was entitled “Look what I can do!”

As you can see I was hanging from a trapeze – a proper one, not the Cadillac kind either!  Hubby was totally gob-smacked. 

A few weeks later after doing my homework and a few more visits to the London studio, that first excited email was followed by another email, this time to friends and family entitled “Look what I can do now!”  I can paint a ceiling!  Well the top of a wall!  You can just see Kirstin's beaming smile in this picture. I am sure she wanted to do that wall herself!

The training and the experience Kirstin had had in all aspects and applications of Pilates, particularly with respect to rehab, whilst working with clients and students alike, both at Pilates International and at Backlund Pilates in London, was invaluable and she has added to and expanded it during her travels around the world. 

The depth of Pilates Method knowledge, the can do attitude, the belief and instinct to work with that knowledge to help anyone achieve their full potential, no matter their limitations, and the thirst to learn more and more, that's my Pilates teacher, that’s just Kirstin.  

And now in 2015, after much reading myself about Joseph Pilates I was so impressed with his innovation, his ability to look at a person's body and any issues they had and then develop very specific exercises and equipment that would help them regain their strength and mobility.

I also read about all his students - now termed 'Pilates Elders' - and how they taught and still do teach, I think he would be proud of how his Contrology has developed and grown in their hands.  

As for me the improvement I gained with Martin's, Heather's and Kirstin's expert and innovative guidance remains and continues. I moved on to painting ceilings.

I will never forget a middle of the night call and the excited voice saying “Mum, I’ve done a Martin!”  I knew exactly what she meant and I’m pretty sure that the gentleman on the other side of the world remembers his first Pilates experience in the same way I do. 

I am selfishly very pleased she came home – my tummy muscles had become a bit flabby!  And I have had some new challenges for her since then, but that is another story!  Maybe a few more!  

I am such a proud mum when I hear how much she and Pure Pilates in Ilkley is doing to make a difference to other people's lives.

Marion Ferrie
2 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
A Pilates Professional's request.

A quick plea to doctors, midwives and all other medical professionals.

If you are going to recommend Pilates to a patient, be they recovering after an injury or coping with a chronic ailment,   an expectant or postnatal mum - whatever, please do not make a throw-away suggestion! Pilates is a specialist profession too.

Do qualify this comment with advice as to how to find an appropriately qualified and experienced Pilates professional.  You would not trust the surgeon who has little or no relevant training or experience. 

It is important that you know that the professional they go to - on your advice - has not just done a short weekend, or even internet-based course and is now teaching Pilates at the 'Gym' in addition to their general fitness classes. (NB: There are also many perfectly well qualified Pilates Teachers in Gyms - a check is recommended,  a good one will not be offended)

There are many examples of how poorly trained Pilates teachers have inadvertently exacerbated or caused serious injury in a vulnerable patient. It is not the teacher's fault either as what they teach may be fine and fun for fit & healthy bodies who exercise regularly in the gym.

Take the time to learn a bit more about what the exercise method Joseph Pilates himself (he called it Contrology), the specialist equipment he devised and what Pilates can achieve - in the right hands.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
It is a man thing! The reluctance to do anything but 'run',  lift bigger & heavier weights, cycle,  play a wee game of 'five a side' each week. All good, but what about all the muscles and joints strained by the lack of preparation for these activities? Why is it that a man doesn't reach out to a good Pilates practitioner until their body breaks down and really hurts?

I'd give a £ for every time I have heard "Pilates is just for the ladies!" I promise you won't say that after a session in our equipment studio in #Ilkley !

Ask Gareth Bale or Sergio Agüero what Pilates means to their bodies, in terms of whole body training, injury prevention and of course rehab! How on earth did Gareth Bale manage to stretch that leg so high?  I wonder?

Looking after your body is something that should be done at any age, but it is never too late to make a difference. 

The Spanish proverb below makes a lot of sense and many of us, men, and women can leave it till the body breaks down before doing something about it.  We only get one body and we need to look after all the working parts. 

Just like a car, the body needs regular servicing to maintain peak performance.

Take action now and book yourselves in for that MOT and follow up with the regular service.  We have plenty of very well looked after tools at Pure Pilates Ilkley just waiting to help you. for more information on the #equipment and classes we run.
8 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Skiing and Pilates? Pilates is a no-brainer as far as skiing goes. Just perfect!

OK now think! What part of your body works the hardest when skiing?  Which part of your body is most at risk of injury?

Most people would probably say in answer to both questions, your legs.

BUT…. targeting the legs alone for your ski preparation may mean you are missing the bigger picture and not taking all the steps you can to avoid any injury.  Skiing needs a strong, flexible body which is both stable and balanced, not just strong legs. It really is a whole body sport.

So YES, do all the cardio training you can, for you do need stamina, and strength when skiing, but then factor in Pilates too. Think what a difference it would make to your time on the slopes, if your whole body was working as one, with one well controlled source of power, flexibility and agility.
That is where Pilates comes into its own, making sure you have a fantastic, safe, injury free ski holiday.  Pilates will work the deep abdominal muscles which support your core and give you a stronger, more flexible, more resilient structure.  Activating the stabilising muscles helps to maintain balance at greater speeds.

So, in a nutshell, why Pilates for Skiers?
Proper core stabilisation
Better balance and agility on the slopes
Better alignment, reducing impact on the back, hips and knees
Regain and maintain muscle balance and avoid injuries.

Pilates will help you take control of your body, by focussing on a more dynamic and fuller range of motion, together with the strengthening of the hamstrings which will help balance those overworked quads. Aching bodies and injuries spoil holidays!  Get your body working efficiently with Pilates and then enjoy your holiday! 

For information on classes at the studio go to
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded