The West Studio

A little bit about you teacher Debbie.

Debbie West is a fully trained Pilates teacher trained by the PILATESfoundation UK Ltd. She has over 7 years of teaching experience, teaching a variety of clientele from rehabilitative, sports men and women to those who want an intelligent form of exercise. Debbie also specialises in the teaching of the Pilates method to Pre & Post Natal women. The latter is a field she is developing further. Debbie trained alongside doctors and physiotherapists at The Scott Studio, with Suzanne Scott, who is renowned in the Pilates field. She also teaches regularly at The Scott Studio, which is a teacher-training studio.

Prior to teaching Pilates, Debbie had an office-based background and wanted a career that was truly fulfilling, so she decided to retrain in Pilates. She enjoys seeing the changes in her clients and their enthusiasm for Pilates.

Debbie is also qualified as a running coach and leads one of the many groups in Barnstaple. Debbie is listed with the Guild of Pregnancy & Postnatal Exercise Instructors

The Pilates Studio is fully equipped with large Pilates equipment. Many people who have never entered a Pilates Studio before think the large equipment looks like “torture equipment”! Believe me, it’s not! The apparatus is used to facilitate functional movement, add some assistance or resistance, or for the advanced exerciser who wants to be challenged further.

Pilates Mat work is valuable also as this means you can continue your Pilates exercises at home. All you need is a folded towel or a Pilates Mat to protect your body. There is also a large supply of small equipment such as gym balls, fit rolls, light arm weights, thera bands etc which are usually incorporated in your Pilates session whether it is a One to One, Mat class or Studio Session.
What do I wear?

Socks are to be worn in the studio at all times – even in the Summer – for hygiene reasons. No special workout gear is required; just wear loose comfortable clothing that is not restrictive such as tracksuit bottoms. A fitted tee shirt is ideal as is easier for the teacher to check your alignment. You may require a few extra layers.

It is advisable to bring a bottle of water for your session to sip. Even though Pilates is not cardiovascular in its original form, with any exercise it is advisable to keep hydrated.

Pre Natal Pilates

Pilates exercises are adapted for the Pre Natal woman. Pilates helps to prepare the growing body for birth and the demands for caring for the baby afterwards. Your Pilates teacher will focus on creating strength and stability in the body to assist with those who want an active labour and also focus on whole body strength to prepare you for holding, feeding and caring for your baby. Pilates exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles therefore counter-balancing the changes the pregnant body undergoes.

During pregnancy your body is more flexible, Pilates exercises help to create stability in the body.

In the Pilates sessions the exercises will be centred on the breath, which will help to calm and focus the mind and can also be used as a preparation for birth.

We will also incorporate the gym ball into your sessions, as this will be a familiar tool used in labour.

Benefits of Pilates for the Pre Natal woman include: creating a good self image for pregnancy, toning for your muscles, helping to combat stress and tension, reducing the likelihood of back pain occurring during pregnancy, increased circulation and energy levels, helping to change faulty or incorrect movement patterns, improving posture and is a wonderful tool to help aid relaxation.

Post Natal Pilates

Once you have had your six-week check from your doctor it would be an ideal time to recommence your exercise program.

We recommend several one to one Pilates sessions before rejoining your usual studio/ mat class sessions, as we want to make sure your body is ready and mechanically sound. Your teachers will advise you when you can resume your class.

Benefits of Pilates for the Post Natal woman include: strengthening the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles which can be weakened during pregnancy or birth, helping to combat stress and tension of life with the new baby, will help to realign the body, will give you some well earned “me” time, will help the return of the pre-pregnant physique, will help counterbalance the effects of pregnancy and childbirth,  promotes good self image for the Post-Natal woman, create strength and stability in the body, increase energy levels, aids relaxation, helps to change wrong movement patterns therefore improving posture, and helps to meet the new demands on the body of breastfeeding and caring for your baby.

Debbie West specialises in teaching Pilates to the pre and postnatal woman, with your permission Debbie will work in conjunction with your midwife/doctor.

Pre Natal Pilates can be taught One to One, in a Studio Class, or in the specific Pre Natal Class (see class times & prices) . An Initial Consultation maybe required before joining any of the above classes.