Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Interview with UK Based Pilates Educator, Julie Driver

Read below to learn more about Julie Driver, she is a pilates instructor (and so much more!) at her UK based Pilates studio. Rehabilitation has a particular resonance for her.  In early 2008 she suffered a debilitating ski injury.  After the trauma to her leg and several operations she was left temporarily wheelchair bound. Doctors warned recovery could take years and would leave her with a permanent limp. Pilates and 9 months later she was walking limp-free. Thank you Joseph Pilates. She now works with Body Control Pilates and specializes in lower limb trauma and compensatory movement patterns. Julie Driver enjoys working with clients of all ages and fitness levels, ranging from sports professionals and performing artists to desk-bound professionals and clients looking to improve their general fitness.

Lindsey: Please tell us about your fitness background and What inspired you to pursue Pilates as your career?
Julie: At school I was on the hockey and volleyball team and I rode regularly, which included showjumping and cross country riding at a local level. My journey into Pilates began almost by accident. I’d heard of it through dancer friends who were regularly attending classes at a studio in Central London.

The only early morning classes at my gym on Sundays were beginners Pilates classes, so when my golf playing husband dropped me off on his way to his club, that’s what I did!

I loved it and swiftly became a regular, signing up to classes 2-3 times a week. At this point gym based classes were my only exposure to Pilates.

But it was when my father died unexpectedly in 1999, I realized I wanted a career change; a new outlook. I applied to Body Control Pilates and became a teacher trainee and the rest as they say, is history.

Lindsey: You had a devastating injury that left you wheelchair bound. Please tell us about how you used Pilates as rehabilitation and your successes with that.
Julie: I’m not sure anything can prepare you for an accident of that magnitude. I had four operations within 7 days and the remarkable team at Lionsgate hospital in Vancouver saved my left leg.

After 3 weeks unable to move I had lost a lot of weight and muscle mass and I was very weak. Due to the extent of the damage and the skin grafts I had to be non-weight bearing for almost 6 months and my leg had to be constantly elevated (unless I was moving around) to enable the grafts to ‘take”. I knew that if I did not apply myself to my exercises, the Doctors prediction of “9 months to walk again and a permanent limp” would come true!

By the time of my accident I had been teaching for 8 years and I had my own apparatus. My husband moved my Reformer and Tower into the bedroom and I would go from the bed to the apparatus to do my physio.

I worked on my own two or three times a day and then I had a wonderful physio who came twice a week and stayed for over two hours each time to really put me through my paces. I was determined to would make a full recovery.
I’m certain that the Pilates equipment hastened my recovery as I was able to continue exercising and building my strength without having to weight bear through my left leg.

Lindsey: Do you use Pilates as your only workout genre or do you engage in other forms of exercise?
Julie: Currently Pilates is my only regular scheduled class in my diary. However, I run, skip, jump and trampoline with my children so I rarely sit still. I have promised myself that 2016 will be the year I return to horse-riding!

Lindsey: Do you believe in the "no pain, no gain" form of exercise or do you feel that intense workouts should also be a part of our fitness routines?
Julie: Tough question! I think this is down to the individuals choice of exercise modality. I have Pilates teachers who can make me want to vomit with exertion, yet I’m only executing a small movement but because the exercise is so specific to my needs that its exhausting and I may well ache the next day!

Having been through rehabilitation I know that there are different kinds of pain. My physio used to make me scream with pain to the extent my Mother had to leave the house when he arrived.

This was a necessary pain that I needed to go through to achieve my goal and return my leg to a fully functioning limb. Often people quit their rehab too early “because it hurts” not recognizing that a certain level of pain can indicate a change for the better and progress.

I’m also certain that when I return to riding I will ache the next day simply from my body being unused to being back in the saddle. Pain can be from muscles experiencing new use, disuse, misuse and over-use.

If a form of exercise works for you and you are feeling the benefit, then go for it! Listen to your body.
Lindsey: You teach classes in your studio, offer online courses, & Sype classes as well. 
Julie: There’s no such thing as a “typical” class. If I’m teaching a 1-1 it will be tailored to the individual in front of me. What they need at that moment in time, using a mix of mat-work and apparatus exercises.

The content of a Skype lesson is again down to the individual, though if they do not have access to the apparatus we will work with the mat or the small equipment that they have wherever they are based.

My online classes are currently available on Pilates Anytime and I’m always delighted to travel to host studios and present my workshops.

For More Information, Visit: 
Julie Driver on the web
Julie Driver on Facebook

I received samples of these products to review. I was in no other way compensated for my honest reviews. All thoughts and ideas expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Please see my disclosures page for details. Do not copy, in whole, or in part any portion of any postings on my blog. Do not repost my content on any other site without my explicit consent. All of my postings belong solely to

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