WI Pilates Summer Camp
Tuesday 29th June 2010
Pilates Summer Camp
MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO “A Healthy mind in a healthy Body” was the new mantra for Lerryn WI as ten enthusiastic members completed a 6 week Pilates course in 5 days. Phenomenal, crackpot, over-ambitious, you might think, until I tell you that the instructor was the inspirational Tricia Stewart, one of the original Calendar Girls. With her at the helm you know anything is possible!
The venue for the week was the delightful Red Store, a small intimate building on the water’s edge, set in the beautiful waterside creek of Lerryn, in South Cornwall. As the shutters were opened at the start of each session, the views were exactly what was needed to enhance the atmosphere with the gentle lap of the river against the building and the ducks and canoeists wending their way downstream. This, together with the camaraderie of our group of WI members, contributed to a very successful course.
Tricia is no stranger to Lerryn. Along with Angela Baker, whose husband was the inspiration for the WI Calendar, she visited Lerryn WI last May to give a talk about the globally successful phenomenon “The Calendar Girls” where the two women spoke about their lives, the movie, the stage show, and, of course, the preparation for their10th anniversary Calendar for 2010, all in aid of Leukaemia Research.
Tricia spent the week with her family in a holiday cottage belonging to a WI member, which is where she stayed last year with Angela. Julia Parfitt co-arranged last year’s talk and was the inspiration behind this year’s Pilates course, having discovered that Tricia was a qualified Pilates instructor of ten years' experience. The week ran smoothly under her organisation. Tricia had provided all the equipment needed, having brought this with her from Yorkshire. An internet order placed on Wednesday for Pilates exercise bands arrived on Thursday so that the members of the group were able to practise at home.
Above: Tricia Stewart with Lin Briggs (and “exercise band”)
Under her watchful eye, the ten stalwarts learned to “zip and hollow”, how to perform the “oyster” and “the cat”, and how to get from a lying to a standing position in the safest possible way, something a few of us had not been able to do for several years. Inner thighs were stretched, toes flexed and extended, necks relaxed and members' central core muscles were given workouts they hadn’t experienced for years, all in a great atmosphere of fun! Tricia worked closely with the group and gave individual attention to all, especially those in greatest need of assistance. She ably demonstrated all the exercises, especially useful for those of us who found them more challenging!
Above: Tricia using core muscles with “The Teaser”
At the end of the week we were given copies of her workout programme on a CD to practise at home so that we could continue to improve upon what we so admirably started. The group now intends to meet regularly to continue practising (and remembering) their Pilates exercises and hopefully work towards stage two of Tricia’s workout.