A Passion for Pilates
I’m Rachel Lawrence, and I will be your personal guide to getting the most from Pilates. I trained in California with two of the world’s leading Pilates Practitioners, Rael Isacowitz and Karen Clippinger, so that I could bring that expertise back to West London.
A dance career cut short
Having trained in dance and theatre arts from childhood, I was a professional dancer from the age of 18 until a knee injury brought my dance career to an abrupt end.
Turning my hand to documentary making, it was while filming in New York, that I first heard the name Pilates. A chiropractor suggested it would help strengthen my back and might even help to rehabilitate the knee injury that had cut short my dance career.
The power of Pilates
From the very first class I was hooked. The combination of intelligent, focused movement, the attention to detail, and the fact I could feel the positive effects in my body the very next day persuaded, me that it was a great exercise regime. Most of all though, it was the changes I saw and felt in my own body that convinced me of the power of Pilates.
Within a few months of regular classes, I had no back pain and I was able to return to dance class, something I hadn’t done since my injury. I also had the added bonus of a longer, leaner look to my body. I had flatter abdominals, more toned arms and legs, and an overall youthful and athletic appearance that I loved.
A life changing experience
I knew I never wanted to give up Pilates, and such was my passion for it that after nearly ten years of regular practice, I made the life changing decision to train as a Pilates practitioner. I wanted to pass on the benefits I had experienced to others.
Determined to be the best that I could, I sought out the highest quality, most innovative and dynamic form of training. Established in 1989, Basi Pilates in California is run by Rael Isacowitz. This approach to Pilates honours Joseph Pilates' legacy while at the same time integrating contemporary scientific developments and advancing the method.
As luck would have it, a contemporary of Rael’s, (and co-writer of the renowned Pilates Anatomy book), Californian Dance Scientist, Kineseologist and Pilates Leader, Karen Clippinger, was offering a Basi Comprehensive Teacher Training Course that summer for professional dancers with an additional Dance Specialisation programme. As an ex-dancer it was the perfect opportunity. I signed up immediately and spent the summer in Los Angeles undertaking all my training and certification.
A fully certified instructor
On returning to the UK, I became fully certified to teach both Pilates Matwork and Pilates Equipment sessions. I quickly built up a client list in West London, and I now guest teach for both Lululemon and Sweaty Betty, as well as writing about Pilates, health and fitness for Basi and other media.
I continue to make regular trips to California to keep up with the latest trends and scientific innovation in Pilates based fitness. And in 2013 was honoured to be awarded the Kathy Grant Memorial Scholarship by Basi Pilates, which saw me returning to California to be personally mentored by Rael Isacowitz - here’s a great interview with him from a film about Joseph Pilates, the creator of Pilates.
This was a prestigious and coveted program of training “for the seasoned professional who wants to hone his/her teaching skills and study at the highest level of the method”.
The journey of a Pilates devotee is a never ending one (as I tell my clients!) so if you're willing to put in the work I'll be with you every step of the way.