Instructor of the Month
Introducing Laura Sandilands, owner of Natal Wellbeing.
Laura spent 15 years in various roles within the luxury goods industry, most recently at Dior Beauty, part of LVMH, as the UK Commercial Manager.
Having been a National gymnast as a child she was drawn to Yoga and Pilates during her adult life. It was during her first pregnancy she decided to make some life changes and trained with Stott originally. Two children later and around a corporate career, Laura completed her Matwork qualification with JPilates (soon after the birth of her second child).
Alongside Pilates training Laura has also studied to become an Active Antenetal Educator. The movement aspect of the course includes preparing the body during pregnancy with Yoga & Pilates techniques, as well as a Birth Hypnosis section to prepare the mind. It is an all-encompassing approach to help expectant mums stay active and healthy during their pregnancy and prepare body and mind for birth through confidence, knowledge & movement.
Laura has since created a NATAL WELLBEING brand, focusing on various lifestyle aspects of pre and post natal life such as networking & connecting with various pregnancy experts, providing a toolkit of techniques and confidence and supporting clients from pregnancy to parenthood.
Laura is creating online & live courses which will support pre and post natal clients, including safe beneficial movement to prepare & restore. She will be publishing free articles plus online and live training courses in 2016.
Visit her online at natalwellbeing.com or on facebook Natal Wellbeing.
How would you describe your style of teaching?
Tricky! I enjoy the variety of working with different client groups and adjusting the balance of technique, flow and pace accordingly. I try to identify the ideal balance for the client group infront of me so they achieve a challenging but enjoyable full body workout which will also enhance the wellbeing of their mind.
What is your client base like?
As I am an Active Antenatal Educator, many of my current Pilates clients are expectant or new mums. They come to enjoy safe movement or bringing movement back into their lives. Focusing on technique can really compliment their needs to concentrate on themselves. They also benefit from the wonderful sensation of a flowing sequence. Those who are early on in pregnancy and body conscious do want to feel they have worked hard.
New mums enjoy the space and time to breathe and activate all muscle groups with an invigorating full body workout. I'd say I strive to achieve the right BALANCE for my clients, in terms of teaching style. They all seem to enjoy focusing on the correct technique and they want to get moving, ideally within a class that flows seamlessly.
What are you planning for the next 12 months?
Having had two children in the past four years I'm gradually re adjusting my work life accordingly and building in additional classes as the children grow up. I want to be certified in all key studio equipment and various specialist groups as well as keeping my Matt classes creative & fresh.
I'd like to build upon the pregnancy and post natal knowledge I have acquired during the past 5 years and build up my Pilates knowledge for this specialist group. I believe there is a lot to be gained by combining Pilates movement with birth preparation and confidence techniques.
What do you find most challenging about your work and how do you overcome this?
Mixed ability classes. Ensuring I can challenge every one enough so that they feel the class has met their individual needs. I'd rather run more bespoke classes with fewer numbers to pitch the level more accurately.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a Pilates instructor?
Having a career that just gets better the more you learn. A career that will age alongside every one of us..... a lifetime companion. Rare for a career!
If you could give one piece of advice to a new instructor what would it be?
Watch and learn from various styles and then stay true to your own personality with your delivery style. Remember why you fell in love with Pilates in the first place. Enjoy the journey, keep learning,keep evolving. Remember to enjoy every class.