Pilates is a physical fitness system that was developed during the First World War by Joseph Pilates to improve the rehabilitation of casualties. Pilates was designed to aid injured soldiers in regaining their health by strengthening, stretching, and stabilising key muscles.
Pilates uses correct alignment, centering, concentration, control, precision, breathing, and flowing movement (the Pilates principles) to establish a perfect working body from the inside out.
Pilates classes build strength, flexibility and lean muscle tone with an emphasis on lengthening the body and aligning the spine, rather than on bulking and shortening the muscles.
Pilates has a focus on the core which can basically be thought of as the ‘powerhouse’ of your body. Your core is the area between your shoulders and your pelvis (without your arms and legs) and encompasses all the muscles within this area.
Because of its core focus, Pilates is popular not only in the field of fitness, but also in rehabilitation. It can be used to progress individuals through movements that represent their day-to-day activities. The focus on strengthening the core and improving postural awareness are especially well indicated for the alleviation and prevention of back, neck and joint pain.
You can also expect overall slimming, greatly improved flexibility and increased mobility, even in a short space of time. Alignment and postural correction will have you holding yourself differently, standing taller, sitting straighter and moving with better balance and coordination.
You will feel an inner strength and heightened body awareness as you become in tune with the subtleties of your individual needs.
I was born and raised in South Africa and rode show jumpers and eventers for 12 years.
Because of the large number of injuries the sport attracts, I looked for alternative,
non invasive therapies that would help recovery, so I trained in Pilates and Reiki
in Johannesburg, gaining the level of Reiki Master.
I started Carpe Diem Therapies in South Africa and offered Pilates,
Aromatherapy, Swedish Massage, Meditation and Reiki therapies to my many clients.
Since moving to France in 2014, I have offered Pilates classes at all levels, both individually and for groups.
These are now also available in the Algarve, Portugal
Carpe Diem literally means 'seize the day' and my Pilates classes give you the
opportunity to take control of your body.
I also offer a range of other natural health therapies such as Reiki, please click on the Therapies tab above for more information.
“I have had private Pilates lessons with Vanessa for a few months now, and she is a very talented lady. You can see from the very first time you meet with her, the vibrance and total dedication to your individual needs. Her knowledge of the body and mind is immense. Thank you Vanessa for your patience and continued interest in our wellbeing!”
“Vanessa's classes have improved my shoulder (frozen for months) as well as my overall flexibility. Classes are instructive, great for building 'core' strength and much more fun than the gym! Suitable for mixed ages and ability too, as everyone works to their own capability.”
“Vanessa regularly teaches me Pilates in a one-on-one environment. The detail she goes into, compared to larger classes I have done in the past, has had great results. I didn't think it was possible to really feel how hard my body had worked with such small but accurate movements. As importantly, Vanessa can bring her massage table and is an INCREDIBLE masseuse. She can respond to your need for hard work or gentle support. She REALLY cares about your physical and mental wellbeing.”
“It was suggested to me by my Chiropractor, Anthony Jacowski in Harley Street, that as part of my treatment I undergo deep tissue massage once a week. I attended Vanessa to continue my recovery and now only have to attend my chiropractor once a year. As a result of the treatment I find my general wellbeing in terms of walking and golfing much improved and the removal of pain has made my daily life far more enjoyable”
"I have been going to Vanessa's Pilates class for 6 months now and have enjoyed every minute of my hour spent there each week. Vanessa is a very knowledgable instructor who takes care of each person, gives specific advice, and watches everyone carefully to make sure they're doing it right. The classes are excellent for improving posture , core and strength. Each week the exercises vary so it is not always repetitive . A relaxed and very friendly class , and one that leaves you invigorated at the end.
All you need is a mat, ball and an hour a week.... You won't regret it !! ”
"Vanessa's bubbly energy is reflected in her enjoyable style of teaching.
I personally have really benefited from her regular Pilates classes."