Hi, I am Caroline Chambers
Pilates Instructor and founder of My Pilates Partner
Like you, I have many identities – Mum, wife, homemaker, amateur chef, running enthusiast. Career-wise, I have built up a steady following as a Pilates Instructor and Chartered Physiotherapist in Dublin, Ireland over the last two decades.
My original Pilates training was with Stott Pilates in Dublin, Oxford and New York. They were great years spent traveling and soaking up Pilates knowledge and experience from the best in the industry.
Since the arrival of my children I have continued to study and learn, although closer to home. Fortunately for me Dublin has become a hub for expert Pilates training and the internet has also brought superb Pilates teacher tutorials right to me in a way I could not have imagined twenty years ago.
My understanding of the body was originally informed by my Physiotherapy training and career, where I gained an insight into the limitations of living with pain and restrictions. It was not until I subsequently trained as a Pilates Instructor that I began to truly understand the nuances of how the body works, both in times of health and ill-health. Subsequently, my new life as a Mum (pregnancy, breast-feeding, carrying babies, being a mule for everyone’s school bags, being a Mum-taxi, lifting my children’s bikes…the list is endless ) also added to my understanding of what we demand of our bodies everyday. All told, my three occupations of Physiotherapist, Pilates Instructor & Mother have fueled my curiosity and drive to understand how the body works and what works best for it.
I have always loved to move and I feel fortunate that I get to exercise as part of my workday. That said, even when I teach Pilates classes, I still like to do my own home practice, whether it be a ten minute wake-up routine in the morning or a longer toning session at the weekend. In fact, as I tell my running buddies, a run just doesn’t feel as good if I haven’t done my 15 minute Pilates mat session first.
Before I became an Instructor I used to attend some great Pilates classes in Dublin and I’d find myself wishing that I could remember the moves at home….when on my own I could still hear the Instructor’s voice correcting my shoulder position etc, but I’d find that I could never remember enough of the exercises to constitute a decent work-out at home. This, and the realisation that there must be a way to ease the pressure points in people’s schedules and still encourage a healthy life style lead to me establishing My Pilates Partner.
With My Pilates Partner I hope to facilitate my clients to take ownership of their own exercise schedule, to recognise that exercise and mindful awareness of the body isn’t just for the once a week visit to the Pilates Studio. Instead, it can be part of your daily routine – anytime and anywhere.
I teach privates and group classes in Dublin, and hope to continue to do so for a long time. If you are ever in Dublin, come join me in a class, then take the experience home with you through My Pilates Partner.
The man behind the name[/cz_title]
Pilates is named after its founder, Joseph Pilates, who was born in Germany in 1883. His father was a gymnast and his mother a naturopath. He was considered a sickly child, suffering from asthma and rickets. He was determined to make himself strong and healthy, successfully taking up body building, to the point where he was getting employment in his teens as an anatomical model.
By 1914 he was living in England, working as a professional boxer and circus performer. He was even employed by Scotland Yard, teaching self defense to Detectives.
With the outbreak of World War 1 he was interned in a prisoner of war camp with other German nationals. While interned he continued his exercise regime. In time he began to train his fellow countrymen in the camp, developing his skills over his 4 year internment, ultimately coming to call his methods of exercise Contrology. His method encouraged the use of the mind to control the muscles. He even began to adapt hospital beds, using the springs of the beds to develop what he termed exercise apparatus, which would eventually become the Pilates equipment we now know as the Reformer, Cadillac and Stability Chair, among others.
After the war, he returned for a time to Germany but in 1923 he emigrated to New York, settling there with his new wife Clara. Together they set up a ‘body conditioning gym’ on 8th Avenue. The same building also housed the New York State Ballet and inevitably Joseph and Clara and their innovative methods came to the attention of and were embraced by the ballet fraternity with the likes of George Balanchine and Martha Graham becoming devotees – they found the Contrology method the best way both to recover from injury and to prevent its reoccurrence.
Joseph and Clara worked in New York for decades, training the elite of the dance and art world. He also trained other instructors, who became known as Pilates Elders, in his methods. After Joseph Pilates’ death in 1967, it was these Elders who worked to preserve his methods while also bringing Pilates to a wider audience. In recent decades Pilates has been embraced by many the world over, from professional athletes to casual exercise enthusiasts.
“Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.”