By Gill South
9:30 AM Monday Nov 19, 2012

Gill South heads for the pool to join an innovative new exercise class learning aqua Pilates.

Well, as you know I naturally gravitate towards anything that involves water - apart from swimming lap after lap after lap down a pool which bores the pants off me.

I have gate-crashed one of the first Aqua Pilates classes at my sports club, Next Generation, and the friendly woman who rather terrified me with her Pilates class a few weeks earlier, Heather Stewart, is running it. Her Pilates class is definitely directed more at types who know what they are doing rather than wannabes like me.

But it turns out the aqua Pilates class is much more my standard. Heather, who has her own company with her mother, Studio Pilates, is feeling her way with the class, figuring out what works and what doesn't, so there is nothing too testing. At this point there is no formal format for aqua Pilates which suits me down to the ground. I'm very happy to go along for the ride as this energetic Kiwi breaks new ground.

corestrength.gifI cannot teach anyone anything
I can only make them think

- Socrates

Time to think about your ‘core’ and get the scoop!

What is the scoop?
The scoop is the active pulling in and up of your transverse abdominis (TA) and activation of the lumbar spine multifidus (your postural muscles).

Your TA wraps around your waist like a girdle holding the pelvis together, you can feel it when you hold your waist and cough. The lumbar multifidus muscles keep the vertebrae in place.

Having lumbar control and strength is the first step to correct posture, flexible spine and powerful movement – all important for reducing injury and pain and improving performance while cycling. Both the TA and lumbar multifidus normally work continuously to support and protect the lower back. In cases of lower back pain, either both or one of these important deep muscles have been deactivated.

"Every workout brings something new and I love seeing the changes in my body, my waist is slimmer, I'm hooked!”

“The control, grace and balance I have now in my body is thanks to the pilates method - I love the reformer, its changed my life!”

“My mind is cleared and my body worked out each time, it’'s the perfect workout”.

“I've got arm muscles and ab definition now, soon I'’ll have a new body. I'm so happy that I've stuck with pilates.


"I love my weekly Pilates classes with smiley Heather. I began with her 8 years ago when I got breast cancer and needed to continue with some form of gentle home exercise while I went through chemotherapy.

Following reconstruction, the one on one reformer sessions helped strengthen and realign my “new body”. I have become stronger, straighter and love my increased flexibility and strength.

My husband has been going to Heather weekly for 5 years - and I can see the benefits in his body too."

Dr Nicky Cranshaw


Studio Pilates Auckland Ltd

Address: The Institute of Sport & Physiotherapy
Ground Floor
128 Kyberpass Road


021 124 9035